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Displaying items by tag: P&O Cruises

#CRUISESHIP SISTERS – Oceania Cruises Nautica (2000/30,277grt) currently docked in Dublin Port will later today be joined by a sister, Azamara Journey, operated by Azamara Club Cruises, writes Jehan Ashmore

Azamara Journey had departed Leith and is heading through the Irish Sea and is expected to arrive in the capital port around mid-afternoon.

Both vessels (circa 680 passengers) form part of an original eight-strong sister fleet of French built 'R' class ships ordered for Renaissance Cruises, which ceased trading in 2001, resulting in the splitting of the ships to various owners.

Incidentally Oceania Cruises also operate two more such sisters. Regatta built as R Five and Insignia, the former R1, the lead-ship of the series all having the previous owner's rather simplistic naming theme. Likewise Azamara Club Cruises operate the former R Seven, rechristened Azamara Quest.

Another 'R' class sister operating for P&O Cruises, the Adonia, which led the seven-strong spectacular sail-past in Southampton waters for the 'Grand Event' to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the famous company, is due to call to Foynes in a fortnight's time.

Noting that Adonia, led the liner line-up which included Arcadia (as previously reported), seen third in line astern and where each ship set off on separate cruises as they headed out of the Solent.

Published in Cruise Liners

#PORTS & SHIPPING NEWS – The Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) have welcomed a newly founded ship-management company, Barry Shipping, which started operations in Cork at the end of last year.

The company headed by Corkonian Owen Barry,  provides ship management, crew management, project management, training and a range of other services for the maritime industry.

Glenn Murphy, director of the IMDO said "We wish Barry Shipping well with their new venture and look forward to providing them with further strategic and network support to assist them during their continued development".

Commenting on their future strategy Barry said, "The company's aim is to provide clients with creative and profitable solutions to meet and overcome some of the unique challenges in the current climate".

Barry graduated from Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) in 1996 and started his career with BP Shipping as an Engineering Cadet. This was followed by working with leading passenger operators Irish Ferries, P&O Cruises and Dobson Fleet Management where he served as Chief Engineer and Technical Superintendent. In 2009 he returned to Cork to run operations for Fastnet Line.

For more information about the new company, visit www.barryshipping.com

In addition for details about the role of the (IMDO) which is Ireland's national dedicated development, promotional and marketing agency for the shipping services sector click HERE

Published in Ports & Shipping
With today's historic Irish rugby victory over Australia, fans of the green jersey, who happen to be on a cruise-ship with Cunard Line or P&O Cruises, will be able to continue watching games of the Rugby World Cup, writes Jehan Ashmore.
One of the ten participating cruise ships, Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth (90,901 gross tonnes) owned by Carnival Corporation, made her maiden 'Irish' call to Dublin Port and Cobh last week, is showing live or recorded games within 24 hours from the original kick-off. This will enable games to be shown at convenient times for the participating cruise ships in their various locations.

A total of 24 matches are being shown, starting from the opening game and will include all four Home Nations' matches, quarter-finals, semi -finals, bronze final and then the final on 23rd October. Of course there will be other fans on board from Wales, Scotland, England and elsewhere watching the fixtures throughout the cruise-ships various sporting bars, pubs and other venues.

Carnival Corporation's UK entertainment services general manager, Paul Wright, said: "The Rugby World Cup is of great interest to many of our passengers and we're pleased that nobody will miss out by being on holiday with us throughout this time. At any one time we could have more than 19,000 passengers collectively on board and rooting for one of the Four Nations to bring home the trophy".

He added: "Most people have a sport that they follow and some times, like on a cruise ship, you won't have access to your favourite sport, which means a lot to fans. On our last cruise on Independence of the Seas, we had popular sports shown in state rooms and certain bars around the ship, of course football was the most common sport shown".

Incidentally Independence of the Seas has also called to Cobh since her Irish debut in 2007 and at 154,407 tonnes is the largest ever cruise-caller to Cork Harbour. She surpasses Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2 of 148,528 tonnes which too berthed at Cobh last Wednesday, four days after Queen Elizabeth's inaugural visit.

Published in Cruise Liners
As we draw closer to the end of this month that does not mean the holiday season is over especially where cruiseships are concerned, as no fewer than three such vessels are due to Dublin Port tomorrow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Two of the trio P&O Cruises 2,300-passenger Arcadia and Holland America Line's 2,100 passenger Eurodam are scheduled to arrive in Dublin Bay from 07.00hrs. They both weigh over 86,000 gross registered tonnes and share the same length of over 250 metres.

Arcadia caters for the UK market and she is on a 13-night cruise which so far has included calls to North Shields, Tyneside, Invergordon, Shetland Isles, Glasgow, Belfast and Liverpool. After her call to the capital she heads for Cork and finally to St Peter Port, Guernsey.

Readers may note that the vessel is of the same design as of Cunard Line's Queen Victoria, which also called to Dublin in May and Cork. In fact Arcadia was to be given the regal name but the 2005 Italian built vessel was transferred from Cunard Line to P&O Cruises, which are under control of US-owned cruise giant Carnival Corporation.

Notable external features of the Arcadia are glass-fronted lifts, two pools, one with a skydome and an interior that is brimming with an art collection consisting of over 3,000 works. She has many facilities such as a three-tier palladium theatre, an intimate 30-seater cinema and gymnasium with an ocean view to inspire those exercising at sea. She was constructed in just twenty months by the Fincantieri shipyard, just outside Venice.

Likewise Eurodam has an extensive art collection theme that is based on the Dutch master's 'Golden Age' including "The Nightwatch, Two Minutes Later", a contemporary re-interpretation of Rembrandt's famous painting. In addition there are 17th-century watercolour maps by famed cartographer Johannes Vingboons.

Passengers on the 11-decked Signature-class can also enjoy the Pan-Asian restaurant and lounge surrounded by panoramic views, an explorer's lounge bar, an Italian restaurant adjacent to the lido, jewellery boutique, atrium bar, show lounge and a photographic and imaging-centre.

Last but not least to dock around lunchtime will be the 30,000 tonnes Ocean Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, another subsidiary of the Carnival Corporation. The 680-passenger / 181 m long vessel may be the smallest of tomorrow's callers and within the Princess Cruises fleet, but the former Tahitian Princess, which underwent an extensive dry-docking in Singapore last winter is well equipped with facilities.

She has a cabaret lounge, club restaurant and bar, casino bar, main pool and spa, steakhouse restaurant, panorama buffet, an Italian restaurant and the Tahitian Lounge. To see the work conducted at the dry-dock, you can view a slideshow by clicking HERE and to see the work in a completed state which also applied to her sister Pacific Princess, watch this VIDEO.

Published in Cruise Liners
Visitors to Ireland's newest coastal tourist attraction at Loop Head Lighthouse will not only have stunning sea views but also as a place to observe seasonal cruise ships calling to Foynes, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Within the next seven days, three cruise callers are due to enter the mouth of the Shannon Estuary. The first to arrive is the French-flagged Le Diamant which docks tomorrow in the Co. Limerick port. The 8,200 tonnes vessel operated by Ponant Cruises is tonight sailing from St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly.

Her arrival will be followed by P&O Cruises latest addition Adonia on Saturday. With 710 berths the 30,000 tonnes vessel is the smallest of the seven-strong fleet which can accommodate between 1,800 and up to 3,100 passengers as in the case of the Azura. The 115,000 tonnes vessel departed Dublin Port this evening. Her first call to the port was last year (click HERE) and she is the largest cruise ship to call to the capital.

On Tuesday of next week the 9,000 tonnes Spirit of Adventure (cruises) marks the third cruise caller to Foynes. The port is along with five other terminals located throughout the country's largest estuary are operated by the Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC).

Incidentally Spirit of Adventure and Azura where two of another trio of cruise ships that visited the Port of Cork on Monday, with Holland America Line's 59,000 tonnes Rotterdam forming the third vessel. This was the first occasion that Cork has handled this number of cruise ships on a single day, bringing 7,000 passengers which set a new record for the port.

Published in Cruise Liners
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
Cruiseships continue to grow in size but the opposite could be said for Grand Princess when her Skywalker Nightclub weighing some 211 tons was removed, writes Jehan Ashmore.
In a delicate operation, it took over 10 hours for torches to cut through the structure's two-legs that supported the nightclub that had once stood perched on the higgest deck. Overlooking the stern, nightclubbers on deck 18 were afforded spectacular views of oceans and ports-of-call.

A floating crane-barge with a 1,000 ton lifting capacity hoisted the structure sky-high away from the ship which was berthed at the Grand Bahama Shipyard drydock facility. The ships owners, Princess Cruises cited the main reason for the removal was in order to 'significantly improve the operational performance of the ship, including greater fuel efficiency.'

Grand Princess may have lost her signature Skywalker Nightckub but three-decks below a new nightclub, One5, inspired by its Deck 15 location was created. In addition to this work which took place during April and May the 2,600 passenger cruisehip also underwent a major refit. The ship which had its last major refurbishment in 2004 has amenities to include an outdoor movie screen, fitness centre, spa, casino and four swimming pools.
For 'interactive' deckplans click here and interior slideshow click this link.

The distinctive 'Skywalker' feature became one of the most iconic in cruiseship naval architecture when the Grand Princess was launched as leadship
of the 'Grand' class in 1998. Located at the extreme aft of the vessel, the nightclub could only be reached by clubbers using an angled walkway (photo). Externally the feature was referred by some as the 'shopping trolley' and others percieved the design infleunce from towering poops found on ancient war-faring galleons.

Irrespective of the design origins, another 10 'Grand' class vessels were built by the Italian Fincantieni (at Malfalcone) Shipbuilding Group. The 'handle' (photo) feature on the Grand Princess was made with a heavier material compared to Golden Princess (2001) and Star Princess completed a year later. So there are no plans to remove these nightclubs. Of the more recent additions to the class modifications have appeared, notably without the inclusion of the Skywalker Nightclub's but there are changes to funnel designs.

Outside the Princess Cruises brand, the Ventura and Azura (also of the Grand-class) operate for P&O Cruises, serving the UK market from Southampton. The Hamsphire port welcomed the pioneering leadship Grand Princess on 5 May after she made a 16-day trans-Atlantic repositioning voyage from Port Everglades.

The cruiseship which has a crew of 1,200 alone will make the UK port its seasonal homeport this year from where she sails on cruises in Europe. On one of these cruises itineraries the Grand Princess (290m long x 36 beam X 8.5m draft) included a visit to the Port of Cork today. You can monitor the ship from Cobh Cruise Terminal via the 'live' bridge web-cam, noting the vessel is due to depart at 18.00 this evening bound for Dublin Port.

Grand Princess became the first cruiseship to measure over 100,000 gross registered tonnes when the 108,806 (grt) vessel docked in Dublin on 31 August 2004.

Last year the port handled 88 cruisecalls and this number of vessels is to be closely repeated this season. Over 200 cruise calls with around half a million passengers and crew are scheduled to visit the island of Ireland. The cruise sector business is estimated to generate €60m to the economies
north and south.

Published in Cruise Liners
Douglas Bay formed the backdrop for passengers onboard the 20,186 tonnes Discovery which anchored off the Manx port capital yesterday, marking the first cruise-caller of the year to the Isle of Man, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Bermuda-flagged cruiseship departed Portsmouth in late April with her last port of call being Killybegs. Prior to calling at the north-west fishing port the 168m vessel had docked at Cork (Ringaskiddy) having made calls at Milford Haven, Isles of Scilly and Falmouth.

The near 700-passenger capacity ship operated by UK based Voyages of Discovery is scheduled to call at several Scotish ports before returning to Portsmouth via the North Sea.

Discovery has eight decks with facilities to include two swimming pools, one with a retractable roof, jacuzzis, lounges, bars, a library and gymnasium, lecture theatre, cinema, restaurants, an internet cafe, shop, beauty salon and a medical centre.

She was built in 1971 as the Island Venture, then renamed Island Princess after purchased by Princess Cruises, alongside her sister Pacific Princess which appeared in the popular US TV series sitcom the 'Love Boat' broadcast by ABC between 1977-1986.

In total there will be four cruise-calls during the season to Douglas but the next visit will be not until July when P&O Cruises Adonia calls on the 17th. The ten-year old 710 passenger vessel is due to be named by Dame Shirley Bassey at a ceremony held in Southampton later this month.

Also calling to Douglas will be Oceania Cruises brand new 60,000 tonnes / 1,250 passenger Marina on the 24th July and the final call is to be made by Noble Caledonia's Japanese built Clipper Odyssey in mid-August.

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.

AllIreland_10-30071

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
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