#P&OCruises – Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company welcomed today the mid-sized cruiseship Arcadia (83,500 tonnes) under the command of Captain S C Breton, who is the first female to take this position for P&O Cruises, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Arcadia had departed her homeport of Southampton on Sunday and spent a leisurely passage before arrival this morning in glassy flat-calm seas and weather conditions more akin to the Mediterranean.
Passengers swam on board two of the ships outdoor swimming pools while the 285m long cruiseship was anchored motionless in the strong blue seas of Dublin Bay.
Enjoying the weather are more than 1,900 passengers from the UK and a sprinkling of other nationalities. Eighty per cent of her guests will be taking tenders ashore to visit Dun Laoghaire or excursions into the capital and the neighbouring Wicklow mountains.
The 2005 built exclusively adult-only cruiseship will be departing around teatime this evening on the 900 nautical mile passage to the Icelandic capital Reykjavik. After visiting two more ports in Iceland as part of the 14-night cruise Arcadia heads across the North Sea with calls to Norway before returning to the familar Southampton Waters.
In recognition of the Arcadia's maiden call, presentation ceremonies took place on board between Captain Breton and Don McManus, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) board member and Chairman of Dun Laoghaire Business Association and Cathaoirleach Carrie Smyth of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Also in attendence was David Dingle, CEO of Carnival Corporation (UK).
The cruise liner sector is a growing business within the tourism industry and Dun Laoghaire Harbour is capitalising on such strengths and following the construction of the purpose-built cruise passenger tender pontoon.
The passenger pontoon facility caters for medium and large-scale cruiseships such as the Queen Mary 2 which made her historic first call in May which marked the start of the season with 14 cruise calls to the harbour in 2013.
Within the next two months, a further seven cruise vessels are scheduled to visit Dún Laoghaire Harbour including the five-masted Wind Surf, which is due to dock within the harbour walls.
One of two swimming pools on the Arcadia and during her anchorage call in Dublin Bay. Photo Jehan Ashmore
Pictured (L-R) James Brown Deputy Captain, Don McManus (DLHC) and Chairperson Dun Laoghaire Business Association, Captain S C Breton, Cathaoirleach Carrie Smyth of DLRCoCo, David Dingle CEO Carnival Corporation (UK) and Nicky Logue, Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel. Photo: Jehan Ashmore