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Saga Cruises: Quest for Adventure

Quest for Adventure Cruise Review

The flagship vessel for Saga Cruise’s new discovery-style adventure excursions set sail in 2012 to destinations across Central and North America. Packages include travel insurance, gratuities, all meals (including 24-hour room service,) U.K. mainland travel service to departure airport, and gala events. Formerly the Saga Pearl II, the Quest for Adventure is billed as a “pathfinder” ship small enough to navigate ports of call that are inaccessible to larger cruise ships. Her interior is furnished with six decks of requisite facilities to keep destination-focused holidays relaxed and exciting. Polished rosewood details and discreet neutral tones give a yacht-like impression. Sixty single cabins and single suites with private balconies reinforce the intimate setting which remains non-smoking inside and out.

Built in Kiel in 1981, Quest for Adventure was acquired by Saga Cruises in 2009, refurbished, and rechristened Saga Pearl II. She was renamed Quest for Adventure in May 2012 and continues with the same crew, officers, and facilities. She welcomes vacationers to her well-staffed bars, dining rooms, and poolside havens. More than 3,400 books line the shelves of the tranquil library, which also offers a selection of recent DVDs. Her open deck is spacious for jogging, or perfect for daily sunrise or twilight strolls.

In a style that can best be described as restrained contemporary, the rehauled interior of Quest for Adventure succeeds aesthetically, with unobtrusive sculptures and artwork distributed around upholstered club chairs and pillowed banquettes in discreet public rooms reminiscent of an upscale hotel. Geared toward British lifestyle and tastes, the large entertainment venue hosts guest performers and encourages romantic after-dinner dancing accompanied by the ship’s orchestra. And of course there's a daily traditional afternoon tea. Though the “cinema” is merely a projection screen with rows of moveable director chairs, the ship has a library that can rival most any at sea. Cabins are spacious, well-maintained, and well-appointed. Service is first-class.

Saga Holidays, a U.K.-based travel and tour company, was founded in 1951 to offer vacation packages to mature travelers. It's cruise program started in 1975 with charter sailings. Saga purchased its first ship in 1996, the venerable Sagafjord, and renamed it Saga Rose. Following the success of Saga Rose, her former sister ship Vistafjord was acquired in 2004 and sails as Saga Ruby, though that ship will be retired in 2014. Itineraries brim with longer sailings to far-flung corners of the globe, making Saga voyages destination oriented.

Classic cruisers in every sense of the word, Saga’s passengers are travelers who expect inspiring itineraries coupled with traditional onboard amenities and comfortable surroundings. In the style of Saga Holidays’ land-based tours, Saga Cruises takes care of the details that discerning passengers don’t wish to leave to chance—from providing insurance and arranging visas to placing fruit and water in every cabin. For passengers embarking in U.K. ports (and almost all passengers are British), round-trip private car transfers are offered, or if a passenger lives more than 250 km from the port of embarkation, domestic U.K. flights. But passengers can also get rail travel or parking if they wish to travel more independently.

Activities and entertainment range from dance lessons to presentations of West End–style productions, from Internet lessons to lectures on wide-ranging topics. Wine tasting, deck game competitions, classical concerts, and even Bingo are found on the daily programs. Both ships have card rooms, but you won’t find casinos. With numerous accommodations designed for solo cruisers, Saga Cruises are particularly friendly for senior singles. Especially convenient on lengthy sailings, each ship features complimentary self-service launderettes and ironing facilities. In port, the line offers complimentary shuttle transfers to the town center from the cruise pier.

What You Should Know


  • This smaller cruise ship can access exotic international ports that are inaccessible to larger ships
  • The renovated interior has upscale styling
  • There's an exceptional 3,400-book library with Internet café


  • No real promenade deck except for the upper-deck single file obstacle course
  • Restaurants have an insufficient number of tables to accommodate passengers
  • Cabin lighting is poor
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 252
  • Entered Service 1981
  • Gross Tons 18,591
  • Length 538 feet
  • Number of Cabins 253
  • Passenger Capacity 446
  • Width 75 feet

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