Saga has announced that HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will be Godmother of its newly built boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery.
The naming ceremony will take place in Dover, Kent, on 5 July 2019. She will be the first cruise ship to be named at the Port of Dover for over a decade, and the first to be docked at Dover Western Docks following the £250m redevelopment of the area.
Before the naming ceremony, HRH will be given a tour of the ship. In building Spirit of Discovery, classic and contemporary materials and furnishings have been combined to create a luxurious environment. The 1,000 plus pieces of art on board will include 400 original pieces commissioned from British based artists and artisans. Hush Heath, an independent wine producer from Kent, will provide a jeroboam of their sparkling wine for the naming ceremony that has been specially blended for Spirit of Discovery.
The Duchess of Cornwall and Saga share a common link in their support for The Silver Line, a charity founded by TV presenter Dame Esther Rantzen after she experienced intense loneliness following the death of her husband. HRH is the patron of the charity and The Silver Line is Saga’s first national charity partner.
Lance Batchelor, Group CEO, Saga, said: “I am delighted that The Duchess of Cornwall has agreed to be Godmother of the Spirit of Discovery. The launch of our new ship is a key moment in both the history and future of Saga. Carrying fewer than 1,000 passengers, she is a boutique ship that offers our customers and members the highest standards of accommodation, furnishings, cuisine and entertainment. I am immensely proud of what we have created with shipyard Meyer Werft.”
Sophie Andrews, CEO, The Silver Line, said: “Our team is absolutely delighted to see this coming together of our Patron and our charity partner, Saga. The Silver Line helpline receives more than 10,500 calls every week from vulnerable and isolated older people, many of whom have nowhere else to turn which demonstrates the depth of loneliness felt by huge numbers of the UK’s older population.
Saga has shown its firm commitment to Britain as Spirit of Discovery has been registered in the UK and will proudly display London as her port of registry on her stern. Her sister ship, Spirit of Adventure, will also fly the Red Ensign when she launches in 2020.