Cruise ship skipper ‘we’re safe’ in Bay - and view’s not bad

Inside the Queen Victoria courtesy of the Brixham Steam Packet Company and Paul EdwardsInside the Queen Victoria courtesy of the Brixham Steam Packet Company and Paul Edwards

The captain of one of magnificent fleet of cruise ships currently gracing the Torbay coast has revealed what life is like on board.

During the Covid pandemic, the ships are staying at sea, three miles off the coast manned by skeleton crews.

Apart from a few days recently where most headed off towards France to avoid the stormy weather, the fleet is now back and has been attracting attention from vantage points along the coast.

Now back in the Bay are P&O’s Arcadia and Ventura, Emerald Princess and three Holland America ships, the Volendam, Westerdam and Nieuw Statendam

Captain of the 99,000 tonne Nieuw Statendam, Noel O’Driscoll has described how he and his staff are taking care of the ship.

The bridge is manned 24/7 and Torbay is ideal for providing shelter from south westerly winds.

He said: “It’s a good, safe place for us to be and the view’s not too bad either.

“I have noticed some tour boats come to check us out and we’ll give them a big wave.”

Every 14 days the ship leaves the Bay and heats out to sea allowing the engines to run and take on fresh water,

Every four to seven weeks, they head to port to refuel and take on supplies.

The crew follow health guidelines which include twice daily temperature checks.

Noel added: “Better times are ahead I am sure and we look forward to them.”

Brixham Steam Packet Company, which specialises in nautical antiques and collectibles, has shared photos of the interior of Cunard’s Queen Victoria which spent some time with sister ship Queen Mary 2 off Torbay.

A spokesman said: “We are indebted to Paul Edwards currently working aboard the Queen Victoria, for kindly submitting these fabulous photographs of the interior of the beautiful Cunard Liner.

“The Queen Victoria along with the Flagship of the Cunard Line, Queen Mary 2 have been accompanied by various other cruise ships in and around the bay during the the Covid Crisis.

“We look forward to welcoming Paul to the Chart Room to sign the Cunard Wall of Fame.”