The arrival of a new cruise ship is always exciting but I have to admit I’ve been following the construction of MSC Meraviglia particularly closely. The ship looks absolutely stunning and is now so close to joining the MSC Cruises fleet!
For a while now I’ve keep it a secret but now I’m thrilled to let you all know that Gavin and I will be spending a night on board MSC Meraviglia in Le Harve. We are understandably very excited and are so thankful to MSC Cruises for allowing us to come aboard and experience the amazing new ship!
I’m thrilled to let you all know that I will be sampling the delights of Saga Sapphire later this month, whilst the ship is berthed at Dover Cruise Terminal.
In fact I’ll actually be spending the night on board the ship, along with Gavin too. We’ve been on board before, however that was a few years ago during a rather quick ship visit. This time, we’re a little older and wiser and we’ve got a little longer on board too.
Planning ahead is always good, right? We've just booked our second cruise for 2018! Having recently returned from a fantastic cruise on board Astoria, Gavin and I were keen to one day book another cruise on the ship but we weren't too sure which. Ideally we wanted another short cruise but wanted a different itinerary. (We've been to Amsterdam and Antwerp a few times now!!!)
Just a few days ago I got word that Cruise & Maritime Voyages were adding some additional cruises to its 2018 cruise programme on board Astoria from Poole and Portsmouth. Having had a quick look this morning I was happy to see a couple of short cruises.
We short listed two cruises, one being an overnight gala cruise around the Isle of Wight, but in the end we opted for the slightly longer and more worthwhile three-night cruise. Plus, the three-night cruise also visits some ports of call which we've not yet been to.
So, where are we off to? We set sail on board the beautiful and charming little Astoria from Poole (certainly a different departure port) on 31 August 2018. Departing at 13:00 our weekend adventure begins right away. Having only cruised for around an hour, Astoria will cruise off the coast of Bournemouth, where the Bournemouth International Airshow will be taking place, right over our heads! What better view could we have!?
After watching the air show, Astoria will cruise across the English Channel to Honfleur in France, where we will dock the next morning. We depart that afternoon and set sail for Rouen in France. Astoria will cruise the River Seine that evening, before we dock at Rouen at 21:30. The ship will stay in port overnight and we set sail at 20:30 the next night, before returning back to Poole the following morning. Astoria is not due to dock until 10:30, so there's no worry about being rushed off the ship!
Both myself, and Gavin are really excited about this cruise. We both absolutely loved our three-night cruise on Astoria this year, so we're delighted to be sailing on the ship again. It's even more exciting that we will be visiting a few different ports of call (that makes a change!) and of course we can't wait to watch the Bournemouth International Airshow from the ship's decks.
Now just to keep our fingers crossed for good weather!
Well, even I didn't see this one coming! Having just returned from a cruise, just 3 days later we booked another one. A great last minute deal came up on board P&O Cruises' Britannia. Both myself and Gavin have wanted to cruise on Britannia for sometime, but we've been waiting for the right time and price too. Now we're delighted to be finally booked on Britannia!
What's even better is we don't have long to wait at all. The two-night mini cruise departs Southampton on 24 March 2017. Britannia will visit Zeebrugge, sometimes referred to as Bruges, which is actually around 10 miles from where the ship docks. The ship will then head back to Southampton, where we will disembark the following morning after breakfast.
Don't laugh... but I may have just booked my shortest cruise yet! I'm not just talking about the duration of the cruise but also the actual distance the ship will be sailing.
I've just booked myself and Gavin on an overnight cruise on board Marco Polo. It sets sail from Harwich (convenient for us as its only 20 miles down the road) and sails all the way toooo... London, Tilbury! We've got a little while to wait though, as it doesn't set sail until 18 August 2018.
In September 2016, Cruise Cotterill sponsored a charity event which was took place in Plymouth in the United Kingdom, to raise money for the local Plymouth Sea Cadets.
The QE2 themed charity gala dinner event took place on 24 September 2016 at the Duke of Cornwall Hotel in Plymouth. In total 150 guests attended the charity event, including former Captains and crew of the famous ocean liner, sea cadets, as well as past passengers and local business owners.
It's not long now until the British cruise operator, Cruise & Maritime Voyages gains another exciting new ship. Although not actually a new build cruise ship, I am particularly excited about the arrival of the ship as I am booked on the maiden voyage!
In June 2017 the 63,786 gross tonne Columbus is to start operating cruises from London, Tilbury. The ship was originally launched in 1989 and has been operated by a variety of cruise lines all over the world. Most recently the ship was known as Pacific Pearl and cruised with P&O Cruises Australia.
The ship was extensively refurbished in 2015 and before being re-named and transferred to the Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet, it will be upgraded further during another refurbishment. A number of passenger cabins will become single cabins, which reduced the ships capacity to around 1,400. Of the 775 cabins on board, 64 offer balconies.
Sometime ago now, back in October 2016, I had the chance to visit P&O Cruises wonderful Aurora. Not only did I tour the ship but I also had the opportunity to meet with Captain Wesley Dunlop. I've been so busy since, that I have only just got round to doing this blog post... really bad of me I know!
Anyway, part way through touring the ship I was able to visit the navigation bridge, where I was met the Captain and presented him with my drawing of the ship, which I had produced just a week or two prior to the visit.
Having been on one cruise already this year, I can't believe that it isn't long at all until my next! In March I will be stepping aboard Cruise & Maritime Voyages' Astoria for a three-night cruise. This will be my fourth cruise with the British-based cruise line, but at just 16,144 gross tonnes and carrying just 550-passengers, Astoria will be the smallest cruise ship which I have ever cruised on.
She will also be the oldest! Astoria was orginally launched in 1948, known then as Stockholm. The ship is famously known by many ship fans for sinking the ocean liner Andrea Doria. The two ships collided in the Atlantic Ocean in 1956. Now in her 69th year of service, Astoria is the oldest cruise ship curing the world's oceans.
Oops! We may have just booked yet another cruise, BUT this time it is just an overnight cruise on board Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' Black Watch in January 2017.
I won't be alone on board, as Gavin and Jordan our Cruise Ambassador from Cruise Capital are also booked on the overnight cruise. We will sets sail from London, Tilbury on 02 January 2017. Black Watch will cruise through the English Channel overnight before arriving in Southampton the following morning.
So... why the heck have we booked a 1-night cruise!? Firstly its a cruise, so why not! But more importantly... Black Watch is to undergo an extensive refurbishment in November 2016 which will see plenty of improvements and changes on board and the addition of two new restaurants. So we will be able to see the refurbished ship just a few weeks after she re-enters service. Black Watch is also the only ship in the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines fleet which both myself and Gavin have not yet cruised on, so we were pretty keen to get on board at some point anyway!
Agreeably the overnight cruise won't give us enough time to experience the ship properly, but nevertheless we will be able to see what Black Watch has to offer and I've got my eye on a few slightly longer cruises later in 2017 too. I'm sure the three of us will have a wonderful but albeit short cruise on board Black Watch.
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!