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What Next After Mein Schiff 4 As Dun Laoghaire Sets Sail for Cruise Season 2016

15th September 2015

#CruiseSeason2016 – Following the debut visit to Dun Laoghaire this Friday of Mein Schiff 4, marking the end of the cruise season, can reveal the port's cruise call line-up for 2016, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Before we do, here is a brief introduction to the forthcoming debutant which cost $625m to build. Mein Schiff 4 features a 25m long swimming pool, basketball course and saunas with seas views. She was built at the Meyer Turku yard, Finland in late 2014. The 99,500 tonnes newbuild undertook her first cruise in August visiting destinations to Nordic ports.

She has a capacity for 2,506 passengers and 1,000 crew and Mein Schiff 4 is currently on a 11-day round trip cruise that departed last weekend from Hamburg. She is to anchor offshore off Dun Laoghaire from where her German clientele will be transferred by tender ashore.

This will be the first TUI Cruises call to the harbour in which the DLHC has attracted in recent years some of the world’s leading prestigious cruise operators to include Cunard, P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises.

Notably, Mein Schiff 1, albeit some 25,000 tonnes smaller than newcomer Mein Schiff 4, will be the only large cruiseship in 2016 out of 7 cruise callers in total so far confirmed to by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.

The deep-draft cruiseship will anchor offshore while the other six small sized cruiseships will be able to berth within the harbour at the Carlisle Pier.

The cruise total between this year and 2016, is considerable as a record 22 calls were scheduled for this year's season. Only around half of that figure was achieved as a spate of anchorage calls were cancelled as operators instead favoured to berth at Dublin Port.

Listed below is the schedule of cruise calls so far confirmed to Dun Laoghaire in 2016.

26th May    Mein Schiff 1

10th June   Sea Explorer 1

20th June   Star Legend

4th July      Wind Surf

9th Aug      Star Legend

30th Aug    Sea Explorer 1

31st Aug    Wind Surf

All of above cruiseships with the exception of Mein Schiff 4 are to berth at Carlisle Pier. The former ‘mail-boat’ / car-ferry terminal located at this pier became redundant in 1996 following introduction of Stena HSS operations. The fast-ferry service to Holyhead ceased service just over a year ago (on 9th September 2014) when the HSS Stena Explorer departed from St. Michaels Wharf.

Only small cruiseships currently use the berth at Carlisle Pier for the cruise industry that was revived by the DLHC in 2011, given the steady decline of the Stena HSS service as seen in recent years.

A controversial plan for a €30m cruise-berth to accommodate massive cruiseships inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour is currently in the process of An Bord Pleanala decision on planning permission.


Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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