Four years after she was ordered by P&O Cruises, the Britannia has today arrived at her new home, Southampton. Having made the short trip from Nab Tower, just off the east coast of the Isle of White, the Britannia arrived in the waters of Southampton at noon today (6 March 2015).
Cruise enthusiasts and curious onlookers grabbed a first look at the largest ship designed exclusively for the UK cruise market today as she passed the towns of Warsash, Netley and more towns on the coast. The ship was greeted at her berth in the Ocean Terminal in Southampton’s Eastern Docks by members of the P&O team as well as industry insiders.
The Britannia was escorted into Southampton Waters by two fire tugs, spraying water high into the air. Leaving nothing to chance, her unofficial escort was completed by a series yachts as well as a pleasure craft and a hover craft. The city’s Mayflower Park and Town Quay were lined with visitors welcoming the newest addition to the collection of cruise ships who call Southampton ‘home’.
It is just over a week until the maiden voyage of the Britannia as she undertakes a two week cruise through Spain, Italy and France from 14 March. The ship is scheduled to complete a range of Mediterranean, Scandinavian and Baltic itineraries during her maiden season.
The next celebratory milestone for the Britannia comes next Tuesday (10 March) as the Her Majesty The Queen visits Southampton to officially the ship. This will be the second ship in the P&O fleet named by the Queen, following the Oriana in 1995.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Brian D Smith, Henry Burrows