Last week’s arrival of the Italian Navy Destroyer (see post here) was just the latest in a long line of naval vessels to have visited London over the last few years.
In fact ships from at least 17 different, mainly NATO, countries have visited over the last 6 years with vessels ranging in type and size from smaller patrol craft and robot minesweepers all the way up to helicopter carriers and light aircraft carriers.
The types of vessels have also ranged from a submarine to sail training ships and whilst most visits entail just one or two vessels there have been a few occasions when much larger numbers have arrived.
Such was the case in May 2013 when the French Navy sent the entire 8 ship class of Schoolships and more recently in May 2014 the German Navy sent a Minesweeper flotilla with 10 ships from 5 different classes.
When visiting London the naval vessels use a variety of mooring locations, as follows:
- Alongside HMS Belfast in the Upper Pool
- Alongside HMS President in the Lower Pool
- Greenwich ship tier (for the largest vessels that cannot transit further upstream)
- West India Dock
- Royal Docks (typically in connection with events at the Excel exhibition centre)
Luckily for me they all pass Gallions Point.
As is to be expected the Royal Navy has contributed the most with a total of 34 different vessels over the last 6 years with some having visited several times over that period.
For a non-coastal city London doesn’t fare too badly when it comes to visiting navy vessels and long may that continue. More pictures can be found here.