Nautilus attends Saga Cruise's Spirit Of Discovery christening

10 July 2019

Saga Cruises' new vessel Spirit of Discovery was christened in Dover’s Western Docks on Friday 5 July by the Duchess of Cornwall.

Camilla Parker-Bowles officially named the 999-passenger ship in a ceremony which included a parade by a military band, a Welsh male-voice choir and a flypast by a Second World War Spitfire.

Saga's 'boutique' ship was then blessed by the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover.

There was also a Royal garden party atmosphere on the sunny quayside, complete with marquees, bunting, trees and a lawn.

Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson was among the 500 guests who gathered to watch the Duchess of Cornwall become godmother of the first cruise ship to be named in the port of Dover for over a decade.

Built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, Spirit of Discovery is also the only small new-build ship to be launched in the UK for several decades. Spirit of Adventure, Saga Cruises' second new ship is earmarked for delivery in summer 2020.

In the evening, guests were entertained by Jools Holland, who has a dining and live music venue, The Club by Jools, named after him on Spirit of Discovery.

On Monday 24 June, just hours after it had been delivered to Saga, Spirit of Discovery rammed a wooden dolphin structure at Emden's large sea lock (Große Seeschleuse) in Germany, as it began its voyage to Dover.

The 236m-long vessel sustained minor damage to the paintwork on its hull, while the dolphin suffered considerable damage. The were no injuries to the ship's crew.


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