Luxury cruise liner MS Deutschland has made a trial visit to London Docklands ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.
The largest ever known ship to visit London Docklands arrived in port in the early hours of Thursday, 14th July
of as part of a warm-up operation ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Arriving soon after midnight she berthed in South Quay, London Docklands ahead of a 36-hour visit to the capital.
The MS Deutschland is 175.3m long and has a 23m beam which made her arrival quite an impressive sight.
The historic West India Ship Lock is 178m in length and 24.4m wide, meaning there was just enough room to fit the vessel into the lock and bring her into the deep water berths of South Quay, at the heart of Canary Wharf, London’s leading financial district.
Following the trial-run, British Waterways has signed a deal to allow the cruise liner to berth in London Docklands
during summer 2012, when it will play host to the German Olympic Committee.
The liner will be joined by a selection of some of the world’s most exclusive super yachts along with tall ships and smaller leisure vessels.
Billy Smith, British Waterways’ dockmaster & tidal locks supervisor, said: “Bringing MS Deutschland into the Docks is a real achievement. The manoeuvre into the confined space of the lock shows how good planning, combined with the skill of the teams involved worked to ensure the berthing operation was successful.
“I have worked on the River Thames and in the Docks since 1962, and have lived on the Isle of Dogs for most of my life. This is the largest ship that I have ever seen navigate through the lock. To fit her in we use the high tides and insist she’s brought in stern first, an unusual and interesting operation for the river pilots and the captain.”
The ship will accommodate guests of the German Olympic Sports Confederation who has also announced that it will be using the Museum of London Docklands as ‘Deutsches Haus’ (Germany House) during the Games period.