June 5, 2019
(11 a.m. BST) -- HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has been revealed as the Godmother of Saga Cruises' new ship, Spirit of Discovery.
Debuting at an official naming ceremony in Dover on July 5, the 999-passenger ship will be the first to dock at the port's Western Docks following a £250m redevelopment.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is set to tour Spirit of Discovery before performing the official duty of smashing a jeroboam of Hush Heath sparkling wine against the ship's hull.
Saga has also revealed its first national charity partner is The Silver Line -- whose patron is The Duchess of Cornwall -- which was set up by Dame Esther Rantzen to offer friendship and support to older people in the UK.
Lance Batchelor, Group CEO of Saga, said: "I am delighted that The Duchess of Cornwall has agreed to be Godmother of the Spirit of Discovery. The launch of our new ship is a key moment in both the history and future of Saga.
The Duchess of Cornwall last named a cruise ship in 2007 when she presided over Cunard's Queen Victoria christening in Southampton.
Other Royals to act as cruise ship godmothers include Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who named Princess Cruises' Royal Princess in Southampton in 2013, and HM The Queen, who is godmother to Cunard's Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2.
Spirit of Discovery is currently undergoing sea trials and will arrive in Dover on June 28. Following the naming ceremony, the ship will depart on its inaugural voyage -- a 13-night cruise around the British Isles on July 10.
The ship features 540 all-balcony cabins and suites, with 100 rooms specifically designed for solo passengers; two specialty restaurants, a main dining room and a Britannia Lounge; two swimming pools; a theatre; a library; a spa and a beauty salon.
The line has also partnered with Jools Holland -- who is set to perform at the christening ceremony -- on one of its speciality restaurants, The Club by Jools, that is inspired by 1950s cabaret lounges.
The line has confirmed that Jools will appear on three sailings in 2020, playing a mix of Boogie-Woogie, R&B, Jazz and Soul during two performances, accompanied by his band of musicians.
The keel was laid for Spirit of Adventure -- the line's second new-build ship that will debut in 2020 -- at the Meyer Werft shipyard earlier this week. The new vessels will replace Saga's current ships Saga Sapphire and Saga Pearl II.