Cruise RU305 on the Saga Ruby to the Gulf of Bothnia, Lapland June 2009
(Please scroll down to see my photographs and report)
||Drottningholm Palace (closed)
||Chinese pavilion (instead)
||Cakes in the wet!
||Cathedral & castle
||Visby, Gotland, Sweden
||Nexo, Bornholm, Denmark
||Kiel Canal, Germany
||Off by 8:30 am
Martin & George
George, Dee-Ann, Linda, Martin & Dorothy
New harbour, Copenhagen
Me in my ruby red tour escort's uniform in Stockholm
Warehouses in Hudiksvall
Church in Gammelstad, Lulea
Cultural centre in Vaasa
George in his ruby red tour escort's uniform at Turku castle
Visby on Gotland
Round Church on Bornholm
Kiel Canal transit
Here's my report on the cruise:
Just to let you know that I have just got back from my fortnight's
cruise to the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic on board Saga Ruby.
She's a lovely old ship, the last cruise liner to have been built in Britain
by Swan Hunter on the Tyne.
Originally called the Vistafjord, she is best known as Cunard's Caronia.
We tendered into two magical islands, Gotland and Bornholm.
The Gulf of Bothnia towns were generally bland.
We had good weather with only one wet day.
I worked with George Glynn who was very amusing
and Jenny & Basil Brown who took the dance classes.
Good points were:
- Free pax launderette.
- Hosting a table in the main dining room as on Discovery.
- Excellent US beef every evening bar two (lamb shank and fish).
- Leisurely evening with only one dinner sitting and only one show.
- Excellent 6 piece band.
- Excellent dance trio and separate classical trio (which we never got to hear).
- Good programme of up to 3 lectures per sea day.
- Getting our picture on to the guest artistes display board!
- Fresh fruit and iced water in cabins.
- Ruby red uniform supplied for tour escorting.
- Free car parking at port.
- Sailaways from every port.
- Singles party and singles lunch.
- Good cabaret artistes.
- Three cocktail parties.
Usual evening programme:
- 18:30 - 19:00 Dancing in second lounge to Trio.
- 19:00 - 21:00 Dinner in main dining room.
- 21:15 - 21:45 Dancing in show lounge to band or Trio.
- 22:00 - 23:00 Show in main lounge.
- 23:00 - 23:30 Dancing in show lounge to band or Trio.
Here was my itinerary:
- Thu 4th. Drove to Dover and took advantage of the free parking.
- Sat 6th. Copenhagen - Shuttle bus in to Botanic gardens and walk back via quays and little mermaid statue.
- Mon 8th. Stockholm - Tour escort to Drottningholm palace which was closed for royal investiture! Visited Chinese pavilion instead.
- Tue 9th. Hudiksvall - Tour escort on walk through quiet town.
- Wed 10th Lulea - Tour escort to Gammelstad medieval "church village" ("kyrkstad").
- Thu 11th Vaasa - Tour escort to islands on the only wet day. Nice coffee & cakes in old fishing barn.
- Fri 12th Turku - Shuttle bus into city to see cathedral and castle (2 miles apart)!
- Sat 13th Visby - Tour escort on city walk - even prettier than Tallinn!
- Sun 14th Bornholm - Tour escort on island tour including castle, round church and charming fishing village. Enjoyed a kipper and a glass of Tuborg lager!
- Mon 15th Kiel canal transit - Interesting.
- Wed 17th Drove home from Dover after disembarking at 8:15 and getting away by 8:30.