Spirit of Discovery Review and Specifications
Specifications of Spirit of Discovery
|Year built||2019 new ship|
|Builder||Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)|
|Class||ice-strengthened expedition ship|
|Building cost||USD 350 million|
|Speed||23 kn / 43 kph / 26 mph|
|Length (LOA)||236 m / 774 ft|
|Beam (width)||31 m / 102 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||58250 gt|
|Decks with cabins||6|
|Sister-ships||Spirit of Adventure|
|Former names||SAGA OLYMPIC|
Review of Spirit of Discovery
MS Spirit of Discovery cruise ship is the first of two identical polar expedition vessels built for Saga Cruises at Meyer Werft's shipyard in Papenburg Germany. Spirit of Discovery (scheduled delivery in July 2019) has one sistership - Spirit of Adventure (scheduled delivery August 2020).
Saga Cruises is an UK company, division of Saga Group. With the purchase of Saga Rose (former NCL ship MS Sagafjord), in 1997 Saga Holidays started passenger shipping operations under the brand name "Saga Cruises". Unlike Saga's current fleet (the operated under charter Saga Sapphire and Saga Pearl 2), the new ships are fully owned by Saga Group and will replace the two chartered vessels.
Spirit of Discovery itinerary program offers both cruises leaving roundtrip from UK ports and UK fly-cruise deals. Ship's both homeports are in England (Dover and Southampton). Dover roundtrips visit ports in Baltic Sea (Scandinavia and Russia, Norwegian Fjords, Germany and Belgium). Southampton roundtrips visit ports in Mediterranean Sea (Spain, France, Italy) and Canary Islands with Madeira. The ship also operates on roundtrip UK (Southampton) Transatlantic crossings to Caribbean and USA ports.
The inaugural cruise was initially scheduled for July 23, 2019 (themed "Channel Island Hop Cruise"), with next voyages themed "Gourmet Spain" (August 3) and "Natural Scandinavia" (August 17). However, as the liner was to be delivered earlier, the maiden voyage was re-scheduled for July 10 (themed "A British First") - see more in the ship's WIKI section.
Saga Cruises' new ships are operated with all-inclusive package deals. Fares include unlimited (shipboard served) house spirits, beers, wine (by the glass) and soft drinks. Packages also include:
- UK travel package (to/from departure port), Shuttle bus transfer (to the nearest downtown from homeport)
- Onboard gratuities, Porterage
- Onboard Welcome cocktail party
- All onboard meals, afternoon tea, live entertainment
- Unlimited tea and coffee (selected ship venues)
- Free Wi-Fi
- 24-hour room service
- premium service (2 staff members for 3 passengers)
All Saga Discovery ship's 540 staterooms are with private balconies, which also means that the ship has no Inside cabins. Cabin categories include Standard Balcony, Deluxe Balcony, Mid-ship Suites and larger Panorama Suites. 100 single cabins are specifically designed for solo travelers (can be booked with single-occupancy rates and without single supplement), which is approx 20% of ship's total capacity.
Staterooms as decors and color schemes are in three styles. First group's design features garden-like elements with light timbers, pastel-green colors, beautifully embroidered fabrics. Second group's design incorporates the more sophisticated grey with dark-timber scheme, with pink-orange accented furnishings and carpet and upholstered headboard. Third group's colors are most calming, in neutral sunset tones with burnt oranges.
All cabins offer as standard (complimentary) amenities smart HDTV (infotainment system - Internet, on-demand movies, ship info channel, real-time camera views from the Bridge), direct-dial phone, large wardrobe, electronic safe box (in the closet), hotel-type beds (two twins, convertible double beds or fixed double beds with headboards), luxury bedding and pillows, bedside cabinets, wall-mounted reading lamps, mirrored dressing table (writing desk) with chair and magnifying mirror, separate lounge area (low table with two comfortable armchairs), en-suite bathroom (WC, glass shower, single-sink vanity with undersink storage), private step-out balcony (with table and deckchairs), individually controlled air-conditioning, LED lighting, keycard room access.
Shipboard dining and entertainment options
Spirit of Discovery has 4 restaurants (3 specialty, 1 Dining Room), several bars and lounges (indoor and outdoor), wellness complex (Fitness, Spa, Hydrotherapy Pool, 5 treatment rooms, 2 Saunas, Steam Room, Beauty Salon, Sports Court), Boutique Shop, Library, Lobby area (Reception, Tour Desk), 2 swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), Promenade Deck (wraparound), Sun Deck (with comfortable seating, outdoor gym equipment), laundrettes (on all cabin decks). The ship has all 6 elevators (2 clusters of 3 lifts).
"Saga Discovery" ship features all-balcony staterooms, modern hotel amenities, British-style themed onboard activities, professional and traditionally attentive service. There is a choice of dining experiences, bars and entertainment venues, including specialty (one of which Asian, serving complimentary wines), outdoor Lido Deck (with open-air/alfresco dining space), Saga's signature Britannia Lounge, theater lounge, central hub (named "The Living Room").
The cruise liner also has a modern wellness complex and 2 swimming pools (outdoor and indoor). The Spa complex consists of Beauty Salon, Hydrotherapy Pool, Salt-Steam Room, 2 Saunas (one infrared), 5 treatment rooms (for massages, latest beauty treatments and therapies). Library Lounge offers coffee and fresh cakes and one of the best-stocked book collections at sea. The 430-seat Playhouse Theatre has tiered seating and hosts grand-scale evening show productions, cinema screenings, live music performances.
Ship's team of Executive Chefs serves the all 5 onboard restaurants. Grand Dining Room (main restaurant) serves the best of British-influenced cuisine specialties. The chefs use locally produced food sources (based on cruise itinerary / destination) and create menus of ever-changing dishes. Passengers are able to make a reservation and eat in any of the other 4 restaurants at no extra cost. House wines from the ship's cellar are complimentary and served in every restaurant.
On Lido Deck is The Verandah Restaurant that consists of Bar and Grill with separate indoor and outdoor seating areas. These are actually two restaurants combined into one, with self-service buffet lunch and waiter-served dinner. Open-kitchen allows passengers to watch ship's chefs preparing the food during their galley (kitchen) show.
In June 2018, Saga Cruises signed a partnership deal with Jools Holland (English pianist, singer, BBC TV presenter) for "The Club by Jools" steakhouse restaurant. By the 5-year partnership deal (until 2024), at the Jools restaurant will be performed live music and its bar will be designed like a cabaret lounge from the 1950s. The dinner-only restaurant's menu features classic steaks (fillet, T-bone, ribeye, tomahawk steaks), live music performances (by resident and guest musicians) and premium cocktails.
In December 2018, Saga Cruises signed a partnership deal with Hush Heath Estate (Kent England wine producer, Staplehurst-based winery) to blend a new wine label specifically for Saga's new liner Discovery. The project was coordinated by Owen Elias (Hush Heath Estate's consultant winemaker), who worked with cruise company's executive chefs to create Saga's exclusive sparkling wine label "Spirit of Discovery".
Spirit of Discovery wiki
For the new ship series, Saga employed the designer company SMC Design, which has extensive experience with cruise vessel design. Among SMC Design's customers are also P&O Cruises UK (Sindhu / Indian restaurant), Viking Ocean Cruises (Explorers Lounge), NCL (Mandara Spa).
Vessel's construction started on February 28, 2018 (steel-cutting ceremony), attended by Lance Batchelor (Sga Group's CEO) and Tim Meyer Meyer Werft's managing director). The boat's hull sections and building blocks were constructed and assembled at Building Dock I (Meyer Werft's Papenburg shipyard).
On June 28, 2018, was held the keel-laying ceremony. Traditionally, a commemorative coin was placed under the hull's first block (the first of all 54 blocks). The vessel was launched (floated out from drydock) on May 12, 2019. Its delivery is scheduled for June 20, 2019.
Ship's christening ceremony is scheduled for July 5, 2019, to be held in Port Dover (England UK), with inaugural cruise on July 10 (Dover roundtrip). Saga's Spirit of Discovery bookings (for all itineraries 2019-2020) were opened in October 2017.
In early-March 2019, Saga Cruises announced that starting with the 14-day Inaugural Canary Islands cruise (Nov 4-18), the new liner becomes all-inclusive. This means that Saga cruise fares are inclusive of specialty restaurant dining, drinks (wine, beer, house spirits, soft drinks), 24-hour room service, Wi-Fi, gratuities, transfer (chauffeur service to/from homeport for cruise passengers based within 250 ml / 402 km distance). Shore excursions remain optional and at additional cost. The cruise company offers complimentary shuttle bus services in all ports where the town/city is over 0,5 km from the ship. The sistership Spirit of Adventure (August 2020) also offers all-inclusive deals.
Inaugural cruise itineraries 2019
The inaugural cruise was initially scheduled for July 23, 2019 (themed "Channel Island Hop Cruise"), with next planned voyages themed as "Gourmet Spain" (August 3) and "Natural Scandinavia" (August 17). However, as the liner was to be delivered earlier, its maiden voyage was re-scheduled for July 10.
The following tables show ship's inaugural cruise itineraries in 2019. Prices shown are indicative, in USD, per person, and based on double-occupancy (Standard Balcony cabin rates).
The 13-day maiden voyage (themed "A British First" / British Isles circumnavigation itinerary) is a Dover roundtrip, with prices from USD 4060 pp.
|10 Jul||Departing from Dover, England|
|12 Jul 08:00 - 17:00||Newcastle, Port of Tyne, England|
|13 Jul 08:00 - 13 Jul||Leith-Edinburgh, Scotland|
|14 Jul 08:00 - 17:00||Kirkwall, Orkney Island, Scotland|
|16 Jul 08:00 - 17:00||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|17 Jul 08:00 - 22:00||Liverpool, England|
|18 Jul 10:00 - 20:00||Dublin, Ireland|
|19 Jul 08:00 - 17:00||Cobh-Cork, Ireland|
|20 Jul 08:00 - 17:00||Isle of Portland, Dorset, England|
|21 Jul 08:00 - 17:00||Guernsey, St Peter Port, Channel Islands|
|22 Jul 08:00 - 17:00||Southampton, England|
|23 Jul||Arriving in Dover, England|
4-day "Inaugural Cruise" from UK (themed "A Channel Island Hop", from USD 890 pp)
|23 Jul||Departing from Dover, England|
|24 Jul||Guernsey, St Peter Port, Channel Islands|
|25 Jul||Brest, France|
|26 Jul||Isle of Portland, Dorset, England|
|27 Jul||Arriving in Dover, England|
7-day Inaugural "Norwegian Fjords" cruise (themed "The Fjords in Focus", from USD 1770 pp)
|27 Jul||Departing from Dover, England|
|29 Jul||Bergen, Norway|
|30 Jul||Alesund, Norway|
|31 Jul||Haugesund, Norway|
|01 Aug||Kristiansand, Norway|
|03 Aug||Arriving in Dover, England|
14-day Inaugural Iberia cruise (themed "Gourmet Spain", from USD 4030 pp)
|03 Aug||Departing from Dover, England|
|07 Aug||Gibraltar, UK|
|08 Aug||Cartagena, Spain|
|10 Aug||Sete, France|
|11 Aug||Barcelona, Spain|
|12 Aug||Alicante, Spain|
|14 Aug||Lisbon, Portugal|
|17 Aug||Arriving in Dover, England|
14-day Inaugural "Scandinavia and Russia" cruise (themed "Myths and Legends of the Baltic", from USD 4000 pp)
|12 Sep||Departing from Dover, England|
|14 Sep||Gothenburg, Sweden|
|16 Sep||Stockholm, Sweden|
|18 Sep||Helsinki, Finland|
|19 Sep||St Petersburg, Russia|
|21 Sep||Tallinn, Estonia|
|23 Sep||Kalundborg, Zealand Island, Denmark|
|24 Sep||Aalborg, Denmark|
|26 Sep||Arriving in Dover, England|
18-day Inaugural Mediterranean cruise from UK (themed "The Chic Mediterranean", from USD 4930 pp)
|17 Oct||Departing from Southampton, England|
|21 Oct||Malaga, Spain|
|22 Oct||Cartagena, Spain|
|23 Oct||Ibiza, Ibiza Island, Spain|
|24 Oct||Palma de Mallorca, Majorca Island, Spain|
|26 Oct||Saint-Tropez, France Riviera|
|27 Oct||Toulon, France Riviera|
|28 Oct||Barcelona, Spain|
|29 Oct||Valencia, Spain|
|31 Oct||Gibraltar, UK|
|02 Nov||Ferrol, Spain|
|04 Nov||Arriving in Southampton, England|
14-day Inaugural Canary Islands cruise from UK (themed "Spanish Islands of the Atlantic", from USD 3020 pp)
|04 Nov||Departing from Southampton, England|
|07 Nov||Lisbon, Portugal|
|09 Nov||Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal|
|10 Nov||Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands|
|11 Nov||Santa Cruz de la Palma, Canary Islands|
|12 Nov||La Gomera, Canary Islands|
|13 Nov||Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands|
|16 Nov||La Coruna, Spain|
|18 Nov||Arriving in Southampton, England|
35-day Inaugural Transatlantic crossing from UK (themed "Fairy Tale of New York", from USD 9450 pp)
|05 Dec||Departing from Southampton, England|
|09 Dec||Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal|
|16 Dec||Bridgetown, Barbados|
|17 Dec||Portsmouth, Dominica|
|18 Dec||Philipsburg, St Maarten Island, Dutch Antilles|
|19 Dec||San Juan, Puerto Rico|
|22 Dec||Key West, Florida|
|23 Dec||Miami, Florida|
|24 Dec||Port Canaveral, Orlando, Florida|
|26 Dec||Norfolk, Virginia|
|27 Dec||NYC, New York|
|31 Dec||St George, Bermuda|
|09 Jan||Arriving in Southampton, England|
Godspeed to the new ship!
Spirit of Discovery - user reviews and comments
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Spirit of Discovery Itineraries
The below listed Spirit of Discovery cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Saga Cruises fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.
|Date||Cruise Name||Departure Port||Price from|
|2019 Jul 10||13 days, round-trip A British First||Dover|
|2019 Aug 03||14 days, round-trip Gourmet Spain||Dover|
|2019 Aug 17||15 days, round-trip Natural Scandinavia||Dover|
|2019 Sep 01||4 days, round-trip Summer Soirées||Dover|
|2019 Sep 12||14 days, round-trip Myths and Legends of the Baltic||Dover|
|2019 Sep 26||7 days, round-trip Norway Rocks||Dover|
|2019 Oct 07||10 days, one-way from Dover to Southampton||Dover|
|2019 Oct 17||18 days, round-trip The Chic Mediterranean||Southampton|
|2019 Nov 04||14 days, round-trip Spanish Islands of the Atlantic||Southampton|
|2019 Nov 18||16 days, round-trip Roman Italy and Sardinia||Southampton|
|2019 Dec 05||35 days, round-trip Festive New York and the Caribbean||Southampton|
|2020 Jan 09||13 days, round-trip Pure Canaries||Southampton|
|2020 Jan 22||21 days, round-trip An Italian Premiere||Southampton|
|2020 Feb 12||4 days, round-trip Rendezvous in Rouen||Southampton|
|2020 Feb 16||15 days, round-trip Norway's Skies||Southampton|
|2020 Mar 02||13 days, round-trip The Glorious Canary Islands||Southampton|
|2020 Mar 15||14 days, round-trip Sounds of Spain||Southampton|
|2020 Mar 29||12 days, round-trip Scandinavian Cities||Southampton|
|2020 Apr 10||9 days, one-way from Southampton to Dover||Southampton|
|2020 Apr 19||4 days, round-trip Escape to the Continent||Dover|
|2020 Apr 23||26 days, one-way from Dover to Southampton||Dover|
|2020 May 19||7 days, one-way from Southampton to Dover||Southampton|
|2020 May 26||7 days, round-trip Norway’s Ancient Fjords||Dover|
|2020 Jun 02||14 days, round-trip Splendour of the Baltic||Dover|
|2020 Jun 16||21 days, round-trip Greenland Explorer||Dover|
|2020 Jul 07||16 days, round-trip Arctic Expedition||Dover|
|2020 Jul 23||15 days, round-trip Western France and the Costa Verde||Dover|
|2020 Aug 07||16 days, round-trip A Baltic Fable||Dover|
|2020 Aug 23||7 days, round-trip Riddle of the Sands||Dover|
|2020 Aug 30||7 days, one-way from Dover to Southampton||Dover|
|2020 Sep 06||9 days, round-trip Ireland’s Romantic West Coast||Southampton|
|2020 Sep 15||30 days, round-trip Pilgrimage to the New World||Southampton|
|2020 Oct 15||16 days, round-trip The Mediterranean’s Beau Monde||Southampton|
|2020 Oct 31||18 days, round-trip Flavours of North Africa||Southampton|
|2020 Nov 18||14 days, round-trip Canary Island Flavours||Southampton|
|2020 Dec 02||14 days, round-trip The Canary Islands and Casablanca||Southampton|
|2020 Dec 16||5 days, round-trip The Festive Continent||Southampton|
|2020 Dec 21||16 days, round-trip Festive Celebrations in the Med||Southampton|