Spirit of Discovery, the first of two new ‘boutique’ cruise ships from Saga, has arrived in its new home port of Dover.

Spirit of Discovery arrives in Dover
© Christopher Ison

Saga Travel’s CEO, Robin Shaw, said: “We have unashamedly focused on the fact we are a British cruise line. We have designed the new ships with a focus on British contemporary design classics, with the vision of creating Britain’s first boutique hotel at sea.

“But these ‘hotels’ are able to take Saga’s guests to interesting and exciting destinations around the world. Both ships will have a bold and adventurous style that’s a testament to high-quality design and the best of British innovation and flair.”

Spirit of Discovery’s arrival into Britain is the start of a new chapter for the Saga Cruise division. It is the only ship built and delivered exclusively for the British market this year.

The next date on the ship’s calendar will be its naming ceremony. Taking place in Dover on 5thJuly, the event will be attended by Spirit of Discovery’s Godmother HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

Saga Spirit of Discovery arrives in Dover
© Christopher Ison

The 999-passenger ship features architectural and interior design from London-based agency SMC, which has used London boutique hotels as its source of inspiration.

Key features include a wraparound promenade deck, an above water spa, The Club – a dining and music venue in collaboration with Jools Holland – and a private balcony for every cabin.

What’s more, 20 per cent of cabins have been designed for single occupancy – typically ships dedicate only 5 per cent to cabins for single travellers.

Of the 1,000 plus pieces of art on board, 400 will be original pieces created by British artists. A host of independent British suppliers will be providing food and drink for the ship, too.

Following Spirit of Discovery will be its sister ship, Spirit of Adventure. When the latter arrives in Dover in summer 2020, it will mark the the realisation of a £600m plus investment in both ships.

Shaw adds: “With our classic, contemporary British design, we have absolutely hit the mark with boutique cruising. The design is not what you get with a cookie-cutter approach; it is meant to be individual.

“While we are ecstatic with the design of Spirit of Discovery, we have already taken the decision to give our next ship, Spirit of Adventure, a very different boutique look and feel. Our aim is to set the highest standards for quality and service for any cruise line operating out of the UK.”

To find out more information or to book a cruise, visit saga.co.uk/cruiseint