Saga Cruises will not be operating the Saga Pearl II this year as planned. The 450-passenger vessel (ex-Astoria) was previously owned by Club Cruise, which has since gone into liquidation.

“The ship is currently detained in Spain, so at this point, it would be difficult at best to secure her,” said Grant Laversuch, operations director. Saga is currently looking for a vessel similar in size to the Pearl II to sail by April 2010.

“We want something that has single-seating dining, and a good passenger-space ratio, so we can replicate what we do on our other ships,” Laversuch said. “It’s not like it was a year ago. The market is softer now, and more ships are available to buy. And we certainly don’t want to take a reduction in capacity.”

The Saga Pearl II was originally slated to become the Quest for Adventure for Saga’s “Adventure” brand, but was later expected to replace the Saga Rose, which will be retiring at the end of 2009.

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