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The Spanish Embassy in Dublin and Dublin Port Company have announced that one of the world’s oldest and largest tall ships, the “Juan Sebastián de Elcano” will make a five-day visit to Dublin Port, arriving on Saturday, 10th June and departing on Thursday, 15th June. The 370-foot long, four-masted schooner is the world’s third largest tall ship and one of the oldest tall ships still sailing.

The majestic steel-hulled schooner led by Captain Victoriano Gilabert will arrive in Dublin Port at 9am on Saturday carrying 245 crew on board. The ship is used as a training vessel for the Royal Spanish Navy, preparing its Officers for long periods at sea. King Felipe VI is among the Officers who have been trained on board the ship, which is named after Spanish explorer Juan Sebastián de Elcano, captain of Ferdinand Magellan's last exploratory fleet, and the first man to circumnavigate the globe.

While in Dublin, the crew will participate in a range of engagements to promote Spanish-Irish cultural exchange, including an open day for the public.

The ship will initially berth at Ocean Pier (no public access) in Dublin Port, before moving to Berth 18 beside the Tom Clarke Bridge, where she will be open to the public to visit free of charge on Wednesday, 14th June. Visitors are welcome to come and see first-hand the craftsmanship and young crew at work on board this stunning vessel.

Public Opening
Date: Wednesday, 14th June
Time: 10.00 to 13.00 and 15.30 to 19.00
Location: Berth 18 (beside Tom Clarke Bridge)

The ship, now on its 89th training voyage, departed from Cádiz (Spain) on March 12th and sailed to Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and New York. The ship then set sail across the Atlantic back to Spain and from the Port of Marín is now en route to Dublin Port. Built in Cádiz (Spain) and launched in 1927, the “Elcano” has visited over 197 ports in more than 70 countries, and of its 89 cruises to date, 10 have been round-the-world trips. Since its first voyage she has clocked up more than 1.8 million nautical miles.

The last time the “Elcano” visited Dublin Port was in June 2014. Her next ports of call include Den Helder (The Netherlands) and Antwerp (Belgium) before returning to Spain.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, said: “Dublin Port Company welcomes the return of the Juan Sebastián de Elcano and her crew to Dublin Port. Dublin Port has a longstanding tradition of hosting visiting navy and sharing in the history and culture of other seafaring nations. The Elcano is one of the finest tall ships in the world, and her arrival is sure to capture the interest and imagination of people here, providing a unique opportunity to learn more about Spain’s naval heritage.”

His Excellency, José María Rodríguez Coso, Ambassador of Spain to Ireland, said: “The arrival to Dublin of the Elcano is an event of major importance and significance. The ship is a floating embassy, and the fact that Dublin has been chosen as a port of call symbolises the strength of the bilateral relations between Ireland and Spain.”

Published in Tall Ships

Tall Ships sailed under gentle south-west winds up the River Liffey and into Dublin Port at lunchtime having spent the night at anchor on the South side of Dublin Bay off Sandycove.

The Tall Ships are in port and open to the public for free (tide permitting on the River Liffey) between noon and 6pm on each of the three days as part of Riverfest. 

Included in those visiting is the legendary Russian vessel Shtandard, a replica of a warship of Peter the Great from 1703.  The Shtandard was the third vessel in a parade of sail across Dublin bay this morning asten of the Pelican and the Earl of Pembroke but ahead of The Kaskelot.

Tall ships PelicanPelican leads the Tall ships across Dublin Bay. Photo: Afloat.ie

Read also: 

Eight Tall Ships Open to the Public As Dublin Port Riverfest Set to Attract Over 100,000 Visitors

Tall Ships Arrive in Dublin Bay, Earl Of Pembroke & Kaskelot Sail in For Riverfest

Dublin Port Riverfest Tall Ships to be Nautical Highlight of Crowded Bank Holiday Weekend

Published in Tall Ships

Just a day late for Dun Laoghaire harbour's 200th commemorations and 24 hours early for Dublin Port's Riverfest there is no doubting the evocative age of sail with the arrival of two tall ships sailing into Dublin Bay this morning.

The Earl Of Pembroke is moored in Scotsman's Bay, on the southside of Dublin Bay. The authentic square rigger is a replica of HMS Endeavour, the ship in whcih Captain Cook travelled to Australia in 1768. The modern Earl of Pembroke is 'for hire' for filming, charity and corporate events, as well as for personal charters and holidays. Read more on the Earl Of Pembroke here.  The Earl of Pembroke is expected to sail from Dun Laoghaire up the River Liffey tomorrow at noon.

Read our Tall Ships Riverfest preview here

kaskelot dun laoghaireKaskelot, one of the last classic wooden Tall Ships, arrives in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

The Kaskelot, a three-masted barque, is one of the largest remaining wooden ships in commission. She is moored in Dun Laoghaire Harbour today in advance of the weekend's Dublin Port's Riverfest that is previewed here. Read more on the Kaskelot here. 

Although Riverfest is advertising eight tall ship arivals, there are only four visiting Dublin which could in any way be called a Tall Ship. After the arrival of the two this morning, it’s all eyes on the horizon for the Shtandard, the great Russian Tall Ship that will also visit Drogheda Port's Maritime Festival later this month. 

Published in Tall Ships

Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club’s annual regatta will take place this coming bank holiday weekend during the Dublin Port’s Riverfest! The organisers have apologised for the short notice which was caused by an incident resulting in possible outage of Poolbeg marina facility during the event but this is now rectified.

Racing participants and visiting boats are welcome to Dublin Port’s Riverfest and the Caribbean beach party at PYBC’s annual regatta!

There will be 3 days of racing, shoreside activities and all are encouraged to take a trip up the river Liffey to Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club where there will be an Urban Beach, live Caribbean Band and much more!

Race participants will be greeted with a free drink and there is food available for purchase on arrival. For visiting boats, please find attached below a Notice to Mariners and the Dublin Port Entry Guide.

Sailing races and activities are divided as follows:
Dublin Bay Racing
Cruiser 1
Cruiser 2
Cruiser 3
White sails and others include the
Irish Sea Offshore Sailing Association (ISORA)
Old Gaffers Association
E Boats
Ruffian 23
River Liffey Racing
Dinghy races for various classes
Ruffian and E Boat Classes - including "try sailing" during the race
Parade of sail demonstrations will take part on the river every day.
Any racing or cruising boat can take part.

PYBC will be broadcasting live an ISORA race on a screen throughout Saturday, the race will begin in Howth Yacht Club, around Lambay Island and finishes in Dublin Port.

Published in Dublin Bay

Dublin Port is preparing to help some 100,000 visitors discover their sea legs this June bank holiday weekend at Riverfest 2017, Ireland’s premier sailing and maritime festival. Now in its fifth year, the three-day maritime event will provide an €1 million boost to the local economy.

Taking place between the Samuel Beckett Bridge and the 3Arena from June 3rd -5th, Riverfest offers entertainment and activities for all the family, and admission is free.

Each year Riverfest, which is held by Dublin Port Company in association with Dublin City Council, brings a carnival atmosphere to North Wall Quay.

On the water, there will be plenty of thrills such as the UK ThunderCats power boats, which will be headlining the event with their first ever Dublin performance. ThunderCat Racing is one of the world’s most exhilarating water sports, with boats flying up to six metres in the air. The ThunderCats will be racing four times daily over the weekend.

Jet pack demonstrations and water sports such as stand up paddle boarding, sailing and kayaking are also among the highlights on the water.

For those who want to keep their feet on dry land there will be music, food markets, a funfair, zip lines, rock climbing and so much more. A new addition to Riverfest this year is the Drive-in cinema, which will use the world’s biggest mobile LED screen to show retro classics, Finding Nemo, Back to the Future and Jaws. Booking is essential.

Tall Ships Arrive
The festival’s favourite arrive in the city on Friday 2nd June. That afternoon the ships will berth along North Wall Quay and remain for the duration of the festival. Eight Tall Ships will be open to the public over the weekend to visit free of charge.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, said: “I’m delighted to see Riverfest in its fifth year and growing from strength to strength. The festival promises something for absolutely everyone to enjoy. Set against the backdrop of the River Liffey, the Samuel Beckett Bridge and North Wall Quay, Riverfest is a uniquely Dublin experience. The sight of tall ships and schooners on the quayside reminds us of Dublin’s rich maritime heritage and modern day status as a port city. I would encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the spectacle and fun of Riverfest this year.”

Dublin City Council Chief Executive, Owen Keegan, said: “Riverfest is evolving as one of the marquee events of the city. The animation on and along the river over the bank holiday weekend is an exciting spectacle and festival for Dubliners and it further promotes Dublin to visitors as a city of culture and heritage.”

Published in Dublin Port

Dublin Port Company today published trade statistics for the first quarter of 2017 showing continued strong growth of 4.2% after last year’s record throughput of 34.9 million gross tonnes.

Dublin Port also announced that it will pay a dividend to the State of €11.7m in 2017, bringing the aggregate dividend payment since 2007 to €101.2m. The dividend follows a strong financial performance in 2016, during which turnover grew by 5.1% to €81.6m and EBITDA grew by 8.8% to €53.6m.

This strong performance comes after growth of 25% in the four years to 2016, with the high growth trend continuing into the first quarter of 2017.

Total throughput for the three months to the end of March was 8.7 million gross tonnes with 1,843 ship arrivals, equivalent to 20 ships each day. Both imports and exports grew strongly with imports ahead by 3.3% and exports even more strongly at 5.5%.

Summary of Quarter 1 2017 Trade Statistics

 

Gross tonnes

Quarter 1 2017

Quarter 1 2016

% change

Imports

                 5.1m

                 5.0m

3.3%

Exports

                 3.6m

                 3.4m

5.5%

Total

                 8.7m

                 8.4m

4.2%

 

Quarter 1 2017

Quarter 1 2016

% change

Ro-Ro units

238,831

221,758

7.7%

Lo-Lo TEU

163,086

163,002

0.1%

Trade vehicles

32,459

31,862

1.9%

 

Quarter 1 2017

Quarter 1 2016

% change

Passengers

270,171

297,762

-9.3%

Tourist vehicles

78,874

82,958

-4.9%

 

The largest parts of Dublin Port’s business are Ro-Ro freight trailers and Lo-Lo containers.  Ro-Ro grew by 7.7% with 238,831 units in the first three months. Lo-Lo containers grew by 0.1% to 163,086 TEU.

Tourist volumes were down in the first quarter of 2017 due, primarily, to Easter falling this year in April.  Last year it fell in March.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said:

“Having seen growth of 25% in the four years to last December, 2017 has started strongly with growth of 4.2% in the first quarter.

“Growth at this level was the norm over decades before the economic crash after 2007. What we are seeing in Dublin Port’s volumes is entirely consistent with the strong recovery evident in the domestic economy in recent years.

“Long-term growth requires additional capacity and we have a ten year €600m capital investment programme well underway to make sure that Dublin Port can continue to meet demand between now and 2040.

“This capital programme is part of our long term Masterplan to 2040 which we are currently reviewing to ensure it remains up to date and relevant. We will publish a revised Masterplan in the summer. Our next step then will be to begin planning additional capital development projects which can take up to 20 years to deliver from concept to completion.

“Alongside our large planned expenditure on capital projects, it is important that we continue to pay a dividend to the State and I am delighted that we are in a position this year to pay an €11.7m dividend, equivalent to 30% of last year’s profits. Dublin Port Company had a strong year in 2016 with turnover growth of 5.1% to €81.6m and increased profit after tax of 7.3% to €39.0m.”

Published in Dublin Port

#DublinPort - Puppies and dogs were seized by Garda and Dublin Port security on Saturday night (1 April) in the fourth such incident this year.

The animals were reportedly being exported without valid pet passports. The majority of those recovered are labrador/collie cross puppies at most 10 weeks of age, and are now in the care of the DSPCA before being made available for adoption this week.

Published in Dublin Port

#Riverfest - North Wall Quay will once again play host to the Dublin Port Riverfest this June Bank Holiday weekend.

Tracing the River Liffey from the Ha’penny Bridge in the heart of Dublin City right out through Dublin Port and into Dublin Bay, the capital's maritime festival promises a variety of exciting activities and events.

On-the-water activities will include river ferries and cruises, boat tours of Dublin Port and Dublin Bay, special Try Sailing sessions on both sailing dinghies and keelboats, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) sessions and kayaking trips.

The Jeanie Johnston will once again be offering free tours over the course of the weekend.

Customs officers will also be on hand all day with their cutter on view, and they will also be carrying out sniffer dog demonstrations.

The jam-packed schedule of displays and entertainment in the festival area includes jet pack displays, sailing races, dragon boat racing, powerboats, pilot displays, international tall ships and more.

Not to be outdone by the water, activities for landlubbers include zip Lines, rock climbing, music and street performances, carnival attractions, face painting and children’s art & circus workshops.

There will be pirate re-enactments all weekend, while Irish Village Markets will deliver an open-air food and craft market.

Dublin Riverfest returns this year from Saturday 3 to Monday 5 June from noon to 6pm daily. The events programme will be added shortly to the festival website HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#DublinPort - Revenue officials made a significant seizure of alcohol and tobacco at Dublin Port yesterday (Monday 27 February), as BreakingNews.ie reports.

More than 200 litres of wine, beer and spirits, plus some 2kg of tobacco and cigarettes, were seized from two vans arrived separate from France and Holyhead — a potential loss of more than €4,000 to the Exchequer.

Published in Dublin Port

This is Public Consultation Week for the First Review of Dublin Port’s Development Masterplan 2012-2040, and with a 28-year timespan involved, some of the more remote yet very possible proposals will still seem at the very least far-fetched - and at worst outrageous - to residents and harbour users most directly affected writes W M Nixon.

You’ll need to get your skates on if you’re going to see how the port is presenting its proposals in the neighbourhoods most directly involved, as the Clontarf session today (Monday 13th February) in Scoil Ui Chonaill GAA was due to conclude at 8.0pm. Tomorrow being St Valentine’s Day, everyone will be otherwise occupied as Dublin is a a city of incurable romantics, but the show resumes on Wednesday 15th February from 2.0pm to 8.0pm at the Sean O’Casey Community Centre, St Mary’s Road, East Wall Road, Dublin 3.

However, it’s the concluding show on Thursday 16th February, again from 2.0pm to 8.0pm, which is likely to attract most sparks, as it’s in Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAA Club, Sean Moore Road, Ringsend, Dublin 4, and it’s the Dublin communities of Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount – all in Dublin 4 - which would see some of the more far-fetched proposals having greatest impact.

From a visit to the Clontarf presentation today (Monday) it seems that while the harbour’s development seawards is now being handled in a way which has assuaged the worst fears of Clontarf residents, it is Dublin Port’s determination to maintain a strong and growing presence south of the river which could permanently change life for people in Ringsend and Sandymount.

With the two parts of the port connected only by the East Link Lifting Bridge, this is an almost permanent traffic bottleneck, so it’s not surprising that a proposal expecting early implementation is a new bridge immediately east of the East Link.

Dublin port planConnections between the north and south parts of the port are always under strain, and an early proposal was the installation of a second bridge immediately eastward of the present East Link Bridge

At the moment this parallel bridge seems to be proposed as a link exclusively for port traffic. But if that is the case then new road capacity has to be provided from the new bridge eastward to Poolbeg Roundabout, so an alternative scenario is that the new bridge be paired with the existing East Link to provide a dual carriageway, which in turn will be continued to the Poolbeg Roundabout.

Providing such a dual carriageway will inevitably take a chunk out of the space at present used by Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club both on the land and in their marina too. So instead of a compact marina clustered at the club, one variation of the plan shows an elongated marina running virtually the whole way to the new bridge immediately seaward of the northern lane of a the new dual carriageway.

However, while this may lessen the East Link bottleneck, most of the traffic using the East Link is not port-related anyway. They’re just people deluded by the notion that they’re taking the quickest way from the North City – and particularly the airport – to the vast affluent swathes of the south county. They arrive smoothly at the East Link via the Port Tunnel, and now if the East Link to Poolbeg Roundabout section become effectively a mini-motorway, they’ll be further deluded until they find themselves back in old-fashioned traffic jams as they try to make their way towards Sandymount Strand.

Dublin port plan liffeyHints of how the port might be. A new fixed bridge has been built across the mouth of the Dodder on the South Bank immediately upriver of the Eastlink, thereby cutting off access to the Grand Canal Basin for all but “canal boats”, while the line of red-and-white dots is the suggested route of the Eastern By-pass, which seems to be sent off from the Poolbeg Peninsula into the wide open spaces of Sandymount Strand.

So the old monster which just won’t go away, the Eastern Bypass, raises its head again in the proposals relating to the more distant future, though “distant” is only relative – 28 years is no time at all. Be that as it may, the cheapest option for an Eastern By-pass is a motorway-standard dual carriageway along Sandymount Strand, upon the completion of which, the next discussion will be where it re-joins the city’s road system.

But that’s an argument for another day which may not be necessary if another line of thought is taken, to which we’ll come in a minute. But right now, whatever happens, there’s no doubting that the cosy setup at Poolbeg, with a friendly club with a strong sense of community, and it all handy to the city, is under threat.

In fact, sometimes when you see ships manoeuvring within feet of the delicate marina structure in a real breeze of wind, you can’t help but think that you are watching a YouTube “Best Ship Disasters” vid in the making, and that Poolbeg Marina’s continued existence is a little miracle.

ship close to yachtIt can be quite thought-provoking to see ships being manoeuvred in a breeze of wind within a stone’s throw of Poolbeg Marina. Photo: W M Nixon
So the Poolbeg contingent are planning to be there in strength on Thursday to see for themselves just what the future might hold, and among other things they’ll see confirmation that a bus-lane-and-pedestrian bridge is highly likely across the mouth of the Dodder, thereby cutting off access to the Grand Canal Basin for vessels with masts or even just exceptional top hamper – the only reassurance I could get was that “canal boats” will have sufficient clearance.

As for the Eastern Bypass, if the cheapo version along the beach is built, then Sandymount will indeed have lost its strand. At the moment, the little coastal road is something you can walk across at any point, and the seashore seems very accessible. But as soon as you get eastward of Merrion Gates, the railway is defining most of the shoreline, and the sense of the sea being accessible is no longer so apparent – who ever talks of Booterstown Beach?

A motorway along the beach is every bit as much of a barrier as a railway, so it would be the end of Sandymount Strand as thousands know and love it. But anyway, if such a road were built, it would only deliver people further along the line into another jam. To make sense, it would have to go all the way to the nearest part of the M50/M11 linkup, which is somewhere about Leopardstown. Yet there’s just no way a raw new motorway is going to be built across this unrivalled area of prime real estate. However, north of the river the Port Tunnel is merrily working away, doing its work so well we almost forget it exists. Yet it seemed impossibly grandiose at the time it was first proposed.

A Ringsend to Leopardstown Tunnel would be about three times as long, and it would need at least two interchanges built into it to make logistical sense. But it is certainly well within the scope of fairly basic tunneling technology. And up in Arranmore in Donegal, there’s inherited tunneling expertise from the time of building the Channel Tunnel between England and France. The Arranmore economy would find the Ringsend-Leopardstown Tunnel a very nice little earner, thank you. And with some clever planning, it could leave the communities of Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount largely intact.

Published in Dublin Port
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