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Saga's new cruiser is a real Pearl.

SAGA has finally managed to buy the ship it wanted to replace its iconic Saga Rose.

Saga Rose, the flagship of the Saga cruise fleet, has been a firm favourite with cruisers - maintaining a tradition of classic cruising and carrying well over 100,000 people to great destinations across the globe. But on October 30 it will embark on its farewell cruise.

Finding the right ship to take the travel firm's fleet forward was never going to be an easy task.

Saga had identified the Astoria as the ideal ship to join its fleet - but just as it was about to conclude the purchase earlier this year the ship's owners went into receivership.

Having found the right ship the company didn't want to give her up. Its patience and tenacity have been rewarded, however, by managing to buy it at auction in Gibraltar.

The ship will be re-named Saga Pearl II - in homage to the original Saga Pearl, which sailed under the Saga flag until 2004 when she was replaced by Saga Ruby.

Her inaugural cruise will be on March 15 2010 departing Southampton and heading for the magic of the Norwegian cost and the Northern Lights in the high arctic.

Andrew Goodsell, executive chairman, Saga Group, said: "The ship will have an intimate atmosphere and a personal service with the attention to detail that our passengers have come to expect."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 12, 2009
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