Saga Pearl II
Saga Pearl II in Tallinn, Estonia, on September 20th 2014, with blue funnel.
|Builder:||Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, Werk Ross, Hamburg|
|Laid down:||29 February 1980|
|Launched:||16 December 1980|
|In service:||14 December 1981|
|Status:||Currently in service|
|Class and type:||cruise ship|
The cruise ship Saga Pearl II (formerly Astoria and Quest for Adventure) has been operating for more than 28 years, making cruises worldwide. The vessel has a near (but bigger) sister-ship also named Astor. Both ships were operated by Transocean Tours. In August 2009, Saga Cruises made a successful bid for the ship at auction. The ship was renamed Saga Pearl II and embarked on her first cruise in March 2010. She was renamed as Quest for Adventure in May 2012, and then back to Saga Pearl II in November 2013.
The ship was built in 1981 in the ship yard of Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, Werk Ross, Hamburg, Yard no. 165. The builder was one of the highest quality builders of the time. The ship was ordered by the newly formed German company Hadag Cruise Line, but was quickly sold to South African company Safmarine, because the ship was not profitable enough.
In 1985 the ship was renamed Arkona.
As Astoria the vessel operated in the Atlantic ocean making cruises between South Africa and Europe. This continued for many years, before in 2002 it entered service for Transocean Tours, the company specialized in cruising in Norway and Europe. The vessel then operated closer to the shore, making low-cost cruises for German, Norwegian and Swedish passengers.
In November 2008, a world cruise had to be aborted after serious mechanical problems were identified during a refit in Barcelona. The ship remained laid up in Barcelona until June 2009 when she was towed to Gibraltar. After an auction in August, Saga Cruises acquired the ship after an unsuccessful attempt to do so earlier in the year.
Saga Pearl II
In late 2009, the ship sailed to Swansea, Wales where she underwent a £20million three-month refit in the re-opened Swansea dry dock. She sailed on her first cruise as Saga Pearl II on 15 March 2010 to the Norwegian Fjords.
MV Quest for Adventure
She was renamed MV Quest for Adventure in May 2012 and became the flagship for Saga's Discovery-style Adventure Cruises. she did not undergo a refit at that time but continued in her new role with the same facilities, captain and crew.
In December 2012, MV Quest for Adventure underwent a refit, where she received her new Saga livery funnel. This was like her fleetmate Saga Sapphire's funnel. However, the port side of the funnel was left blank and did not display the "SAGA" logo.
Saga Pearl II (again)
The Quest for Adventure had the name Saga Pearl II restored to it on 21 November 2013 and received the "SAGA" logo on the portside of her funnel.
The ship has a length of 164.30 meters and beam of 22.60 meters. The cruise ship has capacity for a maximum of 602 passengers, they are served by 220 crew members. In spite of the low ratio, the cruise ship offers a luxury service to its passengers. The gross tonnage of the vessel is 18,591 gross tons and this tonnage is driven by 4 MAN main engines with total power of 15,400 kW. The maximum speed of the vessel is 21.4 knots.
- MS Astor (sister ship)
- "Cruise Ships-Astoria".
- "Saga replacing a Rose with a Pearl". Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- "Astoria is new Pearl (Ships Monthly, October 2009)". Retrieved 2009-09-22.
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