Wednesday, 9 November 2011

MV Minerva Cruise Ship passing in front of Dover Castle, Inner Harbour, Kent, UK

The MV Minerva photographed from the Turret on the Admiralty Pier of the Western Docks at 4.02 pm on Wednesday, 28th July, 2010:

From Copenhagen (Denmark), going to Kirkwall (Orkney Islands). Owner: Swan Hellenic Cruises. IMO: 9144196. Ex-Okean, Saga Pearl, Explorer II, Alexander von Humboldt. View from Admiralty Pier Turret.
(Click this MS Minerva cruise ship text link to see the largest size)

The MS Minerva had previously been berthed at Cruise Terminal 1 on the Admiralty Pier (out-of-shot to the left). The passenger ship has completed the 180 degree turn shown half-a-minute earlier in the MS Minerva & Dover Castle (1) photo and is now heading for the Western Entrance of Dover Harbour and the English Channel beyond.

The Minerva had arrived from Copenhagen (Denmark) earlier in the day at the end of a 15-night, "Treasures of the Baltic" cruise and is leaving port at the start of a 15-night, "Sagas of Fire & Ice" cruise.

Itinerary (schedule): Kirkwall (Orkney Islands, Scotland), Lerwick (Shetland Islands, Scotland), Helmaey (Vestmannaeyjar Islands, Iceland), Reykjavik (Iceland), Grundarfjordur (Grundarfjörður, Iceland), Isafjordur (Ísafjörður, Iceland), Akureyri (Iceland), Thorshavn (Torshavn, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, Denmark), and Edinburgh (Scotland).

A video from Swan Hellenic featuring the MV Minerva:

MV Minerva (1)

The first Minerva is a cruise ship built in 1989, and originally intended as a Soviet research vessel, the Okean. The deal to purchase her fell through and she was purchased by Swan Hellenic (at the time a subsidiary of P and O Cruises) in 1996, and renamed Minerva. She is 436 feet long, has a beam of 65.6 feet and measures 12,500 gross tons.

The ship sailed with Swan Hellenic until her lease ran out in 2003. She briefly sailed with Saga Cruises as the Saga Pearl, and was then chartered to Abercrombie and Kent as the Explorer II, making voyages to Antarctica and South America from December to April with up to 198 passengers. From May to November, she sailed for the German-owned travel company Phoenix Reisen as the Alexander von Humboldt.

In July 2007 it was announced that the ship has been acquired by the re-launched Swan Hellenic line and the name reverted to Minerva.

Vessel details (1) (2):

Name: MS Minerva
Operator: Swan Hellenic Cruises
Port of registry: The Bahamas
In service: April 29, 1996
Status: In service
Tonnage: 12,500 GT
Length: 436 ft (133 m)
Beam: 66.5 ft (20.3 m)
Draught: 18.9 ft (5.8 m)
Decks: 6 (passenger decks)
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Stabilisers: retractable fin
Capacity: 350 passengers
Crew: 160 (mainly Filipino and Ukrainian)
Officers: British and European
Call Sign: SMGH
IMO: 9144196
MMSI: 309477000
Official MV Minerva webpage.
Official Swan Hellenic Cruises website

Elsewhere in the photo (1)

The area between the Admiralty Pier and the Prince of Wales Pier (behind and to the right of the ship) is called the Inner Harbour (ex-Commercial Harbour). Above the Prince of Wales Pier, the Outer Harbour (ex-Admiralty Harbour) extends as far as the out-of-shot Eastern Arm.

Dominating the skyline on the right of the photo is the Norman 12th Century Keep, or Great Tower, of Dover Castle.

The Keep, or Palace Tower, is 83 feet (25.3m) high and just under 100 feet (30m) square with walls up to 21 feet (6.5m) thick. The architect was 'Maurice the Engineer' (or Mason) and it was built between 1180-1185.

Below the Keep are the massive walls of the Inner Bailey (or Inner Curtain Wall), followed by Constable's Gateway and other Towers of the Western Outer Curtain Wall.

On the right of the skyline are the AD 46 East Roman Pharos (a lighthouse or watchtower) and adjacent church of St Mary-in-Castro, commonly termed Saxon but also attributed to the second-century King Lucius of Britain who ruled under the Romans. The West Roman Pharos is known as the Bredenstone.

Castle, Church, and Pharos are Dover Listed Buildings and Dover English Heritage sites.

The white building behind the Minerva on the left is part of the Victorian/Georgian Waterloo Crescent on Marine Parade.

The main part of Waterloo Crescent is perhaps best known for once being the "White Cliffs Hotel" (named, of course, after the White Cliffs of Dover). It then became the "Churchill Hotel" until the beginning of 2010. The hotel is now the "Dover Marina Hotel and Spa" and opened as such in early 2011.

Waterloo Crescent is also a Listed Building.

Also see the Dover Castle and the Beach from the Prince of Wales Pier photo (not yet uploaded).

(1) Wikipedia entry for MV Minerva
(2) Marinetraffic entry for MV Minerva

The main photo first appeared at:

MV Minerva Cruise Ship passing in front of Dover Castle, Inner Harbour

To be uploaded:

MV Minerva Cruise Ship at CT1, Admiralty Pier, Western Docks, Dover Harbour
MV Minerva Cruise Ship at CT3, Admiralty Pier, Western Docks, Dover Harbour
MV Minerva approaching CT 3, Admiralty Pier, Western Docks, Dover Harbour

Click to see all Dover MV Minerva, Swan Hellenic Cruises, 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).

Also see the Dover Castle Page.

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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