Sapphire Princess UK Debut, Queen Victoria & Zuiderdam Southampton Debut
Crack of yawn start on the 5th May 2018 for an regular and two first timers.  The 116,000grt Sapphire Princess was originally built as Diamond Princess but they swapped names when a fire broke out aboard during building.  Diamond was due first in 2004 with Sapphire a few months later.  Both are modified versions of Grand Princess along with Golden Princess and Majestic Princess, are the only Princess ships to be registered in the UK.  Wikipedia wrongly states the current Royal Princess in British registered.  She is still Bermuda.  Since entering service, she'd been sailing out of the west coast of the US as well as Asia.  Zuiderdam had called into various UK ports since entering service in 2002.  The 82,820grt Holland America ship is the first of the new Vista class.  As well as three more for HAL, there is also Arcadia plus variations in Costa, HAL and Cunard in the shape of Vicky who was also in.  Sapphire arrived at stupid o'clock so we skipped her.  Vicky and Zuiderdam were arriving at a more civilised time.
Back down for the sailings of Sapphire Princess and Vicky.  Zuiderdam wasn't due to depart until 10.30pm.  Sapphire was supposed to sail at 4pm with Vicky half an hour later.  Hur, hur!  Sapphire finally shifted at the time Vicky was sailing and the Cunarder moved a few minutes later.  As they both manoeuvred, I heard someone say Sapphire was Ventura while someone else asked who they were with if Vicky was Queen Mary 2.

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© Patricia Dempsey 5th May 2018
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