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The maiden visit to Cartagena of MV Britannia

Entered into service only two weeks ago, on 14 March, the MV Britannia was in Cartagena last Tuesday where it was paying it’s inaugural visit to the historic city during it’s 2 week maiden cruise around Spain, Italy and France.

On board were over 3000 passengers and 1300 crew who were greeted on their arrival by the Mayor, Pilar Barreiro, the Councillor for Tourism, Palazón Carolina and the president of the Port Authority, Antonio Sevilla. The trio were given a brief tour around the liner by first captain Paul Brown.

During the visit there was an exchange of gifts between the two parties with the mayor presenting Captain Brown with a city shield while he received a commemorative plaque in return.

The mayor said the visit of Britannia was an extremely important landmark in the development of the cruise industry in the region. “This is another massive step forward in establishing Cartagena as a premium destination with P&O Cruises” he said. “Such visits will ensure that this wonderful city continues to play a major part in tourist and cultural events for many thousands of foreign holidaymakers and visitors.”

The mayor announced that Britannia will visit the city on another two occasions later in the year when it will bring over 8,000 visitors to Cartagena.

The chairman of the Port Authority, Antonio Sevilla, said that the port has managed to improve on the number of cruise ships visiting the city because of the extensive work carried out by the authority in recent years. He said that all visiting operators receive exceptional treatment while they are in the area which was also confirmed by the Captain.

As his 3,600 passengers invaded Cartagena Capt Brown said that the great advantage of visiting such a city was the proximity of the facilities to the port. “Tourists can disembark the ship and be in the centre of the city within a matter of just a few minutes without all the expense of tour buses and taxi’s,” he said.

Taking over the honour of flagship of P&O Cruises UK from Oriana, Britannia features a 94 metre (308 ft) Union Flag on her bow, the largest of its kind in the world. She has 15 decks, nine recreation areas, 4 pools and over 1,800 staterooms.

The liner also enjoys an on board art collection valued at over 1.4 million euros.

During her summer season, Britannia will sail around the Mediterranean, Norwegian fjords, the Baltic, Canary Islands and Atlantic Islands. During the European Winter, the ship will sail 14-night Caribbean itineraries.

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