The cruise event of the year is literally just around the corner! MSC Cruises brand new flagship, MSC Bellissima will spend three whole nights in Southampton to celebrate its arrival and launch.
A glittering world-class naming ceremony will take place in Southampton on 02 March 2019 and I am so incredibly lucky to have been invited by MSC Cruises to attend the ceremony and join specially invited guests from around the world to celebrate the launch of the new flagship.
It’s very nearly time for our next overnight cruise with Cruise & Maritime Voyages and we’re heading back aboard the elegant and classic traditional ocean liner, Astoria which is 70 years old!
Despite her age the ship is in superb condition, having been completely re-built from the hull up in 1994. Astoria still retains all the charm and character of a true ocean liner, although smaller than most, carrying just 550-passengers.
Our next cruise is very nearly here already! On 31 August 2018 Gavin and I will embark the charming little 550-passenger cruise ship Astoria in Poole, Dorset for our three-night cruise.
Astoria will set sail from Poole at 1 O’clock in the afternoon. It is not very often that cruise ships sail from the harbour and it will be the first time we’ve ever sailed from Poole so we’re really looking forward to it.
We’re so excited to have been invited by MSC Cruises to once again visit and explore the amazing MSC Meraviglia! The ship is truly incredible and currently the largest ship in the fleet boasting some awe-inspiring features.
Gavin and I have been invited to join a ship visit aboard MSC Meraviglia in Southampton on 25 August 2018. We have visited the ship once before, in Le Havre, France and spent a night on board but it was such a long journey and our coach arrived late which meant we didn’t get the chance to see and do as much as we would have liked.
It’s not long now at all until our overnight cruise on board Marco Polo. We might just be on board for one night but we’re going to make the absolute most of the short time we have got on board.
We have been on board Marco Polo once before for three nights and this will be my seventh cruise with Cruise & Maritime Voyages. Not only does the overnight cruise not leave the country it doesn’t actually leave the county!
On my birthday last month I received a wonderful surprise invite from Azamara Club Cruises, inviting me to preview their new ship ahead of its official launch in August 2018.
The ship is currently coming to the end of an extensive multi-million pound refurbishment at the Harland and Wolf in Belfast, Northern Ireland which has been overseen by MJM.
I’m so excited to be finally cruising to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords! I’ve wanted to for years and now I will be ticking off one of my bucket list cruises. I’ve many more I want to tick off but you have to start somewhere!
I will be heading to Norway with Gavin, cruising with Cruise & Maritime Voyages on their wonderful flagship Columbus. We spent three nights on board the ship last summer so we’re pretty familiar with the ship and can’t wait to get back on board, this time for a little longer. She's not the biggest or the best ship but she's part of an amazing fleet of smaller more intimate ships with a friendly and welcoming crew.
In April 2018 I spent two nights on board Celebrity Silhouette, sailing from Southampton to Le Havre in France and back. The mini cruise was actually the first time the ship had ever sailed from Southampton and it was also my first time cruising with Celebrity Cruises.
Just eleven days before setting sail I started work on a large-scale drawing of Celebrity Silhouette, which I hoped I would be able to present to the Captain on board during the two night cruise.
I worked very hard to ensure that the drawing was completed on time and ready before we set sail! I finished the drawing just two days before we set sail. Just before I completed the drawing, the PR team from Celebrity Cruises contacted me as they had seen the drawing on social media and asked if I would like to meet with their team on board for a coffee.
The team also helped arrange for me to visit the bridge so that I could meet the Captain and hand over my drawing to him personally. I was invited to the bridge, along with the PR team and some others guests at 08:00 on the second day of our cruise whilst the ship was berthed in Le Havre.
Everyone looks for a great price on a cruise, right!? Thanks to a friend of mine I found a smashing deal with MSC Cruises for a four-night cruise on board MSC Preziosa.
The cruise departs Southampton on 22 May 2019 and cruises to Hamburg, stopping off in Zeebrugge as well as an overnight call into Amsterdam. We’re not too fussed about the ports of call but we love Amsterdam so it will be good to visit once again and have plenty of time to explore.
On 21 April 2018 I was lucky enough to step aboard the brand new Norwegian Bliss during her inaugural visit to Southampton. Just six days before the ship docked in Southampton I secured a place on the visitors list and also completed my large-scale drawing of the ship which measures nearly 2 metres in length.
I was able to get in touch with the Staff Captain, Robert Lundberg, who had met me indirectly three times before when I had presented drawings on board Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Escape during their inaugural visits to Southampton.
The Staff Captain recalled seeing me present my drawings on the three previous ships and was kind enough to grant me permission to visit Norwegian Bliss to present my newest drawing on board the brand new ship. I was a little worried I was going to miss out getting on board so when I received the email from the Staff Captain direct from the ship I was over the moon!!
Harry Cotterill set up his blog when he was just 16-years old, making him one of the youngest cruise bloggers in the world. In later years he became known across the world for his amazing talent of drawing cruise ships!