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Displaying items by tag: Azura

The Port of Cork will be a busy place this Tuesday as three cruiseships are scheduled to dock in the morning and depart this evening, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Largest of the trio is P&O Cruises 115,000 tonnes cruise giant Azura, which is also to call to Dublin Port following her Cork visit. Launched last year the near 300 metres long vessel can handle 3,100 passengers alone and 1200 crew. For a virtual tour click VIDEO.

Next in terms of tonnage is Holland America Line's near 60,000 tonnes Rotterdam, for more about the 1997 built click this LINK. The final member of the trio belongs to Saga Cruises subsidiary Spirit of Adventure cruises, the 10,000 tonnes Spirit of Adventure. For a visual virtual tour of the vessels interior facilities click HERE.

Spirit of Adventure was scheduled in late April on a 14-day 'Relics of Rome' cruise which was to include ports of call to Libya, Tunisia and Egypt but this was cancelled due to the political situation throughout North Africa.

The combined cruise calls to Cork Harbour has a potential capacity of 5,200 passengers and the mid-July arrival confirms the ports popularity which is to welcome this year a total of 54 cruiseships and over 100,000 passengers. Azura and Spirit of Adventure are to share the berth at Ringaskiddy while the Rotterdam is to berth at the dedicated cruise terminal in Cobh.

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

In another first for Cork Harbour the 115,000 ton Azura cruise liner docked in Cobh last Friday. 
After her maiden voyage in April, Azura spent summer based in Southampton cruising to the Mediterranean, the Baltic and the Canary Islands. She'll be sailing the Caribbean in winter from Barbados.
She holds 3,100 passengers based on double occupancy (3,574 when all the berths are full).
At 290 metres long and 36 metres wide she looked an impressive sight on the Cobh quayside as our photos show below.
P&O Cruise's Azura is the company's latest cruise liner. Built at the Monfalcone shipyard in Italy, the Azura is one of P&O's largest ships, boasting 14 public decks, 11 restaurants, five boutiques, four pools, two lounges and over 900 private balconies. It also features an outdoor cinema, a first for the company, along with an al fresco spa and single staterooms.

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Above and below: two views of the new Azura berthed in Cobh last Friday. Photo: Bob Bateman

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Published in Cruise Liners

As the cruise season draws to a close, the Azura, the largest cruise-ship (116,000 gross registered tonnes) to call at Dublin, docked this morning at the port for the third time this year, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 290m long Azura, has 19 decks accommodating 3,096 passengers and over 1,200 crew. In 2009 the Azura was completed at the Fincantieri shipyard in Manfalcone, Italy for P&O Cruises and cost £450m.

A unique feature is the huge 20-metre plasma screen video wall mounted on an after bulkhead. In addition the venue is used to broadcast major sporting events. The Sea Screen outdoor cinema is the first of its kind in the P&O Cruises fleet as is the novelty of passengers having an option of
single stateroom accommodation.

Azura is one of 12 vessels eminating from the 'Grand' class vessels built for Miami based Carnival Cruise Corporation which includes P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises. The leadship, Grand Princess became the first of the class to call at Dublin in 2004 and also had the distinction as the first cruiseship to surpass the 100,000gt mark to dock at the port. Last month, another near-sister, Emerald Princess, measuring 113,000grt called to Dublin.

In total there will be 86 cruise ships visiting Dublin this year, marking another record-breaking season. The sector is expected to generate €35-€55m to the local economy from approximately 80,000 high-spending passengers.

The Azura departs Dublin tonight at 21.15hrs for Cork, where the giant vessel is to berth at the Cobh Cruise Terminal. There will be off-season cruise-calls to the capital next month by Ocean Countess and Norwegian Sun, arriving from Belfast on 2 October. The last cruise-caller to Dublin this year will
be Fred Olsen Cruises Boudicca with two visits in November.

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 Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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