#DROGHEDA CRUISE CALL – The first ever cruiseship to visit Drogheda Port was welcomed this morning as Noble Caledonia' 122 passenger Clipper Adventurer (1975/ 4,367grt) entered the mouth of the Boyne, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Onlookers came out to view the historic arrival of the 101m long vessel which normally cruises in polar waters, either Antarctica or the Arctic. She berthed at Tom Roe Terminal, downriver from the older town-centre quays, having set off from Cork earlier this month on a 10-day circumnavigation cruise of Ireland.
On board the ice-strengthened exhibition vessel were American and Canadian passengers who were on the cruise organised by Adventure Canada, in association with Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Prices for the cruise which featured a varied lecture programme started from $3,995 dollars.
Facilities include a main lounge, bar, clipper club, library/card room, gymnasium and gift shop and throughout the intimate vessel, she sports plenty of varnished wood, brass, and timber lined decks. The new outside cabins have lower beds and private facilities in addition each with window view.
M.V. Clipper Adventurer moored alongside Tom Roes Terminal, Drogheda Port.
Photo: Jehan Ashmore
It is estimated the passenger spend generated from the cruise to the Boyne Valley is €60,000, the windfall will be a boost to the local economy. On foot of this the Drogheda Port Company has been in dialogue with a number of interested parties to build the brand and grow cruise business tourism in the region.
A small cruiseship such as Clipper Adventurer offers a more 'boutique' style of operation, in that she calls to more isolated destinations compared to the really large cruiseships. Among the ports of call on this Irish cruise they were to Kinsale, Dingle, Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Westport and Tory Island.
Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd speaking at a reception on board Clipper Adventurer to mark the historic cruise call visit
Where there are no port berthing facilities, passengers use instead a fleet of the vessels zodiacs which whisk them ashore to make excursions. Today her passengers disembarked to take a coach tour to the world famous visitor attractions along the Boyne Valley, before flying out of Dublin airport.
Not only is the cruise call a first for Drogheda Port but where a fly-cruise option is made available and also in reverse as the crew of the Clipper Adventurer are to welcome this evening more passengers flying in from Denmark. These passengers are to embark on a 6-day cruise of the Scottish Isles, terminating at Lerwick. The cruise is organised by Copenhagen based Albratros Tours.