To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth in 2009, Saga Holidays, the leading tour operator for the over 50s, is pleased to announce an exciting new World Cruise itinerary. Departing from Southampton on January 5 next year, the 104-day Commonwealth World Cruise aboard Saga Rose will be an opportunity to celebrate the cultural and scenic diversity of 21 Commonwealth nations. Covering 32,499 nautical miles and stopping at 39 ports of call, this unique itinerary promises to be a holiday of a lifetime.
As well as a chance to holiday in some of the World's most interesting and exotic islands and destinations, the cruise will give passengers an opportunity to brush up on their history and knowledge about the destinations that make up the modern day Commonwealth.
Formerly known as the British Commonwealth of Nations, the current Commonwealth is an association of 53 independent states, many of which are former British colonies and territories with historical ties to Britain. Encompassing 30% of the World's population, the Commonwealth embraces a wide range of races, cultures and faiths, making it perfect for a Saga World Cruise.
Idyllic islands feature strongly on this enthralling itinerary, starting with five Commonwealth islands of the Caribbean. Then, after calling at some fascinating destinations in Latin America, a host of South Pacific islands await, all equally beautiful but offering very different cultural experiences.
Saga Rose continues to New Zealand and Australia, before heading to Singapore, Sri Lanka and India. Passengers will also have the opportunity to marvel at the ancient treasures of Egypt. On this holiday of a lifetime Saga Rose will cruise both the Panama and Suez canals, while making a number of maiden ports of call including Tonga, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.
Departing Monday, January 05, 2009
The following are just a few of the many highlights of this exciting cruise:
* Visits to five Caribbean islands
* Looking out for sloths and exotic birds in Costa Rica's rainforests
* The ancient mud city of Chan Chan in Peru
* The mysterious moai statues of Easter Island
* Tropical Tahiti
* The spectacular Bay of Islands
* Sightseeing in Auckland and Sydney
* Papua New Guinea's astounding cultural diversity
* Looking for crocodiles in Darwin
* The 'Lion City' of Singapore
* A taste of India in Kochi and Mumbai
* Cruising the Panama and Suez Canals
Setting sail from Southampton to a spectacular fireworks display, the first Commonwealth destination visited will be the paradise island of Antigua fringed with swaying palms, white sands and turquoise waters. After some rest and relaxation, the cruise then sails on to four more idyllic Caribbean retreats; Barbados, Grenada St Lucia and Jamaica.
Exotic birds in Costa Rica and a visit to Easter Island, the world's most remote inhabited island, are next on the itinerary before the cruise makes its way to Tahiti, famous for inspiring the acclaimed paintings of impressionist artist Paul Gauguin. After visiting the Pacific Islands of Samoa, Fiji and Tonga, Saga Rose arrives in New Zealand where passengers will be able to explore Auckland, the City of Sails before heading down under to admire Sydney's many diverse attractions, with optional excursions to the stunning Blue Mountains of New South Wales.
The multicultural and cosmopolitan city of Singapore, and Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, are two of Asia's most vibrant and bustling cities and the perfect places for a spot of bargain hunting. The cruise will then head to more breathtaking beaches and the setting for Bond's 'Man with the Golden Gun',with a trip to the Thai Island of Phuket. The stunning Indian Ocean destinations of Sri Lanka and the Maldives prepare you for a few days in the mesmerising and colourful cities of India which include Mumbai – formerly Bombay and home of glamorous Bollywood cinema.
The ambience and culture of Arabia is sure to enchant with a visit to the Sultanate of Oman one of the most beautiful Gulf States. More unusual is Aden in Yemen, located at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, where passengers can visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sana'a. After a stop in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt it will be time to celebrate Easter with a wine tasting tour in Cyprus before Saga Rose nears her final destination of Valletta in Malta and heads home to Southampton 104 days later, on 20 April 2009.
Some of these sites can be experienced on the optional excursions and overland tours available to all passengers at each port of call. All excursions mentioned are optional, at an additional cost, and are subject to change and availability.
Prices for this memorable Commonwealth World Cruise start at £13,911 (based on an inside cabin), and discounts are currently available of up to 45%, on selected fare grades.
The price includes:
• All meals, entertainment and activities on board
• Travel insurance and cancellation cover
• All gratuities on board
• All port taxes
• A full mainland UK travel service including a private car service if you live within 250 miles of Southampton for both journeys, first class rail travel, coach travel, or UK connecting flights, or car parking at the port.
For further details on this and other Saga cruises please call 0800 056 5880 or visit www.saga.co.uk/travel-shop
* Saga cruises are for people aged 50 and over. A travelling companion may be aged 40 or over.
* All prices quoted are subject to availability and are the lowest available at time of going to press
* Saga cruises are available direct and through branches of Thomas Cook
For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771118.