Category Archives: Southampton

Farewell Nellie

It was a sad day for the Jubilee Sailing Trust and its supporters as their flagship, Lord Nelson, was decommissioned on the 11th October 2019. The weather that day summed up the mood, although it wasn’t as bad as the … Continue reading

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Carnival Comes to Southampton!

Finally, after having Carnival UK & pkc based in the city, the port of Southampton finally gets to see another Carnival ship after Fascination in 1994! When they have sailed from the UK in the past, Dover has been their … Continue reading

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ABP Southampton & Carnival Revamp Ocean Terminal

ABP have announced Ocean Terminal will be expanded to accommodate larger ships, including P&O’s new Iona, which enters service in May 2020. All ships scheduled to use that berth after Queen Mary 2 on the 4th November 2018 have been … Continue reading

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Farewell Oriana

As everyone will know by now, Carnival Corporation, parent company of the P&O Cruises brand, have decided to sell their former flagship. To date, the name of the buyer nor what her purpose will be, haven’t been revealed just “Chinese … Continue reading

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Happy 70th Astoria!

This little beauty entered service as Stockholm for Swedish America Line on the 21st February 1948, setting sail from Gothenburg to New York. She came to international attention in July 1956 when she and the Andrea Doria collided off Nantucket, … Continue reading

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Saga Goes Retro

When Saga started ocean cruising in 1996, the ships had dark hulls with yellow funnels. After purchase of Bleu de France in 2011, they decided to go with a light blue funnel, the new logo spread across both sides, despite … Continue reading

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Farewell Eclipse

Today, the Celebrity Eclipse sailed from Southampton for the last time after 7.5 years and eight wonderful seasons. The second of the Solstice class to set propeller in Southampton Water, she made her debut on a hazy April day in … Continue reading

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Canberra and Rotterdam 20 Years On

Lots of things happened in 1997 including the death of Princess Diana. But to ship nuts, the 30th September was a very sad day as two ships with different fates ended their careers with their respective cruise lines. SS Rotterdam … Continue reading

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Braemar Visit

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is known for small ship cruising on grand old ladies, daring to cruise where many others avoid by building bigger ships. You know you’re on a Fred as soon as you set foot aboard. The standard … Continue reading

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Blue Funnel Cowes Firework Cruise

Each year, Blue Funnel Cruises runs a party cruise from Ocean Village to see the Cowes Week fireworks. Due to Lee Rayment acquiring the Hythe ferry earlier in the year, they added a pick-up from Hythe pier this year (4th … Continue reading

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Queen Mary 2 Celebrates US-France Cultural Legacy

On the 24th June, QM2 will return to her birthplace of Saint Nazaire to take part in a special charter commemorating 100 years since American troops landed there in World War I. Once there, The Bridge, a celebration of cultural … Continue reading

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Return of the P&O Prodigal

Okay maybe not quite but it felt like it. How many ships get two fire tug salutes when they re-enter the same fleet? I don’t mean things like Canberra’s return from the Falklands but after a brief time away with … Continue reading

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Whatever Happened To…The White Horse Ferries

With the excellent news that Blue Funnel Cruises took over running Hythe ferry in Hampshire from the 21st April 2017, I thought I’d do a piece about the ferries the former owners, White Horse Ferries Limited, actually built and owned … Continue reading

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Busy Weekend in Southampton

While four and five cruise ships have become the norm in the Port of Southampton over the past few years, it’s very rare to get six in one day or even seven but that is what will happen over the … Continue reading

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Hythe Ferry Progress Report 3

The original intention for Blue Funnel Ferries Limited was to have Great Expectations back in service on the 11th May, making the refit last just 9 days. Due to finding more issues after years of neglect (which would take a … Continue reading

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Parade of Sail 2017

The inaugural event took place on the 27th May, during Southampton Sailing Week. Unfortunately, after a glorious week, the weather changed but at least it had stopped raining. The schedule of events went like this: 12:15pm – An announcement over … Continue reading

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Welcome Back Norwegian Cruise Line!

Until 2008, Southampton only saw the odd ship. Norway was a semi-regular caller since 1980 and we also saw Norwegian Crown (now Balmoral), which I missed. Dover was their UK home port so it was a surprise to get Norwegian … Continue reading

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Hythe Ferry Progress Report 2

Well slightly sooner than intended for an update but that’s because I went to see some progress and also catch up with an old, much-missed friend. Hotspur IV has been at Saxon Wharf for three years thanks to White Horse … Continue reading

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Hythe Ferry Progress Report 1

I’ve been posting about the Hythe ferry since 2015 so am glad the business has proper owners who care about the service.  These brief, occasional blogs will be updates with what Blue Funnel are doing. With the imminent refit of … Continue reading

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Southampton Welcomes Svitzer Adira

Today, Svitzer’s brand new 80 bolland pull tug, Svitzer Adira, arrived in her new home. Built in Turkey at Sanmar, she is an RAstar 2800 design and the largest of the Svitzer fleet in Southampton. The last two tugs ordered … Continue reading

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Goodbye Vistafjord

Today, the very last UK built passenger liner arrived at her final resting place at plot 58, owned by Malwi Breaking Co. in Alang, to join her former fleet mate, Sagafjord in maritime memories and history.  Every time I mention … Continue reading

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Hotspur IV & Asterix

The beautiful, classic Hythe ferry, Hotspur IV, has been laid up rotting getting on for 18 months. Despite Malcolm Wade, Liberal councillor, making a few gestures, STILL nothing has changed except he got himself something new for the scrapbook. It’s … Continue reading

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Red Arrows in Southampton – 4th Time Lucky!

Southampton hasn’t had much luck getting the Red Arrows displays because usually the heavy advertising ended up being matched by heavy rain. 5th June 2012 was the Cunard Jubilee Rendezvous where all three Queens were together. Rain, wind and low … Continue reading

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QM2 Cunard 175

The 2nd and 4th July were the real 175 celebrations for Cunard. Beginning in their homeport on a cloudy but dry July day, the Red Arrows had to cancel their 25 minute display at 3.05pm due to weather at Bournemouth … Continue reading

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Cunard’s Thank You To Southampton

As everyone knows by now, 2015 is the 175th anniversary of Cunard or British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company as it was originally called. Since returning from the world cruises on the 3rd May, we’ve had all … Continue reading

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Cruise Ships & Southampton Registry

The brand new P&O flagship, Britannia, was unveiled to the media on the 21st and 22nd February 2015 as she was handed over to the company by builders Fincantieri. She is due to leave Monfalcone on the 27th, hopefully making … Continue reading

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Indy & Navigator OTS Return To Southampton?

Navigator of the Seas was the second Royal Caribbean ship to be based in the port back in 2007 after two successful seasons with the smaller Legend. Navigator was my first Royal Caribbean ship and the ONLY one to date … Continue reading

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Hoegh Osaka Departure

The car carrier, Hoegh Osaka, set sail from Southampton as usual on the 3rd January 2015. Before she got too far, they realised she was in trouble so the pilot and Master took the decision to deliberately ground her on … Continue reading

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Hoegh Osaka

At 8.20pm on the 3rd January 2015, the car carrier, Hoegh Osaka, left Southampton on a routine call, heading for Bremerhaven. Before she reached the Hook buoy, she was in trouble. The Captain and pilot took the decision to ground … Continue reading

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My 2014 Highlights

It’s been a funny old year for me, most notably because only did TWO cruises! Since my back, which has been bad since June 2010, was a good 90% better, it was time to start looking for a job and … Continue reading

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