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Spirit of the Danube Review

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Saga Cruises' Spirit of the Danube will debut in Amsterdam in May 2022. It follows the 2021 launch of Spirit of the Rhine to become Saga Cruises' second new-build river ship.

The 190-passenger Spirit of the Danube is under construction at the Vahali shipyard in Serbia and will be identical to Spirit of the Rhine, featuring accommodation over three decks, a spacious sun deck, two restaurants, a lounge bar and library.

On the Lower Deck there's a small fitness room; the main restaurant is on the Middle Deck, while the speciality restaurant, reception, library, lounge bar and a small outdoor terrace will be located on the Upper Deck. All decks will be connected by a lift.

Enrichment will feature cooking demonstrations, local performances, art and craft classes and Q&A sessions with celebrity guests. Broadcasters John Suchet, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Eric Knowles are lined up for the ship's inaugural season, while celebrity chef Mark Sargeant will appear on several cruises and create a dish for the ship's speciality restaurant.

Programming will include the welcome Saga Cocktail Party on the first night, daily port talks and a resident pianist, with most of the action taking place in the lounge bar.

The British over-50 cruise line will require all passengers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding as well as undertake pre-boarding testing.

Passengers must be at least 50 to travel with Saga, or 40 if you are travelling with a passenger 50 or older.

Spirit of the Danube's inaugural cruise will depart from Amsterdam in May 2022. Itineraries will feature sailings with calls to Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Austria; Rousse, Bulgaria, and Tulcea, Romania.

Cabins

Cabins are located on the lower, middle and upper decks and available in two categories: outside and balcony.

Cabins on the middle and upper decks measure 185 square feet and feature French balconies. Lower Deck accommodation measures 150 square feet and features a large picture window.

Following the blueprint of the line's new-build ocean vessels, Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure, Spirit of the Danube will have the feel of a stylish boutique hotel, with a soft pastel colour palette and luxurious furnishings in cabins.

All cabins will feature two twin beds that can be pushed together to make a queen bed; bedside tables and a reading light either side of the bed, two chairs and a small side table, plus a dressing table. All bathrooms feature a walk-in shower.

Cabin amenities include a robe and slippers, tea and coffee-making facilities, a small fridge, TV, Bluetooth speaker and USB charging point. There is also a hairdryer, telephone and safe.

There are no interconnecting cabins; nor have any cabins been designated accessible, though there is lift access to all rooms. 

Dining

Spirit of the Danube will offer two restaurants. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served in the main restaurant. Soft drinks, wine and beer with meals is included.

Passengers will also get the chance to dine for free in the more intimate speciality restaurant, created in partnership with celebrity chef Mark Sargeant, at least once during a cruise. Sargeant, who spent seven years as head chef at Claridge's for Gordon Ramsey in London, operates restaurants in Folkestone, Kent, close to Saga's UK head office.

There is also an outdoor terrace area off the lounge for alfresco dining with deck barbecues and traditional afternoon tea served daily.

Top-deck Attractions

There's a hot tub, giant chessboard and expansive terrace and outdoor space for sitting or sunbathing on the Sun Deck.

Inclusions

Saga Cruises includes a high number of extras within the cost of the cruise fare. These include travel insurance, gratuities, WiFi and wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner

Up to five excursions are also included. Shore tours might include a walking tour, a tour of a landmark or palace or an evening concert.

Return rail or coach travel within the UK mainland to London or a UK departure airport; free car parking near Folkestone Eurotunnel terminal or at one of several airports; return economy flights or return travel by coach and Eurotunnel or Eurostar is also included.

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