This week Saga’s Spirit of Adventure was launched at Portsmouth. It must have been strange, really, for those living in the town to see the ship anchored for almost the past year, unable to be let loose because of the pandemic. I have invited Portsmouth Cruise Terminal to a future article, so there will be more to read here about that. The city has invested greatly so larger ships can use the terminal.
However, the Spirit of Adventure will sail next week on her inaugural round Britain cruise from the Tilbury terminal in Essex. Ports of call include Newcastle, Belfast, the Isle of Man, Liverpool, Holyhead, Bristol, Lundy Island, the north Cornwall coast, the Isles of Scilly and Falmouth. Shame that Scotland is still closed to English cruise ships.
It is a boutique ship, with just 554 cabins and a maximum capacity of 999 people so she feels spacious and comfortable. Every cabin has its own private balcony with uninterrupted sea views and everything from the chauffeur service to meals and Wi-Fi are included in the price.
Entertainment and wellbeing facilities include The Playhouse (a 444-seat theatre with complete unobstructed views seating, home to Saga Cruise’s resident performance company), the signature Britannia Lounge with a dance floor and live entertainment, The Library with refreshments, craft and card rooms, The Spa with hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam and treatment rooms, The Salon, a gym, shop and medical centre. The ship also features specially commissioned artwork that draw inspiration from the geography, landscapes, and palette of the British Isles.
The all-inclusive price includes a choice of complementary UK travel to and from the port including a door-to-door chauffeur service up to 250 miles each way, car parking near the port, domestic flights or standard class rail or coach travel.
There are no hidden costs on-board either. Saga Cruises come with all dining and house drinks including a selection of wines with lunch and dinner, Wi-Fi, on-board gratuities, fitness facilities, 24-hour
- o All guests and crew must have both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine at least 14-days before boarding the ship
- o Pre-departure Covid-19 testing and full medical screening in the terminal
- o A reduced number of guests on-board
- o Increased crew to guest ratio, to allow enhanced cleaning regimes on-board
- o Private chauffeur car per household up to 250 miles
- o Social distancing that feels discreet onboard the spacious ship
- o Additional enhancements to the state-of-the-art air conditioning, which already provides 100% fresh air in all public areas and cabins, plus every cabin has its own private balcony
- o Enhanced medical facilities with a dedicated isolation area on-board and double the onboard medical team
Saga cruises had something of a previous staid image, their ships were not that comfortable, with quite high prices. Not any more. They have invested heavily, they know their market, and this new ship represents an excellent opportunity for quality UK departures at sensible prices.