26 January 2016, 00:00
A rare front row seat ... Watch the Isle of Wight 'Round the Island Race' from Saga Sapphire
Saga Sapphire guests will have a front row seat to watch the J. P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island race this summer when 1,500 spinnakers jostle for position during the thrilling one-day event around the Isle of Wight.
The race is a highlight in the international yachting calendar where newcomers and professionals compete for the legendary Gold Roman Bowl.
Saga Sapphire will offer a unique vantage point, ahead of the start line at Cowes, and guests on this new Maritime Heritage cruise will be able to watch the yachts set sail for the 50-mile circumnavigation of the island. Expert commentators will be on board and when the yachts battle for the finishing line they will fuel the excitement on this all-inclusive cruise!
The race will follow Saga Sapphire’s maiden call to Portsmouth, where guests will be able to join a harbour boat tour for a sailor’s-eye view of Admiral Lord Nelson's HMS Victory and the ships of the current Royal Navy fleet. As well as the Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth will have much to offer visitors including the D-Day Museum, Henry VIII’s Southsea Castle and the 170-metre Spinnaker Tower.
Elegant Saga Sapphire will sail on to St Peter Port, Guernsey, the second largest of the Channel Islands. For those who can’t get enough of the sea there will be an option to sail on a catamaran to nearby Herm Island.
The Maritime Heritage theme will continue in Le Havre, France, with its yacht-filled marina. The port was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War but reminders of its past can still be seen in its old quarter, City Hall Plaza and cathedral. Tours will include a visit to the pretty port of Honfleur or Arromanches to see the remains of the Mulberry harbour, an ingenious platform used during the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944.
James Langley from Saga's Cruise Planning team explains how the plans for ‘Maritime Heritage’ cruise took shape, “We were on a quest to create something really different. We have an incredibly loyal customer base, with many guests returning for several cruises each year, so it’s important we find new and exciting experiences for them to enjoy”.
“Our ship Saga Sapphire is going to anchor ahead of the starting line, so we’ll be in the heart of the action as the yachts speed past – it should be quite a thrill!” The ship will then change course to be there at the finish line, all with live coverage from expert commentators fuelling the excitement.
“We will be the first ever cruise ship to be a part of the event, so it really is special. Normally the shipping lanes would be closed, so it has taken a lot of negotiation to make it happen. In fact, until now the only way to view the event from the water was by sailing one of the boats yourself!”
For details visit saga.co.uk/cruises or call 0800 50 50 30
Five nights all inclusive from £795 departing from Dover on June 30, 2016. Price includes UK travel package to and from Southampton, all meals and entertainment, all-inclusive drinks including selected wines at lunch and dinner, house-branded spirits, draught beer and lager, non-alcoholic cocktails, all soft drinks, afternoon tea, 24-hour room service, welcome cocktail party, unlimited tea and coffee in selected venues, free Wi-Fi, on-board gratuities, porterage, free shuttle bus to nearest town centre (whenever possible and when the ship is berthed more than 500 yards away), optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a discount of £40 if passenger has own insurance.
Price based on two people sharing an Inside Guarantee where guests receive their cabin number shortly before sailing or at embarkation and not at the time of booking. The cabin may be located anywhere on the ship and twin cabins may have either two single beds or one double bed. Further terms and conditions apply.
All excursions mentioned are optional, at an additional cost and are subject to availability and change. Some of the highlights detailed may only be seen on optional excursions or by exploring independently.
* Savings of up to £200 per person are available when booked on or before January 31, 2016. Savings are off the current fare at the time of booking and exact saving depends on chosen cabin grade. Greater savings are available to those who have previously sailed with Saga Cruising. Offers are applicable to new bookings only and as cabins at the offer fares are limited, Saga reserves the right to extend, reduce or withdraw offers at anytime without notice.
Editors: Saga Holidays is the winner of 16 Gold British Travel Awards 2015 including Best Small Ships Cruise Line, Best Specialist Cruise Line (Ocean) and Best Cruise Line for Customer Service.