The Crown Iris

1 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  10 minutes

Crown Iris © Sotiris Boutsaxis/cc-by-sa-4.0

Crown Iris © Sotiris Boutsaxis/cc-by-sa-4.0

MS Crown Iris is a cruise ship owned by Mano Maritime. She was originally ordered by Birka Line as MS Birka Queen from the Wärtsilä Marine Turku Shipyard in Finland, but completed by Kvaerner Masa-Yards as MS Royal Majesty for Majesty Cruise Line. In 1997 she was sold to Norwegian Cruise Line as the MS Norwegian Majesty and lengthened by 33.76 m (110 ft 9 in) at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany. She was sold to Louis Cruises as the MS Louis Majesty from 2008 to 2012 when she was chartered to Thomson Cruises as the MS Thomson Majesty before being returned to Louis Cruises/Celestyal Cruises, as the Majesty. In 2018 the ship sold to >Mano Maritime.   read more…

St. Julian’s in Malta

23 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© panoramio.com - Michelle Maria/cc-by-3.0

© panoramio.com – Michelle Maria/cc-by-3.0

Saint Julian’s (Maltese: San Ġiljan) is a town in the Central Region of Malta. As of 2020, its registered number of inhabitants stands at 13,800. It is situated along the coast, north of the country’s capital, Valletta. It is known for tourism-oriented businesses, such as hotels, restaurants and nightclubs which are centred mainly in an area known as Paceville. The town is subdivided into informal districts which are Paceville, Ta’ Ġiorni, Tal-Għoqod and St Andrew’s, as well as the regions surrounding St George’s Bay, Spinola Bay, Balluta Bay, and Il-Qaliet cliffs. St Julian’s is a tourist destination, especially during the summer months. The Portomaso Business Tower, which is Malta’s current tallest building at a height of 97.54 metres, is located in St. Julian’s.   read more…

Mellieħa in Malta

20 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Malcolm grima83/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Malcolm grima83/cc-by-sa-4.0

Mellieħa is a large village in the Northern Region of Malta. It has a population of 10,087 as of March 2014. Mellieħa is also a tourist resort, popular for its sandy beaches and natural environment. Mellieħa is a popular tourist destination during the summer months. It is well known for its beaches, with the most well known being Għadira Bay and Golden Bay. Ċirkewwa is also popular as a dive site, and it includes the wrecks of MV Rozi and the P29 patrol boat. In 2009, Mellieħa was awarded the title of European Destination of Excellence due to its sustainable initiatives.   read more…

The Marella Discovery

1 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  11 minutes

leaving the River Tyne, England © Spooglecruft/cc-by-sa-4.0

leaving the River Tyne, England © Spooglecruft/cc-by-sa-4.0

Marella Discovery (formerly Splendour of the Seas and TUI Discovery) is a former Royal Caribbean International Vision-class cruise ship now sailing for Marella Cruises. The second in the line of the Vision-class ships, she features a seven-story lobby, rock-climbing wall, and a 9-hole miniature golf course. Following the announcement on 9 October 2017 that Thomson Cruises would be renamed Marella Cruises, TUI Group also announced that TUI Discovery would adopt the name Marella Discovery at the end of October 2017, and also that she would become the first ship in the Thomson fleet to be based in Asia, home porting Malaysia in Autumn 2018, following the end of her UK debut season.   read more…

The MSC Meraviglia

1 June 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  7 minutes

at Grand Harbour in Malta © Estormiz

at Grand Harbour in Malta © Estormiz

MSC Meraviglia is a cruise ship owned and operated by MSC Cruises, built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France, by STX France. MSC Meraviglia is the lead ship of MSC’s new “Vista Project” vessels, the Meraviglia class, with MSC Bellissima following in 2019. Each vessel has a passenger capacity of 4,500. When it entered service in June 2017, it was the sixth largest cruise ship in the world, behind Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class cruise ships and AIDAnova.   read more…

The Pioneering Spirit

1 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  10 minutes

© flickr.com - kees tom/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – kees tom/cc-by-sa-2.0

Pioneering Spirit (formerly Pieter Schelte) is a catamaran crane vessel owned by the Switzerland-based Allseas Group designed for the single-lift installation and removal of large oil and gas platforms and the installation of record-weight pipelines. The 382-metre-long (1,253 ft), 124-metre-wide (407 ft) vessel is the world’s largest vessel by gross tonnage and was built in South Korea by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering at a cost of €2.6 billion. It commenced offshore operations in August 2016. Home port is Valletta on Malta.   read more…

The MSC Seaside

1 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Dickelbers/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Dickelbers/cc-by-sa-4.0

MSC Seaside is a Seaside-class cruise ship currently owned and operated by MSC Cruises. As the lead vessel of the Seaside class, she lends her name to the company’s Seaside class. At 153,516 GT, she would become the largest cruise ship ever to be constructed by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, and the 14th largest cruise ship in the world, behind Norwegian Epic, upon her delivery in December 2017.   read more…

Popeye Village at Anchor Bay

3 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

© Frank Vincentz/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Frank Vincentz/cc-by-sa-3.0

Popeye Village, also known as Sweethaven Village, is a purpose-built film set village, now converted into a small attraction fun park, consisting of a collection of rustic and ramshackle wooden buildings. It is located at Anchor Bay, 3 kilometres (2 mi) from the village core of Mellieħa, Malta. It was built as a film set for the production of the 1980 live-action musical feature film Popeye, produced by Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Productions starring Robin Williams. Today it is open to the public as an open-air museum and sea-side resort.   read more…

The Celebrity Solstice

1 November 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  10 minutes

Celebrity Solstice in Civitavecchia © flickr.com - Aah-Yeah/cc-by-2.0

Celebrity Solstice in Civitavecchia © flickr.com – Aah-Yeah/cc-by-2.0

Celebrity Solstice is the lead ship of the Solstice-class of cruise ships operated by Celebrity Cruises. Built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, she was floated out on August 10, 2008, and christened by ocean scientist Professor Sharon L. Smith at a ceremony at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale in Florida on November 14, 2008. She began commercial service on November 23, 2008. Her homeport is Valletta on Malta. The first post-Panamax vessel in the Celebrity fleet, she features innovative interior design and onboard amenities, including an ocean-going live grass lawn, a glassblowing studio, and a 12 deck-high atrium.   read more…

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