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Cruiseships in Scottish waters 2013

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    Cruiseships in Scottish waters 2013

    Island Sky – 23rd and 24th May 2013 at Western Harbour, Leith.

    With the earliest cruises of 2013 (both in the east and west of Scotland) being ships that we generally post in individual threads on CVF, I find that I’m only now kicking off a new thread here.

    Of course this has already been a special year for me in the context of cruising in Scottish waters as I was actually on board a ship calling at Leith! I have a long way to go before I reach that exciting day in the trip report thread, but meanwhile there’s the first visit of Fram to Leith already posted in her own thread.

    So the first ship to be featured here turns out to be Island Sky.

    It was not actually Island Sky that had initially prompted my shipspotting in Leith on Thursday the 23rd of May, but Sjøkurs, and here you can see them both in the view from the café terrace at Ocean Terminal. (I’ve already posted more of Sjøkurs in her own thread.)

    Another pair of ships in the one photo - here Island Sky is seen beyond the permanently-moored museum ship Royal Yacht Britannia.

    …and zooming in on Island Sky from the same viewpoint:


      Next the views of her starboard side from beside the Cruise Terminal





          On this day of deteriorating weather and strong winds, this was my last photo before heading for the bus, but I was to return the following day.


            Friday 24th May – Island Sky is still there, but has been joined further along the cruise terminal side of the harbour by Silver Whisper.

            I’d been wondering where Island Sky had arrived from as she was deserted and clearly between cruises that Thursday afternoon, but now there was more activity. I normally associate her with the cruises marketed by Noble Caledonia – something I’ve been following since they also feature Serenissima. After some searching it turned out that she had been on a charter cruise for various American University alumni groups. It may be of interest to give you some links, even though they may not continue to work for long. The cruise was operated by Criterion Travel Inc. and had started in Portsmouth, following a route with a few destinations in common with my voyage on Fram.

            The Yale University link emphasises the guest lecturer who is currently a Professor there, whilst the pdf from Harvard gives more day to day details and the ship deck plan.




                Silver Whisper – 24th and 25th May 2013

                Silver Whisper at Western Harbour, Leith.

                As you have already seen from the last couple of photos of Island Sky, Silversea’s Silver Whisper had arrived in Leith on Friday 24th May, and was therefore moored further along that stretch of quay from the cruise terminal building. So it was time to walk around to other spotterplaces for further views of her. Clearly the far corner of the supermarket car park was going to be the place to be, but such is the size of the ship that I found myself reaching for my camera the moment I reached the back of the store.

                The car park was busy, this being the Friday before a holiday weekend, and the ship made a pleasing contrast against the darker coloured cars in the foreground. The view was completed with the flour mill on the right (the other side of this building is very familiar to followers of my shipspotting outings), and, on the left, that square of green shrubs surrounding a birch tree that is somehow managing to survive these frequently windy surroundings.



                  After threading my way through the parked cars, a timely puff made more of a composition of the traditional funnel shot…

                  …after which I turned my attention to the bow of the ship, with the Royal Yacht Britannia beyond. As you see, Silver Whisper reached right to the end of the quay.


                    So as I returned to Ocean Terminal, I couldn’t resist taking a photo that for sure ought to be a photo reject, at least with my camera lens and the mesh of wire fencing. Yet I will show it here exactly as taken, with the impossibly-situated lamp-post and the out of focus wire. It was probably the cloud that had first attracted (well, you know me!) but it is those trees that make the image un-throwawayable. There is something rather exotic about them with that dazzling white ship beyond that has me daydreaming of her past and future travels to warmer climes.

                    I hope those trees will survive future developments to the swathes of semi-waste land at this side of the harbour. Currently much of the expanse of paved parking area is advertised as being available for let for storage purposes, but there don’t seem to be any takers.



                      The view of Silver Whisper and Island Sky from the roof of the multi-story car park at Ocean Terminal.


                        That might have been my last photo of Silver Whisper. But the following day was even sunnier, Island Sky had left, and her position directly opposite the cruise terminal was now taken by Fram!

                        So here I am on a bright Saturday morning, once again delighted by the view from the supermarket!

                        What a lovely sight!


                          Well, I had no knowledge of Silver Whisper’s schedule, and it came as a complete surprise when some minutes later her mooring lines were being untied, and then she started to move! A departing hoot echoed around the harbour …to be followed by a friendly goodbye from Fram that brought tears of pleasure to my eyes. Shipspotting just doesn’t get better than this!


                            Time for action! Darting across the car park, around the supermarket and onto the main road, a number 11 bus appears and I make a final sprint for the bus stop and so get a quick lift around to Ocean terminal! Thank goodness for the bus pass!

                            So here I am hurrying along to the picnic place at Britannia View in plenty of time to watch Silver Whisper, aided by the local tug Oxcar, approaching the lock.

                            The proceedings have gained quite an audience… in addition to the statue by Gormley at the end of the old pier!

                            Last edited by Seagull; May 29th, 2013, 11:19.