Ocean Liner Society

Ship Visits
Organized by the Ocean Liner Society

2014 Visit Reports
Revisited ships will not be shown unless significantly revised since a previous visit

Artania (Phoenix)

Astor (CMV)

2013 Visit Reports

Celebrity Infinity

Deutschland (Deilmann)

Discovery (CMV)

Ryndam (HAL)

Voyager (V-of-D)

2012 Visit Reports

Crystal Symphony
Refurbished 2012


Saga Sapphire

Thomson Spirit

2011 Visit Reports



Crystal Serenity


Saga Pearl II

Saga Ruby

2010 Visit Reports


Black Watch



Crystal Symphony

Discovery (V-of-D)




Marco Polo

MSC Opera

MSC Poesia

Ocean Countess


Previous Visit Reports



Black Watch

Hebridean Princess

Ocean Majesty

Van Gogh

The Ocean Liner Society organise regular ship visits throughout the year. Visits are open to members, accompanied by non-members. Details of visits are sent out to all those members who have registered an interest in receiving such notifications. See the FAQ below for more details on how to participate. Applications have now closed for all 2013 visits, a total of 18. Many thanks to Peter Godliman for organising such an extensive and varied selection.

In future, all ship visit notifications will be made by email. If you wish to apply, send a separate sheet and separate cheque for each ship visit to Peter Godliman at the address in the email.

Applications must also include:
    1: A current email address and/or land line telephone number.
    2: A stamped, addressed envelope if you require your unsuccessful application cheque to be returned.

All applicants will be advised the outcome by email (or telephone) and unsuccessful cheques will be shredded if no SAE is included.

All future Ship Visits notifications will be sent to the last recorded email address. We will only resort to Royal Mail if we have no email address on record.

These alterations are necessary if we are to maintain the existing OLS fee of £5.00 per person.

2014 Ship Visits

Members will be notified by email or letter of all visits in the table below, except those shown as 'Planned'. Members who have registered and are interested in these, but have not received a notification letter, should consider updating their preferences by referring to the Question: How can I get to go on ship visits?. Registered members will be notified of additional ship visits in due course, including any marked 'Planned' in the table below. Applications have now closed for all 2013 visits.

Members who have not registered, but would like to, can also refer to the Question: How can I get to go on ship visits? Only OLS members can register to receive information on ship visits.

  Date Ship Port Owner Status
Sun 11 May Funchal Falmouth Portuscale Closed
Mon 26 May Brilliance of the Seas Cancelled Cancelled Cancelled
Wed 4 June Ruby Princess Southampton Princess Closed
Wed 18 June Deutschland Newcastle Peter Deilmann Closed
Mon 23 June Astor Tilbury CMV Closed
Wed 25 June Adonia Southampton P&O Cruises Closed
Tue 1 July Minerva Portsmouth Swan Hellenic Closed
Sat 19 July Ryndam Dover Holland America Closed
Tue 29 July Marco Polo Tilbury CMV Closed
Fri 15 Aug Ruby Princess Southampton Princess Closed
Sun 17 Aug Crystal Symphony Dover Crystal Closed
Thu 21 Aug Amadea Portsmouth PhoenixReisen Closed
Fri 22 Aug Crystal Symphony Greenock Crystal Closed
Fri 29 Aug Crystal Symphony Portland Crystal Closed
Sat 30 Aug Delphin Pembroke Dock Passat Closed
Thu 4 Sept Artania Dover PhoenixReisen Closed
Fri 12 Sept Albatros Liverpool PhoenixReisen Closed
Wed 17 Sept Empress Dover Pullmantur Closed
Status Key        
Planned - Please wait until notified by personal letter or email before booking
Closes  dd/mm/yyyy - Personal letters or emails have been sent out giving costs and instructions on how to book, with closing date for bookings
Closed - Bookings now closed for this visit

2013 Ship Visits

17 OLS ship visits took place during 2012, to 13 different ships at 10 different ports (Avonmouth, Dover, Edinburgh (Queensferry), Harwich, Leith, Newcastle, Portland, Portsmouth, Southampton and Tilbury). Ships visited for the first time were Celebrity Infinity, Deutschland, Minerva, Oriana, Voyager & Wind Surf.

Celebrity Infinity (Celebrity) Empress (Pullmantur) Ryndam (HAL)
Crystal Serenity (Crystal) Marco Polo (CMV) Thomson Spirit (Thomson)
Crystal Symphony (Crystal) Minerva (Swan Hellenic) Voyager (Discovery)
Deutschland (Deilmann) Oriana (P&O) Wind Surf (Windstar)
Discovery (CMV)    

2012 Ship Visits

14 OLS ship visits took place during 2012, to 10 different ships (5 new to OLS) at 8 different ports (Dover, Dublin, Harwich, Hull, Newcastle, Portland, Rosyth and Southampton).

Crystal Symphony (Crystal) Ocean Countess (C & M) Seven Seas Voyager (7-Seas)
Discovery (Voyages of Disc.) Oceana (P&O) Thomson Spirit (Thomson)
Independence of the Seas Ryndam (HAL)  
Marco Polo (C & M) Saga Sapphire (Saga)  

2011 Ship Visits

16 OLS ship visits took place during 2011, to 14 different ships (6 new to OLS) at 7 different ports (Belfast, Dover, Leith, Portsmouth, Rosyth, Southampton and Tilbury).

Athena (Classic Int.) Empress (Pullmantur) Ocean Countess (C & M)
Azura (P&O) Independence of the Seas Prinsendam (HAL)
Black Watch (Fred.Olsen) Marco Polo (C & M) Saga Pearl II (Saga) 
Boudicca (Fred.Olsen) MSC Opera (MSC) Saga Ruby (Saga)
Crystal Serenity (Crystal) MSC Poesia (MSC)  

2010 Ship Visits

16 OLS ship visits took place during 2010, to 15 different ships at 7 different ports (Dover, Falmouth, Harwich, Liverpool, Newcastle, Southampton and Tilbury).

Aurora (P&O) Braemar (Fred.Olsen) Marco Polo (C & M)
Crystal Symphony (Crystal) Discovery (Voyages of Disc.)  MSC Opera (MSC)
Balmoral (Fred.Olsen) Empress (Pullmantur) MSC Poesia (MSC) 
Black Watch (Fred.Olsen) Eurodam (HAL) Ocean Countess (C & M)
Boudicca (Fred.Olsen) Funchal (Classic Int.) Prinsendam (HAL)
A selection of some of the ships visited
DISCOVERY - Voyages of DiscoveryMARCO POLO - Cruise & Maritime
PRINSENDAM - Holland America LineEMPRESS - Pullmatur
OCEAN COUNTESS - Cruise & MaritimeEURODAM - Holland America Line

Ship Visits – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many ship visits are there per year and when?

Q: How can I get to go on ship visits?

Q: Which ships do you visit?

Q: Where do the ship visits usually take place?

Q: Can members suggest ship visits?

Q: What personal details are needed for visits and do I need to bring a passport to the ship? 

Q: Is there a charge for ship visits?

Q: Are children allowed on ship visits?

Q: How are the visit places allocated and how can I increase my chances?




Q: How many ship visits are there per year and when?

 In a good year we may have ten visits, but it all depend on the generosity of the cruise line.  Most visits take place between April and September, although they can take place at any time of year


Q:  How can I get to go on ship visits?

If you are a fully paid up member of the Ocean Liner Society and are registered as being ‘interested’ in ship visits, you will normally be advised by email (or letter) of all forthcoming ship visits and will have the opportunity to apply. You may be able to bring a partner or friend, depending on the allocation available. However, members are still required to make their application by form and to send a cheque to the address in the notification email. It is essential that members supply a current email address, since all future notifications will be made this way. To make sure we have your latest contact details, correct email address, and have your interest in visits registered, please update your details using this Form


Send update forms only to the Membership Secretary, Mayes House, Vansittart Estate, Windsor, SL4 1SE

You will be advised in the notification letters and emails where to send your visit booking forms and cheques.


Q: Which ships do you visit? 

Each year we contact all of the major cruise lines and many of the minor ones too, requesting visits.  It is at the discretion of the different lines as to which ships we are able to visit. Not all cruise lines welcome are willing to welcome the Ocean Liner Society onboard with open arms. Several lines have a policy of ‘travel partners’ only onboard.  Our past experience has shown that the smaller cruise lines are usually more sympathetic to our cause - which is an added bonus for us because they often have the most eclectic and interesting ships!.


Q Where do the ship visits usually take place?

Visits are offered wherever the different lines offer them. Often this is Dover and Southampton, simply because those are the busiest two ports in the UK, serving most of the major cruise lines. Harwich and Tilbury seem to be increasing in popularity with the cruise lines. Occasionally we have secured visits to other ports across UK.


Q: Can members suggest ship visits?

Yes, Members are welcome to suggest ship visits to me via email (shipvisits@ocean-liner-society.com) or letter, but the cooperation of the cruise lines can never be guaranteed.  Any visit that is secured will be offered to all members. We are always on the lookout for interesting vessels visiting our shores, including newbuilds. If you have industry contacts, their details would be much appreciated too.


Q: What personal details are needed for visits and do I need to bring a passport to the ship? 

All cruise lines now require member’s details due to heightened security and the concerns about terrorism. Those details are typically passport details. Passports need to be shown at ports to secure embarkation cards for visitors. All UK ports are now secure and include X-ray machines and metal detectors in the embarkation lounges, as airports have done for some years.


Q: Is there a charge for ship visits?

The Ocean Liner Society only charges a small fee (currently £5), to cover the cost of our stamps, envelopes paper and printing. This is in addition to any fees charged by the cruise line. Where the line does impose fees this is usually to cover costs such as onboard refreshments.


Q: Are children allowed on ship visits?

Usually cruise lines do not allow children to visit ships. This will be clear on the invitation to apply for a place. This rule is not imposed by the Ocean Liner Society. Occasionally there is an exception and members will be advised when children are permitted. The ship visit fee for children is normally reduced for child places.


Q: How are the visit places allocated and how can I increase my chances?

Ship visits are one of our most popular activities. If the supply of boarding passes does not meet the demand and a visit is oversubscribed, a ballot is drawn. All members have an equal chance of success. The society officers and committee members do not get any priority. However, missing or incorrect value cheques, missing SAEs, incomplete forms, and late applications often have to be discarded due to time constraints. So please ensure that your paperwork is correct and your chances will automatically increase.


If you have any other queries please contact: shipvisits@ocean-liner-society.com