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Displaying items by tag: Port Line

#CARGO TO CRUISELINERS – This morning saw the arrival of World Cruises Agency,'s Princess Daphne to Dublin Port, the veteran vessel built in 1955 was originally launched as a cargoship, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 18,833grt cruiseship had arrived into Dublin Bay from Falmouth, however her cruise embarkation port was from Portsmouth, where World Cruises started their inaugural cruise call to Ireland. Yet again another newcomer operating in Irish waters this season.

In recent years Princess Daphne and her sister Princess Danae, have operated for Classic Cruises International (CIC), and they were among a fleet of older tonnage.

Before she became Princess Daphne, she was commissioned for Port Line (subsidiary of Cunard Line) and was built at the shipyard of Swan Hunter on Newcastle-upon-Tyne and launched as Port Sydney. She was joined by her sister Port Melbourne, also completed in the same year but built by Harland & Wolff. They were ordered to serve the UK route to New Zealand, Australia via the Panama Canal.

The handsome looking general cargoships or 'reefers' (handling meat exports) had a large superstructure, with accommodation for 12 passengers. Noting the wraparound passenger veranda deck and six cargo-holds accompanied by derricks for self-unloading.

Conversion work took place in 1975 and again this applied to her sister the following year. The rebuild included replacing the old superstructure with a large longer streamlined superstructure, noting fore-ward of the bridge are the derricks that was incorporated during the work. This feature does not apply to Princess Danae which has an extended structure instead.

They retain their have deep-drafted (7.9m) hulls, complete with many portholes along sheer classic lines. Princess Daphne has a hull length of 162.39m which is marginally longer then her sister's 162.31m.

Over their respective career spanning nearly six decades, they have operated for several owners and under different names, however their current names have remained for some time. The pair are both Portuguese flagged and operated by World Cruises based in Lisbon.

Incidentally Princess Danae (1955/16,531grt) will be making a call to Dublin Port tomorrow, as she is scheduled to arrive at her birthplace in Belfast Harbour today. Also in port, is Plantours & Partners Cruises Hamburg, which had sailed overnight from Dublin Port, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

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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