#DublinBayCalls – A small cruise ship but big on levels of luxury is visiting Dublin Port today and this day next week is scheduled to call to neighbouring Dun Laoghaire Harbour, writes Jehan Ashmore.
After undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden during the Spring, the former Sea Explorer of 4,200 tonnes which had spent a ‘lay-up’ mode in Dun Laoghaire in recent years, has been re-launched under new name MS Hebridean Sky.
The refurbishment undertaken on the 90m cruiseship involved numerous works to the 114-passenger guest capacity ship’s public rooms and five-decks as well as to the accommodation for 72 crew.
In addition during dry-docking numerous technical work was carried out for the vessel's operator, Noble Caledonia which specialises in the small-ship cruising market offering a wide range of luxury vessels to travel to destinations as diverse as the Artic and Papua New Guinea in the south-west Pacific.
Hebridean Sky is one of three flagships and is a sister of MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky. The trio were built in the early 1990’s at the same ship yard in Italy and share attributes that make them among some of the finest small ships in the world. Luxury is enhanced by the use of wood panelling and brass which predominates throughout conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht.
There are 59 spacious suites which have a sitting room area and some have private balconies.
Accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views with suites on the Scott and Shackleton decks featuring private balconies. Each suite affords comfort with en-suite bathroom of a marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower. Among the suites features are a mini-fridge, flat screen TV with inbuilt DVD/CD player and telephone.