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#TITANIC MEMORIAL CRUISE  - Following Balmoral's recent call to Belfast in memory of Titanic, the Fred.Olsen Lines cruiseship returned to Southampton where today she started a 12-night Titanic Memorial Cruise which will follow the White Star Line liner's original itinerary that included calling to Queenstown, now Cobh.

Before Balmoral calls to Cobh tomorrow, she is to pass Cherbourg, where the passenger tender SS Nomadic served the liner that layed anchored offshore. The 101 year-old  tender was also built by Harlalnd & Wolff  and she is undergoing restoration work in Belfast, to read more about her click HERE.

Likewise to Balmoral's Belfast visit, her arrival to Cobh is the inaugural call for this year's season, though her poignant arrival will be two days short of Titanic's call a century ago on 11th April 1912.

On Titanic's second anchorage at Queenstown, this too required tenders to transfer 123 passengers who embarked from the town's pier and of those only 44 survived the disaster. The timber built pier still exists albeit what survives is in a derelict state. There have been calls to raise funds to save the structure as previously reported.

Along the scenic waterfront passengers can take a tour of the town's new Titanic Experience in the White Star Line building, the Queenstown Heritage Story in the Cobh Hertiage Centre and the walking Titanic Trails.

From Cobh the Balmoral will sail across the Atlantic, arriving at the Titanic site on April 14th/15th - exactly 100 years on from this tragic voyage, where a memorial service will be held to pay tribute to the brave passengers and crew who perished on that fateful night.

The cruise will then continue to Halifax, Nova Scotia, the final resting place of many who were on board, before sailing on to New York, the Titanic's ultimate planned destination.

Published in Titanic
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

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