It’s been another quiet week, which explains the absence of posts. But today we have some news.
First up is today’s ‘Cunard 3 Queens’ arrival into Southampton. I gather that they gathered in Lisbon and sailed together from there to Southampton where they arrived this morning. It’s all related to QM2’s tenth birthday and there’s a programme of events for the day, culminating with a late sail away (10 o’clock) ands fireworks. Unusually, it seems that the weather in Southampton has been kind for the event. The Southampton Daily Echo has some coverage of it all, and will doubtless keep updating it during the day.
(Update: here’s a link to a page with a video clip on the BBC News site. Not only does this give us some video of the Cunard Queens, but it also mentions the roadworks & traffic congestion. Score!)
The second piece of news comes from Royal Caribbean. Today marks the first step in the construction of the third ‘Oasis’ class ship – the keel-laying ceremony at STX France, at Saint-Nazaire in northern France. (I believe QM2 was built in the same yard, in fact, although at that time it wasn’t owned by STX.) Royal Caribbean took the opportunity of this event to announce that they had ordered a fourth Oasis class ship, for delivery in 2018. No mention yet of names, for either the third or the fourth ship. But this announcement means that Royal Caribbean are still building like crazy – with three Quantum-class ships in construction or ordered, and now two Oasis-class ships, their fleet will consist of the biggest and newest cruise ships in the world. Within a few years their main fleet will consist of five Voyager class, three Freedom class, four Oasis class and three Quantum class, plus other smaller (and still fairly recent) ships such as the Radiance class. Let’s not forget the five Solstice-class ships for Celebrity, either. If you look at all of these ships, plus all the others that have been built for other lines in the same period, it’s clear that we are living through a golden age of passenger ship construction. If only some of them were built in the UK…..