Spirit of the Rhine

Spirit of the Rhine current position

Spirit of the Rhine current location is at North Sea (coordinates 52.07784 N / 5.08296 E) cruising en route to LELYSTAD. The AIS position was reported 4 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Spirit of the Rhine

Year built2021  /  Age: 1
Flag state Switzerland
BuilderVahali Shipyards Zasavica (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia)
ClassRiver Cruiser
Speed12 kn / 22 kph / 14 mph
Length (LOA)135 m / 443 ft
Beam (width)12 m / 39 ft
Gross Tonnage3600 gt
Passengers192
Crew59
Decks4
Cabins96
Decks with cabins3
Sister-shipsSpirit of the Danube
Christened byJenni Murray
OwnerRijfers Nautical Management BV
OperatorSaga River Cruises

Spirit of the Rhine Review

Review of Spirit of the Rhine

The 2021-built MS Spirit of the Rhine cruise ship is Saga UK's first newbuild riverboat (constructed in Serbia, at Vahali Shipyards) and inaugurated in September 2021. Like the sistership Spirit of the Danube (2022), both boats cruise on the rivers Danube, Main, Rhine and Moselle, and also on the Belgium-Dutch waterways.

The list of Saga Cruises' newbuilds also includes the ocean liners/sisterships Spirit of Discovery (2019) and Spirit of Adventure (2020).

Saga Spirit of the Rhine river cruise ship

Like all currently operated by Saga riverboats, Spirit of the Rhine is operated by the UK-based cruise company under an exclusive time charter deal. The shipowner is the Dutch shipping company Rijfers Nautical Management BV.

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.

The ship operator Saga Holidays provides travel package holidays, cruises and tours worldwide. Saga plc also owns Titan Travel UK (specializing in escorted tours, short-break coach tours, ship cruises) and Destinology (custom-designed luxury all-inclusive holidays and ship cruises).

The boat (ENI number 2338872) is currently Switzerland-flagged (MMSI 269057750) and registered in Basel.

Decks and Cabins

Saga Spirit of the Rhine staterooms (96 total) provide this boutique-type riverboat with max passenger capacity 192. All cabins are with double occupancy and similarly sized (17 m2 / 185 ft2). All Lower Deck cabins (deck 1) are with non-opening Porthole windows (located near the ceiling). All cabins on decks 2 (Main) and Upper (3) are with French Balconies accessed via slide-opening floor-ceiling windows.

On Spirit of the Rhine, Saga provides as standard cabin amenities (complimentary to all staterooms regardless of cabin category) a hotel type Queen bed (convertible to two twin beds) sized 200 x 160 cm, with luxury bedding sets and pillows, ample wardrobe storage space, bedside tables, wall-mounted reading lamps, LED ceiling lights, individual air-conditioning (thermostat controlled), 220V / 110V voltage outlets. The seating area is furnished with two armchairs, a coffee/dining table, a mirrored vanity table (writing desk) with a chair, wall-mounted magnifying mirror.

All staterooms have private/en-suite bathroom (with glass-door shower stall, single-sink vanity, WC, hairdryer, premium bath amenities, plush robes), electronic safe box (in the closet), direct-dial phone (for shipboard use only), mini-bar (fridge), complimentary bottled water (supplied daily), smart HDTV (satellite reception, Infotainment system / Internet, movies-on-demand, real-time bridge cam views), free of charge WiFi Internet (shipwide coverage).

Complimentary alcohol (beer and wine by the glass) and soft beverages are provided during lunch and dinner. On MS Spirit of the Rhine, Saga Cruises for the first time included (as standard) in the cruise fares gratuities (onboard tipping), beverages (beer, wine, soft drinks) and VIP coach transfers (from the passengers' homes/hotels).

The boat has 4 passenger decks, of which 3 are with cabins.

Shipboard facilities

Saga's Spirit of the Rhine has a wellness area (small Gym room on deck 1), Panoramic Restaurant (on deck 2, with adjacent galley/kitchen), Panoramic Bar Lounge (Lorelei Lounge on deck 3, serves as music salon / cinema / lecture hall and has grand piano, dance floor, terrace with outdoor seating, library / reading corner), Foyer (lobby area on deck 3 with Reception Desk, Tour Desk and ship entrances / portside and starboard), Rheinfels Cafe (A La Carte Restaurant aft on deck 3), Sundeck (deck 4) with an outdoor Terrace Lounge (also hosting alfresco dining with deck barbecues, bar service), Wheelhouse (retractable Navigation Bridge), shaded seating area (4 retractable awnings, deckchairs, tables), large sunbathing area (with loungers and low tables), deckgames area (with Giant Chess Board) and an aft-located Jacuzzi (outdoor whirlpool hot tub).

Due to its small seating capacity (34 seats), the A La Carte Restaurant is complimentary but reservations-only and dinner-only. The Dining Room Restaurant is complimentary, waiter-served and features an open kitchen (show cooking).

new Saga river cruise ship (Restaurant)

All the ship's main venues (Bar Lounge, Restaurant, Cafe, Atrium) are with floor-ceiling and wall-to-wall windows. One glass elevator (midship-located passenger lift) connects all cabin decks. All decks are interconnected via stairs (forward, midship and aft), including a grand staircase in the Atrium (midship). Sundeck is accessed via a staircase (14 steps).

Saga river cruise deals

Complimentary alcohol (beer and wine by the glass) and soft beverages are provided during all shipboard lunches and dinners. Complimentary (throughout the day) are unlimited teas, coffees and snacks. Price-inclusive are at least 3 land tours (on 7-night itineraries) and up to 8 shore excursions (on longer itineraries).

On MS Spirit of the Rhine, Saga Cruises for the first time included (as standard) in the fares gratuities (onboard tipping), beverages (beer, wine, soft drinks) and the door-to-door "Saga VIP" travel service. Saga also offers Standard-Class train travel as well as complimentary airport parking (for passengers travelling with their own vehicles).

Saga VIP is a premium travel (private chauffeur) service that includes a return MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle/minivan) service from your home to the airport, return service to your local airport (for a domestic flight to the international airport), return service to the UK departure point (Eurostar train station or ferry terminal), standard class train travel (from your local rail station to the UK departure point). Vacationers travelling with their own vehicles are provided with free airport parking.

Saga river cruise deals are inclusive of Economy-Class flights (domestic-only/subject to availability). Saga VIP services are available to all citizens of mainland-UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) plus Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands. Saga usually selects the form of transportation and/or the UK airport. The number of allowed passengers per MPV is 3-5.

Travel Insurance is optional (costs extra)

Itineraries

The inaugural cruise of Spirit of the Rhine (6-day itinerary) was initially scheduled for March 23, 2021. For the boat's maiden season (2021) were designed and scheduled the following itineraries.

  • 7-day "INAUGURAL BEATLES CRUISE"/"KEUKENHOF and DUTCH DELIGHTS" itinerary (May 3) roundtrip from Amsterdam
  • 10-day "FROM REMBRANDT TO RUBENS" (May 10) from Amsterdam to Brussels
  • 8-day "MYSTERY CRUISE" (May 19) from Brussels to Arnhem
  • 8-day "GILBERT and SULLIVAN" (June 24) from Amsterdam to Arnhem
  • 15-day "BELGIUM and THE NETHERLANDS" (July 15) roundtrip from Amsterdam (GBP 2500 pp)
  • 15-day "ACROSS THE CONTINENT" (July 29) from Amsterdam to Budapest Hungary (GBP 2800 pp)
  • 15-day "RHINE, MAIN and MOSELLE" (May through November 2021) from Arnhem to Amsterdam (GBP 1940 pp)
  • 12-day "FROM AMSTERDAM TO THE ALPS" (June through October 2021) from Amsterdam to Davos Switzerland (GBP 2450 pp)
  • 12-day "RHINE and GLACIER EXPRESS" (June through October 2021) from Montreux to Amsterdam (GBP 2750 pp)
  • 8-day "CASTLES and VINEYARDS" (June through October 2021) from Amsterdam to Basel
  • 13-day "RHINE WINE FESTIVAL" (September 21) from Amsterdam to Trier Germany (GBP 2450 pp)
  • 8-day "SOUNDS OF THE 60S and 70S" (October 11) from Basel to Amsterdam
  • 5-day "RHINE CHRISTMAS MARKETS" (December 16) from Cologne to Dusseldorf (GBP 850 pp)
  • 15-day "CHRISTMAS and NEW YEAR" (December 20) from Cologne to Dusseldorf (GBP 2250 pp)
  • 8-day "NEW YEAR ON THE RHINE" (December 27) from Cologne to Dusseldorf

The inaugural season's booking prices ranged between GBP 1450-1850 per person (with double occupancy) on 8-day voyages.

However, due to the Coronavirus crisis, Spirit of the Rhine's Maiden Voyage was rescheduled for September 23 (2021). The 13-night itinerary (from Trier Germany) visited Bernkastel-Kues, Piesport-Mosel, Traben-Trarbach.

Next are listed the itinerary ports of the regularly scheduled by Saga Spirit of the Rhine cruises.

12-day "From Amsterdam to the Alps" itinerary - Day 1 (flight UK-Amsterdam/ship embarkation/overnight mooring), Day 2 (Amsterdam/city tour, canal cruise), Day 3 (Cologne), Day 4 (Koblenz to Rudesheim), Day 5 (Rudesheim to Mainz), Day 6 (Strasbourg), Day 7 (Breisach), Day 8 (Basel debarkation, 2-night Hotel Gaia stay, Bern tour), Day 10 (hotel breakfast, check-out, travel to Davos, Lake Lucerne Cruise, 2-night Davos hotel stay), Day 12 (Davos-UK flight). The crsuisetour included 7-night cruising, 2-nights 4-star hotels (in Basel and Davos), 28 meals (11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 11 dinners), 5 excursions.

12-day "The Rhine and Glacier Express to St Moritz Spirit" itinerary - Day 1 (flight UK-Geneva-Montreux, 2-night Montreux hotel stay, Chillon Castle tour), Day 3 (transfer from Montreux to St Moritz/2-night hotel, Glacier Express train excursion), Day 4 (St Moritz/Bernina Diavolezza and Dialezza Glacier tour), Day 5 (transfer from St Moritz to Basel /ship embarkation), Day 6 (Breisach), Day 7 (Strasbourg/ tour and canal cruise), Day 8 (Mannheim-Mainz-Rudesheim /Heidelberg Castle tour), Day 9 (Rudesheim to Koblenz /Ehrenbreitstein Fortress tour), Day 10 (Cologne), Day 11 (Amsterdam/city tour, canal cruise, culinary tour, overnight boat stay), Day 12 (debarkation). The crsuisetour included 7-night cruising, 2-nights hotels (in Montreux and St Moritz), 28 meals (11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 11 dinners), 7 excursions.

8-day "Castles and Vineyards of the Rhine" itinerary - Day 1 (flight UK-Amsterdam/ship embarkation/overnight mooring), Day 2 (Amsterdam/city tour, canal cruise), Day 3 (Cologne), Day 4 (Koblenz to Rudesheim), Day 5 (Rudesheim to Mainz/Heidelberg Castle tour), Day 6 (Strasbourg/city tour, canal cruise), Day 7 (Breisach), Day 8 (Basel debarkation, Basel-UK flight). The crsuisetour included 7-night cruising, 20 meals (7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners), 3 excursions. Themed cruises in 2021 included as guests Alastair Stewart (Aug 26), Jonathan Agnew (Oct 4) and Nick Nairn (Oct 25).

Spirit of the Rhine - user reviews and comments

Spirit of the Rhine ship related cruise news

Spirit of the Rhine Wiki

Vessel's construction (hull and superstructure) started on December 11, 2019, with the keel-laying ceremony held at Vahali Shipyard in Zasavica (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia). The ceremony was attended by Robert Goodwin (Saga Group's Director of Product and Purchasing), Andrew Iwasyszyn (Saga River Cruises'Product Manager), Vincent Bekker (Vahali Shipyard's owner), Johan Rijfers (Rijfers River Cruises' owner) and Gilles Beschoor Plug (Holland's Ambassador in Serbia).

The 1923-founded Dutch shipbuilding company (Scheepswerf En Machinefabriek Vahali BV) owns and operates yards in Serbia (Belgrade, and Zasavica) and in Holland (Gendt). Vahali Shipyard Zasavica was officially opened in 2013. Following the construction in Serbia, the ship was towed to Holland for final outfitting at Scheepswerf Vahali (Gendt).

 

The boats Spirit of the Rhine and Spirit of the Danube were oifficially named in a joint-christening ceremony on March 19, 2022, held dockside in Arnhem (Netherlands). The special ceremony was attended by 100+ VIP guests (involved in their design and building) as well as by Peter Wright (Saga Cruises' Commercial Director), Otto Groen (Rijfers Nautical Management's CEO), Vincent Bekker (Vahali Shipyard's owner), Captain Marinus Pols (Spirit of the Rhine's Master/Dutch), Captain George Dudunica (Spirit of the Danube's Master/Romanian).

Godmother of both riverboats is Dame Jennifer Susan Murray/Jenni Murray (1950-born English journalist, broadcaster, author). She was appointed OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 1999, and DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 2011. Both are British orders of chivalry rewarding contributions to arts, sciences, charitable and welfare works, and public service outside the military. Jenni Murray is best known as the presenter/host of BBC Radio 4's 60-minute program "Woman's Hour" (health-education-culture-politics-themed topics aimed at women) in the period 1987-2020.

Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All companies and their fleets are listed there.

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