MV Al Qibla

One of the first container ships to make a maiden call at Southampton this year is the United Arab Shipping Company’s, MV Al Qibla (2012/141,077 gt). The Kuwaiti-flagged boxship is one of two UASC 13,500 TEU vessels operating jointly with CMA CGM vessels on the FAL 1 Asia – Europe service.

Named after a city in Kuwait and with a spiritual Arabic meaning translated as ‘the direction towards which we turn for prayer’, MV Al Qibla is the eighth of nine A13 class container ships built at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, South Korea.

HMS Daring returns

HMS Daring has returned home from an unusually long and particularly eventful deployment. During nine months away the Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer visited 21 ports and clocked up 44,000 miles. Last November, she was diverted from her programme to assist in emergency relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

Other notable events included transiting the Panama Canal for the first time, conducting ballistic missile tracking trials off the US Pacific seaboard, exercising with the Chinese Navy and representing the United Kingdom at the Royal Australian Navy’s Centenary Fleet Review in Sydney Harbour.

Take a wider view

Take a wider view

Regular visitors to the 360 page may think there is nothing new to see as it has the same six windows. This is not so! We are adding 360 views to the 360Cities website, where the images are hosted, on a regular basis so there will usually be something new to see. You can navigate there via links on the 360 page or better still, click on the 360 icon in the ‘follow us’ tab.

Recent updates include views on board the Swan Hellenic cruise ship, MV Minerva and P&O Ferries MV Spirit of France.

>View more of our 360 images on 360Cities

MV Norwegian Getaway

Norwegian Cruise Lines’s newest cruise ship stopped by at Southampton for three flying visits following delivery on 10 January. MV Norwegian Getaway (2014/146,600 gt) is the second of two Breakaway class ships that the Papenburg-based Meyer Werft shipyard has built for NCL.

Getaway’s prominent hull art, created by a Miami-based artist, features a mermaid, pelicans and colours inspired by the sun and ocean at her home port. The new ship, which can accommodate 4,000 passengers, will operate Caribbean cruises from Miami, Florida starting on 8 February.

HMS Illustrious returns

HMS Illustrious has returned to Portsmouth at the completion of a five-month deployment. The Royal Navy helicopter carrier was met by thousands of spectators and a full tug escort in recognition of the part she played in providing relief aid to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan which struck in November.

The ship and her crew spent three weeks delivering emergency aid supplies and repairing broken infrastructure. Illustrious sailed from Portsmouth in August and had been scheduled to arrive back on 13 December, before being diverted from the Gulf. After maintenance she will deploy one final time before decommissioning.