© Jochen WegenerMV Spirit of Discovery

MV Spirit of Discovery

© Meyer Werft

© Meyer Werft

Steel twin screw (eSiPod fully azimuthing pods) motor vessel built in 2019 by Meyer Werft, Papenburg (Yard No 714) for Saga Holidays/Saga Cruise as a Cruise/Ice-strengthened expedition ship .

Technical Data

  • Cost: USD 350 million.
    Length: 236 m (overall) 210.45 m (between perpendiculars)
    Breadth: 31.2 m
    Depth: 10.40 m
    Draught: 7.3m
    Tonnage: 58250 gross/42124 net/5120t deadweight
    Engines/Propellors: 4 x MAN – B & W L32/44 common-rail diesel/ two azimuthing pods)
    Power: 21600 kW/HP
    Speed: 16 knots (service) 18 knots (max)
    Decks: 11
  • Passenger Cabins: 554
  • Decks with cabins: 6
    Capacity: 999 passengers (1048 max)
  • Crew cabins: 302
    Crew: 530 approx
    Call Sign: MEYE7 (current July 2019)
    IMO Number: 9802683
    Official Number: 923924
    Port of Registry: London/UK
    Sister-Ship: Spirit of Adventure.

Current Location

Show / Hide MarineTraffic Map

Please note that the AIS ship position data may be over an hour old and a specific vessels position will only be displayed if its within range of the MarineTraffic system. The ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and is no way related to the safety of navigation at sea. All the AIS ship position data featured on this page is provided by www.marinetraffic.com and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


September 30th 2015: Ordered.

December 21st 2015: Contract signed

February 28th 2018: First steel cut.

Courtesy of Saga Shipping

Courtesy of Saga Shipping

June 2018: Keel laid.

Courtesy of Saga Shipping

Courtesy of Saga Shipping

© Meyer Werft

© Meyer Werft  © Meyer Werft

© Meyer Werft  © Meyer Werft

© Meyer Werft

May 12th 2019: Floated out. Funnel and masts added.

© Meyer Werft  © Meyer Werft

© Meyer Werft

© Christian Eckardt

© Christian Eckardt

© Jochen Wegener

© Jochen Wegener (12/05/2019)

© Meyer Werft

© Meyer Werft (13/05/2019)

© Jochen Wegener   © Jochen Wegener

© Jochen Wegener

© Jochen Wegener (13/05/2019)

May 27th 2019: Anticipated sea trials from Emden.

“The new cruise ship for British Saga Cruises, Spirit of Discovery, will probably leave Papenburg on Sunday, May 26 2019 to be conveyed on the river Ems to Emden. The ship is planned to arrive in Emden on Monday, May 27, at 08.00 am. Later on the ship will go through several days of technical and nautical sea trials on the North Sea.

The Ems barrier will be helping Spirit of Discovery to pass through the river Ems, a procedure which will be kept as short as possible. The following schedule has been drawn up for the conveyance of the new cruise ship, with changes possible at short notice due to the weather and tidal conditions:

Sunday, May 26, 2019
Approx. 09.00 pm: ship in waiting position (Papenburg)
Approx. 10.00 pm: ship passes sea lock (Papenburg)

Monday, May 27, 2019
Approx. 00.30 am: ship passes Friesenbrücke (Weener)
Approx. 02.30 am: ship passes the Jann Berghaus bridge (Leer)
Approx. 05.00 am: arrival at the river Ems barrier (Gandersum)
Approx. 06.45 am: ship passes the Ems barrier
Approx. 08.00 am: arrival Emden sea lock

!! All details are subject to the wind, weather and water levels and are therefore without guarantee. Timings can be changed at short notice!!

Once again, a team of river pilots from Emden will be responsible for manoeuvring the ship to Emden. The pilots on the river Ems also looked after the MEYER WERFT ships during their passage to the North Sea in previous years. The whole team trained the conveyance at the computerised simulator in Wageningen (Netherlands) to be better prepared for the task.

Spirit of Discovery will proceed in reverse up the river Ems to the North Sea. This approach has proven successful in the past as it makes it easier to manoeuvre the ship. Two tugs will be providing assistance in the process.”

Meyer Werft

May 26th 2019 (23:03hrs LT (UTC +2): Departed Papenburg accompanied by tug BUGSIER 6 (IMO 9376218).

May 27th 2019 (07:55hrs LT (UTC +2): Arrived Emden.

May 30th 2019 (23.59 hrs UTC): Departed Emden for sea trials.

June 3rd 2019 (09.47hrs LT (UTC + 2)): Returned to Emden.

© Frits Olinga  © Frits Olinga

© Frits Olinga (River Ems inbound for Emden after sea trials 03/06/2019)

June 6th 2019: Departed Emden for further trials

June 11th 2019: Arrived at Eemshaven.

June 12th 2019: Arrived Emden.

June 19th 2019: 

Meyer Werft back on track

“Spirit of Discovery, the first of two new cruise ships for the British cruise line Saga Cruises, will be leaving the harbour of Emden next week as planned. The handover of the new cruise ship will take place before departure. The ship is expected to be on time in Dover on June 28th, 2019.

“We are extremely happy with Saga’s first new build and believe we have created something very special for our guests that will be enjoyed for years to come. Indeed it has exceeded our expectations and we look forward to welcoming our very first guests on the inaugural cruise on 10th July” says Robin Shaw (CEO, Saga Travel).

“The team, existing of cruise line, shipyard and suppliers, is working very hard and made it: the shipyard is back on track after delivering two ships in the first six month of the year 2019”, Tim Meyer (Managing Director of Meyer Werft)

During the following days final outfitting work and some more tests will be executed at the pier.”

Meyer Werft

June 20th 2019: Handed over to Saga Cruises V Ltd.




Meyer Werft

June 24th 2019: 
“A new Saga Cruises cruiseship has been damaged just hours after leaving Meyer Werft in Germany.
The 58,000-gt Spirit of Discovery was leaving Emden on Monday evening when it hit a dolphin lane marker, NDR cited marine police as saying.
A police spokesman said damage was caused to paintwork and the ship suffered a slight dent to the hull of the ship.
Significant damage was done to the marker.
The vessel had been handed over from the Meyer Werft yard a few hours earlier.
The cause of the collision is still unclear, but police have begun an investigation.
The captain and pilot were due to interviewed, police said.”

June 25th 2019: Sailed to Helgoland anchorage.

June 26th 2019: Sailed to Ijmuiden.

June 27th 2019: Departed Ijmuiden for Dover

June 28th 2019 (07.45 hrs): Arrived in Dover.

© Nigel Scutt  © Nigel Scutt

© Nigel Scutt  © Nigel Scutt

© Nigel Scutt

© Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping Facebook)

July 3rd 2019: Sailed from Dover for a cruise past of the Saga company offices at Sandgate (Folkestone).

© Nigel Scuttt  © Nigel Scuttt

© Nigel Scuttt  (Dover Strait Shipping, Facebook)

July 3rd 2019: Returned to Dover

July 5th 2019: Christened at Dover by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, who also became the ships Godmother.



© Andrew Cooke

July 7th 2019: Departed Dover.

July 8th 2019: Arrived Guernsey Anchorage

July 9th 2019: Returned to Dover

July 10th 2019: Departed Dover on her maiden round Britain cruise, “A British First” (Itinerary from Cruisemapper)

July 17th 2019: Port number 5 of her current cruise, Liverpool.

© Robert Foy  © Robert Foy

🆕© Robert Foy (Liverpool, 17/07/2019)

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Christian Eckardt, Robert Foy, Frits Olinga, Meyer Werft, Saga Shipping, Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping Facebook) and Jochen Wegener for their assistance in producing this feature.

Special thanks to Andrew Cooke

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We never collect sensitive information and we do not sell any of the data we collect. Under the GDPR regulations browser cookies are now considered pseudo-anonymized personal data and since we use cookies to deliver relevant services to you we would like to get your permission to do so. For further information please refer to our Privacy & Cookie Policies

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.