Taller than Liberty Hall: Giant cruise ship returns to Dublin Port
Cruise season kicks off
MSC Splendida, at 333m the biggest ever ship to dock in Dublin Port, is returning to the city on a cruise call today.
The 18-deck behemoth is expected to dock at Ocean Pier 33 at around 6.45am, according to the Port's cruise ship schedule.
The ship will depart this evening before berthing at Cobh tomorrow, as part of an 11-day itinerary that concludes in Hamburg on May 8.
MSC Splendida made maritime history as the largest cruise ship ever to dock in Dublin Port last summer, and staff were "blown away" by the amount of people lining the Liffey to wave it off, Giles Hawke of MSC Cruises said at the time.
The Fantasia-class ship, which debuted in 2009, features over a dozen bars and lounges, four swimming pools, a spa, Turkish baths and a Formula 1 simulator. It also boasts a Swarovski crystal staircase in the main atrium.
At 66.8m in height it is taller than Liberty Hall (59m), and the ship's 333m length (1,093 feet) means it has to be reversed into Alexandra Basin.
By 2020, Dublin Port's €230m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project will allow it host the world's largest cruise ships - up to 362m in length.
Efforts are underway to promote and develop Dublin as a 'home' or 'turnaround' port for cruise ships, with itineraries beginning and ending in the capital as opposed to simply hosting cruise calls - a record 113 of which are scheduled for 2016.
Disney Magic will also be making its maiden call to Dublin this year.
MSC Splendida carries up to 5,600 passengers and crew, many of whom will have a full day during which to enjoy the city during their visit.
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)
Read more:Disney is coming to Dublin in a record season for cruise ships Top 30 Cruises for 2016 The best cruise lines of 2015