This was the maiden call of Norwegian Breakaway
in Southampton, and the lines were abuzz for a long time about her arrival. A last minute change put her here at 07H15, which could mean anything because many times I have gotten to the harbour and the ship was already alongside. For once I was there early. And she was not in sight. I was cold and shivering and the crowd got bigger until at last I spotted her upperworks above the ship berthed at QE2.
You could see she was big, at 146000 GRT she has to be. The artwork on her bows makes a strange change, but then everybody seems to be doing it. I don’t know how long that will last though. She looks kind of mundane when viewed foreshortened through the lens. Not a lot of her upperdeck equipment is visible, and even her mast and funnel are much smaller than I expected. There is this odd water slide sticking up above and it reminds me of a giant tentacle monster that has escaped from the pool.
She was scheduled to berth alongside at Southampton City and started to swing in front of us as if she was going into Southampton Ocean. It did give a great opportunity to see her full length.
As well as give us the opportunity to see what they have done with the stern, a very contentious area on any ship, and one that seems to have lost any visual appeal.
They then proceeded backwards past us to berth her port side to at City. It was going to take awhile for her to get there so I decided to head down there as well, and to get some shots of her progress past the Red Funnel terminal.
By the time I got to City she was almost ready to go alongside, I am sure the crew on board the German naval vessel were happy to get a ringside view. The seagulls were already gathering to feast on the stuff churned up by her bow and stern thrusters.
Then she was dropping her lines and it was almost time for me to go. I wasn’t too keen on her originally, but she isn’t too awful, at least they blended in the additional space into the design and did not glue it on as an afterthought the way they did with Norwegian Epic. However I am not keen on lifeboats that dangle outside the hull, there is just something about that which does not seem right, especially when coming alongside or in a rough sea. But, it does seem to be the current trend, and so far (touch wood) no lifeboats have been lost to bad weather.
I suspect she will be popular, as new ships generally are. I have seen images of her interiors and she is beautiful inside, but somehow sharing a ship with 4000 passengers does seem a bit too much for me. I prefer smaller ships. Welcome Breakaway, smooth sailing and fair weather for you and your crew.
Sailaway. 30 April 2013.
After two days in Southampton she was ready to leave, and just after 17H00 she pulled in her lines and pulled away from the terminal. There was a large crowd watching her go too, and over at Town Quay quite a few cameras had been dusted off. I had my pics from her arrival so didn’t have to shoot as much, but I did. Because I always do.
A last glimpse across the parking lot and I was heading off home too. There are a lot of people awaiting her arrival on the other side of the Atlantic, but for two days she belonged to Southampton.
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 03/04/2016