Tuesday 12 December 2017

Taller than Liberty Hall: Giant cruise ship returns to Dublin Port

Cruise season kicks off

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.
*** NO REPRODUCTION FEE *** DUBLIN : 11/05/2015 : Pictured was MSC Splendida cruise liner being towed stern first into Dublin Port. Dublin Port Company cruised into the history books today with the arrival of the 333m long MSC Splendida cruise liner, the longest ship to ever call at Dublin Port and currently ranked as the 11th longest cruise ship in the world.. The 4,600 passengers and crew were greeted by a Celtic-inspired welcome on the quayside featuring a live ceili band, Irish drummers, dancers and entertainment before departing for the city’s attractions. MSC Splendida is one of 83 cruise calls confirmed for Dublin Port this year, which will see 140,000 passengers arriving to sample the sights of the capital. Picture Conor McCabe Photography. Media Contact: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications, 01 661 0402 / 086 866 4501
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

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.

Celebrating the arrival of the MSC Splendida in Dublin Port
Celebrating the arrival of the MSC Splendida in Dublin Port

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)

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