Saga Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery has just been officially named by the Duchess of Cornwall!
The ceremony took place at a garden party in the port of Dover where Camilla sent a jeroboam of sparkling wine smashing against the side of the ship and a spitfire plane flew over the 500 guests celebrating.
This made Spirit of Discovery the first cruise ship to be named at the Port of Dover in over a decade.
Camilla co-ordinated perfectly with the vessel’s livery in a navy long-sleeved dress and sweeping cream hat, declaring: “I name this ship Spirit of Discovery!”
The traditional celebration continued with moving music from The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Collingwood, and the Morriston Orpheus Choir, from Swansea, Wales.
Sprit of Discovery’s naming ceremony was assisted with renditions of ‘Impossible Dream’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’
Saga Cruises is generally aimed at travellers over the age of 50 and Camilla fittingly said she could not resist offering a “wonderful quotation by TS Eliot.”
She stated: “The years between the years age 50 to 70 are the hardest — you are always being asked to do things and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.”
Camilla also continued to praise Saga’s charitable endeavours: “I am delighted to learn that Saga’s first national charity is Silverline, which provides a 24-hour telephone service for older people who are feeling lonely or isolated.”
Although Camilla did not hesitate about the ship naming, when it came to cutting a three-metre cake in the shape of Spirit of Discovery she paused to tell patisierre Mark Tilling, BBC Two’s ‘Crème de la Crème Bake-Off’ winner, “It seems such a shame to cut it!”
Saga CEO, Lance Batchelor, told guests that Spirit of Discovery represents “our country at a momentous time” and proudly bears the red ensign for her registry in the Port of London.
He said: “Saga has a proud heritage, and this ship represents the rebirth of our company.”
CEO Saga Travel Robin Shaw said the 999-passenger and 523-crew ship “set a new standard in small ship luxury cruising.
We couldn’t be more honoured than to have HRH The Duchess of Cornwall joining us for this prestigious day.”
Doug Bannister, chief executive of the Port of Dover said: “We are really proud to host the naming ceremony for Saga’s first newbuild ship, 20 years after Saga cruises officially launched here in Dover.
This is testament to the outstanding partnership we have built with Saga and represents an exciting future for us as a port, as we take a step closer to fully unveiling our Western Docks redevelopment.”
Spirit of Discovery’s maiden voyage departs today for a 13-night sailing, ‘A British First,’ circumnavigating the British Isles and Ireland.
What do you think of the news today? Are you pleased the Duchess of Cornwall named Spirit of Discovery? Are you a Saga Cruises fan? Which ships from the fleet have you cruised on? Let us know below!
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