On 12 May 2019, Saga’s first newbuild cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery was floated out from the building hall at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
As the ship was moved from the building hall the mast and funnel were carefully lifted into place. Spirit of Discovery was then berthed at an outfitting-quay where further work will take place on board. The ship’s crew will also here ahead of its departure from the shipyard towards the end of May.
The ship will be towed along the River Ems, from the shipyard in Papenburg to Emden, before commencing sea trials in early June.
Saga is expected to take delivery of Spirit of Discovery on 20 June 2019. The ship will be registered in the UK and proudly display London as her port of registry on her stern. The Red Ensign, established as a naval flag of royal standard in 1707, is an historic emblem of British seafaring excellence and will be flown from the ship.
The interior design of Spirit of Discovery showcases British style and excellence, with all the architectural and interior design created by UK based agency SMC. Over 400 pieces of original British art will be amongst more than 1,000 total artworks, many of which have been created by artists working in Britain today. A host of independent British suppliers, including Hush Heath wine producers of Kent, will serve their produce to guests on board the ship.
Nigel Blanks, COO, Saga Cruises said: “This is a major milestone for Saga Cruises and for the future of the Company. Spirit of Discovery has been meticulously designed for our customers and to epitomise Saga’s unique British boutique cruising concept. We’d like to thank everyone at Meyer Werft, and look forward to the keel laying of Spirit of Adventure, on 3 June, as we start the construction of our next ship for the British market.”
Spirit of Discovery will be the first cruise ship to be named at the port of Dover for over a decade, following the £250m redevelopment of Dover Western Docks. Arriving in Dover on 28 June, her Naming Ceremony will take place on 5 July, with Spirit of Discovery’s inaugural 13-night cruise, A British First, departing on 10 July.