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Displaying items by tag: Cruise Liners

#BoudiccaBalconies - Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ 880-guest Boudicca is currently undergoing refurbishment in a drydock at Lloyd Werft's shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany, in preparation for the forthcoming 2016/17 cruise season.

The 28,55I tonnes Boudicca docked in Bremerhaven last week from the Port of Tyne, Newcastle, following a 16-night ‘Mysterious Morocco & Seductive Spain’ cruise. The same North Sea port is where Boudicca had completed a round trip cruise themed ‘Myths & Legends of Ireland & UK’ as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

During the dry dock, Boudicca will also see 28 cabins on Lido Deck 7 fitted with terrace balconies. These new terrace balcony cabins will extend out 1.2 metres from the ship’s bulkhead, and will provide guests with an increased choice of cost-effective balcony cabins, with access to the outside.

In addition, Boudicca will undergo various engineering work, general refurbishment and interior and exterior painting. 

Mike Rodwell, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We experience extremely high demand for balcony cabins across our fleet, in particular on a smaller-sized ship such as Boudicca, and our new terrace balcony cabins are an innovative response to this.

“We installed the new terrace balcony cabins on sister ship Black Watch during her dry dock last Autumn, and these have proved very popular with our guests.”

Following her dry dock, Boudicca will commence her cruise season from the South Essex port of Tilbury, with a 14-night ‘Landscapes of Morocco, Madeira & the Canaries’ voyage, departing at the end of this month on 30th November.

During the 2016/17 cruise season, Fred. Olsen’s fleet of four ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch  will be visiting a record 253 destinations in 84 countries around the globe.

Published in Cruise Liners

#Hurtigruten – Norwegian operator, Hurtigruten has announced a refurbishment programme that will see four of its coastal ships under-going a total ‘Arctic Interior’ makeover in 2016.

The company is already undertaking a total refurbishment of the newly acquired MS Spitsbergen as previously reported on Afloat.ie is a former ferry built for the Azores but never went into service. 

Also announced are plans to operate MS Spitbergen as an additional ship on the Norwegian coastal route next summer, before she officially takes the place of MS Midnatsol in autumn 2016.

“We are a first mover company and we are now reinventing the Hurtigruten experience. By combining tradition, innovation and sustainability, we aim to ensure the position as world leader in nature-based explorer travels in polar waters”, says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

MS Polarlys will be the first ship to be refurbished in January 2016, during a 22 day programme of round the clock works. Upgrading of MS Kong Harald, MS Nordkapp and MS Nordnorge will follow.

The ships will be fitted with a modern Scandinavian interior, reflecting the coastal landscapes of the Arctic.

“The interior will reflect the breath-taking coastal landscapes we sail past. We have made it stylish and yet unpretentious. The colours are earthy and from the coast and the sea. Many of the materials are natural, such as wood, slate and leather” says Magnus Zetterberg, Managing Director of Hurtigruten UK.

All common areas of the ships will see changes with the reception areas, cafes, bistro areas and the aft deck all to be renovated.

One of the highlights of any Coastal voyage with Hurtigruten is the local Norwegian cuisine served in the restaurant, with menus changing every day to reflect the specialities of the area the ship is sailing through.

The new, stylish restaurants with a modern Nordic feel, will provide an ideal setting for the menus. A range of fresh pastries baked on board will be served and a new feature will be barbecue stands out on deck.

Facilities on MS Spitsbergen will be similar to those already offered across the fleet and she will offer suites with a private balcony and full length windows - offering passengers their own private space from which to watch the northern lights or midnight sun.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CostaConcordia - Work is progressing on the dismantling of the Costa Concordia at a shipyard in Genoa, as a new photo gallery at gCaptain attests.

As many as 200 workers are involved in removing internal fittings and structures from the ill-fated cruise liner, which was refloated in July 2014 in a complex operation some two-and-a-half years after sinking off Tuscany.

An Irish couple were among the more than 4,000 passengers and crew rescued from the vessel on the night of 13 January 2012 in a tragic incident that claimed 32 lives.

Earlier this year the ship's disgraced former captain Francesco Schettino was convicted on multiple counts of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years after evidence that he abandoned ship during the rescue effort.

The remains of the vessel are now nearing the final stage of demolition with the removal of the first steel sponsons, used to keep the wreck buoyant for the stripping of its internal decks.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CouncilsCruiseCosts- An allocated €1.5m by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council was made towards the planning costs of a large-scale cruise berth in Dún Laoghaire harbour, reports the Irish Times.

The planning costs were carried out by DLRCC in the hope of a significant economic payback, but is no longer able to defend that position, a planning inquiry has been told.

Dún Laoghaire TD Richard Boyd Barrett told the An Bord Pleanála inquiry he wanted to question the council’s support for Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company’s application for a 400m cruiser berth and dredging scheme in and outside the harbour.

However, he was told by Rhona Naughton – senior planner with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council – there was no one present at the inquiry to answer questions on the basis for the contention that the cruise ships would provide an economic uplift.

Mr Boyd Barrett said he was disappointed as county management had proposed the allocation of €1.5 million, telling councillors cruise ships would represent a “substantial economic benefit to the town and the region”. But he said “we have no one from the council willing to back up that assertion”.

Mr Barrett also told by Ms Naughton that moves by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown county councillors to halt the harbour development have no legal standing.

A majority of councillors voted in recent weeks to insert a ban on cruise ships longer than 250m in the draft county development plan, as well as a provision to encourage the development of the harbour as a centre for national and international water sports.

But Ms Naughton said the draft county development plan would not come into force until April 2016. And there was no certainty at this stage that the ban on larger cruise ships would survive the ongoing drafting process.

She said the council support of the planning application was “within the confines” of the county development plan 2010 – 2016 and she could not comment on what might be included in the draft plan when it becomes law.

For much more on the story, click for the newspaper link here.

 

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#CruiseCostAnalysis - At the planning inquiry on Wednesday, heated exchanges arose into Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company’s proposed cruise ship berth, reports The Irish Times.

The harbour company is seeking planning permission for a 400m berth to accommodate some of the world’s largest cruise ships, with ancillary facilities, including the dredging of an approach channel inside and outside the harbour walls.

Answering questions on the €18 million investment associated with the project, Annette Hughes of DKM Economic Consultants, on behalf of the harbour company, said a cost-benefit analysis of the project had not been carried out as one “was not required”.

She said the fact DKM had carried out a cost-benefit assessment on a redevelopment project at Galway docks was “entirely irrelevant”, and objected to a line of questioning on the matter from Dr Pat McCloughan, who represented Dún Laoghaire Harbour combined sailing and yacht clubs.

Further coverage by the newspaper of the inquiry can be read by clicking here.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CruiseBerth - Would a next-generation cruise berth in Dun Laoghaire actually do more harm than good?

That's the position of former Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club vice commodore Dermot Reidy as the oral hearings on the controversial cruise berth proposal come to a close.

Writing in The Irish Times yesterday (Thursday 21 October), Reidy describes the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company's ambitious cruise liner terminal plans as a "white elephant" and equates it with the retail over-expansion that has all but killed off the town's beleaguered Main Street.

"Dún Laoghaire needs cruise ships, certainly. But it needs ones that will dock in the harbour and contribute to the town and its economy," he writes. "It does not need 'Cities of the Seas' or five-star, floating Bulgarian apartment block-style vessels, each on the order of 17 storeys high and weighing 150,000 tons."

That's a notion supported by engineer Liam Shanahan, who told An Bord Pleanála's hearing on Wednesday (21 October) that the term 'cruise ship' in the context of the harbour company's planning application is a misnomer when such vessels are typically more than 11 storeys high and are comparable to "a mountain on a hull, with a power plant inside" – generating mass amount of air pollution when berthed.

Reidy, who supports an alternative future for Dun Laoghaire as a centre of sporting excellence, goes a step further by comparing the town's harbour to Phoenix Park as an amenity for both public and private use, and suggesting that the harbour's management be reorganised "into the existing structures that are available and willing to run them: the people via their elected councillors."

The oral hearings on the Dun Laoghaire cruise berth plans conclude today (Friday 23 October), with a final decision due by 8 January 2016.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CruiseBerth - An "unquantifiable financial gamble" is how local TD Richard Boyd Barrett described the proposed Dun Laoghaire cruise liner terminal at the first day of oral hearings into the plans.

According to The Irish Times, Barrett told the An Bord Pleanála hearing this past Wednesday (14 October) that no berth or harbour dredging project “in the world” at the scale of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company's plans that could be completed for €18 million – and claimed the scheme is "inextricably linked" with private development proposals for the harbour area.

Barrett voiced similar concerns at the 'people's protest' and boat rally held in the harbour last Saturday (10 October), in the same week that proposals for an alternative vision for the harbour as a national centre for watersports went online.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

#DunLaoghaire - Proposals for a National Watersports Centre for Dun Laoghaire at the former HSS terminal are now online.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the idea was recently proposed by the Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs (DLCC) to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council as they made their submission to the oral hearings on plans for a next-generation terminal for cruise liners in the harbour.

Those plans have attracted significant opposition in the locality, as evidenced by the large turnout for the joint boat rally and protest march against the scheme last weekend.

Rather than 'dividing' the harbour, as many opponents fear the cruise terminal would do, the DLCC say development of the HSS terminal as a 'National Watersports Academy' would help protect Dun Laoghaire's waterfront "as an outstanding recreational harbour and sporting amenity of national significance".

Based on the example of similar facilities in Pwllheli, Weymouth and Medemblik, the proposal envisages that Dun Laoghaire could host between 20 and 30 major events at such a centre throughout the year, "generating substantial additional revenue" for the town.

National Watersports Centre sketch 1 October 2015National Watersports Centre sketch 3 October 2015

National Watersports Centre sketch 2 October 2015

The complete proposal is available as a PDF to read or download HERE.

In 2010, The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) published a case study on the socio-economic significance of the 2009 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. The biennial event attracted an entry of 449 entries and is the biggest regatta in Ireland. Over four days, the study (carried out by Irish Sea Marine Leisure Knowledge Network) found the event was worth nearly three million to the local economy.

Published in Cruise Liners

#NoPassportCruise - Boudicca, one of Fred. Olsen Lines quartet of cruiseships is currently on a ‘No Passport Required’ circumnavigation of the UK having departed Newcastle almost a week ago, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The aim of the ‘Myths & Legends of Ireland & UK’ cruise for up to 880 passengers who had embarked in Newcastle is to experience unravelling a host of intriguing myths, mysteries and legends around these beautiful coastlines.

Tonight Boudicca is making a northerly passage off Scotland through the Hebridean Isles.

Since her departure from Newcastle, a long-term Fred Olsen homeport, the 28,551 tonnes cruiseship made Portsmouth a first port of call and then headed for Falmouth.

Following her Cornish call to the West Country, Boudicca visited Cork (Cobh) which had another successful season as previously reported and where the 1973 built ship was the final caller.

Also visited where other large ports, Dublin and Belfast.

The remaining ports of the cruise will all be Scottish based with the next been Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands. From there it’s on to Invergordon and the mainland capital of Edinburgh (Leith).

Cruise-goers will then have a final leg in the North Sea with a return call to Newcastle, marking the completion of the round-cruise. The Tyneside port has long connections with Fred. Olsen, through ferry origins and with very strong ties with Norway.

Since 1987 the cruise operator has concentrated serving from UK ports. Asides Newcastle, the passenger embarkation ports are Avonmouth, Belfast, Dover, Greenock, Harwich, Liverpool, Rosyth, Southampton and Tilbury downriver of London.

One of many popular ports visited by Fred. Olsen is the Norwegian port of Bergen which was host to an historic occasion on 28 July as all the company’s fleet had docked for the first ever time and in the same port.

A once in a lifetime spectacle for almost 4,000 passengers disembarked from the cruiseships at the south-western port in what was hailed as ‘The Fred. Olsen Fleet Unites’.

The gathering was also dubbed the ‘4 B’s In Bergen’ event given that all Olsen cruiseship names begin with the letter B.  So the Boudicca’s fleetmates are named Black Watch (a sister), Braemar and the flagship, Balmoral.

Bergen was chosen for the cruise lines quartet as the origins of the company can be probably traced back to the original Olsen brothers, Frederik, Christian and Peter.

According to Ships Monthly, (November issue), the brothers from Hvitsten near Oslo, brought their first ships in 1848.

The company in the following century shared a successful partnership with the passenger ferry operator, Bergen Line during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CruiseBerthProtests - A boat rally campaign against the proposed €18m cruise-berth for Dun Laoghaire Harbour saw some 25 yachts yesterday gather at short notice, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The flotilla formed a line tracing the position of where the proposed 390m long jetty would sit inside the harbour, almost occupying the centre of the south Dublin Bay port. The cruise-berth would be able to accomodate some of the largest cruiseships in the world.

Dun Laoghaire harbour protest against cruise berth

The boat rally was held in advance of the first official oral hearings to be held by An Bord Pleanala next week. The hearing will examine submissions lodged to An Bord Pleanala on the controversial issue of an application by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) for planning permission to construct the facility.  In total 150 submissions were lodged following a public consultation process when the harbour company unveiled its cruise-berth plans during Easter.

Critics of the cruise liner project say the new pier structure would split the harbour in two, bringing an end to sailing across the broad expanse of the artificial built harbour which has been a tradition for many generations.

Also yesterday was held the People's Rally, where local T.D., Richard Boyd Barrett cited despite the fact that another public-owned harbour, Dubin Port with its own cruise-berth terminal would be competing in effect and that Dun Laoghaire would lose out.

Also it was claimed that the proposed cruise-berth would be a prelude to preparing the harbour for 'privatisation'.

Protestors claim from fears over the impacts of dredging and damage caused during construction and continued maintenance costs. Also how such a facility would pose on the unique heritage values of the harbour and public amenities was also raised.

Dun Laoghaire harbour protest

The DLHC is to be transferred to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, however the direction of the how the local authority would manage the port was also questioned against the backdrop of the Harbours (Amendment) Bill due before the Dail.

On completion of the rally held in the centre of the harbour, the yachts were joined by dinghy craft to form a larger flotilla in support of the People’s Rally held at the East Pier bandstand.

The first day of the oral hearing is to begin next Wednesday, 14 October.

Published in Cruise Liners
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