Poole Harbour will be welcoming hundreds of cruise ship passengers this summer with the arrival of a new cruise liner visiting the town.
Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) has welcomed its first visit from Clio operated by Grand Circle Cruise Line.
The exclusive, luxury cruise liner carries 90 passengers, mostly from the USA. The vessel, which is 122 metres long and was originally built in 1998, will be operating between Poole and Edinburgh this summer, calling at Irish, Scottish and west coast English ports.
PHC chief executive Jim Stewart, said: “It’s great to see an uplift in cruise activity in the port and to welcome the cruise ship passengers to Poole so that they can enjoy everything the town has to offer.
“These smaller vessels cater for the top end of the market, however next year we expect to welcome larger ships carrying up to 1,000 passengers to Poole with the construction of our new quay.”
Grand Circle Cruise Line is the leader in small ship cruising worldwide and invested five million pounds refurbishing Clio at the beginning of May.
Poole has also welcomed the ocean-cruising vessel Corinthian this summer, the vessel has already called into the port six times and is too owned by Grand Circle Cruise Line.
The Corinthian carries 98 passengers and features itineraries throughout Europe and North Africa, including the British Isles, the Baltics, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, France, and beyond.
Jim added: “PHC is delighted to confirm that both Clio and Corinthian are both booked in for 2017. We work very hard to ensure that we provide the best customer service and we are confident that the message that Poole is a perfect place for cruise activity will spread throughout the cruise sector.”
As part of its on-going commitment to manage incidents in the harbour, Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) simulated a major oil spill to test the current capability and processes for response to a tier two hydrocarbon spill.
The major emergency exercise, which PHC carries out every three years, staged a scenario whereby a ferry and a cargo vessel collided, causing fuel to spill from the tank of the cargo vessel.
PHC worked in collaboration with more than 15 organisations, including the MCA, Environment Agency and local authorities to carry out the exercise.
As part of PHC’s response, a number of booms were deployed in the Little and Backwater channels. In a real oil spill situation, the boom would stop any oil flowing into sensitive and environmental areas of the Harbour. A skimmer was also deployed to show how the oil would be captured.
Although a major oil spill in Poole Harbour is very unlikely, it is important that such risk is assessed with a plan in place to respond to such an incident, especially in an environmentally sensitive area as Poole Harbour. The plan is approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Harbour Master, Captain Brian Murphy said: “These exercises are vitally important to ensure that Poole Harbour Commissioners’ highly trained personnel are prepared to deal with such an unfortunate event professionally and swiftly, plus minimise any health risk, damage to the environment and to ensure business continuity.
“They allow us to test our plan against various scenarios with the aim of gaining experience and improving preparedness and improving the plan itself. These exercises will provide the harbour community with confidence in the knowledge that Poole Harbour Commissioners and other organisations will be prepared in the event of a major oil spill in Poole Harbour.”
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