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Displaying items by tag: Cobh Cruise Terminal

#CRUISE LINERS – Due to bad weather a 11-day circumnavigation cruise of Ireland by Clipper Adventurer which is currently en-route from Argentina has been diverted to Cork, deferring the start of the cruise which was due to depart from Waterford today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 101m long vessel operated by Noble Caledonia was to welcome over 230 American and Canadian passenger on a cruise organised by Adventure Canada, in association with Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

According to the cruise itinerary the tourists were firstly to fly to Dublin and stay last night in a city-centre hotel. Also originally as scheduled was a coach tour today to visit Glendalough and the Rock of Cashel before reaching Waterford this afternoon to board the small expedition ship.

Despite the setback the 4,000 tonnes vessel with a crew of 65 which is on a repositioning voyage from South America to Europe was to make Cork her port of call tomorrow anyway. The only change being the embarkation port at the expense of the crystal city.

Clipper Adventurer is expected to arrive in Cork Harbour from 12 noon tomorrow and head for Ringaskiddy Deepwater Terminal. Also due is the 290m Emerald of the Seas which at 113,000 tonnes is in complete contrast as the massive vessel can accommodate over 3,500 passengers and 1,200 crew. She is to berth at Cobh cruise terminal.

Asides cruise callers the ferryport in Ringaskiddy will be as usual expecting the weekend-only call of Brittany Ferries flagship cruiseferry Pont-Aven, having made a crossing overnight from Roscoff.

While on the May Bank Holiday Monday Cobh is also set to welcome an even larger cruise caller in the form of the Independence of the Seas. The 154,000 tonnes giant is no stranger to the harbour as she made her maiden 'Irish' port of call in 2007. She can handle over 4,300 passengers and over 1,300 crew alone.

Published in Cruise Liners

#TITANIC MEMORIAL CRUISE  - Following Balmoral's recent call to Belfast in memory of Titanic, the Fred.Olsen Lines cruiseship returned to Southampton where today she started a 12-night Titanic Memorial Cruise which will follow the White Star Line liner's original itinerary that included calling to Queenstown, now Cobh.

Before Balmoral calls to Cobh tomorrow, she is to pass Cherbourg, where the passenger tender SS Nomadic served the liner that layed anchored offshore. The 101 year-old  tender was also built by Harlalnd & Wolff  and she is undergoing restoration work in Belfast, to read more about her click HERE.

Likewise to Balmoral's Belfast visit, her arrival to Cobh is the inaugural call for this year's season, though her poignant arrival will be two days short of Titanic's call a century ago on 11th April 1912.

On Titanic's second anchorage at Queenstown, this too required tenders to transfer 123 passengers who embarked from the town's pier and of those only 44 survived the disaster. The timber built pier still exists albeit what survives is in a derelict state. There have been calls to raise funds to save the structure as previously reported.

Along the scenic waterfront passengers can take a tour of the town's new Titanic Experience in the White Star Line building, the Queenstown Heritage Story in the Cobh Hertiage Centre and the walking Titanic Trails.

From Cobh the Balmoral will sail across the Atlantic, arriving at the Titanic site on April 14th/15th - exactly 100 years on from this tragic voyage, where a memorial service will be held to pay tribute to the brave passengers and crew who perished on that fateful night.

The cruise will then continue to Halifax, Nova Scotia, the final resting place of many who were on board, before sailing on to New York, the Titanic's ultimate planned destination.

Published in Titanic

#CRUISE LINERS – The Port of Cork is to welcome 60 cruise vessels this season, an increase on 2011 levels when 53 calls were made, bringing over 100,000 passengers and crew to the region, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to UK Consultants GP Wild, the average in-transit spend per passenger, while visiting an Irish port is between €73- €100 which provides a significant contribution towards the local tourism economy.

Last year Cork won 1st place for 'Best Destination Experience (Organised)' in the world and 2nd place for 'Best Port Welcome' in the Dream World Cruise Destinations Awards.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Balmoral is the first caller for 2012 when she is to dock at Cobh in April. Larger cruise ships to visit during the season include Celebrity Eclipse, Emerald Princess, Independence of the Seas, Costa Deliziosa and Caribbean Princess.

In addition Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth is to return to Cobh in August. Her inaugural Irish visit was in September last year, when the 90,000 tonnes vessel called firstly to Dublin followed by Cobh, to read more click HERE.

For a list of the cruise schedule, click HERE, noting several calls are to Ringaskiddy and North Custom House Quay in Cork City.

Published in Cruise Liners

#PORT OF CORK - Port of Cork Company chairman, Mr Dermot O'Mahoney, yesterday announced end of year trade traffic results for the Port of Cork in 2011. He said: "Trade traffic has shown remarkable resilience recording 8.8 million tonnes despite experiencing challenging periods during 2011." These figures are on a par with 2010 figures at the Port of Cork.

A remarkable feature of the figures is the very positive effect on the local economy by the increase in exports from the Port. Total exports at the Port of Cork have remained strong increasing by 9% in comparison to 2010 and by 19% since 2009. Exports are a key driver in the successful recovery of the Irish Economy and the Port of Cork is committed to continuous support in the growth of international trade for both current and future economic prospects.

Although the growth in export volumes to pre –recession levels reflects the rapid "V" shaped bounce back by the export sector which was achieved despite the depressed international economic environment, import volumes are still 12.9% below 2007 levels. The continued low volume of imports is inevitably putting huge strain on the ports, shipping lines and transport sector servicing the country.

The container business at the Port of Cork has shown an increase of 5% with over 150,000 TEU handled in 2011. Animal feed stuffs, fertiliser and other trades have shown a marginal decrease in 2011. Oil traffic has remained steady despite the lower levels of domestic economic activity; however exports of refined product from Conoco Phillips Whitegate Oil Refinery has remained strong and continues to be a significant part of the Port of Cork business.

Remarking on the end of year trade traffic results, Mr Dermot O'Mahoney Chairman of the Port of Cork said: "The Port of Cork is pleased to announce that total trade traffic in 2011 has remained strong with exports increasing by 9% over 2010 volumes. With 98% of all goods imported or exported from Ireland moved by ship, the importance of ports to our economy is of vital strategic importance. The Port of Cork is a key link to the continued economic success of Ireland and in particular the entire Munster region. The challenge now facing the Port of Cork is to continue to develop to meet the needs of the Country as it emerges from this current recession. This requires that we be visionary and seize opportunities presented by emerging trends and logistic supply changes."

He continued: "While the next four to five years will be challenging for us all, we need to continue to promote the fact that Ireland is an excellent investment location and is well placed to capitalise on growing global markets as is evident by our export sector."

53 cruise vessels visited the Port of Cork during 2011 bringing over 100,000 passengers and crew to the region and the Port is scheduled to accommodate 60 vessels in 2012. According to research carried out by UK Consultants GP Wild, the average in-transit spend per passenger, while visiting an Irish port is between €73- €100 which provides a significant contribution towards the local tourism economy. In 2011 the Port of Cork won 1st place for 'Best Destination Experience (Organised)' in the world and 2nd place for 'Best Port Welcome' in the Dream World Cruise Destinations Awards. This achievement highlighted the outstanding team effort and commitment by the Port of Cork to deliver an excellent service to the visiting cruise lines and their passengers when in Cork. Ireland Inc. also received a Commendation as a "Destination where the Quality and Professionalism of Tour Guides is considered outstanding".

Port officials are pro-actively engaged with tourism interests, County and City Councils and destination attractions to enhance the product on offer to the visiting cruise lines with a view to growing the business further through its dedicated cruise terminal.

Ferry passenger numbers with Brittany Ferries remained steady on its weekly ferry service from Cork to Roscoff and the Port awaits the outcome of the Examinership of Fastnet Lines and the re-commencement of the ferry service linking Cork with Swansea.

The Port of Cork's recreational strategy continues to expand with the aim of improving the marine leisure facilities around Cork Harbour.

Mr O' Mahoney concluded by saying that "the Port of Cork must continue to reinforce its existing strength as the primary deep-water port in the south of Ireland and build on our progress so far by effectively resolving our challenges in an imaginative way and with a strong sense of urgency and determination."

Published in Port of Cork
28th September 2011

Fram From the Fjords and Beyond

Hurtigruten's polar expediton cruiseship Fram (2007/11,647grt) docked at the Cobh cruise terminal in Cork Harbour today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The rather stout looking vessel which is 114m long on a beam of 20m was built in Italy to operate primarily as a cruiseship in artic waters. She differs to the rest of her fleetmates which operate Hurtigruten's coastal voyage along the fjords of Norway between Bergin to Kirkenes, near the Russian border.

Fram operates on cruises from Norway to Spitsbergen, Greenland, and Europe. She also cruises in Antarctic waters and explores the Chilean fjords. She can handle 400 passengers in 254 berths. On board there is a reception area, a large top-deck glass-enclosed observation salon positioned forward, bar, restaurant, library, shop and leisure facilities, including gym, sauna and jacuzzi. For further information and deck plans click HERE.

Throughout her interior she has traditional and modern artwork from a selection of Norwegian and Greenlandic artists. To read more on her Antarctic cruises and other destinations click HERE.

On this particular cruise, she had departed from Bergin and called to several Scottish ports prior to berthing in Belfast and docking in Dublin yesterday. This evening she heads for the Isles of Scilly, followed by a call to Portsmouth before disembarking her passengers in Hamburg.

Published in Cruise Liners
Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2 docked at Cobh today, the 148,528 tonnes giant liner follows Queen Elizabeth which made her maiden call to Cork Harbour last Saturday, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Queen Mary 2 cost €549m and she is the only true 'liner' operating in the world today as she on occasions provides scheduled trans-Atlantic sailings between Southampton and New York. Some of these sailings include calling to Hamburg. In addition to this role she offers worldwide cruising. Her predecessor Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was sold several years to Dubai interests.

The current liner (QM2) can carry 2,620 passengers and a crew of over 1,200 on a vessel is the longest, tallest and widest of any passenger liner built. The luxury liner has private balconies for nearly 80 per cent of cabins and has an art collection worth £3.5m. To complement these works of art there is the first 'floating planetarium', the largest library at sea, boasting 8,000 hardbacks and also the largest ballroom to grace a ship on the oceans.

Queen Mary 2 was short-listed to be built in Belfast at the Harland & Wolff shipyard, but the contract went to Chantiers d'Atlantique, St. Nazaire on the west coast of France.

Her first visit to Irish waters occurred when she anchored off Dunmore East in 2005, the liner had arrived overnight on a passage from her homeport of Southampton and was on a nine-day cruise of British, Irish and Baltic state ports.

Today's Cobh visit of the 345m long Queen Mary 2 coincided with Ocean Countess, a former 'Cunarder', which is also in the port. The 163m vessel was built in 1976 and launched as their Cunard Countess. She weighs 17,593grt and has a 800 passenger capacity. Last year she joined Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) fleet under charter from Majestic International Cruises Group.

Also at work in Cork Harbour was the excursion vessel Spirit of the Isles which apart from operating River Lee sight-seeing cruises between Cork city-centre and Cobh at the weekends, is running a charter cruise this afternoon to Spike Island. For information about sightseeing trips and chartering click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
Visitors to Cork Harbour Open Day should note that asides motoring or taking the train to Cobh, there's also the option of going downriver by boat to view the maiden cruiseship call of Queen Elizabeth, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Irish Rail will operate special services between Cork and Cobh for the event and also on services between Cork to Midelton route where the town's Food & Drink Festival also takes place this Saturday. For festival information visit www.midletonfoodfestival.ie/and for rail-times click HERE.

There's also the option of departing Cork-city centre to Cobh by taking an excursion on the River Lee on the passenger-tender Spirit of the Isles. Sailings depart the city's Penrose Quay, which is on the same side to the railway (Kent) station.

Sailings will operate this Saturday and Sunday and for the remaining weekends throughout September. The boat's Saturday schedule departs the city at 11am and arrives at Cobh's Kennedy Quay at 12.15pm.

In addition there is a Lower harbour tour off Cobh on Saturdays and Sundays, departing Kennedy Pier, Cobh - 12.30pm and returning to Kennedy Pier at 1.45pm. The boat then departs Cobh at 2pm to return to Cork with an arrival time of 3.15pm. For both this Saturday and Sunday sailing schedules, fares and further information go to www.corkharbourcruises.com

In the late 1980's the Spirit of the Isles then named Ingot operated excursions for several seasons from Dun Laoghaire's East Pier to Dalkey Sound and Killiney Bay.

Returning to the third annual Cork Harbour Open Day there will also be a free shuttle-service running in the lower harbour calling at Ringaskiddy, Monkstown, Cobh, Aghada and Crosshaven. The fast-ferry RIB operator 'Whale of a Time' is providing the free service which is sponsored by the Port of Cork Company and National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI). For further information visit http://www.whaleofatime.net/Home.html 

Published in Cork Harbour
Jewel of the Seas, one of four 90,000 tonnes Radiance Class cruise ships operated by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) departed Dublin Port this evening bound for Cork Harbour, writes Jehan Ashmore.
During the cruisecall of the near 300 metre-long vessel, she took on bunkers from the 70m short-sea coastal tanker Keewhit (2,332dwt) which arrived from Liverpool this morning. The procedure to transfer fuel is relatively commonplace particularly with larger cruiseships calling the capital. To see photo of Keewhit transferring fuel in a similar operation which took place when the Grand Princess visited Dublin earlier this year, click HERE.

The 2,500 passenger Jewel of the Seas has a nine-deck centrum which has glass lifts which allows light to flow throughout the spacious and airy ship. Activities range from golf to climbing, a spa and sumptuous restaurants.

When the 2004 built cruiseship docks at the dedicated cruise berth at Cobh in the early hours of tomorrow she will also be sharing the deepwater berth with the 2001 built Silver Whisper. The ultra-luxury vessel accommodates only 388 passengers and is operated by SilverSeas Cruises. To read more about the vessel click HERE.

Both vessels are scheduled to depart Cobh around teatime tomorrow and this will be followed by preparations of the picturesque town which is to welcome the maiden call to Cobh of Queen Elizabeth on Saturday. To read more about the newest vessel of the Cunard Line fleet click HERE. The 2010 built vessel will firstly make an inaugural call to Dublin on Friday prior to the Cobh call which coincides with Cork Harbour Open Day, for event details visit www.corkharbour.ie

Published in Cruise Liners
With less than a fortnight to go Corkonians and visitors alike can look forward to Cork Harbour Open Day, writes Jehan Ashmore
The Cork Harbour event is take place on Saturday 10 September, and on that morning the newest vessel of the Cunard Line fleet, the Queen Elizabeth is to make her maiden call to Cork following a visit to Dublin. At over 90,000 tonnes, the cruiseship which was named last year by Queen Elizabeth is to dock at Cobh. Visitors will be able to view the impressive vessel from the quayside. To read more facts and figures about the Cunard Line vessel click HERE.

This will be the third Cork Harbour Day which is to cover a wide range of events, such as concerts on Spike Island, a photographic exhibition in Camden Fort, guided tours of an Irish naval ship at Cork City Quays and an open day at the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI).

In addition Fastnet Line's ferry Julia will be open for the public to board. The 22,161 gross tonnes serves the Cork-Swansea route and for the Open Day she will be berthed at Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth instead of the nearby ferry terminal. To read details of Open day programme visit www.corkharbour.ie and updates click HERE.

The concept for the Harbour Open Day emerged three years ago, which combined various stakeholders involved in the development and implementation of the Integrated Strategy for Cork Harbour. A group comprising of representatives from UCC, City and County Councils, the Naval Service and the Port of Cork set about working together to engage with users of the harbour and to organise the Open Day.

Cork Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world, next to Sydney Harbour, offering beautiful locations for enjoying the outdoors, dramatic coastlines, and excellent leisure facilities, and is home to some very talented artists, sportsmen and women, and people who are passionate about the history, heritage and cultural value of Cork Harbour.

Published in Cork Harbour
Following the historic visit of Queen Elizabeth to Ireland in May, Cunard Line's newest cruiseship Queen Elizabeth is to make her maiden 'Irish' voyage next month, writes Jehan Ashmore.
In a ceremony held in her home port of Southampton the 2,038 guest capacity /1,100 crew cruiseship was named by Queen Elizabeth in October last year. To watch the naming ceremony click the video.

The 90,901 gross registered tonnes cruise ship is to depart her Hampshire homeport, where she is to similarly follow the monarch in that she is scheduled to make a port of call to Dublin first on 9 September and make a call to Cork afterwards.

With a length of 295m / 965-feet the vessel will dock in the centre of the capital port before she sails overnight to make a morning arrival at Cobh, the dedicated cruise terminal for the Port of Cork. She is scheduled to stay at the Cork Harbour town formerly named Queenstown until a 17.00 hour departure.

Her visit coincides with Cork Harbour Open Day, where visitors can view the impressive vessel from the quayside, for more details visit www.corkharbour.ie

Incidentally her near-sister Queen Victoria also called to Dublin in May and the remaining vessel of the Cunard fleet, the 'flagship' liner Queen Mary 2 is also to dock in Cobh three days later after Queen Elisabeth's visit.

Published in Cruise Liners
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