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PLA clears the decks for post-Olympic sprint

Cruise Ship Deutschland in the West India Dock (click on image to enlarge)
Cruise Ship Deutschland in the
 West India Dock 
(click on image to enlarge)

The Port of London Authority (PLA) is ready for a rush of vessels leaving the Thames in the days after the London Olympics Closing Ceremony.

More than 20 vessels including cruise ships, sailing ships and super yachts came specially to London in the two weeks running up to the Games.  Now they all want to leave in the space of 72 hours.  Vessel departures already planned, with more bookings expected, include:

Monday, 13 August: Sailing ship, Belem***
  Cruise ships Caledonia Sky* and Deutschland*
  Royal yacht, Dannebrog*
  Super yacht, Deniki*
Tuesday, 14 August: Sailing ship, Stad Amsterdam*
  Cruise ship, Braemar**
  Super yachts, Seanna and Octopus*
Wednesday, 15 August: Cruise ship, Gemini**


(* = West India Dock (Canal & River Trust); ** = Royal Docks; *** = Tower Stairs Moorings)

PLA marine operations director, Peter Steen, explained:

“This is an extremely concentrated period of demand for our pilots to take vessels away from their moorings out to the North Sea.  We’ve got our full complement of specialist ‘river’ pilots, who handle vessels in central London, on standby to handle these vessels.  It’s going to be a challenge to accommodate the number of vessels within the limited tidal windows, but we’re up for the challenge.

“At the same time we’ll be covering ‘business as usual’ with the movement of container ships, oil tankers and other vessels in the UK’s second biggest port, which keeps the food on everyone’s table and fuel in the pump on the garage forecourt.”

The cruise ship, Silver Cloud, is due to make a regular call to London arriving late on Sunday night (12 August) and departing late Monday evening (13 August).

The majority of vessels in the ‘Sail Greenwich’ fleet, in London for the Olympic period, are expected to leave on Monday, 13 August.