Representatives from Meyer Werft and Saga Cruises celebrate the construction milestone (Image: Saga Cruises)
Meyer Werft laid the keel for Saga Cruises’ first-ever newbuild ship, Saga Discovery, at its yard in Papenburg, Germany on 28 June.
Saga marked the construction milestone with a traditional ceremony, during which a commemorative coin stamped with Spirit of Discovery’s name, keel-laying date and building identification number was placed under the first block of keel. The ceremony was attended by Lance Batchelor, Saga CEO; Tim Meyer, managing director of Meyer Werft; and Sir Sebastian Wood, guest of honour and the British Ambassador to Germany.
“Laying the keel is an exciting milestone for Saga cruises,” said Lance Batchelor, group CEO of Saga. “This marks a key stage in the construction of our first-ever newbuild cruise ship. Our decision to bring two new boutique cruise ships, Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure, to the market by 2020 is in response to overwhelming customer demand. It will be truly transformational for our business. Both ships have been designed to epitomise Saga’s unique British boutique cruising concept and are the only small, new luxury ships to be built for the British market.”
Set to debut in July 2019 and replace Saga Pearl II, Spirit of Discovery is one of two new vessels on order for Saga. Her sister, Spirit of Adventure, will launch in summer 2020.
Each vessel will accommodate 999 passengers in 540 all-balcony cabins – around 20% of which will be for solo travellers – and will have interiors and onboard offerings tailored to suit the tastes of British travellers. The newbuilds will also have speciality restaurants, bars, indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, a library, an observation lounge and Saga Cruises’ signature Britannia Lounge.
“With one year to go to the launch of Spirit of Discovery, Saga Cruises will continue to reveal exciting features – from the interior design and entertainment, the artwork onboard to restaurant venues, including The Club by Jools – the company’s first celebrity endorsed venue with Jools Holland,” said Nigel Blanks, COO for Saga Cruises. “The Club by Jools will offer great food as well as live music and cocktails with resident and guest musicians. Jools will be onboard during July and August and we really can’t wait to get the party start.”
To read more about what passengers can expect onboard Spirit of Discovery, take a look at our interview with Saga Cruises’ chief executive Robin Shaw.