The Saga Pearl II launched the summer of cruises30.05.2018
Cruise traffic at the Port of HaminaKotka began superbly last summer, and this year’s first cruise ship, the British passenger vessel M/S Saga Pearl II, was moored to the quay at Kantasatama on 30 May. The Saga Pearl II is the first of the four or five international cruise ships due to call at the Port of HaminaKotka this summer.
The ship with a length of more than 160 metres arrived in Kotka from St Petersburg, carrying about 500 British tourists and a crew of about 300. The cruises of the Saga Pearl II are primarily intended for elderly people, and the programme is tailored with consideration to the relevant age group. The average age of the passengers on this cruise was 75 years. From Kotka, the Saga Pearl II continued to Visby in Sweden.
The passengers and crew received a warm welcome in sunny Kotka. The Youth Band of Kotka and Hamina together with marching girls who have also appeared in the parade of the Kotka Maritime Festival performed the march “Anchors aweigh” on a few occasions, and received a cheerful applause from the British tourists. The many volunteers provided by Cursor, the Kotka-Hamina region development company, were also present at the quayside ready to serve and instruct the guests about the things Kotka has to offer.
On land, sea and river
The travellers had an opportunity to get to know Kotka on land, sea and also along the river. The sailing ship Vivan took some guests close to the island of Suursaari on the Russian side of the sea frontier, and they had an opportunity to go ashore on the island of Kaunissaari. Two trips with white water rafting were arranged on the river Kymijoki.
Those into history familiarised themselves with the Imperial Fishing Lodge at Langinkoski, from where the trip continued to see the idyll of the old houses in Hamina. At Langinkoski, the visitors were especially interested in the British connection of the Empress Maria Feodorovna. The sister of the Empress, Alexandra, was a daughter-in-law of Queen Victoria, in other words the spouse of King Edward VII and the mother of King George V.
There were also many guests who spent their day by getting to know Kotka and its many parks on their own. Kotka certainly provided a counterbalance to the bustle of the metropolis of St Petersburg.
Next one next week - perhaps
The number of cruisers visiting Kotka this summer - four or five - will be finally determined early next week. The passengers of the M/S Braemar will vote a couple of days earlier whether the ship will head for Kotka or Helsinki on 7 June.
However, what is certain is that the British vessel M/S Saga Sapphire will come on 14 June, the M/S Serenissima on 13 August and the M/S Saga Sapphire on 6 September. The numbers of passengers on these ships vary from about 1,000 on board the Braemar to about 100 “explorers” on the Serenissima.
This summer, all ships will berth at Kantasatama, which will also facilitate the landside services rendered to the passengers.
Cruise ships at the Kantasatama Harbour in the summer of 2018
Saga Holidays / Saga Pearl II 30 May
Fred.Olsen / Braemar 7 June (potentially)
Saga Holidays / Saga Sapphire 14 June
Noble Caledonia / Serenissima 13 August
Saga Holidays / Saga Sapphire 6 September