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Graceful Lady Liner to Visit Dublin

1st September 2010
Graceful Lady Liner to Visit Dublin
The elegant lines of the veteran cruiseship, Princess Daphne of 16,335grt, is due to dock in Dublin Port tomorrow morning (2 Sept) , writes Jehan Ashmore. The 55 year-old vessel was originally built as a general-refrigerated cargo ship or 'reefer' to carry meat and had a limited accommodation for only 12 passengers.

The vessel was launched as Port Sydney in 1955 from Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Yards, Wallsend-on-Tyne for Port Line, a subsidiary of Cunard Line. With five cargo holds, the vessel served both the meat trade and carried passengers on liner-route services between the UK and New Zealand and Australia via the Panama Canal.

In 1974, Port Sydney underwent a radical conversion into a luxury passenger cruise ship, despite the exterior appearance the vessel retains a pleasant profile compared to many modern cruiseships. Over the decades the vessel had different owners and several vessel name changes; Daphne, Switzerland and Ocean Monarch.

The most refit was in 2008 and the ship still retains the largest cabins found on any cruise ship today, of the 241 cabins. With spacious cabins for only 550 passengers and attractive appointed public areas and wide exterior decks, the veteran provides a form of cruising that would appeal to classic cruise aficionados around the world.

With a strong and sturdy hull, the vessel has a deep draft which is well suited to an ocean going vessel in handling inclement weather, though the large draft does restrict visiting certain ports and anchorage locations.

Sistership, Princess Danae, formerly Port Melbourne, was also built in 1955 with the second newbuild ordered to the famous Belfast shipbuilders, Harland & Wolff. Princess Danae is slightly smaller at 15,833grt and also made a recent call in Dublin. The sisters form part of a six vessel fleet operated by Classic International Cruises.

Princess Daphne is due to arrive in Dublin after an overnight passage from Plymouth, docking at 08.00 and depart the capital at 17.45hrs. In addition the port expects another cruise-call tomorrow in the form of Prinsendam of 37,983 grt and with over a 800-passenger capacity. The Dutch flagged vessel is operated by Holland America Line and is due to dock around mid-moring and depart at 23.30hrs.

Published in Cruise Liners
Jehan Ashmore

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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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