CMA CGM Group’s latest container carrier has made her first call at Southampton. The British-flagged CMA CGM Kerguelen (2015/175,000gt) arrived on 13 May, fresh from her formal commissioning ceremony in Le Havre the day before. At 398m long and 54m wide the ship has capacity for 17,722 TEUs, making her the largest vessel in the company’s short history.
The ship, the first in a series of six vessels to be delivered by the end of the year, is named after the 18th Century French navigator, Yves Joseph de Kerguelen de Trémarec. The remainder are to be named CMA CGM Georg Forster, CMA CGM Bougainville, CMA CGM Vasco da Gama, CMA CGM Zheng He and CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin.
Cunard began their 175th anniversary celebrations with a gathering of the company’s fleet at their homeport of Southampton on 3 May. The three Queens were fresh back form their world cruises and later departed in company down Southampton Water and into the Solent and beyond.
Queen Mary 2 (2003/148,528t), Queen Elizabeth (2010/90,901t) and Queen Victoria (2007/90,049gt) are scheduled to meet again at Liverpool between 24 and 26 May. Cunard estimates up to a million spectators will watch the ships assemble in the River Mersey, in sight of the former Cunard HQ on the city’s waterfront.
Although Cunard ships have been homeported at Southampton for almost a century, the company was founded in Liverpool with the Head Office remaining there for 128 years until 1967.
The second of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class cruise ships has arrived in Southampton, where she will be based for the summer season. Anthem of the Seas (2015/167,800gt) is the second brand new cruise ship to debut at the UK’s cruise capital in as many months, after P&O Cruises’ Britannia (2015/143,730gt) last month.
Anthem of the Seas is to be officially named on 20 April ahead of her maiden season sailing to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and the Canary Islands. She will reposition to her new homeport of New York in November. The returning Independence of the Seas (2008/154,407gt) will replace her for the 2016 season.
The Quantum class are the second largest cruise ships in the world after Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class. They provide new features that offer their 4,180 passengers a view 300 feet above the ocean, a skydiving experience, or the chance to ride bumper cars or try roller skating.
The Queen has named P&O Cruises’ latest cruise ship. The ceremony at the Port of Southampton was also attended by The Duke of Edinburgh. Britannia is the fifth official naming of a cruise ship by Her Majesty, a name shared by the former Royal Yacht, which was decommissioned in 1997 after more than 40 years of service.
The traditional bottle smash was performed with a nebuchadnezzar of British Brut NV from the Wiston Estate Winery at Pulborough in West Sussex. After the ceremony, hosted by comedian Rob Brydon, the Queen was given a tour by the ship’s master, Captain Paul Brown.
With the introduction of their new flagship, P&O Cruises has taken the opportunity to move away from tradition and ‘re-launch’ the brand with a fresh new look. The Union flag motif and change of funnel colour from buff to blue, along with an ever-increasing size of ship that some say resemble blocks of flats, has certainly divided opinion.
That said, the understated yet elegant interiors are likely to win over many critics. Britannia’s public spaces and cabins have all been designed by London-based Richmond International, a group better known for its hotel designs. The main ‘wow’ factor on board the new ship is a three-deck high atrium topped by an impressive starburst lighting feature. Among the ship’s 13 restaurants and 13 bars are larger versions of Sindhu and The Glass House that feature on other ships. Britannia also indulges the Brits’ love of cooking and baking with the introduction of a cookery school.