MV Aurora is a cruise ship of the P&O Cruises fleet. The ship was built by Meyer Werft at their shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. At over 76,000 tonnes, Aurora is the smallest and oldest of six ships currently in service with P&O Cruises. She officially entered service with the company in April 2000 and was named by Anne, Princess Royal in Southampton, United Kingdom. Aurora was refitted in 2014, during which the ship was the... Read more
MV Aurora is a cruise ship of the P&O Cruises fleet. The ship was built by Meyer Werft at their shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. At over 76,000 tonnes, Aurora is the smallest and oldest of six ships currently in service with P&O Cruises. She officially entered service with the company in April 2000 and was named by Anne, Princess Royal in Southampton, United Kingdom. Aurora was refitted in 2014, during which the ship was the first of P&O's ships to receive an updated British Union flag design on her bow and her funnel repainted from yellow to blue.
Aurora is a mid-sized cruise ship, with an overall length of 270.0 metres (885 ft 10 in), moulded beam of 32.2 metres (105 ft 8 in) and draught of 7.90 metres (25 ft 11 in). Her gross tonnage is 76,152 and her deadweight tonnage is 8,486 tonnes. The ship can accommodate up to 1,878 passengers in 939 cabins, with a maximum crew complement of 936.
Aurora is powered by 4 four-stroke 14-cylinder MAN B&W 14V48/60 (48cm Bore, 60cm Stroke) medium-speed diesel engines with a total power output of over 78,800 BHP. These engines provide power for various ship's services and for two STN AEG propulsion motors. The propulsion motors drive two propellers, each of which measures 5.8 metres (19 ft 0 in) in diameter. Fuel consumption at 24 knots is around 300 litres of heavy oil per Nautical Mile. For manoeuvring, the ship has three bow thrusters and a stern thruster. The ship's service speed is 24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph), though during sea trials she reached a maximum speed of 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph).
Aurora was designed to appeal to the British market, and was built as an extended and improved version of P&O Cruises' Oriana. The ship's hull and superstructure were designed to be attractive to this market with features similar to more traditional ocean liners, such as her raked, tiered stern.
Aurora was built by Meyer Werft in Germany. Her keel was laid in December 1998 and she was launched in January 2000. She was delivered to P&O Cruises in April 2000.
The ship was christened on 27 April 2000, by Princess Anne. The champagne bottle did not shatter when it hit the ship's side and fell unopened into the sea. This type of occurrence is considered a bad omen among seafarers, and this incident has been blamed for the numerous setbacks that Aurora has encountered throughout her career.
Aurora departed on her maiden voyage on 1 May 2000—a 14-night cruise to various Mediterranean destinations. The ship's crew identified a major technical problem, and the cruise was abandoned after 16 hours at sea. The cause was a propeller shaft bearing which had been damaged by overheating and required urgent repair while the ship was out of service.
On 3 May 2000, the ship returned to Southampton, where passengers disembarked. Passengers expressed disappointment about the incident but reported that they were mainly satisfied with P&O Cruises' response to the situation. P&O Cruises offered all passengers a full refund and compensation package, worth about GBP£6 million.
Aurora sailed to Blohm + Voss in Germany, where repairs were carried out. The ship returned to service on 15 May 2000, to undertake her second scheduled cruise to the Canary Islands.
In March 2001, Aurora was sailing through the Taiwan Strait on her first world cruise when she was called to assist Pamela Dream, a Cambodian registered ship crewed by Russian officers and crew which had capsized in rough seas. Aurora launched her fast rescue boats to retrieve survivors from the water. The crew were able to retrieve three survivors. A crewmember described the sea state as "very rough, with waves of about 5 m (16 ft)". One of Aurora's propellers was damaged by flotsam, an inspection of the propeller was carried out in Singapore where it was polished by divers. The damaged propeller was eventually replaced in dry dock in Southampton in December 2002.
In 2014, Aurora was repainted in P&O's new house livery with a stylised Union Flag on the bows, and the funnel painted blue instead of the customary P&O yellow.
She underwent a further dry dock refurbishment during March and April 2019.