As a postscript to Southampton’s bonanza cruise weekend, with nine ships in port last Saturday and Sunday, Sue Bryant reports on Cruise Critic.co.uk that the free tours laid on by the port authority attracted 2,500 people, some of whom were queuing as early as 7.00 am, three hours before the first bus was due to leave.
The hour-long tours of the Western and Eastern docks gave ship-spotters a chance to get close to Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, P&O’s Aurora, Oceana, Oriana and Ventura, Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, Grand Princess, and Fred Olsen’s Black Watch.
Sightseers were not allowed to board the ships, but they were given access to areas not usually available to non-travelling members of the public.
They’re a tight-fisted lot though, these ship-spotters. Although the tours were provided free of charge, there was a charity collection in aid of a local hospice. It raised just £2,000 – only 80p per person.