Saga Cruises first new ship has been floated out of its shipyard in Germany.
The 999-passenger Spirit of Discovery has been moved to the nearby quay at the Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where it will undergo further trials in readiness for going to sea.
The vessel will be towed along the River Ems to Emden later this month before starting sea trials in early June.
The ship, due to be delivered to the company on June 20, will be registered in the UK and display London as its port of registry.
Spirit of Discovery is set to arrive in Dover on June 28, ahead of its naming ceremony on July 5. The ship’s inaugural cruise then departs on July 10.
Spirit of Discovery will be the first cruise ship to be named at the port for more than a decade, following the £250 million redevelopment of Dover western docks.
Sister new-build ship Spirit of Adventure us due to enter service in 2020.
A number of independent British suppliers, including Hush Heath wine producers of Kent, will serve their produce to passengers on Spirit of Discovery.
The interior design showcases British style, the architectural and interior design created by UK-based agency SMC. More than 400 pieces of original British art will be among 1,000 artworks.
Chief operating officer Nigel Blanks said: “This is a major milestone for Saga Cruises and for the future of the company.
“Spirit of Discovery has been meticulously designed for our customers and to epitomise Saga’s unique British boutique cruising concept.
“We’d like to thank everyone at Meyer Werft, and look forward to the keel laying of Spirit of Adventure, on June 3, as we start the construction of our next ship for the British market.”