Saga’s new riverboats Spirit of the Danube & Spirit of the Rhine to have a joint naming ceremony on March 19

   February 22, 2022 ,   Cruise Industry

Saga Cruises' new sistership riverboats Spirit of the Danube and Spirit of the Rhine are set to welcome Captain George Dudunica and Captain Marinus Pols (their respective Masters) when the newbuilds get underway next month.

Captain Dudunica hails from Romania and qualified as a First Officer through the River Navigation School. He will be a familiar face to many Saga passengers as Dudunica previously operated Filia Rheni between 2013-2019, during which time he qualified as Captain. Spirit of the Rhine's Captain Marinus Pols, is from Holland. He operated the ship on her initial sailings towards the end of last year.

The new riverboats can both host up to 190 passengers who will be served by up to 50 crew members. The ships have been designed to the highest specification and boast 4 decks and 95 staterooms. Passengers can enjoy the Panorama Restaurant, a sundeck with a hot tub, an indoor/outdoor terrace, a library, a gym, and a panoramic lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Spirit of the Danube and Spirit of the Rhine will boast a joint naming ceremony in Arnhem (Netherlands) on March 19. Both vessels are owned by Rijfers Nautical Management and built by VAHALI Shipyards.

Spirit of the Danube cruise ship

The week-long inaugural voyage of Spirit of the Danube departs on March 21 from Arnhem and will navigate the Dutch waterways to Kinderdijk and Willemstad prior to crossing the border into Belgium for tours of Ghent, medieval Antwerp and Bruges (Zeebrugge). On return to the Netherlands, passengers have the opportunity to admire work by Dutch masters at the Dordrechts Museum before reaching Amsterdam, where the sailing concludes.

The first post-naming voyage of Spirit of the Rhine is for solo travelers and the 7-night trip begins in Amsterdam (Netherlands) followed by a full-day excursion to Keukenhof Gardens. There's an included trip to The Hague and a voyage to the windmills of Kinderdijk. The journey also calls in Arnhem with an optional trip to learn about Operation Market Garden prior to visiting Enkhuizen and Hoorn en route back to Amsterdam.

The 2 newbuilds are due to complete a total of 91 itineraries in 2022 so there is plenty of choices available for passengers, from birdwatching to music-themed tours, along with the popular Christmas markets.