For so many people, sailing aboard ships like the beautiful "Port Auckland" marked what were, some of the best years of their lives.  Well, we haven't got the "Port Auckland", but we can help to recreate the magic of those wonderful years.

Voyage to St. Petersburg

May 11th, 2012

The send off we got when we sailed from Portsmouth was something none aboard will ever forget…

Tugs giving a water display, warships sounding their whistles, crews doffing their head gear, a special signal being hoisted and the Queen’s Harbour Master leading the way in his special launch as we were escorted out to sea… What an amazing experience it was, and one that ITV captured for its news broadcast, such was the magical splendour of the occasion.

(Courtesy of Colin M. Baxter) Courtesy of Colin M. Baxter

You would have thought that was more than enough for any cruise but no, for a few hours later our Captain announced he had been contacted by the commander of HMS Severn, to let him know that they were steaming at full speed straight towards us to also pay their respects to all the WW2 convoy veterans aboard our ship.

Right on cue, over the horizon came the magnificent sight of a Royal Navy warship coming straight towards us at speed, but nothing could rival the excitement she created when as she sped past, she suddenly altered course, leaning perilously to starboard as she went into a racing turn right alongside us, changing her direction almost as if a toy motor boat on a village pond.

As she slowed to match our speed her crew lined her decks to doff their hats and give three loud, hearty cheers for all our elderly veterans; men who having thought they had been almost forgotten, now stood in dazed disbelief with many a tear trickling from their watery eyes; eyes that over the years had seen so much, but little to equal the deep soulful magic of this magnificent occasion.

Photograph of official ceremony at the Piskarevskoye Memorial Cemetery St. Petersburg. May 2012 Photograph of official ceremony at the Piskarevskoye Memorial Cemetery St. Petersburg. May 2012 - Copies of this picture can be ordered from Nathalie Holman at: price £10 (Sterling) per copy, which includes P&P. (Please allow £1 extra for Europe and £2 extra elsewhere in the world.

This then set the tone for what really was such an exciting and adventurous voyage in which the hole atmosphere aboard recreated a way of life and behaviour many of us had all but forgotten in the endless humdrum rush and tumble of modern day life.

It really was a wonderful voyage and when we reached St. Petersburg the Russian Government treated us like celebrities, giving us the very best VIP treatment…

I could write a book just about this voyage alone; a voyage filled with so much wonderful nostalgia, happiness, laughter and fun but that’s not the purpose of this brochure, which, as well as expressing a big thank you to all who sailed with us, is also to let you know what we’ve got arranged for you for the next special voyage of Maritime Memories!

Kind regards,

Des Cox
Maritime Memories.
Ex. NZSCo. Cunard and... the good old Vindicatrix.