Today marked the end of the former Island Venture, or as she came to be known; Island Princess, and later Discovery. She was one of two sister ships built for flagship cruises, and her sister, Sea Venture became famous as the ship used in the TV series “The Love Boat”. The ships were not regular callers in South Africa, and I could be wrong but the call of Island Princess in March 1996 may have been the first for these ships under the Princess banner.
I was fortunate enough to visit her on this call, and I did a personal view of the visit in October 2012. They were handsome ships, with nice lines and a businesslike look about them. Unfortunately Sea Venture/Pacific Princess was not as fortunate as Island Venture/Island Princess was, the former not quite finding a niche to fill and being laid up for a few years in a deteriorating condition. She sadly went to the breakers in August 2013.
As Discovery; Island Venture had a loyal following for many years, although the writing was really on the wall for her too. There were no last minute buyers for this old lady of the sea, she really slipped away from us and sailed on her last lonely voyage not too long ago. I always hoped she would call at Southampton but she never did, so I never got to see her again.
Strangely enough the images I took in Durban of her sailing were not from the North Pier, but from the South, and while I did get unique images of her they were not the pics I wanted.
Yet, there is one image that kind of says it all.
That last glimpse you get as a ship sails away, every departure means an arrival, and every arrival means a departure. Except when that departure is for the beaches at Alang. Farewell Island Princess, you will be missed.
DRW 2014-2018. Images recreated 21/04/2016