Attention all Shipping at 00.00hrs July 5, 2019: The iconic names broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s British Isles Shipping Forecast will ring out on Saga’s new ship Spirit of Discovery with eight suites named after the areas Bailey, Fair Isle, FitzRoy, Hebrides, Humber, Lundy, Thames and Trafalgar.
A nod to Saga Cruises’ heritage also sees the ship’s four top suites honour inspiring names including company founder Sidney de Haan OBE. Mr de Hann (1919-2002) built the company from a small hotel in Folkestone in 1951 to become the best-known UK company for the over-50s.
Spirit of Discovery is the first of two new-build cruise ships for Saga and is scheduled to launch in June 2019. The ship is currently under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenberg, Germany.
The 58,250 gross tonne ship will host 999 passengers and 530 crew members. Spirit of Discovery will be naming in Dover on 05 July 2019. The second of the two new ships, Spirit of Adventure will enter service in 2020.
Nigel Blanks, Chief Operating Officer, Saga, said: “Naming the suites with an original, British maritime theme was one goal but we also wanted to recognise our heritage and the important names in Saga Cruises’ own history’.
He said: “The Shipping Forecast’s areas are heard four times a day on the radio – but on Spirit of Discovery they will be ever present!
“Saga Rose and Saga Ruby were Saga Cruises’ first two ships and are still fondly remembered by our guests so The Rose Suite and The Ruby Suite have been named in their honour.
“The Sidney de Haan Suite and The Joseph Meyer Suite salute our founder and the new relationship we have developed with the Meyer Werft shipyard, in Papenburg, where Spirit of Discovery is being built. We are working with Bernard Meyer, who is the seventh generation owner at the family-run shipyard which started in 1873 when Joseph Meyer built the company’s first iron ship.”
Blanks added: “Our suites will enjoy a butler service and will be among the finest afloat – each with its own character and personality, sumptuous furnishings, fabrics and fittings as well as bespoke artwork. At 730sq ft The Sidney de Haan Suite and The Joseph Meyer Suite feature separate living rooms plus bathrooms to impress with twin sinks, a shower and a separate bathtub.”
Spirit of Discovery’s Forward suites:
The Sidney De Haan Suite
The Joseph Meyer Suite
The Rose Suite
The Ruby Suite
Spirit of Discovery’s Aft Suites:
The Bailey Suite
The Fair Isle Suite
The FitzRoy Suite
The Hebrides Suite
The Humber Suite
The Lundy Suite
The Thames Suite
The Trafalgar Suite
Saga Rose was the first cruise ship owned by Saga. Built in 1965, her name was synonymous with luxury. She embarked on her first cruise with Saga in 1997 and offered adventures including Round-the-World voyages. She retired in 2009 but is still fondly remembered by Saga guests and staff.
Saga Ruby was built in the 1970s and joined her sister ship Saga Rose in 2005 to become the second ship in Saga’s fleet. A firm favourite with cruise guests, she sailed with the company until 2014. A much-loved tradition was for Saga Ruby and Saga Rose to set off together on their Round-the-World cruises, an occasion always marked with a spectacular fireworks display.
British shipping forecasts
BBC Radio 4’s British shipping forecasts are produced by the Meteorological Office for 31 sea areas with four broadcasts a day.