Aurora Tech Fair hosted by Captain Simon Love

It is hard to fit everything in on a short cruise, but the longer cruise has events like Meet the Captain or the Tech Fair. At this event, the various departments set up stalls and showed their talents and equipment as they answered questions. We heard the medical team give some extremely helpful advice to people who had interesting questions, the officers and navigators had some very techy questions, and then there was towel folding, flower arranging and the bed-making contest. If you get a chance to go to one of these, and events clash with others on a ship, take the chance to go. Even show cast members were there, and it was a new cast who are working under a new choreographer and show designer and were very impressive. Captain Simon Love from Dorchester, who has sailed many ships from the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria to the Aurora, hosted the event. He is a most modest man with great tips and tails on the intercom, he is the leader of the ship’s senior management team and often lectures at universities when not sailing.

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The Aurora is a 76,152 gross tonnage mid-sized hybrid cruise ship, based on an ocean liner-type hull, like the Arcadia, but an upgrade and extended version of the Oriana which has now left the P&O fleet. She has an overall length of 270.0 metres and a beam of 32.2 metres. The keel was laid in Papenburg Germany at Meyer Werft in 1988 and she had a maiden voyage in May 2000 around the Mediterranean which was brief due to a bearing problem that was soon rectified. She was refitted in 2014 and is due for a major refit in 2025. A firm favourite with P&O customers she has done a number of world cruises but now tends to start the year with a 65-night cruise in South America which is super popular with wildlife enthusiasts and there are many photographers around the deck willing to share their pictures and knowledge.

The chat sites for the ship are here.

Aurora Chat     65 day Cruise Chat R401, R501

Converted to an adult-only ship a few years ago, where the play areas became cabins, she can now hold around 1,900 passengers with a crew of under 1,000. Guest entertainers are assigned guest cabins. At the fair a tech fact sheet explained the total power of the ship is derived from electricity produced at 6600 volts from 4 four-stroke 14-cylinder MAN B&W 14V48/60 (48 cm Bore, 60 cm Stroke) medium-speed diesel engines powering generators that can produce a total power output of over 78,800 BHP.


The propulsion motors drive two propellers, each 5.8 metres in diameter with a rudder behind each that can turn 45 degrees port and 45 degrees starboard. In addition, there are three bow thrusters and a stern thruster.

The max speed is 29 knots, but a good cruising speed is 24 knots when she will use 300 litres of heavy oil per Nautical Mile. Apparently, that week we ate around 10,000 eggs and drank seven thousand bottles of red wine. I did little to help either cause, though on the hot days, I did discover an afternoon draught Fosters.

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