Hayley cruises to Bremen, Amsterdam & Bruges
I was lucky enough to spend 5 nights on board the Saga Sapphire with 7 other
travel agents. It was a round trip from Southampton on Saga's continental Christmas markets
itinerary - stopping at Bremen, Amsterdam and Bruges...
"Attention to detail really makes Saga...."
On the 3rd December I was lucky enough to spend 5 nights on board the Saga Sapphire with 7 other travel agents. It was a round trip from Southampton on Saga's continental Christmas markets itinerary - stopping at Bremen, Amsterdam and Bruges. This was a 'rock 'n roll' themed cruise.
Saga is for over 50’s (with a companion of 40) and they cater to this age bracket fantastically. Attention to detail really makes Saga. There is a 24 hour free room service, strawberry afternoon tea, newsletters, blankets for outdoor areas, entertainment, dance lessons and the food on board is amazing. It’s the perfect chance to have a holiday of a life time whilst making new friends for both couples and solo passengers.
Day 1 - sea day
This morning we started off with freshly cooked eggs benedict in the main restaurant. All hot food is made fresh to order and it’s a great way to meet new people and plan your day. We had been
invited to have a look at the bridge of the ship. It’s interesting to see where the ship is steered from and what the Captain gets to look out at! We then enjoyed a relaxing morning in the spa.
When walking down to the spa we could see groups of people playing bowls, completing their daily Sudoku’s and crosswords in the aviator lounge and also going up for the mile walk (6 laps) on the top deck! There were dance classes going on throughout the day so everyone could practice their moves for the evening. The spa is equipped with a steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi and indoor pool. Perfect for getting into holiday mode.
After our relaxing morning and afternoon we all got
ready for our formal night. Formal night on a cruise ship is something that everyone should experience. Everyone has their fine jewellery and best dress on. We had our evening meal in the
East to West restaurant which is like Asian infusion for your palette. After our meal we went to the Britannia lounge to show off our moves!
Day 2 - bremen
1st Stop Bremen! We arrived in Bremen and were taken aback by the historical gothic style buildings and cobbled streets. We made our way to the Christmas markets and decided to have
some lunch. With a bratwurst in one hand and a Gluwein in the other we went exploring. The Christmas Market is huge, there are stalls selling everything. As Christmas Markets go it was actually
quite cheap! When you’re in Bremen it’s tradition to rub the Donkeys foot – it’s good luck! As you walk round you can see that the Donkey is a part of Bremen history which has been kept alive.
After a few hours exploring we made our way back to the ship. We relaxed in the Britannia Lounge with a few drinks watching the band onboard - Joey and the Jivers. The atmosphere is lively here
but doesn’t go on until early hours. For a more relaxed night you can go to the coopers bar or the drawing room.
Day 3 - amsterdam
After a choppy night we couldn’t wait to get our feet on dry land. What a place to lose your sea legs – Amsterdam! Amsterdam is a city you can visit over and over and yet, still find something new to do. The city is picturesque with the canals, Vondel Park and the Dutch houses; every corner is a photo opportunity. There are hundreds of museums to suit everyone’s interests. We spent our day walking, taking a short canal cruise and eating cheese! We headed back to the ship and after our evening meal we went to see a show which was produced by the in-house entertainment team.
Day 4 - bruges
After a quick transfer we arrived in the centre of Bruges. Since having visited before, I knew not to run into the first chocolate shop and spend all my money! The streets are lined with medieval gable houses and cobbled roads. Horse and carts are still used for tourism purposes, brass bands are playing, small boats sail up and down the canals, the streets smell of Belgian waffles, Christmas
shops house wooden hand crafted train sets, nutcrackers and rocking horses. It’s like stepping into a fairy tale. We stopped for some lunch – Belgian fries and Belgian waffles. We headed back to the ship to get ready to say our goodbyes for our early departures the following morning.
Handy Tips for First Timers
⭐️ If you’re looking at a Saga Cruise, the earlier you book the more discounts that are applied. As more cabins sell the discount gets less and less.
⭐️ If you book an outside cabin or above you get little extras in your room like binoculars – perfect for a sea day!
⭐️ If you’re a foodie, when you’re in Amsterdam go into the cheese shops and try all the tasters!
⭐️ When in Bruges ask to try the chocolates or truffles that you want to buy first, this way you know you’re getting good quality.
⭐️ Get your attraction tickets from a tourist ticket office, there’s normally a % off or a special offer.