Saga Cruises gears up for Spirit of Discovery return to service

Saga Cruises is gearing up for to return the ship Spirit of Discovery to service later this month.

The ship was launched in July 2019 but had sailings suspended last spring when Covid-19 locked down the country.

While in dock over the past year, maintenance crew took time to make improvements including the installation of hand-washing stations at the entrance to all restaurants.

The 540 crew join the 999-passenger capacity ship over the coming days ahead of the resumption of sailings with limited capacity.

More: All but one of Saga’s domestic cruises sold out

Once on board the crew will re-familiarise themselves with the ship and their roles as well as go through extensive Covid-protocol training ahead of any passengers arriving.

The ship will undertake a number of sea trials, which enable the crew to practice and refine key elements like breakfast, lunch and dinner service, theatrical performances, the daily cleaning routine, and restocking at ports.

Spirit of Discovery is set to re-enter service on June 27 as restrictions lift on a six-night Scottish Highlands and Islands cruise from Tilbury.

Two, six-night itineraries from the Northern Isles to the Norwegian fjords follow on July 3 and 25.

A 14-night Great British Isles Adventure itinerary runs from July 11.

Sister ship, Spirit of Adventure will leave on its delayed inaugural cruise on July 26.

All passengers are required to have had both Covid-19 vaccines at least 14 days ahead of departure.

Saga Cruises has introduced strict protocols including pre-board testing, enhanced cleaning regimes on board, social distancing and enhancements to the air conditioning.

Chief executive Nigel Blanks said: “We are so looking forward to welcoming guests on Spirit of Discovery on June 27 as we set off around the British Isles.

“We know how keen they have been to get on board and our crew members are excited to give them an incredible cruise experience.

“We’ve all waited so long to cruise again, and we want to make this as special as possible for everyone.”

More: All but one of Saga’s domestic cruises sold out

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