Author Topic: Final Year for Saga Ruby  (Read 35504 times)

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Offline Alan Snelson

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Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2013, 09:12 PM »
More likely to be the Cunard Princess, Countess' sister ship which used to cruise Alaska in the '80's.
Don't just be part of her past, be part of her history!

Offline Tyne Turbine

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2013, 01:51 AM »
When I made an earlier link to this site some months ago when the Marco Polo first appeared I seem to remember that there was only a thinly disguised picture of the Ocean Countess in her blue livery, but then again the memory may be playing tricks.

Offline Alan Snelson

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Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2013, 09:15 PM »
And unless lm mistaken, isnt that the Cunard Countess for sale as well further down the list...

Apologies to Cunardqueen, the Countess and Princess were always very difficult to tell apart especially in their Cunard colours, but after extensive looking at pics of both ships it certainly does appear to be Ocean Countess, formerly Cunard Countess, which is for sale. I was still thinking of Ocean Countess with the dark blue hull and hadn't realised she changed to the lighter colour which is why I had thought it must be the Princess.

 Sorry I know this has drifted off the saga ruby topic.
Don't just be part of her past, be part of her history!

Offline andy liney

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2013, 09:24 AM »
I was still thinking of Ocean Countess with the dark blue hull and hadn't realised she changed to the lighter colour which is why I had thought it must be the Princess.


She is still in the dark blue C & M livery, that must be in old picture. At present, she is laid up in Chalkis.

Online Twynkle

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #24 on: Jun 06, 2013, 03:05 PM »
'The Magic of the Fjords' - 29th May - June 5th 2013.
Despite fog, rain and low cloud, the early days on board were absolutely lovely - Saga Ruby continues to be the most beautiful ship on the high seas, she handles conditions as well as she ever did, she's retained her stunning good looks, and alongside Aida Stella (Flam and Dover) - there was no doubting who was the true Star. When did you last walk up along the steepening gradient of the deck as you reach the 'Bit beneath the Bridge? When were you last able to watch in wonder over a fo'c'sle full of winding lines, windlasses, cables and capstans etc complete with an officer and crew working their socks off - or equally good, stare astern towards the wake, across seven open decks from up top?
It's easy to recognise the ship's enjoying life as her bow cuts through waves sometimes in haste at over 20kts, and at others, while she trundles happily along at 12!
Sparkling white superstructure (painted throughout whilst being repaired Jan-April), not a sign of rust - the only wrinkles of the 'ageing' process we noticed (to our amateur eyes) was from one or two of the exhausts from her QE2 look-alike tenders, billowing yellowish black smoke under the canopies - these both in serious need of attention!

Reminders of QE2 are ever-present - from Saga Ruby's almost identical Bridge, her wonderful whistle, and right down to the magnificent sounds and reverberation of her engines / shafts and props; her teak decks and yards of railings too, all remain on the whole in incredibly good nick. 

Cabins are well lit, thoughtfully furnished in varnished wood (no 'plastic'), complete with a basket of maritime necessities including binoculars! Together with a smart bathtub and shower, in a nicely fitted bathroom - these would please many a 'passenger' on a 'hotel ship' should this be her next type of work. 
The new owner of Saga Ruby could do a great deal worse than replicate her original furnishings as Vistafjord, - take a look at her interiors on this site from the Love Boat Cruise, 25th May 1985
http://www.thecaptainslog.org.uk/ShipGalleryIndex/Vistafjord.html

Yes - there's no doubt she is hard work for all departments needing to keep her on her toes. However with a passenger to crew ratio of 2:1, it's been interesting to think of and compare this with the Cunarders' ratios. There, the high tempo working pace is accompanied by periodic anxiety experienced by some (on board the 'Queens'), both from the perspective of pax as well as crew. On board Saga Ruby - evidently a happy ship, the waiters and others were often heard singing / humming as they worked, and yet most are heading for an uncertain future after January 7th - again more reminders of the last days of Service on board QE2.

It was a seven night cruise as far as Skjolden, Norway via Stavanger (a reminder of the remarkable sail-away that the port shared with QE2 almost five years ago) Flam, and then to Bergen - by which time there was a generalised concern regarding the spread of a virus. Somehow only a few seemed to be thinking of the future of this truly wonderful ship with her Master, Captain Wesley Dunlop with his Ukrainian Senior Officers, and Crew who are almost all from the Philippines with a few from the UK. Interestingly she took two pilots (working shifts) who remained on board throughout the cruise in Norwegian waters.

It would be a significant mistake by this maritime nation were there not to be a buyer who cared enough about this ship, to keep her out of harm's way and the scrap merchants.
She is a wonderful ship - QE2's old mate and 'Piglet to her Pig'!
Saga Ruby needs to earn a living for someone who can afford to keep her alive as 'working' ship, whether as a training vessel, hotel or museum - or all three - she'll grace any port she's parked in.
I have taken photos, will post soon
In the meantime - there is more to see of 'The Ruby' here:
https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Saga%20Ruby

PS - I'm sorry - I almost forgot to mention her stairways!
Pete in his description and  comparison with QE2 on his topic mentions the external stairways - I agree with everything he writes.
These (Sssh - dare I say it?!) are more impressive than those on almost any other ship - and the rounded staircases spanning the 3 decks forward are simply the best! Although she has only three lifts (elevators) Saga Ruby wins hands down when it comes to stepping about at sea!

If you can manage to go and spend a few nights on board, there's no doubt that she'd be delighted to show you all of her very best bits!
Rosie


« Last Edit: Jun 06, 2013, 06:13 PM by Twynkle »
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #25 on: Jun 06, 2013, 09:53 PM »
Hello Rosie, thank you for writing this up, and thank you for the reminder of this beautiful ship, which we enjoyed so much when she was a sister ship of QE2 and at that time called Caronia.

A proper ocean liner, strong and stable and (for those who are proud of the British maritime heritage) British built. Yes, Rosie, I too loved those elegant stairs and wish I had taken some decent pictures of them.

You make me think seriously about revisiting her as a Saga ship before she is sold once more. When she is gone, we will still (I hope!) be left with Marco Polo -- but while her shape and her hull are delightful, her interiors are refurbished, and nothing much is left of her original rooms, whether public rooms or cabins. The new interiors are not bad, but they are a bit bland compared with what they must have been like originally.

I am so glad that you had a wonderful cruise -- and thank you for the reminder that we need to hurry and enjoy Saga Ruby before it is too late!

Offline Alex Tarry

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #26 on: Jun 07, 2013, 08:22 PM »
Rosie, your report is wonderful....something you may be able to help with, would the current owners let this 42 year old book a trip before she goes?

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #27 on: Jun 07, 2013, 09:16 PM »
Rosie, your report is wonderful....something you may be able to help with, would the current owners let this 42 year old book a trip before she goes?

And a 40 year old!  They should lift their age restrictions from now until the end! :)
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline riskygizmo

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #28 on: Jul 06, 2013, 03:24 PM »
From the Maritime Memories website. The cruise is listed on the Saga site too, but there's no mention of an age restriction on the MM site. Perhaps worth a try for any "kids" who want to try her before she goes.

http://www.maritime-memories.co.uk/another-special-voyage-around-the-canary-isles-and-morocco-2013.php
Full Away on Passage.

Offline pete cain

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #29 on: Jul 22, 2013, 09:50 PM »
Some super images here of Ruby transit Kiel Canal, double click top image for full screen,  page through & enjoy while she's still around. Also these videos linked from the same page.

http://oceanliner-pictures.com/galleries/saga-ruby.html?startimg=0&offset=0



« Last Edit: Jul 22, 2013, 10:51 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline tdickson

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #30 on: Jul 23, 2013, 09:33 AM »
Having worked on board "Saga Ruby" whilst she is the port of Southampton many times over the last three years, it appears that the age restriction is over "50" as the lead passenger, and then anyone over the tender age of "40" may accompany them, there is however very few sailings left available before her final farewell.
You may travel on board Quest of Adventure/Saga Pearl11 if you are over 21
Her Southampton end of season tours start as far as I know start on 10th October 2013
« Last Edit: Jul 23, 2013, 09:40 AM by tdickson »

Offline Tyne Turbine

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #31 on: Aug 19, 2013, 11:18 PM »
The weather was dire on Saturday afternoon with very heavy rain but a visit to the mouth of the River Tyne was essential as the Saga Ruby was due to pass the river of her birth, almost certainly for the last time, whilst on her non stop cruise aroud the British Isles.

I attach a selection of photographs taken on Saturday evening as she made her majestic way up the coast of Tyne & Wear and Northumberland:

These show her suddenly emerging from a bank of heavy rain off Tynemouth, a distant view as she passed St Marys Island and Lighthouse, passing Dunstanburgh Castle, off Beadnell and making a sharp turn to starboard off Seahouses to pass outside the Farne Islands and as darkness was falling head direct to Scotlands east coast.

Feeling sentimental? You bet, to me she still looked as good as when I first saw her over thrty-eight years ago shortly after completion on "my river"

Offline Tyne Turbine

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #32 on: Aug 19, 2013, 11:30 PM »
There seems to have been a problem loading my first image as she appeared off the Tyne so I shall make this further attempt and keep my fingers crossed:

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #33 on: Aug 19, 2013, 11:56 PM »
She really is a most beautiful ship, pleasing to behold and no doubt even now pleasing to stay on board. I am not surprised that you made the journey just to spot her sailing by.

I wonder why she made it a non-stop voyage rather than calling into the various ports for a farewell?

Offline Tyne Turbine

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #34 on: Aug 20, 2013, 12:14 AM »
The non-stop round UK cruise has figured in the Saga programme for a few years now, and indeed I believe the duty is being undertaken by the Saga Sapphire next year.

Here is another image of her when she started a few cruises from the river in 2009:


Offline tdickson

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #35 on: Aug 20, 2013, 01:27 AM »
"Coastal Voyager" as it is called is sailing from Dover 13th-19th May 2014 (7 nights) on board Sapphire, if anyone may well be interested. (Prices from £921.00)
Also there is a nice article about Saga Ruby and her 40 year history in the publication "World of Cruising" Summer Issue (Issue 59)

Offline pete cain

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #36 on: Sep 08, 2013, 06:20 PM »
Less than a week ago in the Baltic, so lucky to've been there, more to come if anybody is interested

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #37 on: Sep 08, 2013, 06:34 PM »
Less than a week ago in the Baltic, so lucky to've been there, more to come if anybody is interested

Awesome historic photo of these two beautiful classic old ladies together.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #38 on: Sep 08, 2013, 06:36 PM »
Awesome historic photo of these two beautiful classic old ladies together.

I cannot agree more! What a great opportunity... and so sad to think it will probably never happen again.

Thank you for the pictures.

Offline tdickson

Re: Final Year for Saga Ruby
« Reply #39 on: Sep 09, 2013, 02:02 AM »
I notice that according to Marine Consultants the Saga Ruby may well have a new owner, there web site quote " As of August 2013 Sale under negotiation"
Anybody have any further news ? 

 

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