Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Cruise Liners

# CRUISE SHIPS - Dublin Port's 'draft' masterplan which was unveiled to the public today, includes a proposal to develop the first dedicated cruise terminal in the capital port. A site at North Wall Quay Extension has been chosen to handle larger vessels capable of berthing and the location would be closer to the city-centre, writes Jehan Ashmore.
With the increasing demand of the cruiseship sector to Dublin and Irish ports in general, the port recognises the need to further develop future growth prospects and the wider strategic importance to the city. This year the port handled over 85 cruise callers with 130,000 passengers visiting the capital which accrued to €50m to the local economy and €700,000 in direct revenue to the port.

In order to facilitate this growth, the draft proposes switching existing berths used by large cruiseships away from unattractive cargo-docks in Alexandra Basin's West and East and at Ocean Pier. Up to three alternative locations were examined and the port agreed that the option identified in the Dublin City Council's Area Plan of the North Quay Extension is the optimum location.

Before any such development, it would require relocating an existing roll-on roll-off terminal (No.3), which is currently in use by P&O Irish Sea for their Dublin-Liverpool service. The company operate three sailings daily on the central corridor route.

The new facility could accommodate two large cruise ships simultaneously and would be much larger than the 43,524grt The World, the luxury resort vessel operated by Residensea, which docked at the North Wall Extension in 2010 (for report click HERE).

The location is on the doorstep to the East-Link Bridge and the neighbouring O2 Arena and Point Village developed by Harry Crosbie, who called for the relocation of cruise callers to be sited upriver.

According to the draft, the closer proximity to the city-centre would provide a stronger presence and a more accessible link with the city. It would also avoid the unnecessary longer bus transfers between cruise berths and visitor attractions in the city-centre and locations in counties Wicklow and Meath.

Construction of facilities for a cruise terminal would expensive as it will involve new quay walls capable of accepting large cruise vessels but this could only be done after dredging the channel to a depth of 10.5m.

The facilities of the terminal are to incorporate a reception, tourist information and interpretive centre, a dedicated entrance for pedestrians, coaches, vehicles and traffic management measures would be implemented.

In addition the site would also require the expensive exercise in re-locating ESB underwater high-voltage cables. The initial costs suggest to develop new terminal facilities and associated works would be in the region of €30m.

Dublin Port Company, state that due to the relatively low revenues generated by cruise ships, such an investment alone could not be justified, however, they could part-fund the development but additional funding would be required from other sources.

Published in Ferry
Portuguese-flagged Ocean Countess (1976/17,593grt) returned to Dublin Port from Vigo, this morning after completing a 10-night Iberian and Morocco cruise. She embarks on another direct cruise from the capital today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Operated by UK-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), Ocean Countess picked up a pilot in Dublin Bay close to the South Burford Buoy around 09.00. An hour later she berthed in the port at Ocean Pier from where passengers of the 800-passenger capacity vessel disembarked.

With a short-turn around in port, more cruise-goers will be boarding for a mid-afternoon departure, marking the start of a 13-night Canary Islands & Madeira cruise. When she heads out of the port, the first port of call is Falmouth then it's off to Leixoes (Portugal), Agadir (Morocco), Arrecife (Lanzarote), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), Funchal (Madeira), Lisbon (Portugal) and Vigo (Spain) before returning to Dublin.

The vessels final end-of season cruise from Dublin is on 25 October, with a 10-night cruise to Nice (returning by air). The interim ports of call are to Falmouth, Leixoes, Lisbon, Cartagena (Spain) Palma and Mahon (Menorca). To read more about this cruise click HERE.

In addition to Dublin calls the former Cunard Countess, also called this season to Cork Harbour. It was during a call last month to Ringaskiddy that another 'Cunarder' the flagship, Queen Mary 2 was also in port on a call to Cobh. To read more of that visit click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
As the cruise season draws to a close, passengers from the German 28,856 tonnes Amadea, visited Bantry Bay, west Cork today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The former Japanese cruiseship launched in 1991, anchored off picturesque Glengariff and neighbouring Garinish Island. Amadea had called to Waterford Estuary yesterday and before her first Irish port of call she called to Dartmouth en-route from embarking passengers in Bremerhaven.

At 192m in length, the 600-passenger capacity cruiseship is operated by Pheonix Reisen. The German based travel agency also runs fleetmates Albratross and Artania. The later Finish built vessel was best known as Princess Cruises Royal Princess, when launched by the late Diana, Princess of Wales in 1984.

Apart from the handful of cruiseships that call, Bantry Bay is otherwise used by oil tankers bringing supplies to the Whiddy Island Oil Terminal. The terminal consists of an offshore single point mooring, tanker Jetty, and an onshore tank farm. The bay runs some 35kms long and is 10km wide at its broadest at the entrance and steadily narrows to 3-4kms at its head. In addition the bay is largest of the main inlets in the south-west.

Glengariff in recent years has also welcomed another German operator, Peter Deilmann's Deutschland (1988/22,496grt) and the UK based Cruise & Maritime Voyages Marco Polo (1966/20,080grt). To read more on this vessel which regularly calls to Irish ports click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
28th September 2011

Fram From the Fjords and Beyond

Hurtigruten's polar expediton cruiseship Fram (2007/11,647grt) docked at the Cobh cruise terminal in Cork Harbour today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The rather stout looking vessel which is 114m long on a beam of 20m was built in Italy to operate primarily as a cruiseship in artic waters. She differs to the rest of her fleetmates which operate Hurtigruten's coastal voyage along the fjords of Norway between Bergin to Kirkenes, near the Russian border.

Fram operates on cruises from Norway to Spitsbergen, Greenland, and Europe. She also cruises in Antarctic waters and explores the Chilean fjords. She can handle 400 passengers in 254 berths. On board there is a reception area, a large top-deck glass-enclosed observation salon positioned forward, bar, restaurant, library, shop and leisure facilities, including gym, sauna and jacuzzi. For further information and deck plans click HERE.

Throughout her interior she has traditional and modern artwork from a selection of Norwegian and Greenlandic artists. To read more on her Antarctic cruises and other destinations click HERE.

On this particular cruise, she had departed from Bergin and called to several Scottish ports prior to berthing in Belfast and docking in Dublin yesterday. This evening she heads for the Isles of Scilly, followed by a call to Portsmouth before disembarking her passengers in Hamburg.

Published in Cruise Liners
Within hours of each other two ultra-luxurious vessels departed Dublin Port this morning, firstly the five star-rated cruiseship Hebridean Princess, and then followed the Bikini registered Cary Ali, a private charter mini-motoryacht, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Hebridean Princess, a former 600-passenger car-ferry, converted to carry only 50 guests, reached Carlingford around noon, where she is at anchor off the Co. Louth listed medieval heritage town. On the far side of Ulster, the cross-border waterway on Lough Foyle received two of three scheduled cruise-calls, but bad weather prevented Prisendem from anchoring off Greencastle in July.

As for Cary Ali, she is a 87ft long was built in 2007 by Nordhavn to a design of Jeff Leishman. From her stern flew the flag of the Marshal Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Inside the four-decked vessel there is the main salon, a dining room, galley and three guest staterooms, and a master cabin (click HERE). In total eight people can be accommodated. In addition she has a jacuzzi, fly-bridge and is equipped with a tender and has crew of four.

She has a speed of 24-knots and is equipped with 50hp bow and stern thrusters. To read more about the luxurious motoryacht including facts and figures click HERE.

The Cary Ali had berthed at the 100-berth marina of the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club which caters lesiure craft up to 20 metres and is centrally located on the south side of Dublin Port. The facility has accommodated larger motoryachts over the years. Though even larger motoryachts such as Battered Bull, a Feadship 52m has berthed further upriver at Dublin City Moorings.

Published in Cruise Liners
The World's smallest luxury cruiseship the Hebridean Princess, which in recent years was chartered to Queen Elizabeth II, docked in Dublin's docklands yesterday. She berthed on the south quays facing The Convention Centre, where a special event was hosted by the British Embassy on behalf of the monarch during her historic first state visit in May, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At only 2,112 tonnes and 70m long, the diminutive vessel berthed at Sir John Rogersons Quay last evening after picking up a pilot from the cutter Liffey in Dublin Bay. She had sailed overnight from Pembroke Dock and her call to the capital has allowed her passengers to spend a full day today touring attractions as she will remain moored again tonight before departing tomorrow.
Hebridean_Princess
Hebridean Princess berthed at Sir John Rogersons Quay. Photo Jehan Ashmore

Operated by Hebridean Island Cruises, the 5-star vessel which is for only 50 guests, has a reputation for exceptional service, fine dining and has a crew of 38. Accommodation is in thirty spacious, elegant and well-appointed cabins. On Princess Deck is located 'The Isle of Arran' (for deck plans click HERE) Suite which at 340sq ft is the largest and most expensive. The suite comprises a large separate dayroom, a spacious bedroom and a luxuriously equipped Victorian-style marble bathroom. In addition 10 cabins are designed especially for the single traveller. She has appeared in 1st place in UltraTravel Magazine's "10 Coolest Cruises"

Normally the Glasgow registered vessel operates throughout the Scottish highlands and islands, to lochs and remote mainland locations made accessible due to her small size. It is in these same waters that the Hebridean Princess has sailed in another guise as the humble car-ferry Columba (photos) for Caledonian MacBrayne. She was built in 1964 by Hall Russell, Aberdeen and served in this role until 1989 when she was sold and underwent an extensive conversion for the ultra-luxury cruise market.

Her three-day stay to Dublin is part of a Grand Celtic Cruise which started in Cardiff and which will include a call to Carlingford Lough tomorrow, followed by Strangford Lough, Bangor, Ballycastle, the Scottish isles of Jura and Crinan before disembarking in Oban, her home-port. The 10-night cruise inclusive of three-gala dinners cost €4,195 per person for a double cabin and €6,292 per person in a single-cabin.

A decade before Columba was launched, the Royal Yacht Britannia (5,682 tonnes) was commissioned in 1954. She was laid-down two years previously at John Brown & Co. Ltd, Clydebank and the year before she entered service she was launched by HM Queen Elizabeth II. For over four decades she served as the royal yacht until decommissioned in 1997. Her final foreign mission was to convey the last governor of Hong Kong and Prince of Wales from the former colony after its handover to China. She is now permanently moored as an exhibition ship in Edinburgh (Leith) for details click HERE.

Earlier this month Queen Elizabeth's namesake the 2010 built Cunard Line cruiseship Queen Elizabeth made her maiden Irish call to Dublin followed by Cork (Cobh). To read more on Dublin call click HERE and for Cork (Cobh) click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
With today's historic Irish rugby victory over Australia, fans of the green jersey, who happen to be on a cruise-ship with Cunard Line or P&O Cruises, will be able to continue watching games of the Rugby World Cup, writes Jehan Ashmore.
One of the ten participating cruise ships, Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth (90,901 gross tonnes) owned by Carnival Corporation, made her maiden 'Irish' call to Dublin Port and Cobh last week, is showing live or recorded games within 24 hours from the original kick-off. This will enable games to be shown at convenient times for the participating cruise ships in their various locations.

A total of 24 matches are being shown, starting from the opening game and will include all four Home Nations' matches, quarter-finals, semi -finals, bronze final and then the final on 23rd October. Of course there will be other fans on board from Wales, Scotland, England and elsewhere watching the fixtures throughout the cruise-ships various sporting bars, pubs and other venues.

Carnival Corporation's UK entertainment services general manager, Paul Wright, said: "The Rugby World Cup is of great interest to many of our passengers and we're pleased that nobody will miss out by being on holiday with us throughout this time. At any one time we could have more than 19,000 passengers collectively on board and rooting for one of the Four Nations to bring home the trophy".

He added: "Most people have a sport that they follow and some times, like on a cruise ship, you won't have access to your favourite sport, which means a lot to fans. On our last cruise on Independence of the Seas, we had popular sports shown in state rooms and certain bars around the ship, of course football was the most common sport shown".

Incidentally Independence of the Seas has also called to Cobh since her Irish debut in 2007 and at 154,407 tonnes is the largest ever cruise-caller to Cork Harbour. She surpasses Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2 of 148,528 tonnes which too berthed at Cobh last Wednesday, four days after Queen Elizabeth's inaugural visit.

Published in Cruise Liners
Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2 docked at Cobh today, the 148,528 tonnes giant liner follows Queen Elizabeth which made her maiden call to Cork Harbour last Saturday, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Queen Mary 2 cost €549m and she is the only true 'liner' operating in the world today as she on occasions provides scheduled trans-Atlantic sailings between Southampton and New York. Some of these sailings include calling to Hamburg. In addition to this role she offers worldwide cruising. Her predecessor Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was sold several years to Dubai interests.

The current liner (QM2) can carry 2,620 passengers and a crew of over 1,200 on a vessel is the longest, tallest and widest of any passenger liner built. The luxury liner has private balconies for nearly 80 per cent of cabins and has an art collection worth £3.5m. To complement these works of art there is the first 'floating planetarium', the largest library at sea, boasting 8,000 hardbacks and also the largest ballroom to grace a ship on the oceans.

Queen Mary 2 was short-listed to be built in Belfast at the Harland & Wolff shipyard, but the contract went to Chantiers d'Atlantique, St. Nazaire on the west coast of France.

Her first visit to Irish waters occurred when she anchored off Dunmore East in 2005, the liner had arrived overnight on a passage from her homeport of Southampton and was on a nine-day cruise of British, Irish and Baltic state ports.

Today's Cobh visit of the 345m long Queen Mary 2 coincided with Ocean Countess, a former 'Cunarder', which is also in the port. The 163m vessel was built in 1976 and launched as their Cunard Countess. She weighs 17,593grt and has a 800 passenger capacity. Last year she joined Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) fleet under charter from Majestic International Cruises Group.

Also at work in Cork Harbour was the excursion vessel Spirit of the Isles which apart from operating River Lee sight-seeing cruises between Cork city-centre and Cobh at the weekends, is running a charter cruise this afternoon to Spike Island. For information about sightseeing trips and chartering click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
At 13.07hrs Stena Line's HSS 1500 fast-craft ferry HSS Stena Explorer pulled away from her berth for the last time this year on the Dun Laoghaire Harbour-Holyhead route, as she headed for the harbour mouth several crew members waved from the stern to shore-based colleagues on the link-span, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Only yesterday, sailings on the daily single-round trip operated route had to be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions on the Irish Sea caused by the tail end of Hurricane Katia. The decision with today's closure was made well in advance and comes as no surprise as the Stena Explorer (1996/19,638grt) "has traded at a financial loss for several years" according to her owners Stena Line. Around 53 staff in Dun Laoghaire will be affected by the decision.

The core reason to withdraw the HSS on the 120-minute route which is not to re-open until the 2012 season, rests with the high operating costs of the fuel-thirsty fast-ferry which is powered by four gas-turbine engines. In addition the route's generated most of its turnover during the period May-September, leaving the remaining months unsustainable, as such the company wants the route to be seasonal-only in the long-term.

HSS_Stena_Explorer

HSS Stena Explorer departs Dun Laoghaire Harbour on her final sailing this season. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

Passengers and freight customers will instead need to use the company's other Dublin Bay route between Dublin Port and Holyhead. The 3 hour 15-minute central corridor route is served by two ro-pax vessels, Stena Adventurer (2004/43,532 grt) and Stena Nordica (2000/24,206 grt) which operate to a year-round schedule, for times click HERE.

What is not certain is the precise date for resumption of Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead services as Stena Line have only indicated that they hope to reopen in April or May nor it is outlined as to what type of fast-craft would operate the route next year.

With today's break in service for at least the next six months, this is the most significant absence of the revolutionary HSS (High Speed Sea Service) 1500 fast-ferry which made her official maiden voyage on the route from Dun Laoghaire on 10th April 1996. The only other notable occasions when the HSS was off-service was for the short spells to allow for annual dry-docking, refit, repairs or when the route in recent years was partially operated by Stena Lynx III.

The 1500 referred to the number of passengers the Stena Explorer could accommodate. She was the first of the three Finish-built HSS 1500 catamaran vehicle capable carrying craft to enter service on three routes from the UK. The next sister completed HSS Stena Discovery entered service in the same year between Harwich-Hook van Holland and the final of the trio HSS Stena Voyager entered the Belfast-Stranraer route in 1997. Several years ago the HSS ceased operating on the Dutch route and the HSS currently serving on the North Channel is due to be replaced by conventional ferries in mid-November as previously reported on Afloat.ie, to read more click HERE.

On the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead service the HSS enjoyed the boom years, and at its peak there were five daily round trips. From 2006 onwards the routes fortunes began to decline due to the ending of duty-free sales, competition from low-cost airlines, and the increasing cost of fuel.

In order to stave off further losses, a series of cost cutting measures were implemented over the next five years. Firstly the sailing frequency was reduced then the passage times were increased to reduce fuel consumption at the expense of faster crossings. In addition the company resorted to withdrawing the Stena Explorer during the shoulder months surrounding the summer and as previously mentioned these sailings were covered by the Stena Lynx III.

When the Stena Explorer returned for the summer months, the Stena Lynx III switched to her normal high-season spell on Rosslare-Fishguard sailings in tandem with regular route vessel Stena Europe. This year she served as usual on the St. Georges Channel route with the last high-season sailing completed on 4 September.

Stena Lynx III remained initially at Fishguard until making a repositioning voyage to Dun Laoghaire via the Kish Lighthouse last Wednesday. She berthed adjacent to the now disused HSS berth link-span on St. Michaels Wharf. The Tasmanian built craft has spent previous winter layover periods in Dublin and last year in Dun Laoghaire whereas the Stena Explorer is expected to do so in her home port of Holyhead.

At the neighbouring Carlisle Pier, the former terminal where numerous steam-packets, 'mailboats' and the conventional Sealink/British Rail car-ferries served (the last being the Stena Adventurer better known as St. Columba built in 1977) there are plans for a national diaspora museum.

The centrepiece landmark building would form as part of the masterplan proposed by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company as part of a concerted effort to offset the reduced role of ferry operations. The masterplan is also to attract cruiseship business amongst other proposals envisaged.

Published in Ferry
Visitors to Cork Harbour Open Day should note that asides motoring or taking the train to Cobh, there's also the option of going downriver by boat to view the maiden cruiseship call of Queen Elizabeth, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Irish Rail will operate special services between Cork and Cobh for the event and also on services between Cork to Midelton route where the town's Food & Drink Festival also takes place this Saturday. For festival information visit www.midletonfoodfestival.ie/and for rail-times click HERE.

There's also the option of departing Cork-city centre to Cobh by taking an excursion on the River Lee on the passenger-tender Spirit of the Isles. Sailings depart the city's Penrose Quay, which is on the same side to the railway (Kent) station.

Sailings will operate this Saturday and Sunday and for the remaining weekends throughout September. The boat's Saturday schedule departs the city at 11am and arrives at Cobh's Kennedy Quay at 12.15pm.

In addition there is a Lower harbour tour off Cobh on Saturdays and Sundays, departing Kennedy Pier, Cobh - 12.30pm and returning to Kennedy Pier at 1.45pm. The boat then departs Cobh at 2pm to return to Cork with an arrival time of 3.15pm. For both this Saturday and Sunday sailing schedules, fares and further information go to www.corkharbourcruises.com

In the late 1980's the Spirit of the Isles then named Ingot operated excursions for several seasons from Dun Laoghaire's East Pier to Dalkey Sound and Killiney Bay.

Returning to the third annual Cork Harbour Open Day there will also be a free shuttle-service running in the lower harbour calling at Ringaskiddy, Monkstown, Cobh, Aghada and Crosshaven. The fast-ferry RIB operator 'Whale of a Time' is providing the free service which is sponsored by the Port of Cork Company and National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI). For further information visit http://www.whaleofatime.net/Home.html 

Published in Cork Harbour
Page 37 of 40

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating