Press release

Mystery surrounds launch of 2008 Saga Cruise collection

Friday 27 July 2007

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Intrigue, excitement and adventure will set the tone for Saga Cruising's 2008 season of sailing as the UK's leading cruise operator for the over-50s launches its new and extensive programme of itineraries.

Top of the bill will be Captain Warden-Owen's Mystery Cruise, offering passengers on Saga Ruby a unique cruising experience – the chance to sail away on an exciting journey where guests won't know where they are going! The 14-night cruise departs Southampton on 28 March 2008 and will sail through at least eight ports of call, four of which will be completely new to the ship. The itinerary will be a voyage of exploration and discovery guaranteed to keep guests guessing until the very end. The host of on-board activities and half-day mystery tours included at each port will only add to the overall intrigue of this exciting programme.

New for 2008

Following on from this, Saga's 2008 cruise collection will see Saga Rose and Saga Ruby embarking on voyages that will grace new shores and revisit old favourites. Not only that, Saga has introduced for the first time ever a NEW shared car service whereby guests who live between 76 and 250 miles of the port or airport will be chauffeured to and from their departure point. The 2008 programme also offers an increased selection of departure ports, with further sailings from Newcastle on Saga Ruby and inaugural departures from Liverpool on Saga Rose.

Saga Rose

2008 promises to be an exciting year for Saga Rose as she embarks on a host of inspiring cruises. For the first time ever, she will be sailing into the Black Sea from Southampton in what will be a perfect start to her springtime schedule, on the 28-night Black Sea Odyssey. Travellers will have the opportunity to visit the remains of millennia-old cultures in Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, Portugal and Russia on this extraordinary itinerary. Departing 15 April 2008, prices start from 4079 per person.

Saga Rose will sail into icy waters when she embarks on her awe-inspiring voyage to the Arctic Circle on 29 July, departing from Liverpool. The Magic of the Midnight Sun cruise will visit Norway's Svalbard archipelago and the breathtaking Arctic scenery around Magdalena bay before heading south towards Norway. Prices start from 2249 per person for 15 nights aboard ship.

Meanwhile Saga Rose's Cultural Treasures of the Baltic will depart Southampton on 11 June 2008 to the traditional ports of Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn and St Petersburg. As well as giving passengers the opportunity to marvel at the magnificent architecture of these breath-taking cities, guests can also indulge their passion for sailing when Saga Rose moors in Kiel, Germany for the annual Keiler Woche festivities. As the world's biggest sailing event, this will be a definite highlight of this 14 night itinerary. Prices start from 1851 per person.

Saga Rose will uncover some of the British Isles' most beautiful gardens on her NEW 14-night British Isles in Bloom itinerary. The cruise will explore some of the nation's finest gardens, including the Eden Project in Cornwall, Tresco Abbey Gardens in the Isles of Scilly, Powerscourt Gardens in Ireland and Bodnant Gardens in Wales. Departing 28 May 2008, prices start from 1975 per person.

To escape the crowds of Oxford Street during the festive season, Saga Rose will be sailing to some of Europe's finest cities to experience the atmosphere and fun of Continental Christmas Markets. Departing 4 December 2008 for eight nights, this will be a completely new cruise for Saga Rose. Highlights include vibrant Amsterdam and its enchanting canals, and Antwerp in Belgium, the birthplace of the great artist Rubens. Prices start from 1019 per person.

Saga Ruby

Saga Ruby's fourth season of cruising encompasses a selection of fascinating journeys to a whole host of exotic destinations.

Besides the ship's maiden mystery cruise, another highlight of her 2008 schedule will be her journey to Egypt and the Suez Canal. It will be the first time Saga Ruby has sailed to either of these destinations. On Ancient Egypt and the Suez Canal, Saga Ruby will head south on 18 November 2008 to discover some of the world's most remarkable ancient treasures, including Cairo's Pyramids, Luxor's Valley of the Kings and the "lost city" of Petra in the Jordanian desert. In addition, the programme will see the ship traversing the 110-mile Suez Canal both ways – a truly unique and unforgettable experience. Prices start from 3604 for 29 nights.

Travellers will have a unique opportunity to join the first part of the Tall Ships Regatta when Saga Ruby embarks on a four-night Tall Ships Regatta mini-cruise, departing 11 September 2008 from 611. Those onboard can enjoy the festivities in Falmouth and cruise aboard Saga Ruby alongside the fleet towards Guernsey.

Another highlight of the ship's schedule will be Baltic Secrets, a 13-night itinerary that will explore and discover the lesser known towns and cities of this breath-taking region. For the first time, Saga Ruby will visit Aalborg in Denmark, Turku in Finland and the island of Saaremaa in Estonia. Departing 25 July 2008, prices start from 1784 per person.

Themed Cruises

Saga offers a diverse selection of themed cruises onboard both ships, which gives guests the perfect opportunity to indulge in a favourite pastime or simply add an extra dimension to a holiday. Covering topics such as antiques, gardens, art, music and history, each themed cruise is enhanced by informative lectures, shore excursions and/or performances specific to the theme.

North African Discovery – Saga Ruby, 16 Nights

Departing 2 November, Saga Ruby will give guests the opportunity to sample the treasures of North Africa, as she takes in stylish Tangier and the Tunisian capital of Tunis with its medieval Medina. Following on from this, the cruise will grace the shores of Libya to explore the ruins of ancient Leptis Magna before mooring in Casablanca. With a jazz theme, the itinerary will be complemented by daytime talks on the history of jazz and lively evenings of jazz music. Prices start from 1838.

Increased Departure Points

In 2008, Saga will be offering guests a greater choice of ports to sail from, with the introduction of two departures from Liverpool's port on Saga Rose for the first time ever, and further sailings from Newcastle on Saga Ruby with four scheduled departures from the city’s port.

Saga Rose will be making her inaugural departure from Liverpool's port on 11 July 2008 for a Voyage to Iceland and Greenland, an 18-night cruise where guests will discover the geological features of Iceland and extraordinary glacial landscapes of Greenland. The cruise will continue on to the Arctic Circle where guests can experience the phenomenon of the midnight sun. Other highlights include whale watching off Greenland and exploring the remote Faroe Islands. Prices start from 3059.

Saga Ruby will be sailing to the Mediterranean from Newcastle-upon-Tyne for the first time on 12 June 2008. Celebrated Cities of the Mediterranean visits some of the region's most renowned cities, including Lisbon, Rome, Barcelona and Florence. Highlights of the 17-night cruise include the Vatican City in Rome, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the town of Oporto in Portugal, renowned for its port wine estates. Prices start from 2066.

For the perfect relaxing getaway, Saga is offering a five-night Flavours of France and Belgium mini-cruise, departing Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Themed for newcomers, Saga Ruby will sail to Amsterdam, Le Havre from where guests can visit Paris, followed on by a tour of Bruges. Departing 29 June 2008, prices start from 685 per person.

Other itineraries departing Newcastle's port are Splendours of the Baltic and Magic of the Norwegian Fjords.

All prices are based upon two people sharing an inside cabin, include relevant discounts and are subject to change and availability.

Contact Saga Cruises: 0800 056 5880 – all calls are free

www.saga.co.uk/travelshop

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:

* All Saga cruises include:

Insurance and cancellation cover; All port taxes; All meals on board, entertainment and 24 hour room service; All gratuities on board; Private chauffeur car service for passengers living within 75 miles of their departure port or airport OR the new shared car service for those living between 76 and 250 miles from the port, there will be a maximum of four people sharing a car, OR return travel by rail or coach or car parking nearby; All visas; Porterage of luggage at port; Cocktail party.

* Photography of both ships is available on request.

* Saga holidays and cruises are exclusively for people aged 50 and over. A travelling companion may be aged 40 plus.

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771118.

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