Saga to launch first new-build river ship

Saga has announced has announced plans to launch a new-build boutique river cruise ship in 2021.

The new vessel will be named Spirit of the Rhine and follows Saga’s new ocean cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery, which launched earlier this year, and Spirit of Adventure, which arrives in the summer of 2020.

It will echo the luxury styling of its ocean-going counterparts with almost all of the 17 square metre cabins boasting a French balcony and floor- to-ceiling windows. There will be a lounge with bar, a separate library area and a main restaurant as well as a reservation-only restaurant with show cooking. Outside there will be a large sun deck with Jacuzzi, barbecue and an extensive seating area.

In addition, Spirit of the Rhine will also have a small onboard gym and free wifi will be available throughout. The new ship is currently being built by Vahali, a Dutch-founded company which has been building river vessels since 1923.

“I am delighted to announce that we are using our experience in ocean cruise to design a bespoke ship for those guests who want a luxurious, boutique river cruise experience,” said Robin Shaw, CEO of Saga Travel.

“This launch of Spirit of the Rhine heralds a step change in the future of river cruise and, when it comes to the onboard experience, our boutique approach to cruising will ensure that our guests have an experience that combines unrivalled, first class service with bespoke authentic experiences that are tailored just for them.”

Spirit of the Rhine will be sailing on the Rhine, Moselle, Main and Danube as well as the waterways of Holland. Saga is promising a variety of innovative itineraries that will feature popular destinations in addition to some less familiar ports of call. Itineraries will also

be tailored to offer exclusive excursions as well as multiple options in key ports giving guests more opportunities to make the most of them.

All cruises will be full-board and include wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, gratuities will also be included and VIP transfers will be included as standard.

Agents who would like further information about Spirit of the Rhine can register their interest with Saga now. Bookings will be taken following the publication of the first itineraries on December 2.

Sam Ballard

Sam Ballard is the publisher of CRUISE ADVISER and has been writing about the cruise industry for a number of years. His CV includes the likes of shipping magazine International Cruise & Ferry Review and the digital publication Cruise News. He can be contacted

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