Specifications of Saga Pearl II
|Year of build||1981 / Age: 41|
|Builder||(HDW) Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (Kiel, Germany)|
|Building cost||USD 55 million|
|Speed||20 kn / 37 km/h / 23 mph|
|Length (LOA)||164 m / 538 ft|
|Beam (width)||22 m / 72 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||18627 gt|
|Passengers||446 - 512|
|Decks with cabins||6|
|Last Refurbishment||2017, Aliaga-scrapped in 2022|
|Former names||Pearl II, Saga Pearl 2, Quest for Adventure, Astoria, Arkona, Astor|
Saga Pearl II Review
Review of Saga Pearl II
The 1981-built Saga Pearl 2 cruise ship was one of Saga UK's old vessels (together with the fleetmate Saga Sapphire) and had one sistership - CMV Astor (1987-built/2020-scrapped). Pearl 2 (auction-acquired in 2008) and Sapphire were both withdrawn from service (left SAGA's fleet) after the two newbuilds, respectively, Spirit of Discovery (2019) and Spirit of Adventure (2020) were commissioned.
In July 2020, Saga Sapphire was sold to / acquired by ANEX Tours (Turkey's largest travel agency/tour operator). The 39-year-old liner (renamed "Blue Sapphire") started operations for ANEX Tours in 2021.
In April 2019, Saga Pearl II was sold to Aqua Explorer Holdings Ltd (offshore/BVI-registered company), renamed "Pearl II" and relocated to Greece (Port Perama, near Piraeus-Athens). On July 23, 2022, after being laid up for ~3 years in Greece (due to the Coronavirus crisis), the 41-year-old ship was towed to Turkey, sold for scrap metal and on July 25th was beached for dismantling at Aliaga Turkey. The AIS transmitted for the last time on July 23rd, at 8:24 UTC.
History - construction and ownership
Saga Cruises is a UK-based passenger shipping company and a division/subsidiary of Saga Group/SAGA UK. By purchasing Saga Rose, Saga Group started its passenger shipping operations. The boat operated as flagship until 2005 when was added Saga Ruby (bought from Cunard Line). For the 2003 summer SAGA chartered MV Minerva (1989-built), which was renamed "Saga Pearl". Saga Rose was retired after a final 37-night Mediterranean voyage. Subsequently, she was scrapped in China. Saga Ruby departed for Gibraltar out of Southampton for the last time on January 10th and was handed over to the new shipowner on January 13, 2014.
Saga Pearl 2 was named "MV Astoria until November 2009, when was acquired by Saga UK to replace MS Saga Rose (1965). The new shipowner spent over GBP 20 million on refits and renovations - the company's most expensive refurbishment project. In 2012, the vessel was renamed "Quest for Adventure", then "Saga Pearl 2" again in November 2013, when received the company's logo on the funnel.
Between 2005 and 2013, SAGA established a second travel brand - "Spirit of Adventure Cruises". Its fleet consisted of Spirit of Adventure (MS Berlin/now Dream Goddess) and Quest for Adventure (Saga Pearl 2).
The 600-passenger ship Saga Pearl II embarked on the Maiden Voyage for Saga Holidays in March 2010. In May 2012 she was renamed "Quest for Adventure", and in November 2013 back to "Saga Pearl II".
Under the new shipowner (Aqua Explorer Holdings), Pearl II was supposed to be resold to a Greek company to serve as a cruise ship or a floating hotel. Later was announced that the BVI-listed shipowner is controlled by Saudi Arabian interests (via Greek intermediaries) and planned to convert the ship into a private superyacht. However, this project failed as the vessel was delivered at the height of the Saudi Arabian purge (2017-2019) during which prominent princes, ministers, and businessmen were arrested by the anti-corruption committee led by Mohammed bin Salman (Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, in tenure since January 2015)
Decks and Cabins
Saga Pearl II has a total of 253 cabins (of which 36 Suites, 20 Balcony, 60 Single) in 26 grades. 9 staterooms offer French verandas. A great selling point for solo passengers: Saga Pearl II has enormous single staterooms, which is nearly 25% of the total number of cabins.
Shipboard facilities and amenities
Brought to the dining table is the taste of all Saga Holidays destinations, as experienced chefs shop all fresh ingredients while in port, in order to serve fantastic food with local flavour. The Dining Room features ocean-view picture windows, restful decor and dark wood panelling. There is a single, open seating at tables for 4, 6 or 8. Two small wings, each with one 12-seat table, can be used for small groups. Self-serving buffets for breakfast and lunch, as well as a casual alternative to dinner in the Main Dining Room, can be enjoyed in the Verandah Restaurant, which overlooks the open deck area and the aft pool.
Saga Pearl II's dining venues included Main Dining Room (MDR), Verandah Restaurant (alfresco venue open for buffet-style breakfast and lunch, and waiter-served dinner), and two private dining rooms (Chart Room and Ward Room, capacity 14 seats each) where dinners are attended by the Captain and senior officers.
SAGA's shore excursions include scuba diving and snorkeling (along coral reefs), exploring archeological sites and ancient ruins, desert safari adventures, cultury-themed tours. Some land tours are included on each voyage, in addition to optional excursions and independently booked ashore travel. Mountain bikes are complimentary provided while the ship is berthed in port. The onboard entertainment includes guest speakers and expert lecturers.
SAGA's travelers are in the 50+ age group, and mainly British. This typical "UK ship" was operated as an adults-only, providing a child-free environment.
Follows the complete list of Saga Pearl II lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.
- Discovery Lounge (enjoy afternoon tea with sugar sculptures and crafted cakes; dance classes; presentations)
- Sundown Bar; Shackleton's Bar (live music)
- The Discovery Lounge; Shop; Library; Card Room; Chart Room; Ward Room; Cinema
- SPA and Treatment Rooms; Hair & Beauty Salon; Sauna; Indoor Pool; Outdoor Pool; Gym
- The aft-positioned Sun Deck is on two levels (decks 6-7) and has outdoor games (shuffleboard, deck quoits, short tennis court) and BBQ/Barbecue Area (for alfresco dining)
- On Sports Deck (top deck) is the midship positioned Short Tennis Court.
The Gym (open between 7 am - 7 pm) is with floor-ceiling mirrors and fitted with 3x treadmills, 2x static cycles, a rowing machine, cross-trainer, exercise balls, ballet-style barre (along two of the walls), stretching mats, free weights. A large TV is mounted on the wall. Bottled water and towels are provided complimentary.
The Cinema (20-seat) is free of charge (available on a first-come-first-served basis) and also used for quizzes and exercise classes. It typically screens 2 films per day.
On Lobby Deck (A-Deck) is the midship Lobby Hall housing Tours Office (Saga Cruises' excursions and tours booking and information) and Reception Desk (24-hour guest assistance, also offers currency exchange service).
Briefing Room contains a large selection of DVDs. Card Room is stocked with board games, cards, jigsaw puzzles. The Library (divided into several areas) is with panoramic windows and stocked with 3000+ books.
The Duty-Free Shop sells brand perfumes, jewelry, watches, fashion accessories, clothing, everyday and travel necessities.
Discovery Lounge doubles as the ship's Theatre (main show lounge) and is the focus of nightly entertainment with a live show (starting at 9:30 pm). After the show, there are live music performances for dancing (by Saga Orchestra). The Lounge has capacity to seat all passengers on rows of cream and blue chairs. The seating is banquette (at either side of the room), with small tables (for drinks). Large TV screens are positioned around the walls for everyone to get close-up views of the action onstage. Waiter service drinks are provided between 8:30-11:30 pm.
Shackleton's Bar (opens from 10:15 pm) is a lively lounge perfect for after-dinner cocktails, with a mix of live music (from a resident pianist) and recorded pop music (hits from the 50s, 60s, 70s).
The Sundowner Bar (open from 10:30 am to 1 am) is an intimate venue, best for pre- or after-dinner cocktails. Sundowner is accessible via indoor stairs (from Bridge Deck) and outdoor stairs (from Sun Deck). The Bar features floor-ceiling windows (with great views over the stern).
Saga Pearl II's itinerary program was based on roundtrips from UK homeports (Dover and Southampton) visiting ports in Europe (Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Norway's Fjords) and even Africa and South America via relocation Transatlantic crossings (RepositionCruises.com).
Saga Pearl II - user reviews and comments
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Saga Pearl II ship related cruise news
3 years after disembarking its last Saga Cruises guests, the 1981-built ship Saga Pearl II was sold for dismantling and recycling at Aliaga Turkey...July 25, 2022
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A 75-year-old British passenger was evacuated by the coastguard of Portugal from a small Saga Cruises ship about 3.7 kilometres off Algarve coast...November 24, 2018
Saga Cruises' ship Saga Pearl II crashed into 4 yachts in Dartmouth Harbour while being piloted by the harbourmaster on Wednesday, August 29...August 29, 2018
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Three Canary Islands itineraries on Saga Pearl II and Saga Sapphire feature themed voyages from fitness to crime fiction with a wealth of adventure...August 3, 2018
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Saga Cruises' guests now have a couple of chances to mark Christmas with visits to the best traditional markets in Europe. December 2018 cruises...June 30, 2018
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The last voyage of Saga Pearl II, the smaller of the couple of ships of the based in the UK Saga Cruises, will be a 54-night cruise to...July 10, 2017
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This year Saga Cruises is offering a 9-night Scandinavian Christmas Markets cruise that gets travellers home just in time for Christmas plus 2 ...May 3, 2017
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Saga Pearl II Wiki
The vessel was launched (floated out from drydock) on December 16, 1980, delivered (as Astor) in December 1981 and entered service on December 14, 1981. During its service history, it was operated under the names Astor (1981-85, for HADAG Seetouristik und Fahrdienst AG), Arkona (1985-2002, for Safmarine Container Lines NV), Astoria (2002-2010, for Transocean Tours), Saga Pearl II (2010-2019, for Saga Cruises). In the period May 2012 through November 2013, the cruise ship was named "Quest for Adventure" and operated by Saga's new brand Adventure Cruises.
The shipbuilder HDW (Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft) is currently part of TKMS (ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems) - a subsidiary company fully-owned by ThyssenKrupp AG (German corporation specializing in industrial engineering and steel production). Howaldtswerke (1838-founded shipyard in Kiel Germany) in 1968 merged with Deutsche Werft (Hamburg) forming today's HDW (Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft).
The cruise liner is powered by 4 Sulzer-Wartsila marine diesel engines, with total output 15,4 MW. To reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gases (carbon footprint), the vessel's hull was coated with special silicone paint. The ship's last Captain for Saga Cruises was Nick Sunderland.
The last drydock refurbishment in April 2017 was at Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen (Holland). The drydocking included extensive hull and superstructure (exterior) maintenance and also repainting. Interior renovations included new carpeting in all public areas. Renovations and upgrades were also done in the galley (kitchen and storage areas), engine room, the electrical system.
In early-June 2017, Saga confirmed that Pearl 2 leaves the fleet in 2019. Saga Pearl II's last voyage was the 54-night "Around Africa" leaving out of Portsmouth (England UK) on February 16, 2019.
Next is shown Pearl 2's last cruise with Saga - the 14-day "Canary Island Delights", with prices from GBP 2300 pp (double occupancy).
|04 Jan||Departing from Portsmouth|
|07 Jan 13:00 - 23:00||Lisbon, Portugal|
|10 Jan 08:00 - 22:00||Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands|
|11 Jan 08:00 - 18:00||Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canaries|
|12 Jan 08:00 - 23:00||Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura, Canaries|
|13 Jan 08:00 - 17:00||Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canaries|
|16 Jan 08:00 - 17:00||Ferrol, Spain|
|18 Jan||Arriving in Portsmouth|
Saga Pearl 2 had 3 other scheduled cruises in 2019, but they were all cancelled:
15-days "Spanish Morocco and Andalusia" - prices from GBP 2175 pp
|18 Jan||Departing from Portsmouth|
|22 Jan 08:00 - 17:00||Ceuta, Spanish Morocco|
|23 Jan 08:00 - 17:00||Melilla, Spanish Morocco|
|25 Jan 08:00 - 17:00||Palma de Mallorca, Majorca Island, Balearic Spain|
|26 Jan 08:00 - 17:00||Algiers, Algeria|
|27 Jan 08:00 - 17:00||Cartagena, Spain|
|28 Jan 08:00 - 17:00||Malaga, Spain|
|30 Jan 09:00 - 17:00||Vigo, Spain|
|02 Feb||Arriving in Portsmouth|
13-days "The Canaries in Bloom" - from GBP 1980 pp
|02 Feb||Departing from Portsmouth|
|06 Feb 08:00 - 17:00||Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal|
|07 Feb 12:00 - 20:00||Santa Cruz de la Palma, Canaries|
|09 Feb 08:00 - 18:00||Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canaries|
|10 Feb 08:00 - 17:00||Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canaries|
|13 Feb 09:00 - 18:00||La Coruna, Spain|
|15 Feb||Arriving in Portsmouth|
54-days World Cruise from UK ("South African Farewell Adventure") with prices from GBP 9650 pp
|16 Feb||Departing from Portsmouth|
|20 Feb 08:00 - 13:00||Funchal, Madeira, Portugal|
|21 Feb 09:00 - 16:00||Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canaries|
|24 Feb 08:00 - 18:00||Mindelo, Sao Vicente Island, Cape Verde|
|26 Feb 08:00 - 18:00||Banjul, Gambia|
|05 Mar 08:00 - 18:00||Luanda, Angola|
|10 Mar 07:00 - 10 Mar||Cape Town, South Africa|
|13 Mar 08:00 - 18:00||Port Elizabeth, South Africa|
|14 Mar 08:00 - 18:00||East London, South Africa|
|16 Mar 08:00 - 14:00||Maputo, Mozambique|
|17 Mar 07:00 - 22:00||Richards Bay, South Africa|
|18 Mar 08:00 - 13:00||Durban, South Africa|
|23 Mar 08:00 - 16:00||Luderitz, Namibia|
|24 Mar 09:00 - 18:00||Walvis Bay, Namibia|
|28 Mar 08:00 - 18:00||Jamestown, Saint Helena Island UK|
|03 Apr 08:00 - 18:00||Dakar, Senegal|
|06 Apr 08:00 - 18:00||Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canaries|
|09 Apr 12:00 - 20:00||Ferrol, Spain|
|11 Apr||Arriving in Portsmouth|
After the vessel left SAGA's fleet, its MMSI number (and flag-state) was changed from 311348000 (Bahamas) to 256878000 (Malta).