Our trip to the Saga Sapphire was a really lovely experience. We headed to Dover – not the most modern of Cruise Terminals, to say the least, but with a few features to make you feel you were somewhere of sailing significance.
The Saga Sapphire is the current biggest Saga ship (for 706 passsengers max) – alongside the Saga Pearl II, though a new ship (yet to be named) will join in 2019.
For more details of where Saga Sapphire cruises, call, email, or message us on Facebook or Twitter.
Saga Sapphire is an adult only ship, subject also to the Saga expectation that passengers are 50+, though companions can be 40+.
Sapphire has sailed with Saga since 2010, having been originally built in 1981. You can tell she’s an older ship in places, but there has been a contemporary redesign with a style that is different from many other cruise ships and that gives a character and appeal that is quite enticing.
There are quiet secluded spaces, such as the Aviator’s Bar, The Card Room, and Cooper’s – which section off small parts of the ship to create more intimate venues.
There are also larger communal spaces with clever décor to separate off areas and make some cosy corners – such as in the Library and the really lovely The Drawing Room – where light refreshments are sometimes available. This area is really quite special, managing a contemporary yet classic style. There’s cosy seating amongst intriguing decorative features such as the unique lighting and an abundance of flowers – in a very bright area with windows in every direction and baby grand piano and other musical equipment set-out to keep entertainment rolling at appropriate times. Many happy hours to be spent here, no doubt.
The Grill is the informal dining area which has a style that transports you to further flung places and is refreshingly different for cruise ship style.
The Grill opens out onto The Verandah a big space of open decking at the aft of Deck 9, well shaded by wide canvas strips to hold back the power of the sun in some of those more heated destinations. A handful of the more exclusive suites have balconies which overlook this area.
The cabins are a wide range of shapes and sizes – perhaps making the most of this older ship’s lines and spaces. There are specific single cabins – inside, outside and superior; as well as the normal array of double/twin inside, outside, and a number of balcony cabins and suites. Well appointed and spacious in the main.
The area around the pool on Deck 11 is limited and compact – as is the outdoor pool itself, but a delightful space – with a great touch of a sweet hut and an ice cream hut by the Beach Club servery area. The top deck – Deck 12 has a mini-golf course and a further space to try and catch the sun, and a little more on Deck 9 too: so all-in -all a good proportion of passengers could be out in the sun or shaded outside areas all at once.
Down on Deck 2 there is an indoor pool by the Spa and Gym area – with Steam Room, Sauna, and Treatment Rooms as well as the Hair and Beauty Salon. To say it is down in a windowless area of the ship, this mini-complex is very bright and attractively laid-out.
One of the main public areas is the Pole to Pole restaurant on Deck 7- where again the interior design is surprisingly contemporary, different, and speaks of foreign climes – really refreshing to see and unexpected.
The Britannia Lounge is a big space, more bland and functional – but where you can imagine a hubbub of chatting and activity, maybe singalong and dancing too. Definitely a fun place – with plenty of armchairs, seats and sofas to bring many of the ships passengers together for those communal times – Afternoon Tea being one, but also this space is used for parts of the entertainment programme, instead of having a more traditional Show Lounge.
Saga Sapphire has a younger feel than the Saga brand might initially suggest, and the design features around the ship do not make you feel you’re on board a dated ship either. A refreshing design approach and colour palate are adopted throughout, meaning that this has the feel of a special ship and enjoyable home for seeing the range of destinations to which Saga Sapphire sails – such as Baltic, Norwegian, Mediterranean, Atlantic Coast and Islands, as well as Iceland and further afield such as Canada or the Caribbean. Cruises mainly sail from the UK ports of Southampton, Portsmouth, or Dover.
Sometimes the Saga prices can seem a little on the toppy side – but if you book early you know you’ll get a cheaper fare than later; and you have to look at what’s included as standard there’s a lot of value added. Onboard tips are part of the fare, wines with lunch and dinner, and tea, coffee and fruit juices at selected venues. There’s wifi as standard, travel insurance is in the fare, as well as a chauffeur to and from your departure port.
For more details of where Saga Sapphire is sailing – call, email or message us on Facebook or Twitter for latest information.