One of the best looking cruise ships to call in Halifax made a visit today. Aurora, at 76,152 gross tons, and built in 2000 is not one of the newest or biggest or flashiest ships. She was designed and built for P&O, a company than once epitomized British good taste and good sense, and respected naval architectural tradition.
P&O is now part of Carnival PLC, and is one of many brands within the group, such as Holland America, etc., Carnival had the good sense to keep the P&O tradition and not tamper with the ship.
Interestingly she left with a close tug escort (Atlantic Spruce). This is so rare as to be remarkable. I conclude that she has a mechanical problem that effected her steering, and so required an escort in case something went wrong.
The ship has an unfortunate history of breakdowns, often related to her electric propulsion motors. She is able to sail on one motor, but this does concern pilots when the ship is in restricted waters, such as a navigation channel. A recent motor problem was corrected by the ship's engineers over night.
Wikipedia has a potted history of the ship and some of her troubles.
Update: the problem seems to have been with one of her anchors. The ship also required tug escort in her subsequent visit to Quebec City, and another blog reported that she had an anchor problem. Ships are supposed to have two functioning anchors. When they don't, they may be detained until repairs take place, or as in this case, take the precaution of having a tug in attendance in case of emergency. With this ship's history of mechanical breakdowns, the precaution was well advised.
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