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Duchess of Cornwall to name Saga cruiser Spirit of Discovery in Dover

The Duchess of Cornwall will today officially name a new cruise ship.

The ceremony for Saga's Spirit of Discovery is at the Port of Dover.

On arrival Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will be greeted by dignitaries including Patrick O'Sullivan, chairman of Saga and the company's chief executive Lance Batchelor.

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

She will then undertake a short tour of the ship and unveil a plaque.

The Duchess will afterwards join around 500 guests on a quay at a garden party-themed reception.

Guests will include those involved in the design and construction of the ship.

These are the Saga cruise team, company founder Sir Roger de Haan, and some of the firm's customers who have gone on past cruises.

The Duchess of Cornwall
The Duchess of Cornwall

After the reception the Duchess will cut a cake made by award-winning choclatier and pastry chef Mark Tilling.

It is a two-metre replica of the Spirit of Discovery.

The Duchess will then take her seat while the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Collingwood performs to open the hour-long ceremony.

The Morriston Orpheus Choir will also perform and the ship will be blessed by the Bishop of Dover.

Speeches will be made including by Duchess and Mr Batchelor before the ship is named.

A bottle of Balfour sparkling wine, blended by Kent wine estate, Hush Heath, will be smashed against the hull and flower confetti cannons will go off.

A final performance of the Royal Marines Band will close the ceremony.

Spirit of Discovery, which first visited Dover last Friday, is the first of two new passenger ships for Folkestone-based Saga.

The company specialises in providing products and services for the over-50s such as holidays, insurance and personal finance.

Spirit of Discovery will host 999 guests and 523 crew members.

It has a gross of 58,250 tonnes, is 774.3ft long and has a maximum bema of 102.4ft.

Saga is in the final year of a three-year partnership with The Silver Line, of which the Duchess is a patron.

It is a 24-hour helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people.

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