Going a nautical mile for fun in Southampton!

With approximately five weeks before the start of our Drag Stars at Sea: Europe Allstars there is a lot to be done and planned before our cruisers begin their amazing journey. Each of our destinations within Europe has an overabundance of great activities and sights to take in before people are whisked off to the next leg of their adventure. This article is here to condense some of the information so that you, the ever busy traveler, don’t have to search all over for ingenious ideas on how to spend your time! Today we stop in Southampton, England, where ships tell the tale! 

The SS Shieldhall is a preserved steamship that operates from the city and is a major tourist attraction! She was built in October 1954 and weighs in at 1,972 tons! Before she was preserved for tourist purposes the boat was used a sludge boat, going regularly from Shieldhall in Glasgow, Scotland down the River Clyde to dump treated sewage sludge at sea. These types of ships regularly welcomed aboard day trippers and parties or passengers who wanted to tour the ships during these trips down river. To accommodate for this the Shieldhall was given open-crank engines which allow passengers to see all of the inner workings, which according to a lot of the people who visit the ship say is really fun. Those who take the day trip these days are allowed to explore all parts of the ship and people remark all the time just how friendly and welcoming all of the crew on board are. From seeing the engines in action up close to going to the bridge and talking to the captain of the ship, there’s a lot of fun to be had on the SS Shieldhall!

 

 

Titanic Engineer Officers Memorial is, as the name suggests, a memorial to the 35 engineer officers who steadfastly stood at their posts as the Titanic was critically struck by an Iceberg in 1912. The monument was unveiled on a sunny day in April of 1914 where over 100,000 people gathered in remembrance of the brave souls who gave their lives to buy the fleeing passengers precious moments to safely get to their lifeboats. The statue consists of bronze and granite and features Nuke, the Greek Winged Goddess of Victory. Many people visit this memorial yearly, and those that do remark how stunning the display is in person. It serves as a haunting reminder of the tragedy that struck so close to the heart of Southampton a century ago, many of those engineers living only a few miles at most away from the monument, and reminds all who visit of the sacrifice that was made.

Southampton is a fun place to explore with a lot of emphasis on the sea and the ocean, as the above locations indicate. We too are interested in the sea! It is why we are proud to present Southampton and so many other places as part of our Drag Stars at Sea: Europe Allstars! Be sure to check out all of the great information on this exciting trip by going here.

 

 

Rocking with Royalty in London!

With approximately six weeks before the start of our Drag Stars at Sea: Europe Allstars there is a lot to be done and planned before our cruisers begin their amazing journey. Each of our destinations within Europe has an overabundance of great activities and sights to take in before people are whisked off to the next leg of their adventure. This article is here to condense some of the information so that you, the ever busy traveler, don’t have to search all over for ingenious ideas on how to spend your time! On the agenda for today is London, England, where something historic greets you every time you turn around!

The Tower of London is one of the most famous and important landmarks in all of London. Dating back to 1066, when the Normans conquered the land, this is a big hit with tourists due to the rich history that can be found within the walls. From the long line of the royal family to infamous prisoners and politicians, if the tower walls could talk they would have much to tell. The tower houses the oldest exhibition in the world, the Line of Kings, which features many pieces of armor from the rulers of the past, as well as the world famous Crown Jewels. You can even visit the Traitor’s gate which was the entrance used to move prisoners into the tower by the Tudors. The Jewel Tower also offers a tour that gives a nice historical account in regards to the many famous people who inhabited the building over the years.

Westminster Abbey is a large, Gothic church located just west of the Palace of Westminster. The site that it is built on first had a church in the 7th century, although the present building as we know it today did not begin its construction until 1245. It is widely regarded as one of the most important religious buildings in the United Kingdom and has been the traditional coronation place and burial ground for British monarchs. An interesting aspect to note is that it is no longer technically an abbey or a cathedral, but rather it holds the status of a ‘Royal Peculiar’ which is a church that is ruled directly by the Sovereign. The coronation of monarchs have been held there for nearly 1000 years! Of course, the biggest recent event to be hosted here was the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.

Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, and is where the Queen prefers to spend her weekends. It has long been known for its association with the British royal family. The castle was originally built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. It has been occupied since Henry I, over 900 years ago, making it the longest occupied palace in Europe! During the English Civil War the castle was used as military headquarters and was an infamous prison for Charles I. It is described as having some of the most lavish staterooms in the world, and is renowned for its beauty as well as the number of state events that it hosts every year.

London is a truly amazing city with enough sights to visit to last weeks on end. Its rich history and stunning beauty are very evident by all of the great landmarks that it has to offer. We’re very pleased that we are taking you there as a part of our Taste of Europe pre-stay which leads into Drag Stars at Sea: Europe Allstars. For all of the exciting details on this fantastic trip, go here.