Saga launches six new ocean cruises for early 2023 from stargazing in the Canary Islands to a romantic cruise to the Continent over Valentine’s Day. Choice of length cruises from seven nights to 16 nights
Saga Cruises has launched six new ocean cruises for early 2023 from stargazing in the Canary Islands to a romantic cruise to the Continent over Valentine’s Day. There’s also a choice of length cruises from seven nights – popular with those trying their first cruise – to 16 nights.
Post-Christmas and New Year blues can be delayed a little longer with the first of the new cruises, a 13-night Canary Island Explorer that departs Portsmouth on Saga’s newest ship, Spirit of Adventure, on January 12, 2023.
The cruise heads first to Lisbon, Portugal with its UNESCO-listed sites, which are visited in an included sightseeing excursion before the cruise travels on to peaceful and charming Arrecife in Lanzarote where guests can also visit the lava fields of Timanfaya National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The next stop is Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, with its beautiful coves, sandy beaches and cafe-lined squares. The cruise then heads to Santa Cruz, Tenerife, which is crowned by the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mount Teide and has a mix of old and new sights that are covered in an included excursion.
Now on to the other Santa Cruz in La Palma, the greenest of the Canaries with its historic architecture before cruising to the equally green final destination of Funchal in Madeira, commonly known as the ‘floating garden in the Atlantic’. An included scenic tour visits Funchal, with optional tours including the forest and gardens. This cruise is repeated between February 15 and 28 2023, also on Spirit of Adventure. Prices start from £2,907 per person.
Star gazers are in for a real treat with a new Saga Cruise, Celestial Canary Islands cruise with most incredible view of the cosmos thanks to late night departures from Tenerife and La Gomera. This 14-night sailing departs Portsmouth on January 25 on Spirit of Adventure heading first to El Ferrol in Spain, with its seafaring history and diverse architecture, plus the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela.
Next on the cruise is Arrecife in Lanzarote which includes a sightseeing excursion before heading to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria. Often referred to as ‘a continent in miniature’, an included tour takes in the main sights including the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, or guests can relax and ‘people watch’ at a café in one of the beautiful squares. The cruise then heads to Santa Cruz in Tenerife and includes a tour of the lively capital before heading to San Sebastian in historic La Gomera where Christopher Columbus readied his ships.
La Palma is next on the itinerary – the greenest of the Canaries with large areas of forests declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The last stop on the cruise includes a scenic tour of Funchal in Madeira, with optional tours including the forest and gardens. Prices start from £3,138 per person.
A short, seven-night Continental Flavours cruise on Spirit of Adventure is the perfect introduction to cruising life and takes place over Valentine’s Day.
Departing on February 8 the ship first cruises up the River Scheldt and into the heart of Antwerp, berthing close to the medieval Het Steen fortress for an overnight stay. A leading port in the diamond industry with its own dedicated district to the precious gems, it is the perfect place to pick up a Valentine’s gift. And the sights are romantic too thanks to the medieval Grote Markt town square, Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady and the home of Baroque master, Reuben.
Rotterdam is the next port of call – a city of contrasts from the historic area of Delfhaven, which avoided bombing during World War Two so still features traditional gabled houses to the areas that were affected and rebuilt with modernist architecture including the Erasmus suspension bridge and Cube Houses. The cruise next heads to Zeebrugge in Belgium, the gateway to the Flanders region. Much of the area was rebuilt in the 19th century and the port’s fishing and wartime heritage is evident.
It also leads to UNESCO-listed Bruges, with its historic centre of canals and cobbled streets overlooked by Medieval, Renaissance and Gothic buildings. The final stop on the cruise is at Le Havre, France which was re-shaped following World War Two and has a distinctly modernist feel, earning it a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Prices start from £1,528 per person.
The popular Arctic Norway and the Northern Lights also features on the new itineraries.
Departing from Portsmouth on February 28 on Spirit of Adventure the ship heads first to Bergen in Norway with its UNESCO-listed Bryggen waterfront and its old town of characterful 17th and 18th-century wooden houses, cobbled lanes and attractive squares. Next on the cruise is Tromsø, which is often referred to as ‘The Gateway to the Arctic’ and features a visit to the iceberg-like Arctic Cathedral as part of an included sightseeing excursion, or alternatively the cable car offers stunning views across the city.
Honningsvåg is the next stop – a deep-water harbour that is part of the northernmost city in mainland Europe and gateway to the North Cape, which is featured on an included tour. The cruise then heads to Alta with UNESCO-listed rock art carved thousands of years ago, its Sami culture and attractions such as the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel. There is also an evening around the campfire as part of an included excursion, far removed from any light pollution to increase the odds of seeing Aurora Borealis.
Ålesund is the final stop, a town with a character unlike any other. After a fire tore through the wooden fishing village in 1904, it was rebuilt with art nouveau architecture, as well as turrets, spires and Medieval ornamentation. Prices start from £3,562 per person. Guests can book at saga.co.uk/cruise or by calling 0800 092 3660. This 15-night cruise is also available aboard Spirit of Discovery departing February 18, 2023.
The final new cruise departs Portsmouth on March 15 for a 16-night sailing of the Cities of Spain and the Western Med.
Heading first to Gibraltar with its British charm, such as red pillar boxes and Palladian architecture, then on to Palma, the elegant capital of the Balearics with its palm-fringed squares and distinctive old town. Barcelona is the next stop with its subterranean Roman ruins, its elegant Gothic architecture, Gaudi’s designs including Sagrada Familia, and the famous promenade of La Rambla. Next the cruise heads to Toulon in France with its lively markets, boutiques, squares and harbourside eateries before sailing to the ancient port of Valencia, with highlights including the 13th-century cathedral with its iconic bell tower and the Gothic La Lonja Silk Stock Exchange.
Cartagena is the next destination, which is a city of surprises, not least the Roman theatre that was only unearthed in 1988.
Other attractions include Punic ruins, the 13th century cathedral and modernist town hall. The final port is Lisbon with its sprawling city, UNESCO-listed sites and incredible pastel de nata tarts. Four excursions are included and prices start from £3,434 per person.
All Saga’s ocean cruises are all-inclusive with a complimentary door-to-door chauffeur service, up to 250 miles each way or Saga can arrange car parking near the port, or domestic flights. There are no hidden costs on-board either.
Saga Cruises sailing in 2023 come with all dining and drinks including a selection of wines with lunch and dinner with premium brand-level spirits, Wi-Fi, on-board gratuities, fitness facilities, 24-hour room service, sightseeing tours in selected ports, entertainment (from lectures to recitals), porterage of luggage, shuttle buses to nearest town centres and travel insurance with up to £5m coronavirus cover included.