Thursday, May 31, 2012

Remembering the EPIRITOKI LINES, S.S. "OLYMPIC"

 Seen here in July of 1996 at Piraeus is the beautiful S.S. "OLYMPIC", this famous ocean liner of the fifties was built in Scotland by FAIRFIELD SHIPBUILDING in 1956 to be operated by CANADIAN PACIFIC STEAMSHIP as the EMPRESS OF BRITAIN on the Liverpool to Montreal service. She was propelled by steam turbines with a cruising speed of 20 knots, she was 25.516 GRT. "OLYMPIC" sailed for EPIRITOKI LINES between 1995 and 1997, she was scrapped at Alang in 2008 as "THE TOPAZ". Postcard below of the EMPRESS OF BRITAIN from my private collection.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

M.V. "OCEAN COUNTESS" visited Liverpool yesterday






The cruise ship "OCEAN COUNTESS" visited Liverpool yesterday for the first time this year. Built in Denmark by BURMEISTER & WAIN at Copenhagen in 1975 and fitted-out in Italy by INMA at La Spezia, the ship was completed in 1976 as the "CUNARD COUNTESS" to be operated by the CUNARD LINE. Since 1996 the ship was owned by AWAIN CRUISES, ROYAL OLYMPIC CRUISES, ROYAL OLYMPIA CRUISES and since 2004 by the Greek based company MAJESTIC INTERNATIONAL CRUISES. "OCEAN COUNTESS" has been on charter to the 2009 established Dartford based company C.M.V-CRUISE AND MARITIME VOYAGES since 2010, before joining the MARCO POLO she was refitted and tailored mainly for the UK cruise passengers. "OCEAN COUNTESS" is a very small ship for today's standards, she is 17.593 GRT has capacity for 800 passengers and cruises as 17 knots, a classic attractive cruise ship, photos 29.5.2012 at New Brighton/Liverpool

Sunday, May 27, 2012

remembering M.S. "JASON"



 One of the reasons I have created this blog, apart from sharing almost 40 years of wonderful memories of cruise ships and liners, was to get myself organized and make some sense of my very old archive. The other day I came across brochures postcards and photos of a much loved cruise ship, the "JASON", which I had the opportunity to photograph and see many times in the early eighties in Lisbon. This incredibly beautiful little cruise ship was built together with other two sisters in 1965 by CANTIERI RIUNITI DEL'ADRIATICO, the ships were built as an Italian war reparation to Greece, she was only 4300 GRT with capacity for just about 200 passengers, she was built as the EROS, the other sisters being the APHRODITE and the ADONIS, they were inter-island passenger car ferries in Greece. EROS was later converted to cruising becoming the JASON operated by EPIRITOKI and later the OCEAN ODISSEY serving INDIAN OCEAN CRUISES, she was scrapped in 2010 at Alang apparently in extremely good condition, this ship while cruising was known for its superb facilities.
Photo above "JASON" in Lisbon in the early eighties, the other images are postcards from my private collection

Thursday, May 24, 2012

QE2's farewell call in Funchal

The 19th June of 2008 was a sad day amongst ship lovers as the QE2 made her farewell call in Funchal, after more than 30 years visiting our island.
Two tug boats, CTE. PASSOS GOUVEIA and PONTA DO PARGO, the first named after an illustrous maderian captain and the second after a northwest region of the island, dressed overall for the occasion of the Queen's final departure as they assisted with her unberthing. Outside the harbour walls the tugs released water jets in salute to the QE2 as she gained speed towards south.
Unfortunatly these weren't my most active years of ship photography otherwise I would be amongst that crowd seen in the far end of the harbour or onboard a small craft in which some members of the Madeira Ship Club went, especially for the occasion, taken the best shots I could get.
João Abreu

The Iconic Gare Maritima da Rocha in Lisbon

The building of the "GARE MARITIMA DA ROCHA" took place between 1945 and 1948, however the project dates back from 1934, built of reinforced concrete the G.M.R. arose in the context of modernization for communication between Portugal the former colonies and the rest of World. It's an iconic building classified by IGESPAR-Management Institute of Architectural Heritage, the interiors are of modern pictorial decoration by Portuguese artist ALMADA NEGREIROS born in 1893, famous for his engravings, murals and mosaic work. Once pivotal on the embarkation and disembarkation of thousands of emigrants and soldiers, going overseas to the Colonial Wars, today the G.M.R. still witnesses hundreds of cruise ships calls with tourists visiting the Portuguese Capital.




Throughout these last four decades I have wonderful memories of this Iconic Building, savouring hundreds of liners and cruise ship calls, was also the place where I waived goodbye to family members going overseas on their war duties during the 60's, it was also here that I embarked on FUNCHAL and GUGLIELMO MARCONI for some of the most remarkable sea voyages I have lived on board former liners. Photos above, the PRINSENDAM docking G.M.R. 2.5.2012, MAXIM GORKIY and EUROPA during the late 80's, Portuguese liners SANTA MARIA and VERA CRUZ in the 50's, photo copyright Luis Miguel Correia, FUNCHAL and ASTOR, late 80's, EUROPA in 1982 and QE2 in November of 1985

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the new MSC CRUISES mega cruise ship has now been delivered


The brand new "MSC DIVINA" has now been delivered by STX shipyards at Saint-Nazaire, she is the largest of the MSC CRUISES fleet, currently the fourth biggest cruise operator in the World. "MSC DIVINA" at 139.000 GRT is the largest of the FANTASIA-CLASS cruise ships, she was originally meant to be called FANTASTICA but actress Sophia Loren expressed her will to the owners of MSC to have a ship named after her one day, so the chairman of the company personal friend of the actress fulfilled her wish by naming the new flagship "MSC DIVINA". The new mega cruise-ship has capacity for 3950 passengers and has a top speed of 23.7 knots, she is due to be named by Sophia Loren on the 26.5.2012 at Marseille and embark on her maiden voyage the day after, MSC CRUISES will operate the new ship in the Mediterranean. "MSC DIVINA" is seen above at Lisbon on her maiden call during her shake down cruise, photos copyright Rui Agostinho




During the past year I have paid a few visits to Saint-Nazaire to follow the building of the new ship, the photos above are from March, April and September 2011 showing the new mega cruise ship taking shape at one of the most prestigious shipyards in the World, responsible for the building of some of the most enchanting liners ever, to name a few, NORMANDIE, FRANCE and recently the new QUEEN MARY 2

Sunday, May 20, 2012

M.V. "ADONIA" one year in service with P & O CRUISES






The beautiful cruise ship "ADONIA" started her service with P & O CRUISES exactly one year ago tomorrow, she is the smallest of the current fleet and is also the latest addition to this prestigious Shipping Company. "ADONIA" was built in 2001 by the famous CHANTIERS DE L'ATLANTIQUE" for the long extinct RENAISSANCE CRUISES as the R EIGHT, she also sailed as the MINERVA II and the ROYAL PRINCESS before joining P & O, the ship was Christened on the 21.5.2011 by Dame Shirley Bassey. "ADONIA" is 30.277 GRT has capacity for just over 800 passengers and cruises at 18 knots, she is registered at Nassau.

"ADONIA" has a very intimate and cozy atmosphere aboard with an Old World Decor ambiance, as it can be seen here on these ANDERSONS Bar photos sent by our Friend Rui Agostinho, named after one of the founders of this World famous Shipping Company known for its service reputation of excellence, exactly 175 years ago, this is the year of P & O, for all the information and history of the company please visit www.poheritage.com/our-history Photos above of the ADONIA in Lisbon by VMF 29.4.2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The CUNARD LINE QUEENS for the QUEEN ELIZABETH II Diamond Jubilee


CUNARD LINE will celebrate QUEEN ELIZABETH II Diamond Jubilee with a special event on the 5th of June 2012, for the first time the three new CUNARDERS will be together at Southampton. The Legendary QUEENS were the dominant liners on the North Atlantic route from the launch of the first QUEEN MARY in 1936 to the close of the century with QE2 by then reaching the point of retirement. The decision to build the grandest ocean liner ever in 1998 caused widespread excitement with the new QUEEN MARY 2 entering service in 2004 since then CUNARD has introduced the QUEEN VICTORIA in 2007 and the QUEEN ELIZABETH in 2010, the new QUEENS are a lavish tribute to the World's best known Shipping Line. One by one the new CUNARD LINE ships are, QM2 above

Builders Yard        ALSTOM / Saint-Nazaire
Cost        £550 million
Keel laid       4.7.2002
Ceremonial naming       QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Tonnage       151.000 GRT
Top speed       29.6 knots
Main Engines       4 Wartsila Diesels 16V46C CR / 2 gas turbines
Propulsion       4 Rolls-Royce / 21.5 MW pods
Engine output combined     156.000 h.p.
Passenger Capacity       2.620
Maiden Voyage       12.1.2004

 QUEEN VICTORIA
Builders Yard       FINCANTIERI
Cost       £300 million
Keel laid       16.5.2006
Ceremonial naming       DUCHESS OF CORNWALL
Tonnage       90.000 GRT
Top speed       23.7 knots
Main engines       4 Wartsila-Sulzer ZA40 Diesels
Propulsion       2ABB 17.6MW pods
Engine output       103.000 h.p.
Passenger capacity       2.014
Maiden Voyage       10.12.2007
    

QUEEN ELIZABETH
Builders Yard       FINCANTIERI
Cost       £350 million
Keel laid       2.7.2009
Ceremonial naming       QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Tonnage       91.901 GRT
Top speed       23.7 knots
Main Engines       4 MAK 12VM43C Diesels
Propulsion       2ABB17.6MW pods
Engine output       104.000 h.p.
Passenger capacity       2.092
Maiden Voyage       12.10.2010

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

THREE QUEENS DIAMOND JUBILEE CELEBRATION

Details and timetable of the THREE QUEENS DIAMOND JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS have been revealed, please click image to find out all about this fantastic event. Photo taken from the CUNARD LINE website.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CANBERRA, one of her last Southampton departures

"CANBERRA" departing Southampton on the 27th of June 1997, one of her last voyages, I have kept this photo for ages and never published here because it was too dark, today after a major refit by friend Tee Adams, the photo looks a lot better and I can't resist to upload it here and share with all the followers of this blog, hope you all enjoy it, CANBERRA a unique ship, greatly missed

Friday, May 11, 2012

COSTA DELIZIOSA in Lisbon




The COSTA CROCIERE cruise ship "COSTA DELIZIOSA" is seen here in Lisbon during another call to the Portuguese capital. The ship was delivered by FINCANTIERI late January of 2012, she entered service in February and made history when she was the first cruise ship to be christened at the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES to coincide with the opening of the new Port Rashid cruise terminal, the ceremony took place on the 23rd of February 2010. "COSTA DELIZIOSA" is 92.700 GRT, has a top speed of 23.7 knots and can accommodate 2800 passengers. Photos kindly sent by our Friend Rui Agostinho local keen ship spotter and Maritime enthusiast, 9.5.2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

MSC POESIA in Lisbon






Built in 2008 by AKER at Saint-Nazaire, "MSC POESIA" was the flagship of MSC CRUISES for a brief spell until the MSC FANTASIA entered service in December of the same year. POESIA was christened by Sophia Loren at Dover on the 5th of April 2008, she was the first ship of the fleet to be named outside Italy. In January of this year, the ship was all over the news when she ran aground at Freeport in the Bahamas, the incident was of no consequence to the passengers and crew on board as well as for the ship, she was pulled out with the help of tugs during high tide. "MSC POESIA" is 93.330 GRT, has a top speed of 23 knots and can accommodate 2500 passengers. Photos of the ship in Lisbon during her last call, she shared her berth with another fleet member, the MSC OPERA, 30.4.2012