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Displaying items by tag: Cruise Liners

#OLYMPIC CRUISESHIPS - Peter Deilmann's cruiseship Deutschland (1998/22,496grt) which called to Dublin Port at the weekend is en-route in the English Channel, having departed Plymouth bound for London, where she is set to became a floating hotel during the Olympic Games, writes Jehan Ashmore.

With less than four days to go to the start of the games, the 480 passenger capacity cruiseship has been chartered by the German Olympic Sports Federation. The vessel is scheduled to dock in West India Docks at the foot of the towering banking HQ offices in Canary Wharf.

Last year she made a trial visit, where she became the largest ever vessel to enter through the West India Dock lock. So with her return, she joins Fred Olsen Cruise Lines 929 passenger Braemar (1993/24,344grt) which as previously reported on afloat.ie is also on charter during the sporting spectacle, to the London Organization Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

The Bahamas-flagged vessel, formerly launched as Crown Dynasty for Crown Cruise Line, is moored in the East London Dock's Albert Dock basin at a berth facing opposite to the runway of London City Airport.

Astern of this vessel is Gemini (1992/19,093grt) which by coincidence is her sistership, having served as Crown Jewel, as both cruiseships were ordered by Crown Cruise Line from the Spanish shipyard of Union Naval de Levante in Valencia. However since change of ownerships, the Braemar was lengthened for her current operator.

As for Gemini likewise, she too has been chartered to LOCOG to accommodate personnel over the course of the games.

Tomorrow Noble Caledonia's 114-passenger Caledonian Sky is due in London too, the former Hebridean Spirit (1992/4,200grt) made a once-only cruise/promo call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour around a decade ago. The large yacht-like vessel will be accompanied by other 'private' luxury motor-yachts during the games, which were last held in the British capital in 1948.

Published in Cruise Liners

#TREESOME CRUISECALLS – This morning three cruiseships arrived into Dublin Bay and all within less than an hour. Currently the trio are berthed closely together in the centre of Dublin port, which this year expects to see around 90 such vessels visiting this season, writes Jehan Ashmore.

First to arrive was Holland America Line's Prinsendam (1988/37,983grt) from Liverpool, followed by Swan Hellenic's Minerva (1996/12,449grt) from Portsmouth and lastly Peter Deilmann's Deutschland (1998/22,496grt) from Douglas.

In 2011 around 200 large cruise vessels visited Irish shores carrying more than 308,000 passengers and crew. The cruise sector in fact has doubled in terms of visitors, in just over 7 years when 142 cruise ships called in 2004 bringing more than 146,000 passengers and crew.

Large ports such as Dublin, Cork and Belfast handled over 85% of the total cruiseship visitor numbers in 2011. Of these ports only Dublin saw an increase, leaving the others remaining relatively unchanged. However, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the opening earlier this year of Titanic Belfast is attracting more cruise calls to Belfast.

Published in Cruise Liners

#COASTGUARD - Galway Bay FM reports that an elderly woman was airlifted by the coastguard from a cruise liner in Galway Bay yesterday morning.

It's believed that the passenger was experiencing cardiac problems.

The woman is a passenger on the Marco Polo, the 800-passenger cruise vessel that was recently anchored in Bantry Bay, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Her condition was assessed on board by paramedics before she was taken to Galway University Hospital by the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter.

Published in Coastguard

#CRUISE LINERS – Cruise & Maritime Voyages Marco Polo (1965/22,080grt) anchored off scenic Glengariff today and also sharing Bantry Bay is the tanker Amundsen Spirit (2010/109,290dwt), writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 800-passenger Marco Polo had sailed from Cork and the veteran vessel by coincidence has a deck named Amundsen Deck (etc).

The authority responsible for shipping traffic is Bantry Bay Harbour Commissioners, where the seasonality of the cruise callers visiting West Cork is offset by the year-round business of tankers.

Large tankers can be handled in the deep waters off the Bantry Bay Terminal on Whiddy Island. However the terminal has no jetty facilities,  instead tankers use the single-point mooring (SPM) a buoy that is anchored offshore. This system also performs in unloading cargo that is transferred through pipes feeding into the tank farm located on the island.

The tugs Ocean Bank and Trojan were attending the Amundsen Spirit (249m long X 44m beam X 14.6m draft), noting at the bow she a structure to facilitate the SPM operations.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CRUISE LINERS – This year Belfast Harbour can look forward to a boost in the cruise sector as more than 40 calls are scheduled during the season, the increase is largely attributed to the opening of the iconic visitor attraction of Titanic Belfast, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In 2012 the port is to see an impressive 32% increase on last year with 41 cruise ships bringing almost 75,000 visitors to the port compared to 2011 where 32 ships called with 58,000 passengers.

The ports cruise facility at Stormont Wharf, which cost £10m, continues to pay dividends with its advantage of accommodating large cruise ships operating in the Irish Sea. The wharf at 1km in length is the longest deep-water berth on the island of Ireland.

Among this season's cruise operators visiting the harbour are Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), Fred Olsen Cruise Line, Holland America Line (HAL), P&O Cruises, Prestige Cruises, Princess Cruises and Saga Cruises. Click HERE for a list of cruiseships calling to the port.

Published in Cruise Liners

#P&O 175th ANNIVERSARY – The cruiseship Arcadia (2005/83,781grt) sailed into Dublin Port after an overnight passage from Southampton, where P&O celebrated their 175th anniversary on Tuesday with a spectacular parade of the fleet billed as the 'Grand Event', writes Jehan Ashmore.

Dublin Port is the first port of call since the 2,388 passenger (maximum) capacity Arcadia departed her homeport on a 14-night adult-only round trip cruise to Iceland. She and six cruiseships of the P&O Cruise fleet formed the impressive sail past down the Solent to where they each went their separate ways on cruising intineries.

The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, better known throughout the world as P&O was established in 1837. The famous company's colourful house-flag is flown on the P&O Cruises fleet and P&O Ferries operating out of the UK. The flag is also depicted as the funnel colours of the ferry fleet and incorporates the royal colours of Spain (red and gold) and Portugal (blue and white) which relate to the older traditional colours representing the monarchy.

In 2005 P&O was sold to Dubai based DP World for £3.3 billion, which operates P&O Ferries, while the cruise division was sold off to Carnival UK, a subsidiary of the US owned Carnival Corporation which among its many companies includes Cunard Line. The Arcadia and her fleetmates are under the P&O Cruise brand and the cruiseships also fly the house-flag under license.

The origins of P&O though can be traced as far back to 1815 when Brodie McGhie Wilcox engaged Arthur Anderson to become a ship clerk in his brokerage business in London. The Lime Street based brokerage initially chartered vessels and the business grew so by 1823 Anderson was made a partner to form Wilcox and Anderson. They embarked on a sail-cargo service from London to the Iberian Peninsula.

In 1835 the timber-built passenger and cargoship paddle steamer William Fawcett was chartered from the Dublin and London Steam Packet Company. The 206-tonne vessel gave a top speed of 10 knots, noting that she had two sailing masts fore and aft of the steamer's funnel.

William Fawcett is regarded to be the first ship in the P&O fleet, the steamer with the Irish connection carried the government contract to carry 'mails' to Iberia. The company secured more contracts and rapid expansion to the Orient, where the house-flag reached India, Ceylon, Penang, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. This led to many ships built and not just confined to cargoships, notably the liners with passengers travelling Port-Out and Starboard-Home...how POSH indeed!

It was fitting to see Arcadia arrive into a flat-calm Dublin Bay as she entered from the southern approaches off Dalkey Island, where paddle-steamers such as William Fawcett would of sailed past heading for London. Her modern short-sea successor in the form of P&O Ferries ro-pax European Endeavour (2000/ 22,125grt) was also arriving into the bay off the Baily lighthouse from Liverpool.

Arcadia cost £200m to build and when the vessel was laid down at the Fincantieri Cant. Nav. Italiani SpA shipyard in Monfalcone, she was originally the Queen Victoria for Cunard Line. It was however decided that the newbuild would be renamed Arcadia as she was transferred by Carnival to the P&O Cruises brand and given a traditional name.

To read more about the company, the ships and much more visit www.poheritage.com

Published in Cruise Liners

#CRUISE LINER SAFETY – Following the Costa Concordia incident off the Italian coast in January, there are to be "tighter" inspections of cruiseships docking in Irish ports according to the State's Marine Survey Office.

Checks on safety and crew handling of "abandon ship" drills and fire-fighting will be stepped up under the office of the Department of Transport. Marine surveyors will also conduct "detailed, additional" checks on whether or not crews are trained and familiar with their vessels, the office says.

Some 30 passengers were confirmed dead and two are still "missing" after the Costa Concordia ran aground and partially sank off Isola del Giglio, Tuscany, on the night of January 13th last.

The Irish Times has more on this story.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CRUISE LINERS – The newest addition to the Saga Cruises fleet Saga Sapphire (1981/37,301gt) is to make her debut to Dublin Port tomorrow, having made her inaugural Irish port of call to Cobh today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Saga Sapphire previously the Bleu de France and launched as Europa for Hapag Lloyd, underwent a major refit taking several months in the Sicilian port of Palermo at the Fincantieri shipyard.

She arrived into her homeport of Southampton in preparation for her new owners 'maiden' cruise in late March which was delayed by several days. The delay in redelivering the 706-passenger cruiseship was due to strike action over redundancies at the shipyard.

Tomorrow she is due to berth in the capital port at Ocean Pier under the command of Captain Philip Rentell who has worked with the UK based operator when he joined the company in 2005 as master on their Saga Rose.

Published in Cruise Liners
8th June 2012

Bremen Visits Galway

#GALWAY CRUISE CALL– Following last month's first cruise call this season of Silver Explorer to Galway Docks, the city of the tribes welcomed the Bremen yesterday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Unlike the Silver Explorer, operated by Silverseas Cruises, which transited through the narrow entrance into Dun Aengus Dock, the Bremen (1990/6,752grt) made an anchorage call offshore. The latter vessel which is operated by Hapag-Lloyd, has a four-star ranking according to the Berlitz Guide to Cruising 2012.

The small expedition ship takes her 164-guests who in comparison are served by a large crew numbering 100. The vessel visits some of the most beautiful and remote regions in the world which has included visiting both the poles at the Artic and Antarctica.

On this particular cruise, she had called to Kilronan, Inishmore on the Aran Islands and is currently underway heading for Tory Island.

The presence of the Silver Explorer, previously Prince Albert II, made for an interesting experience as Galwegians witnessed the vessel navigate skillfully through the tight confines of Dun Aengus dock system.

A further six cruise calls are scheduled, the next been Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) Marco Polo, the classic cruiseship with her liner heritage is to make the port of call in July.

Published in Cruise Liners

#SALTEES CRUISE CALL – The Saltee Islands off Co. Wexford was where the small cruiseship Expedition (1972/ 6,334grt) made an anchorage call yesterday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 140 passenger vessel which underwent a $13 million refit in 2009, specialises in cruising to some of the world's most remote regions. As usual for this type of cruiseship, a fleet of Zodiacs are provided for expedition excursions. Large common areas and observation decks provide panoramic views. As for all her cabins they too feature ocean-view windows or portholes and private en-suite facilities.

Expedition was a former Baltic Sea ferry which was sold in 2008 to G.A.P. Shipping Co. Ltd for their G-Adventures cruises having served as Ålandsfärjan for Viking Line's Mariehamn- Kapellskar on the Åland Islands route. The archipelago situated at the mouth of the Gulf of Bothnia form an autonomous Swedish-speaking region of Finland.

Prior to her Baltic Sea career she served P&O's subsidiary Normandy Ferries on the Dover-Boulogne route as their N.F Tiger which followed her original back-round as the Kattegat built for a Danish operator four decades ago.

The cruiseship retains her distinctive bright red hull colour inherited from her Viking Line years. Intriguingly when the company had to choose what colour to use for their first ferry Apollo, the answer found was rather novel as one of the owner's relatives produced her lipstick!

Published in Cruise Liners
Page 34 of 40

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