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#RMSstHelena – RMS St. Helena having been bid farewell by spectators in Tilbury, London on her final ever voyage from the UK, yesterday evening, is now almost out of the English Channel bound ultimately for St. Helena, some 4,500 miles away, writes Jehan Ashmore.

At time of writing this end of era St. Helena Line voyage (no. 243) is mid-channel south of Plymouth, with 116 passengers on board, mostly St. Helenian’s returning home. In addition to tourists also curious to experience this unique combined passenger-cargo service opportunity to the island deep in South Atlantic Ocean.

Among the travel categories is a two-berth C Deck cabin costing £885 while those going 'solo' will have to fork out £4,506 for same accommodation albeit in the above B deck. 

At 6,797 gross tonnage, the 105m long vessel with 59 officers and crew has a capacity for 159 passengers in a variety of cabin berth configurations. There are two bars, a full waiter-service dining room, library, a gym, sun deck with customary outdoor swimming pool overlooking the stern.

Over the past quarter century, RMS St. Helena has been the principle method of transport for this 'life-line' only sea service connection of the British Overseas Territory with the outside world. As the volcanic outcrop is 1,200 miles from Cape Town, South Africa, (RMS normal 'mainland' port) the islanders depend for everything imaginable. This can range from humble baked beans, kitchen sinks, medical equipment, to cars and building materials,noting the island's first (yet to be opened) airport!

A representative of AW Ship Management that is responsible for RMS St. Helena, informed me that 'reefer' cargoes notably include precious! supplies of Cadbury and KitKat, as the ‘Saints’ as the islanders are called, have such a craving for these chocolates! On a more serious note, fire-fighting vehicles are also on board this current voyage. 

On a different voyage, one of the most unusual ‘passengers’ has been crocodiles! from South Africa to Tenerife, the next port of call of this fortnight long voyage.

Asides calling to Tenerife of the Canary Islands this Sunday, there be will a call the following Sunday to Ascension, also a British Overseas Territory. It is only the latter port of call that is routinely part of the normal St. Helena Line service that connects to Cape Town as previously referred.

All that is to change notably with this new airport, on an island of almost 50 square miles and a population of around 4,500 inhabitants. The airport was meant to open in May, however due to operational reasons, permission to begin commercial flights connecting South Africa have yet to be given. This will see a brief reprieve of voyages.

In addition, a containership to be renamed M.V. St. Helena is to be introduced by AW Ship Management this summer, albeit with limited accommodation for only up to 10 passengers. This will see the RMS withdrawn and sale of the 1989 Scottish built ship, which returned to the that country as reported on Afloat, during a once off charter cruise that included calls to Irish ports.

As a result of these developments, St. Helena Line has extended the sailing schedule. This voyage (no. 243) was to have marked the final ever service ending in mid-July by culminating in Cape Town.

The delay to the airport will see St. Helenian’s and visitors alike having an additional three voyages to Ascension Island and Cape Town. The final ever scheduled voyage, no. 246 is due to take place in late September. Thus ending a unique ‘maritime’ chapter for St. Helenian’s but also for the world.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#RMSroyalty - RMS St. Helena which Royal Family member Princes Anne visited as previously reported during the ships historic visit to London, is to depart later today on a farewell voyage from the UK to St. Helena Island in the South Atlantic, writes Jehan Ashmore.

For more than a quarter of a century, the 159 passenger ship custom-built for St. Helena Line to bring essential supplies of cargo to St Helenian’s, however is to be decommissioned. The Scottish built ship pf 6,767 gross tonnage is to be replacement by German containership contracted to AW Ship Management that currently includes operations of RMS St. Helena.

In addition a new airport, a first for St. Helena, the British Overseas Territory of 47 square miles, is yet to open and this has extended operation of voyages to September.

The Princess recalled her own visit to the Island on the RMS in 2002, that was before the St. Helena Line vessel changed routes from the UK and now she sails to and from Cape Town, South Africa, a distance of 1,200 miles taking five days. She highlighted the crucial role RMS played in the lives of the islanders and she ended by wishing everyone a successful voyage back to St Helena.

St. Helena Government’s UK representative, Kedell Worboys MBE, commented: “What makes the RMS special? For the past 26 years she has provided the lifeline to the people of St Helena and Ascension – carrying food, medical supplies, building materials, and of course the mail. She is one of only four remaining Royal Mail Ships and the last working one. “She is quite simply an extension to St Helena, part of our family.”

Guests enjoyed a reception on the Sun Deck with spectacular vistas of the Pool of London while moored on the Thames alongside HMS Belfast, a WW2 battle cruiser and a backdrop to include the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. The opportunity was taken by many to acknowledge the dedication of the officers and crew.

Captain Andrew Greentree added: “It was a great honour and privilege to welcome HRH The Princess Royal on board the RMS St Helena and to be the Captain whose crew prepared the ship well for this historic and memorable event. The officers and crew greatly appreciate HRH visiting the ship and taking a photograph with them.”

On completion of a four-day call visit in the UK capital, RMS St. Helena departed on Friday 22nm miles downriver to Tilbury Docks, London Cruise Terminal.

The next day, due to the ship's unique career and final call to the UK, some 600 members of the public eagerly boarded for a pre-booked tour of the ship. Having loaded cargo in recent days, passengers will board today at the Landing Stage for the ‘RMS’ final voyage from the UK.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#RMSstHelena - RMS St. Helena, having served a 26 year career to her namesake island in the South Atlantic Ocean, surprisingly only this year she finally made a historic first visit to the centre of London, her port of registry, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The unique passenger-freight ship with Royal Mail Ship (RMS) designation made this momentous once-off final call to the UK capital, before she is to be decommissioned later this year.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, RMS St. Helena, recently completed a rare voyage to the UK under command of Captain Rodney Young. Normally she serves the only sea connection between St. Helena with the outside world to Cape Town, South Africa. A distance of 1,950km and taking a five-day voyage. 

On arrival to the UK, she first called to Tilbury Docks to disembark passengers and unload cargo, before spending four days last week moored upriver on the Thames in the Pool of London. The location surrounded by the iconic backdrop of Tower Bridge and The Tower of London. In addition to City Hall, the office been Borris Johnson's former workplace as Mayor of London.

Up until 2011, the St. Helena Line had the ship based from UK ports, initially Cardiff followed by a switch to Portland, Dorset. The vessel of 6,797 gross tonnage is under the operation of AW Ship Management Ltd. See related story, Andrew Weir Shipping (AWSR) of their former ro-ro Longstone, which as Dorset called to Dublin Port.

Last week's events to commemorate RMS St. Helena’s years of duty took place on board in the Pool of London while moored alongside HMS Belfast, the preserved WW2 Battle Cruiser. The Irish connection was apt, as Afloat reported, RMS St. Helena’s once-off charter cruise in 1995 to include Ireland, albeit not Belfast, but calls to Dublin and Cobh (Cork). These ports of call were part of a Swan Hellenic cruise of the Western Scottish Isles and also the Isle of Man.

During RMS St. Helena’s stay in the Pool of London, the Scottish custom-built vessel dating to 1989 was visited by the Royal family's, Princess Anne who had previously travelled on board to the island in 2002. On the theme of royalty, according to St. Helena Line, the only other RMS vessel is that of Cunard Line’s flagship liner, Queen Mary 2, a caller to several Irish ports since 2004.

The primary reason for ending the career of ‘RMS’ as she is affectionately called by St. Helenian’s or ‘Saints’ to whom they heavily depend as this ship is a life-line is due to new airport, the first built on the British Overseas Territory. The population of around 4,500 in more recent times have the right to hold UK passports, having previously had only those from the tiny territory.

At only 47 square miles the volcanic outcrop is 1,200 miles off Africa, from where commercial flights to Johannesburg were due to have begun recently, however delays to the airport’s opening (for details click here) have led to a brief reprieve by extending the number of voyages. The ship has two cargo holds equipped cranes. She can accommodate 159 passengers and has a  crew of 59.

During the Pool of London call, this opportunity provided me to meet the crew including both Captains Rodney Young and Andrew Greentree who hail along with most of catering crew from St. Helena. They were clearly very proud of RMS St. Helena which was kept in great condition, noting the timber decks with the outdoor pool. This formed part of the tours for invited guests and media of their unique ship and the service she has loyaly given, yet jobs will be lost when a replacement containership enters service.

Afloat.ie will have more details of this German vessel which will include ‘passengers’ albeit to a much reduced capacity compared to the 'RMS'.

Tomorrow’s departure from Tilbury (London Cruise Terminal), where RMS St. Helena is currently berthed to load containers (understood to include eight reefers). In addition to passenger guests who are to embark on what was scheduled to be the final ever voyage. This final UK southbound voyage will make en route calls to Tenerife, Ascension before finally reaching St. Helena and culminating in Cape Town in mid-July.

The extended voyages of one of the world’s last remaining combined passenger-freight liner services, are scheduled to late September. As usual, the deep-sea service will be primarily between Jamestown (at anchorage) off the capital of St. Helena and Cape Town. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#CruiseWaterford - Noble Caledonia, an operator in the high-end small ship cruise market whose latest addition, Hebridean Sky yesterday called to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, having sailed from the quays of Waterford City, writes Jehan Ashmore.

This was the 4,200 tonnes ship’s second call this year to the River Suir quayside berth that allowed her guests easy access to Ireland’s oldest city. The 72 crew of Hebridean Sky with other cruise-goers are to visit the city with a third and final call this season at the end of August.

In all 16 callers are to visit the Port of Waterford, where the smallest cruiseships sail to the city quays whereas Belview, the main terminal for the Port of Waterford caters for medium sized cruiseships. This leaves, Dunmore East at the mouth of the estuary with deeper waters for much larger cruiseships to anchor and passengers tendered and from the fishing harbour.

The former Sea Explorer renamed Hebridean Sky was re-launched for Noble Caledonia this season as one of a trio of flagships, after undergoing a multi-million refurbishment in Sweden. During Spring’s dry-docking of Hebridean Sky, this involved upgrading to both technical and interiors including crew quarters.

At only 90m long the 114 guest cruiseship joins a pair of flagship sisters, Hebridean Sky and Caledonian Sky, the trio are more akin to private yachts and amongst the most luxurious in this market. The trio under Noble Caledonia operate expedition cruising destinations including the Antarctic as well to runnning a fleet of river cruising vessels.

The Caledonian Sky under a previous operator, Hebridean Island Cruises visited Dun Laoghaire Harbour in 2001 as Hebridean Spirit  which berthed at the East Pier. On that occasion, I was able to board as a port visitor during a promotional cruise tour. Sadly, the use of this berth, no. 1 is no longer available to visiting tallships, navies and mostly vessels of the Irish Naval Service.

It was noted then the recent changes made to the 'Spirit's exterior styling, notably the single funnel, compared to her sisters twin uptakes. This work was carried out for Hebridean Island Cruises, which still operates Hebridean Princess, which is claimed to be the most luxurious small-cruise ship in the world.

The former CalMac ferry, Columba, mostly cruises throughout the Scottish Isles, but also the rest of the UK and occasional calls to Ireland. 

Published in Cruise Liners

#LuxuryMarket - Noble Caledonia's headquarters in London is close to the Irish Embassy in exclusive Belgravia, and the connection with this operator and our country was made when their newest cruiseship addition called for the first time to Dun Laoghaire Harbour today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Hebridean Sky was re-launched by Noble Caledonia having been the Sea Explorer 1. In fact, the luxury small ship Hebridean Sky was completed in 1991, the same year Noble Caledonia was established. Not only was there a change of name but also the 114 guest capacity vessel is fresh from a Spring time multi-million refurbishment to upgrade both the technical and interior of this vessel serving in the high-end luxury small ship cruise market.  The ‘Sky’s next port of call was to Portrush.

She joins a pair of sisterships that are more akin to private yachts and form part of a large yet small ship cruise fleet (including river cruising vessels) operated by Noble Caledonia. The trio of flagship sisters (out of an original order of eight vessels) were all built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times. They share attributes that make them among the finest small ships in the world. A competitor for example, Hapag Lloyd’s Bremen last week visited Bere Island, Co. Kerry.

Hebridean Sky is also noted for been the first cruiseship to dock alongside Dun Laoghaire’s upgraded Carlisle Pier, which Afloat reported back in April. The works included installing new fenders to berth No. 2 so to improve berthing infrastructure for small cruise ships and repairs to the outer pier piles.

These works costing in the region of €1m investment also involved repairs to a storm damaged stretch of the upper tier of the East Pier. This important public amenity attracts locals and cruise visitors alike and boasts the largest footfall of any Irish pier.

The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company have already welcomed the season’s debut caller, Mein Schiff 4 last month. Asides ‘Sky’s call a further six callers are scheduled, in which she is due back mid-August. Of these calls, just one remains of a much larger and deeper draft cruiseship, the debut in July of Celebrity Silhouette with a 2,886 passenger capacity and 1,525 crew.

The call to Dun Laoghaire of the giant 122,400 'Solstice' class ship operated by Celebrity Cruises is due to tidal restictions in Dublin Port that day. Otherwise the ship will make two calls to the capital this season.

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#FarewellRMSstHelena - One of the world’s most remote inhabited islands, St. Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean is to lose its unique historic shipping service with South Africa, the only sea connection with the outside world, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The combined passenger and freight vessel RMS St. Helena is to be replaced by a 'cargo-only ship' as the first airport on the island was due to have opened last month. Until this takes place, the RMS St. Helena operates the deep-sea service from Cape Town. It was more than two decades ago when RMS St. Helena made a notable once-off call to Dublin and Cobh (Cork) in 1995.

Both the RMS St. Helena and Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 belong to a unique club of only a handful of vessels designated with the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) prefix.The vessel of the St. Helena Line is operated by AW Ship Management. 

The QM2 and the much smaller 6,797 tonnes RMS St. Helena have called to Dublin Bay, however unlike the liner, the latter vessel was easily accommodated in Dublin Port. It was during that call that I recall the Scottish custom-built vessel for St. Helena Island, berthed alongside Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

The RMS St. Helena was then on a cruise on behalf of Swan Hellenic, which saw her return to Scottish waters where in Aberdeen she was launched in 1990. Albeit, the cruise was focused on the other side of Scotland along the Western Isles.

‘RMS’ as she is referred to by the 4,500 population of the islanders known as the ‘Saints’, was set to make her final voyage to St. Helena in July. The reason for closing the combined service is primarily due to the opening of the airport, though a ‘freight-only ship’ will be introduced to maintain services to Jamestown, the capital.  The island is famous as this is the place of Napoleon Bonaparte's exile and death. 

RMS St. Helena, her 59 crew and 139 passengers (just 20 short of full capacity), yesterday morning completed a special voyage returning to the UK, London (Tilbury Cruise Terminal). Originally, RMS St. Helena, served the ocean-going service from UK ports (Cardiff then Portland) but then switched operations running out of Cape Town, South Africa.

Later this week RMS St. Helena is to head upriver along father Thames to the Pool of London, where the ship's career of more than 25 years is to be commemorated. (Afloat.ie will have more on this historic and last visit to the UK capital).

After a series of events held in London, the final voyage of RMS St. Helena that is from the UK is to depart on 14 July with the following ports of call: Tenerife, Canary Islands, Ascension Island, St Helena then back to Ascension. From this British Overseas Territory (likewise of Tristan da Cunha) RMS St. Helena heads back to her island namesake before eventually making a final leg to Cape Town due mid-July. This was meant to be the final ever voyage, however (as further explained below) an extension of South Africa only based voyages are scheduled to continue to late September.

The distance of the this South Atlantic voyage is 1,950km/1,200 miles and takes five-days, compared to the planned introduction of scheduled flights to and from Johannesburg, taking a mere six hours. As previously mentioned the new airport remains to be opened. According to a St. Helena Government statement this is due to the challenges of wind shear identified by the first few flights into the airport that began with the first historic trial flights in April.

Work to address this issue is underway at the new airport and the SHG recognise there are St Helenian’s in Cape Town, the UK and Ascension who are ready to return to St Helena and do not have a confirmed means of doing so. Others will be planning journeys in the coming weeks.

SHG will honour its commitment to maintain access by extending the service of the RMS St. Helena as an interim measure and for a limited period until air services begin. This service as usual will be for passengers and freight. The revised schedule of the RMS St. Helena can be viewed here, noting bookings will be accepted from today, Monday 6 June.

According to the St. Helena Line website, the last of the extended voyages is that of Voyage 246 (9th-27th September). This involves a round trip from Cape Town to St. Helena with a call to Ascension Island. The final port of call is to Cape Town which is scheduled for 27 September, marking the end of this chapter in the island's maritime history.

The travel situation is been kept under review and should an air access solution be found quickly, the SHG would need to reassess plans for RMS St Helena.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#CruiseEuropeConference - In the same week of the Cruise Europe Conference held in Dublin for the first time, another first took place in the port as piles were sunk for the €227m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) project enabling much larger cruiseships to berth, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Around 200 delegates of CEC 2016 (which has members within northern and Atlantic Europe) who gathered at the Gibson Hotel overlooking Alexandra Basin, heard Eamon O’Reilly, chief executive of Dublin Port Company, speak of the ABR project. The port is expected to see a doubling of cruiseships visiting the capital over the next decade.

As part of the ABR project much larger cruiseships of up to 330m long will be permitted to turn within the harbour and berth closer to the city-centre at a new terminal. The custom built double berth facility costing €30m will be a first for a port that in 2016 is scheduled to bring 113 cruise ship calls to Dublin this year compared with last year’s total of 93.

Chairman of Cruise Europe Captain Michael McCarthy said “the challenge is to step up to the market to accommodate these ships and investment in such facilities to handle these ships”

Last year the cruise industry carried an estimated 23m passengers generating $125 billion dollars and supporting 930,000 jobs. There were 300 plus cruiseships sailing the world’s oceans with a combined capacity of around 346,000 passengers. This is the 15th successive year of increased global cruise tourism figures and in the period February-April 2016, there was a 16% rise compared to the same period last year. Due to security issues, however in the middle-east some operators have had to cancell cruises in the region. 

Keynote speaker of CEC, David Dingle, Chairman of Carnival UK, regarded as the ‘godfather of the industry’ spoke of the unprecedented growth of new and ever larger ships. In total there are 61 cruiseships (185,000 lower berths capacity) currently on the order books between 2016 and 2023. The total gross tonnage is of 7.68m and an estimated investment total of $43.5 billion dollars. That's a 44% capacity growth over 2015 or 6.5% per annum. 

The chairman, who paid a visit on board one of the Carnival brands, P&O Cruises Arcadia while at anchorage off Dun Laoghaire Harbour in 2013, also highlighted at the conference that if you were to order a cruiseship now, the newbuild would not be available until 2021. Among the trends for these huge ships is that the average passenger accommodation capacity is 3,000 lower beds and reaching up to a maximum of 5,000 beds. 

Dingle added that the trend for mega ships has led to further new on-board cruise 'experience' concepts.

Other delegates from small ship luxury operators spoke of a common theme in that cruise-goers wanted to be have extended port of call stays and overnights. In addition to having an emotional experience of their visits by engaging more so with locals, be it with artists, those in an expert field and in tracing their family roots. 

The demand for cruising continues as China looks set to overtake Europe as the world’s second largest regional source market around 2025.

As for the Caribbbean there is pressure for new destinations outside this region. On the other side of the world Australasia has benefitted as larger tonnage has been deployed and new tonnage planned. Going against this trend is notably Brazil, one of the BRICK countries, which has encountered a succession of negative factors from developing this market due to its economic climate, health scares over the Zika virus and political instability. 

Among the conference conclusions, critically is that the industry will find it difficult to keep up with the demand to 2025 even with record levels of investment, if present trends are implemented.

Added to the mix is the design of cruiseships in meeting Emissions Control Area (ECA) regulations that came into force in 2015 to reduce sulphur limits in fuel to 0.10%. This will result in vessels operating from the English Channel through the North Sea into the Baltic from 2015, to have increased operating fuel costs of over 50%.

Cruiseships that are LNG powered ships will also need to have associated port related infrastucture in place and that port regulation requires further implentation on a global scale. Also the public perception of such ships requires addressing. 

Delegates were also told the very large cruiseships already in service have issues with port terminal infrastructure. As older built terminals posed challenges in not updating gangway designs to sufficiently cater for these high-sided newbuilds.This in turn reflects the time required to embark and disembark passengers.

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#DublinBayCalls – A small cruise ship but big on levels of luxury is visiting Dublin Port today and this day next week is scheduled to call to neighbouring Dun Laoghaire Harbour, writes Jehan Ashmore.

After undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden during the Spring, the former Sea Explorer of 4,200 tonnes which had spent a ‘lay-up’ mode in Dun Laoghaire in recent years, has been re-launched under new name MS Hebridean Sky.

The refurbishment undertaken on the 90m cruiseship involved numerous works to the 114-passenger guest capacity ship’s public rooms and five-decks as well as to the accommodation for 72 crew.

In addition during dry-docking numerous technical work was carried out for the vessel's operator, Noble Caledonia which specialises in the small-ship cruising market offering a wide range of luxury vessels to travel to destinations as diverse as the Artic and Papua New Guinea in the south-west Pacific.

Hebridean Sky is one of three flagships and is a sister of MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky. The trio were built in the early 1990’s at the same ship yard in Italy and share attributes that make them among some of the finest small ships in the world. Luxury is enhanced by the use of wood panelling and brass which predominates throughout conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht.

There are 59 spacious suites which have a sitting room area and some have private balconies. 

Accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views with suites on the Scott and Shackleton decks featuring private balconies. Each suite affords comfort with en-suite bathroom of a marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower. Among the suites features are a mini-fridge, flat screen TV with inbuilt DVD/CD player and telephone.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CruiseEurope2016 – Cruise Europe’s 2016 conference takes place for the first time in the Irish capital this week (31 May- 2 June). The prestigious three-day conference is to attract over 200 delegates from leading cruise destinations to the event co-hosted by Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The conference coincides with no fewer than seven cruiseliners calling to the capital this week and in a record breaking season with 113 calls scheduled this year. The cruiseships will bring more than 180,000 visitors to experience the city’s sights and attractions. Among those calls, four are turnaround cruises, which will see passengers travel to Dublin Port to begin their cruise.

A notable highlight of the season so far was the first and only Irish port of call for Disney Cruise Line’s impressive 300m long two funnelled Disney Magic which made a maiden voyage to Irish shores last Thursday bringing 3,650 passengers and crew.

Also making an impression in early May was the return call to Dublin Port of MSC Splendida with 4,600 passengers and crew. At 333m the giant ship operated by MSC Cruises is the 11th longest cruiseship in the world and last summer she became the longest vessel ever to visit the capital. Operated by MSC Cruises the ship has also called to Cobh last year and this season.

According to the Chairman of Cruise Europe, Captain Michael McCarthy of Port of Cork Company, the conference represents an opportunity for delegates to nurture long-term relationships, discuss and debate operational issues, regulatory policies, and to explore new ventures and markets. The conference will also be a great opportunity to showcase Ireland to the cruise industry as a destination to all the major cruise lines and service suppliers of the cruise industry worldwide. 

Cruise Europe represents 120 ports and associate members on the continent. The goal of the organisation is to have cruise companies, ports and likely destinations working together in a unified manner to ensure safe and enhanced experiences for cruise passengers.

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#DisneyDublin - Disney Magic is to be one of the highlights of Dublin Port's cruise season and as the first Irish port to welcome Disney Cruise Line, a subsidiary of the famous Walt Disney Company, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the call next Thursday of the 300m long Disney Magic, only 33 short of the port's record holder MSC Splendida, will have 3,650 people on board visiting the capital. The 84,000 tonnes cruiseship has a 2,700 passenger capacity and they are accommodated in 875 staterooms. In total there are 11 public decks and a crew of 950.

The call by Disney will represent further confidence by the sector in choosing to make Dublin Port a destination in a season scheduled to bring 180,000 visitors from 113 calls. Of those calls four are turnaround cruises, where cruise-goers travel to the capital to begin their cruise.

The cruiseship was built in 1998 by the Italian yard of Fincantieri and the then newbuild was homeported in Port Canaveral, Florida until transferred to Europe almost a decade ago in 2007.

This led Disney Magic to make a repositioning voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and beyond when based out of Barcelona to embark inaugural cruises in the Mediterranean.

Disney Magic has an appearance that clearly echoes to the era of the trans-Atlanctic liners.

The design of having two funnels and painted in red and topped in black pays homage to liners like Normandie, France (see, large containership/longsest cruiseship). This iconic liner latter became converted into a cruiseship as the Norway, that anchored off Dun Laoghaire in the mid-1990’s.

Published in Cruise Liners
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