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Saga Cruises Final Voyage ' Saga Pearl ll '


Saga Cruises, who cater for the older passenger, have announced that the final cruise for their small cruise ship ' Saga Pearl ll ' will be for 54 nights and sail from the UK on the 16th February 2019.

The cruise is to be to South Africa, which is the original service this ship was designed to operate on when name ' Astor ' and operated by the Safmarine company.

Calls will include the Atlantic Ocean island of St Helena but landing there will depend on the weather !

With the introduction of their new all outboard cabin cruise ship ' Spirit of Discovery ' which will carry about 990 passengers and every cabin will have a balcony, the future for this cruise ship is not known but she could be scrapped as she is now 36 years old !
20.07.2017 saga pearl ll.jpg
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Carly Smith

Hope she doesn't end up getting scrapped, I'm rather hoping that she'll find another home (as long as she's still seaworthy by then) and Astoria and Marco Polo are older than her and they're still going ):


Hi Carly

Agree about the ' Marco Polo ' and ' Astoria ' but the ' Marco Polo ' is out of service for about four months in October and the ' Astoria ' which is Portugese owned is drydocked in Lisbon every year and is maintained in very good condition by her owners who charter her to CMV.

Four months out of service could be enough time for new engines etc to be fitted to the ' Marco Polo ' but not heard anything yet !

The trouble with the Saga Pearl ll is that she was the earlier ' Astor ' when built in 1981 for the ' Saf marine' service to South Africa and has had several owners before joining Saga Cruises.

At 36 years old I doubt if anyone would be interested in her at that age and the costs of updating or re-engining her to meet the up coming air polution regulations could be too costly !

CMV operate her five years newer and larger sister, which was more powerful, and also called ' Astor ', when built for Saf Marine in 1987, after their earlier built ship was reported as under powered for that service and sold !

The CMV operated ' Astor ' is now Greek owned, like most of the CMV operated ships, and still retains her original name !

She cruises from Australia during the UK winter months with line voyages available both ways from the UK port of Tilbury.

In the UK summer season the ' Astor ' mainly operates on the German market but often with a couple of UK cruises from the UK port of Tilbury after her season in Australia.

Picture of the 1948 built ' Astoria ' dropping her pilot when departing from Funchal, which is the main port at the Portugese tropical island of Madeira, earlier this month.

The ' Astoria ' was reconstructed in 1990, at an Italian shipyard, using her completely stripped out original 1948 Swedish built very strong steel hull which had been built for her original Atlantic Ocean service.

She was then fitted with new engines etc and then had a new modern looking accommodation top added to the original hull .
10.09.2017 astoria madeira.jpg
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