Spirit of Discovery is the first cruise ship to be named at the Port of Dover for more than a decade and the occasion signalled the start of a new era for Saga Cruises.
Joined by hundreds of guests, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall was given a tour of the ‘contemporary classic’ ship, which has been designed and built to be a British ‘boutique’ hotel on the sea. While on board she met Jools Holland OBE in ‘The Club by Jools’, as well as Captain Julian Burgess and crew on the Bridge and entertainers in the Playhouse, the ship’s theatre.
She also viewed some of the 400 plus pieces of original art commissioned by British based artists and artisans including a striking glass work created by sculptor Peter Layton, and inspired by the Royal Gardens at Highgrove.
Following the tour of Spirit of Discovery, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall cut a specially made cake, a two-metre long replica of Spirit of Discovery, designed and made by Mark Tilling, award winning chocolatier and winner of Bake Off Crème de la Crème.
She formally named the ship with a jeroboam of the specially-blended Hush Heath English sparkling wine, before an eco-confetti cannon fired across the proceedings.
Saga’s chief executive officer Robin Shaw, described the event as an “immensely proud moment for Saga”, adding: “We started this journey to build something special some three and a half years ago, and today, we are honoured to be joined by our Godmother, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
”We firmly believe that Spirit of Discovery creates a new British quality standard in the cruising market and we can’t wait to welcome guests on board.”
HRH is the patron of the charity The Silver Line, which provides a 24-hour telephone service for older people who are feeling lonely or isolated, and is Saga’s first national charity partner.
About Spirit of Discovery
- She’s Saga’s first commissioned ship, and the only ship built and delivered exclusively for the British market this year.
- Spirit of Discovery is also the first ship to be docked, and named, at Dover Western Docks following the £250m redevelopment of the area.
- The inaugural cruise, named ‘A British First’, will sail around the British Isles, departing on 10th July.
- Her sister ship, Spirit of Adventure, is planned to enter service in 2020. Both will host 999 guests and 533 crew members.
Groups can now book their place onto one of Spirit of Discovery’s many itineraries throughout next year, including trips to the Canary Islands and Scandanavia. Saga offers one free place for every ten passengers booked, with no upper limit to the group size.
For more information about where Spirit of Discovery will cruise to, and about group benefits with Saga, visit saga.co.uk