Following record advanced registrations, Saga launches 2024 river itineraries with a new ship and new range of cruises. New ship, Spirit of the Douro, joins Saga’s river fleet from March 2024
And with a 37 per cent increase in pre-registrations for the 2024 itineraries in comparison to 2023, travellers are clearly keen to get the cruise of their choice at the best possible price.
Nigel Blanks, CEO of Saga Cruises, said: “There are a lot of exciting new experiences for our river guests in 2024, including Spirit of the Douro arriving in the fleet to operate one of our most popular regions, the introduction of ‘taster cruises’ that are just five nights, new itineraries including to Lake Ijssel and Flanders Field and more of what our customers love most, such as André Rieu events.
“Our ‘Spirit’ river cruises are now all-inclusive from dining and drinks to wifi and gratuities, and we offer a complimentary chauffeur service from home to the airport or St Pancras, and back again. Everything is taken care of so our guests can just relax and enjoy the rivers.”
Excitingly, Saga’s fleet will be joined from March 2024 by a new addition, Spirit of the Douro, which will operate on its namesake river throughout the full season.
The ship will offer 63 cabins, all of which face out onto the river. Like its sister ships, Spirit of the Rhine and Spirit of the Danube, Spirit of the Douro will also boast a restaurant with panoramic views and a sun deck for the warm weather. It will be almost impossible to miss any of the sights from the ship and guests can expect the same high-quality, all-inclusive experience and ‘Spirit’ service that they experience on other Saga cruises.
Spirit of the Douro will undertake 36 Douro Explorer cruises between March and November 2024, with prices starting from £1,461 per person. The region, which is incredibly popular with travellers, is famous for its beautiful wines and attractions such as the city of Salamanca and Lamego’s baroque Sanctuary of Nossa Senhore dos Remedios.
Saga will also be offering a range of five-night ‘taster’ river cruises, which are a great option for those who want to try river cruising before committing to a longer itinerary. Examples include A Taste of Holland with Keukenhof which starts in Amsterdam on 4 April 2024 and visits Hoorn, Lelystad, and Zaandam, where guests will tour the famous Keukenhof Gardens,
Saga will also be offering an Ypres and Flanders Fields cruise, stopping at the town that saw some of the most bitter fighting of World War I. The tour will call at the Flanders Field Memorial Museum and the Menin Gate Memorial during the Last Post ceremony to pay respect to those who fought and fell. The cruise, which starts in Amsterdam on 1 May 2024, will also call in Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Ghent, and Brussels. Prices start from £1,536 per person for this six-night itinerary on Spirit of the Rhine.
A new Rhine in the Springtime cruise, also on Spirit of the Rhine, will offer the only stop of the season in beautiful Bingen – once the home of visionary and composer Hildegard von Bingen. The cruise will start in Dusseldorf on 20 March 2024 and call in Koblenz, Rudesheim, Speyer and Arnhem. This eight-night cruise starts from just £1,409 per person.
An unusual itinerary along Lake Ijssell in the Netherlands will explore the maritime ports and tiny islands on its shores. This 11-night Hidden Treasures of the Ijsselmeer cruise departs from Amsterdam on 8 June 2024 on Amadeus Elegant, and will visit Enkhuisen, Den Helder, Oudeschild, Harligen, Sneek, Kampen and Deventer. Prices start from £2,511 per person.
And due to the overwhelming demand, Saga will now be offering four 2024 André Rieu cruises (in previous years there has been a maximum of three), all including tickets to one of the ‘King of Waltz’s’ concerts. One, a seven-night André Rieu’s New Year Concert in Amsterdam promises to be a brilliant start to 2024, as it departs on Spirit of the Rhine on January 3, 2024, with cabins available from £1,849 per person.
The other 2024 André Rieu cruises will be on Amadeus Elegant, which joins the fleet in May 2023. These include: André Rieu in Maastricht, a four-night cruise departing on July 5 and July 9 2024 respectively with prices from £1,299; The André Rieu Hometown Experience, an 11-night cruise departing on 24 June 2024 from Amsterdam starting from £3,144 per person, and The Moselle and André Rieu, a 12-night cruise departing on 13 July 2024 from Maastricht with prices from £3,314 per person.
As the cruise line announced at the beginning of the year, Saga branded e-bikes will also be available for guests to explore the various stops on route.
Saga boutique river cruises offer an all-inclusive experience. Starting in style and comfort, guests are offered a chauffeur to take them from home to either the airport or St Pancras for their flight or Eurostar journey. Alternatively, guests wishing to drive to the airport themselves will be offered free parking. Transfers are also included to/from the ships. Bookings made by 28 April 2023 can fly from a local airport to the cruise departure city at no extra cost.
There are no hidden costs on-board either with all dining and house drinks (including a selection of cocktails, draft beers and lagers, wines, spirits, mixers, and soft drinks), Wi-Fi, gratuities, sightseeing tours in selected ports, entertainment, luggage porterage and travel insurance also included.
Saga is committed to offering early bookers the best deals, so always launches its river cruises with up to 25 per cent off the full price, and its ocean cruises with up to 35 per cent off. Saga also offers a price promise, whereby if the price of the cruise ever drops, guests who have paid the higher price will get the value difference.