MS Balmoral Cruise Ship crossing Dover Harbour at Sunrise, Kent, UK

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Comments (3)

John Latter on June 26, 2010

The MS Balmoral cruise ship entered Dover Harbour from the English Channel via the Eastern Entrance and is now making its way across the Outer Harbour towards the Admiralty Pier of the Western Docks where it will berth at CT2 (Cruise Terminal 2).

The Eastern Arm pier running behind the ship juts out from the Eastern Docks (the cross-channel ferry terminal) which are located below the start of the White Cliffs of Dover. At the end of the Eastern Arm is the Eastern Entrance itself, the other side of which is bracketed by the out-of-shot Southern Breakwater, further to the right..

The top of the Old South Foreland lighthouse, built in 1793, can just about be seen near the cliff edge on the left-hand side of the photo.

The photo was taken at 6.00 am on Sunday, 13th of June 2010, from near the Lighthouse end of the Prince of Wales Pier (eastern side). This is a zoomed shot (taken at a distance of about 1400-1500 yards) that has not only fore-shoretened the ship, but it's also magnified the small sector of sky on the horizon that wasn't cloud-covered (see Balmoral Cruise Ship nearing the Prince of Wales Pier, taken 3 minutes later).

The Balmoral, shown arriving from Valletta (Malta) and probably having called at other ports along the way, subsequently left Dover at 4.24 pm on a 7-night Summer Fjords cruise (BL1006) with the following itinerary: Bergen, Olden, Flåm (Flam), Vik, and Farsund (all of which are in Norway). The ship returned to Dover on Sunday, 20th of June.

Click to see the Fred Olsen Cruise Line Balmoral webpage and the Balmoral from the Western Heights and Balmoral Cruise Ship and Syros Tanker, Admiralty Pier photos.

Abridged extract from History of the MS Balmoral (1):

The vessel was built by Meyer Werft of Papenburg, Germany in 1988, for service with Royal Cruise Line as the Crown Odyssey. In 1989, Royal Cruise Line was sold to Norwegian Cruise Line, which continued operation of the company, along with the Crown Odyssey until 1996. A reorganization of all of the fleets owned by Norwegian Cruise Line saw Crown Odyssey enter service with NCL's main fleet, and it was renamed Norwegian Crown.

Following the purchase of Orient Lines by NCL in April, 2000, Norwegian Crown was transferred, regaining her original name, Crown Odyssey, in the process.

In September, 2003, Crown Odyssey was refurbished and returned to the NCL fleet, again with the name Norwegian Crown.

On May 25, 2006 - NCL Corporation announced that its parent company, Star Cruises, had agreed to sell Norwegian Crown to Fred Olsen Cruise Lines effective August 2006. Star Cruises concurrently chartered the vessel back from Fred. Olsen and NCL continued her deployment through to November 2007... ...Her last NCL cruise was on October 28, 2007.

During a January 21, 2009 cruise the ship sailed into rough weather in the Bay of Biscay smashing through 50 ft waves & 60 mph winds. Two of the passengers were sent to a hospital in La Coruna, Spain for serious injuries.

Ship Information (1) (2):


Name: 1988-1996: Crown Odyssey, 1996-2000: Norwegian Crown, 2000-2003: Crown Odyssey, 2003-2007: Norwegian Crown, 2007 onwards: Balmoral

Owner: 1988-1992: Royal Cruise Line, 1992-2004: Norwegian Cruise Line, 2004-2006: Crown Odyssey Ltd, 2007 onwards: Balmoral Cruise Ltd

Operator: 1988-1996: Royal Cruise Line, 1996-2000: Norwegian Cruise Line, 2000-2003: Orient Lines, 2003-2007: Norwegian Cruise Line, 2007 onwards: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Port of registry: 1988-1990: Pireus, Greece, 1990 onwards: Nassau, Bahamas

Builder: Meyer Werft, Papenburg, West Germany

In service: 7 June 1988

Call Sign: C6II4

IMO: 8506294

MMSI: 308785000

Status: In service

General characteristics (as built, 1988)

Type: cruise ship

Tonnage: 34,242 GRT

Displacement: 5,186 metric tons deadweight (DWT)

Length: 187.71 m (615 ft 10 in)

Beam: 28.21 m (92 ft 7 in)

Draught: 6.80 m (22 ft 4 in)

Installed power: 4×MaK 8M601/6M35 diesels, combined 21,300 kW

Propulsion: 2 propellers

Speed: 22.5 knots (41.67 km/h; 25.89 mph)

Capacity: 1,230 passengers (maximum)

General characteristics (as rebuilt, 2007)

Tonnage: 43,537 GT (gross tonnage)

Length: 217.91 m (714 ft 11 in)

Draught: 7.25 m (23 ft 9 in)

Decks: 10 (passenger accessible)

Capacity: 1,778 passengers

Crew: 471

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

(1) Wikipedia entry for MS Balmoral (2) Marinetraffic entry for MS Balmoral

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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John Latter on February 18, 2013

This photo also appears on the Pinterest Dover Cruise Ships board at:

MS Balmoral Cruise Ship and White Cliffs of Dover at Sunrise, United Kingdom

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

MS Balmoral 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.

John Latter on February 18, 2013

Also see the MS Balmoral Cruise Ship berthed at the Admiralty Pier, Dover Harbour (which has links to all other Balmoral photos).

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on June 24, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2010/06/13 06:00:43
    • Exposure: 0.013s (1/80)
    • Focal Length: 200.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/5.600
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: -0.30 EV
    • No flash