Saga has released images of its first new build cruise ship, due to be launched in summer 2019. The name of the 999-passenger vessel has not been confirmed, but it is being referred to in-house as Project Olympic.
Construction will begin soon at the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Papenburg, north Germany. It will be overseen by new build director David Pickett who has joined Saga from Carnival UK where he worked on P&O’s Britannia, Azura and Ventura.
Every one of the Saga ship’s 540 cabins and suites will have its own balcony and 15 per cent of the accommodation will be designed for passengers travelling alone.
Facilities will include two speciality restaurants in addition to the main dining room, and a signature Britannia Lounge. There will be two pools, indoor and outdoor, an extensive library, beauty salon and spa.
Pickett says: “We are liaising closely with the shipyard and every day is full of exciting developments. A huge amount of thought and detail has gone into the design and construction. We have just finalised the size of the restaurants and the theatre. The designs of the stunning balcony cabins are also being finalised. The whole ship certainly has the ‘wow’ factor.
“At the moment we are heavily focussed on technical design, the engine, generator and propulsion plant. Everything to make sure we deliver a practical, working ship off the highest specification. It’s a challenge, but certainly an exciting one.”
Andy Yuill, managing director of SMC Design, added: “I think people are going to be surprised by what Saga will deliver with this ship. We are maintaining the best bits of the existing brand, but introducing new and unexpected elements. It’s a ship built for a British company, with the customers at the forefront.
“We are working closely with the Saga team to ensure that we understand their vision which we can then develop, and turn into a reality. Plus, we’re very fortunate to be building at Meyer-Werft where I have gained considerable experience over the years – they’re the best in the world.”
The renderings reveal a sleek design with a familiar dark hull and extensive Promenade Deck. Inside is a soaring atrium and a double-height main restaurant (above). There’s a return to familiar Saga yellow and blue livery for the funnel instead of the arty blue graphic version introduced a few years ago. And could the double-height windows above the Bridge Deck hint at a spacious forward-facing observation lounge along the lines of those on Viking’s ocean ships? I hope so!