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Ghost ship appears off coast of Botany Bay, Broadstairs

A 'ghost ship' has appeared off the coast of Kent.

The Queen Victoria, a Cunard Line cruise ship, could be seen off the coast of Botany Bay in Broadstairs today.

The Queen Victoria, a Cunard Line cruise ship, just off Botany Bay
The Queen Victoria, a Cunard Line cruise ship, just off Botany Bay
The Queen Victoria 'ghost ship'. Picture: Jason Arthur
The Queen Victoria 'ghost ship'. Picture: Jason Arthur

It is one of many ships that usually spends the year cruising around the world, but due to the coronavirus is now near-empty and destination-less.

Running on limited crew numbers, the ships only need to dock every few weeks to re-fuel and pick up supplies.

The rest of the time they linger at sea, and the Channel has become a favourite spot for the vessels.

They have been dubbed 'ghost ships' by people on social media who have spotted the ships off the south coast.

And it is not just Kent, ships have been anchoring off the coast from Portsmouth to Plymouth - and have now become a tourist destination.

Speaking to the BBC, ferry operator Paul Derham revealed he is now running sightseeing tours to these aimless cruise ships.

He said: "I knew people would be impressed.

"We whacked it on Facebook one day. We advertised two trips and we filled up within two hours."

Max Carter spotted the 'eerie ships' off Poole, Dorset.

He said on Twitter: "The eerie ghost ships in Poole Harbour, cruise liners with skeleton staff and no passengers on board, now becoming the new tourist attraction."

Paula Kerr added: "Idle cruise ships anchored for months outside Southampton.In tonight's light, they looked eerily like ghost ships."

The 2700 capacity Disney Magic ship at Marina Pier in Dover
The 2700 capacity Disney Magic ship at Marina Pier in Dover

Cruises were halted early on in the pandemic, after hundreds of passengers on board them became sick.

In March, Folkestone-based Saga suspended all of its cruises due to the outbreak .

It it thought the ships are loitering in the Channel rather than docking at ports because of price and space: ships have to pay fees to berth and terminals are limited.

Last month it was revealed a Disney cruise ship had been moored at Dover since May and was drawing visitors from across the county .

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