P&O Cruises has currently suspended all operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This means the cruise line’s fleet of five ships are currently out of action, and instead of sailing the world’s oceans are sitting anchored off various shores.
One of these ships is P&O’s Azura, which would usually be sailing with 3,100 passengers and 1,000 staff on board. However, the ship is now being operated by a skeleton crew, currently moored off Babbacombe Bay, Devon.
Wishing everyone a beautiful Sunday from #Azura 🛳😊 The summer is certainly here and so enjoy it and make the most of it 🌞😎 Stay well and safe 🙏 #BabbacombeBay #EnglishRiviera pic.twitter.com/AmMHuVn4MD
— Marcin Banach (@CaptainMarcin) August 9, 2020
On board is the ship’s captain Marcin Banach, who during lockdown has been sharing images on his social media page of life on board the ‘ghost ship’, revealing details of the goings-on of himself and the crew.
In the series of images uploaded to Twitter, Captain Marcin can be seen on the ship’s empty promenade decks. More images show rows of the ship’s hundreds of balconies completely empty, a slightly eerie sight in the height of summer.
Other illuminating images include gorgeous views of Babbacombe Bay, which Marcin has coined as the ‘English Riviera’.
We finally got to see her this morning 🛳😊 @pandocruises #Ventura half way out of this mistic and low lying fog in the #BabbacombeBay in #Devon Our fog bell 🔔 on the bow of #Azura is still going as it is rather patchy this morning. Have a good day People 🙏👍😁 pic.twitter.com/a8C4qVpZtt
— Marcin Banach (@CaptainMarcin) August 13, 2020
This weekend (Saturday 15 August), Marcin shared a picture of Azura‘s sister ship, Ventura, which is moored near them in Torbay.
“We finally got to see her this morning @pandocruises #Ventura half way [sic] out of this mistic [sic] and low lying fog in the #BabbacombeBay in #Devon,” wrote the captain.
Showing what life is like on board for the remaining passengers and crew, Marcin uploaded a photo of his fitness regime, showing his workout gear sprawled across an empty deck.
— Marcin Banach (@CaptainMarcin) July 6, 2020
Keeping himself busy, he has also been making video clips showing the empty ship and the peaceful waters below.
Azura has been anchored in Babbacombe Bay since 6 August 2020, following the suspension of all P&O Cruises operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Azura would usually be operating dozens of sailings around the eastern and western Mediterranean, with the summer season being one of her busiest times.
Carrying 3,100 passengers, the cruise ship has 14 passenger decks, 12 bars, five entertainment venues, an open-air cinema, a kids club and a relaxing adults-only zone.
Azura is scheduled to be in Babbacombe Bay until November 2020, when P&O Cruises is set to resume its cruise operations.