A fine array of shipping at Southampton on 18th December 2018. From left to right are the container ship Al Dahna assisted by the tugs Buffalo, SD Stingray and Smit Elbe, the cruise ship Aurora of P&O being bunkered by the Whitonia, the Ro-Ro Autoprogress, the Grande Europa, the auxiliary landing ship RFA Lyme Bay and the cruise ship Saga Sapphire. In the far background is the preserved ship Shieldhall.

The 195,636gt Al Dahna of United Arab Shipping Company was built in 2016 by Hyundai at Ulsan. Following the merger of UASC with Hapag-Lloyd she was renamed Al Dahna Express in October 2021.

The 76,152gt Aurora of P&O Cruises was built in 2000 by Jos. L. Meyer at Papenburg.

The 7,511dwt Whitonia of Whitaker Tankers was built in 2007 by Drydocks World-Dubai Shipyard.


The 11,591gt Autoprogress of UECC was built in 1998 by Frisian Welgelegen at Harlingen. In 2002 she was renamed Ptolemy.

The 51,823gt Grande Europa of Grimaldi Lines was built in 1998 by Fincantieri Italiani at Castellammare.

The 23,569gt RFA Lyme Bay was ordered from Swan Hunter. However, costs overran and delays saw Swan Hunter removed from the project, and the incomplete ship was towed to Govan to be finished by BAE Systems Naval Ships. She entered service in 2007.

The 37,049gt Saga Sapphire of Saga Cruises was built in 1981 by Bremer Vulkan at Vegesack as the Europa for Hapag-Lloyd. In 1999 she was sold to Star Cruises and was renamed Superstar Europe. A year later they renamed her Superstar Aries and in 2004 she was sold to Pullmantur and renamed Holiday Dream. In 2008 she was transferred to associate company Croisières de France and renamed Bleu de France. She joined Saga in 2012. In 2020 she was sold to Selectum Blu Cruises of Turkey and renamed Blue Sapphire.

Photo: Nigel Lawrence



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