Saga Sapphire underway following blackout on Germany's Elbe

Saga Sapphire underway following blackout on Germany's Elbe

Saga Sapphire has been delayed after experiencing a blackout on the Elbe River off Brunsbüttel, Germany, Tuesday night. After repairs and inspections, the ship was authorized to resume its 14-night Baltic itinerary on Wednesday. Originally scheduled to arrive at Stockholm on Thursday, the vessel is now expected in the Swedish capital on Friday.

Saga Sapphire had left Dover on Monday and was scheduled to transit the Kiel Canal Tuesday night. According to the German Water Police in Brunsbüttel, the vessel lost power shortly before reaching the Kiel Canal locks. However, the crew able to maintain Saga Sapphire's position on the densely frequented waterway using the ship's anchors. Two tugs came to assist.

A German media report said some power was available for cabin lighting and other services, thus limiting inconvenience to the passengers. Eventually the crew was able to fully restore power, and Saga Sapphire was authorized to enter the Kiel Canal on Wednesday.

The ship passed the Danish island of Bornholm on Thursday morning, and its estimated time of arrival in Stockholm is early morning Friday. Further calls are planned at Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Ventspils, Klaipeda and Gothenburg before the cruise ends at Dover.

Saga Sapphire was delivered as the Europa to German operator Hapag-Lloyd in December 1981. After being replaced by the current Europa, the ship went to Star Cruises and operated as SuperStar Europe. Later it sailed as SuperStar Aries, Holiday Dream and Bleu de France, before being acquired by Saga Cruises in 2011.

Following an upgrade, the ship began operating as Saga Sapphire in spring 2012. Technical management is handled by V.Ships Leisure. The ship has capacity for 706 passengers and 415 crew.

Posted 22 May 2014

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review