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Displaying items by tag: Oceania Cruises

#CruiseLiners -Those watching the live coverage of the recent Ocean to City rowing race would of seen the handsome Marina, a 66,000 tonnes cruiseship which had berthed in Cobh, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Only launched in 2011, Oceania Cruises 1,250 passenger capacity vessel presented a fine sight against the backdrop of Cobh in which the photograph depicts the same scene taken by our colleague, Bob Bateman, in Cork Harbour.

Marina has designer touches everywhere, from the magnificent Lalique Grand Staircase and stunning Owner's Suites furnished in Ralph Lauren Home which showcases the finest residential design and furnishings.

Of the 15 decks, there are 11 decks exclusively for guests. Among the many facilities there is an outdoor movie screen, hot tubs and basketball court and on the top deck an outdoor heated swimming pool.

As for accommodation, there are 18 inside cabins, 611 outside cabins, 591 cabins & suites with verandas and 147 suites.

Should you have missed the Marshal Islands registered cruiseship she is scheduled to visit Cork Harbour on 8 August, arriving early at Ringaskiddy Deepwater berth. Despite not berthing at Cobh, Marina will however still have to pass Cobh in both directions noting her 16.00hrs departure and where the promenade and ramparts of the town afford excellent vantage points.

In the meantime there's plenty of cruiseship callers in the preceding month, as Cork harbour is to welcome some notable cruise callers among them Princess Cruises giant Caribbean Princess (3,500 passengers) due on 1 July.

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#CRUISESHIP SISTERS – Oceania Cruises Nautica (2000/30,277grt) currently docked in Dublin Port will later today be joined by a sister, Azamara Journey, operated by Azamara Club Cruises, writes Jehan Ashmore

Azamara Journey had departed Leith and is heading through the Irish Sea and is expected to arrive in the capital port around mid-afternoon.

Both vessels (circa 680 passengers) form part of an original eight-strong sister fleet of French built 'R' class ships ordered for Renaissance Cruises, which ceased trading in 2001, resulting in the splitting of the ships to various owners.

Incidentally Oceania Cruises also operate two more such sisters. Regatta built as R Five and Insignia, the former R1, the lead-ship of the series all having the previous owner's rather simplistic naming theme. Likewise Azamara Club Cruises operate the former R Seven, rechristened Azamara Quest.

Another 'R' class sister operating for P&O Cruises, the Adonia, which led the seven-strong spectacular sail-past in Southampton waters for the 'Grand Event' to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the famous company, is due to call to Foynes in a fortnight's time.

Noting that Adonia, led the liner line-up which included Arcadia (as previously reported), seen third in line astern and where each ship set off on separate cruises as they headed out of the Solent.

Published in Cruise Liners
Dublin Port welcomed a brand new cruiseship the 66,000 tonnes Marina which docked adjacent to the veteran cruiseship, Marco Polo today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Marina is the first of a pair of mid-sized newbuilds for Oceania Cruises, her sister Riviera is to debut next year from the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestre Ponente, Italy. The 'Oceania' -class each accommodate 1,250 passengers and a crew of 800 and they are an evolution of the companies popular sisters Regatta, Insignia and Nautica.
Designer touches on board the Marina include the Lalique Grand Staircase and the Owner's Suites which are furnished from Ralph Lauren Home, showcasing the finest in residential design and furnishings. The 785-foot ship has a Bon Appétit Culinary Centre which according to her owners is the only hands-on cooking school based at sea.

The cruise started from Copenhagen and toured several ports in Norway from where the vessel continued to Lerwick, Torshavn,Iceland, Portree and her last port of call was Belfast. The vessel had berthed in Dublin's Alexandra Basin and departed this evening bound for Dover.

Following the Marina's departure out of Dublin Bay via the North Burford bouy, was the Marco Polo. The 1965 built vessel operates for Cruise and Maritime Voyages and she proceeded past the South Burford bouy bound for St. Mary's, the capital of the Scilly Isles.

There will be many more cruisecalls such as the ultra luxury six-star Silver Cloud which is due on Sunday. The 16,927 tonnes vessel operated by Italian owned SilverSeas Cruises, has only a capacity for 294 passengers. Following that visit P&O Cruises 115,000 tonnes Azura docks in the capital this day next week to disembark up to 3,500 passengers. To view a full list of cruise callers click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
Douglas Bay formed the backdrop for passengers onboard the 20,186 tonnes Discovery which anchored off the Manx port capital yesterday, marking the first cruise-caller of the year to the Isle of Man, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Bermuda-flagged cruiseship departed Portsmouth in late April with her last port of call being Killybegs. Prior to calling at the north-west fishing port the 168m vessel had docked at Cork (Ringaskiddy) having made calls at Milford Haven, Isles of Scilly and Falmouth.

The near 700-passenger capacity ship operated by UK based Voyages of Discovery is scheduled to call at several Scotish ports before returning to Portsmouth via the North Sea.

Discovery has eight decks with facilities to include two swimming pools, one with a retractable roof, jacuzzis, lounges, bars, a library and gymnasium, lecture theatre, cinema, restaurants, an internet cafe, shop, beauty salon and a medical centre.

She was built in 1971 as the Island Venture, then renamed Island Princess after purchased by Princess Cruises, alongside her sister Pacific Princess which appeared in the popular US TV series sitcom the 'Love Boat' broadcast by ABC between 1977-1986.

In total there will be four cruise-calls during the season to Douglas but the next visit will be not until July when P&O Cruises Adonia calls on the 17th. The ten-year old 710 passenger vessel is due to be named by Dame Shirley Bassey at a ceremony held in Southampton later this month.

Also calling to Douglas will be Oceania Cruises brand new 60,000 tonnes / 1,250 passenger Marina on the 24th July and the final call is to be made by Noble Caledonia's Japanese built Clipper Odyssey in mid-August.

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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