#HALtenderLINKS - Having anchored off Galway Harbour today, Holland America Line's 800 passenger Prinsendam and her fleet of tenders leave in their wake strong ties with the mid-west port, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At 38,848 tonnes, Prinsendam is the smallest member of the HAL fleet and having started off as Royal Viking Sun as the final ship launched for her original owners Norwegian Viking Line. Since last weekend she has been cruising Irish ports, firstly Dublin and yesterday Killybegs.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, HAL have a history of regular liner trans-Atlantic calls to Galway Bay. During the careers of their Maasdam and Ryndam this required the use of a dedicated liner tender based in the port, the former Calshot which HAL purchased in 1964 through a subsidiary, Port & Liner Services (Ireland) Ltd.
This saw the 500 plus passenger tender converted from steam to diesel power and renamed Galway Bay. Her classic funnel was also altered and she was repainted in HAL colours during this period as she plied passengers between the liners and Galway Pier.
Also during her Irish career the 700 tonnes tender was chartered to CIE to serve the Aran Islands in the role of a ferry directly from Galway City dock and with a capacity reduced of 400.
She would serve HAL until sold in 1971 to Galway Bay Ferries again continuing the routes between the city to Kilronan, the capital of Inishmore and neighbouring islands of Inishmaan and Inisheer.
Prior to her west of Ireland days, she also served the trans-Atlantic liners in and out of Southampton, having been launched as the Calshot in 1929 at Vosper Thornycroft, Woolston yard for Southampton based Isle of Wight & South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Company or Red Funnel as it became known.
Her Solent days saw her alongside the famous Cunarder liners Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. She also took part in a D-Day role as a headquarter ship at Juno Beach.
Afloat.ie will have more about the Galway Bay which in 1986 returned to original home waters of Southampton in 1986 for preservation and restoration by her current owners, The Tug Tender Calshot Trust.