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Cruise Giants to Meet off Cobh

29th April 2011
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Cruise Giants to Meet off Cobh

For the first time two cruiseship giants are scheduled to depart and arrive off Cobh at the same time this May Bank Holiday weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The largest cruiseship to call to an Irish port the Independence of the Sea which weighs 154,407 gross tonnes (some 6,000 tonnes larger than the liner Queen Mary 2) will pass the Cobh-berthed Celebrity Eclipse of 122,000 tonnes around 14.00hrs on Sunday.

Weather permitting the Independence of the Seas will then be maneuvering in the swinging basin between Haulbowline and Cobh, just upriver of the Celebrity Eclipse which will then begin to pull away from the deepwater berth at the Cobh Cruise Terminal.

The 350m long berth has a quayside depth of 9m and is capable of handling some of the largest cruiseships on this island.

Prior to Sunday's sailing spectacle the Celebrity Eclipse is due to dock tomorrow afternoon for the overnight call. Likewise the 4,375 passenger Independence of the Seas will stay at Cobh for an overnight call and then depart's on Monday evening.

“Two such large cruise liners, have never before been in Cork Harbour at the same time, let alone pass each other creating a magnificent sight. An excellent viewing point for anyone planning on visiting Cobh on Sunday 1st May would be the High Road or Whitepoint in Cobh” said Port of Cork Commercial Manager, Captain Micheal McCarthy.

Together the cruiseships will have a combined gross tonnage of nearly 300,000 tonnes and they will bring 10,000 passengers and crew into the Cork region this weekend alone. Celebrity Eclipse is operated by Celebrity Cruises and the Independence of the Seas is run by Royal Caribbean International.

The 3,129 passenger Celebrity Eclipse made her 'maiden' cruise and port of call to Cobh last year following her high profile repatriation voyage from Spain with stranded UK tourists arising from the fallout of the Icelandic volcanic ash-cloud.

On that inaugural ocasion the Celebrity Eclipse which cost €500m became the 500th cruise caller to the Port of Cork where the vessel made an overnight call at Cobh. To see a time-lapse video marking the 500th cruiseship's arrival click here.

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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