MS Empress Cruise Ship before the White Cliffs of Dover at Daybreak, Kent, UK

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John Latter on May 19, 2010

The MS Empress cruise ship entered Dover Harbour via the Eastern Entrance about 20 minutes after the MSC Orchestra and is shown making its way across the Outer Harbour to the Admiralty Pier of the Western Docks where it will berth at CT1 (Cruise Terminal 1).

The Eastern Arm pier, running the full length of the photo behind the ship, juts out from the out-of-shot Eastern Docks (the cross-channel ferry terminal) located below the White Cliffs of Dover on the left.

The photo was taken early in the morning on Thursday, 6th of May, 2010, from near the Lighthouse end of the Prince of Wales Pier (eastern side).

The Pullmantur MS Empress will leave Dover for Le Havre (France) and subsequently start the 2010 summer season of 7-night Baltic Capital cruises which will either begin at Copenhagen (Denmark), and then visit Gdynia (Poland), Klaipeda (Lithuania), Stockholm (Sweden), Tallin (Estonia), Saint Petersburg (Russia), and Helsinki (Finland), or begin at Helsinski and follow the reverse route back to Copenhagen.

The MS Empress 's last port of call was Santander (Spain), prior to that she was in Gibraltar and Algerciras (Spain): click to see the current position of the MS Empress.

General information for the MS Empress

MS Empress (IMO 8716899) is a cruise ship operated by Pullmantur Cruises. She was formerly operating for Royal Caribbean International (RCI) as Empress of the Seas. The ship was ordered by Admiral Cruise Lines and was intended to be called Future Seas and join the other Admiral Ships Azure Seas and Emerald Seas. However, Royal Caribbean merged with Admiral in 1987, the Admiral brand was dissolved and the newbuild (still under construction) was incorporated into the Royal Caribbean fleet. (1)

The ship was originally named Nordic Empress and was the final RCI ship whose name did not end with "of the Seas". The name was changed to match the rest of the fleet (ie Empress of the Seas) following an extensive rebuilding that ended on 8 May 2004. (1)

Nordic Empress was the first mainstream cruise ship especially designed for the 3 and 4 day cruise market. Her initial itinerary was short cruises to the Bahamas, which then were combined with 3 and 4 day cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1999, following the sale of Song of America, _Nordic _ took over the New York to Bermuda route. (1)

In 2000 Royal Caribbean announced that Nordic Empress would be undertaking a series of cruises in South America. Shortly after these cruises were put on sale, Royal Caribbean decided to replace Nordic Empress with Splendour of the Seas in the South American itineraries, leaving Nordic Empress in the Caribbean. (1)

On 23 March 2007 it was reported that in March 2008 the Empress of the Seas would be transferred to the fleet of RCI's subsidiary Pullmantur Cruises. Her final voyage for Royal Caribbean took place on 7 March 2008.The maiden voyage as Empress for Pullmantur Cruises took place on 15 March 2008. (1)

General characteristics (2):

Inaugural voyage: 1990

Tonnage: 48,500 tons

Maximum cruising speed: 19.5 knots

Length: 682 feet

Beam: 98 feet

Draught: 25 feet

Stability: Excellent

Decks: 9

Capacity: 2,020 passengers

Callsign: 9HJE9

Career (1):

Name: 1990 - 2004: Nordic Empress; 2004 - 2008: Empress of the Seas; 2008 onwards: Empress

Owner: 1990 - 2008: Royal Caribbean International; 2008 onwards: Pullmantur Cruises

Operator: 1990 - 2008: Royal Caribbean International; 2008-present: Pullmantur Cruises

Port of registry: 1990 - 2002: Monrovia, Liberia; 2002 - 2008: Nassau, Bahamas; 2008 onwards: Valletta, Malta

Builder: Chantiers de l`Atlantique, Saint-Nazaire, France

Launched: 25th of August, 1989-08-25

Acquired: 31st of May, 1990-05-31

In service: 25th of June, 1990-06-25

Identification: IMO number 8716899

(1) Source: MS Empress

(2) Source: Pullmantur Cruises: Empress Ship

Click to see all Cruise Ship photos (related tags: Boats, Ferries, Ships).

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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John Latter on December 10, 2012

When in range of AIS, the vessel's current position is shown at:

MS Empress Cruise Ship

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automatic tracking system used on ships and by vessel traffic services (VTS) for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and AIS Base stations. AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for water transport.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on May 10, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2010/05/06 07:48:38
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/400)
    • Focal Length: 55.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash