#CruiseLiners - A big cruiseship by Banty Bay standards involved notably a maiden call visit today to the scenic west Cork anchorage, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The megayacht-like Seabourn Quest of 32,000 tonnes had yesterday called to Cobh, Cork Harbour, before making an arrival in Bantry Bay this morning. To mark the maiden call, a reception was held on board where the harbourmaster of Bantry Bay Port Company and Bantry Business Assocation exchanged gifts with the ship's master.
Operating at the high-end of the luxury cruise-sector, Seabourn Quest has a guest capacity for only 498 passengers. The sleek twin-funnelled Seabourn Quest whose godmother is the English fashion icon and actress Twiggy, entered service in 2011. The ship regarded as a game -changer at the top end of the market was built by Italian yard of T. Mariotti yard in Genoa.
The operators claim the Spa at Seabourn is the largest on any ultra-luxury ship, at 11,400 square feet which encompasses both indoor and outdoor spaces spread over two decks.
Only Prinsendam of Holland America Line eclipses the current caller to the West Cork destination in terms of tonnage, at 39,000 tonnes. The cruiseship according to the port's website had made a call in May.
In total, 10 cruise callers are scheduled to call to Bantry Bay this season, though not all cruiseships will take anchorage off Bantry where five are planned before the season ends in September. Equally the same number of callers will by the end of season, anchor off neighbouring Glengariff with its attractions, among them Garnish Island.
The next port of call for Seabourn Quest is Foynes, where the Shannon estuary port is a more unusual destination to receive cruiseships.