Southampton Shipwatch 38: Boudicca

What luck! Boudicca was due to call at 17H00 on the 18th of October, and that is the day I actually get home early. Built as one of the Royal Viking Sisters (Royal Viking Sea, Star and Sky), she is the former Royal Viking Sky, her sister, Black Watch (RV Star) had called here earlier in April when I had photographed her, it also means I have now seen all three of the sisters, although only RV Sea in her original livery way back in 1986.  (Update 19/05/2021. Sadly Boudicca has been beached at Aliaga for breaking up in May 2021) 

The weather was not pretty. A layer of clouds covered the late afternoon sun, and a freshish wind did not make things very comfortable if you were not wearing a jacket. The ship arrived around 16H30, and she looks like a ship, not some block of flats with a pointy end. Although she does have a very pointy end. 

Unfortunately, being somewhat of an oldie, she did need assistance, and the tug Lomax glued herself alongside for the whole trip down to City Terminal.

There were quite a few shipwatchers present to see her arrive, although I don’t think too many will be around at 23H30 when she is scheduled to sail. 

There was still enough time to make a mad dash down to Mayflower Park before she came alongside, although they still had not removed the boat show detritus!  She would also take some time to get alongside given her lack of sideways propulsion. 


I was quite surprised that they brought her bow forwards quite far into the berth before swinging her stern parallel with the quay. I remember Black Watch had had a problem with the ship ranging in the berth and I suspect the wind may have also influenced how they brought her alongside. 

While all this was going on, Saga Sapphire decided to leave, and from Mayflower Terminal her 3 blasts of her whistle went unanswered. However, on startup she still smokes like a coal burner.

It was now a case of trying to decide which ship to watch. Both are classics and were amongst the top ships of their day. Both are now getting on in years and are amongst the few oldies that still sail on, much to the admiration of ship enthusiasts. 

There seemed to be a bit of trouble getting her close enough to get the lines ashore, and Lomax ended up having to nudge her alongside. Its still great to see a tug at work, although they do tend to get in the way. Finally she too was able to leave, and Boudicca was safely alongside.


Then it was time for me to head off home, but I will not be back to see her sail tonight, that is waaaay past my bedtime. Boudicca is operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, and her next destination is Spain; I believe she will be back again one of these days but it is doubtful that I will be around to see her on that day.

© DRW 2013-2021. Images recreated 14/04/2016, updated 19/05/2021

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