Saga Cruises has announced plans to update its shipping capacity, with an all-new Saga cruise ship expected to be delivered in summer 2019 and the option to order a second for delivery in 2021.

The new ship will be for fewer than 1,000 passengers and will retain the intimacy and personal touch for which Saga is renowned, but with some new features including balconies for all cabins.

Lance Batchelor, chief executive officer, Saga plc who announced the decision at the company’s half-year results said: “The cruise operation remains at the heart of the Saga brand and demonstrates our commitment to deliver excellence in customer service and outstanding value.”

Robin Shaw, chief executive, Saga Cruises, said: “Our plan for the first of our new modern and elegant cruise liners is sure to delight our existing passengers and we hope it will entice new passengers to cruise with us.

“The artist impressions have been well received and we will continue to consult with our loyal cruise customers throughout the design and build to ensure they get ships that they have helped to make their own.

“Above all the new ships will continue to provide the quality and excellent service for which Saga is renowned.”

Plans for the ship will be refined over the coming months but it is expected the new ship will offer 540 suites and cabins each with a balcony, with around 15 per cent of cabins designed for single occupancy.

There will be single sitting dining throughout a range of restaurants as well as a variety of bars, speciality restaurants and alfresco dining options, along with outdoor and indoor swimming pools, a spa, saunas, treatment rooms and beauty salon.

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