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Displaying items by tag: Cobh

Prior to the start of this evening's 'Western Europe Cruise' from Dublin Port of the Azamara Journey, existing cruiseship passengers are exploring the visitor attractions of Trinity College and Powerscourt Gardens in Co. Wicklow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 30,000 tonnes Azamara Jouney (photo) arrived early this morning from a cruise that had set off from Copenhagen on a Norwegian Fjords and Iceland Cruise. Some of the passengers of the 700-capacity vessel ended their cruise in Dublin today by flying home. As passengers left others arrived mostly from Europe and the United States had flown in to pick up the cruise from Dublin. In addition Irish passengers are boarding the ship which is operated by Azamara Club Cruises.

Tonight's departure is for Holyhead, where the call to Anglesey also covers tours of Snowdonia, the impressive castles of Conwy, Caernarvon and Harlech and a stop to Bodnant. Following the Welsh call she is to visit Cobh. Other calls are to Bordeaux (overnight), Bibao, Gijon,Vigo and the final port of call is Lisbon on 7 September where passengers will remain in their cabins for an overnight stay. The next day there is a scheduled tour of the Gulbenkian Museum, the Jeronimos Monastery and Sintra.

On one-day the ship will spend the entire day at sea which will enable passengers to indulge further of the facilities such as the casino and entertainment in the theatre, for more click HERE. Fares for the Irish passengers of the 10-day cruise/11-day holiday started at €2,062 per person (cruise-only) based on the lowest grade twin cabin. After completion of the cruise in Lisbon they will take a flight to return to Dublin.

Azamara Journey formed part of the eight-strong series commissioned for Renaissance Cruises which collapsed a decade ago. They were built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in St.Nazaire and were uninspiringly named as R One, R Two etc with the R Six now the re-named Azamara Journey.

As August and the high-season draws to a close that doesn't' stop the cruiseships calling as over twenty more are due in Dublin before the season closes. In total the port this year has handled some 90 cruiseships and 160,000 passengers. A further 65 callers so far are scheduled for 2012.

Published in Cruise Liners
The Cobh Peoples Regatta Took place at the weekend in Cork harbour. Every August the harbour becomes a focal point for a regatta where small local sailing and rowing craft gather for races and not to say the least some craic agus ceol just 15 miles from Cork City. The three day festival was packed with live music in the island's many pubs and clubs and maybe spot the odd fire-eater. There was even some racing action from Classes 1-4 and the 1720's, images of the action below from Afloat's Bob Bateman.

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Published in Cork Harbour
Tagged under
12th August 2011

Big Lips Kiss Dublin Bay

A cruise ship with a difference docked in Dublin Port today, the Aidablu displays a distinctly bold livery scheme of a giant red mouth and eyes emblazoned across the bow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Towering 15 decks above the oceans, the Italian built 71,300 tonnes vessel berthed at Ocean Pier after an overnight passage from Cobh. Aidablu has a capacity for over 2,000 passengers and 600 crew.The vessel has all the usual expected facilites to be found on a cruiseship but she also has a rather novel attraction, a brewery, the first to be installed on a cruise ship.

She was launched last year from the Meyer Werft shipyard. The 252 m vessel is operated by German operator Aida Cruises and the lips symbol is also the logo used by the company which operates a fleet of seven vessels.

Should you wish to take a closer look of Aidablu, she departs this evening at 21.00hrs and she will head out of Dublin Bay via the North Burford buoy off the Baily Lighthouse bound for Liverpool. The cruise started from Dover and after her visit to Merseyside tommorrow, she will then proceed to Greenock, followed by Invergorden before ending the cruise in Hamburg.  

Published in Cruise Liners

This year's Cork Harbour Open Day will take place on Saturday 10th September. The event aims to embrace the best of what Cork Harbour has to offer.

The Open Day seeks to raise awareness of the different free activities and events available for families in the harbour both on and off the water. If you would like to be involved in Cork Harbour Open Day or organise an event on the day, please contact Sara MacKeown Tel: (021) 4625375 or by email: [email protected]

All of the events will be promoted on the lead up to the day via PR, advertising and social media. For further information www.corkharbour.ie

Published in Cork Harbour
Cruiseships of varying size, vintage and design were all represented in Dublin Port today, as they surrounded the berths at Ocean Pier, writes Jehan Ashmore.
First to make an appearance in the early hours was Princess Cruises Dawn Princess (built 1997/ 77,441 gross registered tonnes). Some two hours later the 77m long coastal tanker Keewhit (2003/2332 dwt) arrived from Liverpool to berth alongside the 260m long cruiseship, this was to provide a ship-to-ship refuelling operation or in nautical-speak 'bunkers'.
The practise is not that unusual as the Keewhit has conducted this procedure before in the port. For example in May she was alongside Grand Princess (see PHOTO).Today's transfer of fuel was completed by lunchtime which saw the Hull-registered tanker return to the Mersey.

Some six hours previously Swan Hellenic's sleek Minerva (1996/12,500grt) picked up a pilot off Dalkey after sailing overnight from Portsmouth. She was followed astern by Saga Cruises Saga Ruby (1973/24,292grt) from Dover and likewise she too picked up a pilot close to the South Burford bouy. Incidentally Minerva had operated for Saga Cruises as their Saga Pearl but in recent years she has returned to her original name.

The classic lines of Saga Ruby are attributed to her combined ocean liner/cruiseship design when launched Vistafjord in 1973. The vessel was built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders for Norwegian America Line. A decade later she was sold to Cunard Line who retained her original name until 1999 when she became the third Caronia. To read more about this former 'Cunarder' click HERE and how her interior looks now click HERE.

Dawn Princess departed Dublin this mid-afternoon bound for Cobh. Minerva is to due to leave around midnight while Saga Ruby remains overnight, in fact her call is particularly leisurely as she does set sail from the capital until tea-time tomorrow.

Published in Cruise Liners
The Port of Cork will be a busy place this Tuesday as three cruiseships are scheduled to dock in the morning and depart this evening, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Largest of the trio is P&O Cruises 115,000 tonnes cruise giant Azura, which is also to call to Dublin Port following her Cork visit. Launched last year the near 300 metres long vessel can handle 3,100 passengers alone and 1200 crew. For a virtual tour click VIDEO.

Next in terms of tonnage is Holland America Line's near 60,000 tonnes Rotterdam, for more about the 1997 built click this LINK. The final member of the trio belongs to Saga Cruises subsidiary Spirit of Adventure cruises, the 10,000 tonnes Spirit of Adventure. For a visual virtual tour of the vessels interior facilities click HERE.

Spirit of Adventure was scheduled in late April on a 14-day 'Relics of Rome' cruise which was to include ports of call to Libya, Tunisia and Egypt but this was cancelled due to the political situation throughout North Africa.

The combined cruise calls to Cork Harbour has a potential capacity of 5,200 passengers and the mid-July arrival confirms the ports popularity which is to welcome this year a total of 54 cruiseships and over 100,000 passengers. Azura and Spirit of Adventure are to share the berth at Ringaskiddy while the Rotterdam is to berth at the dedicated cruise terminal in Cobh.

Published in Cruise Liners

The Docklands Summer Festival takes place this weekend in Dublin's 'Docklands' and it is to host the Waterways Ireland Inter-County Sailing Championship, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Other events taking place on the River Liffey and throughout the docklands range from a Dragon Boat display in the Grand Canal Dock (outer basin) and a Boat Show (inner basin) see map. In addition the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre will be open, noting all these activities and venues are to take place between 10am-6pm on Saturday.

On the following Sunday the Waterways Ireland Inter-County Sailing Championship Races are  scheduled between 10am-4pm in the Grand Canal Dock's outer basin. City Canal Cruises will operate each day as well as an International Food Market, held in the Grand Canal Square, opposite the Grand Canal Theatre.

The pristinely kept M.V. Cill Airne, now a floating restaurant and bar will be open at her berth alongside North Wall Quay, close to the striking Samuel Beckett Bridge and The Convention Centre.

The historic veteran vessel built in Dublin at the Liffey Shipyard in the early 1960's was launched as a passenger tender to serve trans-Atlantic liners that called to Cobh. During her tender-duties she brought the rich and famous ashore to include Laurel & Hardy and US President Eisenhower.

The festival is sponsored by Waterways Ireland and the Docklands Business Forum. To see the full festival programme and a map of the docklands click HERE and www.ddda.ie

Published in Maritime Festivals
23rd June 2011

The Empire Strikes Back

The 14,620 dwt US-based training-ship Empire State made a return call to the Port of Cork last night for a four-day stay, writes Jehan Ashmore.

At over 172m long the cruiser-sterned vessel with a port of registry of New York, moored at the Cobh Cruise Terminal which was recently visited by another US training ship, State of Maine (click HERE).

The veteran vessel now in her sixth decade of service and is the also the sixth training-ship to carry the name 'Empire State' for the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College.

Empire State was laid down as SS Oregon at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newport News, Virginia. She was launched in 1961 for the States Steamship Company and delivered a year later for service in the Pacific trades. For further information about the vessel's interim career before she was converted for her current role click HERE.

Despite her conversion she still presents a distinctive profile with the superstructure positioned amidships between the cargo-holds.

Prior to the Empire State's arrival the French cruiseship Le Diamant departed Cobh for an overnight passage to Dublin, where last year the Empire State made a port of call.

The next cruise-caller to Cobh is the 296-passenger Silver Cloud which is scheduled to dock on Monday evening.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Kinsale Yacht Club's SCORA League Fastnet Race sponsored by CH Marine takes place this Friday at 8pm.

This 100–mile round trip to one of the most iconic ocean racing turning points presents all the challenges to competitors associated with classic offshore/coastal racing.

The many headlands along the track present major tactical decision points for skippers and navigators in their race to make the many tidal gates along the route. This coupled to the often fickle winds make the creation of a race winning strategy extremely difficult.

This now classic race on the South Coast typically attracts competitors from the host Club Kinsale Yacht Club along with competitors from the Royal Cork and Cobh Sailing Club

The inclusion of the Kinsale Fastnet in SCORA Jim Donegan Memorial Series enhances the standing of this race along the South coast and the very generous sponsorship of this race by CH Marine makes the race highly attractive for South coast sailors.

Intending competitors are reminded that this is a ISAF OSR Cat 3 race with life rafts. Safety checks may be conducted prior to the start.

Published in Offshore
Cruiseships continue to grow in size but the opposite could be said for Grand Princess when her Skywalker Nightclub weighing some 211 tons was removed, writes Jehan Ashmore.
In a delicate operation, it took over 10 hours for torches to cut through the structure's two-legs that supported the nightclub that had once stood perched on the higgest deck. Overlooking the stern, nightclubbers on deck 18 were afforded spectacular views of oceans and ports-of-call.

A floating crane-barge with a 1,000 ton lifting capacity hoisted the structure sky-high away from the ship which was berthed at the Grand Bahama Shipyard drydock facility. The ships owners, Princess Cruises cited the main reason for the removal was in order to 'significantly improve the operational performance of the ship, including greater fuel efficiency.'

Grand Princess may have lost her signature Skywalker Nightckub but three-decks below a new nightclub, One5, inspired by its Deck 15 location was created. In addition to this work which took place during April and May the 2,600 passenger cruisehip also underwent a major refit. The ship which had its last major refurbishment in 2004 has amenities to include an outdoor movie screen, fitness centre, spa, casino and four swimming pools.
For 'interactive' deckplans click here and interior slideshow click this link.

The distinctive 'Skywalker' feature became one of the most iconic in cruiseship naval architecture when the Grand Princess was launched as leadship
of the 'Grand' class in 1998. Located at the extreme aft of the vessel, the nightclub could only be reached by clubbers using an angled walkway (photo). Externally the feature was referred by some as the 'shopping trolley' and others percieved the design infleunce from towering poops found on ancient war-faring galleons.

Irrespective of the design origins, another 10 'Grand' class vessels were built by the Italian Fincantieni (at Malfalcone) Shipbuilding Group. The 'handle' (photo) feature on the Grand Princess was made with a heavier material compared to Golden Princess (2001) and Star Princess completed a year later. So there are no plans to remove these nightclubs. Of the more recent additions to the class modifications have appeared, notably without the inclusion of the Skywalker Nightclub's but there are changes to funnel designs.

Outside the Princess Cruises brand, the Ventura and Azura (also of the Grand-class) operate for P&O Cruises, serving the UK market from Southampton. The Hamsphire port welcomed the pioneering leadship Grand Princess on 5 May after she made a 16-day trans-Atlantic repositioning voyage from Port Everglades.

The cruiseship which has a crew of 1,200 alone will make the UK port its seasonal homeport this year from where she sails on cruises in Europe. On one of these cruises itineraries the Grand Princess (290m long x 36 beam X 8.5m draft) included a visit to the Port of Cork today. You can monitor the ship from Cobh Cruise Terminal via the 'live' bridge web-cam, noting the vessel is due to depart at 18.00 this evening bound for Dublin Port.

Grand Princess became the first cruiseship to measure over 100,000 gross registered tonnes when the 108,806 (grt) vessel docked in Dublin on 31 August 2004.

Last year the port handled 88 cruisecalls and this number of vessels is to be closely repeated this season. Over 200 cruise calls with around half a million passengers and crew are scheduled to visit the island of Ireland. The cruise sector business is estimated to generate €60m to the economies
north and south.

Published in Cruise Liners
Page 7 of 9

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