Cruising off the east coast of Leinster this evening is the veteran cruiseship Marco Polo which is bound for the Scilly Isles off Land's End, writes Jehan Ashmore.
For those with an appreciation for the more traditional tiered deck profile compared to the bulky new giant cruiseships, the 22,080 tonnes vessel built as the Aleksandr Puskin at the Mathias-Thesen-Werft, East Germany, certainly represents a different era.
The liner entered service in 1966 with the Baltic Shipping Company on their regular trans-Atlantic Montreal-Leningrad service. In 1975 she was converted for her new role as a full-time cruiseship. For a cut-away deck profile and description of facilities click here.
She can take 850 passengers accommodated in 450 cabins. Her main dimensions reflect her ocean-going design noting her draft is 8.2m (26.9ft) with a length of 176.3m (578.4ft) and a beam of 23.6m (77.4ft). Crewing is divided between senior officers (international) and cruise staff and entertainers are both British and comprising of other nationalities.
In recent years Marco Polo served the German market but she now is run by Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) on cruises from the UK. The company also operate the Ocean Countess which first started out her days as Cunard Countess.