Saga Sapphire berthed in Kiel (Image: Ulf Janke)
Saga Cruises’ Saga Sapphire made her maiden visit to Kiel in Germany on 17 May.
Calling as part of a 10-day ‘Scandinavia Cities’ roundtrip from Dover, UK, Saga Sapphire was escorted to the port’s Ostseekai Cruise Shipping Terminal with 640 passengers onboard.
The inaugural visit was commemorated in traditional maritime style, with the ship hosting an onboard plaque exchange ceremony between the ship’s captain Julian Burgess and the port’s managing director Dirk Claus. The ship remained berthed overnight.
“Saga Cruises is one of those shipping companies that have discovered Kiel for themselves as a gateway for land excursions in north Germany and which, with increasing regularity, now include the port in route planning,” said Claus. “We are delighted to enjoy such a good partnership with Saga Cruises and we would like to further expand it in future.”
Although it was the first time Saga Sapphire had called as part of the Saga Cruises’ fleet, the ship visited Kiel on an annual basis while she was sailing as Europa for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises between 1981 and 1999.
“The visit of Saga Sapphire is at one and the same time a maiden call and a reunion,” said Claus.
Kiel is set to welcome 165 calls from 32 cruise ships in 2018, which will bring around 600,000 passengers to the German city. Visitors will include Saga Cruises’ Saga Pearl II and ships from Cunard Line, Fred. Olsen Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Ponant, Pullmantur, P&O Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises.
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