Elegant, timeless, relaxing... Saga Sapphire is all these things, but with a few little surprises too. Imagine teeing off before afternoon tea – in the ship’s very own crazy golf course – before relaxing in the quirky Beach Club en route to another incredible destination. And with no more than 720 passengers on board, she offers an intimate and welcoming way to cruise.
The line’s biggest ship has a big personality to match, updating the classic cruise experience with more dining options, bold and quirky décor, large cabins and free Wi-Fi.
Upon arrival at Dover or Southampton, all guests are warmly welcomed on board, with the crew lined up in the entrance hall. This is the start of getting to know everyone on board – Saga’s crew are well known for remembering names and favourite drinks from the bar. While their luggage is taken to the cabin, guests can settle in to the relaxed way of life on board, and will soon be invited to the sailaway party with free drinks. Then the small-ship adventure really begins!
Saga use the smaller size of Saga Sapphire to the ultimate advantage – delivering a more boutique dining experience to all guests, where the chefs are in control and bring the flavours of the destinations to the table.
This means they can nip ashore in the morning, to the La Boqueria market in Barcelona for example, and then create a dish to serve for dinner using a local speciality.
The ship offers five ways to dine: in the main Pole to Pole restaurant, the Verandah with tables inside and out, lunch at the informal Beach Club, or from an exclusive room service menu – the perfect choice for couples with Suites or balconies.
In addition, there is also a free-to-dine Asian speciality restaurant which offers a taste of the Orient for 64 guests each dinnertime.
Saga follows an ‘open seating’ approach in all venues, where guests can enjoy socialising and meeting new guests, sitting on a different table each night. If preferred, fixed tables can be requested for dinner with the Maître d’.
Afternoon tea is one of the timeless classic cruise traditions, and is also included every day – a spread of beautifully-crafted cakes and savoury snacks, served with a choice of teas and coffee.
Cabins on Saga Sapphire are remarkably spacious – at an average size of 220 square feet they’re some of the biggest standard accommodation at sea. There are a variety of superior cabins and Suites, complete with butler service, plus 44 cabins that are specially for single travellers, perfect if you’re planning on cruising on your own.
All are private havens that are the perfect place to relax after a busy day’s sightseeing. 24-hour room service, fruit and water, flat screen TV and DVD and exclusive toiletries are just some of the home comforts included for all guests.
Fitness and relaxation
Designed for pure pampering, the ship’s Aqua Spa offers a varied menu of tempting treatments, all using premium essential oils and natural ingredients from top brands Decléor and Carita. This includes facials, massages, manicures, hairdressing, tailored wellbeing programmes and special treatments just for gentlemen.
Free-to-use facilities include the indoor and outdoor pools, gymnasium, sauna, steam room, and a range of classes such as keep fit, yoga, Pilates, dancing, plus the daily ‘walk a mile’ around the deck.
Other ship facilities
Saga Sapphire boasts a range of quirky features, such as a comedy-themed bar called Cooper’s, a panoramic Drawing Room, learning Academy and crazy golf course.
The Beach Club on Deck 11 offers a taste of the British seaside – wherever you happen to be in the world! With beach huts serving ice cream and traditional sweets, a mini fish and chips shop, plus blue-and-white striped deck chairs surrounding the outdoor pool, it’s a great spot to relax.
You will also find the Aviators’ Bar, three shops, a photo gallery, games room, card room, library and medical centre. Wi-Fi is free of charge in selected areas throughout the ship. There are four passenger lifts to all floors. The ship was last refurbished in 2016.
A Daily Programme is delivered each evening, detailing the full range of on-board activities available the following day, and it’s fairly extensive! A day at sea could include talks from expert lecturers, quizzes, cocktail parties, sports, fitness classes, painting, photography and craft classes, jewellery making, computer lessons, deck games, bridge, whist and more – but guests are left completely free to choose how much they want to do.
Evening entertainment in the Britannia Lounge is a mix of in-house productions from the ship’s resident theatre company, along with specially-invited entertainers, celebrity guests, singers, comedians, magicians, dancers and more. The Drawing Room offers alternative entertainment most nights, including lively jazz performances, classical recitals and a resident pianist.
When mooring overnight in port, Saga will often arrange optional evening excursions ashore, for more entertainment options. This includes nights at the ballet and opera in St Petersburg, or exclusive vineyard tours in Venice.
There is also a new film screened in the small cinema each day, a mix of brand new releases and classics, which are also available to watch in the comfort of the cabin on Saga’s free movie channel. All cabins also have flat-screen TVs and DVD players, plus a free-to-borrow library of DVDs.