Last week saw some very sad news hit the headlines in the cruise industry, so much so that it was all on the South Today news. P&O are selling the Oriana!
Ships come and go but this is one that I am really disappointed about, Oriana is one of my favourite ships, yes, she is an older vessel but if Cruise and Maritime can operate a ship that is 1965 which is the Marco Polo and she is still going, in comparison the Oriana is just a baby.
Oriana has long been a favourite with British Passengers her size and Adult Only Status makes her a popular choice but she has only been Adults Only since 2012 so there is a lot of the younger generation that also have a fond place for the Oriana.
Being just under 70,000 gross tons the Oriana is one of few smaller ships left in the mainstream market which is being turned over by the bigger 150,000 gross tons ships. It will get to a stage where if you want a smaller ship you are having to do the Luxury market and this for some is unaffordable just to get a small ship. P&O have said from market research that bigger ships is what their guests what however I am unsure as many I have spoken to want the smaller vessels – what is your preference?
The reason I love Oriana is because she looks like a ship, she has the most stunning back which is open and tiered, she has Harlequins which in her day was one of the biggest dance floors at sea. Her Atrium features sweeping staircases topped at the top with Tiffany’s – one of the cafés on board which has a Murano Glass Ceiling, not to mention the Theatre which many have said is similar to that of the West End!
Oriana also holds the Golden Cockerel, which was given to her when she and the Canberra meet in Cannes in 1997 where honour was given to the Oriana. The Canberra had received it from the previous Oriana to that, so it was almost coming home.
This prestigious award is given to the fasted ship in the P&O fleet and at the time, she was one of the fastest ship under the Carnival Umbrella. In Oriana’s sea trials she got to 27.2 knots.
So, who is going to take this one on or are P&O going to let tradition slip by?
Personally, I think it’s a real shame and it was not that long ago we said good bye to the Adonia, now the Oriana! She will leave in August – where she is going to I am not sure however some have said she will head to China to be a floating casino – In my opinion what a waste of such an iconic ship.