#CruisingHigh- Favourable weather conditions today off Dunmore East saw the largest cruiseship at 17 decks high to anchor offshore in a season that has seen three cancellations due to rough seas, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Temperatures reaching a nationwide high in the south-east coincided with the visit of the 122,210 tonnes 'Solstice' class cruiseship Celebrity Silhouette in Waterford Estuary. She had sailed overnight from Cobh. Tenders from the 2011 built giant safely transferred passengers up to 2,850 in capacity ashore to Dunmore harbour.
This latest cruiseship call is critical to the region given the most recent cancellation at the end of July lost out by around €275,000 to the local economy claimed a local councillor.
As reported on Afloat, councillor, Eddie Mulligan of Fianna Fáil called for improvements for berthing in Dunmore East and greater port infrastructure in the region.
Cruiseships operators are reluctant to launch tenders during poor weather by adding further risk to ferrying passengers ashore.
On an annual basis, up to 20 cruiseships call to the estuary with the largest anchoring off Dunmore East and medium-sized vessels usually calling to the Port of Waterford's main terminal at Belview. This leaves smaller vessels to berth upriver along the city quays.
This year 14 cruise callers are scheduled. Three more cruiship arrivals are due before the season ends mid-September. The callers are Voyager, Silver Cloud and Black Watch and together they are to bring a total of 1,672 passengers.
In comparison this demonstrates how significant the call today of the 'Silhouette' is given her impressive passenger capacity is greater by than more than 1,000 passengers.