The dock is presently used for block construction and by reopening it the shipyard will be able to deliver three cruise ships, including the Saga newbuild. The cruise line's memorandum of agreement with Meyer has an option for a second vessel for 2021 delivery.
The Meyer Werft ship will be Saga Cruises' first newbuild. Catering for passengers in the 50+ age group, the cruise line currently has two ships, the 446-passenger Saga Pearl II and the 706-passenger Saga Sapphire, both built in 1981. According to Daily Telegraph, demand for sailings on the ships is extremely high: they carried around 25,000 passengers last year, with a 75 per cent repeat passenger rate.
The new ship will be 234 m long by 30.8 m wide and will have 540 cabins, all with balconies and with about 15% designed for passenger cruising solo.
"This is an important milestone in the future of Saga Cruises," said the line's CEO, Robin Shaw. "We are happy to develop this vessel, tailored to our individual needs, and we’re delighted to be working with Meyer Werft, a recognized leader in cruise ship construction."