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fastnloose

Crosing the north sea in winter

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Posted (edited)

We are considering doing a northern lights cruise next March on Aurora but are a bit worried about the north sea being too rough for her to handle.   Does anyone have any experience of these cruises, good or bad.  Many thanks

Edited by fastnloose
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Aurora is probably P&O's best ship for rough weather, as she has the deeper hull design that cruise ships used to have, rather than the flatter-bottomed vessels of today. I have crossed up to Norway in winter on her with no issues, although, as with any ship, it depends on from which direction the waves and wind hit.

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Posted (edited)

It can be rough or smooth any time of year.  We had calm seas outward on aurora this feb.  The return was only  windy heading around Kent but aurora gave us a good ride.  We enjoyed it so much we’ve booked again for next year. 

Edited by galeforce9

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1 hour ago, Host Sharon said:

Aurora is probably P&O's best ship for rough weather, as she has the deeper hull design that cruise ships used to have, rather than the flatter-bottomed vessels of today. I have crossed up to Norway in winter on her with no issues, although, as with any ship, it depends on from which direction the direction the waves and wind hit.

That is incorrect information Sharon, Aurora is flat bottomed just like the vast majority of  cruise ships built over the last 30-40 years. Her draught is 26ft which is identical to Azura and Ventura.

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2 hours ago, fastnloose said:

We are considering doing a northern lights cruise next March on Aurora but are a bit worried about the north sea being too rough for her to handle.   Does anyone have any experience of these cruises, good or bad.  Many thanks

The North Sea is very unpredictable any month of the year.

Some days it is like a pond and other times there is a big swell and strong winds.

Personally I would go from end of May through end of September for warmer weather.

 

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Viking Sky this March

 

 

It was a wild ride, worth it for the lights howeverDSCF3121.thumb.JPG.ff0fcee485cd0d3b31b2f1c394292870.JPG

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The North Sea can be a bit wild at times but it’s the Norwegian Sea we have found can be particularly rough. We have done 2 Arctic cruises now, the 1st on Oriana which was in March & the 2nd on Aurora which was in November. Both trips had their moments where it was a bit lumpy, we had to delay leaving Alta because the weather was so bad but eventually we set off, still with very strong winds and blizzard conditions, which was in March. Both ships handled the conditions well, obviously there was noticeable motion but it’s well worth it to see the beauty of that part of the world.

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The North Sea can be temperamental at any time of the year and we have been across her many times on Aurora and other cruise ships and had rough and smooth seas in the summer. All I know is we did Northern Lights cruise on Oriana in March the first year P&O did Northern Light cruises and was a fantastic unforgettable experience.

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I would echo Major Toms comments. The sea state is just a matter of luck and in my own experience we have been fairly lucky with if not totally smooth sailings, certainly tolerable ones. Worth it to see the heavenly dancers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

That is incorrect information Sharon, Aurora is flat bottomed just like the vast majority of  cruise ships built over the last 30-40 years. Her draught is 26ft which is identical to Azura and Ventura.

But since the Aurora is a smaller ship than those two, having the same draught ought to make her a bit more stable than them one would think.

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1 hour ago, jh1809 said:

But since the Aurora is a smaller ship than those two, having the same draught ought to make her a bit more stable than them one would think.

Not really all ships maintain stability with ballast water, and the bigger ships hold more water so they are able to maintain their stability as well as the smaller ships

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Used to cross quite frequently with DFDS. Nice ships at first and a very pleasant way of getting to Denmark and Sweden. Then the ships started getting a bit run down so we switched to travelling by air. 

 

However, different ships made little difference - it was all down to the very variable sea and wind conditions. Sometimes as smooth as a millpond, sometimes horrendous.

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I thought I'd read that Aurora was purpose built for world cruises? This has always made me believe that she was a very stable ship- I've been on her in the BOB when the sea was rough enough for every deck to be roped off, but we thought she handled it very well.

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I’ve done the Scandinavia  cruise for 3 of the last 4 Christmas’s. Each time on Aurora. We have had storms every time, one was f12. At no time did I ever feel ‘unsafe’, Aurora handled it remarkably well. 

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On 7/6/2019 at 1:43 PM, terrierjohn said:

That is incorrect information Sharon, Aurora is flat bottomed just like the vast majority of  cruise ships built over the last 30-40 years. Her draught is 26ft which is identical to Azura and Ventura.

But with considerably less tonnage so deeper in proportion to the others.

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On 7/6/2019 at 9:26 PM, jocap said:

I thought I'd read that Aurora was purpose built for world cruises? This has always made me believe that she was a very stable ship- I've been on her in the BOB when the sea was rough enough for every deck to be roped off, but we thought she handled it very well.

She was built with world cruising in mind - hence greater stores capacity etc.

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26 minutes ago, Host Sharon said:

But with considerably less tonnage so deeper in proportion to the others.

However see my post #11 regarding the major stability feature on all cruise ships.

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9 hours ago, Host Sharon said:

She was built with world cruising in mind - hence greater stores capacity etc.

We were on Ventura, doing the 28 days to the Caribbean and back, and re stocking at Barbados for the 18 days left. Almost home, and a hotel manager was running low on stock; he said that the new ships didn't have the storage of Aurora, which was built for world cruising. 

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Any body of water can be rough any time,just remember there are ferries crossing the North Sea daily 12 months of the year,if it was that dangerous the ships wouldn't be sailing!

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Everyone seems to be forgetting that the Captain's have access to all manner of weather forecasts and sea condition data, and they are constantly checking to ensure they avoid the worst sea conditions wherever possible.  Sometimes conditions change unexpectedly and cruise ships can end up in very rough weather, but although these receive a lot of publicity they are nevertheless a very infrequent occurrence. 

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1 hour ago, terrierjohn said:

Everyone seems to be forgetting that the Captain's have access to all manner of weather forecasts and sea condition data, and they are constantly checking to ensure they avoid the worst sea conditions wherever possible.  Sometimes conditions change unexpectedly and cruise ships can end up in very rough weather, but although these receive a lot of publicity they are nevertheless a very infrequent occurrence. 

Viking Sky had 2 Norwegian pilots on board and still got caught out by the change in weather

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We have done the Northern Lights cruise and also North Cape, Spitsbergen and many Norwegian Fjords cruises and only ever had a rough crossing coming back from Bergen to UK once and that was in 2000 on Aurora on her maiden Norwegian Fjords cruise.

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33 minutes ago, Haworth said:

Viking Sky had 2 Norwegian pilots on board and still got caught out by the change in weather

If you worried about things like that happening you wouldnt leave the house. I remember Oriana having serious damage and windows smashed through rough seas and has been shown on tv programmes many times over the years whilst crossing North Atlantic in 2000 and it hasnt stopped many people cruising on Oriana and become in a lot of people's eyes P&Os favourite ship.

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14 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

If you worried about things like that happening you wouldnt leave the house. I remember Oriana having serious damage and windows smashed through rough seas and has been shown on tv programmes many times over the years whilst crossing North Atlantic in 2000 and it hasnt stopped many people cruising on Oriana and become in a lot of people's eyes P&Os favourite ship.

We dont worry, we were on the Viking Sky.

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