#FerrytoCruise – Ocean Majesty docked in Dublin Port today at the site of the €230m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment that was recently granted planning permission, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Somewhat unusual was that the chartered 10,417 tonnes vessel berthed just before lunchtime as normally the majority of cruiseships make dawn arrivals and early evening departures. She departs tonight at 22.30 with German passengers.
The 1966 built former Trasmediterránea ferry, Juan Marsh had mostly operated on Spain-Belearic Islands services as a side-loading vehicle ferry. She was sold and converted into a cruiseship in 1994. Owners, Majestic International Cruises have chartered Ocean Majesty to Hansa Touristik which saw make a cruise this month a year ago to Dublin Port.
She berthed on the riverside of the North Wall Quay Extension, where the ABR's cruise terminal is to be located though is currently a terminal for P&O Ferries. This same berth is also where The World, the luxurious residential concept ship made an overnight call in recent days to the capital.
It is at this riverside berth on the southern boundary of the ABR project site that An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission. The project is the single largest infrastructure development in the history of the port that involves quayside layout reconfiguration. The development marks phase one of the Dublin Port Masterplan 2012-2040.
Work is expected to begin in October and is expected to take five years to complete. The location of the North Wall Quay Extension close to the East-Link Bridge is where the ABR will incorporate the port's first dedicated cruise terminal with two-berths. One on the river and the other berth situated on the adjacent side within Alexandra Basin.
The facility is to bring some of the largest cruiseships in the world (for more details click here). In addition will be the added bonus of enabling passengers to disembark closer to the city-centre.
The expansion of Alexandra Basin's facilities is not exclusively to cater for increasingly large cruiseships but also larger tonnage from cargoships that use the port frequently.