The history of Saga

We’re really proud of our company and its heritage - and we hope you will be too.

From our beginnings in a small hotel called The Rhodesia in Folkestone, we’ve expanded across the country with our financial and healthcare products – and the world with our holidays and cruises. Here are just a few of the highlights along the way.

  • 1951 – Sidney de Haan founded a travel company from a hotel in Folkestone, Kent. His new business offered affordable off-peak holidays exclusively to retired people.
  • 1960s – Now a rapidly growing holiday company, we pioneered tourism in the Algarve, as well as adding further destinations throughout the UK. We also developed the concept of direct marketing so our customers could deal could deal directly with us, rather than having to go through travel agents.
  • 1970s – We continued to expand, adding superb new destinations in Spain, Romania and Yugoslavia. In the UK we became British Rail’s largest passenger customer as we chartered trains to carry travellers to and from our holiday  destinations across the country.
  • 1980s – Long-haul holiday arrived with exciting getaways to Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. Our first world cruise set sail too. Saga Magazine was also launched, and we began to offer insurance and financial services.
  • 1990s – Our first cruise ship, Saga Rose, entered service. We now offered the first all-inclusive holidays in the Europe – and we lowered the minimum age for Saga customers from 60 to 50.
  • 2000s – Saga came together with the AA under the umbrella of Acromas Holdings, alongside companies including Direct Choice, MetroMail and Titan Travel. Saga Healthcare also continued to expand rapidly across the country.
  • 2010s – Saga Sapphire became the latest addition to our fleet of cruise ships.
  • 2014 – Saga floated on the London Stock Exchange as Saga plc. Following that, Destinology a luxury tour operator and Bennetts, a market leading motorbike insurer, became part of the family. We also created Saga Investment Services, later to be named Saga Money to deliver a range of outstanding products and services that benefit people aged 50 and over.
  • 2017 – Saga relaunches its successful graduate scheme to invest in future talent for the business.
  • 2018 – Saga delivers apprenticeships from entry to degree and masters level across all business areas as it makes further investment in talent development.
  • 2019 – Saga to launch its latest luxury cruise ship - The Spirit of Discovery
  • 2020 – Saga to launch another luxury cruise ship - The Spirit of Adventure