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Displaying items by tag: Saga Cruises

Cruiseship passengers on board the Spirit of Adventure which anchored in Galway Bay today will have an opportunity of visiting the famous race course venue at Ballybrit, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At just under 10,000 tonnes Spirit of Adventure built in 1980 with a capacity for 352 passengers is the largest cruise-caller this season to make a call to the mid-west port. She had sailed overnight from Foynes and is due to depart later today bound for Kirkwall, Orkney Islands.

The vessel first visited Galway in 2009 but this call will be her last year operating under the Spirit of Adventure cruise banner. The company are to replace the vessel  next season with the Saga Pearl II which will be transferred from the parent company Saga Cruises and renamed Quest for Adventure.

Prior to the Spirit of Adventurer's call, the 226 passenger Le Diamant arrived from St. Malo last Friday. She became the first vessel to make a call to the 'City of the Tribes' on behalf of her French operators, Cie de Ponant. Her passengers were taken on tours of the city, Connemara and the Aillwee Caves in neighbouring Co. Clare. The vessel is due to return early next month.

With three cruise-calls this year the port is set to increase this figure to 7 in 2012 arising from the ports campaign over the last two years. Paul Carey, Chairman of the Harbour Company, said "We are beginning to see the fruits of this campaign and look forward to growing Galway's association with the return of the majestic passenger liners to Galway".

"The passenger liner The World has been confirmed for a two-day visit in August 2013 which is a great endorsement of Galway as a cruise destination".

The call by the world's first ocean-going luxury resort vessel will also be another first for Galway. Operators of the 43,524gt vessel, Residences at Sea have made previous Irish ports of call to include Dublin, for more on her to the capital last August click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
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

Passengers embarking in Dublin Port for a cruise next month will firstly spend their first night onboard while docked in the capital, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The classic cruiseship Saga Ruby will welcome her passengers and after checking in they can explore the 4-star rated vessel followed by dinner, marking the first evening of an eight-night cruise of the Faroe, Orkney & Outer Hebridean Islands.

On the following day passengers can remain onboard and enjoy the facilities or take an optional tour of Dublin or Wicklow prior to returning to the cruiseship for the evening departure on 24 July.

Prices start from €1,159pp in a twin inside cabin, for more information on other cabin categories and the cruise from John Galligan Travel click here.

Saga Ruby is one of the last traditionally built cruiseships, featuring spacious wooden decks in particularly on the tiered decks overlooking her cruiser stern. The 24,492 tonnes vessel joined Saga Cruises in 2005 after a $17m refit and was at one stage was the Caronia of Cunard Line, but she started her career as Vistafjord for Norwegian America Line as a combined cruise-liner /cruise-ship when built in 1973. To read more about the classic ship click here.

She can take over 600 passengers and is currently operated by the Saga Cruises which caters primarily for the UK over-50's market noting passengers can be accompanied by adults over 40.

Published in Cruise Liners
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