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Displaying items by tag: Dublin Port cruise calls

#CRUISE LINERS – Following Friday's first cruise call to Dublin Port this year of the 300-plus passenger Arion as previously reported, the considerably larger Grand Princess is to call on Wednesday. Notably on this occasion the 2,600 passenger cruiseship is to appear without her signature 'Skywalker' Nightclub, which used to be perched 18 decks-high at the aft of the vessel, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The aptly named nightclub was built on two legs to form a bridge (see PHOTO) and was accessed by a glass gangway. Not only was the structure at such an elevated position but it also overhang beyond the sheer of the stern superstructure below, where clubbers had bird's eye views over the oceans and to numerous ports of calls.

In an operation to remove the Skywalker last year, the structure weighing 211 tons took over 10 hours to complete (as previously reported including VIDEO of the work). The reason for removing the nightclub according to her owners Princess Cruises was to 'significantly improve the operational performance of the ship, including greater fuel efficiency.' For a post dry-docking view click PHOTO.

During the procedure at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in the US, the opportunity included the installation of a new nightclub three decks below and was named One5.

Ironically before the vessel lost weight!....she was the first cruiseship to visit Dublin Port to surpass the 100,000 tonnes milestone, when the leadship of the 'Grand' class docked in 2004.

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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