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The recently refurbished Saga Sapphire will arrive in Southampton today following delays due to national strike action in Italy.

Dry docked at the Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo, Italy, Saga Sapphire underwent almost four months of work including the addition of 46 balconies to Deck 8 cabins, new restaurants, an outdoor cinema and the redesign of several public areas.

Originally scheduled to depart on a 23-night Mediterranean cruise, Saga Cruises has been forced to shorten the inaugural sailing to 16-nights with a spokesperson stating that the line has tried to keep as close to the original itinerary as possible.

Remaining in Southampton until 2 April, the ship will be stocked with provisions and new furniture ahead of the 16-night sailing.

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Words: Natalie Aroyan