With the start of 2016 just days away, now’s as good a time as any to reflect on the cruise highlights that have come to pass over the past 12 months. 2015 has been a big year for cruising; we’ve seen the arrival of new ships, new ports and new destinations, and been introduced to a whole host of state-of-the-art technologies never before seen at sea.
So, in celebration of another exceptional year of cruising, we’ve compiled a shortlist of the most momentous cruise moments of 2015 — from the launch of Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas to the 175th Anniversary of Cunard Line.
50th Anniversary of Princess Cruises
Back at the start of the year, while the rest of the world was trying to overcome the January Blues, Princess Cruises was celebrating its 50th anniversary. Established by Stanley McDonald in 1965, Princess has since become one of the world’s best-loved cruise lines, thanks in part to its inclusion in the hit US TV series, The Love Boat. During the anniversary celebrations, Princess featured a float in the 126th Tournament of Roses parade which carried some of the original cast members from the hit series.
Arrival of Anthem of the Seas
Of all the new ships launched in 2015, none caused such as much a stir as Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. As the line’s second Quantum-class vessel, Anthem was one of the most eagerly anticipated ships to launch in UK waters in recent history. The ship arrived on our shores on 15 April, before making her first official sailing a week later on 22 April. Between April and October, Anthem carried some 80,000 guests — making full use of her 4,900 capacity.
Five Ship Sydney Spectacular
It’s been a bumper year for cruising in Australia, with the Aussie cruise market achieving a record 1 million cruise passengers over the last 12 months. This massive growth has lead several cruise lines to invest heavily Down Under, particularly P&O, which now operates five ships in Oz on a year-round basis. To celebrate the arrival of its 4th (Pacific Aria) and 5th (Pacific Eden) cruise ships, the line organised a ‘Five Ship Sydney Spectacular’, in which all P&O Australia ships sailed into Sydney’s famous harbour front in a V formation.
P&O Britannia Launched
Four years in the making and designed from the keel up for the British cruise market; P&O Britannia made her debut sailing in UK waters earlier this year, arriving at her new homeport of Southampton on the 6 March. The ship, which is the biggest in the P&O fleet, was tugged into Southampton’s Eastern Dock, where the Queen later named her. Since then, the massive ocean liner has travelled from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, quickly proving herself the flagship of the P&O fleet.
175th Anniversary of Cunard Line
Founded in 1840, Cunard Line is the world’s oldest and most prestigious cruise line, and celebrated its 175th anniversary this year. To mark this special occasion the cruise line hosted several special events throughout the year, and also announced the creation of 8 new itineraries aboard flagship vessel, Queen Mary 2, which took place in November and December.
While it’s sad to say goodbye to such a brilliant year of cruising, 2016 looks set to be even better. If you want to create your own cruise moments in the new year, click here to browse our latest deals or call our team on 0800 230 0655.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Wes Eggins Images, Princess Cruises, Gail Frederick, P&O