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Cruise News & Reviews

April 28,  2010
Author: Terry Hutson



The saga of Saga Rose’s mystery voyage

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Saga Rose, the mystery continues. Picture by Terry Hutson

The mystery surrounding the voyage of the cruise ship SAGA ROSE continues to intrigue ship watchers across the world, puzzled by the direction the aging vessel has taken and still guessing her ultimate destination.

Saga Rose departed Gibraltar bound for South Africa, with initial reports suggesting the vessel would call at Walvis Bay. Rumours among the ship watching fraternity suggested that the vessel would become a floating hotel in Cape Town during the forthcoming FIFA Soccer World Cup, now little more than 6 weeks away.

However on Friday the vessel bypassed Cape Town heading for Port Elizabeth, where she was due to load diesel fuel before heading along the eastern South African seaboard for the port of Richards Bay to load heavy fuel.

This raised further questions – why two port calls when both fuels could have been loaded at either Cape Town or Durban.

Whatever the reason, and notwithstanding the comments of cruise specialists in various parts of the world, Saga Rose reached Richards Bay on Tuesday (27 April) and crossed the entrance into harbour at 14h30, berthing at the coal terminal.

At this stage there is no indication where the ship will be sailing to once she leaves the Zululand port. Even at this late stage of her voyage to South Africa rumours, based on little more than speculation, have suggested she will become a floating hotel, this time at Richards Bay. This arose when someone learned that one of the teams would base themselves at Richards Bay for the early part of the tournament (Nigeria).

However the announcement of the Nigerian team relocating to Richards Bay from Ballito on the KZN North Coast was made after the ship had sailed from Gibraltar, which appears to kick that theory firmly into touch. And if, as expected the ship sails today, ship watchers will again turn to the prospect of the ship going to the breakers, or perhaps…