MS AIDAsol Cruise Ship arriving in Dover Harbour on her Maiden Voyage, Kent, UK

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John Latter on April 16, 2011

The MS AIDAsol cruise ship entered Dover Harbour via the Eastern Entrance and is shown making its way (closely followed by fog!) across the Outer Harbour to the Admiralty Pier of the Western Docks where it will berth at CT2 (Cruise Terminal 2).

Below the White Cliffs of Dover on the left of the photo, the Eastern Arm pier juts out from the Eastern Docks (the cross-channel ferry terminal, not in view) towards the Eastern Entrance (the Southern Breakwater brackets the other side of the Entrance, out-of-shot to the right).

This zoomed photo was taken at 8.49 am on Wednesday, 13th of April, 2011, from approximately 1300 yards away near the Lighthouse and Cafe end of the Prince of Wales Pier (eastern side).

In the English Channel, sea fog can occur at any time of the year but seems to be more common in the late Spring and early to mid-Summer when the water inshore is still fairly cold (1). Two hours earlier (2), for example, I took a beautiful photo (at least, I think it is: a link will be added in a later "comment") of sunlight being reflected off of the seawall above the Second World War "Dragon's Teeth" anti-tank defences along the beach. With the change in weather, I might not have come down to see the AIDAsol, except for the fact this was her Maiden Voyage (3):

MS AIDAsol was christened at Kiel in Germany on the 9th of April, 2011, when 45,000 people flocked to the waterfront for a free concert (see the AIDA YouTube channel) featuring Kim Wilde, OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), and John Miles that led up to the naming ceremony.

The Godmother, Bettina Zwickler (Betty Zwickler), was chosen by the public from 1,523 applicants. She is a captain’s daughter and former travel agent from Kiel. She was accompanied on the stage by AIDA president Michael Thamm.

‘You beautiful ship! Wherever your travels take you, your sunny smile will make people happy,’ Zwickler said in naming AIDAsol.

A huge fireworks display rounded off festivities with a bang.

Kiel Mayor Thorsten Albig called the event ‘a great night for a beautiful ship.’

Immediately after the celebrations, AIDAsol set sail on her maiden voyage with the following itinerary: Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Dover (England), Le Havre (France), Amsterdam (Netherlands/Holland), and Hamburg (Germany).

The passenger ship returns to Dover on the 21st of April.

The AIDAsol (alt. AIDA Sol) is a Sphinx class cruise ship, built at Meyer Werft for AIDA Cruises, a British-American owned German cruise line based in Rostock, Germany. She is the fifth Sphinx series ship, preceded by sisters AIDAdiva, AIDAbella, AIDAluna and AIDAblu.

The AIDAsol was ordered in 13 December 2007, together with her unnamed sister, at Meyer Werft by Carnival Corporation and PLC, the parent company of AIDA Cruises.

Vessel Details (4) (5)

Gross Tonnage: 71,300 tons

Length: 252 metres (826.77 ft)

Beam: 32.2 metres (105.64 ft)

Passengers: 2174

Speed recorded (Maximum / Average): 20.5 / 19.5 knots

Flag: Italy (IT)

Call Sign: ICPE

IMO: 9490040

MMSI: 247302900

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

(1) Fog De-mystified - when, where and how it forms

(2) I was up early for my morning cycle ride: two laps of Robsons Yard - Eastern Docks - Prince of Wales Pier - Robsons Yard.

(3) Abridged from Kim Wilde, OMD and fireworks! Aida Sol Christening goes off with a bang

(3) Wikipedia entry for MS AIDAsol

(4) Marinetraffic entry for MS AIDAsol

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

This is the Images of Dover website: click on any red or blue "John Latter" link to access the Entry Page.

k. -pictures on April 17, 2011

Great shot!!!

  • Like no. 1

k. -pictures

John Latter on April 21, 2011

John Latter, on April 16th, 2011, wrote:

...Two hours earlier, for example, I took a beautiful photo (at least, I think it is: a link will be added in a later "comment") of sunlight being reflected off of the seawall above the Second World War "Dragon's Teeth" anti-tank defences along the beach...

Here's the photo I was talking about:

The Second World War Dragon`s Teeth of Dover Beach at Sunrise

John Latter on April 21, 2011

Click to see the MS AIDAsol webcam.

John Latter on February 22, 2013

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

MS Aidasol 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 22, 2013

Also see the MS AIDAsol Cruise Ship berthed at Cruise Terminal 2, Admiralty Pier, Dover photo, taken on Thursday, 21st of April, 2011.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 14, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2011/04/13 08:49:29
    • Exposure: 0.008s (1/125)
    • Focal Length: 200.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/8.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash