Saga celebrates keel-laying for first river ship Spirit of the Rhine

Saga Cruises has held a keel-laying ceremony for its first river ship, Spirit of the Rhine.

The event took place at the Vahali shipyard in Serbia on Wednesday.

Guests watched as a crane lowered the first part of the keel onto a lucky coin.

The 190-passenger ship will sail its inaugural season on March 23, 2021.

Saga Travel chief executive Robin Shaw said: “This is another historic landmark in Saga Cruises’ history – our first new-build river ship which will echo the luxury styling of our new ocean ships Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure.

“Saga has chartered river ships for many years, so we are thrilled to take another giant step to build a river ship to our own specifications to transfer Saga Cruises’ renowned quality of service, accommodation and cuisine across to river vessels.”

More:Saga releases details of debut programme for first river ship

All Spirit of the Rhine cruises will be full-board and include wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, free tea, coffee and water, plus a VIP car service.

Most cabins will have a French balcony with floor-to-ceiling windows. Other facilities will include a lounge, library, two restaurants and a sun deck with hot tub and barbecue.

Spirit of the Rhine 600x320

Other cruises during the year will feature TV gardening celebrity Charlie Dimmock, art and antiques expert Raj Bisram, wine connoisseur Jilly Goolden, cricketer and commentator Jonathan Agnew, DJ Johnnie Walker, celebrity chef Nick Nairn and broadcast journalists Alastair Stewart and John Sergeant.

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