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Displaying items by tag: Classic 'liner' cruiseship

#ClassicCaller – Cruise & Maritime Voyages Marco Polo, a classic cruiseship that became the first ship to establish the UK operator almost a decade ago, made a call to Dublin Port today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The call of the 820-passenger Marco Polo now in its 52 year is in complete contrast to the 2004 built giant Caribbean Princess which called to the capital at the weekend. The  112,894 gross tonnage ship however was in the media spotlight last year (see report) in regards to a 'magic pipe'.

As for Marco Polo the ship departed last week from Avonmouth near Bristol. The seven-nights Scottish Highlights & Emerald Isle cruise last port of call was Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.

Marco Polo became CMV’s first ship in 2009 and using embarkation ports in the UK among them Tilbury, London Cruise Terminal. This season she is mainly based out of Avonmouth, Bristol and Hull. Afloat has identified among its cruises is a one-night taster in September. This is to be from Belfast to Liverpool.

The career of this classic former Soviet era liner dating to 1965 was incorrectly reported by Ships Monthly to be up for sale and be withdrawn in 2018. The publication added that Marco Polo is to remain in service at least to the end of next year as according to the operator’s advertised cruise roster.

Afloat has also examined Marco Polo’s season next year. Among the season is a five night Emerald Isle & Isles of Scilly. This cruise based out of Cardiff is to include calls to Dublin, Cobh and Glengariff, Bantry Bay from where the lady of the sea was observed from the shoreline almost a decade ago. This saw tenders kept busy bringing cruise-goers ashore from the anchored ship.

Asides her rare longetivity, Marco Polo is notably the sole survivor of five sisters built of the so called ‘Authors’ class, having been built in Wismar, East Germany. Launched as Alexandr Pushkin, the liner operated Baltic Shipping Company’s Leningrad—Helsinki—Copenhagen—London (Tilbury)—Quebec City—Montreal, Canada service.

This liner trade however ceased within a decade. The ship was sold but began a new career cruising that included operating in the Far East and Australia.

Published in Cruise Liners

Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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