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Displaying items by tag: MSC Cruises

A family from Ireland were caught up in a cruise ship collision with a tourist boat in Venice has hit out at the company’s treatment of passengers left stranded in the aftermath of the accident.

As The Irish Times reports, Charlie and Anne Lumsden and their daughter Nichola were on board the MSC Opera when it into the dock and a smaller tourist boat as it approached the Giudecca canal in the city.

Mr Lumsden said they were on deck, going for breakfast before their departure after a week-long cruise when the accident occurred. “We didn’t feel the collision,” he said, but the alarm went off and staff rushed up stairs and along each deck.

The incident happened at 8.30am and Mr and Mrs Lumsden were due to fly back to Dublin at 12.15, but nobody was allowed off the vessel until 2.50pm until the port authorities had finished their investigations, he said.

In the end they had to organise and pay for their alternative flights on Monday, overnight accommodation in a hotel outside Venice and taxis at a cost of about €1,500.

For more on this story, click here.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CruiseLiners – The cruise and ferry industries were among those gathered at the annual Irish Travel Industry Awards held in association with Aer Lingus.

The prestigious gala awards of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) ceremony took place recently in the Mansion House, Dublin, where more than 500 travel and tourism professionals from around the world attended. Adding to the glamour, broadcaster, Miriam O’Callaghan was this year's Master of Ceremonies.

Among the big winners on the night from the cruise and ferry industries, were MSC Cruises that was awarded ‘Best Main Stream Cruise Company’. This category has been dominated by Miami USA based, Royal Caribbean since the awards were inaugurated in 2011. The Italian founded Mediterranean Shipping Company are a global cruise operator based in Switzerland. 

Irish Ferries took the title for ‘Best Ferry Company’ which Afloat adds is the eight-consecutive year that the Dublin based transport shipping company has won this award. Voting in this category of the annual ITAA awards that began also eight years ago, were cast by travel agents and their staff from across Ireland.

In the overall ITAA awards, Manning Travel, who are based in Kilkenny, won the title of ITAA Travel Agency of Year 2018 with under ten employees, whilst Tour America was crowned the ITAA Travel Agency of Year 2018 with over ten employees. Both of the winning agencies were praised for their stand-out customer service, their first-rate expertise and the wide range of travel options available to customers.

The annual event is designed to showcase excellence within the industry and the difficult job of judging the Member Award Winners falls to an independent panel of judges, chaired by Bill Smith. Supplier Award Winners were voted upon by Irish travel agents.

The awards are an initiative of the ITTA in association with Aer Lingus, and supported by Travelsavers, Travelcentres and Worldchoice. 

Listed below are the award winners exclusively from those of the cruise and ferry industries.

CRUISE & FERRY CATEGORY - SPONSORED BY TURKISH AIRLINES

BEST MAIN STREAM CRUISE COMPANY
MSC Cruises

BEST PREMIUM CRUISE COMPANY
Celebrity Cruises

BEST SPECIALIST CRUISE COMPANY (INCLUDING RIVER)
Uniworld River Cruises

BEST ULTRA LUXURY CRUISE COMPANY
Silversea Cruises

BEST FERRY COMPANY
Irish Ferries

SUPPLIER STAFF / TRAVEL MEDIA CATEGORY - SPONSORED BY IRELAND WEST AIRPORT

BEST SUPPLIER SUPPORT TEAM
MSC Cruises

BEST SUPPLIER REPRESENTATIVE
Rebecca Kelly - MSC Cruises

For further information on the ITAA click their website here.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CruiseLinersMSC Magnifica of 95,000 tonnes, made her maiden Irish call to Dublin Port this morning, she follows MSC Liricia, which last year visited the capital marking the first entry of MSC Cruises operations with calls to Ireland, writes Jehan Ashmore.

At nearly 300m long MSC Magnifica which cost $547million was completed in 2010 and she represents the latest of the 'Musica' class vessels. She has 16 decks in which 13 are exclusively for 2,500 passengers. Throughout these decks there are 17 bars, 5 restaurants, a theatre, library, card room, smoker's room and meeting room.

Among the other facilities, run by her 1,000 crew are the bowling alley, 3D cinema, a casino, internet point and three swimming pools, tennis court and for total relaxation the wellness and spa centre.

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#LIRICA CALLS AGAIN – Only on her second cruise call to Dublin Port, MSC Lirica (2003/59,058grt) as previously reported on Afloat.ie, docked this morning into the capital brimming with tallships, adding another attraction for cruise-goers, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The $250m ship, made her maiden call to Ireland just over a fortnight ago with over 3,000 passengers. The 251m long vessel operated by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Cruises, which is the newest company to enter the Irish market and in total there are 90 callers to Dublin Port in 2012.

In May next year the port is to welcome another MSC Cruises vessel with the larger 293m MSC Magnifica, which cost $547million and was only completed in 2010.

The value of the sector is estimated to generate €35 and €50 million for the local economy, bringing over 100,000 high-spend passengers and crew to the city and surrounding areas' shops, attractions and eateries each year.

Add to that, an estimated 1 million visitors over the four-day Tall Ships festival, not to mention the international crew of 1,500 and attendant publicity. Albeit the tallships festival in Dublin is an infrequent event as it was held in the capital in 1998.

However this is the opposite with the expanding cruise business sector, where increasingly larger liners are making more regular calls. In order to cope with capacity the Dublin Port Company's Masterplan 2012-2040 has proposed a new €110m cruise terminal identified beside the East Link toll-lift bridge, recent witness to the numerous tallships passing through.

On a nationwide basis, over the last two years, it has been estimated that the cruise ship industry has contributed €20.3 million. Noting many cruise-callers make visits to more than one Irish port, particularly those calling to the premier ports, where economic opportunities for the hinterland's could be worth a potential €60 million over the next few years.

The Swiss headquartered MSC group don't just operate cruiseships, and are not new to Ireland, as for several years through their global container shipping division, its operation here, MSC (Ireland) started providing direct container shipping routes.

Initially they used their own tonnage (later chartered vessels) from one of the world's largest containership fleets, where the MSC compass brand symbol can be seen on the mixed fleet but also on the containers themselves.

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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