Welcoming three or even four cruise ships together in the Port of Halifax is not unusual, but having five ships in port at once is rare. Today, October 11, is the only day this season when that number of ships is scheduled to call on the same day.
Staggering their arrival times is required to ensure there are enough pilots and linehandlers available, while still maintaining "normal" commercial shipping activity in the rest of the port.
Norwegian Pearl (2390 passengers, for Pier 20), Sky Princess (3660, Pier 22), Viking Octantis ( 380, Pier 31) and Ocean Voyager (200, Pier 24) were the first to arrive, embarking their pilots between 0630 and 0645 hrs. Seabourn Quest (Pier 23) followed at 0715 hrs ADT.
By the time they were all secured at their respective berths it was wall to wall white on the waterfront.
Viking Octantis arrived as the sun was rising behind heavy cloud. Delivered in December 2021 by Vard Tulcea (a Fincantieri yard) the 30,114 gt ship is rated Polar Class 6 and can carry 378 passengers in 189 staterooms. (Other sources say 380 passengers.) it operates for Viking Expedition Cruises.
The ship sailed to Antarctica for the first part of 2022. Returning via New York it spent the summer cruising on the Great Lakes. Exiting the Seaway October 4 it called in Trois-Rivières, Quebec City and Sept-Iles en route to Halifax.
Ocean Voyager has also been to the Great Lakes this season, exiting the Seaway October 5 and calling in Montreal October 5-6, Quebec City October 6 and Charlottetown October 9.
The ship is a familar one in all its guises since built in 2001 as Cape May Light by Atlantic Marine in Jacksonville, FL. It has sailed as Sea Voyager in 2010; in 2015 it became Saint Laurent, and in 2016 the Victory I. The ship was re-labelled Ocean Voyager in December 2021 and returned to service earlier this year for American Queen Voyages. [Yes those are the same ducks in both photos]
The ship was in Halifax April 29 this year (and its sister Ocean Navigator , the former Cape Cod Light, on April 26).
New to Halifax is the Sky Princess a 145,781 gt behemoth built in 2019 by Fincantieri Monfalcone. In addition to its 3,660 passengers it carries 1,346 crew. I did not get a clear photo of the ship on arrival, but may get one when it sails. (It is the largest ship in the panorama photo above).
Commercial traffic in the harbour continues too, with one unusual move. The general cargo ship Onego Duero (see October 9's post) had been unloading steel rail at Pier 27, but moved out to anchor in the lower harbour early this morning to free the berth for the Trinitas from Cuba with nickel concentrates.
The ship apppears to be light, but it may still have cargo aboard -if so it will move back to Pier 27 to complete unloading once the Trinitas sails. Both the cargoes of steel rail and the nickel concentrates are transloaded to rail cars at Pier 27, and with Iberian Bulker (the red ship in the panorama photo) at Pier 28, there was no room to work two ships at the same time.
PSA's South End terminal saw the arrival of Eimskip's Skogafoss and theTropic Hope for Tropical Shipping.
Along with sister ship Tropic Lissette, the two ships maintain a weekly service to and from Florida and the Caribbean. Much of the (northbound and southbound) traffic is refrigerated. The 15,215 gt, 20,325 dwt ship dating from 2018 has a capacity of 1145 TEU including 260 reefers and carries two 45 tonne SWL cranes.
PSA's other terminal at Fairview Cove accommodated THE Alliance's NYK Rumina, a regular caller of long standing.
A 55,487 gt, 66,171 dwt vessel, it is rated for 4922 TEU including 330 reefers.Hyundai Samho delivered the ship in 2010.
With its escort tugs, the ship only gently disturbed the placid waters of the Narrows and the Basin as it made its way inbound.
The Sky Princess sailed just as the sun was vanishing from the Halifax waterfront, so only the ship's funnel caught a few rays.
For the record some of the other ships mentioned above, Skogafoss and Norwegian Pearl, as they sailed this afternoon: