Dear Friends,

I never imagined our old radio show would get into the cruise business, but the Barcelona-Venice trip a couple months ago was such a pleasure, we decided to do one more.

So off we go to the Baltic in August.

We’ll sail on the 9th aboard the MS Ryndam from the white cliffs of Dover and head off to visit a string of fabulous northern cities, including Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Aarhus, taking along all the usual suspects and our naturalists and some excellent lecturers, and we’ll have a mob sing on the afterdeck as we pull out of Dover, and late-night dances in the Crow’s Nest and 7 a.m. choir practice (optional) and more storytelling and lectures about the Hanseatic League and the Revolution of 1917, and a cavalcade of music in the bars and lounges, as the watery world slips by and we take a two-week leave from our ordinary hectic lives. No texting. No email.

Jenny and I did this trip years ago, and the memory is still vivid (in a good way). The thought of walking around Stockholm in August and eating tre slags sild (that’s three kinds of herring) at an outdoor café in Copenhagen and walking through the czar’s summer palace outside St. Petersburg and the graceful boulevards of Helsinki — that is what is going to cheer me up through the doldrums of March and the book tour in June and the airports and the hotel lobbies and then July 6, the 40th anniversary of the first Prairie Home show, when I am going to feel 103 years old.

A person can get through a strenuous year if you just have something wonderful to look forward to. And I’m looking forward to August 9th and Dover and the walk up the gangway and seeing familiar faces around the Lido pool.

Yrs,

Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor