Friday, 7 October 2011

MS Empress Cruise Ship from the Admiralty Pier Turret, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

The MS Empress berthed at CT1 (Cruise Terminal 1) on the Admiralty Pier of the Western Docks, her bow pointing in the direction of the Western Entrance (night photo) and English Channel beyond:

Operator Pullmantur Cruises, Spain. Ship arrived from Le Havre (France), going to Ijmuiden (Holland/Netherlands). Cruise Terminal 1 (CT1), Western Docks. IMO 8716899, Call Sign 9HJE9, MMSI 249056000. Flag Malta.
(Click this MS Empress Cruise Ship text link to see the largest size)

The photo was taken at 12.57 pm on Tuesday, 10th of May, 2011, from the upper level of the Admiralty Pier near the Admiralty Pier Turret (alt. Dover Turret: an enclosed Victorian armoured fortification built in 1882).

The Empress is in the Inner Harbour (ex-Commercial Harbour) of Dover Harbour, bounded on the far side by the out-of-shot Prince of Wales Pier.

The MS Empress is on a 10-night positional cruise from Lisbon to Copenhagen, taking the ship north for the 2011 summer season around the Baltic Sea. Full itinerary:

Lisbon, Portugal (04 May); Leixoes, Portugal (05 May); La Coruña (La Coruna), Spain (06 May); Bilbao, Spain (07 May); Le Havre (Paris), France (09 May); Dover, England (10 May); Ijmuiden, Holland/Netherlands (11 May); Hamburg, Germany (12 May); Copenhagen, Denmark (14 May).

The MS Empress (1) (2)

The MS Empress is a cruise ship operated by Pullmantur Cruises PLC. She was formerly operating for Royal Caribbean International (RCI) as Empress of the Seas. The ship was ordered by Admiral Cruise Lines and was intended to be called Future Seas and join the other Admiral Ships Azure Seas and Emerald Seas. However, Royal Caribbean merged with Admiral in 1987, the Admiral brand was dissolved and the newbuild (still under construction) was incorporated into the Royal Caribbean fleet.

The ship was originally named Nordic Empress and was the final RCI ship whose name did not end with "of the Seas". The name was changed to match the rest of the fleet (ie Empress of the Seas) following an extensive rebuilding that ended on 8 May 2004.

Nordic Empress was the first mainstream cruise ship especially designed for the 3 and 4 day cruise market. Her initial itinerary was short cruises to the Bahamas, which then were combined with 3 and 4 day cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1999, following the sale of Song of America, Nordic took over the New York to Bermuda route.

In 2000 Royal Caribbean announced that Nordic Empress would be undertaking a series of cruises in South America. Shortly after these cruises were put on sale, Royal Caribbean decided to replace Nordic Empress with Splendour of the Seas in the South American itineraries, leaving Nordic Empress in the Caribbean.

On 23 March 2007 it was reported that in March 2008 the Empress of the Seas would be transferred to the fleet of RCI's subsidiary Pullmantur Cruises PLC. Her final voyage for Royal Caribbean took place on 7 March 2008.The maiden voyage as Empress for Pullmantur Cruises PLC took place on 15 March 2008.

Vessel details

Name: 1990 - 2004: Nordic Empress; 2004 - 2008: Empress of the Seas; 2008 onwards: Empress
Owner: 1990 - 2008: Royal Caribbean International; 2008 onwards: Pullmantur Cruises PLC
Operator: 1990 - 2008: Royal Caribbean International; 2008-present: Pullmantur Cruises PLC
Port of registry: 1990 - 2002: Monrovia, Liberia; 2002 - 2008: Nassau, Bahamas; 2008 onwards: Valletta, Malta
Builder: Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Saint-Nazaire, France
Launched: 25th of August, 1989-08-25
Acquired: 31st of May, 1990-05-31
In service: 25th of June, 1990-06-25
Tonnage: gross tonnage (GT) of 48,563 tons, 5,344 metric tons deadweight (DWT)
Length: 210.81 m (691.63 ft)
Beam: 30.70 m (100.72 ft)
Draught: 7.10 m (23.29 ft)
Decks: 11
Installed power: 2 × Wartsila-Duvant Crepelle diesels combined 16,200 kW
Speed: 19.5 knots (36.11 km/h; 22.44 mph)
Capacity: 1850 passengers
Crew: 668
Identification, IMO: 8716899
Call Sign: 9HJE9
MMSI: 249056000

MS Empress PDF file

Video - A slideshow charting the history of the MS Empress from construction to the present day:

Elsewhere in the Photo

On the right: Concrete apron of the old Hoverport above which are two of the three sections of Waterloo Crescent (a Victorian terrace and Dover Listed Building) consisting of the new (for 2011) Dover Marina Hotel and Spa (ex-White Cliffs Hotel, ex-Churchill Hotel; ex-Shalimar Hotel end) and the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club (RCPYC).

On the left: The Western Heights, the western beginnings of the White Cliffs of Dover as they rise up from the River Dour valley to reach the lofty peak of Shakespeare Cliff (of King Lear fame), about 1800 yards behind the viewer.

Notes and Sources

(1) Wikipedia entry for MS Empress
(2) Marinetraffic entry for MS Empress

The main photo first appeared at:

MS Empress Cruise Ship from the Admiralty Pier Turret, Dover Harbour

Not yet uploaded:

MS Empress Cruise Ship before the White Cliffs of Dover at Daybreak
MS Empress Cruise Ship at Cruise Terminal 1, Western Docks

Also in port this day:

Click to see all Cruise Ship, MS Empress, and Pullmantur Cruises photos.

Clickable thumbnails of all harbour-related photos from the main Panoramio Images of Dover website are available on this blog at Port of Dover (also linked to at the top of the page below the blog title).

The main site Panoramio photos are each accompanied by a Google Earth satellite map. However, the images are smaller than those on the Images of Dover Blog and the captions are less well formatted.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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