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    Unusual Cruises - Post & Service & Passenger Ships

    I open this thread to propose some sea cruises, which are outstanding and unusual. I refer to some threads of the old forum: (edit: old forum does not work anymore, here the actual direct links

    Utsira: http://rutebaatenutsira.no/
    Scillonian: http://www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk/timetable_sc3.asp
    Tristan da Cunha: http://www.tristandc.com/shippinghome.php
    St. Helena http://rms-st-helena.com/
    Alaska Marine HW http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/
    Penn Ar Bed http://www.pennarbed.fr/

    I want to get these interesting worldwide ship lines into one thread for the lovers of really other kinds of cruises...
    Last edited by Ralf__; January 16th, 2013, 10:33. Reason: Updated links
    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

    #2
    Now i want to present to you THV Patricia. You can book trips on her along the Britannic coast to check lighthouses and tons etc.:

    (fotos by Ian Boyle, www.simplonpc.co.uk)



    Could also be an option for lovers of traditional ships:
    http://www.trinityhouse.co.uk/events...a_voyages.html
    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

    Comment


      #3
      The 'Patricia' is a vessel I used to see often whilst at sea. She is often seen in the Bristol Channel tending to the navigational aids. I remember my skipper telling me that inside she is really nice, always well maintained. And looking at the photos on the link above, you can see just how nice the accommodation is.

      As well as taking on a few fare paying guests, I have heard that she also takes out old Naval veterans. I have also seen her using her tenders to take her passengers ashore at places like Ilfracombe and Appledore. I think they get a fair bit of time ashore in these places because the ship often as to wait until slack water before she can tend to some of the navigational buoys.

      In the past we have done work for Patricia, on a couple of occasions we have tended the Bideford Bar channel marking buoys for them. (Having only a 2m draught we could get into some places she could not).
      Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Ralf__ View Post
        Now i want to present to you THV Patricia. You can book trips on her along the Britannic coast to check lighthouses and tons etc.:

        Could also be an option for lovers of traditional ships:
        http://www.trinityhouse.co.uk/events...a_voyages.html
        I have looked at this ship so often and wondered what a cruise on her would be like. Good to see you have added her to this thread.

        Comment


          #5
          Here is a report of a cruise in 2003 i found in Telegraph.co.uk:

          What is a racon? Who are the mysterious Elder Brethren? And why do lighthouses have such wonderful names - Coquet, Nab, Smalls and Tater Du?

          These are a few of the questions that pop up as you step aboard THV Patricia, the flagship of the Trinity House fleet. Purpose-built in 1982 as a working ship with added plush accommodation for the top brass, this loveable vessel has just started offering week-long voyages to such offshore curiosities as the Channel Light Vessel, the navigation buoys of the Dover Straits and Longstone lighthouse in the Farne Islands, scene of the famous rescue by keeper's daughter Grace Darling in 1838.

          With its caulked wooden decks, airy lounge and six double cabins, THV Patricia has the feel of a vessel built with stately visits in mind. "Trinity House is not a wing of government," explains Commodore Peter Melson, the mastermind behind this initiative. "It is a self-funding corporation set up by Royal Charter in 1514 by Henry VIII."

          Originally based in Deptford and instructed to "mark the King's streams", this maritime guild has grown to become today's hi-tech General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales and the Channel Islands, maintaining 72 lighthouses, 11 light vessels and a further 455 navigational aids - including 47 racons, which turn out to be radar beacons.

          In previous centuries, the upper ranks of Trinity House - who still go by the Tolkienish title of Elder Brethren - had a "yacht" they used for inspections and social touring. Since 1920 this has been called Patricia in honour of a past master's daughter, and the present vessel is the third in this line - her grand predecessor now works as a floating nightclub in Stockholm. As well as Elder Brethren, Trinity House also has Younger Brethren (who may well be older than their Elders), and while Henry VIII's charter made provision for women members, today's Brethren are all men.

          Perhaps that explains why the atmosphere on board THV Patricia is rather bachelor pad - lots of trouser presses, for instance, but no fresh flowers. The interiors are a charmingly 1980s' mix of beige walls, Roberts radios and en-suite bathrooms in avocado and salmon pink, complete with gold taps and faux marble. The piece de resistance is the dining-room, where meals are taken at a splendid 15 ft elliptical table in mahogany veneer with lime green leather chairs (the food is plentiful but not gourmet).

          Voyages aboard working ships are a strange hybrid - half-cruise, half-ferry crossing. Sipping afternoon tea with custard creams in the country-house cosiness of the Elder Brethren's Lounge, I inevitably had luxury-liner expectations. I wanted learned lectures about lighthouse construction, stiff ****tails with the captain, spiffing scenery. But instead I got work.

          Gangs of men with weatherbeaten faces and an earthy humour appeared outside my cabin wearing fluorescent jackets and egg-yellow hard hats. They carried hammers and crowbars and lowered boats to sail off on hazardous missions, clambering around in a rough, raw world of ropes, chains and uncaring waves. It was very Them and Us, their salty, hands-on tasks markedly different from my own cerebral voyage, or the serenity that prevailed on the bridge.

          Assigned to a year-round programme of coastal maintenance, THV Patricia is a maritime highway patrol with knobs on - sometimes Brethren, sometimes paying guests. Though there is a schedule, passengers are warned that they may be diverted due to weather or the need to attend a wreck or "casualty".

          Being built to face storms, even the carriage clocks on THV Patricia are screwed down. The tea-making trays come with specially-cut slots for keeping your kettle and crockery ship-shape, and the 23-strong crew make it clear that their working life can be far from plain sailing. "Why would anyone pay good money to see us do this?" one incredulous member asked, and the answer is probably that these are quiet, specialist trips ideal for anyone who adores the sea but can't stand the glitz you often get on cruise ships.

          For all its comforts, THV Patricia is a hard-working vessel with a proud and skilful crew - and what they do is what you get. The task on my voyage was to sail down to the superhighway of the Dover Straits, where some 500 ships pass through every day, and moor a newly refurbished light vessel on the Sandettie sandbank 11 miles off Calais. Painted a demonic bright red and sporting huge nameboards, light vessels are generally changed every five years, so this was considered a rare treat. As we sailed south overnight, towing the new Sandettie behind on a taut steel wire, its spotlit form looked like some ghostly, crimson-lipped Marie Celeste.

          Down on the border with French territorial waters, it proved a tricky but routine operation to switch the light vessels. Rusty, scarred and iced with bird lime, the old Sandettie looked like a boxer that had put up a brave fight in all weathers. Trinity House has yet to find a fully satisfactory way of preventing seabirds from leaving their mark. "They've tried dummy owls," said Commodore Trevor Dann, "and now they play tapes of exotic noises."

          Joining a few of the crew in their motor launch, I sailed over to clamber onto the new, spick-and-span Sandettie. Light vessels have no engine, and their reassuring beams are powered by silent banks of solar panels - unless there is fog, when they emit a headache-inducing wail. Invaluable to mariners, these brightly painted phantom ships are easy to grow fond of, the scarlet eunuchs of the high seas. When THV Patricia eventually turned for home as night fell, I stood on deck watching the bright, winking light of the new Sandettie with a strange sense of satisfaction. While I hadn't lifted a finger to help, I nevertheless felt I had been a part of a job well done - and that's all part of the fun of a holiday on a working ship.
          Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

          Comment


            #6
            I would love to spend a few days or a week aboard a bouy tender. I think it would be interesting and provide chance for many great "working" photographs.

            Comment


              #7
              Another interesting cruise:

              Have you ever heard about a vessel named "Aranui 3"
              She is the "freighter to paradise", serves the Marquesan Islands and starts in Tahiti. She is new build in 2003, but looks really old school (2 pics i found in advertisements in the web, you will find more in picasaweb but with copyright):




              They have a very impressive homepage, where all details of the ship, the cabins and so on are described. It's great fun to read. If going to Tahiti, this would be the right way to do it!!

              http://www.aranui.com/index.php
              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

              Comment


                #8
                I was thinking the other day that a CV-themed get together cruise would be fun aboard something unusual...like a cargo ship or a working vessell of some sort...but, I guess not a sailing vessel (as much as I love them.)..the Captain says that sailing is "too much work"......................

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ehp View Post
                  ...but, I guess not a sailing vessel (as much as I love them.)
                  Darn right, dam 'WAFI's'. I'll opt for a nice warm engine room any day!

                  Originally posted by Ralf__ View Post
                  Another interesting cruise:
                  Yep, I agree with you there Ralf, this is much more like my type of cruise, much better than sharing a massive ship with 3000 tourists!
                  It's strange to think that 40 years ago this was a normal way to travel, so many cargo vessels used to take passengers. I guess new laws - SOLAS etc, have now made it non-viable for most freight carriers to offer this service.
                  Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Unusual Cruises - Post & Service & Passenger Ships

                    During the weekend an article was published in our newspaper that motivated me to open this thread again.

                    See here the page about Mauritius Pride and Mauritius Trochetta, two ships sailing from Madagaskar to Rodrigues, Tamatave, Agalega and Reunion, being the lifeline of the islands.

                    http://www.mauritiusshipping.intnet.mu/



                    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Unusual Cruises - Post & Service & Passenger Ships

                      Originally posted by ehp View Post
                      I was thinking the other day that a CV-themed get together cruise would be fun aboard something unusual...like a cargo ship or a working vessell of some sort...but, I guess not a sailing vessel (as much as I love them.)..the Captain says that sailing is "too much work"......................
                      Depends on how many people but, if it were to be 12 or less, how about ex.NSSR Elizabeth G? http://pointsnorthcharters.com/ We could negotiate our own Norwegian itinerary

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Unusual Cruises - Post & Service & Passenger Ships

                        Nice option. I wonder what it will cost for one week...
                        Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Unusual Cruises - Post & Service & Passenger Ships

                          See also Remarc's post at http://www.captainsvoyage-forum.com/...3868#post73868 Some of these may be long trips, but they vary enormously in length. I used to get details of shorter Baltic voyages, for example.
                          Ivy

                          "To thine own self be true.......
                          Thou canst not then be false to any man."

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks for this dip into past threads, Ralf.
                            There is now another larger Aranui 5; 200 pax and almost constantly booked. The only thing that changes much in the weather around the Marquesas, Tahiti and Tokelaus is an occasional storm especially in an El Nino year. She is a working ship and very popular.
                            Another much larger vessel is the Paul Gaugin, cruising in the same area with a different clientele - ie, looking for entertainment and less self-sufficient..

                            Comment


                              #15
                              At present I am looking into Aurora's expeditions to Wild Scotland and Svalbard. It is early days but what attracts me is their ship: ex- Russian working ship, 1760 tons, named Polar Pioneer. (Nothing to do with the rig of the same name).
                              I went on her to Antarctica in 2002 - the entire trip was very good indeed.
                              Does anyone know anything about Aurora Expeditions and Svalbard/Northern Scotland? The brochures are not yet available in Canberra.

                              Thanks in advance in case all these Northern Hemisphere Europeans know far more than I do - which ain't anything...

                              Comment

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