Twice as long as Croke Park: 2,850-passenger cruise ship sails into Dublin
Celebrity Cruises is bringing its X-Factor to Dublin today, in the shape of a maiden visit for the giant luxury liner Celebrity Eclipse.
The 2,850-passenger Solstice Class ship, a star of Celebrity's fleet, docked for her first ever call to Dublin Port at around 12.30pm today.
Passengers disembarked from Ocean Pier 33 for a day in the city, with the option of enjoying an Irish dancing show hosted by the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House, before continuing on their 12-night cruise around the UK, Ireland and Iceland.
Celebrity Eclipse is billed as one of "the most stylish ships at sea", with passengers enjoying Lawn Clubs with real grass, a Canyon Ranch SpaClub and a duty-free Michael Kors boutique among other high-end indulgences.
At 317m in length, the ship is more than twice as long as the playing field at Croke Park, which measures a measly 145m by comparison.
Cruise tourism is booming in Dublin, with a record 130 ships expected to bring 200,000 passengers and crew in 2017, according to Dublin Port.
By 2020, its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project will allow ships of Eclipse's size (and larger) to dock as far upriver as the East Link, and the city has also been marketing itself as a 'Home Port' in which cruise ships can start and end journeys.
Between April and June of next year, Celebrity will become the first major cruise line to home port in Dublin, with Celebrity Eclipse offering a 'mini-season' featuring five Northern European cruises from Dublin Port.
"Modern luxury" is Celebrity's USP - the line distinguishes itself from other mainstream cruise ships through multi-million dollar artworks, a crew to guest ratio of 1:2 and plush 'Suite Class' staterooms, among other premium experiences.
The line's hotly-anticipated 'Edge' Class ships is set to launch next year.
As we publish, 13-night cruises to Scandinavia and Russia on start from around €1,629pp for an inside cabin on Celebrity Eclipse this summer.
Wait until autumn, however, and you could nab a lower rate. A 10-night Lisbon & Canaries cruises departing on September 28 starts from €1,159pp.
Read more:First Look: World's newest cruise ship Celebrity Edge complete with 'magic carpet' and ocean-edge balconies