31 August 2017
The last day of August brought two of Noble Caledonia’s luxury cruise ships to Portsmouth International Port.
Hebridean Sky and Serenissima arrived within two hours of each other, early in the morning of 31 August. Both vessels had sailed from the beautiful blue seas of the Scilly Isles to the historic maritime city of Portsmouth where staff at Portsmouth International Port spent the day helping to prepare them for new voyages.
Hebridean Sky has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment in dry dock in Sweden. The interior design and exterior colours aren’t the only changes; the 90 metre long ship bears a new name, having previously been known as Sea Explorer. Hebridean Sky joined the Noble Caledonia fleet as one of its three flagships, a sister vessel to Island Sky and Caledonian Sky.
The three ships are almost identical, having been built at a similar time in the same Italian shipyard. The trio is known as some of the finest small ships in the world and they have been regular visitors at Portsmouth International Port, a perfect destination for small and medium sized ‘explorer’ cruise ships. Hebridean Sky has a maximum capacity of 116 passengers, accommodated in 59 high quality suites.
Hebridean Sky arrived at Portsmouth International Port on a turnaround call, disembarking one set of passengers in the morning with another group heading off later that evening on a private charter to St Peter Port in Guernsey. Serenissima is also using the first class facilities to bring one holiday to a close and to begin another. Both ships will take advantage of flexible shore side services provided at Portsmouth International Port that are tailored to the specific needs of each and every vessel.
Noble Caledonia has always been keen to build Portsmouth International Port into the schedules of its cruise ships. Mike Deegan, Head of Fleet Operations, at Noble Caledonia explains why: “Dealing with Portsmouth International Port could not be easier for us: there is no one size-fits-all solution there and managers are always willing to work with us in creating a unique product for our customers”.
Serenissima departed on an 11 day holiday, entitled the “Splendours of Normandy, Brittany & the Atlantic Edge”. Noble Caledonia believes it is the kind of journey the owner of a small private yacht might make – a chance for those who love France to explore some of the country’s lesser known islands.
The first port of call is the beautiful and historic town of Honfleur. From there Serenissima winds its way south, stopping at beautiful islands along the way. Her smaller size allows the ship to get into harbours that are barred to larger vessels. The cruise ends in Bordeaux, with passengers flying back to the UK, with ‘Serenissima’ then starting another memorable holiday.
Speaking ahead of the arrival of the two Noble Caledonia ships, Rupert Taylor, Harbour Master at Portsmouth International Port, said: “It’s always delightful to have these wonderful small vessels in Port, so to have two on the same day is quite a treat. It reflects the long standing relationship we have with Nobel Caledonia, and our ability to deliver the highest standards of service that befit the luxurious holidays their passengers enjoy onboard.”