This month we are featuring P & O Cruises' latest ship Britannia, which visited Cartagena on Wednesday 5th July on a cruise that commenced from Southampton, including a number of ports within the Mediterranean Sea and having been alongside during daylight hours.
The ship departed Cartagena at 5pm to sail directly to Gibraltar, for the return passage to Southampton.
The Britannia is able to accommodate 4,324 passengers with a compliment of 1,398 officers and crew. Having mingled with many on shore, I was impressed by the majority that were overjoyed with on-board facilities including outstanding entertainment.
Cartagena was considered one of the favourite ports of call, with many comments overheard by myself, reporting a desire for a return to spend more time in our historic and wonderful city.
As readers of my monthly contributions will have noted, I visit the port in Cartagena on a regular basis to view and photograph the many maritime movements on view, including cruise ships and many types of cargo vessels plying various trades into and out of Cartagena and Escombreras. The latter is situated at the outer entrance of Cartagena harbour containing an oil refinery and gas terminal able to accommodate super-tankers in excess of 300,000 tonnes, together with facilities handling a variety of other trades.
As is well known locally, Cartagena is an extremely important Naval base with a number of warships often visible and being the home of the submarine fleet. These 'boats' can often be seen entering or leaving the Naval dockyard.
On my regular visits, I usually take the harbour trip on one of the two tourist boats operating daily allowing the opportunity for viewing local facilities. They also give close-up views of ships alongside and venture out to sea for a short distance. On a recent trip I observed a school of dolphins playing in the wake of our boat.
I have photographed the boat as I was waiting to board for my most recent harbour trip where a commentary in Spanish and English was given, detailing the historic sights visible; both buildings and coastal scenery. The boat was crewed by extremely competent, well trained and helpful guys, (3 on duty for each trip out of a total 4); Miguel, Victor, Ravi and Jose being the total compliment.
I must not forget that there is a ship's photographer normally on board. Laura offered to take passenger's pictures with a scenic background. These photos were professionally presented prior to disembarking, in a glossy brochure including other pictures and details of Cartagena.
It is with sadness that I have found out that Ravi's sister died unexpectedly recently. On behalf of myself and everyone who knows Ravi, including the staff at the Costa Cálida Chronicle, I would like to offer our sincere condolences to Ravi and his family.