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

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John Latter on August 29, 2010

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

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

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.

The buildings on the seafront behind and either side of the Minerva are described in the Dover Castle and the Beach from the Prince of Wales Pier photo.

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

On the far right of the skyline, above the eastern start of the White Cliffs of Dover, the Saxon church of St Mary-in-Castro and the nearby Pharos (a Roman watchtower/lighthouse) are now in view.

Below the Keep are the massive walls of the Inner Bailey, followed by Constable`s Gateway (now partially obscured by the Minerva) and other Towers of the Western Curtain Wall. An English Heritage site.

The Minerva arrived from Copenhagen (Denmark) at the end of a 15-night, "Treasures of the Baltic" cruise. Later in the day, the ship left port at the start of a 15-night, "Sagas of Fire & Ice" cruise with the following itinerary: 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). The ship arrives back in Dover on the 12th of August.

Also see the MV Minerva approaching Cruise Terminal 3 and MV Minerva alongside Cruise Terminal 3 photos, both taken on Monday, 14th of June, 2010.

Click to see the official MV Minerva webpage.

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. (1)

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. (1)

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. (1)

Ship's details (1) (2):

Name: MS Minerva

Operator: Swan Hellenic

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)

Capacity: 350 passengers

Crew: 160

Call Sign: SMGH

IMO: 9144196

MMSI: 309477000

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

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

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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John Latter on March 5, 2013

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

MS Minerva 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 taken in 22-24 Lord Warden Square, Dover, Kent CT17 9EQ, UK

Photo details

  • Uploaded on August 7, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2010/07/28 16:02:53
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
    • Focal Length: 45.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/8.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash