The MSC Splendida, eleventh longest cruise ship in the world, docked in Cobh on May 12, 2015 carrying over 4,500 passengers and crew. It was a beautiful sunny day and the place was buzzing with tourists. We even bumped into some Victorian ladies taking the air.
In the photograph below, you can see the huge liner towering in the distance behind Heartbreak Pier, the last place that some passengers of the Titanic and Lusitania stood before leaving Ireland.
This modern day liner is not without her own tragic event. On March 18, 2015, MSC Splendida was in port in Tunis when gunmen opened fire on tourists at the Bardo National Museum, killing twelve of her passengers and injuring thirteen. Since then cruise lines have replaced Tunisia with Malta as a stop off.
The image above, of the Splendida docked behind Annie Moore and her brothers, is where past meets present. She was the first immigrant to be processed at Ellis Island and is honoured by statues on both sides of the Atlantic, in New York and Cobh. Annie arrived at Ellis Island on January 1, 1892 aboard the steamship Nevada with her younger brothers, Anthony and Philip. The massive cruise liner is certainly a far cry from the vessel that carried the young family across the Atlantic to their new life. From that day in 1892 until its closure in 1954, over twelve million people followed in Annie’s footsteps through Ellis Island. Her image is a symbol of the people of all nations who have made the United States their home. The Bronze sculptures in Cobh and Ellis Island are the work of Jeanne Rynhart from Bantry, County Cork. (Same name as myself, but no relation and a different spelling).
You can get a bird’s eye view of the Splendida in Cobh in this video.
Youtube video courtesy of DJI Phantom IRL