Cruise ship visits Portsmouth for first time as part of round Britain voyage

A CRUISE ship visited Portsmouth for the first time as part of a round-Britain voyage – its first passenger cruise since the pandemic started.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 4:55 am

Saga Cruises’ ‘Spirit of Discovery’, which originally launched in July 2019, arrived at Portsmouth International Port on Monday with it due to be in Portland on Tuesday before travelling to the Isles of Scilly and then Falmouth.

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.

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Spirit of Discovery in Portsmouth Spirit of Discovery Picture: Portsmouth International Port/Andrew Sassoli-Walker

‘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 to departure and all our crew onboard have also been fully vaccinated.’

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The port will also host Spirit of Discovery’s sister ship Spirit of Adventure on July 19 for her naming ceremony by former head of the Royal Navy medical service Commodore Inga J. Kennedy CBE who has been named godmother of the cruise ship.

Both ships are small by today’s ship standards but clever design and the limited number of guests give a ‘feeling of space and comfort’, the firm says.

Spirit of Discovery in Portsmouth Portsmouth International Port’s harbour master, Ben McInnes, exchanging plaques with the captain of Spirit of Discovery Darin Bowland. Picture: Portsmouth International Port/Andrew Sassoli-Walker

Spirit of Discovery has 10 passenger decks offering 554 all-balcony cabins including 109 single balcony cabins. It features five restaurants including The Grand Dining Room, The Grill, Coast to Coast (seafood), East to West (Asian fusion) and The Club by Jools (steakhouse).

Entertainment and wellbeing facilities include The Playhouse – a 444-seat theatre with complete unobstructed views seating. It also has the signature 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; and The Salon, a gym, shop and medical centre.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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