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Four of the six ships (copyright Andrew Sassoli-Walker)

Everyone interested in UK cruising is commenting about this, so why should I miss out? On 16 July there were six ships in Southampton: P&O’s Ventura, Princess’ Grand Princess and Crown Princess, Celebrity Eclipse, Fred Olsen’s Balmoral and Phoenix Reisen’s Artania. The last of these was on a day call; all the rest were finishing/starting cruises. This may also have been Artania’s first call at Southampton, though Southampton was her home port until this April, when she was P&O’s Artemis.

Andrew Sassoli-Walker took some of his usual fine photographs. I’ve borrowed one of them from another site and displayed it here: I hope Andrew won’t mind. It shows Crown Princess (I think), a bunker ship, Balmoral, Artania and Celebrity Eclipse. The remaining two, Ventura and Grand Princess, were behind him when he took this picture. (They were moored at the Ocean Terminal and the QE2 terminal respectively.) The image is his copyright, of course. If I can find a gallery of his with a fuller set of images, I’ll post a link to it.

I’ve been thinking to what extent next July’s ‘seven ships’ P&O event will be like this. Three of the six ships last weekend were big and three were small; next year’s event will have two large ships, four medium ships and just one small ship. It’ll be a squeeze….

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