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.

domingo, 19 de junho de 2016

Euro 2016 and ORIANA

As ORIANA heads out of Southampton on route once more to the Atlantic Islands many on board may be wanting to avoid a certain sporting event currently underway but serveing the British Market it is beyond doubt that ORIANA and her fleetmates are  full of the sounds and atomsphere of football as eager  fans on board watch the 'emotion' and drama of Euro 2016.
For ORIANA the perfect venue for football fans to enjoy the tension filled games is Lord's Tavern the ship's very own sports themed bar and consided by many to be the most authentic British bar at sea.
With large screens around the room  fans can see all the action as it happens and if the tension is too much being located on the promenade deck.
  The Lords Tavern
   Alongside the action on screen it is something of a P&O tradition of making a event of the Home Nation match days by laying on snack food for those in attendence, also having a football themed 'drink of the day' and if the match falls on a port day adding a football vibe to sailaway party.
 However for passengers who might want to watch in a less lively manner the on board in cabin television service features Sport24 a channel specially created for the cruise and airline industries which is currently screening the each match.
For passengers whom inevitably wish to avoid anything football related ORIANA's arrangement of public rooms ensure that it is just as easy to avoid any football related actvities being hosted on board.
Arriving in Funchal on Tuesday ORIANA's passengers while venturing ashore alongside the city's many attractions and vantage points  will also be able to absorb themselves in the spirit of the game with the games being shown in many bars and specially eracted screens.

terça-feira, 7 de junho de 2016

ORIANA again with the HARMONY

After their recent meeting in Southampton on 29 May, ORIANA and HARMONY OF THE SEAS have met again a few days ago, and this time the setting for another great contrast, in every level, was the port of Malaga on 3 June.
Then both ships went their different ways, as ORIANA left north bound to Oporto continuing her 12 day Iberia cruise, and the World's largest cruise ship headed east on her repositioning voyage to the Med, bound to Barcelona, her new European home for the upcoming months.
Images: Justo Prieto & Salvador de la Rubia.

sexta-feira, 3 de junho de 2016

An early morning arrival for ORIANA

ORIANA seen underway in the river Tagus early in the morning of 1 June 2016, having just arrived from her homeport of Southampton and bound for yet another call in Lisbon, as depicted in these stunning photographs by Luís M. Correia, with the ship reflecting the first rays of the sun.
ORIANA is at the moment undertaking a 12-day Iberia cruise, having departed later that day to Cadiz, after the withdrawn of the Portimão call, in Algarve (south Portugal). She is also scheduled to visit the ports of Malaga, Tanger, Oporto and Bilbao before returning to the UK.

segunda-feira, 30 de maio de 2016

ORIANA and a "mammoth of the seas"

Yesterday on yet another call in her homeport of Southampton, ORIANA had an encounter with a true "sea mammoth", none other than Royal Caribbean's most recent ship and the latest unit of their Oasis class, the 227,700 GT and 5,488 passenger HARMONY OF THE SEAS, now the World's largest cruise ship.
ORIANA meets the World's largest cruise ship in Southampton. Image taken from the video posted bellow.
Although the two were berthed slighly distant from each other, the HOTS at her departure from the City terminal, went to the port's upper swinging ground to manouver her bow to starboard, then making two close passages with ORIANA, docked at Mayflower and also ready to depart.
It was a clear proof of something that is becoming with time more of a common fact rather than just an opinion, that the current trend of cruise shipbuilding is more aimed in sheer size and therefore more profit and less concerned with the looks of the ships. No doubt that ORIANA proudly stood there yesterday, being one of the last cruise ships in the industry where aesthetics were equally important as profit for its designers.
After the two greeted each other with horns, ORIANA slipped her moorings and followed the giant cruise ship down the Solent, which was very horn blowing and escorted by a local Svitzer tug firing water canons, since it was the ship's last call in Southampton for some times, as HARMONY OF THE SEAS is now relocating to the Med where she will operate in the Summer months.
Having departed afterwards, ORIANA still managed to pass ahead of the HARMONY in the English Channel bound to Lisbon, on a 12 day Iberia itinerary, which is quite natural since the latter is no match for the superior speed capability of P&O's senior ship.
Bellow a video that depicts with even better detail what was described above, also including the earlier departures of two other cruise ships that were present yesterday, the Cunarder QUEEN VICTORIA and ORIANA's mate and Flagship of P&O the BRITANNIA. (ORIANA and HOTS encounter starts at min. 8:55, which is followed by both's departures respectivaly).