All those empty cruise ships off the South English coast have become in demand with a local ferry operator offering a closer look!
How About a “Ghost Ship Tour” During the Suspension?
With most cruise lines suspending operations around the world there are many cruise ships that are docked in ports or anchored off the coast. Some cruise ships which are anchored off the Dorset coast in southern England have become in demand with a local tour.
With ships just waiting until operations resume, a former cruise ship captain who owns a nearby ferry service in Christchurch, Dorset has been offering ghost ship tours where people can get up and close to the giant vessels.
As Dorset does not usually host such large vessels, they have become in demand with tours selling out fast and people flocking to nearby ship spotting locations on the coast to enjoy the views.
Paul Derham who runs the Mudeford Ferry is actually a former captain of cruise ships and one of the ships he worked on was P&O Cruises’ 78,000 gross ton P&O Aurora when he was staff captain. He took on the ferry business to follow in his grandparents’ footsteps.
Who would have thought that he would soon be the center of attention by taking passengers on a tour of the “ghost ships” which are anchored off the coast. There have been a number of ships just off the Bournemouth coast taking turns to enter ports to offload waste. At the moment the cruise ships just off the coast are the Anthem of the Seas and Allure of the Seas operated by Royal Caribbean along with P&O Arcadia.
The ferry is based out of Mudeford in Christchurch which is just 5 miles to the east of Bournemouth and 25 miles west of Southampton which is a major cruise hub.
The operator offers unobstructed views of the cruise ships and the ferry is allowed to cruise up to 50 meters away. The company has also posted that the tour has already seen up close P&O Arcadia, P&O Aurora, P&O Ventura, and Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria.
The tour of the ghost ships lasts around 2 and a half hours and the ferry name Josephine has a passenger capacity of 20. There will even be a commentary on board and no doubt Captain Derham will be able to share his experience and knowledge. The tour currently costs £20 per adult and £10 per child.
In fact, those interested can look forward to another tour in the near future as one just departed today at 8:00 AM. However, something tells us it could be booked up pretty fast!
Mudeford Ferry operates two vessels, Josephine which has a capacity of 20 and is 11 meters in length along with Josephine II which measures 11 meters. The ferry usually only operates between Mudeford Quay and the Mudeford Beach Sandbank.
We know it’s not easy for those who didn’t manage to go ahead with their cruise vacation due to the suspension of operations. However, it’s nice to see something good to come from this and a chance to see the giants cruise ships up close for those who might not usually be able to.
There are even more cruise ships anchored off the coast of Weymouth which is just 27 miles west of Bournemouth. According to the Cruise Ship Tracker, there are currently 10 cruise ships anchored off Weymouth and they are Carnival Valor, P&O Aurora, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, P&O Britannia, Marella Explorer, Marella Explorer 2, Marella Discovery and P&O Azura.
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