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

terça-feira, 18 de julho de 2017

ORIANA meets her near sister in Gibraltar

On 21st June 2017, ORIANA met with her fleetmate and near sister AURORA in the port of Gibraltar, a home far away from home for most of the passengers onboard.
Appart from being a meeting between two P&O Cruises' mates, just the fact that both these ships were the last projects ordered and built specifically by the company, before making part of the North-American Carnival Corp. in 2003, always adds a more special feeling to the occasion.
When ORIANA was delivered in 1995, she was the result of a special planning, in order to become a worthy successor of CANBERRA, to whom she carries a lot of resemblances in and out, like the design of the funnel, inspired by the last's twin funnel, the layout of the life boats and tenders in the Promenade Deck, just to name a few.
Five years later, in 2000, AURORA was launched by the same German shipyards that built ORIANA, Meyer Werft in Papenburg, and therefore was seen as a modern version of her older mate.
Having a bridge with enclosed wings and a retractable dome in the Crystal Pool, which became sort of a fashion in the late 90's/early 2000's, are just some of the differences between the near sisters.
Despite that, AURORA retains many similarities, when it comes to layout and features, as ORIANA, thus the reason that both are considered to be a living legacy of the venerable and much beloved CANBERRA.
For this meeting ORIANA arrived from the Greek island of Corfu, while on a 19-night Med cruise based in Southampton, and AURORA did so from Sardinia island in Italy, as well undertaking a Med itinerary of 16 nights, also from/to her British homeport.
Afterwards the two went on their own different paths as ORIANA departed homeward bound, and AURORA made her way for a small voyage en route to Lisbon.
 Images: TravoClick

domingo, 9 de julho de 2017

ORIANA and the environment

Early last week 1.7 million UK viewers tuned in to see inept reporter Tazeen Ahmad go undercover and board P&O's OCEANA armed with an air quality monitor, an infered camera and with  a shoreside group of 'experts' to reveal the 'true' cost of our cruises to the enviorment.
'Environmental research?' Tazeen Ahmad on board OCEANA Copyright: Channel 4
While her methods were for the whole best described as pseudoscience and her results along with  other sources were highly quetionable, it did not stop her or the programme declaring that one cruise ship in a day produces the equivalent pollution of 1 million cars.
  So with that in mind today we look at how ORIANA who has been in service 5 years longer than OCEANA measures up in terms of environmental performance
Like all cruise ships in service today ORIANA uses heavy fuel oil to power her 8 medium speed diesel engines which have a combined output a total of 78,100 hp or 57,430 kw
One of ORIANA's main engines Copyright: Meyer Werft
These engines 4 main and 4 auxiliaries were designed from the outset to be as efficient as possible this included having the fuel heated to a certain temperature before being pumped into the engine for combustion.
The 'farther and son' arrangement of the engines is also to the trained engineers a flexible system which enables different configurations to be used which allow she ship to burn as little fuel as possible and ensure that maximum efficiency is achieved.
In combination with the engines ORIANA has two other different systems which help with reducing the possible emissions the ship produces, firstly her propellers being controllable-pitch, also known as varible-pitch means that their effiancy can be increased by altering the pitch of the each propeller's blades increasing their effectiveness in the water allowing an increase in speed without increasing fuel consumption.
Under normal circumstances even with efficent engines when combustion takes place in the engine only two thirds of the fuel is used the other third would be released as waste heat and gas this is where ORIANA's other system comes into play alongside her powerplant the ship features a heat reclaim boiler plant, consisting of 2 vertical down-fired boilers, 2 water-tube exhaust-gas boilers and 2 twin water-tube exhaust-gas boilers this set up allows the waste gases to be utilised elsewhere on board for heating water etc.
The remainig CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) which is emitted from the funnel is filtered through a series of particulate filters to clear the majority of particles from the exhaust before being finally released from the funnel.

Another area mentioned in the programme was cruise ships discharging waste water in open seas.
According to the programme's sources  a typical cruise ship discharges around 799,000 litres of waste water per day which they dump, if their expert is believed, without any form of treatment.  
On cruise ships there are two different types of waste water Black water from the ships sewage system and Grey water from sinks, the galley and other areas.
On board ORIANA as with most cruise ships in service today the water is treated on board and can either be reused on board in the ship's ballest tanks or can be once it has been fully treated returned to the sea in partically the same condition it was first pumped on board.
In order to treat the high amount of waste water ORIANA's water treatment system consists of no less than 4 Hamworthy Super Trident sewage treatment plants designed and built by  Hamworthy Engineering ltd of Poole, Dorset a world leader in the industy and now part of Wärtsilä.
Once all solids have been removed from the waste water it is pumped through the treatment plant where natural additives are added to further break down waste products remaining in the water.
Depending on the ship's location and the status of the water being treated ORIANA will either transfer water from her tanks once she reaches port for waste handlers to treat further or will while at sea discharge water back into the sea which has completed treatment and is free from all waste products and contaminants.
An example of a Super Trident treatment unit Copyright: Wärtsilä

terça-feira, 30 de maio de 2017

First time in the Canaries and Madeira in 2017

For the first time this year ORIANA made recently her return to the Atlantic archipelagos of the Canaries and Madeira, thus making her first 2017 call in the port of Funchal on 28th May, a consequence of the company's decision to call only in the Azores during the Caribbean Transatlantic cruises, both on the westbound and eastbound crossings.
Seen here with Portuguese submarine NRP ARPÃO, returning to port after a brief voyage out in the bay to demonstrate her capabilities with some local Government entities onboard.
Currently on a 15-night Azores, Canary Isles & Portugal cruise, she departed from her homeport on 21st May, then calling in Ponta Delgada and Praia da Vitória (Azores), Funchal (Madeira), La Gomera, Las Palmas* and Puerto del Rosário (Canaries), Lisbon and Vigo before the landfall of the voyage in Southampton on the 5th June.
We would like to thank the ship photographers Ruben Câmara (first two images) and Francisco Correia (last three images) from Funchal, for sending these images depicting ORIANA during her most recent call in Madeira's capital.
*Where she called today, at the time when this post was published.

quinta-feira, 18 de maio de 2017

Celebrating ORIANA - Passage home on board ORIANA

In March 1997 ORIANA the proud flagship of the P&O fleet followed in the wake of many of her proud forebearers as she preformed a duty that in the eyes many represented the true demise of the British Empire.
Arriving in Hong Kong during her World Cruise, as many P&O ships had on both World Voyages and in earlier times liner service, ORIANA was to spend the day with her great Cunard rival QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 and while docked received on  board 53 new passengers and their families who unlike the other passengers on board would not be paying for the privilege of sailing on Britain's most luxurious ship.
So who were these passengers and why were they special?
In short they were not in anyway special or noteworthy, they were in fact British Civil Servents whose work had supported the United Kingdom's Government and it's administration of Hong Kong, the last large overseas territory, and for many the last symbol of the faded might of the British Empire.
Within 4 months even that would be gone as it had been agreed in 1984 that Hong Kong would be handed back to China on the 1st July 1997.
Ahead of this date many of the officals and support staff of the Government whose services were no longer required would be exercising the right bestowed by their position working in an oversea territory for free sea passage back to Britain for them and their family, all paid for by the taxpayers of territory they were residing in.
The only conditions attached to the deal was that the person would need to have been working over seas for at least 15 years or be over 50 years of age.
In days gone by that would have meant months of travel in less than luxuirous condition but in 1997 it meant passage by cruise liner on a leg of it's world cruise with all the benefits that such a voyage brings with it.
The last 'British' flag of Hong Kong is waved from ORIANA as she prepared to sail
As the sun was setting and to the sound of the Band of the Hong Kong Police force and Bagpipes play ORIANA slowly proceeded astern from her berth on the dockside there was tears as friends of those who had boarded waved many themselves would be heading home theirselves on board the QE2 two days later. 
A true end of an era the departure attracted some press attention as show below.

ORIANA's terrece aft decks filled by passenger as the Band plays on the Quayside

In the fadeing light ORIANA makes her departure
Photos and Video Copyright: Associated Press

domingo, 14 de maio de 2017

Celebrating ORIANA - A Prize Memento

Today we look at item from ORIANA's Maiden season which reflects perhaps the most major change she has undergone during her career so far and also serves as link for ORIANA to the P&O liners of old.
From her debut in April 1995 until November 2011 ORIANA cruised as a family friendly ship with a full suite of facilties for children of all ages from a night nursery for the youngest to a teens club.
Below we have plaque awarded to on board ORIANA during her Maiden Season for a Fancy Dress competition held amongst her younger passengers.
A plaque awarded during a Fancy Dress competition
While it is no longer a staple of ship board entertainment fancy dress balls and competitions were once a popular past time on board P&O ships not only among the younger passengers in the days before the multifunction entertainment venues and full performance theatres.
P&O entertainment 1950's style on board  ARCADIA (II) Copyright: British Pathé

quinta-feira, 4 de maio de 2017

Celebrating ORIANA - First meeting with a great rival

May 1995 brought ORIANA another first in her early career; a meeting with perhaps P&O's greatest rival on the seas, the famous Cunarder QUEEN ELIZABETH 2.
Having taken over the role of Flagship of the Merchent Fleet from the ageing QE2 it would make for a fitting meeting to pass the baton from the old to the new as it were.
ORIANA passes QE2 for the first time
The two ships identical in tonnage although different in every other way represented two contrasting eras of sea travel, QE2 a mixed Transatlantic liner/Cruise ship from the end of the great liner era and ORIANA a thoroughly modern dedicated cruise ship the first dedicated to the British cruise market.
With Commodore Gibb on the Port bridge wing, ORIANA enthusiastically sounded her horn in greeting to which QE2's deep horn replied.
While it was common for the veteran queen's to get the last blast in on this occasion Commodore Gibb blasted one final salute to ensure ORIANA truely made her presence felt.
This being the first meeting there was to be many more over the years both in Southampton and at many other ports around the world.
One such meeting occurred 13 years later during QE2's farewell year on the 3rd January 2008, both ships by this time ultimately owned by Carnival PLC, met in the port of Funchal on the fair Atlantic Isle of Madeira,  ORIANA by now herself considered somewhat classic withj the ever larger new builds entering service, still made quite the contrast to the old liner.

ORIANA and QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 contrast Funchal, Madeira, 3/1/08: Copyrigh Nuno Jesus