Preview of Pearl’s maiden cruises

/, Cruise News, Cruise Ships/Preview of Pearl’s maiden cruises

The brochure for Saga’s 2010 cruises will be arriving through thousands of letterboxes this week, just days after the company had finally acquired a new ship to replace the much-loved Saga Rose.
No surprise then that the cover is a picture of Saga Pearl II, formerly the Astoria, in her new livery, and of course there are full details of the voyages planned for the ship’s inaugural season.
The maiden voyage, leaving Southampton on March 15, will be to Norway and the Arctic Circle. Earlier in the year than most ships visit the fjords, many familiar excursions will not be available because roads will still be blocked by winter snow.
Instead of sailing to North Cape to experience the midnight sun, passengers will be hoping to see the night skies illuminated by the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.
The northernmost port of call will be an overnight stop in Alta, where, for a supplement of £219, passengers can spend the night ashore, sleeping on a reindeer-skin bed in the Igloo Hotel, built entirely of ice and snow.
Fares for this 18-night cruise start at £2,404 for a standard twin-bedded inside cabin to £6,733 for a balcony suite.
After Norway, the Pearl will embark on a 16-night cruise to the Canary Islands (fares from £1,929 to £5,394), followed by a 16-night Mediterranean Discovery voyage (£1,981 to £5,521) calling at ports which include Cadiz, Minorca, Marseilles, Barcelona, Gibraltar and Lisbon.
From mid-May the ship will be based in Dover, sailing several more cruises to the fjords, as well as to the Baltic to which, thanks to her compact size, it can take a short-cut through the Kiel Canal. This is always a fascinating experience, sailing for a day through flat, green fields full of Friesian cows, and waving at the thousands of locals who assemble at each bridge and ferry crossing to watch the ship pass.
There are some interesting week-long itineraries, including the May 29 cruise to Dunkirk and the D-Day beaches of Normandy; an Irish cruise in June calling at Cobh, Dublin, Belfast and Londonderry; and July’s voyage to the Scottish Highlands, visiting Kirkwall in the Orkneys, Scrabster, Invergordon, Peterhead, and St Andrews.
Incidentally, it’s interesting to check the brochure for Pearl’s new deck plans to see that Saga’s £14 million re-fit will include the provision of balconies for 20 cabins – five of them singles – and so-called French balconies (not big enough for furniture) on a further nine.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:40+00:00 10 August 2009|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News, Cruise Ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

Leave A Comment