Saga Cruises to order new ships?

By ,   October 1, 2015 ,   Cruise Industry

Saga Cruises placed an order for a new ship expected to be delivered in 2019, with an option for a second one, delivered in 2021. The surprising order came yesterday, September 30, from the company that had always sailed second-hand vessels. Saga promised the new ship to be with a less than 1,000 passengers capacity.

The all-balcony newbuild will be created at Meyer Werft shipyard, Germany. It will feature a combination of 540 cabins and suites, each with a private balcony. In recognition to the demographic of the line, around 15% which is 81 cabins, will be assigned for solo passengers.

The 55,900-ton, still unnamed ship will be approximately 234-meter long and 30.8-meter wide. It will offer single sitting dining in a variety of restaurants, as well as a range of bars, al-fresco dining options and speciality restaurants. The ship will also boast outdoor and indoor swimming pools, spa, treatment rooms, saunas and beauty salon.

According to Jonathan Hill, Saga group CFO, the new ship would mean a considerable EBITDA growth. The 1 plus 1 option contract with Meyer Werft meant that the two existing ships of the company, the 37,012 GT Saga Sapphire and 18,859 GT Saga Pearl II would be withdrawn from service when a new ship enters. 

The price of the newbuilding was not revealed, but Hill said that Saga would use "asset backed finance with loans covering 80% of the price of the ship".