Artemis Farewell Cruise Sailing & Arcadia (IV)
The end of an era on the 12th April 2011 when Artemis returned home for the penultimate time under the P&O house flag, which she had flown proudly since October 1984, first as Royal Princess (I) until transferring in 2005.  Despite being sold in October 2009, she was chartered by her former owners to finish her itineraries and add a final cruise, a two week trip to the Med.  Arcadia was also in, preparing for her first trek to Alaska and back, both originally scheduled to sail at the usual 4.30pm but the day before it was changed to 5.45pm for Artemis with Arcadia at 6pm.
After a box boat had passed, Artemis slipped her ropes, blasting six time as she moved away from the berth.  Fireworks saluted her and she blasted another six after that.  As she passed Pier Head, she blasted more!  Nearing Arcadia the two began to blast to each other.  You'd think it was over when they'd begin again, usually Arcadia being the cuprit.  Both had been under the buff funnels since 2005 - Arcadia in the April and Artemis two months later.
Arcadia gave three blasts as she reversed and, to our surprise, also had a dockside firework display.  We can only guess it's because the 14th is her sixth birthday.  Most people had left by now and it also started to spit a little when a great dark cloud went over.
And so we headed for the bus stop and thankfully the 1840 was twenty minutes late! I'll miss the old rattletrap when she goes.  I don't call her Hit & Miss for nothing!  I hope the Germans like her as much as many Brits.  To see a video of these two sailing, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 8th April 2011
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