MSC Poesia and Empress

Yesterday MSC Poesia and Empress called into Bergen. I was on the Aksøy bridge (with a clearance of 62m) to watch them both sail underneath.

MSC POESIA

Built in France in 2008, and with a gross tonnage of 92,500 MSC Poesia carries up to 3,600 passengers and 1000 crew. She is one of the larger ships to regularly visit Bergen this season.

Cruise Ship MSC Poesia passes under the Askøy Bridge, Bergen
MSC Poesia approaches the Askøy bridge
MSC Poesia was christened at the Port of Dover, UK, by her Godmother Sophia Loren in April 2008.

Cruise Ship MSC Poesia passes under the Askøy Bridge, Bergen
MSC Poesia in Byfjorden
Her career to date has not been without incident. Just 2 months after entering service she was involved in a collision with Costa Classica after her anchor loosened. There were no serious injuries.

Cruise Ship MSC Poesia passes under the Askøy Bridge, Bergen
Passengers line the top decks of MSC Poesia
In 2012 MSC Poesia ran aground on a reef near Freeport, Bahamas. In this instance there was no significant damage to the ship, and she was able to resume her cruise after refloating at high tide.

Cruise Ship MSC Poesia passes under the Askøy Bridge, Bergen
MSC Poesia passes under the Askøy bridge, with just a few metres of clearance
After passing beneath the bridge MSC Poesia continued on to Flåm, her next port of call.

EMPRESS

Following MSC Poesia out of Bergen was Pullmantur's Empress. She was originally ordered by the now defunct Admiral Cruise Line and to be named Future Seas. After a merger with Royal Caribbean (whilst the ship was still under construction) she was renamed Nordic Empress, and entered service under this name for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Cruise Ship Empress passes under the Askøy Bridge, Bergen
Empress departing Bergen
In 2001, Nordic Empress suffered an engine room fire, which resulted in a 3-hour firefight on board. The blaze was successfully extinguished and significant damage to the ship was avoided.

Cruise Ship Empress passes under the Askøy Bridge, Bergen
Empress turns slightly to align herself with the centre of the bridge
Nordic Empress was the last ship to enter the Royal Caribbean fleet without the now standard name ending 'of the Seas'. As such, she was renamed 'Empress of the Seas' during a refit in 2004 to bring her in line with the rest of the fleet.

Cruise Ship Empress passes under the Askøy Bridge, Bergen
Empress approaching the Askøy bridge
Following a successful career with Royal Caribbean, Empress of the Seas left the fleet in 2008 and entered service as Empress for Pullmantur Cruises, with whom she sails today.

Cruise Ship Empress passes under the Askøy Bridge, Bergen
Empress passes comfortably under the bridge
After navigating Byfjorden and passing beneath the Askøy bridge, Empress also sailed on to Flåm, following the route of MSC Poesia ahead.

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