The Grand Princess

1 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month

in Split © Ivan T./cc-by-sa-3.0

in Split © Ivan T./cc-by-sa-3.0

Grand Princess is a Grand-class cruise ship owned by Princess Cruises. Built in 1998 by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani in Monfalcone, Italy, with hull number 5956, at a cost of approximately US$450 million. She was the largest and most expensive passenger ship ever built at the time. Grand Princess was the flagship in the Princess Cruises fleet until the new Royal Princess took that title in June 2013.   read more…

The hotel ship Queen Elizabeth 2

1 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Dubai, Hotels, Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month

near the Cunard Building in Liverpool © flickr.com - Eric The Fish/cc-by-2.0

near the Cunard Building in Liverpool © flickr.com – Eric The Fish/cc-by-2.0

Queen Elizabeth 2, often referred to simply as QE2, is a floating hotel and retired ocean liner originally built for the Cunard Line, which operated by Cunard as both a transatlantic liner and a cruise ship from 1969 to 2008. Since 18 April 2018, she has been operating as a floating hotel in Dubai.  read more…

The brig-sloop HMS Beagle

1 August 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Yacht of the Month

HMS Beagle Replica in 2017 in Punta Arenas © S p-hunter/cc-by-sa-4.0

HMS Beagle Replica in 2017 in Punta Arenas © S p-hunter/cc-by-sa-4.0

HMS Beagle was a Cherokee-class 10-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy, one of more than 100 ships of this class. The vessel, constructed at a cost of £7,803 (£613,000 in today’s currency), was launched on 11 May 1820 from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames. In July of that year she took part in a fleet review celebrating the coronation of King George IV of the United Kingdom, and for that occasion is said to have been the first ship to sail completely under the old London Bridge. There was no immediate need for Beagle so she “lay in ordinary“, moored afloat but without masts or rigging. She was then adapted as a survey barque and took part in three survey expeditions.   read more…

Gumball 3000 Rally

29 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London, Sport

© Frankie Fouganthin/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Frankie Fouganthin/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Gumball 3000 is a collection of companies that includes an apparel brand, a registered charity and is best known for an annual 3,000-mile (4,800 km) international celebrity motor rally, which takes place on public roads. The name comes from the 1976 movie The Gumball Rally. It was established in 1999 by Maximillion Cooper, with his vision to combine cars, music, fashion and entertainment.   read more…

Portrait: The street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director Banksy

24 April 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Hotels, Portrait

Dover - Brexit by Banksy © Paul Bissegger/cc-by-sa-4.0

Dover – Brexit by Banksy © Paul Bissegger/cc-by-sa-4.0

Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. Banksy’s work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. Banksy says that he was inspired by 3D, a graffiti artist who later became a founding member of the English musical group Massive Attack.   read more…

The HMS Trincomalee

1 April 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Yacht of the Month

Stern © geograph.org.uk - Ian Petticrew/cc-by-sa-2.0

Stern © geograph.org.uk – Ian Petticrew/cc-by-sa-2.0

HMS Trincomalee is a Royal Navy Leda-class sailing frigate built shortly after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. She is now restored as a museum ship in Hartlepool. Trincomalee is one of two surviving British frigates of her era—her near-sister HMS Unicorn (of the modified Leda class) is now a museum ship in Dundee. After being ordered on 30 October 1812, Trincomalee was built in Bombay (todays Mumbai) by the Wadia family of shipwrights in teak, due to oak shortages in Britain as a result of shipbuilding drives for the Napoleonic Wars. The ship was named Trincomalee after the 1782 Battle of Trincomalee off the Ceylon (Sri Lanka) port of that name.   read more…

Portrait: Cnut the Great

22 March 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Winchester Cathedral - Burial chest of Cnut the Great © Ealdgyth

Winchester Cathedral – Burial chest of Cnut the Great © Ealdgyth

King Cnut the Great, also known as Canute, was King of Denmark, England, and Norway, together often referred to as the Anglo-Scandinavian or North Sea Empire. The North Sea Empire was one of several forerunners of the European Union and the Eurozone. After his death, the deaths of his heirs within a decade, and the Norman conquest of England in 1066, his legacy was mostly forgotten. The medieval historian Norman Cantor stated that he was “the most effective king in Anglo-Saxon history”, although Cnut himself was Danish and not a Briton or Anglo-Saxon. Cnut is popularly invoked in the context of the legend of King Canute and the waves, but usually misrepresents Cnut as a deluded monarch believing he has supernatural powers, when the original legend in fact states the opposite and portrays a wise king.   read more…

Sailing

13 February 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Sport

Trimaran L'Hydroptère in Long Beach © Thomas Lesage/cc-by-sa-3.0

Trimaran L’Hydroptère in Long Beach © Thomas Lesage/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sailing comprises wind propulsion of a craft by means of sails or other airfoils and steering it over water, ice or land, depending on the type of craft. A sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails by adjusting their angle with respect to the moving sailing craft and sometimes by adjusting the sail area. The force transmitted from the sails is resisted by forces from the hull, keel, and rudder of a sailing craft, by forces from skate runners for an iceboat, and by forces from wheels for a land sailing craft to allow steering a course on a point of sail with respect to the true wind. While there are still some places in the world where sail-powered passenger, fishing and trading vessels are used, these craft have become rarer as internal combustion engines have become economically viable in even the poorest and most remote areas. In most countries sailing is enjoyed as a recreational activity or as a sport. Recreational sailing or yachting can be divided into racing and cruising. Cruising can include extended offshore and ocean-crossing trips, coastal sailing within sight of land, and daysailing.   read more…

Tennis

16 January 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Sport

International Tennis Hall of Fame - Newport Casino, Newport, Rhode Island © Daniel Case/cc-by-sa-3.0

International Tennis Hall of Fame – Newport Casino, Newport, Rhode Island © Daniel Case/cc-by-sa-3.0

Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent’s court. The object of the game is to play the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society and at all ages. The sport can be played by anyone who can hold a racket, including wheelchair users. The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as “lawn tennis”. It had close connections both to various field (“lawn”) games such as croquet and bowls as well as to the older racket sport of real tennis. During most of the 19th century, in fact, the term “tennis” referred to real tennis, not lawn tennis: for example, in Disraeli‘s novel Sybil (1845), Lord Eugene De Vere announces that he will “go down to Hampton Court and play tennis.”   read more…

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