The cruise ship Le Soleal was in Liverpool last month on a transit visit, but I was unable to go photograph her. Fortunately she was back in Liverpool again today for the second and final time this year on another transit visit. The ship is owned and operated by Compagnie du Ponant and registered in Mata-Utu, part of the French Wallis and Futuna Islands in the South Pacific. Launched in 2013, Le Soleal is nearly 11,000 gross tonnage, 466 feet in length (142.1m), 59 feet wide (18m) with a draught of 16 feet (4.9m). She can carry 264 passengers and 139 crew. Read more about the ship on Wikipedia or on the official website for her.
I was glad I got to photograph and video Le Soleal today as I am recovering from a heart attack and didn’t know whether I would have the energy to visit Princes Parade, along which the Liverpool Cruise Liner Terminal runs on the waterfront of the River Mersey. I managed to make it, getting a bus straight from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital where this morning I had a cardiology appointment. Fortunately, a bus runs from the hospital right along Princes Parade and back into the city centre so my visit didn’t involve much walking. As always I photographed the ship (the photos can be found on my Flickr page) and took some videos, which are on my YouTube channel. The video is also at the top of this post.
Le Soleal is only the second cruise liner to visit Liverpool so far this year, but from this month the visits begin to increase building up to their peak over the summer. The Aida Vita is in on 14 May followed by nine different vessels on eleven visits on consecutive days between 5 and 15 June. For a full list of cruise ships visiting Liverpool see the schedule on the Cruise Terminal website. Read a related article in the Liverpool Echo.