Ventura (2008/116,017gt) suffered serious damage to her top deck in a storm in the Bay of Biscay while returning to Southampton at the end of a cruise. It seems that a large split running across the top deck became apparent after the ship encountered heavy weather. There was also damage to some side screens, and the balcony cabin passengers on the deck below were asked not to use their balconies.

Clearly, in this non-structurally significant part of the superstructure, the superficial damage appeared to be worse than it really was. Ventura returned to Southampton as scheduled on 19 October, and after inspection and repairs was allowed to proceed as scheduled on her mini-cruise to Zeebrugge.

Meanwhile, a ceremony was held on 8 October 2012 at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard as the first plates for the as-yet unnamed ship for P&O Cruises were cut. The first pre-fabricated section will be positioned in the building dock in May at the keel-laying stage. The new ship, of 141,000gt, will be the largest passenger ship ever owned by P&O Cruises and its predecessors, and twice the size of the 69,000gt Oriana.

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