The 86,799 gross tonne Arcadia was on a nine-night cruise to the Baltic and was on route back to Southampton. Arcadia dropped anchor at around 07:30 on Christmas Day before setting sail again at 18:00 bound for Southampton.
Lifeboat coxswain John Fox said: “We decided to make a courtesy visit to the cruiser as it is unusual for such a large vessel to come so close inshore and also to stay for the whole day. I had spoken to the captain by radio and advised him of our intentions, and he had announced our arrival to the passengers many of whom came out on deck to greet us. One of the crew had dressed in a Santa suit and he was given an especially warm welcome from the ship with passengers returning his cheery waves.”
Mr Fox added: “The captain told us that they had spent a couple of days in rough weather off Norway when ‘Storm Barbara’ was at its worst so they decided to spend Christmas Day in calmer waters off Lowestoft before continuing the cruise. They invited one of the crew on board Arcadia and he was made to feel really welcome as he brought seasons greetings from Lowestoft to the passengers. It certainly was a Christmas Day trip that the crew will remember for a long while.”