• (English) Spirit of Discovery


(English) Clients

  • (English) Saga Cruises

(English) Year

  • (English) 2019

(English) Passengers

  • (English) 999

(English) GT

  • (English) 55900


As sole architect, SMC Design was responsible for the entire vessel, the first new build for Saga Cruises. What we delivered was a luxury boutique cruise liner, with classic feel coupled with contemporary details.


"We’ve spent a huge amount of time reviewing and taking inspiration from the best in contemporary British architecture and design. These images show that we are raising the bar to deliver a luxury cruise experience that won’t disappoint."

- David Pickett, New Build Director for Saga Cruises

(English) Lounges

(English) Greeting passengers as they board Spirit of Discovery, this bar and lounge area offers an introduction to the vessel. A boutique hotel feel is conveyed through contemporary furniture and eclectic artwork, transforming from a café by day to a sociable bar and entertainment space by night. The area is also home to ‘This Scepter’d Isle’, a 12-metre bronze relief designed in-house by SMC Art Consultancy, filled with motifs celebrating British landscape and achievements.
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(English) Timeline

(English) 01-12-2015

(English) Contract GAP signed

(English) 01-12-2016

(English) Concept Visuals produced

(English) 01-09-2017

(English) Detailed design input

(English) 01-10-2017

(English) Cabin Mock-Ups

(English) 01-02-2018

(English) Steel Cutting

(English) 01-06-2018

(English) Keel Laying

(English) 01-10-2018

(English) Drawing/Material Sign-off

(English) 01-05-2019

(English) Onboard Inspections

(English) 20-06-2019

(English) Delivery

(English) Cabins & Suites

(English) SMC Design were responsible for the design and implementation of all cabins and suites onboard Spirit of Discovery, all following the brief of curating a personable and comfortable environment within a boutique-feel aesthetic.
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(English) Restaurants

(English) There are five restaurants onboard Spirit of Discovery, each with their own distinct character and offering – from the traditional and formal environment of The Grand Dining Room to the English Garden kitchen inspired buffet restaurant The Grill.
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(English) Artwork

(English) SMC Art worked alongside SMC Design and Saga Cruises to create a specially curated collection befitting Spirit of Discovery.

Taking inspiration from the geography, landscapes, and palette of the British Isles, the collection has been selected for it’s unique character, interesting exploration of media and breadth of techniques.
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(English) The Spa

(English) Designed as a unique destination onboard Spirit of Discovery, entering guests are greeted by a charcoal black tile façade and shell artwork by Blott Kerr Wilson. Private treatment rooms and hemlocked timber saunas are on offer, as well as a hydrotherapy pool area featuring contemporary tile details, speckled by the natural light that pierces the window screens to the veined marble outer walls.
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(English) Exterior

(English) A cruise ship’s profile takes precedent at the early stages of the design process. The brief for Spirit of Discovery was to create a classic cruise liner look whilst offering ample exterior space to both guests and crew. To achieve this, bold and recognisable colours were used on the ships hull and funnel and close detail was given to the design of smaller details such as railings and catwalks. The aft end of the ship is particularly distinctive with its curved railings following the steel arc of each deck, all with access to passenger areas inside. The Promenade Deck and Sun Deck then offers the guests great views inboard and outboard whilst allowing them to complete a full walk around of the decks.
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