Gem of a name for new Saga ship

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SagaSapphire.jpgSaga has confirmed that their new cruise ship will be called the Saga Sapphire. Currently sailing as the Bleu de France, it will undergo a multi-million pound makeover during the winter, and embarks on her maiden voyage from Southampton on March 26, 2012.
The name is in line with those for smaller sister ships Saga Ruby and Saga Pearl II, and was the most popular choice among members of the line’s Britannia Club for frequent cruisers. Quite rightly, they avoided tarnishing memories of the much-loved Saga Rose by adding a II (or even a 2) to the name of the ship which was retired in 2009.
Perhaps it’s now time to think about dropping the “II” from Pearl?
The 37,300-ton Sapphire, built in 1982, has been bought from CDF Croisieres de France for an estimated £37 million. It was built in 1982 and received a £27 million refit in 2009. Details of the changes Saga plans to make will be announced soon, but it is already known that passenger capacity is to be reduced from a possible maximum of 1,158 to just 706.
It will nevertheless be Saga’s biggest ship to date; Ruby carries 655 and Pearl 446, while Rose carried 584 – none of them giants in this age of 6,000-passenger behemoths.
Saga Cruising chief executive Robin Shaw said: “I’m delighted to announce the name of the newest addition to our fleet.The addition of Saga Sapphire will offer Saga customers even more opportunities to discover a range of new and exciting ports of call.”
Brochures advertising the ship’s maiden cruises will be dropping through letterboxes from March 31. Passengers wanting to stake an early claim to a place on the maiden voyages should call 0800 056 5880 to register their interest.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:09+00:00 17 March 2011|Cruise News, Cruise Ships|2 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.


  1. Lawrence Thompson 12 April 2011 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Sounds a great addition to the Saga fleet but what is happening to the Saga Pearl as she is making her ‘farewell’ voyage next year according to the Saga brochure ?
    She was originally destined to be the Quest for Adventure and a sister ship to the Spirit of Adventure (a Saga cruise brand)but transferred to the main Saga fleet and renamed the Pearl when negotiations for a replacement vessel for the Saga Rose came to nothing.

  2. John Honeywell 12 April 2011 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Good question Lawrence. Saga are being very cagey about their plans for Saga Pearl II. I would like to think that the ship will become Quest for Adventure, as originally intended, but I’m not so sure. I hope to have news within the next few days – Saga have promised to let me know when they also announce where Bleu de France will be taken for her re-fit and conversion into Saga Sapphire. As soon as I know, I will post the information here

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