The Saga Sapphire recently won "Best for Small Ship Sailing" at the Cruise Critic awards, and I was lucky enough to spend three days on board, meeting the staff and customers, and investigating the look and feel of this sumptuous ship.
With her small size and classic lines the Saga Sapphire recalls the golden age of cruising, though she feels totally up-to-date, having had a multi-million pound refurbishment in 2017.
This elegant ship was built in Germany in 1982 and acquired her name Saga Sapphire in 2011. Sadly, this is her last season, as she is retiring in 2020.
You can look forward to 'boutique cruising' when sailing on the Sapphire, with all the service and character you might expect. And being so small, Sapphire has a minimum of 2 staff to every 3 customers, with no more than 720 guests.
I've never cruised on such a small ship, but the attention to detail and service was noticeable.
There are three restaurants on board, Pole to Pole, Verandah and East to West.
The East to West speciality restaurant was my favourite. An Asian restaurant serving authentic and superb cuisine - all impeccably presented.
If you really fancy a treat, get pampered in the serene Aqua Spa, with a huge range of Elemis treatments. I can recommend one of the massages.
Immerse yourself in the latest bestseller in the library, with a glass of wine, of course, or visit one of three bars: Coopers; Aviators and the Drawing Room. All relaxing.
For an indulgent treat, don't miss out on afternoon tea in the Britannia lounge. Beautiful pastries, savouries, cakes, and of course, warm scones and cream.
Finally, if you are feeling energetic, try the gym or six laps around the deck to each mile. A must after the afternoon tea!
I had an amazing time on the Saga Sapphire and I'm quite sure you will too.
I was accompanied on my visit to the Saga Sapphire by Angela from Gloucester. Read her blog on the Saga Sapphire cuisine.