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Displaying items by tag: Classic Marco Polo

#ClassicLiner – A classic liner built for the Soviets more than 50 years ago that became a cruiseship sailing the seven seas and to both poles, called to Dublin Port today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Marco Polo which is home-ported in London (Tilbury), is a classic ship steeped in maritime tradition and in which operators, Cruise & Maritime Voyages have a loyal following on this traditional ship.

The ocean-going lady of the sea had docked at Dublin mid-morning as part of UK and Irish ports cruise. Yesterday, her passengers visited western Scotland, to Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.

Today, passengers are exploring the capital and environs before re-embarking the 22,080 tonnes veteran vessel this evening. A departure time of 2200 is scheduled for the next port of call, the Scilly Isles off Cornwall.

The cruiseship is docked at Dublin’s Ocean Pier, apt given she served as a transatlantic liner between the USSR and Canada as the Alexandr Pushkin. The second of a quartet of the ‘poet’ class sisters was named after Russia’s greatest poets and writers. She was built in 1965 at the Mathias-Thesen Werft in Wismar, in the former East Germany.

Alexandr Pushkin operated in the summer between Leningrad, Bremerhaven, London, Le Havre and Montreal, a liner service she dutifully carried out until the late seventies. During the winter she cruised in warmer climes while mostly on charter to western companies.

The 800 capacity cruiseship was extensively re-built in 1993 and still retains classic lines, where tiered sun decks featuring a swimming pool and whirlpools overlook a cruiser stern. More unusual are the open decks below the bridge and overlooking the bow, a feature notably absent from today's giant enclosed cruiseships.

Published in Cruise Liners

The Rolex Fastnet Race - This biennial offshore pilgrimage 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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