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Cruise Ship Had Clean Bill of Health Insists Port of Cork Before Hundreds of Tourists Disembarked

14th March 2020
The cruise ship Saga Sapphire berthed at Ringaskiddy, in lower Cork Harbour. AFLOAT adds the Saga Cruises operated ship is on a farewell cruise season as new tonnage is introduced starting with already in service Spirit of Discovery. AFLOAT also adds however the UK government has issued COVID-19 advise that has led to Saga Cruises temporarily suspending Ocean based cruises for the over 70's on board Saga Sapphire and Spirit of Discovery (which Afloat reported last year made a maiden cruise from Dover to the ports of Dublin and Cork) The cruise ship Saga Sapphire berthed at Ringaskiddy, in lower Cork Harbour. AFLOAT adds the Saga Cruises operated ship is on a farewell cruise season as new tonnage is introduced starting with already in service Spirit of Discovery. AFLOAT also adds however the UK government has issued COVID-19 advise that has led to Saga Cruises temporarily suspending Ocean based cruises for the over 70's on board Saga Sapphire and Spirit of Discovery (which Afloat reported last year made a maiden cruise from Dover to the ports of Dublin and Cork) Photo: Irish Examiner-twitter

It has been insisted by port authorities that the first large cruise ship of the season which brought hundreds of tourists to Cork Harbour and city today (yesterday) had a clean bill of health.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the Port of Cork said all relevant checks were conducted before the MV Saga Sapphire berthed last night in Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal, on route from Dublin Port where the vessel had been for two days (as Afloat previously highlighted).

Its passengers boarded coaches this morning for a range of short excursions around the region, including to Blarney Castle.

Concerns had been expressed in Cobh, where cruise ships normally berth, and in Ringaskiddy, about the ship's arrival.

However, the port authorities said cruise ship tourism offers no higher risks compared to tourists visiting via airports or public transport.

The spokesperson said however that port authorities are constantly monitoring what is a quickly evolving situation both at a national level, and globally as cruise ship operators make their own decisions in relation to their operations.

The Port said the Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal has been fully sanitised and is equipped to handle a vessel the size of the Saga Sapphire.

For more on the newspaper's story click here.

In addition Afloat adds the day before the cruise ship berthed at Ringaskiddy, the Port of Cork issued a statement concerning the cruise season 2020 and Covid-19 precautionary measures. The statement from the Port of Cork can be read here.

Afloat also adds another notable Covid related travel update also announced on Thursday is that the 'over-50's UK based cruise operator is to make changes to cruise travel following advice from the UK Government for those over 70 and for those with an underlying medical condition.

The advise has led to temporarily suspending Saga's Ocean cruises from 15 March 2020 to 1 May 2020 on board Saga Sapphire and Spirit of Discovery (See newbuild maiden cruise to Dublin Port) and also during last summer's inaugural cruise with a first visit to Cobh. 

The statement from Saga Cruises can be read here

Published in Cork Harbour
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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It’s one of the largest natural harbours in the world – and those living near Cork Harbour insist that it’s also one of the most interesting.

This was the last port of call for the most famous liner in history, the Titanic, but it has been transformed into a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

The harbour has been a working port and a strategic defensive hub for centuries, and it has been one of Ireland's major employment hubs since the early 1900s. Traditional heavy industries have waned since the late 20th century, with the likes of the closure of Irish Steel in Haulbowline and shipbuilding at Verolme. It still has major and strategic significance in energy generation, shipping and refining.

Giraffe wander along its shores, from which tens of thousands of men and women left Ireland, most of them never to return. The harbour is home to the oldest yacht club in the world, and to the Irish Navy. 

This deep waterway has also become a vital cog in the Irish economy. 

 

‘Afloat.ie's Cork Harbour page’ is not a history page, nor is it a news focus. It’s simply an exploration of this famous waterway, its colour and its characters.

Cork Harbour Festival & Ocean to City Race

Following the cancellation of the 2020 event, Cork Harbour Festival will now take place 5 – 13 June 2021, with the Flagship Ocean to City on 5 June

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