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Displaying items by tag: MSC Splendida

A cruise liner bound for Belfast in May has had its itinerary changed to avoid two upcoming port calls in Italy, following that country’s extraordinary national lockdown measures to control the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the MSC Splendida was due to dock at Civitavecchia on Saturday 28 March and the following day at Genoa.

However, with quarantine extended to the whole of Italy by its government this past Monday (9 March), MSC Cruises has rerouted the ship to instead dock in Marseille in 28 March and Barcelona on 29 March.

The MSC Splendida is expected to arrive in Belfast Lough on Friday 1 May via Hamburg.

The Belfast Telegraph also reports that a major cruise operator hit hard by Covid-19 outbreaks, and which was due to bring 5,000 people to Belfast on Friday 8 May, has suspended operations for the next eight weeks.

Princess Cruises, whose Diamond Princess in Japan and Grand Princess in California were subjected to quarantine, also operates the Regal Princess — which is at present approaching Cozumel in Mexico to end its current voyage.

#RepeatReverseRole – MSC Splendida repeated a reverse docking call to Dublin Port today following the same unorthodox berthing procedure of only the previous week, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Operators of the largest ship ever to dock in the capital, MSC Cruises cited their decision to call to Dublin Port having cancelled a scheduled anchorage call off Dun Laoghaire Harbour for today was due to positive passenger feedback been so close to the city, allowing more time to spend ashore.

In fact the visit of the 3,200 capacity MSC Splendida is much longer than the average port of call at almost a total of 31 hours berthed alongside Alexandra Basin West. The longest quay for such massive cruiseships was reserved for the port's longest ever cruiseship at 333m. As such this prevented her to swing in the confines of the turning circle hence an arrival astern to berth in the basin.

She departs from the basin's Ocean Pier at 23.00 tonight.

The decision to change Dublin Bay destination is a double blow to Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company which expressed dismay as this was the second time MSC Cruises have cancelled. The massive cruiseship was to launch the season on 11 May. This would of involved the transfer of passengers ashore by tenders to and from the harbour.

Instead the first caller of a now reduced record-breaking season of 22 callers to Dun Laoghaire was left to Princess Cruises 3,600 passenger Royal Princess which made her maiden call off the harbour last week.

It will be a case of deja-vu not just because of today's MSC Splendida's repeat reverse call but that Royal Princess is to cancel her next call this Sunday off Dun Laoghaire. She is to steer a course across the bay for a first call to Dublin Port with an arrival time from 05.30. 

In the meantime, tonight the 3,900 passenger capacity MSC Splendida is to depart at 23.00 and head northwards to Greenock Cruise Terminal on the Clyde.

The Scottish terminal is where Queen Mary 2 docked today having made her second call in as many years yesterday off Dun Laoghaire Harbour bringing up to 3,000 passengers to visit the borough and beyond.

Published in Cruise Liners

#SplendidaSwitchPorts - MSC Cruises operators of the massive MSC Splendida have confirmed that the ship will be back for a second visit to Dublin Port at 4.30am this Thursday, May 21.

Following MSC Splendida's debut call last week (Monday, May 11)  as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the cruiseship had been scheduled to anchor offshore at Dun Laoghaire, but has now changed its plans to re-enter Dublin Port.

"Getting MSC Splendida into Dublin Port is no mean feat," said Giles Hawke, MSC Cruises executive director for the UK and Ireland.

"But judging by the amazing feedback we have received, it is certainly an effort worth making. Our cruise guests love the convenience of being able to disembark quickly and make the most of their time in such a beautiful and friendly city."

MSC Splendida made maritime history as the largest cruise ship ever to dock in Dublin Port during her recent visit, and staff were "blown away" by the amount of people lining the Liffey to wave it off, Hawke added.

Having carried out preparations for the anticipated visit, however, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company expressed dismay over the change of plans.

"We are disappointed and surprised that the MSC Splendida has transferred its call to Dublin Port, considering that this was a scheduled anchorage call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour," said Captain Simon Coates, Habour Master, Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Dun Laoghaire had expected to welcome 21 cruise ships this season; while Dublin Port is set to welcome 83.

For much more The Independent has a report here.

Afloat.ie adds that Royal Princess (see previous report) which is even larger than the MSC Splendida was due to make a return call to Dun Laoghaire this Sunday, however according to the Dublin Port cruise schedule she is also instead to call to the capital on Sunday.

The Royal Princess had been due to make a repeat anchorage call off Dun Laoghaire Harbour that same day next weekend though this will be her first call to Dublin Port.

Royal Princess at 142,000 tonnes is in fact larger than MSC Splendida and will so outpace last week's record for the largest ever ship of any type to visit Dublin Port. As for length, MSC Spendida still holds that title as the longest cruiseship ever at 333m to enter the port. 

Afloat.ie will have more to add to this latest developmment. 

In the meantime, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company can look forward tomorrow (May 20) to the visit of Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2, the cruise-liner having made her debut off the south Dublin Bay port in 2013. 

Published in Cruise Liners

#WatchSplendida – MSC Splendida's sheer size currently occupies almost the entire Ocean Pier quay within Alexandra Basin, where the largest and longest cruiseship in the history of Dublin Port docked today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Towering 18 decks above the port estate and that of Alexandra Basin the main part of the port that accommodates the majority of cruisecallers. This latest record-breaking caller demonstrates how large these ships are and indeed becoming increasingly bigger!

Listed below is more detailed information of the 2009 built cruiseship completed for MSC Cruises from the yard of STX France in Saint Nazaire.

Splendid's Statistics 

Gross tonnage 137.936 tons
Number of passengers 3.247 (on double basis)
Crew members About 1.370
Number of cabins 1.637, incl. 43 for guests with disabilities or reduced mobility
Length/Beam/Height 333,30 m / 37,92 m post panamax / 66,80 m
Decks 18, incl. 14 for guests
Maximum speed 22,99 knots
Average speed 18 knots

So Where to Watch the Splendida...

With all that to take on board or even from the perspective as of a spectator ashore...where are the best places to observe this latest instalment to Dublin Port representing the global cruise industry.

The best vantage point is ideally along the Great South Wall which celebrated its 300th anniversary in which the Dublin Port Company held a conference recently to celebrate the decision to built the wall. Studies from an EIS for the proposed €30m cruise terminal formed as a major part in the contents of the conference lectures.

Also included in the conference was the beach on Bull Island which too will offer views as the ship departs behind the North Bull Wall that forms the other boundary of the port channel.

What about the open stretches lining the 'Splendid' horse-shoe shaped bay notably along Sandymount Strand that forms such a unique part of this amenity of a European capital.

From here you will be able to see the 18-deck ship glide above the port's skyline as it heads down the channel along the Great South Wall and beyond the Poolbeg Lighthhouse entrance.

Or if out jogging and walkers alike can look forward to either the pierheads at Dun Laoghaire Harbour giving another view as she progresses underway in the bay. Dun Laoghaire Harbour itself is where there are also plans to accommodate such huge cruiseships within the harbour with a purpose built €18m cruise-berth jetty.

In fact the MSC Splendida was originally due to make an anchorage call today off Dun Laoghaire Harbour with passengers tendered ashore, however she is scheduled to call on the 21st May.

Noting that the even larger! Royal Princess of 141,000 tonnes with 3,600 passengers and 1,300 crew is to call offshore of Dun Laoghaire tomorrow (noted latest update on ETA is 6 am in the morning). The 2013 built Princess Cruises ship will instead launch the season as the first of a record 21 cruiseships due in the majority to anchor off the south Dublin Bay harbour.

The arrival of Royal Princess given her closer anchorage call should arguably be more impressive than MSC Splendida particularly given the vantage available from coastlines south of Dun Laoghaire.

Published in Cruise Liners

#DublinCruiseRecord – A historic day for Dublin Port as the biggest ever ship to dock, MSC Splendida of more than 137,000 tonnes and towering 18 decks called this morning with the massive cruiseship entering the port 'stern' first or in reverse, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Mediterranean Shipping Company's (MSC) Cruises 3,200 passenger / 1,370 crew cruiseship had sailed overnight from Greenock, on the Firth of Clyde.

Her call is another leap for the port as Grand Princess in 2004 marked a major maritime milestone as the first ship to exceed 100,000 tonnes complete with a gravity defying disco.

The MSC Splendida can boast too as she features Turkish baths!... offering the utlimate in luxury but only to those who join the MSC Yacht Club, an excusive ship within a ship experience.  

MSC Splendida's maiden call to Dublin Port also became the longest cruiseship to visit at 333 metres as she ranks as the 11th longest in the world. These impressive dimensions have pushed the port's operational limits as previously explained today on Afloat.ie and below.

Currently the port can only handle ship lengths of up to 300m which is why the 'Fantasia' class MSC Splendida could not sail up the channel normally, nor be able to use the turning circle prior to entering Alexandra Basin due to the confined quay layout space on such a longer ship.

Instead, MSC Splendida was skilfully edged astern or backwards within Alexandra Basin to berth No.33. This sees the bow already face the River Liffey in readiness for a straightforward departure this evening (from 7 pm) from Ocean Pier that separates both Alexandra Basins (West where docked) and that of neighbouring East basin.

However, back in 2002, the same procedure of bringing a cruiseship in reverse through Dublin Port's entrance involved Royal Caribbean Line's Brilliance of the Seas of 90,000 tonnes that docked also at Alexandra's berth No.33. At the time the brand 'Millennium' class newbuild was also the longest cruiseship to Dublin Port at 295 metres.

Likewise of MSC Splendida, this required a lot of preparation prior to handling such a vessel despite then there being leeway in terms of length for the 'Brilliance' to swing in the turning circle leading into Alexandra Basin. It is understood however that during the call then more than a decade ago, that there was insufficient depth for the 'Brilliance' notably on the river side outside the basin to allow for safe navigation of the turning circle into Alexandra Basin.

On a related note, further dredging would be required as DPC's proposed Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project and associated EIS is currently under review with An Bord Pleanala. The ABR is intended to transform phase one of the port Masterplan so to allow larger and deeper drafted ships of all types, including the world's largest cruise ships, to routinely call to Dublin Port.

In the case of cruise ships, they will berth upriver at a proposed €30m double-cruise berth terminal next to the East Link Bridge along the North Wall Quay Extension. The second berth would be within Alexandra Basin which would be accessed by an expanded turning circle that faces the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club Marina.

The proposed terminal would handle the world's top ten largest cruise liners, including those such as Royal Caribbean Line's 360m long Allure of the Seas. This is a mega 'Quantum' class cruiseship of 168,000 tonnes and carrying almost 5,000 passengers.

As previously reported, only the Port of Cork's cruise terminal at Cobh can handle these much larger cruiseships, though the port company are not expecting such callers until the 2017 cruises season.

Published in Cruise Liners

#DublinsBiggestShip – Dublin Port is to have the biggest ever ship of any type to call when cruiseship MSC Splendida of all 137,926 gross tonnes is to make her Irish debut instead of anchoring firstly offshore of Dun Laoghaire Harbour, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to Dublin Port Company CEO Eamon O'Reilly, who was speaking at the recent Dublin Bay Conference which was held in the Gibson Hotel overlooking the site of the proposed €30m cruise terminal, the MSC Splendida is to call on 11 May, the same day original scheduled for her anchorage call off Dun Laoghaire.

It is not known why the huge 18-deck 'Fantasia' class 333m long cruiseship has swapped ports, though there are many variables in the shipping industry over the re-scheduling of vessels.

Having said that MSC Splendida is to call offshore of Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the 21st May of the following week. When she does the 3,900 passenger accommodation vessel makes her the largest in capacity terms of this seasons record breaking 22 cruiseships calling within the harbour and anchoring offshore.

Added to the MSC Splendida's tourists will be a crew of around 1,370 which is close to that of the 1,500 passenger former Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead fast-ferry HSS Stena Explorer.

This leaves another massive cruiseship, Royal Princess of 142,714 tonnes (see, Belfast's biggest caller 2014) to become the first caller this season for the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company when she takes anchorage in south Dublin Bay on 12th May. The 330m cruiseship has a 3,560 passenger capacity. 

Another yet repeat caller is Cunard's Line's flagship cruise 'liner' Queen Mary 2 (QM2) which at 151,000 tonnes and 2,600 passengers is due to call offshore on 20th May, the day before MSC Spendida's inaugural call. 

The QM2 is 61.9m high while the MSC Splendida is even higher towering at almost 70m. Such-sized ships and larger could enter Dun Laoghaire Harbour as proposed by the €18m single cruise-berth in which the DLHC are understood to lodge this month a planning application accompanied by an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to An Bord Pleanala.

MSC Splendida is operated by MSC Cruises, the passenger arm of the Mediterranean Shipping Company that run container services to Dublin Port. When she calls, the massive cruiseship is to enter the port entrance astern, this is due to current restrictions of the port layout and the relationship to her sheer size and water depth notably when berthing in the confines of Alexandra Basin. This area of the port forms part of the port's 'Masterplan 2040' as the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) reconfiguration project is to cost €200m.

The arrival of MSC Splendida will be a clear demonstration as to why the Dublin Port Company propose the €30m cruise terminal facility. The double cruise-berth facility is to accommodate such ships and those of the next generation mega cruiseships. A decision from An Bord Pleanala over the proposed cruise terminal and associated EIS is already currently underway. 

Aside all the focus on cruiseships due to the controversary of potentially having two new cruise terminals in Dublin Bay totalling almost €50m, one could easily forget the real driver of the economy is that of cargoships exporting our trade.

As such increasing larger deeper drafted cargoships also need to enter Alexandra Basin and elsewhere in the port. This is where the rest of the masterplan is to meet the rising demands of the shipping industry coupled with economies of scale and capacity demands as record trade figures are broken and are forecast.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Information

Dun Laoghaire Harbour is the second port for Dublin and is located on the south shore of Dublin Bay. Marine uses for this 200-year-old man-made harbour have changed over its lifetime. Originally built as a port of refuge for sailing ships entering the narrow channel at Dublin Port, the harbour has had a continuous ferry link with Wales and this was the principal activity of the harbour until the service stopped in 2015. In all this time, however, one thing has remained constant and that is the popularity for sailing and boating from the port, making it Ireland's marine leisure capital with a harbour fleet of over 1,200-1.600 pleasure craft.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Bye-Laws

Download the bye-laws on this link here

FAQs

A live stream Dublin Bay webcam showing Dun Laoghaire Harbour entrance and East Pier is here

Dun Laoghaire is a Dublin suburb situated on the south side of Dublin Bay, approximately, 15km from Dublin city centre.

The east and west piers of the harbour are each of 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) long.

The harbour entrance is 232 metres (761 ft) across from East to West Pier.

  • Public Boatyard
  • Public slipway
  • Public Marina

23 clubs, 14 activity providers and eight state-related organisations operate from Dun Laoghaire Harbour that facilitates a full range of sports - Sailing, Rowing, Diving, Windsurfing, Angling, Canoeing, Swimming, Triathlon, Powerboating, Kayaking and Paddleboarding. Participants include members of the public, club members, tourists, disabled, disadvantaged, event competitors, schools, youth groups and college students.

  • Commissioners of Irish Lights
  • Dun Laoghaire Marina
  • MGM Boats & Boatyard
  • Coastguard
  • Naval Service Reserve
  • Royal National Lifeboat Institution
  • Marine Activity Centre
  • Rowing clubs
  • Yachting and Sailing Clubs
  • Sailing Schools
  • Irish Olympic Sailing Team
  • Chandlery & Boat Supply Stores

The east and west granite-built piers of Dun Laoghaire harbour are each of one kilometre (0.62 mi) long and enclose an area of 250 acres (1.0 km2) with the harbour entrance being 232 metres (761 ft) in width.

In 2018, the ownership of the great granite was transferred in its entirety to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council who now operate and manage the harbour. Prior to that, the harbour was operated by The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, a state company, dissolved in 2018 under the Ports Act.

  • 1817 - Construction of the East Pier to a design by John Rennie began in 1817 with Earl Whitworth Lord Lieutenant of Ireland laying the first stone.
  • 1820 - Rennie had concerns a single pier would be subject to silting, and by 1820 gained support for the construction of the West pier to begin shortly afterwards. When King George IV left Ireland from the harbour in 1820, Dunleary was renamed Kingstown, a name that was to remain in use for nearly 100 years. The harbour was named the Royal Harbour of George the Fourth which seems not to have remained for so long.
  • 1824 - saw over 3,000 boats shelter in the partially completed harbour, but it also saw the beginning of operations off the North Wall which alleviated many of the issues ships were having accessing Dublin Port.
  • 1826 - Kingstown harbour gained the important mail packet service which at the time was under the stewardship of the Admiralty with a wharf completed on the East Pier in the following year. The service was transferred from Howth whose harbour had suffered from silting and the need for frequent dredging.
  • 1831 - Royal Irish Yacht Club founded
  • 1837 - saw the creation of Victoria Wharf, since renamed St. Michael's Wharf with the D&KR extended and a new terminus created convenient to the wharf.[8] The extended line had cut a chord across the old harbour with the landward pool so created later filled in.
  • 1838 - Royal St George Yacht Club founded
  • 1842 - By this time the largest man-made harbour in Western Europe had been completed with the construction of the East Pier lighthouse.
  • 1855 - The harbour was further enhanced by the completion of Traders Wharf in 1855 and Carlisle Pier in 1856. The mid-1850s also saw the completion of the West Pier lighthouse. The railway was connected to Bray in 1856
  • 1871 - National Yacht Club founded
  • 1884 - Dublin Bay Sailing Club founded
  • 1918 - The Mailboat, “The RMS Leinster” sailed out of Dún Laoghaire with 685 people on board. 22 were post office workers sorting the mail; 70 were crew and the vast majority of the passengers were soldiers returning to the battlefields of World War I. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat near the Kish lighthouse killing many of those onboard.
  • 1920 - Kingstown reverted to the name Dún Laoghaire in 1920 and in 1924 the harbour was officially renamed "Dun Laoghaire Harbour"
  • 1944 - a diaphone fog signal was installed at the East Pier
  • 1965 - Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club founded
  • 1968 - The East Pier lighthouse station switched from vapourised paraffin to electricity, and became unmanned. The new candle-power was 226,000
  • 1977- A flying boat landed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, one of the most unusual visitors
  • 1978 - Irish National Sailing School founded
  • 1934 - saw the Dublin and Kingstown Railway begin operations from their terminus at Westland Row to a terminus at the West Pier which began at the old harbour
  • 2001 - Dun Laoghaire Marina opens with 500 berths
  • 2015 - Ferry services cease bringing to an end a 200-year continuous link with Wales.
  • 2017- Bicentenary celebrations and time capsule laid.
  • 2018 - Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company dissolved, the harbour is transferred into the hands of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

From East pier to West Pier the waterfront clubs are:

  • National Yacht Club. Read latest NYC news here
  • Royal St. George Yacht Club. Read latest RSTGYC news here
  • Royal Irish Yacht Club. Read latest RIYC news here
  • Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club. Read latest DMYC news here

 

The umbrella organisation that organises weekly racing in summer and winter on Dublin Bay for all the yacht clubs is Dublin Bay Sailing Club. It has no clubhouse of its own but operates through the clubs with two x Committee vessels and a starters hut on the West Pier. Read the latest DBSC news here.

The sailing community is a key stakeholder in Dún Laoghaire. The clubs attract many visitors from home and abroad and attract major international sailing events to the harbour.

 

Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Dun Laoghaire's biennial town regatta was started in 2005 as a joint cooperation by the town's major yacht clubs. It was an immediate success and is now in its eighth edition and has become Ireland's biggest sailing event. The combined club's regatta is held in the first week of July.

  • Attracts 500 boats and more from overseas and around the country
  • Four-day championship involving 2,500 sailors with supporting family and friends
  • Economic study carried out by the Irish Marine Federation estimated the economic value of the 2009 Regatta at €2.5 million

The dates for the 2021 edition of Ireland's biggest sailing event on Dublin Bay is: 8-11 July 2021. More details here

Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Offshore Race

The biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race is a 320-miles race down the East coast of Ireland, across the south coast and into Dingle harbour in County Kerry. The latest news on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race can be found by clicking on the link here. The race is organised by the National Yacht Club.

The 2021 Race will start from the National Yacht Club on Wednesday 9th, June 2021.

Round Ireland Yacht Race

This is a Wicklow Sailing Club race but in 2013 the Garden County Club made an arrangement that sees see entries berthed at the RIYC in Dun Laoghaire Harbour for scrutineering prior to the biennial 704–mile race start off Wicklow harbour. Larger boats have been unable to berth in the confines of Wicklow harbour, a factor WSC believes has restricted the growth of the Round Ireland fleet. 'It means we can now encourage larger boats that have shown an interest in competing but we have been unable to cater for in Wicklow' harbour, WSC Commodore Peter Shearer told Afloat.ie here. The race also holds a pre-ace launch party at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

Laser Masters World Championship 2018

  • 301 boats from 25 nations

Laser Radial World Championship 2016

  • 436 competitors from 48 nations

ISAF Youth Worlds 2012

  • The Youth Olympics of Sailing run on behalf of World Sailing in 2012.
  • Two-week event attracting 61 nations, 255 boats, 450 volunteers.
  • Generated 9,000 bed nights and valued at €9 million to the local economy.

The Harbour Police are authorised by the company to police the harbour and to enforce and implement bye-laws within the harbour, and all regulations made by the company in relation to the harbour.

There are four ship/ferry berths in Dun Laoghaire:

  • No 1 berth (East Pier)
  • No 2 berth (east side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 3 berth (west side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 4 berth  (St, Michaels Wharf)

Berthing facilities for smaller craft exist in the town's 800-berth marina and on swinging moorings.

© Afloat 2020

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