The inaugural voyage of the Saga Sapphire was cut short April 15 after a problem developed in one of the cooling systems of the ship’s two engines while it was in the port of Valencia, said U.K.-based Saga Cruises.
The 600-passenger ship had left Southampton, England, on April 3 and was due to return there on April 18.
According to Saga spokesman Paul Green, “The captain ordered a comprehensive investigation before he would set sail. The issue with the engine is one that could not have been detected or foreseen. As soon as it became apparent that the fix and testing will take some days, we decided to cancel the remainder of the cruise.”
The inaugural cruise visited six ports: Ferrol, Cartagena, Barcelona and Valencia, Spain; Casablanca, Morocco; and Palma, Majorca.
Passengers on the inaugural cruise will receive a full refund and a credit toward a future cruise, he said.
Green said that passengers were being flown by charter flight back to the U.K. on April 16. Details about the ship’s next scheduled cruise were not immediately available.
The Saga Sapphire was built in 1981 and most recently operated as Croisieres de France’s Bleu de France. Saga had acquired and renovated the ship. For cruise news and updates, follow Donna Tunney on Twitter @dttravelweekly.