As cruise ships become bigger they begin to encounter more issues at regular ports of call due to their size. Bridges represent one such problem with Sydney’s famous bridge over the harbour posing a problem to some of the visiting and home ported ships.
The Port of Montreal has announced that the local Canadian power company will raise two power lines above the St. Lawrence River, a move that will allow larger ships to reach Montreal. The power lines were lower in height than the Laviolette Bridge in Trois-Rivières, currently the lowest obstacle on the St. Lawrence River for vessels sailing to Montreal. The Laviolette Bridge has just under 52 metres of clearance – slightly more than the Sydney Harbour Bridge at 49 metres.
By comparison, the Lions’ Gate Bridge in Vancouver has a clearance of 61 metres, a height insufficient for Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice Class ships. However, the 121,878gt Celebrity Solstice is being equipped with a new telescopic mast so that she can call at Vancouver in 2014 instead of Nanaimo (Vancouver Island), where she called in 2013. It is widely known that the 2003 built 148,528gt Queen Mary 2 had to be designed to a profile that allowed her to pass under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York, where the clearance is 70 metres. This also allows her just enough clearance to sail under San Francisco’s 67 metre clearance Golden Gate Bridge.