2013 Visit Reports
Revisited ships will not be shown unless significantly revised since previous visit
2012 Visit Reports
2011 Visit Reports
Saga Pearl II
14 April 2013:- A damp grey day was soon to brighten up when a group of around a dozen members of the Ocean Liner Society met at Portsmouth International Port for a visit to Voyages of Discovery’s VOYAGER. Once checked in, we waited along with a number of other groups for our turn to board. Complimentary refreshments were available on the upper level of the terminal. Portsmouth’s Cruise Terminal opened at Easter 2011 and is very pleasant; spacious, light and airy.
Launched in 1989 at Union Naval de Levante, Valencia and delivered to Commodore Cruise Line as CROWN MONARCH in November 1990. At 15,271grt, 152.5m in length, carrying 540 Passengers and 226 Crew VOYAGER is considered small today – to her benefit, as she is able to visit the more remote and unusual destinations around the world. She has sailed for a number of operators under various names over the years; as CUNARD CROWN MONARCH, NAUTICAN, WALRUS and others, sometimes serving as a casino vessel in Hong Kong. More recently she has sailed as JULES VERNE for Vision Cruises and as ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT for Phoenix Reisen, Purchased by All Leisure Group PLC in 2009 she was chartered for a couple of years before undergoing an extensive refit and transfer to Voyages of Discovery as VOYAGER with her new Explorer Theme in Dec 2012.
We boarded on Deck 3 in the reception area and were directed up a couple of decks to the Lookout Lounge with views over the foredeck. With a welcome glass of Buck’s Fizz and some nibbles, a short presentation of VOYAGER’s forthcoming itineraries was given. Her voyages are destination led with some interesting ports of call. Armed with a folder containing a brochure and deck plan we set off with our guide to explore.
On Deck 5 aft of the Lookout Lounge is the Darwin Lounge where most of the talks take place. Guest Speakers are aboard every voyage, their expertise covering a wide range of subjects. We pass the shop, before entering Scott’s Lounge with its bar, piano and large lit map of the world. Then the Explorer Club Restaurant is to port, with the Library to starboard. The library is very well stocked with books of all types, but with the Discovery Restaurant aft it tends to be used as a passageway.
Voyager has no less than 20 different cabin grades. We were able to view standard inside and outside cabins, which were a bit on the small side, some deluxe cabins on Deck 6 which were more spacious and a balcony suite also on Deck 6, with tiny chairs on a very narrow balcony. The Atlantis Spa/Beauty Salon is small, but functional, midships on deck 6 among the cabins. Deck 6 is the Promenade; although it does not wrap around, there is a large area of teak decking aft, with shuffleboard. Up to Deck 7 to view the Owners Suite and a Balcony Suite with Spa bath, both very nice and spacious.
Outside on deck 7 midships is the pool area surrounded by lovely teak decking, 2 jacuzzis and bar. Aft of here is the buffet, Veranda Restaurant, with a small outdoor seating area covered by an awning overlooking the stern. Up to Deck 8, the Sun Deck. Aft is the Fitness Centre; cycle along looking over the stern. The Bridge Club – glorious views – for card playing? One can walk around the sun deck looking down on the pool. With the weather being so miserable there were no loungers for a rest, but it was time for luncheon…
Back down to Deck 5 aft and the spacious Discovery Restaurant where we were served a delicious 5+ course meal. Choices included Stilton and Mushroom Risotto with Parmesan Chips, Tropical Fruit Cocktail, Salad, 2 choices of soup, Poached Pangasius Fillet with mustard sauce & new potatoes, Roast Chicken or Roast Pork Loin with all the trimmings – washed down with VOYAGER’s own label Cabernet Sauvignon. Among the choices for dessert were Passion Fruit Crème Brulée, and White Chocolate Gateaux. Make your mouth water?
Our time aboard had come to an end all too quickly. A parting gift of a shoulder bag, pen, notepad and pin was a pleasant surprise. A lovely ship and I am quite sure there’s many an interesting voyage to be had aboard. Very many thanks to Peter Godliman of the Ocean Liner Society for making the arrangements and to Voyages of Discovery for allowing our group to visit VOYAGER.
VOYAGER as ALEXANDER VON HAMBOLDT on a very early morning arrival at Harwich - Photo: ©2008 Ian Boyle
VOYAGER as ALEXANDER VON HAMBOLDT at Rhodes with Bamtur - Photo: ©2012 Pam Massey
VOYAGER - Photo: ©2013 William Mayes
VOYAGER - Photo: ©2013 William Mayes