Showing posts from 2012

M.S. "FUNCHAL" laid-up in Lisbon

The last "post" of the year 2012 is dedicated to a very special ship to me, the M.S."FUNCHAL". This remarkable little cruise ship has been laid-up in Lisbon since September of 2010 undergoing a massive refit, her return to service has been postponed for various times, she is today facing a very uncertain future, historians and experts on the subject fear the worse for the ship. I have sailed twice on "FUNCHAL", they were unforgettable moments, seen the ship countless times since 1963 and it would be very sad for me to see her going forever, I hope 2013 will be a very good year to all of us and the year that will mark the return of "FUNCHAL" to her sea-going career.


Madeira is one of the World's top destinations for the NEW YEAR's DAY CELEBRATIONS, normally on New Year's Eve passenger ships gather at the Bay of Funchal to marvel with the unique and sensational fireworks. This year will be no exception with several cruise ships docking at the port of Funchal, local Ships Enthusiasts "CLUBE DE ENTUSIASTAS DE NAVIOS" have taken celebrations a step forward, an event called "2012 LAST SUNSET SYMPHONY" has been organized with the ships sounding their horns simultaneously in an orderly fashion, which promises to be original, spectacular and emotional at the same time, taking part on this organized concert are AZURA, QUEEN VICTORIA, AIDAbella, AIDAsol, THOMSON MAJESTY, BOUDICCA, local Ferry LOBO MARINHO and tug PONTA DO PARGO. Congratulations to C.E.N. for this memorable initiative. AIDAsol and BOUDICCA photographed above in 2011 two of the ships participating on this years MADEIRA NEW YEAR's Celebrations

Has the QE2 been sold for scrap

Disturbing news are once again circulating giving us account of the QE2 being sold for scrap to Chinese interests, I am still hopeful this will not materialize and are just rumours, it cannot be considered shocking news, the future of the ship has been on balance since she left her home port of Southampton back in November of 2008. Whichever way we look at it and understanding how difficult it is to preserve a ship this size as an hotel, conference and museum centre, I believe if she goes this would be a crime against Maritime History and the Shipping World. QE2 pictured in Lisbon during the summer of 1997

The brilliant AURORA departing Funchal by Joao Abreu

captured by Joao Abreu/WORLD WIDE SHIPSPOTTING, "AURORA" is seeing here departing Funchal, photos taken 20.12.2012.

BBC News - Southampton 'enhanced clean' for Oriana after illness outbreak

BBC News - Southampton 'enhanced clean' for Oriana after illness outbreak:

ORIANA subject to extra cleaning on her return to Southampton today due to a norovirus outbreak, Please click link above for all the news. Photo of ORIANA at Lisbon, 1.12.2012

My Favourite Cruise Ships Photos of 2012

MSC OPERA, Lisbon 30.4.2012
                          CELEBRITY SILHOUETTE, Lisbon 30.4.2012
                            ARCADIA, Lisbon 30.4.2012

                           QUEEN MARY 2, Southampton 27.4.2012

                            MARCO POLO, Liverpool 15.4.2012
                            SEABOURN LEGEND, Barcelona 2.7.2012
                           SEABOURN QUEST, Barcelona 6.7.2012
                           COSTA FAVOLOSA, Lisbon 2/12/2012

With the year fast approaching above is a review of some of my own favourite photos of passenger ships, I have done hundreds but the ones above rank amongst my favourite of the year, they are displaced in no particular order.

Cruise Ship OCEANA at Lisbon

Seen here at Lisbon on the 2.12.2012 is the PO CRUISES Cruise Ship Oceana, this would be the last port of call before returning to Southampton and proceed to Germany for a two weeks refit. OCEANA was built in 2000 and has 77.499 GRT

QUEEN VICTORIA departed on her maiden voyage five years ago to this day

HAPPY BIRTHDAY "QUEEN VICTORIA". Can't quite believe that five years have passed since I've taken photos above of the brand new QUEEN VICTORIA entering her home port of Southampton for the very first time after been delivered by FINCANTIERI. It was a bitter cold day but sunny and you can't really bit winter sunshine for photography, there I was on board a BLUE FUNNEL vessel together with other ships enthusiasts, we were defiant to the elements but it was worth it, she looked amazing sailing past us to the sound of U2's "Beautiful Day". The date 7.12.2012, she would be Christened by the Duchess of Cornwall on the 10.12.2012, so officially her naming ceremony, but in my opinion her most important date to this day was the beginning of her maiden voyage and that will stay forever in history, 11.12.2012


This "post" is about a remarkable ship, the S.S. "UNITED STATES" of 1952 one of the greatest passenger liners ever built. Work on the building of the UNITED STATES" began at NEWPORT NEWS SHIPBUILDING AND DRY DOCK on the 8.2.1950, this extraordinary ship was built with the dual purpose of an Ocean Liner and also a Naval Auxiliary, she could be converted into a Troopship in just 48 hours. Her Turbines could develop an incredible 248.000 s.h.p. making her by far the fastest ocean liner ever to have crossed the North Atlantic, on her maiden voyage from New York, 3.7.1952 she bested the QUEEN MARY record for 14 years by some 10 hours, she crossed the North Atlantic in just 3 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes at an average speed of 35.59 knots. The "UNITED STATES" is 53.330 GRT and had capacity for 1925 passengers. After a decade of solid bookings, the numbers of passengers crossing by sea started steadily started to disappear, "UNITED STATES" was w…

QUEEN MARY 2 at Funchal

"QUEEN MARY 2" and AIDAbella visited Funchal yesterday. Thank you to Joao Abreu for these brilliant photos. For other "posts" and photos of QM2, please visit my Blog dedicated solely to the ship here

ORIANA at Lisbon

ORIANA at Lisbon, photos registered 1.12.2012 the first time I saw the ship after the addition of the duck tail

Intimate "shots" of "CELEBRITY EQUINOX"

"CELEBRITY EQUINOX" at Barcelona 29.11.2012


"CELEBRITY EQUINOX" is the second of the five "SOLSTICE-CLASS" cruise ships built by MEYER WERFT in Germany, the others being SOLSTICE, ECLIPSE, SILHOUETTE and the brand new REFLECTION. EQUINOX was delivered to her owners and operators, CELEBRITY CRUISES in July of 2009, the ship is 122.000 GRT and has capacity for just over 2800 passengers. Photos above taken in Barcelona, 29.11.2012