To celebrate the occasion, for the first time in the company’s history, all seven of its current cruise ships will be leaving their home berths in Southampton together for a sail past, a review of the fleet by HRH the Princess Royal and a fly-past by the Red Arrows. The seven ships then depart on seven ‘Grand Event’ cruises. Their itineraries range from a 4-night party cruise to a 21-night Central Mediterranean holiday and for those fortunate enough to have secured places the experience promises to be pretty spectacular. But there are plenty of places to see the festivities unfold if you’re in the Solent tomorrow.
18.00 There should be good views from Mayflower Park of four of the seven ships as they muster for the sail past.
18.20 Hythe Marina and Weston Shore either side of Southampton Water should be great spots to see all seven ships manoeuvring into formation.
18.40 The ships will have begun their stately progression towards the Solent and should have reached Netley by now.
19.20 Calshot and Hill Head should provide great views as the procession of ships emerges from Southampton Water and alters course to starboard, following the navigation channel into the Solent down towards Lepe. At this point the Red Arrows fly-past should begin.
19.35 The ships make a full sweeping turn east between Lepe and Cowes to proceed along the north coast of the Isle of Wight as the Red Arrows fly-past is in full swing. There should be good, slightly more distant views from Lee on Solent at this point. The ships continue towards Portsmouth.
20.00 The ships peel port and starboard to form a line of four and a line of three for the fleet review. Good vantage points should be Ryde on the Isle of Wight and Stokes Bay on the mainland. After the review, the ships salute each other and then depart on their seven different Grand Event cruises.