Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: COVID19

A UK cruise operator Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has gone into administration, with the “global pandemic of seismic proportions” being blamed for its demise.

The line, writes The Telegraph, which has six ships in its fleet and was founded in 2010, has “ceased trading with immediate effect”, according to administrators Duff & Phelps. It comes after concerns were raised last month that the company was in desperate need of additional funding – which it said it was “confident” of securing.

There are no passengers on board any of CMV’s vessels, with all operations paused since March. It has been due to resume sailing on August 25. All future bookings have been cancelled.

Customers who had trips booked can find out how to get their money back on Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ website. The company mainly sold cruise packages, which are protected by ABTA, and a smaller number of flight-inclusive packages which are protected by ATOL.

For much from the newspaper click here. 

In addition Afloat adds a link to CMV website which announced its news of administration (yesterday, 20 July) and advice for clients of the operator click here

The classic cruiseship once a former Soviet era liner, was a frequent caller to Irish ports over the last decade and of recent years fleetmate Magellan which 'homeported' out of Dublin Port and Cork (Cobh) catering for the Irish marketplace.

Published in Cruise Liners

The Manx Government has lowered its coronavirus alert level meaning the fast (ferry)craft Manannan can resume sailings between Liverpool and the Isle of Man

As Liverpool Business News reports, fast craft sailings between the England and the Isle of Man will resume this week – but only for residents of the island.

In March the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company halted sailings, which can be up to twice a day during the peak summer months, as the island looked to protect its residents from the spread of coronavirus.

Since March there have been 336 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the Isle of Man’s population of around 84,000 people, with 312 recovering and 24 deaths. There has been no new confirmed cases on the island for more than 50 days.

From Monday, July 20, the Manx government is moving its alert level from 5 to 4 which means residents will be allowed to visit the UK and beyond for holidays or to visit friends and relatives before self-isolating for 14 days on their return.

Although the Steam Packet Company rescheduled its timetable in late March, it has continued to operate daily services between Douglas and Heysham, including an overnight lifeline freight service.

For further reading click here

Published in Ferry

If we need any further indication of the longterm seriousness of the current public health precautions in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, then we’re told everything by the fact that sailing and yacht clubs are finally responding through acquiring stocks of facemasks with their club insignias or other club-related messages conspicuously displayed.

On the shores of Belfast Lough, the Royal Ulster YC (founded 1866) has been experimenting with a neat white model on which of course the Red Hand of Ulster is unmistakably prominent. And down in Crosshaven at the weekend, the 300-year-old Royal Cork YC – frustrated in many of its Tricentenary Celebrations – took delivery of its first consignment of customised masks from sportswear and accessory specialists Rashr, and these new items make a Tricentenary statement which will turn them into treasured mementoes in the years to come.

Royal Cork YC customised facemasks Royal Cork YC customised facemasks from RashR are now available at the club

In fact, if this corona-battling business goes on as long as many fear, we’ll see further developments with the various indicators of an individual’s ranking in the club hierarchy being incorporated in their facemasks. It’s a complex area - for those unacquainted with the arcane secret signals of club status, the word is that it’s all to do with swallow-tails and the display of balls.

Of course, if things go on for too long, we’ll stray into a dark world of extra-special equipment being supplied for the elite few. An acquaintance in Uruguay – which has, largely unnoticed, been exceptionally successful in combatting the pandemic despite being neighbour to disease-rampant bigger states – has forwarded this image. He tells us it may look like an army officer’s outfit, but it actually is a thinly-disguised Commodore’s De Luxe Coronavirus Kit which is current being developed and test-marketed in South America.For the elite only, to be bought out of club funds – the Commodores De Luxe Coronavirus KitFor the elite only, to be bought out of club funds – the Commodores De Luxe Coronavirus Kit

Tagged under

Brittany Ferries flagship began Cork-Roscoff seasonal service earlier this month following lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and notably another cruiseferry is to enter the popular Ireland-France route too but not until 2021, writes Jehan Ashmore

Asides the current routine Saturday afternoon departures from the Port of Cork by flagship cruiseferry Pont-Aven which arrives to the Breton port on the Sunday morning, Afloat has noted on the Brittany Ferries website that there will be the added choice next year to board another cruiseferry. This is to be the Armorique offering a Wednesday afternoon departure from Ireland with an arrival on Thursday morning at the Breton port in north-west France.

The development is apparently only referred once on the website in regards to the new Irish role for Armorique's Wednesday departures see within brackets (new for 2021).

Afloat also consulted the booking section which revealed Armorique's first outward sailing, Cork-Roscoff is scheduled for Wednesday, 24 March followed three days later with Pont-Aven departing on Saturday, 27 March 2021.

Armorique has actually previously called to the Port of Cork last year on foot of standing in for Pont-Aven which had hydraulic and beforehand engine-trouble with repairs both taking place at Damen Shiprepairs, Brest.

The introduction in next year's season of the Armorique will increase overnight ferry departures to twice a week on the Cork-Roscoff route. Luxury facilities of the cruiseferry are available for 1,500 passengers and accommodation comprises of 247 cabins and reserved seat lounges for 336 and space for 470 cars.

Also according to the ferry website, Afloat noted the Pont-Aven's sailing times (from Cork) take 14 hours however with next year's seasonal newcomer Armorique are timetabled for an 18 hour passage. As for sailing duration times (from Roscoff) both cruiseferries sailings are reduced. Two hours for those operated by the Pont-Aven and three hours served by Armorique.

Currently Armorique operates routine daily Roscoff-Plymouth sailings on the English Channel route which saw the custom Finnish (STX Europe) built cruiseferry enter service in 2009. The Armorique takes her name from an area of north west France meaning 'the country that faces the sea' and follows a predessor of the same name that launched the Cork-Roscoff route more than four decades ago in 1978. Pont-Aven also operates in tandem on the France-UK route, which was Brittany Ferries first route when launched in 1973.

This afternoon Pont-Aven is scheduled at 16.00hrs to depart Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal in lower Cork Harbour on the overnight crossing of the Celtic Sea to Roscoff.

In addition Brittany Ferries which closed the Cork-Santander earlier this year and switched both Irish and Spanish ports to begin a new Rosslare-Bilbao route served by ropax Kerry and on an 'économie' service has resumed for passengers. As the Kerry had operated throughout the height of the Covid-19 restrictions by maintaining the Ireland-Spain link albeit in a freight-only mode.

The French operator had intended to launch a second new route out of Rosslare Europort, however Covid-19 also impacted the new Rosslare-Roscoff route which was due to open in March. This never materilised due to restrictions from governments and by the ferry company itself in the interests of crew.

Rosslare-Roscoff sailings finally launched late last month on 29 June (later than planned due to Covid-19). This route is also branded under the économie banner as the ropax Kerry has no-frills facilities compared to the luxurious Cork-Roscoff serving flagship cruiseferry.

The Ireland-France route along with Rosslare-Cherbourg in neighbouring Normandy was abandoned by Irish Ferries following the debut of W.B. Yeats operating instead out of Dublin Port but still retains the connection to the port located at the tip of the Contentin Peninsula in northern France.

Returning to Brittany Ferries which will continue operating both the seasonal Ireland-France routes until late October, whereas the Rosslare-Bilbao remains a year round service. Noting the Ireland-Spain overnight service subject to the sailing taken can involve up to 2 nights on board.

For Coronavirus updates, travel advice click here with important links.

Published in Ferry

Dun Laoghaire’s local authority has extended the deadline to take part in its summer flag-making initiative.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, locals of all ages are invited tell their own Covid-19 story with a flag of their own making.

Submitted flags will then be flown from the masts of boats among Dun Laoghaire’s sailing community which will display them in a flotilla on Dublin Bay.

Hundreds of flags have already been received by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, but the authority said there are lots more stories to tell so they have pushed the deadline back to the end of summer.

For more details on how to take part and create your own flag, click HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

Mirror Sailing Ireland has announced new dates in August for the Northern regionals that were due to take place this weekend, 18-19 July.

Lough Ree Yacht Club will now host the Mirror Northerns on the weekend of 29-30 August as part of the Double Ree events.

Previously it was confirmed that the Mirror Westerns have moved to 3-4 October at Galway Bay Sailing Club.

Meanwhile, a date is still pending for the Mirror Southerns at Lough Derg Yacht Club as well as other events on the calendar disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Published in Youth Sailing

A group of volunteer race officials have worked together to create a guidance document to help in planning and implementing safe and happy sailing events for the season ahead.

Irish Sailing has now published these guidelines, with details on planning, timelines, risk assessment and other considerations and controls for running both major national and smaller local events during the coronavirus pandemic.

This is an active working document and will be updated as Government guidelines changes throughout this pandemic. See the current full guidance document (as of 8 July 2020) attached below.

Two representative associations of the militiary are seeking financial compensation for troops who are forced to leave their families two weeks prematurely to go into compulsory Covid-19 quarantine prior to deploying on overseas missions.

Meanwhile, the Naval Service has confirmed that it's had to “deep clean” one of its ships after a sailor was confirmed as having the virus.

Both PDForra, which represents enlisted personnel, and RACO, which represents officers, have sought compensation for troops who are having to leave their families two weeks earlier than usual before UN deployment.

PDForra wrote to the Department of Defence saying it believes a special payment is “warranted given the analogous nature of quarantine.” 

For more on what the association said click Irish Examiner here. 

Published in Navy

Seafarers worldwide will get enhanced rights as key workers following a joint commitment made at the International Maritime Summit held in London last week.

  • UK holds first international maritime summit to address impact of COVID-19 on crew changes
  • international recognition for seafarers as key workers to enable free movement and quicker repatriation
  • joint statement backed by International Maritime Labour Organization and other UN agencies

Representatives from over a dozen countries including Norway, Denmark, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Greece, Philippines and the USA attended the summit. They agreed to new international measures to open up foreign borders for seafarers and increase the number of commercial flights to expedite repatriation efforts.

Despite the crucial role they play restrictions on international travel have left thousands of seafarers stranded at foreign ports with some confined to vessels for months despite having no contact with coronavirus.

The summit, hosted by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst, brought together members of the UN with political and business leaders from across the globe. The difficulties maritime crews face across the world was at the centre of the discussions, while all governments and parties were urged to resolve the issues with maritime transport to support workers and the industry more widely.

Kitack Lim, UN Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, also gave a special address.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Throughout this pandemic, seafarers have played a crucial, though sometimes unseen, role in keeping vital supplies flowing into the country. It is unacceptable that there remain thousands of people stranded at ports around the world and we owe it to them and their families to change things.

“Today marks a new chapter for seafarers and alongside our international partners we are taking, a stand to end the bureaucracy preventing men and women around the world from returning home.”

Today’s agreement builds on the UK government’s longstanding work to bring home the British maritime workers waiting for repatriation and help seafarers in UK ports return home. The summit follows the successful repatriation of 12,000 seafarers from UK shores throughout the pandemic.

Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: "I am deeply concerned about how the global crisis has affected crew changes across maritime transport.

“I called today’s summit to turn the tide on the struggles seafarers have faced during this crisis and through today’s commitment we will speed up repatriation for crews globally.”

In conjunction with the Merchant Navy Welfare Board and Seafarers UK, the government has also announced a programme to support seafarers in UK shores with mobile internet routers – MiFi units – on board ships where hundreds of seafarers are still waiting to return home. This will give hundreds of seafarers free internet access on board.

Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization Kitack Lim said: “It is time to act for seafarers. Safe ship operations and crew wellbeing should not be compromised. The humanitarian crisis seafarers face has implications for all of us, for the world economy and for the safety of life at sea and the environment.“

To ensure their swift repatriation, the Maritime Minister wrote to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization at the start of the outbreak on 23 March pressing that all states follow the UK’s work in repatriating workers regardless of their nationality or employment.

Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Shipping Guy Platten said: “Globally there are now over 200,000 seafarers who are stranded at sea and have overrun their contracts. These forgotten heroes of global trade work 12-hour days and 7-day weeks to make sure those of us on land have the food, medicine and fuel we need during this difficult time.

“This summit is a welcome show of political leadership at a time when seafarers across the world need it most. Governments must now use this summit as a catalyst to implement with the solutions the shipping industry has provided, applying the political will needed to put them into practice. This issue doesn’t require money and did not need complicated negotiations. This summit is a catalyst for action.”

The UK has remained open for seafarers to come and either stay on vessels, go ashore, take shore leave, or be repatriated, abiding by Public Health England requirements and social distancing.

(AFLOAT adds for those interested in towage, the Irishman featured previously in a report from the Port of Hull last year).

Irishman is currently berthed in Barry, south Wales having made a short passage from the Welsh capital, Cardiff (see: port story). The Japan built tug is operated by UK based SMS Towage with operations including Belfast Harbour.  

Published in Ports & Shipping

Minister for Transport reports RTE News, has said a mandatory quarantine is not possible to enforce for those entering Ireland but stricter control measures are set to be introduced.

Eamon Ryan said those measures will include an electronic register and testing of some travellers.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sarah McInerney, he said the advice remains that in the wider interests of public health it is best to stay in Ireland and not to travel abroad.

He said the Irish approach to Covid-19 is working and the quarantine measures in place are working, but authorities need to remain vigilant and continue to adapt, monitor and review the situation as more people start flying.

He said if the number of cases of Covid-19 rise as a result of international travel "we will have to tighten restrictions".

For more on this ongoing development click here.  

Published in Ferry
Page 2 of 15

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Wave button for Afloat new dates

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating