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West Meets East: As Semester at Sea Ship Heads for The Gathering

1st September 2012
West Meets East: As Semester at Sea Ship Heads for The Gathering

#SEMESTER SHIP – Having made a recent visit to Galway, the cruiseship Explorer with more than 800 students, academics and crew are on board, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, is currently heading to the opposite side of the island, with a visit to Dublin Port, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 25,000 tonnes vessel with its floating campus is due to dock in the capital tomorrow morning at Ocean Pier. The 180m vessel, formerly the Olympic Explorer built in 2000 for Royal Olympic Cruises is currently providing a "semester at sea" (SAS) programme through a world tour.

The SAS is operated on a not-for-profit initiative for the Institute for Shipboard Education, in co-operation with the University of Virginia in the US. Students taking the educational programme had set off on the world voyage from Halifax, Nova Scotia, with the first leg to Galway.

When Explorer berths in Dublin Port, she will join the United States Navy landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) which as previously reported on Afloat.ie had already arrived last Thursday for the American Football Week.

It was downriver from her Ocean Pier berth at the nearby O2 Arena, where last night's televised "The Gathering: Notre Dame- A Welcome Home" , a special concert which was held for fans in the Docklands venue.

Today the Emerald Isle Classic with 33,000 fans of the games two big boys, Notre Dame and the Navy, is been held this afternoon, on the far side of the Liffey at the Aviva Stadium.

After her two-day call to Dublin the Explorer continues on its global tour with calls to the UK, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Dominica.

Published in Cruise Liners
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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