Sunday 23 October 2016

Return of the MSC: Last chance to see Splendida in Ireland this weekend

Cruise control

Published 28/08/2015 | 16:33

MSC Splendida: Dublin bound on May 11.
MSC Splendida: Dublin bound on May 11.
The MSC Splendida towers over the Poolbeg chimneys as it enters Dublin Port
Celebrating the arrival of the MSC Splendida in Dublin Port
MSC Splendida: Below deck.
A cabin on board MSC Splendida.
MSC Splendida being towed stern first into Dublin Port on May11.

MSC Splendida, a cruise ship so long it has to reverse into Dublin Port, is set for its final visit of 2015 this weekend.

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The ship was scheduled to dock in Dublin from 09.00 to 20.15 on Saturday, August 29, and in Cobh from 06.30 to 18.00 on Sunday, August 30.

MSC Splendida made maritime history as the largest cruise ship ever to dock in Dublin Port during her debut visit last May.

Its staff were "blown away" by the amount of people lining the Liffey to wave it off, according to Giles Hawke, MSC Cruises executive director for the UK and Ireland.

The ship returns to Ireland as part of an 11-day itinerary out of Hamburg, and this weekend's visits will be its last until May 2016.

Since we published, Justin Fuller of Go Aerial Ireland captured and shared this footage of the giant leaving Dublin Port.

At 137,926GT and just over 333 metres in length, MSC Splendida is one of the largest vessels in the MSC Cruises fleet – one of four ‘Fantasia-class’ ships.

The ship, which launched in 2009, features over a dozen bars and lounges, four swimming pools, a spa, Turkish baths and a Formula 1 simulator over 17 decks.

It also boasts a Swarovski crystal staircase in the main atrium.

Prices for the equivalent 11-day itinerary next year start from €1,199pp, including 'Broadway-style' theatre shows and a 'Premium, 20-hours-a-day buffet'.

The MSC Splendida was at the centre of a tragedy last March 18, when 12 of its passengers were killed during a terrorist attack on Tunisia's Bardo Museum.

The company has halted visits to the country "for the foreseeable future".

Celebrating the ship's arrival last May

Dublin Port expects up to 100 ships to bring 200,000 visitors during 2015, putting the city on track for a record year in cruise tourism.

MSC Splendida in Numbers:

  • 333.3 metres - length of the ship, equal to 35 double-decker buses
  • 66.8 metres - height, taller than Liberty Hall
  • 4,363 - passengers at full occupancy
  • 18 - decks (but there’s no Deck 17 – Italians consider ‘17’ to be an unlucky number because rearranging the letters in the Roman numerals can spell ‘VIXI’,  which means ‘I have lived’ or, more literally, ‘I am dead’)
  • 1,600 - seats in its on-board theatre
  • 55,000 - horsepower, the same as 120 Ferraris
  • 1,118 - miles of cable on board (the distance from Dublin to Turin)
  • 13,743 - litres of milk passengers will consume on a 12-night sailing

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