Saga Cruises have today announced the date of the naming ceremony for their new boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery. The event, which will take place on Friday 5th July 2019 at the Port of Dover, will see 500 invited guests join HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, the Saga management team, crew and employees to pay homage to one of the great British traditions of summer; a contemporary garden party.
The quayside of the Port of Dover will be transformed with traditional bunting and table settings, stunning foliage, florals, trees and parasols. The celebration cake, a two metre long replica of Spirit of Discovery, will be served alongside Spirit of Discovery sparkling wine. Guests will be entertained by the Royal Marine Band and the Welsh Male Voice Choir. While the ship will be blessed by The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover, before being christened by The Duchess of Cornwall.
Saga Cruises have confirmed ownership of Spirit of Discovery, the first of two British boutique cruise ships they commissioned from world-leading shipbuilders Meyer Werft. Robin Shaw, CEO, Saga Travel said: “Now we have completed the formal ownership handover of Spirit of Discovery, we cannot think of a better way to mark the launch of our pioneering new boutique cruise ship than with the ultimate British summertime event; a garden party with a sumptuous afternoon tea. As far as we’re aware, this is the first time any ship naming ceremony has been celebrated in this way. This unique afternoon will symbolise a key moment in both the history, and the future, of Saga. We couldn’t be more honoured than to have HRH The Duchess of Cornwall joining us for this prestigious day.”
Doug Bannister, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover said: “We are really proud to be hosting the naming ceremony for Saga’s first ever new built ship, twenty years after Saga Cruises officially launched here in Dover. This momentous occasion is testament to the outstanding partnership we have built with Saga and represents an exciting future for us as a Port, as we take a step closer to fully unveiling our Western Docks redevelopment.”
Following her ‘First Arrival,’ on 28th June, Spirit of Discovery will become the first cruise ship to be named at the Port of Dover for over a decade and the first to be docked at Berth 4 in the recently developed £350m Dover Western Docks Revival. She will embark on her maiden voyage on Wednesday 10th July around the British Isles docking at Newcastle, Newhaven, Kirkwall, Belfast and St Peter Port.
Saga has already 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. The ship will sail 999 guests around the world, flying the Red Ensign and her sister ship, Spirit of Adventure, will also fly the Red Ensign when she launches in August 2020. The arrival of Spirit of Adventure next year will mark the realisation of a £600 million+ investment in both ships, underlining Saga’s position as the British company creating distinctly British boutique cruising.