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Displaying items by tag: Cruise Liners

#CobhAward – TripAdvisor which owns Cruise Critic, the world's largest cruise review site and online cruise community, has announced Cobh as among the winners of the inaugural Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards.

In the British Isles and Western Europe awards, Cork’s Cobh was ranked second place, Glasgow’s Greenock ranked third, leaving Amsterdam to top the list in first place, with calls to the Dutch destination from the likes of Regent Seven Seas and Azamara Club Cruises.

The awards name the best cruise destinations of the year – across 15 regions around the world – based entirely on reviews posted to the Cruise Critic website. All rankings are based on member review ratings for ports from sailings taken August 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016.

“A cruise isn’t just about the ship – picking the right itinerary is imperative,” explains Adam Coulter, UK editor, Cruise Critic. “Cruises enable travellers to explore a number of amazing destinations, offering culture, beauty and history. With such a variety of unique destinations to choose from, these awards aim to highlight, and celebrate, those rated highly by travellers to offer inspiration and guidance to cruise planners.”

Popular ports include the Caribbean’s St. Maarten, which receives visits from lines including P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises, and Alaska’s Glacier Bay which is visited by a number of cruise lines including Norwegian Cruise Line and Holland America Line.

The British love the Baltics - UK travellers rated Baltic destinations in their top three, with Stockholm first, followed by Tallinn and Copenhagen.

Published in Port of Cork

#CruiseLiners - A crewman has died during a safety drill on the world's largest cruise liner in the Mediterranean, as AFP reports.

The Filipino was one of five crew members from the Harmony of the Seas who were on board one of the ship's lifeboats when it suddenly detached from the vessel and fell 10 metres into the water below.

Two others on the lifeboat were hospitalised in critical condition after the incident, which occurred after the 362m ocean liner arrived in the port of Marseille in southern France earlier today (Tuesday 13 September).

It's not yet known how the lifeboat came to detach from the cruise liner, which entered service this past May.

According to Mail Online, the ship was described as a 'floating construction site' on its inaugural voyage.

Passengers reported holes in floors and walls, and accident hazards such as cables, blowtorches and power tools left by contractors on the top deck.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CruiseLiners - Millions of euros worth of damage has been inflicted at a marina on the island of Sicily by a 'mini-tsunami' caused by the engines of a manoeuvring cruise liner.

Video from Mail Online shows the moments when the enormous Carnival Vista swamped nearby pleasure craft berths as it turned at the port of Messina on 28 August last.

Onlookers from the 15-deck ocean liner described people running away from the pontoon area as it was first swamped and then quickly destroyed by the powerful wake generated by its turbo engines.

A number of boats in the marina, where mooring costs reach €27,000 annually, were seen capsizing and sinking as the Vista – which has its maiden voyage in May this year – pulled away from the harbour.

No injuries were reported after the incident, though it's believed the damaged caused totals multiple millions of euro.

Mail Online has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

#WindsofChange – Afloat.ie has monitored Mein Schiff 5 movements noting the new cruiseship less than two months in service was forced to change its first ever call to an Irish port today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

It transpired that high winds forecast at Dublin Port were the cause and so the 2,750 passenger cruiseship had to call to Cobh, where the 295m newbuild berthed this morning but was due to call anyway tomorrow. Cruisegoers will not be left dissappointed as the near 100,00 gross tonnage ship will be simply swapping ports with the scheduled call to the capital a day later. 

The impact of windage on the TUI Cruises newest ship with 15 decks high had to be considered when berthing in the confines of Dublin Port, where most callers are to Alexandra Basin.

Dublin Port Company’s first ever cruise terminal costing €30m is part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project (ABR) which is been built to accommodate even larger cruiseships and following a major dredging channel campaign.

A reconfiguration of quays will enable these mega cruiseships to call using an increased turning circle though at the expense of demolishing the end of the North Wall Quay Extension.

More quayside space and adjacent hard standing for cargo space, however will be made with the infilling of the Dublin Graving Docks that closed in April.

The ABR project is phase one of DPC plans to also permit increasingly larger cargsoships and associated deeper drafts to enter the port, so to meet demands of throughput which is forecast to rise, as the port in 2015 alone experienced record breaking volumes.

The 220m graving dock is nearby to where these mega cruiseships will dock at the two-berth terminal and much closer to city-centre, been next to the Tom Clarke toll-bridge.

Published in Cruise Liners

#NewestShip – Afloat.ie has tracked another big brand new cruiseship, Mein Schiff 5 that is to make a first call to an Irish port tomorrow, reflecting the growing demand for such visits and related infrastructural developments, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Mein Schiff 5 towering 15 decks and almost 100,000 gross tonnage is TUI Cruises' latest fleet member with a 2,750 passenger capacity that is to make a debut to Dublin Port before dawn.

After her visit to the capital, passengers have no less than 13 restuarants and bistros dining options to choose, before it will be the Port of Cork’s turn to welcome the latest newcomer to Cobh on Saturday. Both Dublin through its new cruise terminal development and Cobh’s upgrade are to meet the berthing requirements of even much larger cruiseships.

Today, Mein Schiff is berthed at the Port of Holyhead from where had arrived from the UK’s premier cruise port of Southampton.

In July, the 295m vessel was named Mein Schiff 5 at a ceremony in Lübeck/Travemünde. It was at nearby Kiel, she sailed across the Baltic Sea for her maiden voyage to Stockholm, calling at Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Helsinki.

The newest addition brings to a total of 14 cruiseships for TUI Group, a hotel and cruise group that was initiated at the end of 2014 and includes the rebranding of the UK operator, Thomson Cruises. Mein Schiff 5 is the Group’s third new build, and in June was handed over 10 days ahead of scheduled at the Meyer Turku shipyard, Finland to subsidiary TUI Cruises.

Like TUI Cruises’ other newbuilds, Meins Schiff 5 is a low-vibration vessel, which uses state of the art technologically that will enhance a pleasant environment for her guests. She has a 280m jogging track and 25m swimming pool.

In terms of operational efficiency, there is 30% less energy consumption and therefore 30% less fuel than other cruiseships of a comparable size.

Towards the end of the construction period, work simultaneously began on the construction of another sister, Mein Schiff 6. Meyer Turku were also involved in the construction of predecessor, Mein Schiff 4 launched in 2014.

In the following year, Mein Schiff 4 made a first call to Dun Laoghaire with an anchorage much closer to the harbour compared to other callers of recent years. The south Dublin Bay port still awaits a planning decision on the controversial cruise-berth to enable such sized ships and even larger to dock within the harbour. 

Published in Cruise Liners

#ProposedTerminal - According to CruiseEurope authorities in Liverpool last month approved a £950,000 (€1.12m) feasibility study into a proposed new cruise terminal development.

The west coast UK port has long held ambitions to expand its offer with the construction of a purpose-built facility capable of attracting additional turnaround business and handling up to 3,600 passengers.

Afloat.ie adds that the proposed development has already led to the Manx Government voting that a site be acquired as the existing Isle of Man ferry berth would need to be relocated for the new development. 

Liverpool’s existing cruise berth opened nine years ago with the aim of securing day calls. A temporary passenger facility was subsequently added in 2012 and the city now attracts turnaround as well as transit business. The River Mersey terminal is this year scheduled to handle 61 vessels and 76,000 passenger who are able to disembark directly onto the city’s world famous, UNESCO World Heritage Site waterfront.

A report to the City Council’s ruling Cabinet set out the next steps in the development plan and the need for detailed investigations, impact assessments and surveys. Councillors gave the go-ahead to the work which will be led by a consortia of technical specialists including Ove Arup & Partners, Royal Haskoning DV, Tuner and Townsend and KKA Architects.

A footprint for the planned development has already been identified. It will require demolition of a former timber landing stage, which once handled Liverpool’s transatlantic services until the late 1960s, and construction of a platform in the river to accommodate the new terminal. It is envisaged that this building will be on two levels built on reclaimed land.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “I am determined that we find solutions to continue the growth we have seen in cruise business. What is holding us back at the moment is the limited space we have in the existing facility. To deliver on our ambitions, we would need to invest in a new terminal building which will bring bigger liners carrying more passengers, meaning a bigger boost for the local economy.”

Liverpool’s 2016 cruise schedule is estimated to generate an income of £6.5m (€7.7m) for the city’s economy. Mayor Anderson added: “We have various options of funding the scheme which we will be exploring, but the figures speak for themselves in terms of jobs supported and created by passengers and crew spending money when they visit the city.” Timescales for the phase of work approved today have not yet been set.

On July 2 the centenary of one of Liverpool’s Three Graces, the Cunard Building was celebrated. To mark the occasion that morning, Queen Elizabeth sailed up the River Mersey heralding the start of a series of events marking the centenary of this iconic venue. These included two ‘Best of British’ celebratory concerts which took place on the world heritage waterfront at Pier Head. 

The weekend also saw the Cunard Building opening its doors to a brand new exhibition charting the rise and success of The Jam. With more plans in the pipeline, the Cunard Building is once again opening for the public.

In June Disney Magic (see first ever call by Disney Cruise Lines to Dublin Port) was met by 100,000 people on Liverpool Pier Head. Adults and children dressed up in Disney outfits for a day of Disney-themed activities to celebrate the ship’s return to Liverpool for the second time. Disney Magic returns in 2017 when the city will repeat the event as a result of the positive feedback from those attending.

Fred Olsen is offering a total of 16 sailings from Liverpool in its 2016 cruise season. Head of sales Neil Herbert commented: “Fred Olsen is a frequent visitor to the Merseyside region and in 2016 is offering one of the highest number of cruise calls, allowing guests from the North West a greater choice of destinations and holiday duration.”

Published in Cruise Liners

#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.

Published in Cruise Liners

#FinalCaller – Five masts, each 221ft towered above Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s Carlisle Pier as US luxury operator, WindStar Cruises motor sail-assisted flagship Wind Surf made the last call of the season, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 14,000 gross tonnage Wind Surf had made a cruise turn around in the south Dublin Bay harbour. With a 312 capacity, Wind Surf was among eight callers this year bringing around 10,000 tourists and crew to the harbour's hinterland and visitor attractions.

In fact, Wind Surf has been the most frequent visitor since Dun Laoghaire welcomed back cruiseships on a more concerted basis that began in 2011. The cruiseship business is the only commercial shipping sector since Stena Line withdrew their HSS fast-ferry service to Holyhead, Wales in 2014.

WindStars customers arrived at Carlisle Pier to board Wind Surf that departed yesterday evening, it was observed the departure involved a pilot cutter from Dublin Port to guide the vessel into the bay. While at the same time some of her self-furling computer operated sails were unveiled. 

The cruise first port of call is an anchorage visit off Dunmore East today on the Waterford estuary. She then heads for Tresco, Scilly Isles, Brest, France, followed by a day at sea in the Bay of Biscay bound for Ferrol and Vigo in Spain, Leixoes in neighbouring Portugal and culminating in the capital, Lisbon. From thereon, Wind Surf returns to her programme of Mediterranean cruising.

According to DLHC a variety of cruise calls from vessels holding 100 to almost 3,000 passengers arrived from the newly refurbished Hebridean Sky to the larger newcomer, TUI Cruises Mein Schiff 1 that anchored offshore aswell as Celebrity Silhouette, which made an appearance last year.

Six out of the 8 cruise ships visiting this summer berthed alongside Carlisle Pier from where passengers had the short stroll to the town centre.

Welcoming visitors to the town were Dun Laoghaire County Council town ambassadors and volunteers from the DLR Volunteer centre that created a great atmosphere.

Carolyn Hanaphy of Dun Laoghaire Harbour today said “We await the planning decision from An Bord Pleanala about our proposed cruise berth, such that we can attract over 100,000 cruise passengers per year.”

The season for 2017 will see half the total of callers, when four calls are scheduled by two cruiseships. Again they will be made by repeat cruise clients, WindStar represented by their Wind Surf and Star Legend.

Published in Cruise Liners

#HALcall – Holland America Line’s Prinsendam berthed in Belfast Harbour this morning as part of a 28 Day Celtic & Bourgundian Explorer Cruise, writes Jehan Ashmore.

This was the second call of HAL's Prinsendam to Belfast this season as she called in July. Overall, this morning's call was her 14th visit to the port having berthed at the Stormont cruise wharf. She has a capacity for more than 766 passengers and 460 crew.

Prinsendam at under 40,000 gross tonnage is the smallest of the HAL fleet which now has a newcomer, Koningdam, just shy of 100,000 gross tonnage. She was named in May as the first of the 'Pinnacle' class, the largest ever built for the US based operator, part of the Carnival Corporation. The newbuild can take a maximum of 3,200 passengers and over 1,000 crew.

Today’s call of Prinsendam represents the 29 caller and last of this month alone to Belfast. Asides, HAL, among the cruise operators they include Princess, Celebrity, Cunard, Silversea, Majestic, and Fred Olsen.

The port is to host almost 145,000 cruise visitors this season as the harbour is the principle gateway to the attractions of city and Northern Ireland.

Prinsendam had set off from Dublin, where she overnighted at Ocean Pier, within Alexandra Basin, where another fleetmate, Rotterdam had called earlier this month.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CruiseNorth – Saga Cruises, part of the wider Saga brand that caters for UK consumers over 50, has been calling to ports in counties, Donegal and Down, contributing to boosting tourism in these northern regions, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The caller on the Wild Atlantic Way seaboard at Killybegs, was that of Saga Sapphire, one of the most elegant looking cruiseships docked on Wednesday. The 752 capacity cruiseship was assisted into Killybegs by Sinbad Marine’s tug, SMS Cian. Cruisegoers visited attractions among them Glenveagh National Park.

On the Irish Sea, Saga Cruises visit to Warrenpoint, is where the more intimate fleetmate, Saga Pearl II with just 449 passengers, visited last month according to Point Shipping Services.

The cruises are part of Hidden Britain itinerary, to visit never before ports of call, outside that of the mainstream cruise destinations that invariably are larger ports located in towns and cities.

Saga Pearl II returned to Carlingford Lough as the sole caller this season, having made a historic Warrenpoint call as the first ever cruiseship to dock at the port at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in 2014. The scenic coastal area is been promoted as a destination by Warrenpoint Harbour Authority and CruiseWarrenpoint.

Saga Sapphire represented the 10th caller out so far to dock in Killybegs out of the season’s total of 12 callers scheduled. The fishing and energy sector port has seen the cruise sector expand in recent years thanks to the Killybegs Information Centre, a development of Donegal Tourism.

Next to call is Holland America Lines smallest cruiseship, Prisendam with a 835 capacity on 1st September. Ending the season is left to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines graceful, Boudicca and with a similar passenger total of 880 and which is to call a week later.

Published in Cruise Liners
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