Everybody knows that the port of Odessa is a very cool place for huge and glamorous overseas ships to come. Today we’ll tell you about three of them: the famous Queen Victoria, 3 years ago attacked by Somali pirates Nautica and French Levant.
At 90.000 GRT, the Queen Victoria is the third largest ship of Cunard Line after the Queen Mary 2 and built in 2010 Queen Elizabeth. The cost of this miracle is 300 million euros.
The keel of the Queen Victoria was laid on May 12, 2006. The liner was assembled out of 80 prefabricated blocks. Note that these were not just steel boxes but completely finished sections, including the interior decoration of cabins and other rooms.
The weight of each section is 325 tons. On January 15, 2007 after a bottle of Prosecco had been slammed against the board of the Queen Victoria, the ship was lowered into the water. During the ceremony, a traditional for Cunard Line ritual was performed – two coins (a euro and a gold sovereign of Queen Victoria’s times) were laid at the base of one of the masts.
On December 7 the Queen Victoria was warmly welcomed in Southampton, her home port.
The liner was christened by the next wife of Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. During this action, quite an embarrassing thing happened. The device that should have broken a bottle of champagne against the board of the ship failed to start working. That’s why it had to be done manually. But even this time the bottle didn’t get broken. As you know, it’s a very bad sign… Eventually, the bottle of Veuve Clicquot was nevertheless broken (not at the first attempt but still). The British media immediately began surmising what all this could mean. Weather it was the sign of the next divorce of Prince Charles, or the one of the sad fate of the liner?
Foreign tourists look at Odessa from the balconies of their cabins.
Now the Cunard fleet consists of the Queen Victoria, RMS Queen Mary 2, RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Elizabeth. The Queen Victoria has no prefix RMS (Royal Mail Ship), as well as the status of a passenger liner. She’s humbly called a cruise ship. However, in spite of such humiliation, the liner is unique in its own way.
She houses 7 restaurants, 13 bars, 3 swimming pools, a ballroom and a theater. Among the other attractions of the liner are a winter garden with a retractable roof and a fountain, and a navigation room seating 77 people.
Somebody dries his pants right at a balcony.
Now let’s imagine ourselves to be Somali pirates and start attacking the Nautica!
One of the pirates seems to be already aboard.
Although the Nautica looks smaller in comparison with the Queen Victoria, her size is quite large. That’s how jeeps look against her background.
And this is the French Levant, 100 m long. The vessel has five passenger decks and 45 cabins without balconies. A small number of passengers (90 people) is served by 50 members of the staff. All of them are Frenchmen.
And this is the Ukrainian Princessa Elena which sails from Odessa to Istanbul.
And the Afric Star, a cargo ship proudly bearing the flag of Liberia.
The general view of the port.