terça-feira, 11 de outubro de 2016

New Details of ORIANA's upcoming refit

Today P&O released new details about ORIANA's upcoming refit with a brief look at the changes instore for the Oasis Spa and Conservatory self service restaurant both of which are located on Deck 12.
 For the Oasis Spa and Salon new furniture will adorn the already relaxed waiting area and  the treatment rooms will recieve a new pedicure station and the latest treatment beds and the hair salon new washbasins and seats allowing for the utmost comfort while enjoying shipboard pampering.
Mood board showing concepts for the Oasis Spa area
In keeping with the overall theme of the refit new materials will be used to create a relaxed yet elegant ambiance in the case of the spa new tiles and natural woods and the use of planets to offset the feeling
The Gym will also see a revamp with new equipment allowing fitness fanatics new ways to work all their muscles to burn off the calories being added from the sublime onboard dining.

Heading aft on the Deck the Conservatory self service restaurant and Beach House alternative dining venue will be having a facelift featuring new a colour scheme and light fixtures offering a new feel to one of the first spaces passengers see after boarding.
Moodboard showing concepts for the new look of the Conservatory
New tables and chairs will add to the cosmetic changes and a improved seating arrangement is also being introduced allowing a overall better flow of passengers.
The Self service stations will also be upgraded and replaced allowing for a greater number of meal options.

quarta-feira, 28 de setembro de 2016


As with many ships past and present ORIANA has often been the subject of the model maker from the enthusiast making small scale model to add to their collection or a larger waterborne model to companies making model for retail such as the ceramic models currently sold on board.
One such example of a production run model is one from a model company called Skytrex.
Made in pewter the model is a 1:250 scale replica of ORIANA with some attempt at adding detail such as deck chairs on the stern terraces as can be see in the images below.

It is also of note that the model's interpretation of some of ORIANA's features are a little inaccurate including the radomes above the Crow's Nest being out of proportion with the rest of the model.

quinta-feira, 8 de setembro de 2016

One fleet many changes

Since April 1995 the P&O fleet has seen one constant in the form of ORIANA 'The First Super Liner Built For Britain' joining an ageing fleet of the venerable CANBERRA and VICTORIA.
Two years later in September 1997 CANBERRA made her emotional farewell after 36 years in service to be replaced by ARCADIA (former STAR PRINCESS) in 1998.
ORIANA & CANBERRA together in Funchal, Madeira 

ORIANA docked with ARCADIA (III) in Funchal,Madeira, Copyright: Nuno Jesus
With the dawn of the 21st Century ORIANA  was joined by perhaps the only ship which is comparable to her from the same yard of Meyer Werft AURORA joined the fleet in May 2000.
ORIANA docked with AURORA in Southampton, Copyright: Vitor Francisco
More changes came in 2002 when VICTORIA Bid farwell and Princess's SEA PRINCESS and OCEAN PRINCESS were renamed ADONIA and OCEANA respectively.
The following year ARCADIA made her final cruise with P&O becoming the lead ship of the then just founded Ocean Village brand, it was also in 2003 that P&O Princess PLC merged with Carnival Corp and in 2005 the first non P&O group designed new build joined the fleet as the fourth ARCADIA and the former ROYAL PRINCESS joining the fleet as ARTEMIS who served until 2011.
ORIANA and ARCADIA in Funchal, Madeira 21st December 2009 Copyright: João Abreu
Since 2008 the fleet has continued to expand with the Crown class VENTURA followed two years later in April 2010 with AZURA and a second ADONIA a former R class ship joining in 2011 to replace ARTEMIS.
ORIANA with AURORA,ARCADIA and VENTURA during P&O's 175th anniversary celebrations, July 2012
Copyright: Simon Jones
Last year reaching her 20th year in service ORIANA received the largest of her fleetmates BRITANNIA based off of the Princess's Royal Class.
Earlier this week P&O annouced that a new arrival to debut in 2020 one of the first in a new breed of LNG powered 'green' ships of 180,000 tons

domingo, 28 de agosto de 2016

Reaction to refit announcement

With the affection many of her passengers have for ORIANA it is no surprise that the announcement of the first details of her winter refit have been met so far with mixed reactions.
For the most part the scale of the refurbishement has been seen as positive move showing P&O's investment in ORIANA and her continued service with the fleet for many years to come.
As with all ship's for one reason or another there are passengers who ORIANA doesn't suit and they too have had their opinons such as ' It's a waste of money they should be investing in newer ships' and 'What P&O need is a new medium sized cruise ship rather than updating a dated one.'
However on the whole most reactions have been in favour of the changes with comments such as ' Great news so I will look forward to be on her when she has had her freat makeover' and
'Did a half world cruise on her in 1997 she was new and gleaming subsequently travelled on her 2015 and 2016 she is a proper ocean liner not a floating block of flats' as well as 'Glad to hear of a refurbishment, look forward to my next trip.'
ORIANA drydocked during her previous refit, December 2011
While for some although seeing the refit as an opportunity to improve the on board experience also hope that the planned changes do not change the ship's unique character these concerns stem from the involvement of Richmond International whose work on BRITANNIA has had it's fair share of critics, in relation to   their work on ORIANA's refit one passenger commented  'A smaller clone of BRITANNIA then? Shame! Love ORIANA just as she is'.
Which sums up ORIANA nicely a unique and elegant ship reflecting the liner era and offering her passengers a sophisticated cruise experience which stands apart from the modern trend of mass market mega ships.

sexta-feira, 19 de agosto de 2016

ORIANA's 2016 Refit

Following 5 years since her last refit and conversion to an adult only ORIANA will head on the 25th November to the Hamburg yard of  Blohm + Voss to undergo a 3 week refit and refurbishment.
Along with the standard drydocking required every 5 years and work to overhaul or replace various  machinery as required ORIANA will also recive a complete make over of her bars, entertainment venues restaurants public spaces and cabins while keeping all of ORIANA's unique features.
To quote P&O themselves
"We’re excited to announce that at the end of November, ORIANA will sail to Hamburg to undergo a refit to improve the overall cruise experience for our guests."
Teaming up once again  Richmond International of London who worked on the design of BRITANNIA's publics spaces and cabins P&O continued by saying
 "After listening to your feedback, we’re collaborating with leading cruise-industry architects Richmond on a refit programme that will encompass updates to the cabins, suites, entertainment areas, restaurants, bars and public areas to bring ORIANA up to the high standards that we hold across our entire fleet. We will of course be retaining ORIANA’s most distinctive features, but guests can look forward to enjoying new luxurious materials, soft furnishings and carpets, upgrades to furniture, improved lighting, rich colour schemes and the ultimate in comfort and relaxation."
From the details released so far it can be seen that both the Peninsular and Oriental restaurants will have significant changes made to them including colour schemes and decor.
Concept for new colour schemes, seating and carpets for the main restaurants
Another area annouced today to undergo an upgrade is the passenger cabins which will receive new lighting,  new classically styled lamps, furniture carpets and a compeltely upgraded and modernised bathroom etc.
Cabin concept
As more details are revealed they will be posted on P&O's dedicated ORIANA refit page found here
 We will also post any updates on this blog.
Following her return from refit ORIANA will return to service on the 16th December with a 2 night mini cruise.
Image Copyright: P&O Cruises

domingo, 7 de agosto de 2016

A Club visit for ORIANA

In June 2000 two different aspects of the P&O Group portfolio came together with a visit to the ship while docked in Cartagena, Spain when ORIANA was visited by members of the La Manga Club Golf and  leisure resort which at that time was owned by P&O and located nearby.
ORIANA docked in Cartagena
Joining P&O Chairman Lord Sterling and his wife members of the club were treated to tour of P&O's flagship with lunch included and a plaque presentation in the Crows' Nest with ORIANA's Captain Mike Fatchen (later Commodore of Princess Cruises) presenting ORIANA's crest to a club official and Lord Sterling presenting a model of ORIANA.
 Lord Sterling and guests with Captain Fatchen and officers in the atrium
More photographs from this visit can be found here
 5 years earlier during ORIANA's maiden season while docked in Cartagena Lord Sterling who was often onboard was joined by Chief Officer (later Captain) Hamish Reid and Chief Engineer Marcus James at the resort for a day of golfing, when Lord Sterling left to return to the ship taking the only taxi in the area  the two officers were left to find their own way back to the dockside.
Back onboard ORIANA and much to his amusement Commodore Gibb who was unable to depart without his two officers made an announcement explaining the delay and asked passengers to line the ship's rail and cheer when the two men finally returned!

Photo Copyrights: La Manga Club Archive

sábado, 23 de julho de 2016

ORIANA - A Media Sensation

From the keel laying of ORIANA  in 1993 right up to her naming and Maiden Voyage in April 1995 ORIANA became virtually a celebritiy in the eyes of the British media.
Whith the internet as we know it to day in it's infancy there was no checking forums or live feeds from shipyards we have today instead newspaper articles and news reports covered the ship and developements related to her entry into service.

Not since the days of the Ocean liners when they were the pride of a nation had a single ship seemed so important, the first custom designed cruise liner for the rapidly growing British Market, she would also be one of the largest passengers in service, at the time the by far the largest passenger ship in service was NCL's 1962 built NORWAY at 77,000 tons formally FRANCE the last of the French Line's fleet of super liners.
For ORIANA the list features and numbers the media P&O and the media could boast about were almost limitless, the fastest ship built for 25 years , the first ship since 1967 to be named by Queen Elizabeth II, the largest swimming pool ever to go to sea, the largest ship built in Germany since 1914 and all the arrangements that were required to allow her leave the Meyer Werft yard
As with any news story was always those who would throw a negative light on things and this would those who tried push the fact that the new pride of Britain was German built a little digging on the part of the writers of such stories would of course soon found the reasons why being British built wasn't an option.

With ORIANA's arrival in the UK and media went into overdrive with footage on board making it onto prime time news broardcasts.
And the naming day 6th April 1995 was no exception.
After the publicity of her entry into service ORIANA quickly settled into her role and became the ship of choice of many cruise passenger and today still enjoys a loyal following .
In the years since her arrival many ships entering service  have enjoyed coverage in a similar vain to what ORIANA including 9 years later QUEEN MARY 2, indeed last year P&O's latest and largest ship BRITANNIA's arrival with all the coverage it received did in many ways echo the arrival of ORIANA 20 years earlier.