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Displaying items by tag: Ponant Cruises

#CorkCityCallers – An expedition / coastal cruiseship that trades to both polar regions and a megayacht cruiseship called to Cork City quays this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Norwegian operator Hurtigruten Voyages Midnatsol (midnight sun) which normally plies stunning deep-inland fjords headed up the River Lee to the city’s South Quay. The call to the city-centre is also where Le Soléal, a megayacht from Ponant Cruises docked at North Custom Quay. The 10,000 tonnes cruiseship flagged in the French territory of Wallis and Fortuna Islands, has 132 passenger suites.

It is relatively unusual to have such small cruiseships together in the city-centre, and both having sailed overnight from the same previous port of call. Afloat yesterday monitored the cruiseships at anchorage off Hugh Town, St. Mary’s of the Isles of Scilly.

What is the norm given increasingly larger giant cruiseships that call downriver to Cobh’s deepwater quay. An example been Royal Caribbean International 90,000 tonnes Serenade of the Seas which is arriving this morning from Ponta Delgada, Azores.

Midnatsol’s call to Cork is in advance of resuming the classic Hurtigruten coastal voyages along Norway’s rugged and spectacular coast. The voyage that dates to 1893, involves calling to 34 ports that depart Bergen daily in the south and reach as far north to Kirkenes close to border with Russia.

Prior to sailing to Scilly, Midnatsol had called to Brest, France and before that La Coruña, Spain. This particular cruiseship is part of Hurtigruten’s global ‘Explorer’ voyages that run outside the domestic duties along Norway, however she will rejoin fleetmates from May to September. Since last year, Midnatsol began running expedition cruises to Patagonia and Antarctica.

Of the 12-strong Hurtigruten fleet of passenger, freight and car-carrying vessels, Midnatsol (in which can handle 35 cars), belongs to the largest class of ships, the ‘Millennium’ series. The 16,000 gross tonnage Midnatsol completed in 2003 was built in the Nordic country in Rissa and likewise of her sisters can carry 1,000 passengers.

The sisters are Finnmarken and Trollfjord, the latter made a special promotional port of call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour. This took place early in the career of the ship that berthed at the East Pier from where a visit was made on board the vessel painted in the operator’s distinctive livery of red, black and white.

Published in Cruise Liners
Ireland's leading fishing port of Killybegs, Co. Donegal, this morning received the 226 passenger yacht-like cruiseship Le Diamant, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 8,282 tonnes Le Diamant had sailed overnight from anchorage in Galway Bay and prior to visiting the 'City of the Tribes' the vessel also called to Foynes port in the Shannon Estuary as reported previously in Afloat.

In 2004 Killybegs received a significant boost in the completion of a €50m outer harbour with berthing quays totalling 350-metres long so to accommodate the north-west fleet and to include the 'supertrawlers'.

Despite the major port infrastructural investment, Killybegs has seen declining fortunes in the fish industry though in recent year's new business from the offshore exploration and cruise ship industries has assisted in generating new revenue.

Published in Cruise Liners
Cruiseship passengers on board the Spirit of Adventure which anchored in Galway Bay today will have an opportunity of visiting the famous race course venue at Ballybrit, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At just under 10,000 tonnes Spirit of Adventure built in 1980 with a capacity for 352 passengers is the largest cruise-caller this season to make a call to the mid-west port. She had sailed overnight from Foynes and is due to depart later today bound for Kirkwall, Orkney Islands.

The vessel first visited Galway in 2009 but this call will be her last year operating under the Spirit of Adventure cruise banner. The company are to replace the vessel  next season with the Saga Pearl II which will be transferred from the parent company Saga Cruises and renamed Quest for Adventure.

Prior to the Spirit of Adventurer's call, the 226 passenger Le Diamant arrived from St. Malo last Friday. She became the first vessel to make a call to the 'City of the Tribes' on behalf of her French operators, Cie de Ponant. Her passengers were taken on tours of the city, Connemara and the Aillwee Caves in neighbouring Co. Clare. The vessel is due to return early next month.

With three cruise-calls this year the port is set to increase this figure to 7 in 2012 arising from the ports campaign over the last two years. Paul Carey, Chairman of the Harbour Company, said "We are beginning to see the fruits of this campaign and look forward to growing Galway's association with the return of the majestic passenger liners to Galway".

"The passenger liner The World has been confirmed for a two-day visit in August 2013 which is a great endorsement of Galway as a cruise destination".

The call by the world's first ocean-going luxury resort vessel will also be another first for Galway. Operators of the 43,524gt vessel, Residences at Sea have made previous Irish ports of call to include Dublin, for more on her to the capital last August click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

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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