New Saga ship Spirit of Adventure will be officially named on 19 July at Portsmouth International Port – the first such event to be held at the port.
The ceremony, to be broadcast from 1pm on the day on Saga’s Facebook and Youtube pages, will see recently retired Head of the Royal Navy Medical Service, Commodore Inga J Kennedy name the ship.
Spirit of Adventure is scheduled to depart Tilbury for its inaugural sailing on 26 July for a British Isles cruise, taking in Newcastle, Belfast, the Isle of Man, Liverpool, Holyhead, Bristol, Lundy Island, the north Cornwall coast, the Isles of Scilly and Falmouth.
The ship was handed over by the shipbuilder in September 2020 and was due to take to the waters last year but remained anchored due to Covid restrictions.
Saga Travel CEO Nick Stace said: “We are delighted to be officially naming Spirit of Adventure at Portsmouth International Port – a first ever for the port – ahead of welcoming our very first guests on her inaugural cruise on 26 July. It feels symbolic that the naming of our brand-new cruise ship will be part of such an historic day for the UK.
“Those who love to travel have waited patiently for it to resume, and what better way to mark a return to the freedom that travel gives us than with the launch of a new cruise ship.
“We felt it was important to recognise the outstanding work the medical profession has undertaken during the pandemic and wanted to pay our respects the best way we knew how. Commodore Kennedy has served in the navy for 20 years and within healthcare for 40 years, so we felt she was the perfect choice for the role and we’re honoured that she accepted.
“[Spirit of Adventure is] a boutique ship, with just 554 cabins and a maximum capacity of 999 people, so she feels spacious and comfortable and every aspect has been designed with our guests in mind, from the bold colours and the wrap-around promenade through to the numerous restaurants and entertainment facilities.
“Every cabin has its own private balcony with uninterrupted sea views and everything from the chauffeur service to meals and wifi are included in the price.
“We’ll continue to follow government advice when it comes to managing the risk of Covid, and we believe prevention is key so we’re asking all customers to have had both vaccines ahead of joining us.”