Saga’s river cruise ship ‘Spirit of the Rhine’ marks first anniversary

Spirit of The Rhine (Courtesy Saga)Today marks the first anniversary of Saga’s river cruise ship ‘Spirit of the Rhine’ when she embarked on her first cruise, a 13-day sailing, which departed from Trier and took in 11 destinations.

Since then she has made a further 27 river sailings on the Rhine all under the watchful eye of her Master, Captain Marinus Pols.

Guests have been treated to some 350 excursions, with top favourites being the Keukenhof gardens, Lake Titisee and the Strasbourg canals.

Spirit of the Rhine’s longest trip was over 2,000 km as she travelled the Rhine to Strasbourg, the Moselle to Trier and the Main to Aschaffenburg over the course of 14 days.

The pandemic prevented her naming ceremony from taking place when she launched, but this was remedied on March 19, 2022 when she was officially named alongside her new sister ship, ‘Spirit of the Danube’ by their Godmother, Dame Jenni Murray.

Both ships are owned by the shipping company Rijfers Nautical Management and built by VAHALI Shipyards.

They can host up to 182 guests who are served by up to 50 crew. The vessels have been designed to the highest specification and have four decks and 91 guest cabins. They are 135 metres in length and 11.4 metres wide, with two restaurants, a beautiful sundeck with hot-tub and BBQ, an outdoor terrace, library, gym and stunning panoramic lounges with floor to ceiling windows to maximise the view.

All cabins offer fantastic views. Those on the upper and middle decks are 17m square and feature French balconies, while those on the lower deck are 14m square with smaller windows. They are beautifully designed to be reminiscent of Saga’s ocean ships and to reflect the rivers on which they cruise.

Cruises on both Spirit of the Rhine and Spirit of the Danube will become all-inclusive from the 2023 season, so all meals and drinks will now be covered including in the intimate, speciality restaurants.

Other benefits for 2023 onward include the option to book back-to-back cruises, which will be clearly marketed as such and guests selecting them will receive a further ten per cent off their booking. This is in addition to the introduction of a simpler pricing model that means early bookers are rewarded with discounts of up to 25 per cent off the full price. If, for any reason, the price should be reduced after a guest books, Saga will automatically give them the difference back as part of its price promise.

Each cruise will also guarantee a proportion of dedicated cabins for solo travellers, although travellers should book early to secure them as they are always very popular.

Other benefits include a complimentary door-to-door chauffeur service, travel insurance with up to £5m covid-cover, gratuities, at least three sight-seeing excursions on all seven-night cruises and up to eight included on longer cruises.

Nigel Blanks, CEO of Saga Cruises, said: “This year we’ve already marked the first and third anniversaries of our ocean ship, Spirit of Adventure and Spirit of Discovery, respectively, so we’re delighted to also be celebrating a year since Spirit of the Rhine took to the rivers.

“Our fleet of ships is incredibly young and with that comes great design and comfort. We couple that with excellent and experienced crew, and our guests tell us that’s the winning combination for a fantastic and memorable cruise.”