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Cruise ship in Dover: Everything you need to know about Saga's Spirit of Discovery

The Duchess of Cornwall is to due to name a new ship due to sail into Dover for the first time on Friday.

Her Royal Highness will christen Saga's newest cruise ship this week and become its Godmother.

The ship, the Spirit of Discovery, will be officially named at the newly redeveloped Dover Western Docks.

Here is everything you need to know about the boutique ship about to sail the seas.

Spirit of Discovery

Spirit of Discovery.Picture: Saga
Spirit of Discovery.Picture: Saga

The vessel is the first of two new passenger ships being built for Saga at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

It arrived in Dover on June 28, and will be named in a special ceremony on Friday, July 5, by the Duchess of Cornwall, who will first take a tour of it.

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.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is the patron of the charity and The Silver Line is Saga’s first national charity partner.

The keel for Saga's second ship, Spirit of Adventure, was laid on June 3 and she will enter service next year.

Both ships will host 999 guests and 523 crew members and has 10 decks.

The Spirit of Discovery is a 58,250 gross tons vessel measuring 774.3ft in length and has a maximum beam of 102.4ft.

The ship has been fitted out with more than 1,000 pieces of art, including 400 original works from British artists.

Hush Heath in Stapelhurst is providing the wine for the ship
Hush Heath in Stapelhurst is providing the wine for the ship

An independent wine producer in Kent, Hush Heath will provide a jeroboam which is a three litre bottle of sparkling wine for the ceremony which has been specially blended for the ship's naming event.

The Spirit of Discovery is the first ship to be named at the Port of Dover for more than a decade and is the first to be docked at Dover Western Docks following the £250 million redevelopment of the area.

It was built with classic and contemporary materials and furnishings which have been combined to create a luxurious environment for travellers.

From bow to stern, every aspect of the luxury, boutique ship has been designed to surprise and amaze passengers and it features design cues from some of the world’s finest hotels, she is spacious and contemporary, and packed with places to get active, relax and indulge.

On board the ship

AFT Suite lounge. Picture: Saga
AFT Suite lounge. Picture: Saga


There are five restaurants on board offering British and international cuisine including Asian, seafood and a steakhouse.

There is a total of 1038 dining seats, free to dine and wine with lunch and dinner.


There are six social venues to choose from and no service charges in any of them.

They are the South Cape Bar, The Club by Jools, The Britannia Lounge, The Terrace, The Living room and The Lido.


Guests can chose from four evening entertainment options including the Playhouse theatre which is also used as a cinema, The Britannia Lounge, The Living Room and The Club by Jools.

Daytime activities will be held in The Britannia Lounge, The Library, The Card Room, The Craft Room and The Chart Room.

Sidney De Hann Suite bedroom. Picture: Saga (12066412)
Sidney De Hann Suite bedroom. Picture: Saga (12066412)


There is a spa, sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy, salon, gymnasium, sports court, outdoor games, golf simulator and medical centre on board.


Every cabin has a balcony with seven grades to choose from. The average space of each cabin is 215ft sq.

A choice of suites have a butler service and four forward suites have one-off signature spaces.

Standard Cabins are 215ft sq and delux cabins are 350ft sq and single cabins are 185ft sq and mid-ship cabins are 462 ft sq and Aft (front of ship) suites are 540ft sq and the forward suites are from 765 to 855ft sq.

Outside spaces

To catch a bit of sun, the lido, outdoor pool and socialising, sun loungers, sun deck, Britannia balcony and The Terrace, full walk-around on promenade deck.

Ship overview

The maximum capacity is 999 guests, 505 officers and crew across 10 passenger decks and has six passenger lifts and 109 single cabins.

Joseph Meyer Suite bedroom. Picture: Saga
Joseph Meyer Suite bedroom. Picture: Saga

On board - Britannia Lounge

Each Saga ship has a Britannia Lounge and Spirit of Discovery is no different, the multi-purpose venue is where passengers will always find something to see and do.

It is located on the Lido deck and is a double-height venue with panoramic windows looking out and over the front of ship.

It gives some of the most impressive views the ship has to offer and features a large, fully-glazed observation lounge, just like Saga's first-ever ship, Saga Rose.

The lounge is an exciting, multi-purpose venue where guests will always find something to see and do.

During the day the venue is used for talks from guest speakers and more, then later at night, it comes alive with dancing and live performances.

There will be entertainment each evening across various genres including singers, including Jools Holland musicians and lecturers.

The Living Room

The Living Room is the hub of the ship and is as bright and inviting.

This vibrant, sociable venue is the place to meet friends, grab a coffee, go shopping, or relax with an after-dinner cocktail.

Open day and night, it will serve gelato, fresh pastries and homemade cakes.

In the evenings, the Living Room becomes a sociable bar with light entertainment, open until late and is the perfect place for pre or post dinnner drinks.

Rose Suite lounge.Picture: Saga
Rose Suite lounge.Picture: Saga

The Playhouse

In a first for Saga, the ship also features its very own theatre.

The Playhouse seats are comfortable and seat 444 guests with unrestricted views of the stage so every seat in the house is the best.

Passengers can expect a quality entertainment experience, every night of their cruise, including West End style shows, classical music performances, plays and revues.

During days at sea there will also be matinees performances as well as talks and lectures from a rota of guest speakers.

The Library

A well-stocked library has long been a tradition on Saga’s ships, and on this ship it is one of the finest.

The library is any book lover’s paradise where guests can browse and borrow from a selection of books covering history, art, travel as well as the latest fiction and literary classics.

It is also the perfect spot to log-on to the ship’s free Wi-Fi, or just relax in the quiet space which is located at the top of the ship’s atrium.

Spirit of Discovery. Picture: Saga (12066389)
Spirit of Discovery. Picture: Saga (12066389)

Lance Batchelor, group chief executive of 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.”

Chief executive of The Sliver Line, Sophie Andrews added: “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.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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