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Displaying items by tag: Delivery Voyage

Stena Embla the latest Chinese newbuild 'E-Flexer' class ropax completed a month-long delivery voyage to Europe where the ferry is to join sisters on the Irish Sea, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 40,050 gross tonnage newbuild built in Weihai, was tracked by on the evening of New Year's Day in the Celtic Sea heading into the Irish Sea bound for Holyhead, Wales to where a brief call was made in the early hours of the next day before proceeding to Belfast Harbour. The new ferry berthed at the port's VT2 terminal.

The last port of call during Stena Embla's long delivery voyage was the southern Spanish port of Algerciras, opposite of Gibraltar, having called previously via Singapore, Sri Lanka and then a transit of the Suez Canal.

The Spanish call was to enable 'bunkers' transferred from a small tanker. On a related note, at the same time Stena Embla was tracked in the Celtic Sea, another tanker, Lizrix from Falmouth, was anchored off Rosslare Europort prior to entering the Wexford port to refuel Stena Horizon serving on the Cherbourg route.

The French service was recently boosted in freight capacity as the ro-ro Stena Foreteller took up service before Christmas which was earlier than planned to tomorrow's original start-up date. This was due to a major surge in demand from hauliers to arrive in mainland Europe and avoid customs checks of a post-Brexit UK.

While there is much attention to yesterday's newest 'Brexit-buster' route to Dunkirk operated by DFDS, Stena will introduce Stena Embla as the second E-Flexer on the Irish Sea between Belfast and Birkenhead (Liverpool). The new ferry has a capacity for 1,000 passengers, 120 cars and 3,100 lane metres of freight.

The other E-Flexer is Stena Edda along with Stena Mersey currently operates the 8 hour route. Each of the E-Flexers, have 40% more deck capacity, 40% more cabins and 30% more fuel-efficient than the Stena Mersey which will be replaced by the newbuild.

Stena Mersey along with former fleetmate and sister Stena Lagan (lenghtened last year to increase freight capacity), was in March replaced by the the E-Flexer, Stena Edda. Both of the 'river' theme named ropax vessels will be reunited when work also to enlarge Stena Mersey is due for completion next summer. At that stage, both the pair will have been renamed to reflect a deployment to a Baltic Sea route for the same operator.

As for the third E-Flexer on the Irish Sea, this is the leadship of the class Stena Estrid which entered service almost a year ago on the Dublin-Holyhead route. This winter the ferry was on relief duty between Belfast-Birkenhead but is back operating routine duties on the premier Irish Sea route.

In total Stena Ro Ro has ordered 9 of the Stena E-Flexer class and all built in China, though last year there was a change of ownership at the shipyard in Weihai.

Three of the newbuilds have been chartered to Brittany Ferries, firstly the Galicia which made a debut in December on UK-Spain service whereas DFDS will receive their E-flexer on the short-sea Dover-Calais service this year.

Published in Stena Line

The newest ferry bound for Irish Sea service, Stena Estrid has departed the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in north-western China and is making its delivery voyage to Wales from where it is to operate on the Holyhead-Dublin route.

Stena Estrid is the first of five next generation Stena Line 'E-Flexer' RoPax vessels to be completed in the Asian shipyard and from where Afloat adds the newbuild departed a week ago. 

According to the ferry company, Stena Estrid is manned by a much-reduced crew of 27, with no passengers on board the voyage which will travel well over 10,000 miles, taking just over one month and making a number of stops on the way.

The first stage of the voyage is a week-long 2,657 nautical miles trip across the South China and then East China Sea to Singapore (Afloat adds, where today the ship is anchored offshore) having travelling at an economical speed of 17 knots. This is unique to Estrid and sister ships, where they can achieve by running on just one of its 12,600kW main engines, thus minimising fuel consumption.

Having refuelled and stocked up on fresh provisions, Estrid will then proceed at a speed of 15 knots through the Malacca Straits to Galle in Sri Lanka, before crossing the Indian Ocean and making its way to the Suez Canal.

Once through the Suez Canal, the ship will head west across the Mediterranean Sea, continuing at 15 knots until it reaches Gibraltar where it will stop for more fuel and provisions. In addition and most importantly from there it will welcome onboard more crew members who will undertake familiarisation and training during the final leg of Stena Estrid’s journey. This will involve a passage through the Atlantic Ocean, across the Bay of Biscay and finally to the Welsh port of Holyhead, where, all being well, it is expected to arrive just before or after Christmas.

Once in Holyhead, final preparations will begin to get Estrid ready to start service on the route in mid-January.

Speaking from the ship’s bridge, shortly after departure, Senior Master Matthew Lynch said: “After six years of planning and construction, we are so excited to be finally on board Stena Estrid and departing China on our way home to Britain.

“At this precise moment, we’ve only travelled approximately 70 miles but it was an interesting start to our journey as we passed a fleet of over 100 Chinese fishing vessels! We obviously have a very long way to go but we’re really looking forward to it and to meeting with our colleagues in Gibraltar, before embarking the final leg of our journey to Holyhead,” he added.

At 215 metres in length, Stena Estrid will provide freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters, meaning a 50 per cent increase in freight tonnage, and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew.

A further two of the new ferries are also destined for the Irish Sea with Stena Edda and Stena Embla. Afloat adds in the above photo includes Brittany Ferries chartered E-Flexer tonnage for UK-Spain service is seen in the background berthed on the left.

Stena Edda is expected to enter Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) service next spring, leaving the third sister, Stena Embla to be introduced on the same route in early 2021. The introduction of the pair will increase freight capacity on this Irish Sea route by 20 per cent.

Published in Ferry

The first of five new ferries from China, Stena has received and expects to have the vessel (see: following trials) operating on the key Dublin to Holyhead route by January.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Stena Estrid will be formally handed over at the Weihai shipyard to begin its approximately 10,000-nautical mile journey to Dublin, which will take a month.

A sister ship is expected to join the ferry company's Belfast to Liverpool service with the Stena Edda by late 2020, while the Stena Embla will start carrying passengers in 2021.

"Today has been six years in the planning," said Stena technical operations director Bjarne Koitrand.

"We are delighted to finally take ownership of the first of our five new ships.

"With the new crew now in place, they can start the long journey to the Irish Sea."

To read more click here, about the introduction 42,400-tonne ship which can carry 1,000 passengers, 210 freight vehicles and 120 cars. 

Published in Ferry

#Ferry- Irish Ferries brand new W.B. Yeats which departed from its German shipyard yesterday, has it transpired seemingly taken a different delivery route bound for Ireland as previously outlined, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 54,983 gross tonnage W.B. Yeats having departed shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) in Flensburg, was understood to be taking a short-cut through the Kiel Canal, Germany into the North Sea. Instead, however the 194m cruiseferry headed northward into the Kattegat, the sea between Denmark and Sweden.

The new €147m cruiseferrry, accommodating 1,885 passengers and crew and 1, 200 vehicles, along with fleetmates, is a client of Matrix Ship Management which has its head office based in Limassol. The port city is a renowned international hub for ship management.

Afloat tracked the Cypriot flagged W.B. Yeats this morning off the Danish coast between Saeby on the mainland and Læsø, the largest island in the Kattegat. Alongside of the cruiseferry, was the Latvian flagged Zircon apparently supplying bunkers (fuel). 

It remains uncertain as to which way W.B. Yeats is to continue the maiden delivery route to Dublin en-route via Cherbourg, where these ports form the direct Ireland-France route the cruiseferry is to enter service in mid-March 2019, and not this summer as originally scheduled due to delays caused by sub-contractors cited FSG. 

On the capital-continental route W.B. Yeats will offer customers a total of 440 cabins, including luxury suites with private balconies. Such a feature from rivals, Brittany Ferries was introduced in 2004 when flagship Pont-Aven was launched on the Cork-Roscoff route. 

W.B. Yeats is understood to be scheduled to arrive in Cherbourg in the early hours of Wednesday, before continuing also next week its maiden delivery voyage to Dublin Port.

As of this afternoon, the tanker Zircon remains alongside the largest newbuild ever ordered by Irish Continental Group and the first from a German shipyard, FGS, where Brittany Ferries cruiseferry Honfleur was launched on Friday. The liquified natural gas (LPG) powered cruiseferry built for English Channel service is due also to enter service next summer.

Returning to Danish waters, where working in relative proximity of W.B. Yeats this afternoon was the diminutive domestic ferry, Margfrete Laesoe which compared to W.B. Yeats, is only 3,688 in gross tonnage terms.

Margfrete Laesoe operated by Færgeselskabet Læsø K/S, has capacity for just over 500 passengers and 76 cars, on crossings made between Vestoroe on Læsø and Frederikshavn on the Jutland peninsula. The service taking 1 hour 30 minutes to complete. 

Currently, Irish Ferries Dublin-Cherbourg route takes between 17 and 19 hours to complete and is served by cruiseferry Oscar Wilde and ropax Epsilon offering an economy no-frills service. 

Published in Ferry

#NavalService - The newest Irish Naval Service Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) LÉ George Bernard Shaw completed a delivery voyage from a UK shipyard to Cork Harbour, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Minister with responsibility for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe TD, welcomed the arrival of LÉ George Bernard Shaw to the Naval Base in Haulbowline on Thursday. Commenting on the arrival, Minister Kehoe said it demonstrates the Government’s commitment to ongoing investment in the Defence Forces. “In Budget 2019, we have committed to spend an additional €29m on capital projects”

LÉ George Bernard Shaw was built by Babcock Marine's Shipbuilding Yard in Appledore, north Devon, England from where as Afloat previously reported the OPV90 carried out sea-acceptance trails in the Bristol Channel. The trials completed successfully, were attended by representatives from the Department of the Defence and the Defence Forces.

The delivery of LÉ George Bernard Shaw to Cork Harbour completes the current Naval Service ship replacement programme of four new OPV90/P60 class vessels since 2014. The class also dubbed the 'Playwright' sisters, began with leadship LÉ Samuel Beckett in 2014, LÉ James Joyce in 2015 and LÉ William Butler Yeats entering service in 2016. The value of the three-ship contract was €199.4m.

In June 2016 an agreement was reached with Babcock International for the provision of an additional OPV90/P60 to be built also at their Appledore shipyard. The agreed contract value for the further ship is €67m inclusive of VAT. This aligns with the project planning process in place under the White Paper on Defence, which will determine the Defence Organisation’s maritime capability requirements.

The LÉ George Bernard Shaw represents six of the current Irish Naval Service fleet having been built in Appledore.The new OPV will be formally named and commissioned as LÉ George Bernard Shaw at a later date.

The Minister said "The addition of the new ship will bring relief to older vessels and support a planned programme of refit and maintenance. LÉ Roisin and LÉ Niamh will receive significant mid-life refits in the period ahead.”

In recent weeks the issues of low-pay, coupled with staff shortage have been raised. In response Minister Kehoe said the Department will continue to work closely with military management to address challenges in the Naval Service.

“The current strength of the Naval Service is just over 1,000 personnel and is at approximately 92% of its establishment of 1,094. There is ongoing recruitment to the Naval Service. Any challenges in delivering the full outputs across the Defence Forces are being managed and closely monitored by the Defence Forces and the Department of Defence under my direction on a daily basis.”

Published in Navy

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