A gentle giant

This post is a short photo essay. Last weekend I had the pleasure of watching this ship, the Diamond Princess, depart from Vancouver harbour for its seven-day run up the North American coast to Alaska.
It's a really big ship, as you can see. This picture was taken from the roof of Canada Place, which is already about 10 storeys above the water line. Launched in 2004, the Diamond Princess can accommodate 2,670 passengers, and a staggering 748 cabins have private balconies. Built in Japan, it is one of the two largest ships in the Princess fleet.
During the height of the cruise season, weekends are busy in the harbour as ships prepare to leave. This summer, the Diamond Princess departed from Vancouver and arrived in Whittier (Anchorage). It then followed the reverse path with new passengers.
The bridge features the extensions pictured here, which provide excellent sight lines of the sides of the ship.
To facilitate docking procedures and preparations for getting underway, the ship is designed with these side doors that allow the crew to coordinate the release of mooring lines with workers on the dock. The ropes are whisked inside by a winch mechanism. The thick lines are guided by large rolling pins on the outside of the hull to keep the side of the ship clean.
Side-mounted engines provide the needed lateral force to maneuver the massive ship away from the dock.
116, ooo tons of steel and thousands of passengers begin a leisurely voyage out of Burrard Inlet and up the Pacific Coast. Along the way, passengers will see glaciers and mountains, fiords and forests.
Bon voyage!

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