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Cruiseships in Scottish Waters 2016

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    Cruiseships in Scottish Waters 2016

    Very belatedly I’ve decided I needed a Ships in Scottish Waters thread for 2016 after all!
    So I'd better start with cross references to posts of ships seen and already posted in other threads!

    My shipspotting outings this cruise season didn't get started until the 17th June, but that was rather special - the maiden call in Leith of Viking Sea. This and her subsequent visit on the 21st June have been described in the Viking Ocean Cruises thread.

    Next was 25th June and this photo of Queen Elizabeth. It's actually appeared hidden away in the Norway 2016 thread as a 'where she went next' follow up to some of your sightings of her in Norwegian waters!
    Like Viking Sea she anchored off Leith and tendered guests ashore at Newhaven harbour. This photo is taken from the roof of the Ocean Terminal shopping centre car park, but the one at the opposite end of the building from where I usually go when ships berth within Western Harbour at the Cruise Terminal.

    Following these visits to Leith, my next shipspotting outing was to South Queensferry on the 5th of July for a must-do opportunity to see Crystal Symphony on her way to Rosyth. (As I haven't posted any photos on CVF from that day yet, I'll put them here with a cross reference from the Crystal Cruises section).

    But first I think I shall have to make a map to indicate the spotterplace!


    I had taken photos of this ship looking down on her from the bridge walkway in 2013, so this time I convinced myself that rather than hanging about on the road bridge in the very chilly and potentially showery weather, I should adopt a different strategy. The idea was to photograph the ship passing beneath all three bridges. They are dating from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries! Google Earth hasn't quite caught up with the latest addition!

    Waiting in the warmth of a nearby café I enjoyed a second breakfast of coffee, a croissant and the free wi-fi while monitoring the progress of the ship on Marine Traffic. When she came into view, I first took this photo from the shore below the café before taking up position on the nearby small harbour wall marked x on the map.



      From here with a zoom lens I could see everything! It was fun to have various views of the approaching ship from different sides of the piers that support the cantilevers of the bridge. In the first view beneath the side span on the southern side, tankers and associated vessels can be seen at the Hound Point terminal...

      ...and then at the other side of those piers the cruise ship is seen against the higher parts of the Fife coastline of the estuary



        A few minutes later, there's a nice wider view under that southern main span of the bridge. Due to the continuously changing clouds it was brighter on the far shore, while the island of Inchgarvie on the left became darker, nearly a silhouette. As well as having an important role in the construction of the bridge foundations, that island has been a key defensive location throughout its history, from medieval times through to the First and Second World Wars.

        Vessels heading west pass under the other main span to the north, and so will disappear from view for some minutes behind Inchgarvie.



          Crystal Symphony comes back into view and passes beneath the bridge, her length fitting exactly under the span as seen from my viewpoint, just as I had estimated it would - a wonderful moment!

          Then a quick zoom-in shot, to feature her elegant bow.



            Only three minutes later it is the moment to turn my attention to my left as the ship passes under the road bridge.



              The excitement continues! A lovely moment in time and history as Crystal Symphony passes between the then unconnected roadway sections of the new 21st century bridge, the Queensferry Crossing.



                I take a wide view of the two road bridges...

                ...before finally zooming in as Crystal Symphony arrives at Rosyth. A shaft of sunlight momentarily illuminates her stern and funnel and catches the cable stays of the bridge, while blue-sailed dingies once again complete the picture at the end my wonderfull morning.


                  Thank you very much for starting this installment, there is some certain 'high class' factor in your pictures.


                    What a wonderful new thread and indeed something we should have missed for a long time... if we ever would have had the idea of asking for it. CS is just appearing as a classic cruise liner to me, showing correct proportions between body and superstructure, not so overloaded as the newer generations. #5/1 is indeed a masterpiece. Great moment!
                    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                      Great photos - as ever - from Cecilia. Good to see the bridges looking so magnificent - there has been an excellent programme on UK telly lately, one of which looked at the Forth bridges, their history, their engineering, some of the geography. 'Britain's greatest bridges', presented by Rob Bell, Channel 5. I suspect that you have to be in the UK to watch it, but it's here:




                      • Seagull
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                        Oh yes, that’s a super series! There have also been other bridge documentaries that you probably only get to see here in Scotland. Folk reminiscing about the last ferry and the opening of the 60’s road bridge by the Queen make me feel kind of old; I walked across it soon after that opening, on a holiday to Edinburgh for the Festival.

                      Nice that you enjoyed that Mark, Ralf and Tommi, and I can guarantee that our Captain will be pleased to see photos of this particular ship too, when time allows.

                      It really was a great opportunity for photo-taking. Generally cruise ships at Rosyth are arriving and departing far too early/late for me to reach/return from Queensferry, and it all happens in the dark at some times of year.

                      And yes Ralf I do so agree - she is refreshingly classic-looking isn't she But perhaps not your style of cruising, and as it happens my next shipspotting outing was to Leith to see a smaller ship of closer to the 100-passenger size - built in 1991, originally for Renaissance Cruises:


                        Hebridean Sky at Western Harbour, Leith, 21st July 2016

                        The ship is described by Noble Caledonia as "one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world. Formerly known as the Sea Explorer, the vessel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden in Spring 2016 before being re-launched as the MS Hebridean Sky."

                        From the vantage point on the car park roof I could also see the foredeck, where the crew certainly seemed to be keeping things spick and span.



                          Following those now 'Seagull Classic Shots', I set off to the cruise terminal corner. Whenever there has been replacement of sections of netting along the fencing the mesh always seems to get smaller and less camera-friendly, but this year the Seagull is a step ahead of the problem! - a MotoG3 phone, that actually takes pleasing photos! I was particularly pleased with this shot. I'd accidently had an 'auto HRD' setting at 'on', but with the approaching cloud that touch of HDR perfectly suited the dramatic angle of the bow in the view of the whole length of the ship from this point along the railings.



                            Moving on I could hear announcements, and saw that the lifeboat safety drill had commenced.

                            My plan was to walk around Western Harbour to the lighthouse ready to see the ship leaving from there, but there was no sign of her in the lock. After sitting for a while in the park, I strolled back to where I could see across the reclaimed land to the cruise terminal. Ship still there! A nice zoomed-in view though, against Arthur's Seat in the distance where the sun had just come out.