Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sea Princess (2011) - Post 5 (final)

November 22nd. - Milford Sound

We were fortunate that the seas were calm enough for us to enter Milford Sound. Both Dawn Princess and Pacific Jewel before us had to abandon their calls because of rough seas across the entrance making entry unsafe.

During the passage through the sounds, stewards were on deck providing spirit drinks and hot coffee to ward off the cold.

Aboard the ship.

My favourite spot for pre-dinner drinks.

Charlton (from India) and Meelay (from the Phillipines), two of the excellent bar staff.

Head waiter Larry, waiter Elmer and Maitre d'Hotel Francois looked after me royally. I realise I look like a New Orleans lawyer from a John Grisham novel - I must go on a diet after this cruise season!

Sea Princess (2011) - Post 4

November 20th. - Akaroa

 Because the tragic Christchurch earthquakes caused such serious damage to the port town of Lyttelton, large cruise ships now call at Akaroa instead. This was my first visit to this port and, like most other New Zealand ports I have visited, I found it was stunningly beautiful.

Ship's tenders transferring passengers ashore.

Sea Princess at anchor in Akaroa harbour.

Dawn Princess was also moored in Akaroa harbour that day. I'll be joining her in 3 weeks for Christmas and New Year cruises (to the same ports as this cruise except they are round trip cruises from Melbourne).

November 21st. - Port Chalmers (Dunedin)

Today, P&O (Australia)'s Pacific Jewel, originally Crown Princess, was in port with us. She was also on a Sydney / New Zealand / Sydney cruise, but like Dawn Princess was doing the ports in the opposite rotation to us.

Both ships were scheduled to sail at 6pm., with us saling first. Here, some of Pacific Jewel's passengers watch us sail.

The bridge team on Pacific Jewel waiting for us to sail.

Also in port that day was the container ship Irene's Rainbow. She is of the same design as (among many others) Cap Beatrice, the ship I sailed home from Philadelphia aboard, last year.

Linesmen waiting to let go Pacific Jewel's headlines as soon as we cleared the basin.

Sea Princess (2011) - Post 3

November 17th. - Tauranga (Mt. Manganui)

Alongside in Mt. Manganui.

Shipping in Tauranga harbour.

One of Sea Princess' seamen oiling lifeboat falls.

 November 18th. - Napier (almost)
The Napier pilot boarded and the launch followed us from the pilot boarding ground to the breakwater. However, due to high winds gusting across the unprotected wharf, the Captain judged it too unsafe to berth so unfortunately the call to Napier was abandoned.

 November 19th. - Wellington

 The ship was piloted into Wellington by a friend of mine from my Blue Star Line days, Captain Peter Stacey. After berthing Sea Princess, Peter took Maersk Aberdeen to sea, kindly allowing me to ride on the pilot launch while he did so.

The aft tug assisting Sea Princess in morning sunshine.

Ships alongside Aotea Quay.

Sea Princess alongside Aotea Quay, from the pilot launch.

Assisted by tugs, Maersk Aberdeen sets sail.

The pilot launch coming alongside Maersk Aberdeen at Wellington harbour entrance.

Waiting for the pilot to disembark the ship.

Captain Stacey on the ladder.

Heading into ocean swells, Maersk Aberdeen clears Wellington.

Heading back into Wellington.

That evening as we sailed from Wellington, outside the harbour the pilot launch attended an inbound banana carrier.

Sea Princess (2011) - Post 2

November 15th. - Bay of Islands, N.Z.

One of the ship's tenders, ferrying passengers ashore to Paihia, near Russell.

Sea Princess at anchor in the Bay of Islands.

Ship's tenders alongside.

 November 16th. -Auckland.

A car carrier alongside as we arrived on a wet morning.

The aft tug.

The forward tug leading the ship to her berth at Princes Wharf.
Alongside in Auckland.

Early evening departure, in Auckland harbour.

 Luxury yachts, charter vessels etc. in Auckland.

This relatively modest motor yacht appeals to me.