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Snap happy: meet our photography competition winner

27/05/2015

Global traveller and loyal P&O Cruises guest Fran Holland won the photography competition in the last issue of the Peninsular Club magazine

Winning entry: Michael Holland in Curaçao by Fran Holland

The winning entry

Fran Holland of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, is thrilled with her prize – a perfectly pocket-sized FujiFilm XQI digital camera. ‘I can’t wait to use it on my next cruise,’ she laughs. ‘I was thinking of getting a new camera as I’m so interested in photography, so it’s perfect timing. This one’s got a much better zoom lens, so I’m excited to take more interesting shots.’ Fran entered the competition in the last issue of the Peninsular Club magazine, which appealed for outstanding photographs from cruisers that represented life both on board and on shore. As you read this, Fran will be off on her travels again with P&O Cruises, this time capturing the wonders of Baltic cities such as Helsinki, St Petersberg, Tallin, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo.

 

Fran’s winning photograph is of her late husband Michael sitting on the quayside in Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles, with P&O Cruises ship Oceana in the background. ‘It captures such happy memories for me,’ says Fran. ‘It was taken on the Caribbean cruise we went on to celebrate our Ruby wedding anniversary. We flew to Barbados to board Oceana and spent 14 magical days in the Caribbean. Everything about that cruise was wonderful: our cabin, the ship and all the staff – our table waiter in particular. Everyone was so thoughtful and solicitous. Michael was in a wheelchair and they thought of absolutely everything to help him and us enjoy our time on board and off.

 

‘The day of our anniversary, we were made to feel so special. I did order a cake, but I hadn’t told them it was our anniversary. Somehow they found out and made a lovely fuss of us. They even put balloons on our table.’

 

Going solo

Although Michael is no longer with her to explore the world, Fran’s spirit of adventure is undaunted and recent cruises include exploring the Western Mediterranean on Azura and the Canaries on Oriana. ‘I’ve been on my own, but I never feel lonely,’ says Fran. ‘There are so many single travellers on board and so many ways to meet them and socialise. When you’re on your own, everyone talks to you. And I also always ask to be seated for dinner at a table for single guests, and go to the singles meetings, lectures, quizzes and other sociable activities on board. Everyone is so friendly. It feels like a big family on board.

‘There’s no better way to see the world, too,’ says Fran, who finds it hard to pick her favourite ports of call. ‘Florence is just so beautiful, but so is Rome. And Lisbon is wonderful, as is Barcelona. The Sagrada Familia is just stunning. I’ve been to so many amazing places – and on a cruise, the hotel takes you to your destination. I just love P&O Cruises. They’ve never let me down. I wouldn’t travel with anyone else.’

What the judges said…

Sunday Art Director Ben Martin cast the deciding vote in the photography competition and selected Fran’s entry in face of some stiff competition: ‘The composition is striking. The angle of the ship in the background is such that it catches the sunlight while the bold red of Michael's top and the curves on the shoreline draw your attention to the fore. The contrasting angles are interesting, too.' The judges also loved the fact that this heartfelt photo captures happy memories of Fran’s cruising days with Michael.

The Photography Awards competition will continue throughout the year. Find out more in issue 2 of Moments magazine.

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