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Behind the Scenes at Noble Caledonia

In this section, our aim is to keep you updated with news from Noble Caledonia which will include updates from our London based staff and from the ships. 




By Mike Deegan, Head of Fleet Operations

  Just because we are not able to sail together currently does not mean we are not still a team – thus we recently arranged one of our regular internet conferences to keep our talented field staff up to date with plans and developments whilst our operations are temporarily paused.

 Head of Expedition Field Operations (and Travel Post internet sensation!) Pam Le Noury, Field Staff Manager Megan Fowler and myself hosted almost 40 of our expedition staff at a call during which we were able to discuss some of the hard work taking place behind the scenes, and in consultation with our colleagues in the wider expedition sector, to ensure that when we do recommence operations, it will be safely.  We were also able to explain the plans to introduce social distancing into our operations and discuss the myriad lockdown learning modules that we have been publishing regularly to all field staff (the last one was about “managing the unexpected” – how apt!)  The opportunity was taken to field a range of questions from staff either in person of via the chat room facility on the call.

It was great to catch up with our colleagues who, because of the global nature of our business, were scattered across the globe. So particular kudos to Expedition Leader Jane Wilson for whom it was the middle of the night in Western Canada where she lives and to Tony Crocker for whom, at his home down under, the sun was very much over the yardarm! 

 Zodiac Driver Dominic Barrington said “it was great for us to hear the about the detailed planning and work going on- thanks to Noble Caledonia management for arranging”.

 Although the screenshot below shows the maximum that can be in vision simultaneously, many more were there but not in vision in this particular shot.  See if you can spot your favourite Expedition Leader, Assistant Expedition Leader or Zodiac Driver!






By Mike Deegan, Head of Fleet Operations 

  Our ships are currently laid up around the world manned only by a small maintenance crew whilst we wait for the moment the world starts to open up again.

  Hebridean Sky has been at anchor off Portsmouth since she returned home with almost 90 British Antarctic Survey staff aboard, repatriated from Antarctica as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold. Her crew have seen the bright lights of the Isle of Wight, Hampshire and Sussex coastlines tantalisingly close every night but just out of reach.  So we were delighted to be able to organise three days alongside in Portsmouth and a tour for them to alleviate the monotony.



The ship arrived into Portsmouth on Saturday 11 July for some shore leave and the ability to walk ashore. On Monday though we had arranged something slightly more organised for them. Firstly Cruise Director Jane Mannerings, who gave up her free time to ensure seamless arrangements on the day, was in regular contact with Chief Purser Thea de Leon on board to offer to purchase all those important sundry items seafarers need but can’t always get ashore to buy. Armed with a shopping list Jane scoured the retail emporiums of Hampshire for days beforehand to ensure she arrived on board early on Monday morning with all she had been asked to find.

  Retail thirst quenched, and after a quick chat about social distancing (remember our crew members hadn’t been ashore for weeks) Jane then accompanied Hebridean Sky crew members by coach to Southsea Castle, where, with an amazing sense of timing and history, they stood in almost the same spot that King Henry VIII had stood in almost 475 years to the day previously as he watched his beloved Mary Rose slip beneath the waters of the Solent whilst repelling an attack by the French. 

  After everyone had the opportunity to stroll along Southsea Common and sample the finest ice cream Hampshire has to offer, Jane ensured everyone re-boarded the coach for the short ride to Gunwharf Quays. Once there all engaged in more intensive retail therapy in the many designer outlets and other shops or relaxed in one of the many coffee shops or just wandered along the waterfront overlooking Portsmouth Harbour in the sunshine.

  With everyone having “shopped till they dropped” the coach was reboarded, this time with various purchases, for the journey back to the port and Hebridean Sky.   On returning to the ship, all agreed it had been a fantastic day out. 

  Our talented crew members are part of the Noble Caledonia family and taking them for their own day out whilst they await the return of our guests seemed like the least we could do to say thank you for the fantastic job they do. We couldn’t do what we do without them.




Keeping in touch 

With the magic of video conferencing, Head of Fleet Operations Mike Deegan and Field Staff Manager Megan Fowler are updating some of our Cruise Directors and Assistant Cruise Directors on the plans and developments of future tour operations. At Noble Caledonia we like to keep in contact with our field staff team, even during times like this when they are not able lead our tours and they are as much part of the wider Noble Caledonia family as ever.