Saga Cruises, part of the UK based financial services to travel group Saga plc, has taken up an option for second 55,900 gross ton newbuilding at Meyer Werft in Germany, the parent company said in a statement.
The second ship will be delivered a year ahead of original plans.
Lance Batchelor, group CEO, said in the statement: “Saga is on track to deliver a fourth consecutive year of growth. Underlying profits are up again and so is our dividend. Our retail broking and travel divisions are performing well. Saga's new ship, Spirit of Discovery, will arrive in June 2019, and pre-sales are very strong. Our confidence in demand has supported our decision to purchase our second new ship, Spirit of Adventure, and to bring forward delivery to August 2020.”
Batchelor continued: “Our new cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery, is now at an advanced stage of design with construction due to begin in February 2018. She will be delivered in June 2019 for her maiden cruise. We launched the first 19 cruises to our advanced registered members on 18 July, having generated over 18,000 advanced and pre-registrations by this date. Our calls with the advanced registered members are converting into sales at around 80% and as at 18 September we had booked 6,449 passengers.”
“The strong demand for Spirit of Discovery has given us the confidence to approve Spirit of Adventure, our second new ship, and to bring forward delivery to August 2020. This decision to further invest in our shipping capacity will complete the transformation of our cruise business for us and our members,” he concluded.
The first newbuilding will replace the 1981 built Saga Pearl II, while the second one appears to replace the Saga Sapphire that is of the same vintage, but much larger, at 37,012 gross tons, compared to 18,835 of Saga Pearl II.
The company, which is based in Folkestone on the south coast of England and listed on the London Stock Exchange, offers a wide range of services to customers aged 50 and more.