#LinerQueenMary2- Queen Mary 2 is currently underway and bound for Dublin Bay, having departed Greenock Ocean Terminal, where she launched the cruise season at the Clyde port. Tomorrow morning the world's only 'liner' will make her historic maiden anchorage call off Dun Laoghaire Harbour, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 345m Cunard Line 'flagship' was the first of five cruise call scheduled in just six days to visit Greenock from where the 2,600 passenger capacity liner mostly with passengers from Germany, had embarked on a cruise starting in Hamburg.
The call of Queen Mary 2 to the Scottish port is apt in that her predecessor Queen Elizabeth otherwise affectionately known as the 'QE2' was launched downriver on Clydebank at the John Brown shipyard and entered service in 1969.
The famous liner served on the trans-Atlantic 'liner' route until replaced by the considerably larger Queen Mary 2 or also referred as 'QM2' ' in 2004. Only twice has the Queen Elizabeth 2 visited Dublin Bay, on both occasions anchoring off Dun Laoghaire Harbour.
As the expectations rise of the arrival of Queen Mary 2 on the horizon of Dublin Bay so too will the looming giant all of 151,400 tonnes. The French built liner was launched in 2003 from the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire near Nantes.
At around 06.00hrs tomorrow, a pilot cutter from Dublin Port will meet Queen Mary 2 on the fringes off the bay from where the 14 passenger deck ship will edge ever closer to anchor around an hour later some 1.2 nautical miles north-east of the East Pier lighthouse, which should give an excellent vantage point.
From around 07.30 tender craft from the liner are expected to shuttle to and fro to the cruise-dock tender pontoon in the Coal Harbour, where a 'five-star' welcome will see passengers greeted by a piper and Irish dancers as they embark.
A 'mini cruise-festival' for both cruise and domestic visitors will include family entertainment, face painting, a complimentary vintage bus and live music and dancing and special offers throughout the town.
In addition special QM2 themed boat excursions will be circling the liner during the afternoon before the liner is scheduled to depart around 17.30hrs.
It is estimated the visit to local economy will be boosted by €400,000 and places Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the map as a port of destination for larger international cruise operators.