Upcoming river cruises on new Saga ships
Now, with Europe’s river cruise season back on – with many sighs of relief – two of the continent’s great waterways have a sizable extra draw. The Danube and the Rhine have brand new river vessels specially designed to enjoy the glory of the rivers and their surroundings.
From the medieval towns of Bavaria, through Vienna and through the grandeur of Budapest, the Danube flows through some of the most beautiful parts of the continent as it heads east towards the Black Sea and the refuge of hundreds of species of birds which is its delta.
Meanwhile, the Rhine – originating in Switzerland and passing close to the source of the Danube in the Black Forest – is home to the magnificent Rhine Gorge with its castles and vineyards, as well as the historic cities of Bonn and Cologne, before to enter its own delta as it approaches the North Sea. , where highlights include Dutch gardens and vibrant cities such as Amsterdam.
On its cruises this year, Saga’s Spirit of the Danube – which was launched on March 21 in Arnhem, the Netherlands, two days after its christening ceremony – offers an array of views on and around what Napoleon called the “queen of the rivers of Europe”. Some of them are on the Carpathian Mountains in Bear Country, a new cruise from Budapest that passes through the spectacular Iron Gates Gorge between Serbia and Romania and over the Danube Delta, from where the guests continue to Bucharest by road, with an optional excursion to observe bears in the thick forests of the Carpathians. Another highlight is the Wildlife on the Danube Delta cruise to see a multitude of birds, such as herons, eagles, pelicans and storks, in their natural habitat.
Spirit of the Rhine was also officially named in March, following its fall launch, and set sail on March 23 on its Keukenhof and Dutch Delights cruise for solo travelers to see “the most beautiful springtime garden in the world. as he entered his prime.
When it comes to ship design, the places they visit are reflected in their appearance and the names of some of the rooms. Elegant Art Nouveau lines gently curve throughout the interior of Esprit du Danube, evoking turn-of-the-century Vienna, whose architecture can be explored on the Danube Discovery and Vienna cruises. The à la carte restaurant is aptly called Delta, while its sister ship’s lounge is called Lorelei, after the legend of the Rhine Gorge mermaid.
“Spirit of the Rhine has received encouraging feedback,” says Andy Iwasyszyn, of Saga River Cruises. ‘Passengers said they liked the space in the cabins[17 square metres]with French balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows on the main and upper decks.
“I am so happy that the 2022 season is well and truly underway, so that more of our guests can see these magnificent river vessels,” he adds. “We took a fraction of the passengers we had hoped for in 2021, due to restrictions, but the response to Spirit of the Rhine from those who have traveled has been phenomenal.”
The quality catering is another signature of the ships. Both have two restaurants, a main dining room and an a la carte restaurant – Rheinfels on Spirit of the Rhine and Delta on Spirit of the Danube. They can each accommodate up to 34 people, who can dine at least once during a cruise at no additional cost. Vegetarian meals and special diets can be requested when booking.
Chef Paul Rankin joins Spirit of the Danube guests on several occasions this year, and Spirit of the Rhine’s celebrity chef is Nick Nairn. On both ships there are barbecues on the sundeck in good weather.
Ability: 190 passengers but, with many cabins for solo use, expect a maximum of 150 guests. crew of 40 people.
Length: 135 meters
Lenght: 11.4 meters
Passenger decks: Four
Lift: Passes between the middle and upper decks. It does not serve the solarium, which is accessed by 14 steps, and the lower deck, which is 13 steps from the central deck.
Cruise some of the most beautiful waterways in the world. Read more about river cruises here