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Displaying items by tag: Cunard Line

Portuguese-flagged Ocean Countess (1976/17,593grt) returned to Dublin Port from Vigo, this morning after completing a 10-night Iberian and Morocco cruise. She embarks on another direct cruise from the capital today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Operated by UK-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), Ocean Countess picked up a pilot in Dublin Bay close to the South Burford Buoy around 09.00. An hour later she berthed in the port at Ocean Pier from where passengers of the 800-passenger capacity vessel disembarked.

With a short-turn around in port, more cruise-goers will be boarding for a mid-afternoon departure, marking the start of a 13-night Canary Islands & Madeira cruise. When she heads out of the port, the first port of call is Falmouth then it's off to Leixoes (Portugal), Agadir (Morocco), Arrecife (Lanzarote), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), Funchal (Madeira), Lisbon (Portugal) and Vigo (Spain) before returning to Dublin.

The vessels final end-of season cruise from Dublin is on 25 October, with a 10-night cruise to Nice (returning by air). The interim ports of call are to Falmouth, Leixoes, Lisbon, Cartagena (Spain) Palma and Mahon (Menorca). To read more about this cruise click HERE.

In addition to Dublin calls the former Cunard Countess, also called this season to Cork Harbour. It was during a call last month to Ringaskiddy that another 'Cunarder' the flagship, Queen Mary 2 was also in port on a call to Cobh. To read more of that visit click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
The World's smallest luxury cruiseship the Hebridean Princess, which in recent years was chartered to Queen Elizabeth II, docked in Dublin's docklands yesterday. She berthed on the south quays facing The Convention Centre, where a special event was hosted by the British Embassy on behalf of the monarch during her historic first state visit in May, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At only 2,112 tonnes and 70m long, the diminutive vessel berthed at Sir John Rogersons Quay last evening after picking up a pilot from the cutter Liffey in Dublin Bay. She had sailed overnight from Pembroke Dock and her call to the capital has allowed her passengers to spend a full day today touring attractions as she will remain moored again tonight before departing tomorrow.
Hebridean_Princess
Hebridean Princess berthed at Sir John Rogersons Quay. Photo Jehan Ashmore

Operated by Hebridean Island Cruises, the 5-star vessel which is for only 50 guests, has a reputation for exceptional service, fine dining and has a crew of 38. Accommodation is in thirty spacious, elegant and well-appointed cabins. On Princess Deck is located 'The Isle of Arran' (for deck plans click HERE) Suite which at 340sq ft is the largest and most expensive. The suite comprises a large separate dayroom, a spacious bedroom and a luxuriously equipped Victorian-style marble bathroom. In addition 10 cabins are designed especially for the single traveller. She has appeared in 1st place in UltraTravel Magazine's "10 Coolest Cruises"

Normally the Glasgow registered vessel operates throughout the Scottish highlands and islands, to lochs and remote mainland locations made accessible due to her small size. It is in these same waters that the Hebridean Princess has sailed in another guise as the humble car-ferry Columba (photos) for Caledonian MacBrayne. She was built in 1964 by Hall Russell, Aberdeen and served in this role until 1989 when she was sold and underwent an extensive conversion for the ultra-luxury cruise market.

Her three-day stay to Dublin is part of a Grand Celtic Cruise which started in Cardiff and which will include a call to Carlingford Lough tomorrow, followed by Strangford Lough, Bangor, Ballycastle, the Scottish isles of Jura and Crinan before disembarking in Oban, her home-port. The 10-night cruise inclusive of three-gala dinners cost €4,195 per person for a double cabin and €6,292 per person in a single-cabin.

A decade before Columba was launched, the Royal Yacht Britannia (5,682 tonnes) was commissioned in 1954. She was laid-down two years previously at John Brown & Co. Ltd, Clydebank and the year before she entered service she was launched by HM Queen Elizabeth II. For over four decades she served as the royal yacht until decommissioned in 1997. Her final foreign mission was to convey the last governor of Hong Kong and Prince of Wales from the former colony after its handover to China. She is now permanently moored as an exhibition ship in Edinburgh (Leith) for details click HERE.

Earlier this month Queen Elizabeth's namesake the 2010 built Cunard Line cruiseship Queen Elizabeth made her maiden Irish call to Dublin followed by Cork (Cobh). To read more on Dublin call click HERE and for Cork (Cobh) click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
With today's historic Irish rugby victory over Australia, fans of the green jersey, who happen to be on a cruise-ship with Cunard Line or P&O Cruises, will be able to continue watching games of the Rugby World Cup, writes Jehan Ashmore.
One of the ten participating cruise ships, Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth (90,901 gross tonnes) owned by Carnival Corporation, made her maiden 'Irish' call to Dublin Port and Cobh last week, is showing live or recorded games within 24 hours from the original kick-off. This will enable games to be shown at convenient times for the participating cruise ships in their various locations.

A total of 24 matches are being shown, starting from the opening game and will include all four Home Nations' matches, quarter-finals, semi -finals, bronze final and then the final on 23rd October. Of course there will be other fans on board from Wales, Scotland, England and elsewhere watching the fixtures throughout the cruise-ships various sporting bars, pubs and other venues.

Carnival Corporation's UK entertainment services general manager, Paul Wright, said: "The Rugby World Cup is of great interest to many of our passengers and we're pleased that nobody will miss out by being on holiday with us throughout this time. At any one time we could have more than 19,000 passengers collectively on board and rooting for one of the Four Nations to bring home the trophy".

He added: "Most people have a sport that they follow and some times, like on a cruise ship, you won't have access to your favourite sport, which means a lot to fans. On our last cruise on Independence of the Seas, we had popular sports shown in state rooms and certain bars around the ship, of course football was the most common sport shown".

Incidentally Independence of the Seas has also called to Cobh since her Irish debut in 2007 and at 154,407 tonnes is the largest ever cruise-caller to Cork Harbour. She surpasses Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2 of 148,528 tonnes which too berthed at Cobh last Wednesday, four days after Queen Elizabeth's inaugural visit.

Published in Cruise Liners
Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2 docked at Cobh today, the 148,528 tonnes giant liner follows Queen Elizabeth which made her maiden call to Cork Harbour last Saturday, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Queen Mary 2 cost €549m and she is the only true 'liner' operating in the world today as she on occasions provides scheduled trans-Atlantic sailings between Southampton and New York. Some of these sailings include calling to Hamburg. In addition to this role she offers worldwide cruising. Her predecessor Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was sold several years to Dubai interests.

The current liner (QM2) can carry 2,620 passengers and a crew of over 1,200 on a vessel is the longest, tallest and widest of any passenger liner built. The luxury liner has private balconies for nearly 80 per cent of cabins and has an art collection worth £3.5m. To complement these works of art there is the first 'floating planetarium', the largest library at sea, boasting 8,000 hardbacks and also the largest ballroom to grace a ship on the oceans.

Queen Mary 2 was short-listed to be built in Belfast at the Harland & Wolff shipyard, but the contract went to Chantiers d'Atlantique, St. Nazaire on the west coast of France.

Her first visit to Irish waters occurred when she anchored off Dunmore East in 2005, the liner had arrived overnight on a passage from her homeport of Southampton and was on a nine-day cruise of British, Irish and Baltic state ports.

Today's Cobh visit of the 345m long Queen Mary 2 coincided with Ocean Countess, a former 'Cunarder', which is also in the port. The 163m vessel was built in 1976 and launched as their Cunard Countess. She weighs 17,593grt and has a 800 passenger capacity. Last year she joined Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) fleet under charter from Majestic International Cruises Group.

Also at work in Cork Harbour was the excursion vessel Spirit of the Isles which apart from operating River Lee sight-seeing cruises between Cork city-centre and Cobh at the weekends, is running a charter cruise this afternoon to Spike Island. For information about sightseeing trips and chartering click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
Visitors to Cork Harbour Open Day should note that asides motoring or taking the train to Cobh, there's also the option of going downriver by boat to view the maiden cruiseship call of Queen Elizabeth, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Irish Rail will operate special services between Cork and Cobh for the event and also on services between Cork to Midelton route where the town's Food & Drink Festival also takes place this Saturday. For festival information visit www.midletonfoodfestival.ie/and for rail-times click HERE.

There's also the option of departing Cork-city centre to Cobh by taking an excursion on the River Lee on the passenger-tender Spirit of the Isles. Sailings depart the city's Penrose Quay, which is on the same side to the railway (Kent) station.

Sailings will operate this Saturday and Sunday and for the remaining weekends throughout September. The boat's Saturday schedule departs the city at 11am and arrives at Cobh's Kennedy Quay at 12.15pm.

In addition there is a Lower harbour tour off Cobh on Saturdays and Sundays, departing Kennedy Pier, Cobh - 12.30pm and returning to Kennedy Pier at 1.45pm. The boat then departs Cobh at 2pm to return to Cork with an arrival time of 3.15pm. For both this Saturday and Sunday sailing schedules, fares and further information go to www.corkharbourcruises.com

In the late 1980's the Spirit of the Isles then named Ingot operated excursions for several seasons from Dun Laoghaire's East Pier to Dalkey Sound and Killiney Bay.

Returning to the third annual Cork Harbour Open Day there will also be a free shuttle-service running in the lower harbour calling at Ringaskiddy, Monkstown, Cobh, Aghada and Crosshaven. The fast-ferry RIB operator 'Whale of a Time' is providing the free service which is sponsored by the Port of Cork Company and National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI). For further information visit http://www.whaleofatime.net/Home.html 

Published in Cork Harbour
Jewel of the Seas, one of four 90,000 tonnes Radiance Class cruise ships operated by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) departed Dublin Port this evening bound for Cork Harbour, writes Jehan Ashmore.
During the cruisecall of the near 300 metre-long vessel, she took on bunkers from the 70m short-sea coastal tanker Keewhit (2,332dwt) which arrived from Liverpool this morning. The procedure to transfer fuel is relatively commonplace particularly with larger cruiseships calling the capital. To see photo of Keewhit transferring fuel in a similar operation which took place when the Grand Princess visited Dublin earlier this year, click HERE.

The 2,500 passenger Jewel of the Seas has a nine-deck centrum which has glass lifts which allows light to flow throughout the spacious and airy ship. Activities range from golf to climbing, a spa and sumptuous restaurants.

When the 2004 built cruiseship docks at the dedicated cruise berth at Cobh in the early hours of tomorrow she will also be sharing the deepwater berth with the 2001 built Silver Whisper. The ultra-luxury vessel accommodates only 388 passengers and is operated by SilverSeas Cruises. To read more about the vessel click HERE.

Both vessels are scheduled to depart Cobh around teatime tomorrow and this will be followed by preparations of the picturesque town which is to welcome the maiden call to Cobh of Queen Elizabeth on Saturday. To read more about the newest vessel of the Cunard Line fleet click HERE. The 2010 built vessel will firstly make an inaugural call to Dublin on Friday prior to the Cobh call which coincides with Cork Harbour Open Day, for event details visit www.corkharbour.ie

Published in Cruise Liners
With less than a fortnight to go Corkonians and visitors alike can look forward to Cork Harbour Open Day, writes Jehan Ashmore
The Cork Harbour event is take place on Saturday 10 September, and on that morning the newest vessel of the Cunard Line fleet, the Queen Elizabeth is to make her maiden call to Cork following a visit to Dublin. At over 90,000 tonnes, the cruiseship which was named last year by Queen Elizabeth is to dock at Cobh. Visitors will be able to view the impressive vessel from the quayside. To read more facts and figures about the Cunard Line vessel click HERE.

This will be the third Cork Harbour Day which is to cover a wide range of events, such as concerts on Spike Island, a photographic exhibition in Camden Fort, guided tours of an Irish naval ship at Cork City Quays and an open day at the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI).

In addition Fastnet Line's ferry Julia will be open for the public to board. The 22,161 gross tonnes serves the Cork-Swansea route and for the Open Day she will be berthed at Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth instead of the nearby ferry terminal. To read details of Open day programme visit www.corkharbour.ie and updates click HERE.

The concept for the Harbour Open Day emerged three years ago, which combined various stakeholders involved in the development and implementation of the Integrated Strategy for Cork Harbour. A group comprising of representatives from UCC, City and County Councils, the Naval Service and the Port of Cork set about working together to engage with users of the harbour and to organise the Open Day.

Cork Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world, next to Sydney Harbour, offering beautiful locations for enjoying the outdoors, dramatic coastlines, and excellent leisure facilities, and is home to some very talented artists, sportsmen and women, and people who are passionate about the history, heritage and cultural value of Cork Harbour.

Published in Cork Harbour
Following the historic visit of Queen Elizabeth to Ireland in May, Cunard Line's newest cruiseship Queen Elizabeth is to make her maiden 'Irish' voyage next month, writes Jehan Ashmore.
In a ceremony held in her home port of Southampton the 2,038 guest capacity /1,100 crew cruiseship was named by Queen Elizabeth in October last year. To watch the naming ceremony click the video.

The 90,901 gross registered tonnes cruise ship is to depart her Hampshire homeport, where she is to similarly follow the monarch in that she is scheduled to make a port of call to Dublin first on 9 September and make a call to Cork afterwards.

With a length of 295m / 965-feet the vessel will dock in the centre of the capital port before she sails overnight to make a morning arrival at Cobh, the dedicated cruise terminal for the Port of Cork. She is scheduled to stay at the Cork Harbour town formerly named Queenstown until a 17.00 hour departure.

Her visit coincides with Cork Harbour Open Day, where visitors can view the impressive vessel from the quayside, for more details visit www.corkharbour.ie

Incidentally her near-sister Queen Victoria also called to Dublin in May and the remaining vessel of the Cunard fleet, the 'flagship' liner Queen Mary 2 is also to dock in Cobh three days later after Queen Elisabeth's visit.

Published in Cruise Liners
As we draw closer to the end of this month that does not mean the holiday season is over especially where cruiseships are concerned, as no fewer than three such vessels are due to Dublin Port tomorrow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Two of the trio P&O Cruises 2,300-passenger Arcadia and Holland America Line's 2,100 passenger Eurodam are scheduled to arrive in Dublin Bay from 07.00hrs. They both weigh over 86,000 gross registered tonnes and share the same length of over 250 metres.

Arcadia caters for the UK market and she is on a 13-night cruise which so far has included calls to North Shields, Tyneside, Invergordon, Shetland Isles, Glasgow, Belfast and Liverpool. After her call to the capital she heads for Cork and finally to St Peter Port, Guernsey.

Readers may note that the vessel is of the same design as of Cunard Line's Queen Victoria, which also called to Dublin in May and Cork. In fact Arcadia was to be given the regal name but the 2005 Italian built vessel was transferred from Cunard Line to P&O Cruises, which are under control of US-owned cruise giant Carnival Corporation.

Notable external features of the Arcadia are glass-fronted lifts, two pools, one with a skydome and an interior that is brimming with an art collection consisting of over 3,000 works. She has many facilities such as a three-tier palladium theatre, an intimate 30-seater cinema and gymnasium with an ocean view to inspire those exercising at sea. She was constructed in just twenty months by the Fincantieri shipyard, just outside Venice.

Likewise Eurodam has an extensive art collection theme that is based on the Dutch master's 'Golden Age' including "The Nightwatch, Two Minutes Later", a contemporary re-interpretation of Rembrandt's famous painting. In addition there are 17th-century watercolour maps by famed cartographer Johannes Vingboons.

Passengers on the 11-decked Signature-class can also enjoy the Pan-Asian restaurant and lounge surrounded by panoramic views, an explorer's lounge bar, an Italian restaurant adjacent to the lido, jewellery boutique, atrium bar, show lounge and a photographic and imaging-centre.

Last but not least to dock around lunchtime will be the 30,000 tonnes Ocean Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, another subsidiary of the Carnival Corporation. The 680-passenger / 181 m long vessel may be the smallest of tomorrow's callers and within the Princess Cruises fleet, but the former Tahitian Princess, which underwent an extensive dry-docking in Singapore last winter is well equipped with facilities.

She has a cabaret lounge, club restaurant and bar, casino bar, main pool and spa, steakhouse restaurant, panorama buffet, an Italian restaurant and the Tahitian Lounge. To see the work conducted at the dry-dock, you can view a slideshow by clicking HERE and to see the work in a completed state which also applied to her sister Pacific Princess, watch this VIDEO.

Published in Cruise Liners
Cruiseships of varying size, vintage and design were all represented in Dublin Port today, as they surrounded the berths at Ocean Pier, writes Jehan Ashmore.
First to make an appearance in the early hours was Princess Cruises Dawn Princess (built 1997/ 77,441 gross registered tonnes). Some two hours later the 77m long coastal tanker Keewhit (2003/2332 dwt) arrived from Liverpool to berth alongside the 260m long cruiseship, this was to provide a ship-to-ship refuelling operation or in nautical-speak 'bunkers'.
The practise is not that unusual as the Keewhit has conducted this procedure before in the port. For example in May she was alongside Grand Princess (see PHOTO).Today's transfer of fuel was completed by lunchtime which saw the Hull-registered tanker return to the Mersey.

Some six hours previously Swan Hellenic's sleek Minerva (1996/12,500grt) picked up a pilot off Dalkey after sailing overnight from Portsmouth. She was followed astern by Saga Cruises Saga Ruby (1973/24,292grt) from Dover and likewise she too picked up a pilot close to the South Burford bouy. Incidentally Minerva had operated for Saga Cruises as their Saga Pearl but in recent years she has returned to her original name.

The classic lines of Saga Ruby are attributed to her combined ocean liner/cruiseship design when launched Vistafjord in 1973. The vessel was built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders for Norwegian America Line. A decade later she was sold to Cunard Line who retained her original name until 1999 when she became the third Caronia. To read more about this former 'Cunarder' click HERE and how her interior looks now click HERE.

Dawn Princess departed Dublin this mid-afternoon bound for Cobh. Minerva is to due to leave around midnight while Saga Ruby remains overnight, in fact her call is particularly leisurely as she does set sail from the capital until tea-time tomorrow.

Published in Cruise Liners
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