During the first lockdown in April 2020, nearly all the world’s cruise ships returned to port, & Fred. Olsen’s 4 main ships ended up at anchor together in the Firth of Forth. We were asked to film them for a series of social media videos, as a reminder to passengers of the good times to come once travel was possible again, as well as making use of the opportunity to film all the ships in one place.

Covid protocols had come into place by the time of the filming, so wearing face masks Pete Maughan & I met the Fred. Olsen service boat at South Queensferry pier & were transported to the ships out in the firth near Longniddry.

We weren’t able to board the ships so had to fly from our small service boat, which meant dual-op hand launching & hand catching a DJI Inspire 2, with a backup Inspire 2 + Mavic 2 Pros with us in case we lost an aircraft or ran into insurmountable compass issues given the size of the ships we were flying round. Our main aircraft did indeed develop issues which we presumed to be compass related, but by the time this happened we’d achieved the required footage.

We were asked back by Fred. Olsen 6 weeks later, to film the ships with searchlights at dusk on the 75th anniversary of VE Day. We decided that hand catching on a small boat in the dark was too much of a risk, so we carried out this filming from the beach at Gullane Point.

CAA approved for aerial work, PFCO company number 532, FAA number 4242184

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