Saga releases exciting new themed “Impressions of the Mediterranean” cruise 

When Saga Cruises’ itinerary planning team get their teeth into a subject ‘they let their imaginations go’, says Head of Marine Operations  James Langley.

“The Impressions of the Mediterranean cruise will be a complete immersion into art and architecture, ” said James who is responsible for itinerary planning, marine and port operations.

He said: “We decided on a 20-day cruise on Saga Sapphire to fit in all of the ideas. It all started after visiting the port of Malaga and learning about the shore excursion opportunities featuring Picasso elements.  Shore Excursions then sourced a tour in Malaga – guests can go to a restaurant after visiting the museum and enjoy tapas arranged in the style of Picasso art!

“We thought that would be fun and, later, I was impressed with the port of Palamos which is ideal for visiting the Salvador Dali museum, Teatre Dali. It all started coming together.

“Everyone wants to go to Barcelona so we have included the Gaudi highlights but nearby Palamos is set around a harbour full of yachts so this quieter port is also on the itinerary. It can only accommodate smaller or mid-size ships and allows our guests to further enjoy this lovely corner of Spain.

The birth of Venus
Saga Sapphire sails into Livorno, for Florence, so guests can see world treasures including Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus

“We then thought we could include Bilbao and have secured an overnight stay with a private viewing at the Guggenheim.

“It was not only art, but architecture was also coming into the picture, with Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim as well as  spectacular cathedrals in Cadiz and Palma, plus Florence which holds so many art and architectural treasures.

“I also wanted to include the South of France. I love that corner of France – you can see how the artists were inspired by the seascapes.  In Toulon, guests can take a tour to follow in the footsteps of Cezanne and visit of his studio. And for architecture, who could miss a visit to the Roman amphitheatre at Arles?

The art and architecture theme will also run through the ship’s activities and there will be art classes, activities and lectures.

James is particularly pleased that the entertainment team could add some extra interest by introducing a master forger speaker onboard! He said: “Having a master forger on board will be really interesting to the passengers  – we have let our imaginations, go to offer many different views of art.

“Passengers will have the opportunity to create their own masterpieces, too.

“They can immerse themselves in art while ashore and be inspired by their favourite artists; so on the  return journey they can use their skills and influences to paint their own masterpiece. There will be an art tutor and painting materials on board so everyone from beginners to experienced artists can enjoy the classes.

“We are very excited!”

Saga Sapphire sails from Southampton on February 23,  2018 on the 20-night cruise and calls at Bilbao, Malaga, Barcelona, Palamos, Séte, Toulon, Livorno (for Florence), Palma and Cadiz.

For details visit or call free on 0800 074 8021.

Price from £3,611 includes UK travel package to and from Southampton, all meals and entertainment, all inclusive drinks (selected wines at lunch and dinner, house-branded spirits, draught beer and lager and all soft drinks), after-noon tea, 24-hour room service, welcome cocktail party and Captain’s dinner, unlimited tea and coffee in selected venues, free Wi-Fi, on-board gratuities, porterage, free shuttle bus to nearest town centre (whenever possible and when the ship is berthed more than 500 yards away), optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights or a reduction if not required.

All excursions mentioned are optional, at an additional cost, and are subject to availability and change. Some of the highlights detailed may only be seen on optional excursions or by exploring independently.Price per person based on two people sharing the lowest available Inside cabin, was correct at time of going to print and is subject to availability and change.

Price per person based on two people sharing the lowest available Inside cabin, was correct at time of going to print and is subject to availability and change.

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