Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"ORIANA" A CLASSIC EIGHTEEN YEARS IN SERVICE


"ORIANA" completed yesterday eighteen years in service with P & O CRUISES. A lot has been written about "ORIANA", terms like "evolutionary not revolutionary" are far too common by now but were a first when "ORIANA" came into service, the truth is, she was in fact evolutionary a modern version of the ship that inspired her building, the fabulous "CANBERRA". I was on holiday in Palma de Mallorca during the summer of 1995 when "ORIANA" made her maiden call to the island, she was all over the news a few days before, "the new 5 star luxury British passenger ship will be visiting Palma this week", also remember that  a couple of months later when photographing her in Barcelona together with other ships enthusiasts met for the first time, the comment was "compared to the new ships we see these days, she is a classic". We tend to admire things that we dislike in the first place, we are educated likewise, ships book a place in history if they serve as a troopship in some war. "ORIANA" was by far one of my favourite ships of all time when she came into service, she reminded me straight away of her predecessor, the "CANBERRA", a lot more that QE2 resembled her famous predecessors QUEEN ELIZABETH and QUEEN MARY, a CUNARDER, the second biggest ship in the World at 65.000 GRT with just one funnel, there was a lot of discontentment, a lot more compared to when "ORIANA" entered service in 1995. Despite the addition of her "duck tail" "ORIANA's" profile has not been changed, she is today a classic that gained a place in passenger ships maritime history, cherished by passengers that would refuse to sail in a different ship, the same way that happened with the CANBERRA. P & O invested recently a lot of money upgrading her with a massive refit, that would keep her in service for many years to come, after eighteen years in service as a classic "ORIANA" is in my opinion one of the most exciting passenger ships at sea. Photos above sent by WORLD WIDE SHIPSPOTTING, "ORIANA" at Funchal and Geirangerfyord in 2012.

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