Spirit of Discovery’s Naming Ceremony will see 500 invited guests joining HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, the Saga management team, crew and employees to pay homage to one of the great British traditions of summer, a contemporary Garden Party. The extensive Afternoon Tea will be prepared by Saga’s celebrity chef Kevin Woodford working with Selwyn Stoby, the former Executive Pastry Chef at Buckingham Palace and Paul Gayler, the former Executive Chef of the Lanesborough Hotel.
The Port of Dover quayside will be transformed, with grass grown in Yorkshire. There will be traditional bunting and table settings, stunning foliage, florals, trees and parasols. Guests will be served Spirit of Discovery sparkling wine, specially blended by Kent vineyard Hush Heath for the ship, and Anno Kent Gin, from nearby Marden.
The celebration cake, a two metre long replica of Spirit of Discovery, will be designed and made by Mark Tilling, winner of Bake Off Crème de la Crème, and cut by The Duchess of Cornwall. During the official naming ceremony, guests will be entertained by The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Collingwood and the Morrison Orpheus Choir and the ship will be blessed by The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover, before being christened by The Duchess of Cornwall with a Jeroboam of the specially-created Hush Heath Spirit of Discovery English sparkling wine.
Saga confirmed that it has now taken ownership of Spirit of Discovery, the first of two British boutique cruise ships the
y commissioned from world-leading shipbuilders Meyer Werft. Robin Shaw, CEO, Saga Travel signed the official documents with Meyer Werft’s Managing Director, Tim Meyer, marking the formal handover.
Following her ‘First Arrival’, on 28th June, Spirit of Discovery will become the first cruise ship to be named at the Port of Dover for over a decade, and the first to be docked at Berth 4 in the recently developed £250m Dover Western Docks Revival.
Before the afternoon’s formal proceedings, The Duchess of Cornwall will be given a tour of the ship, which epitomises the best of British contemporary boutique hotel style and elegance. Her Royal Highness will view some of the 1,000 artworks on board, many of which have been created by artists working in Britain, as well as the suites named after the Radio 4 Shipping Forecast. The Duchess of Cornwall will meet Captain Burgess and his officers and crew as she tours the impressive new British boutique hotel at sea.
The inaugural cruise of Spirit of Discovery, A British First, will depart from Dover on 10th July and sail around the British Isles