Saga Cruises has delayed the launch of its brand new ship Spirit of Adventure, due to uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite plans to launch the ship in November, the cruise line has now made the decision to push the launch back until February 2021.
The decision was made due to the rise in coronavirus cases and the UK government’s advise against cruise travel.
Along with Spirit of Adventure, Spirit of Discovery – the line’s boutique cruise ship – was also due to resume sailings in November 2020, but sailings have now been pushed back to 7 March 2021.
Saga managing director Nigel Banks said: “This year, we have all faced unprecedented challenges as a result of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“For us at Saga Cruises, this has meant that we haven’t been able to sail since March when we introduced a suspension of our operations to keep our guests and crew safe.
“Over the past few months, we have been working hard to put into place detailed plans to safely return to cruising when the time is right.
“Whilst we have made fantastic progress with this work, sadly, most countries around the world are not accepting cruise ships and we do not see this changing for the remainder of this year.
“Therefore, against the backdrop of the recent news that Covid-19 is again on the increase and the announcements of further restrictions,
“I am writing to inform you that we are postponing the inaugural cruise of our new ship, Spirit of Adventure until 5th February, 2021 and extending the suspension of our cruising operations up to and including 4th February, 2021 for Spirit of Adventure and 7th March, 2021 for Spirit of Discovery.
“I know how disappointing this news will be for many of you who were so looking forward to a return to cruising and, perhaps particularly, for those who were as excited as we were to see Spirit of Adventure set sail later this year.”
Taking place in winter, Spirit of Adventure’s inaugural sailing will a cruise to The Canary Islands.
Spirit of Discovery will return in March 2021 with a springtime cruise around the coast of Croatia, sailing from Southampton and also stopping in Spain and Italy.