Spirit of Discovery, the first newbuild cruise ship for Britain’s Saga Cruises, today reached the open sea after departing the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, late Sunday night and being towed in reverse down the River Ems to the Emden Sea Lock.
Spirit of Discovery is the first of two ships ordered at Meyer Werft by Saga, a British travel group that caters for the 50-plus age group and is the only newbuild cruise ship set to join the British market this year. She will be named in Dover on July 5, 2019 while her sister ship, Spirit of Adventure, is planned to enter service in 2020.
Both ships will carry 999 guests and 523 crew members. Each will be a 58,250 gross tons vessel measuring 774.3 ft in length and with a maximum beam of 102.4 ft.
The Spirit of Discovery will now go through several days of technical and nautical sea trials on the North Sea.
A team of river pilots from Emden was responsible for maneuvering the ship to Emden, training for the conveyance on the computerized simulator in Wageningen, Netherlands, to be better prepared for the task.
Vessels are towed from Papenburg to the North Sea in reverse, as this makes them easier to maneuver, with two tugs providing assistance.