The cruise ship Saga Pearl said past Penarth tonight for the last time on a farewell schedule of voyages which preludes her withdrawal from service next year .
She docked in Cardiff at 06:00 this morning and set sail again after a swift turn around at 19:00 this evening.
The compact 29 year old mini-liner is very different from most of the cruise ships currently afloat. The ship is only 165 metres long and small enough to navigate the Norwegian fjords and call in at smaller ports which are out of bounds to larger liners
She was launched originally as Astoria but was snapped up by Saga Cruises in an auction in August 2009 and given the name Saga Pearl II before embarking on her cruising career for the mature adults’ holiday company in March 2010.
Saga’s Nick Sunderland, says “My first cruises as a Saga captain were aboard Saga Pearl II and she’ll always have a special place in my heart. She really is like a large yacht with her beautiful teak decks. Taking her helm feels different from any other cruise ship.”