Saturday, 21 January 2012

P&O at 175: A World of Ships and Shipping since 1837

My new book, co-written with Philip Dawson in Toronto, is now published. Ferry Publications ( have made a magnificent job of the design and photographic reproduction. The book is substantial and covers a broad cross-section of the P&O Group's shipping activities, their corporate developments and the experiences of travel on their various ship types - liners, cruise ships, ferries and cargo vessels.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


On Monday, I was in Copenhagen to give a lecture on ship design developments in Danish international liner shipping to the Skibsteknisk Selskab. I stayed overnight in the magnificent SAS Royal Hotel, architect Arne Jacobsen's great masterpiece, which is still remarkably intact and retains much of its 1960s jet age elan.

The grand foyer:

My room:

Dinner in Cafe Royal:

Room 606 - maintained in 'as built' condition:

Arne Jacobsen-designed door furniture and lights:

The original restaurant space, now used for conferences:

The present top floor gourmet restaurant, Alberto K:

 The view from Alberto K. with Crown of Scandinavia approaching from Oslo:

Next, I went to the Skibsteknisk Selskab to give my lecture. Due to the unfortunate sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, my host Professor Hans Otto Kristensen and I were interviewed by Danish television to appear on the TV2 Ten O'Clock news:

Part of the audience for the  lecture:

Dinner after the lecture:

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Lord of the Isles

After the best part of a month stuck indoors, hammering away at a computer while the wind howled and the rain beat down outside, today I finally got out into fresh air and sunshine. As I had a pile of students' essays to mark, I took them with me to Ardrossan on the Clyde Coast and, from there, I sailed to Arran and back on Caledonian MacBrayne's MV Lord of the Isles. This ferry is an unusual Clyde visitor as she is usually based at Oban for Hebridean sailings.

 Approaching Ardrossan

 The sort of sign we like to see

 Cal Mac Chicken Korma

 Docking in Brodick - rather labour-intensive!

A dummy for chucking overboard to practice lifesaving drill

Heading back to Arran