Spirit of Discovery Leaves on Ems River Conveyance

Spirit of Discovery

Saga Cruises first-ever new-build, the Spirit of Discovery, has left on her Ems River conveyance.

The Spirit of Discovery will proceed in reverse up the river Ems to the North Sea. According to a press release, this approach has proven successful in the past as it makes it easier to steer the ship. Two tugs will be providing assistance in the process.

The plans call for the ship to arrive in Emden on Monday, May 27 at 8:00 a.m. local time, with the rest of the week scheduled for technical tests and sea trials.

River Conveyance Schedule:

Sunday, May 26, 2019
Approx. 09.00 pm: ship in waiting position (Papenburg)
Approx. 10.00 pm: ship passes sea lock (Papenburg)

Monday, May 27, 2019
Approx. 00.30 am: ship passes Friesenbrücke (Weener)
Approx. 02.30 am: ship passes the Jann Berghaus bridge (Leer)
Approx. 05.00 am: arrival at the river Ems barrier (Gandersum)
Approx. 06.45 am: ship passes the Ems barrier
Approx. 08.00 am: arrival Emden sea lock

AIDAnova Set for Ems River Transit


The new AIDAnova will leave Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg and carefully transit the Ems River on her way to Eemshaven, according to a statement.

The transfer is set to begin on Oct. 8 and conclude about 24 hours later, AIDA said.

The ship will leave around 8:00 a.m. from Papenburg, and pass the Friesen-bridge near Weener in the early afternoon. Another milestone will happen in the early evening as the ship will pass the Jann-Berghaus-bridge in Leer .

After the passage of the Ems barrier Gandersum around 1:00 a.m., the ship is expected to arrive in Emden at 02:30 a.m. and moor in Eemshaven at 09:00 a.m.

AIDA will provide pretzels, croissants, coffee and tea at the Meyer shipyard, at the Friesen-bridge and at the Jann-Berghaus-bridge for onlookers.

Norwegian Bliss Sailing Toward Open Seas

Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Cruise Line’s new 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss departed Meyer Werft, the shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and sailed backwards on the narrow Ems River on its way to the North Sea. It was expected to arrive at Eemshaven, Netherlands, on the evening of March 14.

Norwegian Bliss will offer seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle throughout the summer.

The ship will feature many first-at-sea activities, including the largest two-level race track at sea, Q Texas Smokehouse, Coco’s chocolate and treat shop, and the Tony Award-winning Broadway show “Jersey Boys.”

Measuring 994 feet long, 136 feet wide, and at a gross tonnage of 168,028, the Norwegian Bliss made the narrow passage through Meyer Werft’s sea lock with less than four feet clearance. This very careful manoeuvre took about two hours at a speed of only 0.2 knots.

After passing through the sea lock, Norwegian Bliss continued along the river stern first, which helps with the manoeuvrability of the ship and is a key component when navigating through such narrow passages. The journey to Eemshaven included cruising through the narrow passages of the Friesenbrücke Bridge in Weener; Jann Berghaus Bridge in Leer; and Ems-Barrier in Gandersum.

Norwegian Bliss as seen on AIS in Eemshaven

Upon arrival in Eemshaven, the ship will take on additional provisions and crew members, before heading toward the North Sea for technical and nautical sea trials. This will be one of the final phases before Norwegian Cruise Line takes delivery of its 16th ship on April 19 in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Norwegian Bliss will then begin passage across the Atlantic Ocean on April 21 and will arrive in the U.S. on May 3 for an inaugural tour. Events will take place in New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles, and will conclude with a christening ceremony on May 30 at the new Pier 66 at the Port of Seattle.

Norwegian Bliss will begin seven-day Alaska cruises June 2. In the fall, it will cruise to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. In winter of 2018, it will sail to the Caribbean from Miami, and in the 2019 fall/winter season, she will cruise from New York City to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.