Saga Cruises

Quest for Adventure

Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Saga Cruises
Cruise StylePremium
Ship SizeMidsize

The flagship vessel for Saga Cruise’s new discovery-style adventure excursions set sail in 2012 to destinations across Central and North America. Packages include travel insurance, gratuities, all meals (including 24-hour room service,) U.K. mainland travel service to departure airport, and gala events. Formerly the Saga Pearl II, the Quest for Adventure is billed as a “pathfinder” ship small enough to navigate ports of call that are inaccessible to larger cruise ships. Her interior is furnished with six decks of requisite facilities to keep destination-focused holidays relaxed and exciting. Polished rosewood details and discreet neutral tones give a yacht-like impression. Sixty single cabins and single suites with private balconies reinforce the intimate setting which remains non-smoking inside and out.Read More

Built in Kiel in 1981, Quest for Adventure was acquired by Saga Cruises in 2009, refurbished, and rechristened Saga Pearl II. She was renamed Quest for Adventure in May 2012 and continues with the same crew, officers, and facilities. She welcomes vacationers to her well-staffed bars, dining rooms, and poolside havens. More than 3,400 books line the shelves of the tranquil library, which also offers a selection of recent DVDs. Her open deck is spacious for jogging, or perfect for daily sunrise or twilight strolls.

In a style that can best be described as restrained contemporary, the rehauled interior of Quest for Adventure succeeds aesthetically, with unobtrusive sculptures and artwork distributed around upholstered club chairs and pillowed banquettes in discreet public rooms reminiscent of an upscale hotel. Geared toward British lifestyle and tastes, the large entertainment venue hosts guest performers and encourages romantic after-dinner dancing accompanied by the ship’s orchestra. And of course there’s a daily traditional afternoon tea. Though the “cinema” is merely a projection screen with rows of moveable director chairs, the ship has a library that can rival most any at sea. Cabins are spacious, well-maintained, and well-appointed. Service is first-class.

Saga Holidays, a U.K.-based travel and tour company, was founded in 1951 to offer vacation packages to mature travelers. It’s cruise program started in 1975 with charter sailings. Saga purchased its first ship in 1996, the venerable Sagafjord, and renamed it Saga Rose. Following the success of Saga Rose, her former sister ship Vistafjord was acquired in 2004 and sails as Saga Ruby, though that ship will be retired in 2014. Itineraries brim with longer sailings to far-flung corners of the globe, making Saga voyages destination oriented.

Classic cruisers in every sense of the word, Saga’s passengers are travelers who expect inspiring itineraries coupled with traditional onboard amenities and comfortable surroundings. In the style of Saga Holidays’ land-based tours, Saga Cruises takes care of the details that discerning passengers don’t wish to leave to chance—from providing insurance and arranging visas to placing fruit and water in every cabin. For passengers embarking in U.K. ports (and almost all passengers are British), round-trip private car transfers are offered, or if a passenger lives more than 250 km from the port of embarkation, domestic U.K. flights. But passengers can also get rail travel or parking if they wish to travel more independently.

Activities and entertainment range from dance lessons to presentations of West End–style productions, from Internet lessons to lectures on wide-ranging topics. Wine tasting, deck game competitions, classical concerts, and even Bingo are found on the daily programs. Both ships have card rooms, but you won’t find casinos. With numerous accommodations designed for solo cruisers, Saga Cruises are particularly friendly for senior singles. Especially convenient on lengthy sailings, each ship features complimentary self-service launderettes and ironing facilities. In port, the line offers complimentary shuttle transfers to the town center from the cruise pier.

  • 6 passenger decks
  • 1 dining room
  • buffet
  • DVD
  • 2 pools
  • Gym
  • sauna
  • 3 bars
  • library
  • show room
  • Internet terminal

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Pros
Cons
This smaller cruise ship can access exotic international ports that are inaccessible to larger ships
The renovated interior has upscale styling
There’s an exceptional 3,400-book library with Internet café
No real promenade deck except for the upper-deck single file obstacle course
Restaurants have an insufficient number of tables to accommodate passengers
Cabin lighting is poor

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Cabins
Bathrooms
Accessibility

With six decks, the ship has 253 cabins, 60 of which are for single occupancy. There are 42 double cabins and 25 king cabins. Single suites have a private balcony. All are air-conditioned and have a large double bed, a flat-screen TV, DVD player, writing desk, generous closet, and minibar. Direct-dial phones allow passengers to make calls from ship to land. Some cabins have French balconies.

En suite bathrooms have a shower, sink, and hairdryer.

Two category-G cabins are wheelchair-accessible.

Food & Drink

Food

The sophisticated main dining room is open for all three meals and offers open seating at all times. Well-prepared five- to seven-course meals are served by attentive, friendly, yet unobtrusive waiters. Two intimate spaces for only 14 passengers are reserved for VIP groups and individual guests of the ship’s captain and officers. Passengers can also dine alfresco at the Verandah where you can enjoy British breakfast, lunch, or late-night buffet; this casual eatery also offers waiter service for dinner. Special dietary requirements can usually be met if arranged in advance, but some may incur an additional charge.

Entertainment

The largest entertainment venue is the Discovery Lounge, where guest performers provide music and cabaret performances on the polished stage that becomes an after-dinner dance floor with music by the ship’s orchestra. During the day, the lounge is used for lectures and afternoon teas. On the promenade deck, the main Shackleton’s bar, named after the famed explorer, is a popular watering hole before and after dinner with its live music and second dance floor. A nautical theme fills the Sundowner, a more intimate bar opening out to a canopied terrace serving food, cocktails, and beer.

Spa & Fitness

Massages and a sauna are available at the contemporary-style spa, equipped also with a small indoor pool. Burn calories with free weight, treadmills, and other aerobic workout machines in the small gym open from 7 am to 7 pm; it also offers yoga and Pilates classes. The hair salon caters to both men and women. There’s an outdoor pool located aft surrounded by teak decks and furniture with an awning for hotter days. More active passengers will find a beautifully polished shuffleboard deck, deck tennis court, table tennis, and quoits on the sundeck.

QUICK FACTS

SHIP STATS
Entered Service
1981
Number of Cabins
253
Passenger Capacity
446
Crew Members
252
Passengers to Crew Ratio
1.77
Gross Tons
18591
Width
75 feet
Length
538 feet
CRUISE LINE INFO
0800/096–0079 or (44)1303/771–111

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