Saga has completed the sale of 1981-built ‘Saga Sapphire’ to Turkish tour operator, Anex Tour.
‘Saga Sapphire’ joined Saga’s fleet in April, 2012. In 2021, she will re-enter service as ‘Blue Sapphire’ operating for Anex Tour’s new cruise line, the company said.
Nigel Blanks, Saga Cruises Managing Director, said: “’Saga Sapphire’ has been hugely popular with our guests over the past eight years. She will be missed, but we’re delighted she will be playing a starring role in Anex Tour’s new cruise offer. Launching ’Sapphire’ was an important moment, and laid the foundations for our purpose-built boutique cruise offer. We are now looking forward to an exciting new chapter for Saga Cruises as we prepare to welcome the ‘Spirit of Adventure’ to our fleet in the coming months.”
Neset Kockar, Anex Tour Chairman, added: “I am thrilled to have our first cruise ship which is getting prepared to sail in the eastern Mediterranean after a thorough renovation. Expanding our product range in line with the needs of our customers has always been a top priority and it is my pleasure to offer one of the most unique experiences to them.”
Meanwhile, the ‘RCGS Resolute’ was believed to have been sold at auction for a price thought to be in the region of $600,000.
She is currently laid up at Willemstad, Curacao and was the former Hapag-Lloyd cruise ship ‘Hanseatic’. .
In what could be the first of several of the older vessels being sold for scrap, reports from Italy suggested that the 1996-built ‘Costa Victoria’ was to become an accommodation ship at one of Italy’s shipyards.
However, the mayor of Piombino, Francesco Ferrari, announced on social media that the ship had arrived at the Tuscan port to be dismantled.
Speculation is also rife that material is being stripped from Pullmantur’s ‘Monarch’ and ‘Sovereign’. This has led to rumours that both ships might be being preparing for a sale or to be scrapped.
It was also thought that the former CMV operated ‘Astoria’ had been committed for scrap. She is due to leave her Tilbury layby berth on 30th June for Lisbon.
However, CMV has said that she is sailing to Portugal for minor repairs before re-entering service – watch this space!
The extensively modernised 1948-built cruise ship’s claim to fame came in 1956 when under the name of ‘Stockholm’, she collided with the luxury Italian liner ‘Andrea Doria’ in thick fog off Nantucket, which resulted in the Italian ship sinking.