Saga has announced that the official naming ceremony of Spirit of Discovery will be held at the Port of Dover on 5 July 2019.

The 999-capacity ship – Saga’s first ever new-build – will be the first to be named at Dover following the £250m redevelopment of Dover Western Docks.

Spirit of Discovery’s sold out maiden voyage, A British First, will sail from the port on 10 July next year.

Destinations throughout summer 2019 include Spain, Scandinavia and the Baltic, as well as a four-night mini-cruise to Holland, Germany and Belgium.

“As the place that Saga’s first cruise ship set sail from more than 20 years ago, Dover was the natural choice,” said Saga’s chief operating officer, Nigel Blanks.

“With Saga’s Group headquarters based in Kent, we felt it only right that we name our first brand new, purpose-built cruise ship in Kent and what better way to do that than with the iconic White Cliffs of Dover as a backdrop.

“Spirit of Discovery will be the first cruise ship to be named in the port for more than a decade and the first following the regeneration of the Western Docks.

“We are already planning a few surprises, and will no doubt add a few more before next year, so save the date, as we christen the first of our new-build fleet.”

Sister ship, Spirit of Adventure, will join the fleet in August 2020.

The line also recently announced a move to all-inclusive cruising from 2020.

Blanks added: “I firmly believe this will not only sit very well alongside our boutique cruising proposition but will reaffirm our position as Britain’s niche luxury cruise operator.”