BREAKING NEWS – SAGA ROSE arriving Port Elizabeth on Saturday
Apr 23, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson
Saga Rose sailing from Durban in 2003. Picture by Terry Hutson
The cruise ship SAGA ROSE (24,528-gt, built 1965) which has operated for the past 13 years for the British company Saga Holidays, sailed past Cape Town on Thursday en route to Port Elizabeth, where according to the port authority the ship is due to dock at 10am on Saturday morning (24 April 2010).
The ship is listed as calling at the Eastern Cape port for bunkers and is due to sail again at 5pm on the same day.
There has been recent speculation out of Europe that Saga Rose would be going to Cape Town to find use as a floating hotel during the FIFA Soccer World Cup. With the ship missing a call at Cape Town and rumours immediately turning to a possible call at Port Elizabeth instead, attention turned to the chances of the ship going into laybye until June when the soccer tournament begins; however it now appears certain that Saga Rose is heading further east and most likely a date with the ship breakers on the India sub-continent, although there is also an outside chance that the ship may end up being used somewhere for accommodation.
If her owners wanted to keep ship watchers guessing while they disposed of a charismatic and iconic ship, they have succeeded.
Saga Rose, built in France and one of the true classic passenger ships, entered service in 1965 as the SAGAFJORD for Den Norske Amerikalinije A/S of Oslo, Norway. In 1983 she was bought by Cunard who operated her using the same name until 1996 when she entered into a charter arrangement with the name GRIPSHOLM. The following year she was sold to the UK company Saga Holidays of Folkstone, who renamed her SAGA ROSE.
In her final arrangement Saga Rose carried up to 587 passengers on cruises in various places around the world, including world cruises that brought her to South Africa.
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