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Displaying items by tag: Cruise Liners

#CruiseBelfast – Belfast Harbour is to play host to almost 115,000 cruise visitors in 2015, with the first cruiseship Voyager having arrived earlier this morning from Iceland, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Voyages of Discovery 540 passenger cruiseship opened the season having called to Reykjavik for passengers to witness a total eclipse of the sun. Voyager has 270 cabins in which 87% have ocean views and 35 spacious suites, of those 30 feature balconies.

The 15,396 tonnes ship which is operating 'turnaround' cruises from Portsmouth International Port has recently been awarded the Cruise Critic UK Editors' Picks Award for Best Itineraries. This is where Voyager's call today will offer cruise-goers to visit Northern Ireland's many sights and attractions not just in Belfast but throughout Ulster.

Among the cruise lines calling to the city, are Princess Cruises, Celebrity, All Leisure, Silversea, Majestic, Fred Olsen Cruise Line, Saga Cruises. 

A notable caller will be the return of Royal Princess, the biggest ever cruiseship to have visited Beflast port when the Princess Cruises giant last year made her debut call in September.

The giant 141,000 tonnes ship is firstly to call this May and the 3,560 passenger cruiseship is to make several repeat calls scheduled throughout the season.  She  has 1,780 cabins in which 1,438 with balcony (all outside staterooms feature a balcony).

For further details, visit the Belfast Harbour Cruise caller list, click here.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CostaConcordia - The disgraced former captain of the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that capsized off the Italian coast three years ago, has been convicted on multiple counts of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment, as the Guardian reports.

Thirty-two people died in the disaster that ensued after the cruise liner struck a sandbank near Isola del Giglio off Tuscany on the night of 13 January 2012.

And only last summer was the ship refloated as part of a pioneering international salvage operation.

One Irish couple were among the more than 4,000 passengers and crew who were evacuated from the vessel amid much criticism of Captain Francesco Schettino's behaviour on the night.

While the Costa Concordia's crew were later presented with the prestigious Lloyd's Lost Seafarer of the Year award for their "courage and professionalism" in response to the disaster, Schettino was branded 'Captain Coward' after evidence emerged that he abandoned ship before hundreds of passengers had been rescued.

In mid 2013, five other officers from the ship received jail terms as part of their plea bargains with the court over their connection with the incident, but an offer of a similar deal by Schettino's lawyers was refused.

However, Italy's mandatory suspension of sentences under two years means that none of the officers were likely to spend any jail time – and the complicated appeals system means that it could also be many years before Schettino sees the inside of a prison cell.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

#DunLaoghaire - With the end of Stena's ferry service between Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead confirmed earlier this week, The Irish Times' Lorna Siggins gauges the mood in the south Dublin port that aims to transition from a commercial focus to a more diverse leisure hub.

Described as "the worst-kept secret on this coastline" by harbour user and dinghy sail trainer Alistair Rumball, Stena's decision to pull out of Dun Laoghaire is being seen as good news for the harbour company's master plan, with its emphasis on enticing cruise traffic, tourism and related facilities.

Among these are the planned diaspora centre, and the 'urban beach' project for the East Pier that was green-lit by planners late last year but is currently under appeal.

However, local TD Richard Boyd-Barrett argues that the move only opens the way for "back-door privatisation” of the harbour. And even our own WM Nixon wondered earlier this year about the scale of the master plan's ambition, and whether Dun Laoghaire has lost the plot.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

#Hurtigruten – Hurtigruten, operators of a fleet of 12 ships on the Norwegian coastal voyages have appointment Cecilia Abert as Country Director for the UK & Ireland with her position to take place in mid-February.

"Cecilia comes with a wealth of experience that will enable us to substantially grow our business in this key strategic market place" commented Hurtigruten's Chief Commercial Officer, Magnus Wrahme.

In her capacity as Country Director, Ms. Abert will oversee the sales, marketing and brand building of the Hurtigruten product offering the Norwegian Coastal Voyages, the expedition voyages to Antarctica, Greenland and Arctic's Svalbard, as well as land-based polar adventures. They also operate in European waters in the spring and autumn.

"I am so excited to take the Hurtigruten brand to the next level and continue to build increased awareness for this highly differentiated business with its unique 122 year history. I believe there are tremendous opportunities within the growing exploration travel and cruise markets to offer products which consumers are asking for. Whether nature lovers or adventure seekers, Hurtigruten offers something for everyone", stated Abert.

Cecilia brings an extensive track record in travel sales and marketing to her new role at Hurtigruten. Prior to joining the team, she spent over 11 years with Regent Seven Seas Cruises (formerly Radisson). Most recently, she was Senior Sales & Marketing Director overseeing all commercial initiatives in UK & Europe.

Published in Cruise Liners

#cruiseliners – Dún Laoghaire Harbour is preparing for a bumper season of cruise–liner visits to the south Dublin Bay port. The biggest caller will be the first arrival in May (calling on May 15th and again on the 21st) and also at the end of August when the cruise ship Splendid arrives with a massive 3,900 passengers and 1346 crew onboard.

If it is assumed that every ship is full to capacity and every passenger goes ashore then Dun Laoghaire can expect an influx of some 63,237 waterborne tourists over the course of the 2015 summer season.

If you add in ships crew numbers this figure is boosted by over 25,000 bringing the potential visitor tot to 88,282. A welcome boost!

Read the full 2015 Dun Laoghaire cruise–liner calendar below: 

11/05/15 – Splendida – 3900 passengers/1313 crew
12/05/15 – Royal Princess – 3600 passengers/1346 crew
20/05/15 – Queen Mary 2 – 3000 passengers / 1328 crew
21/05/15 – Splendida – 3900 passengers / 1313 crew
24/05/15 – Royal Princess – 3600 passengers / 1346 crew
05/06/15 – Royal Princess – 3600 passengers / 1346 crew
14/06/15 – Celebrity Silhouette – 2886 passengers / 1525 crew
19/06/15 – Island Sky – 116 passengers / 66 crew
26/06/15 – Star Legend – 208 passengers / 164 crew
29/06/15 – Royal Princess – 3600 passengers / 1346 crew
29/06/15 – Wind Surf – 312 passengers / 312 crew
12/07/15 – Star Legend – 208 passengers / 164 crew
14/07/15 – Brittania – 3647 passengers / 1350 crew
17/07/15 – Royal Princess – 3600 passengers / 1346 crew
23/07/15 – Royal Princess – 3600 passengers / 1346 crew
23/07/15 – Celebrity Silhouette – 3145 passengers / 1525 crew
04/08/15 – Royal Princess – 3600 passengers / 1346 crew
15/08/15 – Celebrity Silhouette – 3145 passengers / 1525 crew
16/08/15 – Royal Princess – 3600 passengers / 1346 crew
28/08/15 – Royal Princess – 3600 passengers / 1346 crew
29/08/15 – Splendida – 3900 passengers / 1346 crew
18/09/15 – Mein Schiff 4 – 2500 passengers / 1000 crew

Published in Cruise Liners
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#TravelWinners – Celebrity Cruise along with Irish Ferries were among the winners at the Irish Travel Agents Association's Industry Travel Awards 2015 held recently in Dublin's Mansion House.

The premier travel awards presented by Miriam O'Callaghan during a Gala Diner included the category of Cruise & Ferry which was sponsored by the Port of Cork Company.

Below are the four sub-category winners:

Best General Cruise Company: Royal Caribbean International

Best Ultra Luxury Cruise Company: Celebrity Cruises

Best Specialist Cruise Company: Uniworld

And the fourth and final award for Best Ferry Company went to Irish Ferries

In the category for Agency Services Provider sponsored by Travelbiz.ie, the following sub-category awards included those from the Cruise Industry.

Best Supplier Support Team: MSC Cruises

Best Supplier Representative: Rebecca Kelly – MSC Cruises

For a complete listing of all categories and links to photo-presentations.

Published in Cruise Liners


#HolidayShows – The Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show 2015 which opened yesterday in the Kings Hall Pavillons continues this weekend.

The event covers a myriad of holiday travel options with many stands to visit. Among the exhibitors at the show are Ferry Companies & Cruise Lines. To ask all those important travel questions and to see in advance the list of operators, click HERE.

Following the Belfast show, the annual event returns to Dublin for the Holiday World Show (23-25 January) held in the RDS Simmonscourt Pavillon, Ballsbridge.

Likewise, Ferry Companies & Cruise Lines will be represented, to see the list, click HERE.

In addition, Eoghan Corry's Travel Clinics will run throughout the three-day Dublin show, where experts from the cruise industry will be there to answer consumer questions following presentations.

For information on times, dates and admission prices to the Belfast and Dublin shows, scroll to the bottom of website page.

Published in Cruise Liners

#AwardFinalists - Finalists for the Irish Travel Agents Association's Industry Travel Awards 2015 have recently been announced for an award ceremony to be held next week.

The Irish Travel Industry Awards (ITAA), are the premier awards for suppliers and travel agents in Ireland. The awards are designed to showcase excellence in the delivery of international travel services to both leisure and business customers travelling from Ireland.

The Awards will commend a range of companies from air and sea transport companies, through tour operators, destination representatives and specialist service providers to the trade.

The Mansion House, Dublin,  will be the venue for the award ceremony on Thursday January 22, when winners will be announced including those in the category from the Ferry & Cruise industry, sponsored by the Port of Cork.
Below are the following operators that have been nominated from three-sub-categories:

Best General Cruise Company
Celebrity Cruises, Fred Olsen Cruises, MSC Cruises, NCL, Royal Caribbean International

Best Ultra Luxury Cruise Company
Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises – Yacht Club, Royal Caribbean International, Silversea Cruises

Best Specialist Cruise Company (including River)
AMA Waterways, MSC Cruises, Riviera Travel, Royal Caribbean International and also nominated is Uniworld

Best Ferry Company
Brittany Ferries, Irish Ferries, P & O Ferries, Stena Line

To view the list of all the other categories, click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

#DublinPort - Dublin Port's chief executive has moved to dispel criticism of the city's Docklands an entry point for tourists, coming after another bumper year for cruise traffic.

Speaking to Bobby Kerr on NewsTalk's Down to Business show yesterday (10 January), Eamon O'Reilly hailed the port's growth – 7% last year alone, with 5% growth expected in the coming year – and its welcoming of more than 140,000 passengers on board 86 cruise liners in 2014.

But he also brushed aside accusations that the industrial appearance of Dublin Port gives a poor impression to cruise visitors docking in the area.

"We built the business from nothing to 100 ships in 2013, 86 in 2014. If you're building any business, or any stream of business, you don't go out and spend huge amounts of money to build infrastructure," he said.

"You don't do that, you work with what you have, which is what we have done. So it's funny, we seem to get criticised for our own success."

Beyond the port, O'Reilly commented on the untapped potential of the Liffey quays for boat traffic and the industries that might support, though noted the dilemma that "as you try to do more with the Liffey, the bridges start to get in your way."

He also detailed plans for the future that include another bid to bring the Tall Ships back to the capital in 2019, as well as progress on the Alexandra Basin project to increase the port's capacity for bigger container and cruise ships, not to mention increased ferry traffic.

Listen to the whole interview on the NewsTalk website HERE.

Published in Dublin Port

#FredOslenH&W – Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Boudicca (1973/28,551grt) docked this morning at Liverpool following an apt port of call to Belfast, given her berth facing opposite Harland & Wolff Industries is a Fred. Olsen related company, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Boudicca had berthed on the north bank of the Lagan directly across from H&W's Queens Island facility from where ships are dry-docked, repaired, converted in addition to where marine engineering projects are carried out on site.

Also facing opposite Boudicca, the historic pump-house that was used for the dock in which the RMS Titanic was built as previously reported, is to be transformed into a visitor centre for HMS Caroline.

Having completed her call to Belfast yesterday, Boudicca made her final-leg of the cruise when arriving in the early hours at Liverpool Cruise Terminal.

This cruise was the third out of four Irish Sea festive mini-taster cruises ranging from 1, 2 and 3 nights.

All the cruises start from Merseyside for UK guests booked with the 4-star cruise ship operator. During calls to Dublin Port, Irish clients embark from Ocean Pier within Alexandra Basin.

Since Afloat.ie's last report about Boudicca, the German built cruise ship had also made an interim cruise from Merseyside with calls to Dublin, Cork (Cobh) and Belfast.

On her final festive Irish Sea cruise, Boudicca is to depart Liverpool tomorrow night and arrive in Dublin on Saturday.

 

Published in Cruise Liners
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