Chance to explore modern offshore ships at Maritime Festival

The Esvagt Service Operation Vessel. Picture: TMS Media

The Esvagt Service Operation Vessel. Picture: TMS Media - Credit: TMS Media

A rare chance to step on board a modern offshore support vessel is among the attractions at Great Yarmouth's Maritime Festival.

RV Belgica. Picture: TMS Media

RV Belgica. Picture: TMS Media - Credit: TMS Media

The annual event is a popular showcase of seafaring heritage, with vintage ships visiting the town's historic quayside.

But this year a brand new ship will also be moored up and hosting visitors.

The 83m-long offshore Service Operation Vessel with an airliner-shaped sleek 'nose' is owned by Danish shipping company Esvagt.

It will be among the stars of the show at the festival on Saturday and Sunday September 10 and 11 – fresh from its naming ceremony on the Friday.

The ship, built in Poland and equipped in Norway, will be used at the nearby Dudgeon windfarm 20 miles off Cromer this autumn.

It has room for 40 turbine technicians who will live on board and will be transferred to the turbines via a special gangway system.

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A dozen people at a time will be able to make the trips around the Esvagt vessel, from 10.25am on Saturday and 10.15am on Sunday – but spaces will be very limited.

The Festival attracts around 30,000 to Yarmouth and is staged by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement District as part of its drive to hold events which attract visitors and spending to the area to boost the local economy.

BID board member Lyndon Bevan added: 'The Maritime Festival is a major event in our calendar and a great way to introduce visitors to the importance of the sea and shipping to our past, present and future.'

The flagship visiting vessel at this year's Maritime Festival is the impressive Earl of Pembroke three-masted sailing ship, which has been used in movies and TV series including Hornblower and Treasure Island.

Visitors should pre-book the tours on and go to the eTicket section.

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