Huge cruise ship makes its maiden visit to port
Our guests are so excited to be back cruising again and our crew members are all looking forward to giving them an incredible experience onboard Nigel Blanks of Saga Cruises
AHUGE UK cruise ship has made its maiden call to Bristol Port following its recent return to service.
Saga Cruises’ 58,000-tonne Spirit of Discovery launched in 2019 but suspended sailings when lockdown hit in 2020.
The ship, which can hold 999 passengers and 540 crew, was the first cruise liner commissioned and built for Saga Cruises at a cost of £346 million.
It is now back in operation and stopped at the Royal Portbury Docks on Wednesday as part of its latest voyage.
According to Saga, all the guests are vaccinated and are tested for Covid before embarking on the ship.
The Spirit of Discovery, which started and will finish its voyage in Tilbury, Essex, spent 12 hours and 25 minutes docked in Bristol.
Bristol Port carried out a so-called ‘plaque exchange’ with the captain of the ship, which happens in the cruise sector when a vessel calls at a port for the first time.
The guests on board were given the choice of a number of ‘bubble shore’ excursions, including a tour of the National Trust’s Dyffryn Garden, a ‘Cotswold Explorer’ trip and a ‘Best of Bristol’ visit.
Speaking about the return of cruise ships in June, Nigel Blanks, chief executive of Saga Cruises, said: “Our guests are so excited to be back cruising again and our crew members are all looking forward to giving them an incredible experience onboard.
“We have a great itinerary, taking in some of the most stunning parts of the West Country.
“There really is no better place to see our beautiful coastline than from the sea.”
The news came as transport secretary Grant Shapps announced adults who have had two Covid jabs, and all children under 18, will no longer have to quarantine on return from amberlist countries from July 19.
Travellers coming back into the UK will still have to do a PCR test on their second day back, however.
Government guidelines that advise people not to travel to amber countries will also be lifted on the same July date.