Sagafjord in Vancouver
1997—2009: Saga Rose
|Owner:||1965—1983: Norwegian America Line
1983—1997: Cunard Line
1997—2009: Saga Shipping
|Operator:||1965—1983: Norwegian America Line
1983—1996: Cunard Line
1996—1997: Transocean Tours
1997—2009: Saga Cruises
|Port of registry:||1965—1983: Oslo, Norway
1983 onwards Nassau, Bahamas
|Builder:||Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, France|
|Out of service:||October 2009|
|Identification:||IMO number: 6416043|
|Fate:||Scrapped in 2010|
|Length:||189 m (620.1 ft)|
|Beam:||24.4 m (80.1 ft)|
|Draft:||8.25 m (27.1 ft)|
|Capacity:||584 (double occupancy), 620 (full occupancy)|
|Notes:||Data from 'Cruise Reviews' and 'Passenger Ship Society'|
MS Sagafjord was an ocean liner built in 1965 by Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée for Norwegian America Line as the combined ocean liner/cruise ship. Between 1983 and 1996 the Sagafjord was operated by Cunard Line. In 1996—1997 she was shortly operated by Transocean Tours as MS Gripsholm prior to being sold to Saga. She was lastly owned and operated by Saga Cruises on worldwide cruises targeted at the senior market out of the United Kingdom, known as the MS Saga Rose . She was retired from service in October 2009.
Concept and construction
The Sagafjord was built by Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, France, who received the original plans and specifications for the vessel from the Norwegian America Line during the summer of 1960. The build contract was undertaken on 24 September 1962 and the keel finally laid on 19 June 1963 before her launch on 13 June 1964. She underwent sea trials from May until September in 1965 and was finally christened on 18 September 1965 Sagafjord in Toulon. The construction of the Sagafjord was so expensive that it put the shipyard out of business.
The Sagafjord undertook her maiden voyage from Oslo to New York on 2 October to 11 October 1965. At the time she was built to set the mark of luxury. She sailed with Norwegian America Line until 1980. Cruise services operated a loss in the late 1970s and were re-structured with the two cruise ships Sagafjord and Vistafjord passing to a new company, Norwegian America Cruises in 1980. The two ships were sold in 1983/84. The company was taken over by Cunard Line. The ship retained her original name throughout her service with Cunard.
In 1996—1997 the Sagafjord was chartered to Transocean Tours as part of a six month deal. While in service with Transocean Tours she was renamed MS Gripsholm. During this time, she damaged a screw while being grounded not far from Copenhagen. She was sold to Saga Shipping in 1997, who renamed her MS Saga Rose. The ship was refurbished prior to entering service with her new owners.
On 11 June 2008, during a visit to Southampton the second bosun died after entering a ballast tank which had a reduced oxygen atmosphere due to corrosion.
On 21 February 2010, Saga Rose was reported as setting out from Gibraltar, where she had been laid up since her final cruise with Saga Cruises, with her destination listed as Kenya. Rumors circulated about a possible sale for use as an accommodation ship. The stories proved false, as the ship was merely repositioned to a new anchorage and remained in Gibraltar.
In early April, Saga Rose finally put to sea, with Port Elizabeth, South Africa listed as her destination. Once again, rumours of a conversion to a hotel ship circulated. On 29 April, Saga Rose docked in Durban for refuelling, and was under-way again with her destination now reported to be Maputo, Mozambique. Rather than dock again in Africa, Saga Rose next headed into the Indian Ocean, with Saga Cruises refusing to comment on the ships' possible sale for scrap or any other use. By 23 May, the ship was off the Taiwanese coast with her destination being reported as Japan.
On 27 May, Saga Rose reached the harbour of Shanghai, China. After a few days at anchor, she continued further inland up the Yangtze River, docking in the Jiangyin district on 29 May, seemingly confirming speculation that the ship had been sold for scrap, as Jiangyin is home to the Changjiang Ship Recycling Yard, China's largest ship dismantling facility. In 2003, the same yard scrapped Sea World, the former King Alexander and Nanny, a 245,000 ton oil tanker that ranked as the 4th largest ship ever built. In October, 2011 scrapping had begun.
The Saga Rose currently holds the record for the most World Cruises ever completed by a ship with 44 altogether, of which most were achieved under her previous name Sagafjord. Even surpassing the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2.
- Asklander, Micke. "M/S Sagafjord (1965)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 30 November 2008.
- Saga Rose Cruise Reviews (from the 'cruisereviews.com' website. Accessed 2008-02-19.)
- Saga Rose Statistics (from the 'passengershipsociety.com' website. Accessed 2008-02-19.)
- Report on the investigation of the fatality on board passenger cruise ship Saga Rose in Southampton, England on 11 June 2008. Southampton, UK: Marine Accident Investigation Branch. January 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- Reinikainen, Kari (2009-02-28). "At least 7 old cruise ships face uncertain future due to SOLAS 2010". Cruise Business Online. Cruise Media Oy Ltd. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- Updated, Last. The Sun (London) http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/travel/2644963/Cruise-News-The-Saga-Rose-to-set-sail-for-the-final-time.html
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saga Rose.|
- Ocean Cruising (official website for the cruise line)
- Sagafjord on Chris' Cunard Page
- Sagafjord on cruisereviews.com
- A Visit To Saga Rose August 2003