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Displaying items by tag: Irish cruiseship ports ofcall

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

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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