Final destination for Saga Rose?

Funny how sentimental we are about saying goodbye to old ships, but it’s true – they hold so many memories for so many people. So it’s sad to read on various cruise forums this week that Saga Rose, which retired in December last year, is now languishing on China’s vast Yangtze River, close to the Changjiang Ship Recycling Yard, outside which rusty old tubs line up in a sorry queue, waiting to be dismantled.

Saga Rose, now retired

The cruise trade website Seatrade Insider (and various other discussion forums) reported this week that the 24,474-ton Saga Rose, which was built in 1965, had finally been sold. When Saga took the ship out of service and put it up for sale, there were all sorts of rumours about a floating hotel, a Chinese gambling ship and so on. But Seatrade also notes that Saga “will not be making any announcements on the disposal” and we’ve been unable to get hold of a spokesperson today for comment.

Followers of the ship noted it leaving Gibraltar, where it had been laid up, in April, sailing via South Africa across the Indian Ocean. The last record we can find on the ship-tracking website, which shows the location of any ship in the world at any given time, is just off Taiwan on May 26, heading north east.

Now, the ship is said by Seatrade to be docked in China’s Jiangyin district, close to the Changjiang Ship Recycling Yard, China’s largest ship scrapping facility. The yard’s website doesn’t appear to have been updated since 2008 and the ship’s AIS (Automatic Identification System) transponder is switched off, so there’s no way of verifying if it really is Saga Rose’s final destination. Seems to add up, though.

Do you have happy memories of the ship? Let us know! SJB


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