Saga to throw a royal naming ceremony for Spirit of Discovery

Saga to throw a royal naming ceremony for Spirit of Discovery
Having officially taken delivery of Spirit of Discovery, Saga will celebrate her christening in Dover (Image: Saga)

Saga is on track to throw a royal naming ceremony for its newest cruise ship Spirit of Discovery, which was delivered on 24 June. The Duchess of Cornwall, the ship’s godmother, will attend the British garden party at the Port of Dover, UK on 5 July. 

500 guests have been invited to attend the naming ceremony which will feature an extensive Afternoon Tea. It will be prepared by Saga’s celebrity chef Kevin Woodford; former executive pastry chef at Buckingham Palace, Selwyn Stoby; and Paul Gayler, the former executive chef of the Lanesborough Hotel.

The Port of Dover will be transformed with Yorkshire grass, bunting and floral displays. Guests will be served Spirit of Discovery sparkling wine which has been specially blended by Kent vineyard Hush Heath for the ship and Anno Kent Gin from the nearby village of Marden.  

There will also be a showstopping celebration cake depicting a two-metre-long replica of Spirit of Discovery, designed and made by Mark Tilling, winner of Bake Off Crème de la Crème.

During the official naming ceremony, The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Collingwood and the Morrison Orpheus Choir will perform and the ship will be blessed by The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover. She will then be christened by The Duchess of Cornwall with a bottle of the specially created sparkling wine. 

“Now we have completed the formal ownership handover of Spirit of Discovery, we cannot think of a better way to mark the launch of our pioneering new boutique cruise ship than with the ultimate British summertime event, a Garden Party with a sumptuous Afternoon Tea,” said Robin Shaw, CEO of Saga Travel. “As far as we’re aware, this is the first time any ship naming ceremony has been celebrated in this way. This unique afternoon will symbolise a key moment in both the history and the future of Saga. We couldn’t be more honoured than to have Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall joining us for this prestigious day.”

Following her arrival from Meyer Werft on 28 June, Spirit of Discovery will become the first cruise ship to be named at the Port of Dover in over 10 years and the first to be docked at Berth 4 in the recently developed £250 million Dover Western Docks Revival.

The inaugural cruise of Spirit of Discovery, A British First, will depart from Dover on 10 July and sail around the British Isles. 

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Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts
27 June 2019

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