sexta-feira, 12 de janeiro de 2018

Images of ORIANA in drydock

Today we take a quick dockside look at ORIANA from Hamburg's drydock 17 as we share some images of the ship undergoing maintenance.
ORIANA illuminated in Dock 17
 While looking at ORIANA 'high and dry' in the dock it gives something of the sense of scale and work involved with ship maintenance.
Views fore and aft below the waterline. Photos Copyright: Bharat Yogi

With over a month remaining until ORIANA returns to service her crew have been moved from their own cabins into the passenger accommodation for the duration of the drydocking.
ORIANA looms as cleaning progresses on her bow, Copyright: Julius De Lima Turallo
ORIANA towers above Dock 17, Copyright: Hamburg Blider

domingo, 7 de janeiro de 2018

ORIANA arrives in Hamburg

Following her departure from Southampton yesterday morning ORIANA headed into the North Sea and maintained a steady speed of around 18.5 to 19.5 Knots and by around 2pm today ORIANA approached the town of Cuxhaven on the entrance the River Elbe.
ORIANA approches Cuxhaven
Passing the entrance she slowed to 13kts to navigate the Elbe.
ORIANA from a distance
 Continuing up river throughout the remainder of the afternoon, slowing as she did, ORIANA arrived in Hamburg around 6:30pm local time.
Being assisted by a tug ORIANA made her way to Blohm + Voss yard drydock 17, the dock which she was refitted in back in 2016, where she slowey edged her way into position before the dock gate was floated the dock pumped dry.
ORIANA entering drydock
Under the dock's floodlights work on ORIANA begins


sábado, 6 de janeiro de 2018

ORIANA back in Southampton

Yesterday afternoon at around 2:00pm ORIANA arrived back at her port of Southampton.
Originally scheduled to arrive this morning the change most likely was bought about with ORIANA's upcoming required technical work.
ORIANA was due to depart for Hamburg and the Blohm+Voss shipyard at 10:30am and got underway at around 11:10am heading down Southampon Water at 6.5 knots.
ORIANA seen on AIS departing the Mayflower Terminal
ORIANA is due to arrive at the Blohm +Voss yard tomorrow evening at around 6:45pm local time where she will enter drydock for over a month of technical maintenance.
View from ORIANA's webcam passing the QEII terminal and VTS tower.

ORIANA is due to return to Southampton on the 24th of February.

sábado, 30 de dezembro de 2017

Christmas & New Year's cruise

On 26th December, ORIANA was back again in the port of Funchal, while on her 16-day Christmas and New Year's cruise around the Canary Isles.
The call in Madeira's capital, was precisely the first one of this itinerary, and not long after she completed her berthing, she was joined by MARELLA DREAM, of newly renamed Marella Cruises, the former Thomson Cruises.
Curiously the former THOMSON DREAM was, like ORIANA, built in the German shipyards of Meyer Werft in Papenburg, but in the decade before, namely in 1986 as the HOMERIC of now extinct Home Lines. She was actually the last ship there to be launched sideways to the water, and at the time she was quite shorter, having been lenghtened some years later, when cruising for Holland America as the WESTERDAM.
Nevertheless, having both of them together on this occasion in Funchal, provided a nice opportunity to watch the 9 year evolution in shipbuilding, as when ORIANA was launched in 1995 she presented herself as Meyer Werft's prime work and a state of the art ship in terms of design and technology.
Later that afternoon, when ORIANA slipped her moorings and passed by MARELLA DREAM on her way out to sea, the two engaged on a nice and persistent horn salute, ending with ORIANA having the last word!
Unlike some past years, she will not welcome the New Year in Funchal, that will be VENTURA's task, instead she will be present in Santa Cruz de Tenerife when 2018 comes into action.
After another call in Lisbon, ORIANA returns to her homeport on the 6th January, and then will prepare herself to return to drydock for the following three weeks, for some last minute and needed maintenance works, as reported here in the blog last month.
ORIANA as seen leaving Funchal bound to Arrecife, in the Canary island of Lanzarote. Image: Peter Gonçalves
We take this opportunity to wish all our readers a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Images: João Abreu (unless refered otherwise).

terça-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2017

ORIANA back in Funchal with a former fleetmate

After nearly seven months after her last call in the port of Funchal, in May, ORIANA returned to this destination she knows very well and vice versa, last Saturday on 16th December 2017, while on a 14-night cruise around the Canary Isles.
Having arrived early morning from the Island of La Gomera, she found the company of a former fleetmate, the ARTANIA. Also in port, but for a brief period of time, was fellow Carnival mate AIDA VITA of AIDA Cruises, whom departed some 20 minutes after ORIANA's arrival, thus ending an overnight call in Funchal.
When ORIANA entered service in 1995, the ARTANIA was cruising for slightly a decade more in Princess Cruises, a P&O subsidiary, as ROYAL PRINCESS, therefore we can refer to both as being mates within the P&O group at that time.
The two even met once in Funchal, on the 25th April 2000, at the occasion of ROYAL PRINCESS' last call with her name in this port. The following images taken by Nuno Jesus depict the meeting:
Five years later, and when P&O and Princess were now sister companies under the ownership of Carnival Corporation, their relationship become even more closer, as ROYAL PRINCESS was transfered to P&O and renamed ARTEMIS. The two became fleetmates, cruising out of Southampton and meeting quite often in their homeport.
Nevertheless, one of the many meetings occured far away from Southampton, in Madeira's capital port, on 31st December 2010, when both met to welcome the new year together, as seen bellow:
It was precisely in 2011, that ARTEMIS left the P&O fleet and started operating for her present owners, the German based Phoenix Reisen and so renamed ARTANIA. Curiously later that year, ORIANA entered dry dock in Hamburg, and after several exterior and interior changes, she re-appeared as an adults only cruise ship, thus replacing that void left in the fleet by ARTEMIS.
However, and after all this time, it seems that ARTANIA didn't forget about the close relation she once had with ORIANA, and at the moment of her departure last Saturday, she was very insisting in having a horn salute with her former mate, after some six long blasts when passing by her side, horns that were of course sent back by ORIANA on a funny fashion to say the least. A great moment witnessed in the port of Funchal!
The video bellow depicts the horn salute:
Another interesting fact that both of them share, is having two Godmothers of the British Monarchy, as the ARTANIA was christened by Princess Diana in 1984, and ORIANA by Queen Elizabeth II eleven years afterwards, both ceremonies held in Southampton.
ORIANA remained in port until the evening, offering her guests a chance to see the Christmas lights around the city, and afterwards she left bound to Lisbon.
But already on the 21st of December, she will depart from Southampton bound to Funchal again, on her Christmas and New Year's cruise, and is scheduled to arrive four days later, on the 26th.
Images: João Abreu (unless refered otherwise).

quarta-feira, 22 de novembro de 2017

ORIANA to return to Drydock

In a surprise announcement yesterday P&O revealed that ORIANA will be returning to Drydock in the new year to undertake  three weeks of technical maintenance with the the planned 50 night USA & Caribbean cruise being cancelled to allow the work to take place .
In their on line statement posted on their social media page P&O's  Senior Vice President  Paul Ludlow stated
"We apologise to those guests due to travel on ORIANA's X801 but our technical team has advised us that it is necessary for ORIANA to undergo a three week technical maintenance from January 6 2018. As a result we will be cancelling this cruise.
We have contacted all those affected guests today and we are extremely sorry for the late notice and disruption.
It is presently unkown what the issues are which will be addressed  however when asked if they are related to technical problems ORIANA expirenced with her boiler plant earlier in the year P&O responded that the maintenance is not related to any previous technical problems.
There has been as expected quite a lot of activity on P&O's social media pages relating to the news on the company's Facebook page many of their past passengers have been critcal of their decsion to withdraw her from service for 3 weeks and the effect it is having on the passengers who were booked to sail while others were more concerned if other sailings will be affected to which P&O replied -
" this cancellation is due to the dry dock facility becoming available and so we are taking the opportunity to undertake a range of technical work on her. This will not affect her other sailings."
 With the sudden change to ORIANA's schedule it is no surpise that also has been a certain amount of speculation around the reason with several even suggesting that the work was in prepration for the ship being sold this was quickly dispelled as P&O replied "rest assured we have no plans to sell ORIANA at present. We are simply to take this opportunity to undertake a range of technical work on the ship as the dry dock facilities are available." 
As of writing it is not confirmed where ORIANA is to drydock but it is very likely that she could return to the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg where she was refitted last November and December.
ORIANA in Drydock in December 2016

segunda-feira, 25 de setembro de 2017

ORIANA's 2016 festive cruise

Today we share some photos of ORIANA from her 2016 Christmas and New Years cruise, as is most often the case for ORIANA a cruise around the Atlantic Isles and Iberian Peninsula.
Departing Southampton on the 18th December it was he second cruise and first full length cruise after her refit Nov/Dec 2016 in Hamburg.
The first port of call of the cruise was one of ORIANA's most popular ports and indeed the maiden port of call during her Maiden Voyage over 21 years earlier Funchal, Madeira.
Our first photo from Christmas Eve shows ORIANA alongside in  Las Palmas, Gran Canaria with the Cunarder QUEEN ELIZABETH and Thomson's THOMSON MAJESTY being glimpsed behind.
Christmas Eve meeting: ORIANA with QUEEN ELIZABETH in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.
For the last port of call of 2016 ORIANA again returned to Portuguese waters and another port she has visited many times over the years, as she sailed up the River Tagus to the capital Lisbon.

ORIANA under clear skies with bunker ship SACOR II alongside her while docked in Lisbon 30/12/16
From Lisbon ORIANA headed back to sea to spend New Years eve before arriving in La Coruña, Spain on New Years day.
We would like to extend our thanks Bob Bowler for allowing us to use his excellent photographs.

Photo Copyright: Bob Bowler