#CruiseLiners - A Windstar Cruises boutique style luxury ship docked in Dun Laoghaire Harbour yesterday, though only as the second of just three callers due this season, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Star Breeze operating with a mere 212 guest capacity had sailed from Douglas, Isle of Man to Dun Laoghaire Harbour with arrival around dawn. The call of the almost 10,000 tonnes ship marked the first since the season opened back in June when a sister Star Pride docked within the south Dublin Bay port.
The Bahamas flagged Star Breeze remained in port for around 11 hours so visitors could explore Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and the neighbouring region.
On previous seasons, the number of callers to Dun Loaghaire exceeded double figures, notably including considerably larger capacity cruiseships that had to anchor offshore. The 14,000 tonnes sail-assisted Wind Surf, also operated by the US based Windstar, was until last season the most frequent caller which involved berthing along Carlisle Pier, the harbour's only dedicated cruise-berth.
The final caller to Dun Laoghaire Harbour this season will be Star Breeze which is to repeat a call taking place also this month, on 15 September. On this occasion, the duration of the visit is to be extended to 16 hours, permitting a night-time departure.
This concluding call will also mark a season for Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company that has depended on just one operator, albeit operating at the high-end of the luxury cruise market.