Helsinki. June 10, 1996

Neither of us sleep well but not due to the ship. The ship is sailing very smoothly and we can only feel a little something when it turns. It seems like we are just experiencing more jet lag.  I read that each hour’s difference takes a day to adjust to. Since we are 9 hours off our regular time and we have only been here five days we have more sleeplessness to look forward to.

We have breakfast at the buffet which is full of cold cuts and pickled vegetables, the usual Northern European fare. The buffet, we find out, it is included in our ticket. We have already bought six breakfasts. Oh well.

We go to the terminal and sign up and pay for the design tour in Helsinki. This is a spouse’s tour to keep us busy while our significant other is working.

Entrance to the conference on the ferry

First we go to Arabia factory. They make ceramic stuff. The factory is very interesting. We also have time to shop. Everything is quite expensive. (While researching this topic I found out that in 2016 the Arabia factory in Finland closed. All Arabia products are now made in Thailand and Romania.)

We have lunch at the Savoy Restaurant where it is quite meat intensive. Then in the afternoon we go places where they are hoping we will buy something. No one buys much. We get back around 4 PM and John finishes his meetings around 5 PM, better known here as 17:00 (so many new things to learn!)

The welcoming dinner is not until 8:30 PM (20:30) so we read and nap. There is not much to do on the boat. The welcoming dinner is awful. The food is bad, there is an inept juggler, and drinks close down about 1 hour after we get there. At that point the restaurant is open to the public and we leave. This ferry is definitely not a cruise ship!

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