This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Spring/Summer 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
There are big ambitions for Saga Cruises to deliver a luxury boutique experience that surpasses expectation. This is why it has selected design agency AD Associates to deliver modern, sophisticated interiors for Spirit of Adventure, ensuring she stands apart from her sister. Saga Cruises has emphasised that the ship will be the best in contemporary British architecture and design, so it was appropriate that it appointed a well-equipped, London-based design agency to fulfil these aspirations for the whole vessel.
Spirit of Adventure is being built at Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany and is a 999-passenger ship whose guest cabins will all feature balconies. Additionally in response to customer demand, Saga has announced that the ship will be all-inclusive. Nigel Banks, chief operating officer at Saga Cruises, has said this decision has been made to reaffirm its “position as a luxury niche cruise operator.”
While being delivered second in the ‘Spirit’ lineage, the Spirit of Adventure has her own identity. Few structural changes were possible, so AD Associates worked collaboratively with Saga and Meyer Werft to make wise and strategic design decisions that will creatively allow for her to be differentiated from her sister. Along with four unique forward suites, part of her identity involves the inclusion of two new venues: Amalfi, an Italian restaurant; Khukuri House, a Nepalese restaurant; and an evolution of The Club, an entertainment and dining venue.
Nicola Preece, design director at AD Associates, says the interiors on Spirit of Adventure will embody the best of British contemporary design. “The approach is bold and adventurous, eclectic and with a carefully composed use of colour, will offer variation, big scale patterns and a layered palette. Being able to work on a project of this size and scope has been a wonderful platform to showcase the capabilities and creativity of our team.”
Undoubtedly with AD's expertise, Spirit of Adventure will possess a distinctive personality; confident and daring, adding variance to the current boutique offering in the cruise market. This has only been possible through Saga’s commitment to, and understanding of, delivering great design and service along with AD’s willingness to challenge design perceptions with bold, forward-thinking design. As experts in the field of luxury travel and hospitality, AD understands and appreciates the project needs, the service philosophy, and guests’ expectations, enabling them to design spaces that will optimise the guest experience.
Chris Finch, AD’s founder and CEO, explains the philosophy and approach taken for Spirit of Adventure: “Luxury has become more accessible to a wider demographic, therefore greater numbers of people are generally discerning and design aware. We understand the growing importance of design and its marketability; it presents an opportunity for our clients to retain and attract new guests, whilst we get to work on exciting and unique projects which align with our values and vision.”
AD is providing a comprehensive architectural design service to Saga, including overall design direction and wider project support for the whole ship, up until its delivery. A diverse range of spaces are being driven by AD: public, entertainment and social venues, outdoor areas, speciality dining, spa, retail, crew and circulation, as well as all the guest cabins, suites, and bathrooms – demonstrating the design agencies multifaceted skillset, in-house capacity, and deep-rooted understanding of the hospitality environment.
David Pickett, Saga’s newbuild director, has expressed his happiness at the collaboration with AD. “We at Saga are delighted to be working with AD Associates, an agency that’s able to interpret and deliver on our commitment to high quality authentic design and customer service,” he said. “Thanks to her bold and striking interiors, Spirit of Adventure will be a true representation of the best of British innovation and flair.”
David McCarthy, director of Marine Projects and Communications at AD, echoes this sentiment: “The opportunity to work with the team at Saga and Meyer Werft is very rewarding and it is incredibly clear that the ambition and commitment of all involved is to deliver an exceptional vessel for the Saga Cruise brand.”
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