05 July 2012

Nautica in Helsinki, 20 June 2012

Entry number three of the R Week features Oceania Cruises' Nautica. Previously featured were the Ocean Princess and Azamara Journey. To come is the Columbus 2 (and possibly the Blue Moon, presuming that I can find my old photographs of her somewhere).


IMO 9200938
Former names: R Five
Built 2000, Chantiers de l'Atlantique St. Nazaire, France
Tonnage 30 277 GT
Length 181,00 m
Width 25,46 m
Draugth 5,80 m
824 passengers (maximum)
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 13 500 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 18 knots

As far as the R-class ships go the Nautica is slightly boring in the sense that her history is fairly straightforward, without a confusing array of former names and operators. She was built as the R Five for Renaissance Cruises and entered service in January 2000. Like all the other Renaissance ships she was laid up following the company's bankruptcy in October 2001, first in Gibraltar and later in Marseille. For the summer seasons 2002 and 2003 the R Five was chartered to Pullmantur Cruises for Mediterranean cruising under the marketing name "Blue Dream" (for the 2003 season she was joined by the R Six as the "Blue Star"). In 2004 the ship was renamed Nautica  - presumably preparation for the upcoming charter to Oceania Cruises - but stayed in service with Pullmantur under the marketing name "Blue Dream" until late 2005.

In November 2005 the Nautica was chartered to Oceania Cruises (established in 2002 by Joe Watters and Frank del Rio, the latter being the former vice-president of Renaissance Cruises), joining her sisters Regatta (ex-R Two) and Insignia (ex-R One). Since then the ship has remained in service with Oceania Cruises. In November 2008 the Nautica was attacked by Somalian pirate skiffs on the Gulf of Aden. Rifle shots were fired at the ship but she managed to outrun the pirates and no harm came to either crew, passengers or the ship itself.

The photographs below show the Nautica on the afternoon of 20 June 2012, passing through the Kustaanmiekka strait shortly after departing Helsinki's South Harbour. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

Compare, if you will, to the Ocean Princess. Notice how much the simple addition of a blue stripe on the hull improves the ship's looks.
Panoramic fiddling. Haven't done that in a while, now it the perfect time.
Compare, if you will, this time with the Azamara Journey. Notice how much the more colourful logos and added paint around the bridge windows improve the ship's look.
Panoramic fiddling, part 2. I rather like this particular shot myself.
Taking advantage of what is there in our long-running series of "crap in the foreground".
Less crap in the foreground - but notice the spray at the bow.

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