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Displaying items by tag: Hebridean Sky

#SwoopSail - An impressive visitor to Dublin Port this weekend will be one of the world’s largest tall ships, the Spanish Navy’s trainee ship Juan Sebastián de Elcano, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Before the arrival of this striking four-masted majestic steel-hulled schooner at 370ft, a small cruise had taken up Berth 18 on the North Wall Quay extension. This is located next to the Tom Clarke Toll-Bridge where last weekend at this berth was occupied Swoop-Antartica's high-end luxury cruiseship Hebridean Sky. As previously reported those on board had elevated views of the Dublin Riverfest Bank Holiday held event in which other cruiseships were also in port.

The all-suite ship of five decks was renovated in 2016 at a cost of $10 million. The upgrade work is reflected with these only outward facing cabin suites.

At around 4,200 gross tonnage, this 90m ship is certainly small given the ever increasingly giants in service or that are on order. The 1992 Italian built Hebridean Sky, however belongs to a league of small intimate vessels where guests expect high levels of luxury based on this 5-star experience cruiseship.

Spacious cabins ranging from 20 - 34 sq m (215 - 366 sq ft), including a capacious Owner's Suite, dedicated single cabins and the option of outside balconies in the higher cabin categories

Each of the ‘suite’ accommodation is at least 225 square ft. They offer a choice of either twin- or queen-sized bed, flat-screen TV, mini-bar and sitting area with a sofa-bed. Also included are independent temperature controls and a marble-appointed en-suite bathroom.

As Hebridean Sky is an adventure ship cruising Antarctica, stern step provides easy access into zodiacs as an alternative to the gangway. This cruise in northern hemisphere, saw the ship depart Dublin where the vessel made a call to Waterford yesterday before calling to Portsmouth today.

The ship under a different guise, Sea Explorer had spent a lay-over period while berthed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. On that occasion several years ago, the vessel was alongside St. Micheals Pier, where recently the private charter motor-yacht veteran Talitha called for maintenance repairs.

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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