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#MANX CRUISE CALLS – The Manx capital is set to welcome over a dozen cruise callers for the season which starts next month according to www.visitisleman.com

Two of the 14 calls that are scheduled to Douglas belong to the Silversea Cruises fleet, the Silver Cloud due in June, has been a fairly frequent visitor to the Isle of Man in the past. While the company's recently acquired 'Expedition' vessel Silver Explorer will be visiting the Island for the first time earlier in May.

Other distinctive inaugural callers in 2012 include the Seven Seas Voyager. The Berlitz Guide rated luxury premium class vessel is also scheduled to visit Douglas again the following year.

In addition to the 2012 season, the Thomson Spirit is due to call in early September, a vessel with a 1,250 passenger capability.

Below is the 2012 cruise call list

Quest for Adventure, 8th May

Arion, 26th May

Discovery, 28th May

Silver Explorer, 31st May

Marco Polo, 4th June

Ocean Countess, 5th June

Seven Seas Voyager, 7th June

Silver Cloud, 8th June

Saga Sapphire, 4th July

Quest for Adventure, 9th July

Marco Polo, 16th July

Deutschland, 20th July

Hebridean Princess, 21st August

Thomson Spirit, 6th September

Published in Cruise Liners
Dublin Port welcomed a brand new cruiseship the 66,000 tonnes Marina which docked adjacent to the veteran cruiseship, Marco Polo today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Marina is the first of a pair of mid-sized newbuilds for Oceania Cruises, her sister Riviera is to debut next year from the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestre Ponente, Italy. The 'Oceania' -class each accommodate 1,250 passengers and a crew of 800 and they are an evolution of the companies popular sisters Regatta, Insignia and Nautica.
Designer touches on board the Marina include the Lalique Grand Staircase and the Owner's Suites which are furnished from Ralph Lauren Home, showcasing the finest in residential design and furnishings. The 785-foot ship has a Bon Appétit Culinary Centre which according to her owners is the only hands-on cooking school based at sea.

The cruise started from Copenhagen and toured several ports in Norway from where the vessel continued to Lerwick, Torshavn,Iceland, Portree and her last port of call was Belfast. The vessel had berthed in Dublin's Alexandra Basin and departed this evening bound for Dover.

Following the Marina's departure out of Dublin Bay via the North Burford bouy, was the Marco Polo. The 1965 built vessel operates for Cruise and Maritime Voyages and she proceeded past the South Burford bouy bound for St. Mary's, the capital of the Scilly Isles.

There will be many more cruisecalls such as the ultra luxury six-star Silver Cloud which is due on Sunday. The 16,927 tonnes vessel operated by Italian owned SilverSeas Cruises, has only a capacity for 294 passengers. Following that visit P&O Cruises 115,000 tonnes Azura docks in the capital this day next week to disembark up to 3,500 passengers. To view a full list of cruise callers click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
23rd June 2011

The Empire Strikes Back

The 14,620 dwt US-based training-ship Empire State made a return call to the Port of Cork last night for a four-day stay, writes Jehan Ashmore.

At over 172m long the cruiser-sterned vessel with a port of registry of New York, moored at the Cobh Cruise Terminal which was recently visited by another US training ship, State of Maine (click HERE).

The veteran vessel now in her sixth decade of service and is the also the sixth training-ship to carry the name 'Empire State' for the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College.

Empire State was laid down as SS Oregon at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newport News, Virginia. She was launched in 1961 for the States Steamship Company and delivered a year later for service in the Pacific trades. For further information about the vessel's interim career before she was converted for her current role click HERE.

Despite her conversion she still presents a distinctive profile with the superstructure positioned amidships between the cargo-holds.

Prior to the Empire State's arrival the French cruiseship Le Diamant departed Cobh for an overnight passage to Dublin, where last year the Empire State made a port of call.

The next cruise-caller to Cobh is the 296-passenger Silver Cloud which is scheduled to dock on Monday evening.

Published in Ports & Shipping
8th September 2010

Crystal City Cruise Callers

The arrival this morning of Silver Cloud in Belview, the port of Waterford, represented the last cruise-caller of the season to the port. The six-star rated ultra-luxury 16,927grt cruiseship operated by Italian owned SilverSeas Cruises, had sailed on an overnight passage from Dublin. The 1994 built vessel has only a capacity for 294 passengers.

Another cruise caller, Crystal Cruises 51,044grt Crystal Symphony has a considerably larger capacity of over 900 passengers. The vessel had departed Dublin several days previously and also visited the south-east, to anchor off Dunmore East.

Passengers disembarked at the fishing port using the vessel's tenders and were bused to the various attractions of the city including the recently re-opened House of Waterford Crystal plant and visitor showrooms.

Published in Cruise Liners

The ports of Dublin and Cork are scheduled to receive a record 139 cruiseships in total this year, bringing 180,000 visitors and crew. Many more of these cruiseships are due to visit over the next two months and stretching into late Autumn. Between €35-55m is expected to be generated into the Dublin region from high-spend cruise visitors
while a further €5m is predicted for the local economy at Cork, writes Jehan Ashmore.

A notable visitor due to grace Dublin Bay is the return of The World, albeit not strictly a cruiseship but the first custom-built time-share ship. The vessel is to dock in the capital for four-nights from 4-8 August and then sails overnight to Cobh, for two-nights from 9-11 August.

In essence, The World presents an exclusively unique lifestyle experience. Instead of passengers, there are 'residents' who live onboard. Residents of the 43,188 gross tonnes (GT) vessel don't merely occupy a cabin but own large-sized luxurously appointed private apartments that are 'home' complete with balconies.

On 9 August, Silver Cloud docks at Dublin from Oban, Scotland. Measuring 16,927 GT, the vessel may not be the largest with only 315 passengers, but is an ultra-luxury cruiseship, regarded as one of the highest standards in the cruise-sector industry.

Returning to Cork Harbour, Cobh awaits the mighty Independence of the Seas. At 154,407 tonnes, she is the biggest ever cruiseship to dock at any Irish port. With a massive 4,375 passenger capacity, attractions include rock-climbing or surfing-boarding  using a special pool. The 'Independence' berths mid-afternoon on 29 August for an overnight call, departing 18.00hrs the next day.

Among smaller cruiseships, the private-motoryacht like, Island Sky of 4,000 tonnes and with 200 passengers, calls to Dublin on 11 August, and may berth upriver close to the new Samual Beckett Bridge.

Those keen on traditional ships, can look forward to the visit of Classic International Cruises Princess Danae, built in 1955. The veteran is due 16 August, and her sister, Princess Daphne is expected 2 September. Unusually the 16,000 tonnes pair were converted from general cargo-ships for a career in cruising.

New cruiseship, Costa Luminosa (92,700 GT) costing US $ 548m makes a second call to Cobh on 3 September and is operated by Costa Cruises.
This is the first time the Italian company has ventured into Irish cruising waters.

Without doubt the largest Dublin caller this season will be Emerald Princess. The giant weighs some 113,000 gross tonnes and at 288m long will certainly provide a spectacle, with lights blaring over a dozen or so decks, during a dusk departure on 14 September.

Also entering service this year, P&O Cruises 116,000 tonnes new Azura, is set to visit Dublin on 23 September and Cork the next day. The Italian built newbuild cost US $ 535m and has a capacity for 3,076 passengers.

Ocean_Countess_departing_Dublin._Photo__Jehan_Ashmore_-_ShipSNAPS

Ocean Countess departing Dublin. Photo: Jehan Ashmore/ShipSNAPS

A newcomer to Irish ports is Cruise & Maritime Voyages Ocean Countess which is making round Ireland itineraries with calls at Cobh on 13 August and 12 September. Incidently the 'Countess' was converted into a troopship for the Falkland Islands conflict in 1982.

Jewel of the Seas (90,090 GT) makes a Cobh call on 7 September and exactly a month later returns, marking the last cruise-call to Cork in 2010 while Fred Olsen's Boudicca will be Dublin's last caller on 20 November.

For further information on other visiting cruiseships, please click links:

www.dublinport.ie/not-in-menu/cruise-ship-scheduled/

www.portofcork.ie/index.cfm/page/cruiseschedule2010

Published in Ports & Shipping

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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