At 6pm on 27 June 2021 Saga Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery, which was originally launched in July 2019, returned to the seas from Tilbury Docks on her first round-Britain tour since the UK was locked down in March 2020.

She will call first at Portsmouth on 28 June, Portland on 29 June, the Isles of Scilly on 30 June and Falmouth on 1 July.

Nigel Blanks, CEO of Saga Cruises, said: “Our guests are so excited to be back cruising again and our crew members are all looking forward to giving them an incredible experience onboard.

“We have a great itinerary, taking in some of the most stunning parts of the West Country. There really is no better place to see our beautiful coastline than from the sea.

“We work to the highest standards and every detail has been thought-through to respect current social distance rules from the onboard entertainment to the dining experience, spa and fitness facilities and personalised customer service.

“All our guests can board knowing we take their health and well-being incredibly seriously. In addition to the observance of strict safety protocols, guests must have had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine prior departure and all our crew onboard have also been fully vaccinated.”

Spirit of Discovery and her brand-new sister ship, Spirit of Adventure, which will leave on its inaugural cruise on 26 July, are both small by today’s ship standards but clever design and the limited number of guests combine to give a feeling of space and comfort.

Spirit of Discovery has 10 passenger decks offering 554 all-balcony cabins including 109 single balcony cabins.

She features five restaurants including The Grand Dining Room, The Grill, Coast to Coast (seafood speciality), East to West (Asian fusion) and The Club by Jools (steakhouse), all of which are complementary to dine in.

The South Cape Bar is the ship’s main bar, and the Living Room offers coffee and snacks as well as a full drinks service. Outdoor facilities include an observation deck, full wraparound promenade and terrace, pool, sports court and deck games.

Entertainment and wellbeing facilities include The Playhouse (a 444-seat theatre with complete unobstructed views seating, home to Saga Cruise’s resident performance company), the Britannia Lounge with a dance floor and live entertainment, The Library with refreshments, craft and card rooms, The Spa with hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam and treatment rooms, The Salon, a gym, shop and medical centre.

The ship also features specially commissioned artwork that draw inspiration from the geography, landscapes, and palette of the British Isles.

Photo by Fraser Grey