Saturday, 5 November 2011

MS Saga Pearl II Cruise Ship and DHB Dauntless Tug, Western Docks, Dover, Kent, UK

An early morning view of the MS Saga Pearl II in the last minutes of berthing alongside Cruise Terminal (CT3) of the Admiralty Pier in the Western Docks of Dover Harbour:

Owner Saga Cruises: MMSI 311348000, IMO 8000214, Callsign C6SI2; ex-Astoria. From Ronne (Denmark) to Rotterdam (Netherlands). Dover Harbour Board tug, DHB Dauntless. Western Docks, English Channel
(Click this MS Saga Pearl II Cruise Ship text link to see the largest size)

The photo was taken on a cycle ride (1) at 6.57 am on Saturday, 29th of May, 2010, from near the lighthouse end of the Prince of Wales Pier (western side).

The lighthouse in the photo is the Admiralty Pier Light. It was built in 1908, has a cast iron tower 72 feet high, and flashes a white light every 7.5 seconds when operational (see all lighthouse photos).

On the left is the Dover Harbour Board tug, DHB Dauntless. Behind the tug is the Western Entrance. On the far side of the English Channel the cliffs of France can be seen as a hazy line on the horizon.

The Saga Pearl II had to berth at CT3 (the furthest from shore) because CT1 and CT2 were already occupied by the MS Braemar and the MS Eurodam cruise ships, respectively. A busy day in the Port of Dover!

The MS Saga Pearl II is shown returning from a round-trip 15-night "Gems of the Baltic" cruise that had began in Dover on Friday, 14th of May, 2010.

Itinerary: Copenhagen (Denmark, via the Kiel Canal), Travemünde (Travemunde, Germany), Stockholm (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland), St. Petersburg (Russia), Tallinn (Estonia), Visby (Sweden), Klaipeda (Lithuania), Glydnia (Poland), Rønne (Ronne, Denmark), and then back to Dover.

The Saga Pearl II left port again later in the evening. The following day (May 30th) Captain David Warden-Owen recorded the following (abridged) (2):

Yesterday we began this very special cruise called "Remembering Dunkirk" – a week of experiences that, I am sure, will be both fascinating and emotive. Having said farewell to our guests that had joined us for our superb Baltic cruise, the ship's company had just three hours to make the Saga Pearl II ship-shape before we began embarking our ‘new’ guests. It never fails to impress me how the crew ‘click’ into action.

We were to sail from Dover and our tours began even before we left. Needless to say, the White Cliffs of Dover go hand in hand with memories of World War II, and so we had decided to take our guests on a late afternoon tour of the Secret Wartime Tunnels beneath Dover Castle.

At 5.30pm coaches were waiting at the quayside and the tours began a staggered departure from the ship and everyone without exception returned to us two hours later full of compliments on how fascinating the experience had been.

Following dinner, all of our passengers were invited to the Discovery Lounge for a presentation by Major General Stephen Carr-Smith on Dunkirk and the landings, Stephen is a most excellent speaker and the Lounge was filled to capacity for his compelling presentation.

(November 5th, 2011: the captain of the MS Saga Pearl II is now Captain Alistair McLundie.)

After Dunkirk, the ship subsequently called at: Rotterdam (Netherlands/Holland), Terneuzen (Netherlands/Holland), Gent (Ghent, Belgium), Terneuzen (Netherlands/Holland), Cherbourg (France), Guernsey (Channel Islands), Dover (5th of June; no photo taken), Guernsey (Channel Islands), and Cork (Eire/Ireland).

An official video of the MS Saga Pearl II:

MS Saga Pearl II (3)

This passenger ship was previously known as the Astoria and has been operating for more than 28 years, making cruises world wide. The Astoria had a sister-ship (MS Astor) and both were operated by Transocean Tours until August, 2009, when Saga Cruises PLC made a successful bid for the Astoria at auction.

In late 2009, the ship sailed to Swansea, Wales where she underwent a £20 million three-month refit in the re-opened Swansea dry dock. She sailed on her first cruise as Saga Pearl II on 15th March 2010 to the Norwegian Fjords.

Ship's details (3) (4)

Previous Name: Astoria
Operator: 1981-2009: Transocean Tours, 2010-present: Saga Shipping Company
Launched: 1981
Builder: Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH
Status: Currently in service
Call sign: C6SI2
IMO Number: 8000214
MMSI: 311348000
Flag: Nassau (Bahamas)
Class and type: cruise ship
Tonnage: 18,591gross tons
Length: 164.30 meters
Beam: 22.60 meters
Propulsion: Sulzer-Wartsila 15,400 kW
Speed: 21.4 knots (maximum), 20.3 knots (cruising)
Capacity: 602 passengers (maximum), 512 passengers (normal)
Crew: 220 crew

Click to see the official Saga Cruises website and official MS Saga Pearl II webpage.

Tug Details

DHB Dauntless bollard-pull tug: Call Sign MZGC8, IMO 9190456, MMSI 232004784

Notes and Sources

Ex- Builder's Yard, now 6 apartments owned by Southern Housing Group (SHG housing association). Once rife with anti-social behaviour and psychological violence. Here I research specific areas of Evolution and Psychology.
Robsons Yard Flats

(1) Cycle route begins 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)

(2) Captain's blog entry for May 30, 2010 (11.22 pm).
(3) Wikipedia entry for Saga Pearl II (alt. Saga Pearl 2)
(4) Marine Traffic entry for MS Saga Pearl II

The main photo was originally uploaded to:

MS Saga Pearl II Cruise Ship and DHB Dauntless Tug, Western Docks, Dover

Other Dover Saga Cruises photos include:

Click to see all Saga Pearl II and Cruise Ship photos.

Clickable thumbnails of all harbour-related photos on the main Panoramio Images of Dover website are available on this blog at 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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