Spirit of Discovery

Spirit of Discovery Review and Specifications

Specifications of Spirit of Discovery

Year built2019 new ship
BuilderMeyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
Classice-strengthened expedition ship
Building costUSD 350 million
OwnerSaga Holidays
OperatorSaga Cruises
Length (LOA)236 m / 774 ft
Beam (width)31 m / 102 ft
Gross Tonnage58250 gt
Decks with cabins6
Sister-shipsSpirit of Adventure
Former namesSAGA OLYMPIC
Christened bytba

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 sister-ship - Spirit of Adventure (scheduled delivery August 2020).

MS Spirit of Discovery cruise ship (Saga Cruises)

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.

Saga Cruises new ship (The Verandah restaurant)


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 scheduled for July 23, 2019 (themed "Channel Island Hop Cruise"). Next voyages were themed "Gourmet Spain" (August 3) and "Natural Scandinavia" (August 17).

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 port)
  • 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. More than 100 cabins are specifically designed for solo travellers (can be booked with single occupancy rates), which is approx 20% of the ship's capacity.

Saga Cruises new ship (balcony cabin)

Carrying less than 1000 passengers in style, this large expedition ship features all-balcony staterooms, 3 premium restaurants, modern amenities, British-style onboard activities, professional and traditionally attentive service.

Saga Cruises new ship (Spa pool)

Shipboard dining and entertainment options

There is a choice of dining experiences, bars and entertainment venues, including 3 specialty restaurants (one of which Asian, serving complimentary wines), an outdoor Lido Deck (with open-air / alfresco dining space), signature Britannia Lounge, theater lounge, library, a central hub (named "The Living Room").

The ship also features a modern wellness complex and 2 swimming pools (outdoor and indoor). The spa complex consists of beauty salon, hydrotherapy pool, salt-steam room, saunas (one is infrared), 5 treatment rooms (for latest therapies and massages). The Library Lounge offers coffee and cakes alongside one of the best-stocked book collections at sea. The 430-seat Playhouse Theatre features 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. The 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.

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 2014), 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.

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).
  • Saga Cruises opened bookings for Spirit of Discovery (itineraries 2019 aand 2020) in October 2017.
  • The 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). Ship's delivery was scheduled for June 20, 2019.
  • Ship's christening ceremony was scheduled for July 5, 2019, to be held at Port Dover (England), with inaugural cruise on July 10 roundtrip from Dover.

Inaugural cruise itineraries 2019

The following tables show the 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-days maiden voyage (themed "A British First", British Isles circumnavigation itinerary) is a Dover roundtrip, with prices from USD 4060 pp.

10 JulDeparting from Dover, England
12 Jul 08:00 - 17:00Newcastle, Port of Tyne, England
13 Jul 08:00 - 13 JulLeith-Edinburgh, Scotland
14 Jul 08:00 - 17:00Kirkwall, Orkney Island, Scotland
16 Jul 08:00 - 17:00Belfast, Northern Ireland
17 Jul 08:00 - 22:00Liverpool, England
18 Jul 10:00 - 20:00Dublin, Ireland
19 Jul 08:00 - 17:00Cobh-Cork, Ireland
20 Jul 08:00 - 17:00Isle of Portland, Dorset, England
21 Jul 08:00 - 17:00Guernsey, St Peter Port, Channel Islands
22 Jul 08:00 - 17:00Southampton, England
23 JulArriving in Dover, England

4-days "Inaugural Cruise" from UK (themed "A Channel Island Hop", from USD 890 pp)

23 JulDeparting from Dover, England
24 JulGuernsey, St Peter Port, Channel Islands
25 JulBrest, France
26 JulIsle of Portland, Dorset, England
27 JulArriving in Dover, England

7-days Inaugural "Norwegian Fjords" cruise (themed "The Fjords in Focus", from USD 1770 pp)

27 JulDeparting from Dover, England
29 JulBergen, Norway
30 JulAlesund, Norway
31 JulHaugesund, Norway
01 AugKristiansand, Norway
03 AugArriving in Dover, England

14 nights / 15 days Inaugural Iberia cruise (themed "Gourmet Spain", from USD 4030 pp)

03 AugDeparting from Dover, England
07 AugGibraltar, UK
08 AugCartagena, Spain
10 AugSete, France
11 AugBarcelona, Spain
12 AugAlicante, Spain
14 AugLisbon, Portugal
17 AugArriving in Dover, England

14-days Inaugural "Scandinavia and Russia" cruise (themed "Myths and Legends of the Baltic", from USD 4000 pp)

12 SepDeparting from Dover, England
14 SepGothenburg, Sweden
16 SepStockholm, Sweden
18 SepHelsinki, Finland
19 SepSt Petersburg, Russia
21 SepTallinn, Estonia
23 SepKalundborg, Zealand Island, Denmark
24 SepAalborg, Denmark
26 SepArriving in Dover, England

18-days Inaugural Mediterranean cruise from UK (themed "The Chic Mediterranean", from USD 4930 pp)

17 OctDeparting from Southampton, England
21 OctMalaga, Spain
22 OctCartagena, Spain
23 OctIbiza, Ibiza Island, Spain
24 OctPalma de Mallorca, Majorca Island, Spain
26 OctSaint-Tropez, France Riviera
27 OctToulon, France Riviera
28 OctBarcelona, Spain
29 OctValencia, Spain
31 OctGibraltar, UK
02 NovFerrol, Spain
04 NovArriving in Southampton, England

14 nights / 15 days Inaugural Canary Islands cruise from UK (themed "Spanish Islands of the Atlantic", from USD 3020 pp)

04 NovDeparting from Southampton, England
07 NovLisbon, Portugal
09 NovFunchal, Madeira Island, Portugal
10 NovSanta Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
11 NovSanta Cruz de la Palma, Canary Islands
12 NovLa Gomera, Canary Islands
13 NovPuerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
16 NovLa Coruna, Spain
18 NovArriving in Southampton, England

35 nights / 36 days Inaugural Transatlantic cruise from UK (themed "Fairy Tale of New York", from USD 9450 pp)

05 DecDeparting from Southampton, England
09 DecFunchal, Madeira Island, Portugal
16 DecBridgetown, Barbados
17 DecPortsmouth, Dominica
18 DecPhilipsburg, St Maarten Island, Dutch Antilles
19 DecSan Juan, Puerto Rico
22 DecKey West, Florida
23 DecMiami, Florida
24 DecPort Canaveral, Orlando, Florida
26 DecNorfolk, Virginia
27 DecNYC, New York
31 DecSt George, Bermuda
09 JanArriving in Southampton, England

Godspeed to the new ship!

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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.

DateCruise NameDeparture PortPrice 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 05 7 days, round-trip Fjord Adventurer 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 03 4 days, round-trip Dance to France 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 Fairy Tale of New York 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