Spirit of Discovery

(12:45 p.m. BST) -- Saga Cruises has confirmed it will christen new ship Spirit of Discovery at its homeport of Dover on July 5th, 2019.

The 999-passenger ship -- Saga's first-ever new build -- will be the first to be christened at the port in more than a decade.

The announcement was made last night at an event hosted by musician and entertainer Jools Holland, who will be performing on the ship on selected voyages next year.

"As the place that Saga's first cruise ship set sail from more than 20 years ago, Dover was the natural choice", said Chief Operating Officer Nigel Blanks.

Spirit of Discovery will set off on its first cruise five days later -- from Dover on July 10, around the British Isles.

"We are really excited about her first cruise, as it's a great way to show off our first new boutique cruise ship to the British market, as we call in to iconic ports such as Newcastle, Edinburgh, Belfast and Liverpool," said Blanks.

Spirit of Discovery’s destinations throughout summer 2019 include Spain, Scandinavia and the Baltic, as well as a four-night mini-cruise to Holland, Germany and Belgium.

Last week, the line announced it will go all-inclusive from 2020. Saga's next new-build, Spirit of Adventure, launches in August 2020.

--By Adam Coulter, Managing Editor, UK