Northern Lights Cruise with Saga – Chapter 10

As we left Norwegian waters for the last time en route to Dover and then home to Doncaster it gave us time to reflect on the cruise. Even without Nicholas Parsons this has been the ‘sail of the century’ and as previously mentioned SAGA’s most successful Northern Lights adventure for at least ten years.

The lights have played ball .We have been exceptionally lucky. When I got home I bought a lotto ticket just on the off chance that our luck was continuing. I am still working!

Saga Peral IIWe have been converted to the world of small ship cruising proving once and for all size doesn’t matter. We will never go back to those multi-decked monstrosities.

SAGA have been excellent and I cannot fault anything and I can be very critical at times. Start to finish – booking to returning to our front door – everything truly perfect.

SAGA PEARL II is a fabulous ship. Luxurious, intimate and most importantly on a holiday, very friendly. The Filipino staff never stopped smiling. If Norway is the happiest country in the world and that’s official then these guys on board must be the most contented workforce I have ever come across. Special thanks to head waiter Vinnie in the dining room. Superb service,  great personality and a lovely decent family man to boot. Nothing was ever a problem.

Some would say well that’s what they are paid for. True but how often do we get good service? Many travel companies disappoint. Vinnie was consistently excellent with a smile to melt the sternest person.

This is where SAGA excel. All fellow passengers mentioned that the service and attention to detail was amazing and one of the main reasons they return to this great ship. Many passengers do back to back cruises and it is easy to see why.

Saga Pearl II Verandah RestaurantAnd the food. Oh my! Whoever made that tiramisu on day 6 deserves a special hug. Executive chef John McCerery and his team produced exquisite food time and time again. The shepherd’s pie was as good as my mum used to make. Memories!

Don’t listen to people who say that the entertainment on board is not very good. It is superb. The on board speakers deserve a mention here too.

Sam Hall instantly recognisable from his time on the ITN news in the days of Reggie Bosanquet. Former war correspondent, author and filmmaker. He covered the Falklands War and once sailed across the North Sea in an open Viking boat. He is a popular and experienced cruise ship guest speaker.

Jam packed with more Viking DNA than most Ivar Hellberg is an experienced ex commando soldier who has served in many parts of this troubled world. Now a lecturer in military history and Viking history and all things Norwegian. A keen mountaineer who was part of the 1976 successful ascent of Everest.

The resident Explosive Productions team of Jonathan, Sam and Sophie and dancers were excellent. Show included ‘Love me Tender’, ‘Forever in Blue Jeans’, ‘Music of the Night’, ‘Swing that Thing’ and best of British.

Saga Pearl II Explosive ProductionsVirtuoso flautist Suzanne Godfrey , Paul Frederick – comedy vocalist and ex The New Vaudeville Band. Remember Winchester Cathedral?  The  Diablo String Quartet, Magician Brent Sherwood and vocalist Penny Mathison. A well-chosen group of performers. Something to suit all tastes.

And the brilliant Stuart Anderson ( Do listen to and buy his CD ‘Sailing Solo’. Wonderful and I am not on commission.

SAGA PEARL II is a lovely ship. Thanks to all our fellow passengers and Captain Nick and his crew who have made this cruise so enjoyable.

Takk Norway. Visiting is always a pleasure never a chore.

And Aurora Borealis.’ Dance of the Gods’. We came we saw and you conquered our hearts. Another tick on the bucket list.

And finally, thank you SAGA for our holiday of a lifetime. A bold statement yet absolutely true.

Silver Travel Advisor recommends Saga Holidays 

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Dave Harcombe

Travelling pharmacist

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