It is the first time in over 10 years that Swansea has handled such a significant ship refit and entails the facility itself being re-opened and refurbished to carry out the work. The project will provide some 300 jobs over a three-month period, enabling SDD to compete for future business.
The Saga Pearl II refit will be the most comprehensive and expensive in the company’s history and Saga will be spending in the region of £20m on a list of improvements.
As well as the addition of balcony cabins, the show lounge, restaurants, spa and swimming pool will be upgraded. A library will be created and a new cinema will be installed. New kitchens are also planned. A sports deck is to be created including the addition of a short tennis court.
Saga Pearl II will undertake sea trials in February and start cruising on March 15.
Welsh firm Harris Pye is being used for the main engineering work and will undertake a complete overhaul of the main engines, auxiliary engines, boilers, HVAC systems, electrical and automation systems as well as a large quantity of steel and pipeworks. It also will handle all hull treatment and tank coatings and related engineering work throughout the 18,500gt ship.
The Harris Pye Outfitting and BEK Divisions will fully equip the Verandah Restaurant and the Discovery Lounge and supply galley equipment for both. They will also be involved in the renewal of the crew's cabins.
‘We are extremely gratified to win these two contracts - one above the water line, the other below, and to see Swansea Dry Dock in use again after approximately 10 years,’ says Chris David, technical director of the Harris Pye Group. Saga is planning to place a number of other major contracts with UK-based contractors.
Andrew Goodsell, executive chairman, Saga Group, commented: ‘With 446 passengers Saga Pearl II will have an intimate atmosphere and the quality of service our passengers have come to expect. I am delighted that we are able to support a British yard, and that in doing so we will help with the regeneration of the Swansea docks.’