Saga releases details of debut programme for first river ship

Saga has released details of its debut programme for its first river ship, Spirit of the Rhine.

The 190-passenger ship will operate 15 itineraries, including five speciality cruises, over 37 dates during its maiden season on the Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube, and the Dutch waterways.

The vessel will sail its maiden voyage – the Inaugural cruise with the Bootleg Beatles – from Amsterdam on March 23, 2021.

The six-night Bootleg Beatles special-interest sailing will feature a tribute act to the famous band with the same name and a private ‘out of hours’ tour of the Beatles Museum in Alkmaar.

Other ports of call include Hoorn, Enkhuizen and Zaandam. Prices start from £1,249.

Other special interest voyages include a Gilbert and Sullivan on the Rhine cruise and a From Rembrandt to Rubens sailing for art lovers.

The Gilbert and Sullivan cruise, departing on June 24, features music every evening and tours of Arnhem, Amsterdam, Cologne and Dusseldorf.

Autioneer Raj Bisram will join the nine-night From Rembrandt to Rubens voyage, departing on May 10.

During the sailing, passengers can visit the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; Kroller-Muller Exhibition and Sculpture Park in Utrecht; Mauritshuis and Gemeentmuseum in The Hague, and Rubens House Museum in Antwerp.

In addition to Bisram, seven other celebrities including gardening expert Charlie Dimmock, DJ Johnnie Walker, cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew and wine connoisseur Jilly Goolden, have signed up to appear during the ship’s debut programme.

Scottish celebrity chef Nick Nairn will provide a signature dish for the speciality à la carte restaurant where passengers will be able to dine once a week.

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There will be a minimum of three included shore excursions on each seven-night cruise. A 14-night cruise will have five excursions included.

Saga is dedicating its Resplendent Rhine sailing, departing on November 15, to solo travellers and arranging singles groups on two other cruises. Prices start from £1,599.

Robert Goodwin, director of product and purchasing, said: “We can have as many single travellers as we want. Each season, we will have one cruise for solo travellers.”

Most of the cabins will have a French balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows. Bluetooth speakers, fridges and reusable bottles will be available in the cabins.

The ship will also have a gym area, a lift and WiFi will be available throughout.

All cruises will be sold on a full-board package, to include wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner plus complimentary tea, coffee and water.

Saga expects to carry more than 4,000 passengers in its debut season.

The programme went on sale on Monday.

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