The sea has calmed a little; the north Atlantic is no millpond and in racing parlance the "going" is officially described as moderate, but waves are no longer licking at the over-sized porthole windows of the Golden Lion pub. Queen Mary 2, entering Day 3 of her 10th anniversary crossing, is bowling along at a steady 21.2 knots. That's still just a little over two-thirds of her design speed, but it's enough to keep the forward decks closed to protect passengers from the 30-knot sou'westerly. We are not, after all, on a leisurely cruise of the Mediterranean or the Caribbean, [...]
There have been thousands of words and hundreds of pictures of the momentous day when Cunard's Three Queens assembled in Southampton to celebrate the 10th anniversary year of Cunard's Queen Mary 2. Time now for a couple of videos of the day's events. Guest of honour, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, toured the ship and visited several crew-only areas before sitting down to lunch in the Britannia dining room.
The sky is the palest shade of duck-egg blue, sitting above a soft roll of cotton wool clouds on the horizon. Beneath them the grey sea boils angrily, wind-streaked and flecked with white horses. No wonder. A westerly gale is blowing at a steady 40 knots. Queen Mary 2, on the first full day at sea on her 214th Transatlantic crossing, is heading straight into it. A message from the bridge announces that for safety reasons the open areas of the forward decks have been closed to passengers. The weather and the sea want to toss QM2's massive bulk around [...]
Looking good: Assembly of the main structure of Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas has been completed at the Meyer-Werft yard in Papenburg, Germany. There's still plenty more to be done before the 168,000-ton ship is floated out of the construction shed and makes its conveyance along the Ems river to the sea. The ship will visit Southampton before heading to America this autumn; sister ship Anthem of the seas will debut next spring.
Change of plan for Royal Caribbean in the UK - Adventure of the Seas is being replaced on its Southampton sailings by sister ship Explorer of the Seas from next year. They are virtually identical Voyager-class vessels, each carrying 3,114 passengers. Adventure first entered service in 2001, Explorer a year earlier. Before arriving in the UK next April, Explorer will spend a month in dry dock for an overhaul and "refreshment," during which it will be fitted with a Flowrider surf simulator and a 3D cinema. Several of the speciality restaurants familiar on Royal Caribbean's newer vessels will also be [...]
The nation's favourite baker helped Viking Cruises break a Guinness World Record this week for the biggest number of ships inaugurated in one day. Mary Berry was one of 16 godmothers who christened new Longship river ships in three separate countries. She was in Amsterdam, where nine of the vessels were named, while TV wine expert Susie Barrie was among seven more women naming ships in the French city of Avignon and - remotely - four more in a German shipyard. Two smaller Viking ships were named on Friday in a separate ceremony on the River Douro in Portugal. All [...]
Looks like 2015 is going to be the year of the Britannia. TWO Britannias to be precise. In the blue corner (as far as funnel décor is concerned) P&O will be putting on a party to mark the christening of their Britannia and will be counting the takings as the newest and biggest ship built for the British market sails from Southampton throughout the summer. And in the red corner, Cunard will be marking the 175th anniversary of its first ship, Britannia, which set sail in July 1840 to inaugurate the first ever scheduled service across the Atlantic. Cunard's flagship [...]
Stars were shining down from a clear, dark sky; in the seas around, the lights of four other cruise ships surrounded Norwegian Getaway, somewhere between the Caribbean islands of St Maarten and St Thomas. Suddenly the night erupted in colour and noise, as fireworks shot into the inky blackness, accompanied by a soundtrack that included Slade's Cum on Feel The Noiz and Prince singing Purple Rain. What a way to mark the halfway point of what is becoming a great week on the newest cruise ship in the world! The advertising slogans proclaimed that Getaway Lights Up Miami, and here [...]
An all inclusive package will be available on one of Princess Cruises' UK-based ships for the first time next year. The offer, which forms part of the company's 2015 Europe programme, will be available on ten sailings in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe on board Caribbean Princess. The 3,000 passenger ship will set sail from the UK during spring and summer next year. Other highlights include a reduced deposit of £99 per person on all Europe cruises and an increased number of sailings across the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. The cruise line has also revealed that Royal Princess, launched last [...]