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Displaying items by tag: SwoopAntarctica

#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

#CruiseMedley – Cruiseships small and large called to the capital to add to the summertime atmosphere of Dublin Riverfest's gathering of tallships that graced the Liffey quays, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Hebridean Sky, the intimate sized ship of just 4,200 gross tonnage had berthed at the North Wall Quay Extension. The pier lies to the east of the Tom Clarke toll-bridge, where the new two-berth cruise berth is to located.

Guests of the Swoop-Antartica adventure ship could been on the uppermost deck at the stern. From this elevated view they could overlook the toll-bridge and beyond to the busy scene of tallships in the direction of the city-centre.

At the end of this ‘extension’ of the North Wall where the tallships met to welcome thousands over the three day event, was berthed in Alexandra Basin the 44,000 gross tonnage Artania. This ship had sailed from Bremerhaven, Germany. 

On the Sunday of the Dublin Riverfest, the UK ThunderCat powerboat team were based opposite of the Phoenix Reissen operated cruiseship that been the Poolbeg Yacht Boat Club & Marina. As pictured above the ThunderCats carried out a behind the scene flag-nation display practise involving race-crew members standing on the craft's twin hull. 

On the Bank Holiday Monday, Cruise & Maritime Voyages 46,000 gross tonnage Magellan, the UK operator’s current flagship called to the port for the first of five ‘home-porting’ calls. This is where Irish guests can join the 1,450 passenger ship that continued to Liverpool as part of a cruise to the Norwegian fjords.

According to CMV's Irish agent, JMG Travel, these Irish direct cruises have been sold-out. Following their success, a repeat season but with more direct cruises from Dublin is already scheduled for 2018.

The title of CMV flagship for Magellan will however be gone by next year’s season, as of this Thursday, the newly acquired successor is to be named Columbus at a ceremony in London. The 63,000 gross tonnage flagship will too be making a call to the Irish capital later this month. Albeit with a smaller capacity of just 775 passengers.

Also making a call on the Bank Holiday Monday and staying overnight was Hal America Line’s Prinsendam. As previously reported on Afloat, the smallest ship of the HAL cruise-fleet at 37,000 gross tonnage made an appearance for RTE TV's 'The Local Eye' series when calling to Killybegs.

The cruiseship with tiered stern decks remains in port until departing tonight. Likewise of Magellan this cruiseship is also bound for Merseyside.

Finally, the capital port's latest caller, Crystal Symphony docked today in Alexandra Basin. The 51,000 tonnes ship will too overnight and is operated by Crystal Cruises. 

Published in Cruise Liners

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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