Sailing from the UK
Setting sail from Dover
White Cliffs Country is a fascinating region, one packed with history and natural beauty. We think there is no sight like that of the stunning cliffs rising from the sea, topped by the fortifications of Dover Castle, and surrounded by lush green countryside. But the nearby area is also packed with charm, and not so further afield are captivating pretty villages, fascinating towns such as Sandwich (one of the original Cinque ports), and of course Kent's glory, Canterbury with its magnificent cathedral. A final thought must go to the many castles including Deal, Walmer and the magnificently photogenic Leeds Castle.
You will be amazed how much there is to see and do, so drive down early, pick a base such as Canterbury to explore, and join your cruise completely relaxed.
Spread across steep hillsides that overlook the Rio Tejo, Lisbon’s colourful cityscape includes Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums. But for many the best times will be had wandering the narrow lanes of Lisbon’s lovely backstreets, with their great local food, wine and music.
From the warren-like medieval streets of the Barri Gòtic to the fantastical modernist architecture of Antoni Gaudí, from the dizzy heights of Mount Tibidabo to the golden sands of Barceloneta, there’s never a dull moment in Barcelona.
Italy: San Remo
During the 19th century San Remo was a popular destination for European royals in exile, and the town retains plenty of glitz and glamour. Try your luck with the high rollers at the most famous casino on the Italian Riviera, take a stroll along the promenade or lose yourself in the labyrinthine streets of the old town.
Italy: Florence / Pisa (Livorno)
The faded port town of Livorno serves as a gateway to Tuscany’s star attractions. Wonderful Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, is resplendent with beautiful architecture and unrivalled artistic treasures, while nearby Pisa is of course famous for its precarious Leaning Tower.
Italy: Rome (Civitavecchia)
One of the world’s great cities, Rome continues to dazzle and delight visitors with a potent mix of architectural marvels, continent-defining history and buzzing nightlife. The Colosseum, the Vatican and the Forum are among the big ticket items, with the crowds to match, though in truth you will find history around almost every corner.
Cartagena was founded by the Carthaginians around 227 BC, who named it after their home city in North Africa. These days the city is best known for its well-preserved Roman theatre, which was remarkably only discovered in 1987, in spite of its location in the centre of town.
Sovereignty of ‘The Rock’ has been a thorny issue ever since Gibraltar was ceded to Britain in 1713, though on the ground it’s clear where most locals’ sympathies lie. Gibraltar is often described as ‘more British than Britain’, a curious enclave of red postboxes, double decker buses and chip shops.
Arriving in Portsmouth
Perfectly located on a magnificent harbour on the south coast of England, Portsmouth boasts a rich maritime and naval heritage. In addition, it has a glorious sea front, and theatres, art galleries, cathedrals and museums. The new Spinnaker Tower gives you a fine perspective on the area with stunning views from the top, and an interactive introduction to local history, including the Mary Rose wreck and Nelson's Victory. You can visit the house where Charles Dickens was born, and learn more about D-Day and Operation Overlord.
Your home from home
Saga Pearl II is the smaller of Saga's two ships, carrying just 450 guests, and offers a relaxed, informal atmosphere on board.
What we love
With a number of sailings from either Dover or Southampton, this intimate and comfortable ship might not be the most luxurious but it certainly delivers an outstanding customer experience and looks after guests as if they were family.
|Crew||252 International Staff|
|Style||A largely British feel onboard with a friendly and unpretentious atmosphere.|
|Cruising Speed||20 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Extend your stay in Kent
We love historic Walletts Court, just ten minutes outside Dover but feels like another world – cosy, welcoming, and great food too.
Our recommended private tour
An extraordinary trip up the coast by RIB to the mouth of the Stour River and the orange seals basking on the mudflats.
Where to stay in Portsmouth
Fortitude Cottage, just 50 steps from the water’s edge in the Old Town, is a great B&B. Try to get the Penthouse Room.
Day trips from Portsmouth
Portsmouth is gateway to so many Hampshire gems, but the best must be Chichester, perfect for a day tour.