Sunday, 27 November 2011

MS Prinsendam Cruise Ship in Fog, Southern Breakwater, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

A grainy, yet atmospheric, zoomed photo of 1600 yards showing the MS Prinsendam crossing Dover Harbour from east to west in front of the Southern Breakwater on Sunday, 6th of June, 2010:

MS Prinsendam  enroute from Fort Lauderdale (USA) to Amsterdam (Netherlands). Holland America Line (HAL). Call Sign: PBGH, IMO: 8700280, MMSI: 244126000. Ex-Royal Viking Sun, Seabourn Sun.
(Click this MS Prinsendam Cruise Ship text link to see the largest size)


The Prinsendam is on its way to berth at Cruise Terminal 2 on the Admiralty Pier of the Western Docks. Previously, the passenger ship had left Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA, on Monday, 17th of May 2010, and then made a transatlantic crossing to Le Havre, France, arriving on June 5th.

This was not a good weekend for taking cruise ship photos (even without the fog!) owing to the Prince of Wales Pier - the usual vantage point - being closed in preparation for firework displays commemorating the centenary of Charles Stewart Rolls' non-stop return flight across the English Channel on Thursday, June 2nd 1910 (1).

Unable to get any nearer to the ship, this distant view was taken from the Clock Tower end of Dover's seafront promenade, near the King Charles II Restoration of the Monarchy memorial, at 7.20 am while on a morning cycle ride (2).

The Prinsendam stayed until about 5.30 pm and then sailed for Amsterdam (Holland/Netherlands) via IJmuiden and the North Sea Canal. The ship subsequently called at Travemünde (Travemunde, Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), and Tromsø (Tromso, Norway).

Video - An advertiser has added an opening and closing credit to what is otherwise an official Prinsendam video:




MS Prinsendam (3) (4)


The MS Prinsendam is a cruise ship for Holland America Line PLC and is nicknamed the "Elegant Explorer". She was launched in 1988 as the Royal Viking Sun for the Royal Viking Line, and was renamed Seabourn Sun when Seabourn Cruise Line acquired the ship in 1999. Shortly after, in 2002, The Seabourn company (Yachts of Seabourn) wished to concentrate on more intimate vessels (eg the new MS Seabourn Sojourn). So, in 2002, they transferred the Seabourn Sun to Holland America Line (HAL), where it was renamed the Prinsendam.

Early Career

Launched in 1988 as the Royal Viking Sun for the Royal Viking Line this vessel quickly became renowned for her exquisite service and loyal passenger following. She became a popular addition to the fleet of Global Cruisers employed in Royal Viking service.

Cunard Line career

Cunard PLC purchased the Royal Viking Sun (and the Royal Viking brand) as the failing Royal Viking Line ceased operations in the mid-1990s. Opting to keep the ship's name as is, they placed her into the newly formed Cunard Royal Viking division. This 5-plus star ship was rated the finest vessel afloat for most of her life with Cunard.

Royal Viking Sun undertook World Voyages as Cunard's Global Roamer, and was a popular and highly sought after ship for passengers and crew alike.

In 1999 Cunard and Seabourn were merged by parent company Carnival Corporation & PLC. It was decided to move Royal Viking Sun to Seabourn, and after an extensive refit she emerged as the Seabourn Sun. In 2002 she undertook her last cruise for Seabourn, a circumnavigation of South America.

Holland America Line career

After another extensive refit in 2002, Seabourn Sun re-emerged as the Prinsendam for Holland America Line - another division of the Carnival Corporation. She has remained as Prinsendam to this day.

Ship's details

Name: 1988-1999: Royal Viking Sun, 1999-2002: Seabourn Sun, 2002-present: Prinsendam
Operator: 1988-1994: Royal Viking Line, 1994-1998: Cunard Line, 1998-2002: Seabourn Cruise Line, 2002-present: Holland America Line
Port of registry: 1988-1999: Nassau, Bahamas; 1999-2002: Oslo, Norway; 2002-present: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Builder: Wärtsilä in Turku, Finland
Launched: March 17, 1988
Acquired: November 26, 1988
In service: 1988-present
Nickname: 2002-present: The Elegant Explorer
Class and type: cruise ship
Tonnage: 37,848 gross register tons (GRT)
Length: 674.2 ft (205.5 m)
Beam: 91.8 ft (28.0 m)
Draught: 23.6 ft (7.2 m)
Decks: 9 passenger decks
Speed: 22 knots maximum, (service at 18.5 knots)
Capacity: 740 passengers
Crew: 460 crew
Capacity: 793 passengers
Crew: 443 crew
Call Sign: PBGH
IMO: 8700280
MMSI: 244126000

The official MS Prinsendam webpage



Holland America Line (5)


The Holland America Line is a cruise shipping company. It was founded in 1873 as the "Netherlands-America Steamship Company" (Dutch: Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij), a shipping and passenger line. Headquartered in Rotterdam and providing service to the Americas, it became known as Holland America Line. HAL is now headquartered in Seattle, Washington, USA.

The first ships sailed between Rotterdam and New York in 1872, with New York remaining the American terminal. Other services were started to South America and Baltimore. Cargo service to New York was added in 1899. During the first 25 years the company carried 400,000 people from the old world to the new world. Other North American ports were added during the early 20th century.

Though transportation and shipping were the primary sources of revenue, in 1895 HAL offered its first vacation cruise. Its second vacation cruise, from New York to the Holy Land (Hebrew: ארץ הקודש‎; Eretz HaQodesh ; Arabic: الأرض المقدسة Al-Ard Al-Muqaddasah; Palestine, Israel) was first offered in 1910. In 1971, HAL suspended transatlantic passenger trade and in 1973 sold its cargo shipping division.

In 1989, HAL became a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & PLC, the largest cruise line. The company operates 15 ships to 7 continents and carries almost 700,000 cruise passengers a year. In addition to its cruise line, Holland America operates the Westmark Hotel chain in Alaska and the Yukon.



Notes and Sources


(1) Charles Stewart Rolls was co-founder with Sir Henry Royce of Rolls Royce motor cars. A photo of his statue in front of Dover seafront's Gateway Flats will be uploaded anon.

Other events in Dover at this time were the Grand Shaft and Drop Redoubt open days and the 70th anniversary of the World War II 1940 Dunkirk evacuation (in which a Royal Marines LCU MK10 Landing Craft took part):

(2) On a cycle ride beginning at Robsons Yard Flats in the Tower Hamlets area of Dover, then: Athol Terrace (Eastern Docks) - Seafront Promenade - Prince of Wales Pier (Western Docks) - Robsons Yard.

This is where I do my Evolution and Psychology research! (archive)

(3) Wikipedia entry for MS Prinsendam
(4) Marinetraffic entry for MS Prinsendam
(5) Wikipedia entry for Holland America Line

Another summer visitor to the Port of Dover in 2010 was the MS Spirit of Adventure. Her captain, Kees Spekman, started his career after joining the MS Prinsendam as a Deck Cadet in March, 1975:




The main photo first appeared at:

MS Prinsendam Cruise Ship in Fog, Southern Breakwater, Dover Harbour

Other Dover ships belonging to Holland America Line Cruises include:


Click to see all Dover MS Prinsendam, Holland America Line Cruise Ships, and Cruise Ship photos.

More Fog and Weather views.

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

The 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.

Port of Dover travel and tourism in the Western Docks.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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