Today, Captain Greybeard reports Saga will be retiring Saga Ruby in early 2014. Now while this isn’t a surprise, it makes me a little sad. I went down for all but one of her and Saga Rose’s world cruise sailings (I was away for 2008), and even got mild hypothermia and frostbite for their final in 2009 out of love for those two little ships.
Rosie left UK waters on the 7th December that year, ending up sadly at a Chinese breakers several months later having not found a buyer. She is still missed to this day, especially each January when Rubes sets off on her world cruise. In 2011 they had her meet Saga Pearl II, but it wasn’t the same. SP2 sailed off two hours before Rubes. It will be an equally sad day when Rubes leaves because she is one of a kind.
I was lucky enough to visit, thanks to the late Steve Read, in January 2011. Saga allow you to sail over 40 with someone 50+ but not visit unless over 50. The youth of today are potential passengers! My visit was in a journalistic capacity, as I was assisting him with his video. She was his favourite ship and he was like a big excited kid showing me around. If Cunard hadn’t agreed to visiting one of their ships, he planned to do the Fred Olsens then board Rubes somewhere around noon. As it was we got on at nearly 2.30pm but he was happy to stay until kicked off he could.
So sometime in 18 months time we’ll be saying goodbye to another grand old lady. Until then, let’s enjoy her while she’s around. I just wish I’d been able to sail on her but we can’t have everything.