Saga’s first new-build ship, Spirit of Discovery, has taken to the water for the first time ahead of its inaugural sailing in July.
The ship was floated out from the Meyer Werft Shipyard in Germany at the weekend and will now undergo various seaworthiness trials.
Towards the end of the month, the ship will be towed along the River Ems to Eden before formal sea trials get under way in early June, with a keel laying ceremony scheduled for 3 June.
Saga will take delivery of the ship on 20 June, with Spirit due to arrive in Dover on 29 June ahead of a naming ceremony on 5 July and its inaugural cruise, A British First, departing on 10 July.
Nigel Blanks, chief operating officer 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.”
Spirit left dry dock early on Sunday morning for fitting of the ship’s mast and funnel.
It will accommodate a maximum of 999 guests and 523 crew, and will be registered in the UK.
Interiors have been styled by UK design agency SMC, featuring more than 400 pieces of original British art among more than 1,000 in total.
A number of independent British suppliers will be providing goods onboard.
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