Saga Cruises has confirmed the retirement of Saga Ruby and an exit from adventure cruising.
The 661-passenger vessel, the last cruise ship to be built in the UK in 1973 when it was known as Vistafjord, will undertake its final voyage next year.
Saga Ruby’s last cruise is due to depart from Southampton on December 7, 2013 when it sails on a 31-night Caribbean itinerary.
Quest for Adventure, one of Saga Cruises’ two remaining ships, will revert back to its previous name, Saga Pearl II, from 2014 and will no longer offer adventure itineraries.
The company also indicated that it was considering further expansion of the fleet.
Chief executive Robin Shaw said: “Saga Ruby has delighted cruise-goers for some 40 years, but operating a ship of this age to meet the exacting standards we and others set is becoming an increasing challenge.
“We have therefore decided that she should be gracefully retired in 18 months.”
“Saga Ruby will, in her ruby anniversary year, visit many of the ports where she been warmly welcomed over the years.”
He added: “We believe that Saga cruising has a great deal of potential and we have invested over the last few years well over £100 million on our fleet and we continue to look for opportunities to expand and improve our classic cruise experience."
Saga Ruby was bought from Cunard in 2004 and was refurbished at a cost of £17 million.
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