Unexpected Lowestoft homecoming for cruise ship passengers

Lowestoft couple Nancy Boardley and Gordon Smith

Lowestoft couple Nancy Boardley and Gordon Smith - Credit: Archant

When they embarked on their cruise, holidaymakers aboard the P&O Arcadia expected to see wonderful Scandinavian scenery and snow.

The RNLI Lowestoft Lifeboat crew make a courtesy visit to the P&O Arcadia, which dropped anchor off

The RNLI Lowestoft Lifeboat crew make a courtesy visit to the P&O Arcadia, which dropped anchor off the South Beach at Lowestoft on Christmas Day. Pictures: RNLI/NIGEL LYMAN - Credit: Archant

But the most unexpected sight proved to be that of England's most easterly town, as the cruise liner made an unscheduled stop off Lowestoft on Christmas Day.

And among the 1,900 passengers and 880 crew aboard, were those with connections to the seaside town who enjoyed a premature, albeit brief, homecoming as the 900ft cruise liner dropped anchor. Lowestoft couple, Nancy Boardley and Gordon Smith, were among the ship's passengers.

Mr Smith, 77, said: 'We were told by the captain we would be sheltering from Storm Barbara by the Norfolk coast so that we could enjoy our Christmas Day meals.

'But when I woke up Christmas Day I said 'Good God that's the Gulliver wind turbine over there'. It was an unexpected surprise that proved to be a real highlight.'

Sam Whiteside's brothers point to the Arcadia ship from the Lowestoft shore

Sam Whiteside's brothers point to the Arcadia ship from the Lowestoft shore - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


The vessel had been on a nine nights and 10 days, round-trip Baltic Cruise, which had left Southampton on December 19 and was due to visit Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Oslo, Amsterdam and Zeebrugge before returning to Southampton on December 28.

Nancy Boardley added: 'To open the curtains of our stateroom and see Ness Point and the Sparrow's Nest lighthouse was beyond belief.

Most Read

'Despite jokes along the lines of 'You might have well have stayed at home', we found that this more than co-incidental event made a highly memorable holiday totally unforgettable.'

Also on board was 28-year-old Sam Whiteside, from Pakefield, who is a port presenter on the Arcadia.

His mother, Helen Ward, explained although her son was not allowed off the ship they were able to speak by telephone and his brothers – Haydn, Elliot and Owen Whiteside – enjoyed taking a 'selfie' on the beach with the Arcadia visible on the horizon.

Do you have an unusual story? Email simon.ward@archant.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter