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Spirit of Adventure


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Work is definitely still continuing, the lifeboats have been delivered.

Having a ship ready and being able to use it could be two different things, though.

The below is taken from a German publication from 11th May (and no, I have no idea whether the German news is any more accurate than the English).

QUOTE:

The Spirit of Adventure lifeboats have arrived in Papenburg

Last week, the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg received a special delivery because the lifeboats and tender boats of the new Spirit of Adventure for the Saga Cruises were delivered. These boats are supposed to offer space for up to 150 passengers each.

Spirit of Adventure will be the identical sister ship to the Spirit of Discovery, which was completed by the Papenburg Meyer shipyard last year. With the Spirit of Adventure, however, it can be assumed that it cannot be delivered on time. Recently there was even speculation that there would be no overpasses in the Ems this year. This would mean that neither Spirit of Adventure nor Odyssey of the Seas (Fall 2020) would be shipped this year.

It is still unclear whether this will be the case, and the exact time of delivery remains unknown.

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I have just been watching the news.  The Government advised that the public  should not expect to be able go on foreign holidays this summer.  Also, Spain intends to ask foreign visitors to go into quarantine for 2 weeks.  Unless this situation changes, I can’t see my cruise to France and Spain going ahead at the end of September, even if the ship is ready.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just got the letter to say that the ship won't be delivered in time for the inaugural cruise (which is not a surprise).

The letters get sent out so they are received just after the cut-off date for the final balance.

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Although not unexpected, this must be very disappointing for you,  particularly given that you had only just paid the balance! Were you given the option of a refund at this stage, or do you have to wait until the inaugural cruise is rescheduled?

 

We are resigned to the fact that our September cruise will be cancelled, but would like to avoid paying the balance at the end of June, and instead transfer our deposit to another booked cruise next year.

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No indication when it will be - and it would not surprise me at all if the inaugural was the March 2021 cruise.

They did not actually offer a refund in the letter, just said that they would "with your permission" carry the booking onto the revised inaugural, and if the revised inaugural did not suit, then we could either transfer the booking or have a refund. Pretty sure that if I asked for a refund now we would get one - after a while.

We are not at all disappointed, quite frankly had they said the cruise would sail as scheduled we would have cancelled it anyway; we just expected a longer delay between paying the balance and getting the letter.

Especially as we had asked about the delivery being delayed the week prior, and been coyly told that "we have not changed any dates yet".

We know that they know that we know the cruise was never going to take place in August 2020, but they know that we know that they are desperate to keep money coming in (our balance is probably paying someone else's cancellation).
So we'll let them keep the money pending an actual cruise date that suits us - as long we get the insurance sorted out (separate post - insurance added to the cruise last year has been shown on the final documentation as if we only took it out this month).

Hard times all round.

Though I do consider it a bit remiss that they are still showing this cruise as available on their website - and would probably let someone book it even now.

We paid by credit card, and Saga are ABTA members, so we know we will get our money back at some stage if we need to.

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When we changed our cruise from January 2021 (Canary Islands) to July 2021 (Baltic) we were told that the cruises would not be rolled over, that is the inaugural sailing would be the one originally scheduled for that date.

As to the included insurance, we originally booked in October 2019 and were assured that it would be moved to our new July date with no alterations, even though our confirmation letter stated otherwise, so we would be covered for the virus.

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I suspect we are on the same cruise as L&C (Taste of France) with the balance due at the end of June. We have other sailings booked with them and are sympathetic to their cashflow problems, but would prefer a bit of old fashioned honesty.  If the ship has effectively not been launched, they surely can't continue to take new bookings and balances for existing bookings, KNOWING that the ship will not be sailing? (Even the Saga plc update in April said that SoA was likely to be delivered in the next 12 months.)

The test for us will be whether they are prepared to arrange expensive air travel to Dover if they know the ship is not sailing - we live in Scotland.

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The Saga website yesterday updated the land tours coronavirus sections to say that following discussions with the FCO they were now stopping all tours until 1st September.

The cruises are still showing as 1st August.

Maybe that they want to get all the June final payments in before they update this section.

 

16 hours ago, silversurf1 said:

When we changed our cruise from January 2021 (Canary Islands) to July 2021 (Baltic) we were told that the cruises would not be rolled over, that is the inaugural sailing would be the one originally scheduled for that date.

As to the included insurance, we originally booked in October 2019 and were assured that it would be moved to our new July date with no alterations, even though our confirmation letter stated otherwise, so we would be covered for the virus.

 

If I understand correctly, you received a booking confirmation stating that your insurance does not cover you for coronavirus, but have been assured on the telephone that it does.

For something as important as insurance, I would be VERY reluctant to rely on a telephone conversation about cover.

If something happens, you will have to convince the insurance company that the paperwork is wrong.

If Saga are unable to issue correct paperwork, then get them to confirm IN WRITING that the paperwork they have issued is wrong and you are covered for coronavirus.

If they will not do this, then it proves the telephone conversation is worthless.

 

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That's interesting - Saga has announced on its website that Saga Holidays and Spirit of Discovery cruises are now remaining suspended until 1st September as opposed to 1st August. If you look at the Booking webpage, you can still book the Spirit of Adventure Inaugural cruise on 23rd August. No mention of whether it will actually be ready to sail or not?

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Our letter (telling us that the inaugural cruise would not take place on 21st August) said that we would get an update at the end of June. Probably that letter will tell us that we will get an update at the end of July...

I noticed that the cruise is still for sale (looks as if a few more people have cancelled since Friday) but it must be a bit of a nightmare trying to keep everything up to date. And it will still be an inaugural cruise whenever it takes place - although I would not be at all surprised if it ended up as being round the British Isles.

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Saga's AGM is in Folkestone on 22nd June so it would be strange if someone didn't ask an outright question about the delivery of Sprit of Adventure. The Annual Report, which forms the basis of the AGM, states "While there is uncertainty over the delivery date for Spirit of Adventure as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, our expectation is that this will be completed within the next 12 months."

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Not a shareholder (thank goodness), although you must surely be right about the question.

Just depends how much they trust Saga management to tell them the truth.

Have a google round for saga shareholder forums, as they make quite interesting reading.

Evidently the people who post on shareholder forums are not paying much attention to real life, as they all seem to think that cruise ships will be sailing full again before the end of the year. And that the new ship will be delivered in August 2020.

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Good tip nosapphire, thanks. Quite a lot of chat about cruise ships and the one I looked at had several contributions saying the shipyard was saying that the SoA was definitely delayed - possibly to September 2021. Suspect it won't be that long, unless Saga decide to delay it for marketing reasons. I'm sure we're all supportive but would welcome a bit of honesty from Saga.....!

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4 hours ago, LandC said:

There is really no excuse for Saga to delay announcing the cancellation of cruises to their customers.  

I agree, but to be fair, they are doing exactly the same as every other cruise line.  The further ahead that they cancel  cruises,  the worse their cash flow. 

And Saga are in a precarious financial position. Hell, even the mighty Celebrity after raising $6bn at an iniquitous interest rate, will run out of money in December unless cruising restarts thus year.

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Surely there is a difference between accepting payment for a cruise on a ship which is floating and fully ready to go, as soon as it is allowed to do so, and taking payment for a cruise on a ship which hasn't even been commisioned yet and is unlikely to be so at the time of the cruise?  (E.g. - still selling Inaugural cruise on Aug 21st not on date tba.)

In the first case, the cruise company is presumably raring to go at fairly short notice so can understand why they take payment on a 30 day rolling period.

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The inaugural cruise will still be an inaugural cruise - just not on the advertised date, and probably not with the same itinerary.

At least Saga are still offering full refunds for those who want it, not trying to pretend the only option is a rebooking or voucher - so credit to them for that.

Saga may currently be more interested in keeping their shareholders happy. Leaving the inaugural cruise on their website leaves a high percentage of their shareholders happily talking about how much money the "new ship" will provide when it sails on 21st August (they obviously do not carry out much research...).

The larger shareholders seem to be more interested in trying to get Saga to offload the cruising arm and concentrate on insurance.

Saga meanwhile are caught in between a rock and a hard place, their hard working office staff are (a) now almost certainly short handed after the rounds of redundancies in head office, (b) hindered by the fact they are working from home (using Saga's quite useless IT equipment)  and (c) even more hindered by the fact that things are changing on an almost daily basis, so nobody is quite sure when or what is or is not going to happen.

 

 

 

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Saga have removed Spirit of Adventure’s first three cruises from their website.  The first one showing now is A Taste of France and Spain, which is due to sail on 28th September.  We are due to pay the balance on this cruise at the end of June, but have no expectation that it will sail.

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Perhaps they now have enough final balances in the bank to cover the refunds for cancellations... (only joking).

They have restarted the blogs about the Adventure, now due to have funnels fitted July.  

Wonder if Saga are hoping to run an inaugural cruise around the British Isles in September?

If so, the FCO advice about "people over 70 and/or those with underlying health conditions should not take cruises" needs to change.

If it does sail this year, we'll be cancelling. Somebody else can be the guinea pig.

 

 

 

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We would be prepared to consider a round UK cruise in September, depending on FCO advice changing and social distancing measures etc etc being put In place  I understand Viking and Fred.Olsen are also looking Into the possibility of UK cruises. 
 

 

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