Fincantieri has announced that it has been awarded the multi-million Euro refit and refurbishment project of the newest ship acquired by Saga Cruises, the 37,301-ton Bleu de France. The work planned for this ship will start during November 2011 at the Fincantieri Palermo yard and shall include the refurbishing of all public areas and spaces, the addition of a significant number of new passenger cabins, the complete refurbishment of the existing cabins and a new balcony deck.

Other jobs that the yard shall be responsible for during ship’s stay at Palermo will include the overhauling and repair work on main machinery and equipment along with some steel and pipework replacement. The ship will be dry-docked for a period of the project during which time the items involving the external hull and all underwater work, such as painting, tail shaft, rudder and propellers maintenance will be undertaken.

On completion of the work, expected in February 2012, the ship will be renamed the Saga Sapphire and then shall set sail for the inaugural cruise from Southampton to the Mediterranean, which is due to start on March 26.