On 26 September the port of Dover said goodbye to the classic cruise ship Saga Ruby for the last time, with all of the port’s craft afloat for the event. Saga announced in 2012 that this year’s World Cruise would be Saga Ruby’s last. They also gave notice that the ship would retire in January after she has completed a 31-night Christmas and New Year Caribbean cruise.
Saga Ruby (1973/24,492gt) was built as Vistafjord for Norwegian America Line by Swan Hunter at Wallsend and is widely regarded as the last true passenger ship built in the UK, although Odessa, delivered the following year by Vickers, actually takes that honour. Vistafjord was designed for cruising rather than the dual role of Atlantic liner and cruise ship of her predecessors.
In about 1980, with her near sister Sagafjord, she was transferred to Norwegian America Cruises, and three years later was sold to Cunard. Sporting Cunard funnel colours, Vistafjord continued to operate successfully until 1999, when she underwent a major refit and was renamed Caronia.