#GalwayAnchorage – Holland America Line’s Prinsendam continues her 28 Day Celtic & Bourgundian Explorer Cruise with an anchorage call on Galway Bay today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Prior to the cruiseship's arrival off Galway Port, Prinsendam so far has visited Dublin, Belfast (as reported), the Scottish western isles and Killybegs yesterday.
She has a capacity for 766 passengers and 460 crew and in which cruisegoers are been tendered ashore to the City of the Tribes. The US company founded in 1928 has a history of trans-Atlantic 'liner' calls taking anchorage in Galway Bay.
During the careers of their Maasdam and Ryndam this required the use of a dedicated liner tender, Calshot which HAL purchased in 1964 through a subsidiary, Port & Liner Services (Ireland) Ltd.
Prinsendam is the final caller out of six cruiseships this season, however Galway Harbour Company have scheduled in for 9 calls in 2017. Again this will include HAL's Prinsendam, at 38,848 gross tonnage which is deemed small these days. Much larger cruiseships are planned as the port have proposed an outer deeper water port which would not require anchoring off Mutton Island.
In the meantime, at the entrance to Galway on the outer pier is where a fleet of the cruiseships tenders are ferrying visitors back and forth. On the adjacent berth is LastMara Teo’s freight-only Aran Islands serving vessel, Bláth na Mara, whose fleetmate Chateau-Thierry transported generators from Rossaveal during power cuts on two of the three islands.
Also berthed but alongside the quays of the Claddagh area is the former Commissioners of Irish Lights Dun Laoghaire Harbour based buoy-towage tender Puffin.
The Bristol built tug retains its original name having been acquired in 2011. Afloat two years later made a trip on board Puffin, which also carries out ship mooring lines-boat duties along the Shannon Estuary. On that occasion, this involved a repositioning passage from the Rusal Aughinish Alumina plant jetty to the Port of Foynes.