Spirit of the Danube will join its Rhine-based sister ship in offering Saga guests luxury and adventure on Europe’s most majestic waterways
Saga will launch its second purpose-built river ship, Spirit of the Danube, in 2022. Promising the same levels of comfort, service and value as its sister ship, Spirit of the Rhine, Saga will also use the latest engine technology to significantly reduce emissions, ensuring the ship is one of the greenest on the rivers.
Spirit of the Danube will have capacity for 190 guests when it departs on its inaugural cruise from Amsterdam on March 22, 2022. Future destinations guests will be able to explore include Budapest, Vienna, Rousse in Bulgaria and Tulcea in Romania.
Chris Simmonds, Saga Holidays CEO, says: “Over the past few years, we’ve been focused on redefining our river cruise range to provide a Saga-designed experience for our guests. Spirit of the Danube joining the fleet marks an exciting milestone in this journey and we cannot wait until she joins her sister ship, Spirit of the Rhine, next year. Guests will be able to enjoy a range of first-class facilities and we cannot wait to show everything our latest ship has to offer.”
The addition of the new ship comes as Saga announced that it would be mandatory for all guests to be fully vaccinated before travelling with the company.
Just like Spirit of the Rhine, Spirit of the Danube will have a signature dish designed by a celebrity chef for its intimate restaurant. Among other yet-to-be-announced names, Saga will welcome Mark Sargeant, who has previously worked with the operator to design a gastronomy tour out of the Juan de la Cosa hotel in Spain; Miranda Krestovnikoff, a radio and TV presenter specialising in natural history and archaeology; Eric Knowles, a TV antiques expert; and John Suchet, a Classic FM presenter.
Although not as blue as Johann Strauss would have us believe, the Danube is one of the most attractive rivers in Europe, flowing past five capital cities and through the beautiful Wachau Valley in Austria and the Iron Gate gorge separating Serbia and Romania.
Vienna is the jewel in the crown, with monumental architecture and grandiose palaces – the Hofburg in the centre of the city, from where the Habsburgs ruled Austria for 700 years, and Schönbrunn, their summer residence, as well as many ornate private residences. Budapest is memorable for its waterfront, beautiful by day but spectacular after dark, while Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, has quirky statues and a pretty old town perfect for wandering around. With up to five included excursions on every cruise, Saga guests will be able to see, learn or do something new every day.
Meanwhile, Spirit of the Rhine includes a panoramic lounge and bar, an inviting library, fitness area and an expansive, shaded sun deck with a hot tub and al fresco barbecue, all with levels of service that are second to none.
All cabins are beautifully spacious and, with an average floor plan of 17 square metres, they’re some of the most generously sized on the Rhine. Cabins on the Main and Upper decks all have French balconies with floor-to-ceiling picture windows, offering personal, private views of every destination.
In 2021 and 2022, the ship will continue to traverse the Rhine – Europe’s most popular river, and with good reason. The draw for many is the Rhine Gorge, a scenic stretch of river that passes beneath more than 40 medieval castles and fortresses, but itineraries also include a night in Amsterdam, where a canal cruise and the Rijksmuseum are top attractions, and Cologne, with its magnificent cathedral, chocolate museum and many excellent types of beer.