Huge empty cruise ship spotted off east coast
- Credit: Archant
Aerial pictures of a cruise ship taking shelter off the east coast show empty decks as the travel industry continues to deal with the impact of the coronavirus lockdown.
The Arcadia, a passenger vessel run by P&O Cruises, has been anchored off the coast of Lowestoft and Kessingland and is currently sailing to Southwold.
The ship, which departed from Southampton on August 18, is the fourth largest of seven ships currently in service with the company.
Pictures taken by Oliver Bolton, 33, a photographer living in Great Yarmouth, show hovering shots of the empty vessel which normally has room for more than 2,000 guests.
A spokesperson for P&O Cruises UK said: “During this pause in our operations, our P&O Cruises ships are berthed in Southampton but also periodically sail to and anchor in other locations including off the coast of Suffolk.
“We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from harbours and ports during this period.
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“Much in the same way as a car needs to be driven, our ships need to sail to ensure full working operation and then return to the berths for storing.
“We have essential manning on board, which is approximately 100 crew members per ship.
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“The crew can, of course, use guest facilities providing they adhere to social distancing and other health protocols.”
The appearance of the ship has attracted the attention of beachgoers in Gorleston, Lowestoft and Kessingland and prompted comment on social media.
One woman said: “Beautiful ship, we were on it last year and can’t wait until next year when we hopefully be on it for five weeks.”
“Been on her,” another commented. “Fantastic outside deck at the back.”
The Arcadia usually sails to the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Iberia and the Caribbean - its last voyage was a 12-day trip to Norway.
However, while the air travel industry is slowly resuming, it is unlikely cruise ships – which can dock at many locations throughout their journeys – will be setting sail anytime soon.
P&O has cancelled all trips until November 12 as well as two with longer itineraries, including the Arcadia’s world cruise, which is now due to begin in January 2021.
The vessel is not the first to drop anchor off the east coast this summer in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.
In early July, the Queen Victoria, a Vista-class cruise ship operated by the Cunard line, was spotted sitting on the horizon off Kessingland.