Spirit of Discovery

Former name: SAGA OLYMPIC

Spirit of Discovery current position

Spirit of Discovery current location is at North Sea (coordinates 51.46506 N / 0.33983 E) cruising en route to London-Tilbury. The AIS position was reported 4 minutes ago.

All Itineraries Current Position

Specifications of Spirit of Discovery

Year built2019  /  Age: 1
Flag state United Kingdom
BuilderMeyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
Classice-strengthened expedition ship
Building costUSD 346 million (GBP 280 million / EUR 310 million)
OwnerSaga plc (via Saga Holidays)
OperatorSaga Cruises
Speed23 kn / 43 kph / 26 mph
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 byHRH Camilla (Duchess of Cornwall)
Saga Cruises Coronavirus update

Spirit of Discovery Itineraries

DateItineraryDeparture PortPrice from
2021 Mar 08 22 days, round-trip Croatias Coastal Gems Southampton
2021 Mar 30 10 days, one-way from Southampton to Lisbon Southampton
2021 Apr 12 24 days, round-trip Mediterranean Ancient Wonders Southampton
2021 May 06 15 days, round-trip Secrets of Corsica and Sardinia Southampton
2021 May 21 5 days, round-trip Brittany and Guernsey in Bloom Southampton
2021 May 26 22 days, round-trip A Venetian Voyage Southampton
2021 Jun 17 8 days, round-trip Romantic Ireland Southampton
2021 Jun 25 18 days, round-trip Authentic Spain and Beyond Southampton
2021 Jul 13 5 days, round-trip Beautiful Brittany Southampton
2021 Jul 18 15 days, round-trip Wonders of the Western Mediterranean Southampton
2021 Aug 02 13 days, round-trip A Taste of the British Isles Southampton
2021 Aug 15 18 days, round-trip Italian Charms Southampton
2021 Sep 02 22 days, round-trip Coastlines of Croatia Southampton
2021 Sep 24 5 days, round-trip Celtic Escape Southampton
2021 Sep 29 29 days, round-trip Autumn Colours of the USA and Canada Southampton
2021 Oct 28 24 days, round-trip Jewels of the Eastern Mediterranean Southampton
2021 Nov 21 14 days, round-trip Wonders of the Canary Islands Southampton
2021 Dec 05 13 days, round-trip Canary Islands Chorus Southampton
2021 Dec 18 19 days, round-trip Festive Celebrations in the Canaries Southampton
2022 Jan 06 15 days, round-trip The Glorious Canary Islands January Southampton
2022 Jan 21 30 days, round-trip Rhythm of the Caribbean Southampton
2022 Feb 27 14 days, round-trip An Arctic Aurora Southampton
2022 Mar 13 18 days, round-trip Islands and Coastlines of the Mediterranean March Southampton
2022 Mar 31 15 days, round-trip Flavours of the Western Mediterranean March Southampton
2022 Apr 15 5 days, one-way from Southampton to Dover Southampton
2022 Apr 20 7 days, round-trip Magic of the Fjords April Dover
2022 Apr 27 15 days, round-trip Baltic Ensemble Dover
2022 May 12 14 days, round-trip Springtime in the British Isles Dover
2022 May 26 7 days, round-trip Magic of the Fjords May Dover
2022 Jun 02 17 days, round-trip Corsica, Sardinia and the Islands of the Western Mediterranean Dover
2022 Jun 19 14 days, round-trip Icelandic Adventure Dover
2022 Jul 03 7 days, round-trip Riddle of the Sands Dover
2022 Jul 10 21 days, round-trip Natural Greenland Dover
2022 Jul 31 17 days, round-trip Into the Gulf of Bothnia Dover
2022 Aug 17 14 days, round-trip Western France and the Costa Verde Dover
2022 Aug 31 7 days, round-trip Beautiful Norway Dover
2022 Sep 07 18 days, round-trip Islands and Coastlines of the Mediterranean September Dover
2022 Sep 25 16 days, round-trip Capital Cities of the Baltic Dover
2022 Oct 11 5 days, round-trip Bremerhavens Maritime Heritage Dover
2022 Oct 16 15 days, one-way from Dover to Southampton Dover
2022 Oct 31 15 days, round-trip Flavours of the Western Mediterranean October Southampton
2022 Nov 15 19 days, round-trip Islands of the Atlantic Southampton
2022 Dec 04 14 days, round-trip Winter Sun in the Canary Islands Southampton
2022 Dec 18 18 days, one-way from Southampton to La Coruna Southampton

Spirit of Discovery Review

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 on June 28, 2019) has one sistership - Spirit of Adventure (August 2020).

MS Spirit of Discovery cruise ship (Saga Cruises)

Saga Cruises is a 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.

The vessel is owned by Saga Group and operated by the UK-based cruise company (via Saga Holidays) exclusively. The shipowner Saga plc is a British travel company and cruise brand targeting mainly UK travelers in the 50+ age group. Saga UK annually serves around 2,7 million customers. The company is LSE-listed (on London Stock Exchange) under the stock symbol (ticker) SAGA.

MS Spirit of Discovery cruise ship (Saga Cruises)


Saga 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 the Mediterranean Sea (Spain, France, Italy) and the 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 delivered earlier (in June instead of July 2019), 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, Midship Suites and larger Panorama Suites. 100 single cabins are specifically designed for solo travellers (can be booked with single-occupancy rates and without single supplement), which is approx 20% of the ship's total capacity.

Saga Spirit of Discovery cruise ship cabin

Staterooms as decors and colour schemes are in three styles. First group's design features garden-like elements with light timbers, pastel-green colours, beautifully embroidered fabrics. Second group's design incorporates the more sophisticated grey with a dark-timber scheme, with pink-orange accented furnishings and carpet and upholstered headboard. Third group's colours 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 under sink storage), private step-out balcony (with table and deckchairs), individually controlled air-conditioning, LED lighting, keycard room access.

The ship’s 4 4 top-tier suites (Forward Balcony Suites categories AA and BB) are named Rose Suite (after the Saga Rose liner / 1965-2010 scrapped), Ruby Suite (after the Saga Ruby liner / 1973-2016 scrapped), Sidney De Haan Suite (after Sidney Isaac De Haan / 1919-2002, Saga Group's founder) and Joseph Meyer Suite (after Josef Lambert Meyer / Meyer Werft's founder).

The cruise ship’s 8 top-tier suites (Aft Balcony Suites categories CC and DD) are named after regions and islands in the UK - Bailey Suite, Fair Isle Suite, FitzRoy Suite, Hebrides Suite, Humber Suite, Lundy Suite, Thames Suite, Trafalgar Suite.

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 Cruises new ship (The Living Room Bar Lounge)

"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 speciality (one of which Asian, serving complimentary wines), outdoor Lido Deck (with open-air/alfresco dining space), Saga's signature Britannia Lounge, theatre lounge, central hub (named "The Living Room").

Saga Cruises new ship (Spa pool)

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 specialities. 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.

Saga Cruises new ship (The Verandah 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 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".

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    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 (Saga 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). Saga's Spirit of Discovery bookings (for all itineraries 2019-2020) opened in October 2017.

    MS Spirit of Discovery cruise ship (Saga Cruises)

    On June 28, 2018, was held the keel-laying ceremony. Traditionally, a commemorative coin was placed under the hull's first block (of all 54 blocks/hull and superstructure). The vessel was launched (floated out from drydock) on May 12, 2019. Its official delivery to Saga plc (UK) was initially scheduled for June 20, but later re-scheduled for June 28 (2019).

    Next timelapse video shows some phases of the vessel's construction process.

    Ship's christening ceremony was on July 5, 2019, held at Dover Western Docks (Port Dover England). Ship's official naming ceremony was attended by 500+ guests, including Saga Group's management, employees and crew. The quayside event was transformed into a traditional British garden party, complete with grass (grown in Yorkshire), bunting and table settings, foliage, florals, trees and parasols.

    In early-June 2019 was announced the name of liner's Godmother - HRH Camilla (Duchess of Cornwall, aka Duchess of Rothesay). The 1947-born Camilla Rosemary Shand (now Camilla Parker-Bowles) is a British royal family member as the second wife of Charles (Prince of Wales, 1948-born as Charles Philip Arthur George).

    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 speciality restaurant dining, beverages (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. For 2019, the ship had scheduled a total of 11 roundtrips from homeport Dover UK. The following tables show liner's inaugural cruise itineraries in 2019. Prices shown are indicative, in USD, per person, 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 priced from USD 4060 pp.

    Date / TimePort
    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-day "Inaugural Cruise" from UK (themed "A Channel Island Hop", from USD 890 pp)

    Date / TimePort
    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-day Inaugural "Norwegian Fjords" cruise (themed "The Fjords in Focus", from USD 1770 pp)

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

    14-day Inaugural Iberia cruise (themed "Gourmet Spain", from USD 4030 pp)

    Date / TimePort
    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-day Inaugural "Scandinavia and Russia" cruise (themed "Myths and Legends of the Baltic", from USD 4000 pp)

    Date / TimePort
    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-day Inaugural Mediterranean cruise from UK (themed "The Chic Mediterranean", from USD 4930 pp)

    Date / TimePort
    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-day Inaugural Canary Islands cruise from UK (themed "Spanish Islands of the Atlantic", from USD 3020 pp)

    Date / TimePort
    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-day Inaugural Transatlantic crossing from UK (themed "Fairy Tale of New York", from USD 9450 pp)

    Date / TimePort
    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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