The Ultra-Luxury Segment Grows

On 30th June the 54,200gt Seven Seas Explorer, the newest ultra-luxury ship of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, a brand of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, was delivered at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Sestri Ponente (Genoa). The ship owner has already ordered a sister ship, which will be delivered in 2020.

The 223m long ship can accommodate 750 passengers in 375 spacious suites. The ship has been built using the most advanced environmental protection technologies whilst the interiors are particularly sophisticated, with every attention paid to passenger comfort. The following day Silversea Cruises’ own ultra-luxury ship, the 40,700gt Silver Muse, was launched at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Genoa Sestri Ponente. The interior fitting out process then commenced ahead of a scheduled delivery in April 2017. The launching was introduced by the traditional and well-wishing “coin ceremony”, consisting, according to an ancient shipbuilding custom, of welding a silver commemorative coin on the upper deck of the ship. The Godmother of the ceremony was Costanza Lefebvre d’Ovidio, daughter of the Chairman of Silversea Cruises, Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, who, among others, attended the ceremony together with Fincantieri’s CEO, Giuseppe Bono. The Silver Muse will be able to accommodate 596 passengers on board, with the vessel representing an evolution of the Silver Spirit, delivered in 2009 by Fincantieri in Ancona. The new build will expand Silversea’s fleet to 9 ships.

A Sparkling Sapphire

The 37,049gt/1981 built Saga Sapphire set sail on a 4 night Gallic cruise in mid-June following two months at the Blohm and Voss shipyard in Hamburg. The ship underwent an extended maintenance period where work included the overhaul of her main engines in order to ensure continued reliability for the years of service ahead. Whilst in the yard the opportunity was taken to complete a range of other maintenance including the freshening up of some passenger and crew areas. In particular, regular passengers will notice the introduction of a brand new deck covering around the exterior swimming pool area and the creation of an extension to the popular Aviators Bar in order to provide more space for passengers. In 2019 Saga Cruises will also take delivery of their brand new 55,900gt and 1,000 passenger capacity ship. Following in the wake of the Saga Ruby and Saga Pearl II, the Saga Sapphire made her first visit to Portsmouth on 1st July for an overnight stay as part of her Maritime Heritage Cruise. Before 06.30 the next morning (earlier than scheduled) she departed for Saltmead Anchorage west of Cowes, IoWight, to anchor and observe the start of the annual Round Island Yacht Race. The ship later repositioned to Alpha Anchorage east of Cowes to watch the yachts complete the course before she sailed for Guernsey.

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