#CruiseDunLaoghaire – Dun Laoghaire Harbour's third cruise season will begin with Island Sky, the 118 passenger vessel is sailing overnight from Waterford under command of Swedish master, Captain Karlsson, and is due in the morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.
On this Noble Caledonia operated cruise there are 87 passengers on board and she is one of four callers for the 2014 season, which is considerably less than the scheduled 14 callers last year.
Having said that Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company can look forward in welcoming the return of impressive five-masted cruiseship, Wind Surf, which twice called in 2013 and in which cruise passengers embarked at the port having flown in from the US.
The Windstar Cruise vessel as previously reported on Afloat.ie is likewise of Island Sky visiting Waterford Estuary this year, though today she headed upriver to the city quays, while the wind-assisted vessel is to anchor this summer off Dunmore East.
As for Island Sky's arrival tomorrow morning, she is to pick up a pilot from a Dublin Port cutter prior to entering Dun Laoghaire Harbour where she is to berth alongside Carlisle Pier.
She is a sister of Sea Explorer which notably arrived without passengers nor embarked, as the former Renaissance Cruises vessel went into lay-up in March 2013, prior to resuming a new career cruising in northern Europe.
The old mailboat and former conventional car-ferry terminal pier is where the immacutely painted Serenissima, a classic former Norwegian 'Hurtigruten' Harald Jarl built in 1960 became the first caller to Dun Laoghaire in 2013. She also was the first to actually dock within the harbour and on the same day saw the historic first call of Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2 that anchored offshore.
This season's line-up may not be as extensive, yet Dun Laoghaire Harbour's visit of Island Sky is a first so is Seabourn Cruises luxury mega-yacht style Seabourn Legend.
Under the National Ports Policy launched last year by Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, Dun Laoghaire Harbour along with four other ports where classed as having 'regional significance'.
In Dun Laoghaire's case the development of the harbour is to refocus in meeting local requirements that focus on tourism, cruise liners and marine leisure activity.