Perhaps someone can explain to me why cruise companies use such old ships for the British market.
The first is Quark Expedition's Ocean Diamond, a ship we've seen before in these waters. She's described on her website as, "one of the newest, fastest, and most eco-friendly ships in Antarctica," which is just as well as she's heading north towards a melting Arctic Ocean.
SilverSea's Silver Explorer is described on their website as a "purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions. A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables the Silver Explorer to safely push through ice floes with ease."
Discovery came very slowly into the northern end of the Sound on one of our cheerful summer evenings. She's the fourth ship to bear the name, the earlier ones specialising in Antarctic exploration and research. The first, built in 1901, carried Scott and Shackleton on their joint, very successful expedition to Antarctica.
Oosterschelde passed us on 3rd June on her way to Tobermory after visits to Lewis and Staffa. She's a very different sort of cruise ship, a Dutch three-masted topsail schooner built in 1918 for freight but now lovingly restored and sailing passengers around the world.