Saga Rose & Saga Ruby
The former Norwegian America Line and Cunard sisters, now owned by Saga Holidays.  The older and slightly smaller at 24,000grt Saga Rose began life in 1964 as NAL's Sagafjord.  Both sisters were taken over by Cunard in 1983, keeping their names and livery apart from funnel colours.  In 1996 Sagafjord was chartered to Transocean Tours as Gripsholm for a year before being sold again to Saga Cruises and renamed Saga Rose where she sailed for many years.  In November 2008 it was announced Saga Rose would be retired in 2009.  Her farewell cruise would be from Southampton on the 30th October, returning for the final time on the 6th December.  In February 2004 she was joined by her younger sister, the former Vistafjord and Caronia and renamed Saga Ruby.  For more information and a picture of Saga Ruby as Vistafjord, click here.  The pictures below are of the pretty little liners.  The first is Saga Ruby in Southampton on the 15th April 2005.
The next two are of Saga Rose in Southampton on the 16th December 2005
These final two are of them both in Southampton awaiting their joint world cruise sailing on the 4th January 2006.  That was quite spectacular but I didn't get any photos as my night shots come out terribly. Saga Rose cast off first and manoeuvred herself near to Mayflower Park, where Saga Ruby was berthed.  As the fireworks lit up the sky from 9.40pm, Saga Rose slowly was pulled out by tugs backwards then as the fireworks ended ten minutes later, positioned herself beside her sister.  They blew their whistles, which was quite difficult to hear in the wind, before Saga Rose led the way out to the Solent and beyond.  It was quite a night.  Freezing but worth it, especially as we were the only people there apart from the occasional dog walker.
I had another chance for photos on the 7th January 2007.  For photos of the fireworks and ships, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 15th April & 16th December 2005, 4th January & 1st April 2006
Not to be reproduced without permission
13th December 2008