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Saga's Northern Adventure from Donegal to Down

26th August 2016
The elegant lines of cruiseship, Saga Sapphire on arrival to Killybegs, Co Donegal on Wednesday The elegant lines of cruiseship, Saga Sapphire on arrival to Killybegs, Co Donegal on Wednesday Photo: Mooney Boats

#CruiseNorth – Saga Cruises, part of the wider Saga brand that caters for UK consumers over 50, has been calling to ports in counties, Donegal and Down, contributing to boosting tourism in these northern regions, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The caller on the Wild Atlantic Way seaboard at Killybegs, was that of Saga Sapphire, one of the most elegant looking cruiseships docked on Wednesday. The 752 capacity cruiseship was assisted into Killybegs by Sinbad Marine’s tug, SMS Cian. Cruisegoers visited attractions among them Glenveagh National Park.

On the Irish Sea, Saga Cruises visit to Warrenpoint, is where the more intimate fleetmate, Saga Pearl II with just 449 passengers, visited last month according to Point Shipping Services.

The cruises are part of Hidden Britain itinerary, to visit never before ports of call, outside that of the mainstream cruise destinations that invariably are larger ports located in towns and cities.

Saga Pearl II returned to Carlingford Lough as the sole caller this season, having made a historic Warrenpoint call as the first ever cruiseship to dock at the port at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in 2014. The scenic coastal area is been promoted as a destination by Warrenpoint Harbour Authority and CruiseWarrenpoint.

Saga Sapphire represented the 10th caller out so far to dock in Killybegs out of the season’s total of 12 callers scheduled. The fishing and energy sector port has seen the cruise sector expand in recent years thanks to the Killybegs Information Centre, a development of Donegal Tourism.

Next to call is Holland America Lines smallest cruiseship, Prisendam with a 835 capacity on 1st September. Ending the season is left to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines graceful, Boudicca and with a similar passenger total of 880 and which is to call a week later.

Published in Cruise Liners
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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