Our main reason for choosing this cruise was because it went to Riga AND we know people in Riga! Gary Ward was our next door neighbour in Wraysbury and moved to Latvia about 13 years ago. His wife, Elena, we met when they visited us on a trip to the UK. The main reason that Saga chose this cruise was because of the Tall Ships Race which was visiting Turku in Finland, when we were there, and what a great treat that was!
Anyway, we met some old friends on board (Alf Smith, who always tells everyone that I'm his brother, and his partner Sheena - there was a special dinner for Alf's Diamond membership of Saga's Cruise Club (over 1000 nights on board Saga's ships would you believe. We've done less than 300) and we were invited, Edna sat next to the Captain - Stuart Horne, his first Saga cruise command) and some new ones for the quizzes. We won the first 4 but went downhill from there and only won 3 more. Must be getting old.
The entertainment was, as we seem to find more and more, disappointing but there was an above average classical group on board (The Victory Piano Quartet from Ukraine) who gave 6 excellent concerts and an excellent pianist (come ukelele player, come comedian) called Stuart. We'll see him again on the Pearl later in the year.
Ports visited were Gothenburg (Sweden), Kalundborg (Denmark), Stockholm (Sweden), Turku (Finland) overnight for the Tall Ships Race, Ventspils (Latvia), Riga (Latvia), Gdynia (Poland) and Ijmuiden (Netherlands). Seven new (to us) ports and two new countries!