Displaying items by tag: Titanic Belfast
#TITANIC'S TENDER - While all the attention is focused on the R.M.S. Titanic and the newly opened Titanic Belfast visitor experience, the White Star Line passenger tender SS Nomadic is only a stone's throw away from the venue, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Like the liner she was built by Harland & Wolff and her launch took place in 1911. She was commissioned by White Star Line as a 1st and 2nd class passenger tender for Titanic and sister Olympic.
The Nomadic carried out her duties based in Cherbourg, where she transferred passengers to the Titanic on her only call to the Normandy port. As such the vessel which is registered in the French port, is the last surviving White Star Line vessel in the world and the only remaining authentic link to the ill-fated liner.
Decades later, the Nomadic became a floating restaurant on the River Seine in Paris close to the Eiffel Tower, where the venture which started in 1977 remained formore than twenty years.
The ageing vessel faced new safety regulations threatening her fate which ultimately led to her being seized in 2002. She was then offered for sale and then followed a court action for her to be scrapped but a campaign was raised to save the historic vessel which succeeded in her securement.
At 95 years old she was towed by barge back to her builder's birthplace in Belfast in 2006. Now that she is over a century old the vessel is currently undergoing restoration by the SS Nomadic Charitable Trust. She is dry-docked in the Hamilton Dock which adjoins the new iconic landmark of the Titanic Belfast building within the developing Titanic Quarter.
Yesterday 'hard-hat' tours began of the preserved liner tender and it is essential to note that tickets are to be 'pre-booked' with the last tour on 15th April. Daily tours are at 10.30, 12 noon, 2pm and the last tour is 3.30pm. To ensure availability visit: www.nomadicbelfast.com/book-a-tour
For further information about the various visitor attractions and events click the following headings, to be directed to the relevant websites.
Following yesterday's inaugural cruise call to Belfast this year of Balmoral as previously reported the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines vessel was making a cruise in memory of the liner. To see the list of the other cruiseships calling to the city, click HERE.
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#TITANIC – The cruiseship Balmoral not only is the first caller to Belfast for 2012 as previously reported, but her arrival this morning marked more importantly as a cruise in the memory of the R.M.S. Titanic, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Cruise passengers embarked on the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship last Tuesday in Southampton for a mini-cruise which included a call to Liverpool yesterday.
Today passengers where to visit the builders of the White Star Line liner launched a century ago at Harland & Wolff shipyard at Queens Island on the banks of the Lagan.
Adjoining the complex is the Titanic Quarter where the recently opened Titanic Belfast Visitor Experience is making an impression through the iconic landmark, for further details click HERE.
"It's like our Sydney Opera House," 105-year-old Cyril Quigley told BBC News of the £97 million (€116.7 million) visitor centre, opened on the 100th anniversary of the infamous ocean liner's tragic demise.
"I just saw a mass of metal in the gantries that they built for it and all I saw was this big thing sliding out into the water. I was only four-and-a-half."
Quigley described the new facility - designed to echo the imposing bow of the Titanic - as "wonderful", a sentiment echoed by Belfast Lord Mayor Niall O'Donnghaile who said: "The Titanic belongs to Belfast but this spectacle - Titanic Belfast - belongs to the world."
First Minister Peter Robinson was joined by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday 31 March, with the former declaring that this is "a new era in this province".
Titanic Belfast is expected to attract more than 400,000 visitors in its first year, and some 100,000 people have already purchased tickets. It will also be one of the largest employers and recruiters in Northern Ireland's tourism industry, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
But the public's reaction so far has been mixed, according to The Irish Times, with some expressing disappointment at the lack of any large-scale model of the ship, and that the replica of the ship's famous staircase is hidden from public view in the venue's banqueting hall.
"For once, the term 'of Titanic proportions' applies literally." he writes. "The top of the five-storey building is exactly as high as the tip of Titanic when the transatlantic liner was completed at the Harland and Wolff yard a century ago."
The monument is not only intended as a tribute to the tragedy, but also as a beacon to attract tourists to the "open, friendly city" of Belfast that has emerged after decades of the Troubles.
The travel writer compares the city's plans to the renaissance of Bilbao in northern Spain - like Belfast, a former shipbuilding centre damaged by terrorism that has become "a vibrant, elegant city that stands alongside Amsterdam, Barcelona and Berlin" thanks in part to the bold architecture of the Guggenheim museum.
Calder adds: "Almost every aspect of Titanic Belfast chimes with the city beyond the structure's metal jacket and big windows. And as with Titanic herself, the fitting out is designed to impress."
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Titanic Belfast will be one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland’s tourism industry, as well as one of the North’s largest recruiters, when it opens later this month.
The Independent has much more on the story HERE.
#TITANIC - Prospective employees at the soon-to-be-opened Titanic visitor centre in Belfast will have to show the ‘T factor’ and give a performance on aspect of the doomed ship’s story, The Irish Times reports.
It’s hoped by bosses at Titanic Belfast that the three-minute scripted ‘interpretative presentation’ - based on one of the centre’s nine galleries - will indicate those candidates with the requisite passion and communications skills for one of the 70 “frontline” jobs up for grabs.
“The audition day will give prospective employees a chance to let their true personalities shine through,” said Titanic Belfast chief executive Tim Husbands.
Titanic Belfast will be one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland’s tourism industry when it opens in March, as well as one of the North’s largest recruiters.
Among its many attractions, it will also bost the region’s largest function suite for conference, weddings and other events, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
The principle driver in the ports performance came from the agri-food sector with a record 2m tonnes of grain and animal feed imports. The sector also recorded fertiliser imports alone leap by 32%, reflecting the major investment by the harbour in recent years in the dry-bulk cargo trade.
Roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) accounted for a 2% rise to 313,000 vehicles carried, partly due to the introduction of newer larger tonnage on the Belfast-Heysham route.
Belfast Harbour Chairman, Len O'Hagan, said: "Although trading conditions in the UK and Ireland remain weak, the increase in tonnages handled by Belfast Harbour suggests that business confidence is starting to return, albeit slowly.
"Belfast Harbour continues to operate in a highly competitive port sector, but I am pleased to note that the £160m which the Harbour invested in new facilities during the past decade has enabled it to emerge from the downturn with new customers and a presence in new sectors such as renewable energy.
Capital investment in the port worth almost £6m were undertaken during 2010, including the purchase of a new mobile crane, a 10,000 sq ft expansion in logistics space and preliminary works to support the proposed development of an offshore wind turbine terminal for DONG Energy (click HERE). The combined capital expenditure in these projects is in excess of £60m.
Within the ports real estate, projects at the Titanic Quarter progress at the Public Record Office, Belfast Metropolitan College and the core attraction of the 'Titanic Belfast' visitor centre.
Master planning for the 24-acre mixed-use City Quays site adjacent to the Harbour Office was secured. In addition planning permission was lodged for a 230,000 sq ft of space at Sydenham Business Park on the south-eastern fringes of the harbour.
Further upstream closer to the city-centre at the Abercorn Basin, initial work had been completed on a marina where there are more plans for the development of a 250-berth full-service leisure facility.
Next Monday the port's cruise business is to welcome a new cruiseship, the 66,000 tonnes Marina of Oceania Cruises. The 1,250-passenger /800 crew newbuild's arrival to Belfast comes in a year that marks the thirteenth anniversary since the first liner docked in the city. In 2011 over 30 such vessels are due to visit bringing some 50,000 passengers and crew.
- Port of Belfast
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- Dong Energy
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- Abercorn Basin
- Belfast Harbour Chairman Len O'Hagan
- Titanic Belfast
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- Offshore Wind Turbines
- Belfast Metropolitan College
- Sydenham Buinsess Park
- Belfast Harbour real estate