The fourth day of our cruise aboard P&O's ship the Oriana found us visiting Cobh (pronounced Cove) in the south coast of Ireland.
We cruised passed the Roches Point lighthouse a little after 07:00am and proceeded down the entry channel to the picturesque port of Cobh docking just after 08:00am.
We were able to watch the ship cruise down the approach and dock in Cobh whilst enjoying a full cooked breakfast next to the panoramic windows in the Conservatory Restaurant.
Many of the passengers were taking booked excursions to the surrounding area and into Ireland's second largest city of Cork. Others decided to avail themselves of the frequent railway service, that left from the station directly adjacent to our dock.
We had decided that we would not go on an excursion and, as the weather was good, we instead take a look around the very picturesque town of Cobh.
The first building you come to, on disembarking the ship, was the Cobh visitor centre.
In here was an exhibition cataloguing the history of Cobh over the years. Passengers of the Oriana were extended a discount for entry into the exhibition, though it was still fairly expensive at 8 Euro's each.
The exhibition is called the Queenstown story, this is due to the time when Cobh was renamed Queenstown following the visit of Queen Victoria in 1849. It tells the story of Cobh's somewhat ill fated history.
Two and a half million people emigration by ship from here to get away from the effects of the potato famine between 1845-49. Many of these died in the crossings.
It tells of the liner Sirius the first transatlantic steamer to go from Cobh to America in 18 days.
It also chronicles the ill fated sailing of the Titanic in 1912 which left Cobh after picking up 123 passengers on her maiden voyage, only to sink 4 days later, 400 miles south of Newfoundland with the loss of 1,513 lives, 83 of those had joined the ship at Cobh.
There are many beautiful examples of architecture throughout Cobh such as the square above with its arch leading through to rows of brightly coloured houses leading up the hillside.
The Neo-Gothic Roman Catholic St Coleman's Cathedral stands prominent over the town. Built of granite it was commissioned in 1865 but not completed until 1915 at a cost of £235,000. Its impressive 287 foot spire hosts the largest carillon (47 bells) in Ireland.
We went back on board the Oriana for lunch at 12:30 in the conservatory restaurant.
The weather unfortunately clouded over in the afternoon, so we decided to visit the Charlie Chaplin cinema to watch Disney's, Princess and the Frog. Unfortunately this was marred by the continuous interruptions over the tannoy system, informing passengers and crew of essential Fire Door testing. The sound was cut for the announcement but the picture kept going hence lots of key sections of the film were missed.
Following the film we went to the Crows Nest bar to grab a quick coffee floater and hot chocolate.
Mel went from here to the Oasis Spa as she had the opportunity to sample a free acupuncture session that afternoon. She said it helped her to relax and allowed for a very restful sleep that night
While Mel was having her acupuncture session, I went to the 'sail away' party at the rear terrace area of the ship. P&O have a sail away party on their ships every time the ship leaves a country to go on to a new one. There is lots of singing, flag waving and games for the children, including entertainment by the ships team and the children's ship mascot Noddy.
Following our evening meal taken in the Oriental restaurant we went to see the show
F-ABBA-ULOUS in the Theatre Royal. As you may have guessed from the title this was a tribute to the songs of ABBA. It was lively, fun and well performed.
After the show we retired to the Crows nest for live music and mocktails before retiring late to bed, remembering to put our clocks forward to GMT +2.
A great and informative day spent in Cobh and on-board the Oriana.