Saga launches worlds first on board e library in partnership with Penguin

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Saga Pearl II sets sail on homecoming cruise with e-books library curated by Penguin Books E-readers pre-loaded with titles in six genres Taiye Selasi, author of Ghana Must Go, signs up to on board meet-the-authors programme

Saga launches world's first on board e-library in partnership with Penguin

Saga Pearl II boasts a library containing more books per passenger than any other classic cruise ship and from November 22 the choice will be further enhanced by a Penguin e-books corner.

Passengers on the homecoming cruise will be able to pick up an e-reader and choose from 36 titles specially curated by Penguin’s experts.

The world’s first cruise ship e-library launch, in partnership with Penguin, will include a meet-the-authors programme so passengers can talk to several writers who feature in the e-library. Taiye Selasi, whose debut novel Ghana Must Go saw her picked for Granta’s prestigious ‘Best of Young British Writers’ list, will be on the homecoming cruise.

Authors India Knight, Jonathan Coe and Rhidian Brook are also signed up to speak on cruises during 2014*.

The e-readers will carry a selection of Penguin titles in 12 genres including – crime and adventure, escapist fiction, travel writing, literary gems, historical fiction and celebrity biography to match Saga passengers’ reading preferences.

Penguin has also donated physical copies of all 36 books in the selection to Pearl II’s library for those readers who prefer the printed page.

A *Populus research study revealed more than 88% of passengers like to curl up with a good book when spending days at sea and the most popular reads are crime fiction, followed by literary fiction and non-fiction.

Saga Cruises CEO Robin Shaw said: “Saga Pearl II has a wonderful library with 2,600 books and plenty of space to relax in comfortable sofas or leather armchairs.

“Penguin e-books will be add another dimension to reading choices and our librarian will be on hand to assist passengers who are new to reading from a tablet.”

Amelia Fairney, Communications Director for Penguin General Books said: “Penguin is delighted to partner with Saga as we felt a cruise was the perfect place to indulge a love of reading. Whether your taste runs to Booker prize winners, heart-stopping psychological thrillers or romance in far-away places, we think we have curated the perfect selection. I can’t wait to hear the responses of the Pearl II readers to our choices.”

*Saga's Populus poll of more than 10,000 guests showed

88% of passengers love to read while on holiday

More than one quarter of passengers use an e-reader for their holiday read

About the cruise

Saga Pearl II sails from Southampton on November 22 and arrives in Venice on December 3 where passengers can extend their stay in a 4star-rated hotel for three nights. There will be a Venetian masked ball, performances from soprano Hayley Westenra, The Operababes, The Three Tenors tribute act and The Gondolier Trio plus the opportunity to visit the ancient ruins of Cartagena, Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, mythical Corfu, historic Split and the beautiful city of Venice.

Prices for this all-inclusive cruise start from £1679 for 11 nights (Nov 22-Dec 3), £1999 for 13 nights (Dec 3-16) or £2749 for 24 nights. Three-night stay in Venice from £399 including breakfast.

Price includes UK door-to-door travel service, all meals, soft drinks and house-branded alcohol, entertainment, gratuities, room service and travel insurance and cancellation cover.
To book call freephone 0800 051 3355 or visit


India Knight, Jonathan Coe and Rhidian Brook confirmed. Sailing dates to be finalised.

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