Preparations are well advanced for 'the large scale refurbishment,' Saga informs Seatrade Insider with work starting this November and proceeding through to February 2005.
The ship will undergo substantial structural work and a full refurbishment of cabins and public rooms. Whilst the contracts for the hotel furnishings have not yet been awarded, the designs for the public areas and cabins are nearing completion.
Alison Clixby of Clixby Associates in London has developed a new design style for Saga Ruby, incorporating a contemporary feel with rich fabrics and high quality materials, says Saga.
The major structural alteration being carried out is the extension of the Lido area at the stern of the ship. The Lido Café will be enlarged, giving a more spacious area for passengers to enjoy breakfast and lunches. The Lido deck itself will take on a different look, as the swimming pool is moved to a new location, closer to the rear of the deck.
The deck above the Lido Café will also be extended to create more outdoor deck space for a new bar and a venue for deck parties and entertainment.An alternative dining area will also be created. The new View restaurant promises a stylish and contemporary venue with an intimate atmosphere.
Caronia's last cruise for Cunard departs Southampton on October 20. The vessel returns to the UK on November 1 and will be handed over to Saga a week later.
Saga Ruby's inaugural cruise is a 32 night voyage to the US, Belize, Costa Rica and Mexico departing Southampton March 1, 2005 and returning on April 2. Both Ruby and Saga Rose (originally built as sister ships, Vistafjord and Sagafjord) will sail out of Southampton and Dover next year.