Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Cruise Ships in the Sound

Perhaps I'm spending more of my time staring out of the window so I notice more ships coming by, but there may be other reasons for there seeming to be more cruise ships in the Sound of Mull than in previous years.  The eight ships featured here passed us between 16th May and 1st June.

The first is the Ocean Nova, a Danish-built ship designed for polar expeditions.

She was followed by another ship which is more at home in polar waters than the calm of the Sound, the National Geographic Explorer.

The Delphin came by on the 25th, and very smart and modern she looked.  However, on checking her on Google we discovered that she was launched in 1974 as the Byelorussiya and for 20 years she was operated by the Black Sea Shipping Company, cruising under the Russian flag.  She now operates under a Bahamian flag but has Indian owners.

The Funchal is even older than the Delphin, having been launched in 1961, but she carries her age with pride - at first sight she looks remarkably like the Royal Yacht Britannia.  What's unusual about her is that she's sailed under the Portuguese flag all her life.

Silverseas' Silver Explorer passed us on the 28th.  She's another cruise ship designed for exotically cold locations.  Built in 1989, she's had no less than nine names in her life and three owners.  One wonders why owners feel the need to keep changing a ship's name - compare her to the Funchal.

This is the Island Sky passing on the 31st May.  We saw her going in the opposite direction a fortnight earlier so she obviously likes these waters.

Lastly, the Astor came north on the 1st June, and is pictured passing the Hebridean Princess at anchor in Bloody Bay.  The Astor, launched in 1986, has only had two names in her life, Astor and Fedor Dostoyevskiy.  She started as the Astor, became the Fedor Dostoyevskiy in 1988, and reverted to Astor in 1995.

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