P&O on the crest of a wave

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GrandEvent175_NC_08.jpgWhat is the compulsion that forces us to wave at passing ships? We have all done it, as other cruise ships have joined us in port, or as we have left them behind on departure. Last night, Princess Anne waved off all seven ships in the P&O fleet at the end of a memorable and emotional day which marked the founding of the cruise company 175 years ago.
She was not alone. Thousands of people had flocked to Southampton throughout the day. As evening approached, an estimated 30,000 gathered along Southampton Water from Hythe to Calshot, from Mayflower Park and Town Pier to Lee-on-Solent, and at Cowes and other vantage points on the Isle of Wight.
The Princess Royal, Master of Trinity House, reviewed the fleet’s departure from on board THV Patricia, together with senior officers from the Corporation, including deputy master Ian McNaught (standing next to Princess Anne), himself a former P&O captain and master of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2. Even they managed to wave energetically (below).
patricia.jpgroyal3.jpgmicky.jpgAlso on board Patricia were Carnival UK chief executive David Dingle and Lord Sterling, life president of P&O, Micky Arison, chief executive of P&O’s parent company, Carnival Corporation, and Admiral Sir Jonathan Band, the most senior serving officer in the Royal Navy.
Arison, more used to the weather at home in Miami, had earlier commented on Twitter that global warming did not seem to have reached London yet. As he was introduced to Princess Anne (left) he was wearing a Miami Heat pin – his basketball team is celebrating victory in the NBA Championships – to match the P&O 175 pin in his other lapel.
HMS Dragon, the Navy’s newest Type 45 destroyer, was on escort duty for the dignitaries, as hundreds of pleasure craft joined the flotilla during what turned out to be the wettest day of the year for Southampton. A planned display by the Red Arrows had to be cancelled because of low cloud.
P&O Cruises’ managing director, Carol Marlow, said: “Everyone has worked so hard to make the Grand Event a success and of course we are honoured to have the Princess Royal with us on such a prestigious day.
“We were delighted to see so many people lining the shore to witness our historical event – in spite of rather grey weather! The whole day was a fantastic celebration of 175 years of heritage and will go down as one of the great days in British maritime history.”
It will also be remembered as the day that the biggest number of people waved at more cruise ships than they had ever seen assembled in the port.
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Adonia leads Ventura, Arcadia, Aurora, Oriana, Azura, and Oceana out to sea at the end of a memorable day. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
All pictures courtesy of P&O
By | 2017-06-15T15:59:46+00:00 4 July 2012|Cruise news, Cruise pictures|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Ralph Rackstraw 4 July 2012 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    It all looks a bit Ruritania with those uniforms. Not very flattering for HRH. Shame the man at the opposite end of the line to her could not find a pair of white gloves. Great day for P&O though shame a bout the rain . love the picture at the bottom with all seven ships lined up

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