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8 Saga Sapphire Refit


A jewel in Saga’s crown T


Saga Sapphire has been transformed into a stylish state-of-the-art ship where clean lines and spacious cabins combine to create a real ‘wow’ factor


he launch of a new ship is always exciting, but it is even more so when the ship in question really stands out from the crowd. Saga Sapphire promises to be a radically


different type of ship to any that has come before. She will have a real ‘wow’ factor, with unusually spacious cabins – including 58 single cabins – impressive public rooms, fantastic cuisine and a number of very special entertainment venues.


The 706-passenger ship will be the biggest in the Saga fleet and will set sail in March 2012. She will be captained by Capt Alistair Mclundie who has been with Saga since 1997 (read more about him on page 14). you may well have been following her transformation online via hotel director Horst pint’s humorous and informative blogs at saga.co.uk/sapphireblog. As Horst explains, Saga Sapphire began her life as


the Europa in 1982, later becoming Bleu de France. She officially began her transformation into Saga Sapphire on 4 November, 2011 when she entered dry dock in palermo, Sicily. After months of work she officially passed an important milestone when she was


renamed Saga Sapphire on the Maltese registry on 7 February. New paperwork, certificates and the ship’s stamps were also issued on this date. “it will probably take some time before we see the


words Bleu de France disappear completely from our daily paperwork but it does feel good to be officially on our new Saga ship. The name is on the hull for all to see,” Horst blogged.


The changes have been far from cosmetic. As Horst writes: “The next job for the yard is to start cutting the side of the ship on Deck 8 to create more balcony cabins.”


The same operation has been carried out on Deck


10, creating 65 new balcony cabins in total. The inside of the ship, too, has been completely


remodeled in stylish and contemporary décor with sparkling new venues and stunning public spaces. As you read this, the yard will have completed the finishing touches to this real ‘gem’ of a ship. She sets sail on her inaugural cruise from Southampton to the Mediterranean on 26 March, 2012, and highlights include rome, Venice and lisbon.


8 | saga.co.uk/cruises


April/MAy 2012


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