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):

Friday, 4 November 2011

MS Saga Ruby Cruise Ship and Neptune Catamaran, Western Docks, Dover, Kent, UK

A post-sunrise view of the MS Saga Ruby berthed at CT1 (Cruise Terminal 1) on the Admiralty Pier of Dover Harbour's Western Docks:

Ex-MS Vistafjord and MS Caronia; owner: Saga Cruises; berthed CT1, Admiralty Pier; from Guernsey (Channel Islands), going Leith (Scotland). Neptune charter boat for fishing, diving. Shakespeare Cliff.
(Click this MS Saga Ruby cruise ship text link to see the largest size)

Usually the cruise ships reverse into position so that their bows point towards the Western Entrance and English Channel (to the left).

However, like the MS Saga Pearl II, the MS Saga Ruby is small enough to turn around in the Inner Harbour with room to spare when the times comes to leave.

This Dover Harbour photo was taken on a cycle ride (1) at 6.07 am on Tuesday, 24th of August 2010, from a point between the central Porthole Shelters (to the right) and the lighthouse (to the left) on the Prince of Wales Pier.

Half-an-hour earlier, the MS Saga Ruby had been photographed from St Martin's Battery, a Victorian and World War II coastal artillery position on top of the Western Heights overlooking the harbour. See Night Panorama of the Western Docks in Dover Harbour.

Beyond the passenger ship on the right of the photo is Shakespeare Cliff of King Lear fame and part of the White Cliffs of Dover.

At bottom-left is the Neptune catamaran, a charter boat powered by twin Caterpillar diesel engines and available for angling, diving, and commercial work. The skipper is David Batchelor: more information on the Neptune website.

The MS Saga Ruby has just completed the "Treasures of the Anglo-Celtic Isles" cruise that called at various ports in England, Scotland, Wales, Nothern Ireland, and Eire (Ireland).

Full itinerary (2): Edinburgh, Kirkwall, Portree, Greenock (Glasgow), Belfast, Holyhead (Wales), Dublin, Cork, Falmouth, Guernsey (Channel Islands).

Later in the day, the MS Saga Ruby left Dover for Leith in Scotland where Captain Steve Angove reported (3):

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Clock Tower, First Lifeboat Station, and Lord Warden House, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

In the foreground on the left are the Clock Tower and a single-storey structure that was Dover's first Lifeboat Station:

Clocktower, built 1876-1877, designed by architect George Devey. 1st Lifeboat Station. Both moved post-1892 when Prince of Wales Pier built. Victorian Lord Warden Hotel (ex-HMS Wasp). All 3 Listed Buildings
(Click this Clock Tower text link to see the largest size)

These two listed buildings (see below) are situated on the seafront esplanade at the landward end of the Prince of Wales Pier (out-of-shot to the left) close to the Georgian Waterloo Crescent, the popular Sue's Seafood Stall, the non-tidal Wellington Dock (with its tubular swan-necked Fairbairn Crane), the King Charles II Commemorative Walk - and not forgetting the pebble-strewn beach, of course!

A building on the other side of the Clock Tower contains showers, wash-rooms, and a launderette for the use of people with yachts and boats berthed in Dover Marina.

Part of a tug belonging to Dover Harbour Board, the DHB Dauntless, can be seen near the bottom right-hand corner on higher magnifications. The tug is berthed in the Tug Haven on the far side of the Tidal Harbour (no sign of the sister-tug, DHB Doughty, though).

Beyond the Tug Haven is the large white Lord Warden House, also a listed building. This was once the Lord Warden Hotel where Louis Bleriot had breakfast after the first cross-channel aeroplane flight on Sunday, 25th July, 1909.

The building became the Royal Navy's HMS Wasp shore station durating World War II and is located at the landward end of the Admiralty Pier (where the cruise ships berth).

This post-sunrise photo was taken at 6.33 am on Monday, 22nd of August, 2011, while on a morning cycle ride (1) along the seafront.

The Victorian Clock Tower, built in 1876-1877 to the designs of George Devey (architect, 1820-1886), was renovated in 2010. However, the flagpole flying the Union Jack flag (the Union Flag), and topped by a weather vane, wasn't restored until sometime after April, 2011.

Also in 2010, a news report said that a proposal to move the Clock Tower had been put on hold (2):

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Pride of Dover Ferry, Admiralty Pier, Western Docks, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

The cross-channel ferry, MS Pride of Dover berthed alongside the Admiralty Pier in the Western Docks of Dover Harbour:

Built 1987 by Schichau Unterweser for Townsend Thoresen, now P and O Ferries. Ex-MV P and O SL Dover. Cross-channel route Dover to Calais (France). IMO 8517736, MMSI 232001670, Call Sign: GJCR. Withdrawn 2010.
(Click this MS Pride of Dover text link to see the largest size)

The photo was taken from the Prince of Wales Pier on Tuesday, 27st of April, 2010.

The MF Pride of Dover primarily operated on the Dover to Calais route, normally berthing in the ferry terminal of the Eastern Docks (the Western Docks is the cruise ship terminal).

The ferry was tied up at Cruise Terminal 1 (CT1) on the Admiralty Pier for several days, however, which may have had some connection to the airline crisis that arose as a result of ash fall-out from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruptions in Iceland.

The MS Pride of Dover (1)

The MS Pride of Dover was built by Schichau Unterweser AG (Schichau Seebeckwerft) in 1987 as a cross-channel ferry for Townsend Thoresen. She was the last new ship to appear in service with the famous Townsend Thoresen orange hull though she was delivered with the P&O house flag painted on her funnel which was changed from the 'TT' logo during construction. Townsend Thoresen was renamed P and O European Ferries late in 1987, following the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster, and Pride of Dover was swiftly repainted in the new company colours.

The industry generally regarded Pride Of Dover and her sister MV Pride Of Calais (photo not yet uploaded) as the most successful ferries ever built for English Channel service. The ships boasted superb handling characteristics and excellent sea-keeping abilities. Between 1998 and 2002 she was under the control of P&O Stena Line and carried the name MV P&OSL Dover from 1999 until 2002 (sometimes P&O SL Dover). Once returned to P&O control she was renamed MV PO Dover before she was repainted into new P&O Ferries livery when her name returned to MV Pride of Dover.

MS Pride Of Dover details (1) (2):

Monday, 31 October 2011

MS Athena Cruise Ship and Tugs in the Western Entrance, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

Stormy weather ahead: a gunmetal-grey early morning view of the MS Athena, survivor of a famous maritime disaster (see below), in the process of berthing at Cruise Terminal 3 (CT3) on the Admiralty Pier of the Western Docks:

From Honfleur (France). IMO 5383304, Call Sign CQRV, MMSI 255801380. Operator Page and Moy, Taste of Europe cruise. DHB Dauntless, DHB Doughty tugs. Ex-MS Stockholm: SS Andrea Doria maritime disaster 1956.
(Click this MS Athena Cruise Ship text link to see the largest size)

The bow of the MS Athena (alt. MV Athena) is pointing towards the Western Entrance with the Straits of Dover and English Channel beyond; the Cliffs of France can be seen on higher resolutions.

The Western Entrance is formed by the Southern Breakwater, out-of-shot to the left, and the Admiralty Pier behind the ship on the right.

This Dover Harbour photo was taken at 6.31 am on Tuesday, 7th of September, 2010, from the lighthouse end of the Prince of Wales Pier.

The two Dover Harbour Board bollard-pull tugs assisting the Athena, DHB Dauntless (on the left) and DHB Doughty (on the right), along with the DHB David Church dredger, berth in the Tug Haven of the Tidal Harbour.

The MS Athena, chartered by tour operator Page and Moy for the 2010 summer season, has just finished "A Taste of Europe", her last summer cruise this year, which began in Dover on Friday, the 3rd of September with the following itinerary: Dover - Amsterdam (Netherlands, Holland; Anne Frank house, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum) - Zeebrugge (Belgium; for Bruges or Ghent) - Honfleur (France; Saint Catherine Church, Monet's Garden at Giverny, or Paris) .

MS Athena (1)

MS Athena, like the MS Princess Dapne, is a cruise ship owned and operated by Classic International Cruises (CI Cruises) of the World Cruises Agency. She was built in 1948 as the MS Stockholm by Götaverken in Gothenburg for the Swedish America Line (SAL). Since her career with SAL she has sailed under the names MS Völkerfreundschaft, MS Volker, MS Fridtjof Nansen, MS Italia I, MS Italia Prima, MS Valtur Prima and MS Caribe, before beginning service under her current name.

As Stockholm, the MS Athena was best known for colliding with the SS Andrea Doria in 1956, resulting in the sinking of the latter ship: