Throughout the year, Westward Shipping News (24 hour live webcam) was the first to capture the individual cruise ship visits as they entered Britain’s Ocean City in the Sound.
The year of 2023 started on January 2, when the flagship of Brittany Ferries, the Pont-Aven was escorted into Millbay Docks by tug vessels spraying water from large canons, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first-ever Brittany Ferries voyage to Plymouth in 1972.
Dignitaries from Brittany and from across the South West lined the deck in one of the most symbolic events of the year to celebrate the links between Plymouth and Roscoff.
On April 16 the city played host to the pinnacle of class when the MS Rotterdam arrived at the Plymouth Breakwater where nearly 10,000 people watched live on our streaming webcam from across the globe.
Later in April, the arctic cruise ship the MV Ocean Nova, and one of the world’s smallest, tailor-made arctic expedition vessels sailed into Millbay Docks, and berthed at Trinity Pier for 4 days.
On May 5, Saga Ocean Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery arrived in a wet and misty Plymouth Sound, but warm hospitality on Plymouth’s Barbican awaited for many of the 987 passengers and 530 crew, from local volunteer cruise ambassadors, shore handlers, tourists and port bosses.
Later in May, a huge cruise ship, the Bahamas-registered luxury cruise liner Silver Dawn, dropped anchor at the Plymouth Breakwater with over 600 passengers and 400 crew onboard.
Thousands watched live the arrival of the Crystal Serenity on the 23 August on our webcam, and a second visit by the Silver Dawn cruise liner on the 28 August.
September saw the arrival of three cruise ships, including the globetrotting MS Amera that crossed the Atlantic to finish off its international tour with a stop-over in Plymouth.
The beautifully designed Scenic Eclipse Two, which is one of the most technologically advanced cruise ships in the world, and built to cruise the frozen oceans of Antarctica.
And a second visit to the city of the Seabourn Ovation that anchored at the Plymouth Breakwater.
2023 was successfully rounded off with perhaps the most memorable visit of the year from the iconic paddle steamer, the PS Waverley on a trial berthing mission at the Barbican landing stage.
The PS Waverley was a regular visitor to Plymouth waters during the 1970s and early 1980s, and Plymouth port and tourist chiefs are hoping the classic paddle steamer will return in 2024.
Meanwhile, Falmouth Harbour in Cornwall also celebrated a record cruise season of 44 visits, with some of the largest cruise liners at anchor in Falmouth Bay, and berthing at A&P Falmouth dock facilities.
The team at Westward Shipping News covered the Tall Ships visit to Falmouth in August 2023 with special features from the historic port and hosted six Tall Ships’ Races in 1966, 1982, 1998, 2008, and 2023.
More look back gallery pictures of other ships visiting Plymouth and in the Sound will feature throughout December to celebrate our first year anniversary at Westward Shipping News.