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Displaying items by tag: Prinsendam

A luxury cruiseship nickmamed the 'Elegant Explorer' celebrated its final call to Foynes, Co. Limerick by anchoring off the port on the Shannon Estuary.

The call of Prinsendam operated by Holland America Line was according to SFPC a welcome tourism boost for the mid-west region as cruise passengers arrived by tender to visit Foynes (via Foynes Yacht Club). The unique event to anchor off Foynes Island took place on June 13th. 

Prinsendam was making a nostalgic call after a career spanning 17 years sailing around the world under HAL colours. Afloat adds the ship was sold to German cruise company Phoenix Reisen and the acquistion actually took place last year. This saw the 37,938grt chartered back to HAL until expiring next week (Monday, July 1st).

The 204m ship with a capacity for 800 passengers took anchorage at 6.30am off Foynes Island and remained for 12 hours during. Hundreds of tourists were tendered ashore to visit the west Limerick town and attractions beyond among them west Clare and to Dingle in neighbouring Kerry.

Approximately 100 passengers stayed local, making their way to Foynes village where they enjoyed the must-loved, award winning Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum.

Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) CEO, Pat Keating said they were delighted to facilitate the cruise ship in the busy port. “We’ve had cruise ships dock in Foynes before but this is the first time a cruise vessel anchored specifically off Foynes Island. Passengers ferried by tender to the pontoon at Foynes Yacht Club where they boarded coaches for various destinations or simply enjoyed Foynes itself on foot. “It delivered a really nice tourism boost for the area, with the passengers visiting Limerick, Clare and Kerry. It was great to see the Flying Boat & Maritime Museum getting an extra boost. It’s a fantastic tourism attraction and deserves as much recognition as it can get and all those who visited it will pass on the good word about it.”

Mr Keating added that while cargo is the core activity, the port authority was delighted to welcome this business. “It was a busy morning and the cruise ship brought a great buzz to the area. From an operational perspective, all passengers were transferred safely and comfortably to and from the vessel. “By anchoring at Foynes Island, cruise liners can easily be accommodated at Foynes as it gives us more capacity in addition to the actual docks itself. Hopefully we will get to welcome many more cruise vessels to Foynes.”

Despite the relatively small size of Prinsendam and low height the cruiseship has during a career dating to 1988 (Afloat will have more) been able to navigate interesting routes where most other such ships cannot. The most recent voyages have included the Amazon, the Caribbean, South America, Antartica and now finally Europe where the ship with a crew of 340 will spend this week with the HAL fleet.

The last voyages include the Mediterranean, Iberian Peninsula, British Isles, Ireland before making her final farewell on a 14-day expedition to the Norwegian North Cape.

Another cruiseship is scheduled to dock on the Shannon Estuary next week on Friday, July 5th.

Published in Cruise Liners

#BantryBay - MS Prinsendam of Holland America Line made her maiden call to Bantry Bay Harbour writes West Cork Times on what was to be the first visit of a cruise liner to Bantry in almost 30 years.

Carrying more than 800 passengers, MS Prinsendam arrived in the early hours of the morning and will stay until evening ensuring their passengers get every opportunity to explore the region.

Speaking about the arrival of MS Prinsendam to Bantry, Bantry Bay Port Company Harbour Master Captain Paul O’Regan said, “We are very encouraged by Holland American Lines commitment to call to Bantry. This is an exciting time for the whole of West Cork as we aim to grow this cruise business considerably over the next few years.

“We have the experience and professionalism within the Port of Cork of what needs to be achieved to grow the cruise business here, and Bantry Bay Port Company is fully committed. The unique selling point with Bantry is to attract the smaller boutique cruises or expedition cruises which can access smaller ports and harbour, meaning their passengers can benefit from a richer experience onshore.”

For more on this story click here.

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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