Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Cruise Liners

#BiggestCaller -  Welsh ferryport of Fishguard which is managed by Stena Line which operates to Rosslare (see rare call), also welcomed the largest cruiseship ever to the Pembrokeshire harbour.

The German cruiseship AIDAVita dropped anchor last Thursday, writes Milford Mercury, and is 202 meters long, weighing 42,290 tonnes and has a capacity for 1,260 passengers.

AIDAVita was able to visit Fishguard following infrastructure improvements which were funded through the Welsh Government’s Tourism investment Support Scheme.

The project received £147,598 to provide a pontoon facility to accommodate the safe embarkation/disembarkation of passengers from cruise ships at anchorage in Fishguard Port.

The cruise ship market is big business for Wales – and Cruise Wales and partners are working to grow the market.

An increasing number of visitors from Germany are coming to south west Wales through cruise ships docking at Milford Haven Port, Pembroke & Fishguard.

Some 59 ships will stop in Wales this year which is a 20% increase on last year.

The cruise industry is worth £2.9 million to the Welsh economy. The paper has more here.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CunardDonegal - Two of the most famous names in British royalty are coming to Donegal - but it’s not members of the royal family; rather, it’s two massive 'Vista' class cruise ships named “Queen Elizabeth” and “Queen Victoria”!

The famous Cunard Line writes Donegal Now, has confirmed that two of its prestige 90,000 gross tonnage cruiseships will visit Killybegs in 2018 as part of two new cruise itineraries.

Both vessels are almost 300 metres long – more than twice the length of Croke Park!

The announcement is yet further evidence that Killybegs is now really making a name for itself as a cruise ship port of call.

“This is a good news story for Killybegs and for Donegal,” commented Anne Dorrian of the Killybegs Tourism Information Centre.

The tourism spin-off is considerable, with many of the passengers going on local tours and taking in attractions such as Slieve League and Glenveagh National Park as well as visiting the likes of Donegal Town.

Meanwhile, the Fred Olsen line has become the first cruise line to enable passengers to embark in Killybegs. In September passengers will be able to go on board the "Boudicca" on the "Rugged and Rural Canada" cruise to Newfoundland, Canada and back.

For details of the cruise and more, Donegal Now has a report here.  

 

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#CruiseFirsts - Irish Sea port of Barrow-in-Furness, operated by Associated British Ports / ABP Ports welcomed the largest cruise vessel ever to call to the Cumbrian port in north-west England. 

MS Braemar became the second cruiseship to visit Barrow in the last two months, when the Fred. Olsen Cruise ship made an inaugural call last Friday. The 196m in length cruiseship which too made a first call to Rosslare Europort last month, can accommodate over 900 passengers, making it the largest cruise ship to visit since the port’s first cruise call in 1995.

While cruise ships are today not a regular sight at the Port of Barrow, the port has a long association with the industry dating back 100 years, including when the then Vickers-Armstrongs shipyard built the ‘Strath’ Class Liners for the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) in the 1930s.

Port Manager Paul Jervis said: “The Port of Barrow is best known today for its role as a base for manufacturing submarines. However, the arrival of MS Braemar, following the visit of the Saga Pearl II last month shows that the port is capable of handling a wide variety of vessels for different customers.

“The benefit of hosting cruise vessels here at Barrow is that we are able to showcase Barrow and the Lake District area to tourists from all over the UK and the world. It boosts the region’s profile and tourist numbers, and will provide economic benefit to the local communities.

“The area has a lot of attractions to entice cruise companies and their passengers. With the port well equipped to handle cruise calls, we hope to see more cruise ships at Barrow in the future.”

Scheduled shore excursions included tours of the Lake District and free shuttle buses available to take passengers to local attractions like the Dock Museum and Furness Abbey.

Published in Cruise Liners

#NewBerth - A new €15m deep-water quay in Cobh is in the planning by the Port of Cork, to handle the increasing number of large cruise liners expected to arrive in the near future.

The Irish Examiner writes the port company have confirmed a record 66 liners are already booked to dock in the harbour next year, and the figure could well top 70 as the larger Quantum class vessels may yet announce their intention to visit.

The scheduled 66 ships will carry 170,000 passengers in total and, on average, they are expected to directly spend €73 each while ashore bringing a potential boost of €12.41m to the local economy.

Port of Cork commercial manager Captain Michael McCarthy said the company was planning to reach a target, by 2020, of attracting 75 cruise ships annually but it could be achieved earlier as business prospects are very encouraging.

The newspaper details more about the new cruise-berth here

Published in Port of Cork

#Inquiry - An investigation has been initiated by Bermuda, writes Irish Times, into how a “mega-class” cruise ship with almost 4,500 people on board spent nine hours drifting without power in the Irish Sea

As reported on Afloat earlier this month, the 290-metre Caribbean Princess was forced to abandon a scheduled visit to Dublin Port after the serious incident occurred 25 miles southeast of the capital off the Wicklow coast on August 3rd.

The 17-deck ship eventually regained power that evening and made its way to Belfast port, where it berthed in the early hours of August 4th.

Bermuda, the British overseas territory which is the port of registry for the ship, said it had continuously monitored the vessel’s situation “from the time of its propulsion failure until the full propulsion power was restored and its voyage to Belfast completed”.

The Bermuda Administration said it had been in “constant communication” with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency on the incident. Holyhead Coast Guard despatched a tug and helicopter to the ship, which had 3,306 passengers and 1,158 crew on board when it lost power on its route up the Irish Sea. The ship had been en route from Cobh to Dublin as part of a 12-day cruise from Southampton.

For more on the incident, the newspaper has more here. Afloat adds the cruiseship is today docked in Dublin Port, having called to Cobh, Cork Harbour.

 

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#Ferry2Cruise – A cruiseship with an unconventional background called into Dublin Port this morning, Ocean Majesty, which in another guise was a car ferry built fifty years ago to serve Spanish island services, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The veteran vessel, an increasing rarity these days in the cruise industry, was the former side-loading car ferry, Juan March launched in 1966 to operate Mediterranean and Atlantic services.

The Albatros-class ferry, one of a quartet, was operated by Transmediterranea on Spain-Balearics routes and also those from the mainland to the Canary Islands.

Following a sale to Majesty International Cruises, through a Greek dockyard a major conversion costing more than US$ 50 million took place in 1994.

The conversion radically altered her appearance (click for photo) notably her superstructure and removal of twin funnel uptakes and forward cargo hold. Despite the work, she retains her classic traditional sweeping hull form lines and aptly a cruiser stern. In addition the work increased tonnage to 10,417 gross.

MIC charter the Ocean Majesty to a variety of operators, among them Hansa Touristik. The 672 capacity cruiseship call to Dublin Port is only for eight hours and forms the 9th cruise of the German charter operators 2016 season.

Ocean Majesty had departed Hamburg last week on an 11-day cruise. So far ports of call have been Rosyth, Kirkwall, Ullapool, Greenock in Scotland and yesterday Belfast.

Early this afternoon, Ocean Majesty is to depart bound for Plymouth. Following her Cornish call, she heads through the English Channel to spend an overnight call in the Pool of London.

The final day will be a passage in the North Sea before the cruise culminates in the German city.

Published in Cruise Liners

#PortSnapShot – Campbeltown, Scotland, almost at the tip of the Mull of Kintyre and a mere 19 km/12 miles from Northern Ireland, is where the impressive cruise tallship, Sea Cloud II is visiting today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 5-star ultra-luxury Sea Cloud II having made an overnight call to Dublin Port that ended yesterday. This evening she heads into the North Channel on the short passage to Belfast Harbour. 

Guests of the Sea Cloud Cruises ‘windjammer’, is docked alongside the New Pier at Caledonian MacBrayne’s (CalMac) ferry terminal. This season marks the first year of the ‘permanent’ designated Ardrossan-Campbeltown service, following a three-year summer operated pilot service as part of CalMac's extensive route network of the Clyde and Western Isles.

Sea Cloud II's presents a majestic appearance given her three masts in which the main mast towers 57m /187ft, however, a 3,849 gross tonnage is not much larger than the local CalMac ferry, Isle of Arran of 3,296 respectively. The thrice-weekly operated ferry is not today in port which is home to a trawler fleet.

Asides the seasonal Forth of Clyde ferry service to and from Ardrossan, Campbeltown’s second ferry link consolidates the Irish connection. At the town’s marina is where the ‘passenger’-only RIB ferry to Ballycastle, Co. Antrim is operated by Kintyre Express They also have a Ballycastle service to Port Ellen on Islay.

Prior to this Ireland-Scotland link, was the Argyle & Antrim Steamship Co. that also ran between Campbeltown and Ballycastle. The short-lived three-year (1997-2000) summer-only route was served by Claymore, having been sold by CalMac to the company, a subsidiary of Sea Containers (Scotland) Ltd. In winter she acted as overhaul relief vessel for CalMac when under charter.

On a notable occasion, Claymore left Scottish waters, when chartered during the visit of USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) as the giant 82,000 tonnes aircraft carrier anchored off Dun Laoghaire Harbour, just over two decades in July 1996. A public lottery was held for thousands to visit the Dublin Bay naval visitor by boarding Claymore and other ‘tender’ vessels. This was during the backdrop of Jean Kennedy-Smith's tenure as US Ambassador to Ireland, in the early days of the northern 'peace process'.

Asides the Ardrossan ferry, Campbeltown exports round timber (logs) as seen above at the New Pier Quay, where Sea Cloud II currently occupies this berth. Short-sea coasters on occasions call to the harbour to load timber to Irish ports, among them Rosslare Harbour as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Last but not least, P.S. Waverley, the world’s last sea-going paddle-steamer, in which among her owners included Caledonian MacBrayne until withdrawn in 1973. Two years later she was sold for preservation and is less than two months to celebrating her 70th anniversary, having been launched on the Clyde at a Glasgow yard in 1946.

She is operated by Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. During seven decades the veteran vessel has carried over 5 million passengers from over 60 ports around the UK. This summer she made an Antrim Coast Cruise off Redbay. Stormforce RIBS used by Kintyre Express are manufactured by Red Bay Boats in Cushendall that overlooks the bay.

Waverley made her Irish debut in 1984 along Leinster's eastern seaboard. Over subsequent calls, she has visited Dundalk, Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Wicklow, Arklow and as far south to Rosslare Harbour. The paddle-steamer excursions also included transitting Dalkey Sound. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#CruiseTallShip – Standing out more than most, German premium brand, Sea Cloud Cruises ultra-luxury ‘windjammer’ Sea Cloud II, overnighted in Dublin Port as part of turnaround cruise, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Hamburg based five-star operator of the modern yet majestic cruise ship, offers discerning guests an atmosphere of a very private yacht in which she can be also chartered. She is moored close to the Tom Clarke toll-bridge.

In addition cruise-lovers, limited to just 94 guests on board Sea Cloud II, can discover their passion for classic sailing ships, while also becoming devotees of great voyages. With a length overall of 117 m / 384 ft, the elegant lady of the sea has expansive decks and when under full sail, she totals 3,000 m² / 32,000 sq ft.

As for guest facilities they are spread over Sea Cloud II’s four decks. There is a lido deck with bar, lounge including laptops, a boutique, library, restaurant, all in which are imbued with stylish comfort, as to be expected given her 5-star status. In addition to the swim-platform, fitness area, gym and sauna.

Of the 47 outside cabins, here are further details of the range available. Of this total, 29 cabins feature a shower/WC, 16 junior suites with bathtub/WC and 2 luxury owner suites with bathtub and shower/WC).

Also on board is equipped a hospital zone.

Sea Cloud will depart for Campbeltown, Scotland, this afternoon. She is to return to Dublin and also Cork later this month. This will be a ten-night Dublin-Bilbao cruise beginning on 20 August followed by a next day port of call to the southern city.

On arrival in Bilbao on the northern Spanish coast (where in 2001 she was built at Figueras), guests can embark to begin a short five-day cruise to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

Published in Cruise Liners

#ProfitsSink - Dun Laoghaire Harbour will welcome tomorrow a mid-season cruise caller, this will be against the backdrop of losses by the port company last year, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Celebrity Silhouette of 122,400 gross tonnage, and a combined passenger and crew total of 4,000, is to make a return 'anchorage' visit off the south Dublin Bay harbour following a debut call in 2015. A proposed new cruise liner berth submitted by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company is still awaiting a decision by an Bord Pleanala.

Accounts for the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company reveal a €6.3 million loss reports The Times, after Stena Line officially confirmed that is was to withdraw HSS services ‘permanently’ from the port to Holyhead last year. Not to be confused Afloat adds with the final season of HSS Stena Explorer sailings that actually took place the previous year when the fast-ferry ceased in September 2014.

The company had previously said that it was focused on finding a new operator to continue the long history of ferry links between Dun Laoghaire and Britain.

In its latest annual report it said that while it still hoped to resume some ferry services to Holyhead, it was also looking at new uses for the St Michael’s Pier terminal building.

When Stena Line ceased to operate the route in February 2015 seven expressions of interest were received as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Also reported on Afloat was the dismantling and removal of the former Stena HSS berth-linkspan and associated passenger gangway structure. Since that report, Afloat has learnt that the custom-built linkspan at St. Micheal’s Pier has been removed on site and not taken away by barge. 

The process of removing HSS related port infrastructure are scheduled to take up to next month. DLHC added that harbour facilities will only become available for use by a potential new ferry operator but not until 2017.

Published in Ferry

#CruiseRosslare – Afloat in April reported on the planned visit of the first cruiseship to Rosslare in twenty years, this took place at the Co. Wexford ferryport this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Rosslare Europort welcomed Fred Olsen Lines MS Braemar with 780 passengers and 380 crew which docked at around 06.30. Last year a similar sized capacity cruiseship, Albatross had to cancel an anchorage visit due to bad weather.

On this occasion, Braemar’s call is part of an 11-day “Closer to the UK and Ireland” cruise. The cruise began in Southampton and a scheduled itinerary included calls to Dundee, Lerwick, Fingal’s Cave, Invergordan. The cruiseship sailed overnight having called yesterday alongside to Liverpool Landing Stage.

Braemar’s cruise business to Rosslare Europort, operated by Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) will it be hoped the first of many to promote the ‘Model’ county as a destination and an area to visit.

The 24,344 tonnes Braemar docked within the harbour at the inner pier and on the adjacent berth was Irish Ferries Pembroke route ferry Isle of Inishmore. On the outer pier was Stena Line’s Fishguard route ferry, Stena Europe.

Cruise-goers will be exploring the Wexford region by taking pre-arranged excursions to Tintern Abbey, Wells House, Kilmore Quay, the Irish National Heritage Park and the Dunbrody Famine Emigrant Ship in New Ross.

At almost 196 metres in length, Braemar, lengthened in 2008, is the longest vessel to visit Rosslare ferryport from where both operators also have routes to France. Fred Olsen acquired the 1993 built Cunard Crown Dynasty originally 19,089 gross tonnage. Renamed Braemar, they inserted a 31 metre mid-section to boost capacity (729 cabins increased to 988) inclusion of a lounge and swimming pools.

The cruiseship’s call will for ferry fans will echoe memories of former French routes serving Saint Killian II, which too was stretched by just one metre more than Braemar. The ferry became 156m long compared to the much longer cruiseship.

Braemar presents a graceful slick appearance likewise of the ‘Killian’, albeit with a new livery applied this season of a half grey hull. This compared to the familiar previous all white scheme, so perhaps this latest look is not necessary the most appealing?

At 13,638 gross tonnage, the stretched Saint Killian II then in 1982 was the largest Irish-flagged ferry which served Irish Continental Line. She made a promotional once only call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour. For almost the next two decades she served a career to include Irish Ferries also out of Cork on routes to France (since closed).

On completion of Braemar’s visit today, this will have consolidated the work in the establishment of a Working Group led by Rosslare Europort’s General Manager John Lynch, representatives of Wexford County Council and Fáilte Ireland and supported by Visit Wexford.

Combined they have worked on developing the cruise business at Rosslare to target the further expansion of cruise ship business at the port.

Braemar’s only visit to an Irish port of this cruise will be followed by a final port of call to Falmouth.

Published in Cruise Liners
Page 5 of 40

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating