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Spirit of Discovery blog

First visit to Portbury, Bristol

7th July, 2021

Hello Saganauts!

This week brought a particularly interesting manoeuvre with our visit to Portbury.

The Royal Portbury Dock has the largest entrance lock into any UK port, accommodating vessels up to 41m beam, 290m length and 14.5m draft. Spirit of Discovery has a breadth of 34.4m, length 236.7m, draught 7.0m. The lock is part of the Port of Bristol near the village of Portbury.

We are the largest cruise ship to ever enter this lock. So with approximately 3 meters on each side of the ship we manoeuvred into the lock unaided. Once positioned in the lock we came alongside and the pumps levelled the water in the lock with that of the port or open bay. Discovery is an incredibly manoeuvrable ship with its azimuthing podded propulsors.

We are back here on the 14th July. While in Bristol Port there was the traditional ‘plaque exchange’, which happens in the cruise sector when a vessel calls at a port for the first time.

Captain Darin William Bowland

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.