Saga Cruises, the British company that operates two ships catering for the 50 plus age group, is exceeding booking target of its first newbuilding, while it has also unveiled final cruises of Saga Sapphire.
“Bookings for our new cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery, are now over 55% of our sales target for the first nine months from June 2019, at attractive yields,” said Lance Bachelor, CEO of Saga plc that owns the cruise company, in a trading statement.
Spirit of Discovery is the first of two 55,900 gross ton newbuildings Saga Cruises has on order from Meyer Werft. It is due to enter service next year, followed by a sister ship in 2020.
The first new ship will replace the 1981 buit Saga Pearl II of 18,859 gross tons, while the second ship will take over from the 37,012 gross ton Saga Sapphire, which has been carrying Saga guests since 2012.
Saga Sapphire is to bow out with a 33-night Grand Finale sailing from May 6 to June 8, 2020, immediately after a circumnavigation of the British Isles. The ship’s farewell tour also features the Baltic, a gastronomically-themed cruise to Europe’s Atlantic coast and Morocco, and a Norwegian fjords exploration.
Before her last return to Southampton, Saga Sapphire’s final port of call will be Gibraltar, marking the start of a farewell party for up to 720 guests and 415 crew.It will complete a cruise taking in Valletta, Messina, Alexandria, Israel, the Greek islands, Athens and Istanbul, with chances to visit Bethlehem, dine in the shadow of the pyramids and attend a special event in an underground 4th-century cistern in Istanbul
The 15-night British Coast to Coast cruise from Dover visits Newcastle, Belfast and Liverpool, the Orkney and Channel Islands, as well as the Jurassic Coast, with entertainment including a highland feast, talks on the Royal Family, Shakespeare-inspired performances and a Beatles party.
Among the optional tours are a heritage train ride over the monumental Glenfinnan Viaduct and visits to Trinity College, Dublin, and Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh. The Scandinavian Vistas cruise of beautiful Baltic scenery features visits to fishing communities, plus film screenings and talks on the Nordic Noir dramatic style, before the ship’s final traverse of the Kiel Canal to Dover.
Guests can enjoy flamenco and Andalusian cuisine on the 19-night Tastes of Spain and Portugal sailing from Dover, as well as a cookery class in Casablanca, while the 10-night Musical Norway cruise, also from Dover, features the nine-mile long Geirangerfjord, with musical excursions and on-board jazz, and experience driving a Porsche 911 on a frozen lake.