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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Five at Rest

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas OCTOBER. 06, 2020

[62-365] 6th. October 2020- Today we took a trip out to Torbay for a day out after being cooped up for days with Storm Alex. There was still an odd shower or two but mostly it was a beautiful sunny day.

During the pandemic lockdown the South coast of England has been home to many of the worlds poshest and largest cruise ships which have moored offshore to save costs of mooring in port. They move around a lot steaming up and down the English Channel from time to time but today we managed to see five in one place.

The ships were Ventura, Queen Mary 2, Azura, Volendam and Westerdam. I am using a free App, Marine Radar to identify these ships.

These three just off Teignmouth, are from the left, Ventura, Queen Mary 2 and Azura.

RMS Queen Mary 2 (also referred to as the QM2) seen here on the right, is a British transatlantic ocean liner. She has served as the flagship of Cunard Line since succeeding Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2004. As of 2017, Queen Mary 2 is the only purpose built passenger ship designed as an ocean liner, as opposed to a cruise ship.

The ship was officially named Queen Mary 2 by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 after the first RMS Queen Mary of 1936. Queen Mary had in turn been named after Mary of Teck, consort of King George V. With the retirement of Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2008, Queen Mary 2 is the only transatlantic ocean liner in regular service between Southampton, England, and New York City, United States. The ship is also used for cruising, including an annual world cruise.

MV Ventura is a Grand-class cruise ship of the P&O Cruises fleet. The ship was built by Fincantieri at their shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. At 116,017 tonnes and 291.4 m (956 ft), Ventura is the second largest of seven ships currently in service with P&O Cruises. She officially entered service with the company in April 2008 and was named by Dame Helen Mirren.

British actress Dame Helen Mirren officially christened Ventura and became the ship's "Godmother", prior to its maiden cruise to the Mediterranean Sea. In a break with tradition, Dame Helen commanded a team of Royal Marine Commandos to assist her in naming Ventura in a dramatic abseil.

MS Azura is a cruise ship operated by P&O Cruises and owned by Carnival plc. The ship was built by Fincantieri at their shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. She officially entered service with the company in April 2010.

Azura was formally named on 10 April 2010, by godmother Darcey Bussell. As well as performing the traditional bottle breaking ceremony, as a former principal dancer of the Royal Ballet, Bussell presented a dance performance by Royal Ballet School as part of the celebrations. Azura was originally registered in her homeport of Southampton, UK, but in November 2011 she was re-registered to Hamilton, Bermuda to enable wedding ceremonies to be conducted on board.

These are from left, Volendam and Westerdam, and they are next door in Torbay.

MS Volendam is a Rotterdam-class (R-class) cruise ship belonging to Holland America Line. The Volendam is half the size of some Holland America Line ships. It was built in 1999 as the third of four Rotterdam-class vessels which have ten decks, with passenger cabins spread across six of them. The Volendam's theming prominently features flowers, and the decor throughout the ship emphasizes floral patterns. She sails out of Australia, Asia, and conducts cruises of the Inside Passage, traversing British Columbia and Alaska.

The atrium contains a sculpture spanning three decks which was created by Luciano Vistosi. Volendam was christened by former professional tennis player Chris Evert on 12 November 1999, who became the ship's godmother.

MS Westerdam is a Vista-class cruise ship owned by Holland America Line. She is the third ship of the class to be operated by the line, as well as being the third ship to bear the name Westerdam. Her sister ships are Oosterdam, Zuiderdam, and Noordam. The beginning of the four ships' names represent the four directions of the compass in Dutch.

Westerdam was christened on 25 April 2004 in Venice, Italy by Dutch actress Renée Soutendijk. The theme of her art collection is Dutch heritage in the New World. Paintings of historic Dutch ships, such as Henry Hudson's Halve Maen (Half Moon), and various sculptures and statues are displayed throughout the ship. Contemporary pieces include an original Andy Warhol portrait and sculptures by Sedona artist Susanna Holt.

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