Saga Pearl II
Saga Pearl II in Tallinn, Estonia, on September 20th 2014, with blue funnel.
|Port of registry:|
|Builder:||Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, Werk Ross, Hamburg|
|Laid down:||20 May 1980|
|Launched:||16 December 1980|
|In service:||14 December 1981|
|Class and type:||cruise ship|
|Tonnage:||18,591 GT → 18,627 GT|
|Length:||164.35 m (539 ft)|
|Beam:||22.6 m (74 ft)|
|Draught:||6.2 m (20 ft)|
The cruise ship Saga Pearl II (formerly Astoria and Quest for Adventure) has been operating for more than 28 years, making cruises worldwide. Saga Cruises acquired the ship, at auction, in August 2009. Saga Pearl II effectively replaced the MS Saga Rose which was decommissioned in 2009. Both ships were formerly operated by Transocean Tours.
The ship was given the name Saga Pearl II before embarking on her first cruise for Saga in March 2010.
In May 2012, she was renamed as Quest for Adventure. In November 2013 the name reverted to Saga Pearl II. Saga currently has one other cruise ship, the MS Saga Sapphire.
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 port side of her funnel.
In 2019 Saga Pearl II will be replaced by the Spirit of Discovery, Saga's first new build. For her last voyage Saga Pearl II will depart from Portsmouth (UK) on 16 February 2019 on a 54-day cruise to South Africa. This will be a coming-home cruise, as it is where the ship spent many of its earlier years, when it sailed the South Atlantic waters for Safmarine.
The ship has a length of 164.30 metres and beam of 22.60 metres. She has capacity for a maximum of 449 passengers, 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. Stabilization is provided by a Pinfabb Digital Stabilizers Control system 
- MS Astor (sister ship)
- "Saga Pearl II (G16718)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Germanischer Lloyd. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
- "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.
- "Saga Pearl II to Leave Fleet in 2019". Cruise Industry News. 2 June 2017. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
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