Sunday, April 26, 2015

"SOVEREIGN" at Naples

The 1988 built "SOVEREIGN" at Naples last week, see some more information and photos of the ship here. Photos 21.4.2015

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Every time I am in Italy, memories take me back to 1976 when I sailed on the fabulous "GUGLIELMO MARCONI". This amazing ship was built in 1963 and until 1976 was operated by Lloyd Triestino on the Australian route together with her sister ship GALILEO GALILEI, in 1976 she was transferred to the ITALIA LINE for the river plate service, she was companion of another legendary liner, the CRISTOFORO COLOMBO, the service was short lived and just over one year later she was withdrawn from service, periods of lay up and different cruising operators followed until 2001 when she was sold for scrap, she remains to this day as my favourite passenger ship ever, for further information follow my blog dedicated to the ship here

Sunday, April 12, 2015

MARINA departing Southampton

The beautiful cruise ship MARINA departing Southampton back in the summer of 2013, the ship was built for OCEANIA CRUISES in 2011 by FINCANTIERI in Italy, she is 65.000 G.T. with capacity for just over 1200 passengers, her sister ship, the RIVIERA entered service an year later, they both provide high luxury cruising to their guests. See MARINA at FUNCHAL here. Photos above taken, 13.8.2013

LINERS and CRUISE SHIPS, a question of ignoring hundreds of years of maritime culture and history

These two photos were taken on board the brand new P & O CRUISES "BRITANNIA" back in March this year while visiting the ship on the eve of her maiden voyage with paying customers. Couldn't escape to notice that between the two funnels, there is a board with the name of her cruising operator instead of the ship's name. This type of boards always used to sport the ship's name during the years of the Liners, when passenger Liners were the pride and ambassadors of nations, a time when Countries used to compete to build the biggest, the fastest or the most luxurious Liner in the World, some current cruise ships, still maintain the tradition. Market has changed, today there are no Liner voyages apart from CUNARD's QUEEN MARY 2 offering North Atlantic crossings from the UK to the U.S.A., today passenger ships are managed, monitored to transport thousands of passengers for cruising, a form of a Holiday at sea, offering visits to different countries without the need of changing hotels, all of this is nowadays fine, times are different, there is no need for liners, the necessity is now focused on building passenger ships that are able to transport up to 6000 passengers that are travelling with cruising operators, P & O CRUISES, RCI, NCL, COSTA CRUISES and so on, the name of the ship is now of second importance, the idea is for customers to go on a competition about cruising companies, shame to realize that the identity and culture of the passenger ship is a thing of the past, even companies like P & O CRUISES with 177 years of tradition completely ignore their past, real shame to see the names of the ships being relegated to second plan, but on a different note, BRITANNIA is a success in the making, the ship is beautiful and will possibly become one of the most important ships in modern cruising. Photos at Southampton, 13.3.2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

S.S> "ROTTERDAM" of 1959

Here's another regular of this Blog, the simply delightful S.S. "ROTTERDAM" of 1959, she is at her home port of Rotterdam serving as an Hotel/Restaurant/Conference Centre, I have stayed twice aboard the ship and really miss going back, she is one of my all time ever favourites. Photos taken February 2013

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

QUEEN VICTORIA and AURORA together at Southampton back in 2007

This photo takes us back to December of 2007, the brand new QUEEN VICTORIA is just arriving from Italy on her delivery voyage to CUNARD, behind QV is the P & O CRUISES beautiful AURORA, getting ready to depart on another cruise, I remember it was a cold but beautiful sunny day with a magnificent light, the best welcome the brand new QV could have expected, great memories, the exact date 7.12.2007

Monday, April 6, 2015

New P & O CRUISES "BRITANNIA" at Funchal

Very nice photos kindly sent by Madeira Ship Enthusiast, Peter Goncalves, showing the brand new "BRITANNIA" during her maiden call at Funchal, the ship departed Southampton on her maiden voyage on the 14.3.2015, she is at the moment on her second voyage, copyright photos taken 1.4.2015

OCEANA of P & O CRUISES at Funchal with the new livery

OCEANA at Funchal sporting her new P & O CRUISES livery, in a clear attempt to gain ground, or not to lose it on the competition, the 177 year old company decided last year to change their colours, it works fine on some ships, OCEANA a clear example of that and not so good on other ships of the fleet, like the classics ORIANA and AURORA. Photo copyright Joao Abreu, taken at Funchal, 13.3.2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

My beloved EAGLE of 1971

The EAGLE of 1971, today's MANO CRUISES "ROYAL IRIS" is apparently reported for sale. This is not the first time I write a "post" about the EAGLE, she was my first job back in 1974, the first ship I went to sea on a cruise in 1975, she was beautiful and remains one of my favourite ships ever. She was built in 1971 for Southern Cross a subsidiary company of P & O and launched for a six day trip out of Southampton every week with calls at Lisbon, Algeciras and Tangier, for four years she was a weekly visitor to my native Lisbon, in 1975 she was sold to PAQUET and became AZUR, until 1981 she was operated with the double role of cruise ferry and cruise ship, she was that year fully converted to full time cruising, in 1987 she was sold to CHANDRIS and became THE AZUR, she's been cruising since then for CHANDRIS and FESTIVAL CRUISES, in 2004 she was finally sold to MANO CRUISES, she's been cruising out of Israel since then , she seems to be now for sale and latest reports suggest that she will not be used this year. My beloved EAGLE, I wish you good luck

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Remembering the NORMANDIE of 1935

If I was asked to name the most beautiful Liner ever, the answer would have to be the NORMANDIE of 1935, never seen her live, but judging for the books, paintings, Maritime History information, the choice would have to go for the NORMANDIE, considering that she was built in 1935 her novel design was just amazing, even today she still looks modern, her interiors also were lavish and magnificent the best of ART DECO at sea, quite simply stunning, postcards above from my collection

Uncertain future for LISBOA

LISBOA built in 1955 as the PORT MELBOURNE is for sale, the ship is operated by the 2013 formed "Portuscale Cruises" after been acquired from C.I.C. in 2013, when she was sailing as the PRINCESS DANAE. Last March she was reportedly sold for scrap and meant to leave Lisbon for Turkey mid March, an ocean-going tug even arrived in Lisbon to tow LISBOA but the sale didn't materialize, will there be hope once again for this beautiful ship ? she's never sailed for her new owners after 2013, the ship was dry docked late 2013 and a lot of works were carried out but were interrupted, apparently the ship needed a lot more repairs than originally antecipated, she's been in Lisbon since late 2013 laid-up, will she sail again ? we hope so. PRINCESS DANAE when she was sailing for C.I.C. and below an artistic impression with the new Portuscale Cruises colours

Friday, April 3, 2015

Close-up and intimate with MAGELLAN

On a warm bright spring day "MAGELLAN" sails from Tilbury, photos 27.3.2015

MARCO POLO sailing from Tilbury

MARCO POLO sailing from Tilbury, the London Cruise Terminal fully booked with passengers for another cruise, so good to see she's still going strong, the year she completes 50, photos 27.3.2015

"MAGELLAN" the new C & MV cruise ship

"MAGELLAN" joined the C & MV fleet in March of this year, follow the link here for a cruise review. Photos taken 28.3.2015 at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne/Northshields

P & O CRUISES "ORIANA" turns 20 this year

Hard to believe that ORIANA has been in service for twenty years, follow the link here for further photos and a brief text dedicated to ORIANA, photos copyright Harald Ones

BRITANNIA interiors

Designed to offer the best of British, BRITANNIA is a fabulous ship, take a tour of this gigantic cruise ship, following the link here.