Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Harland & Wolff

A new operator, Harland & Wolff (Scilly Ferries) Ltd., was to introduce a ferry service from Cornwall, England, to the Isles of Scilly, but it has been delayed again because rain has hampered a paint job of their dry-docked fast-craft.

The craft Aquabus Jet 1, renamed Atlantic Wolff, following a competition with Scilly school children, is the new passenger high-speed ferry that Cornwall Live reports Scilly Ferries is aiming to take on the competing conventional passenger-cargo ship Scillonian III. The veteran vessel operated by the historic service provider, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, links Penzance and Hugh Town on St. Mary's, the largest of the Isles of Scilly.

Announced by the Belfast based shipbuilder last year was a second-hand ferry from Vietnam in Asia, but this could not be secured, due to conflict in the Middle East. However, as Afloat also reported, identified and tracked an alternative fast-ferry, Aquabus Jet 1 which was sourced in Spain, has been undergoing work to prepare the craft for its debut in UK domestic duties. The chartered fast craft, which will be operated by H&W’s Scilly Ferries, was due to enter into service on the same route in May and aside from being faster, it will also be cheaper to run than the existing service from the Steamship Company, which was formed in 1920.

Due to the torrential rain, this has caused several setbacks for the passenger ferry undergoing dry-docking in Portsmouth, as the launch date was postponed until June. This has led the boss of Harland & Wolff, John Wood to reveal that the date for early June will now likely be delayed too, because the rain over the past few months has delayed the paint job, which will see the craft sporting the black and yellow colours that also represent the corporate branding of the shipyard group.

More here on the newcomer competitor.

Published in Ferry

Harland & Wolff Group’s Belfast shipyard bid farewell to the cruise ship Margaritaville at Sea Islander following a four-month major transformation of the former Costa Cruises owned vessel.

In addition, the 2,380 passenger cruise ship, originally named the Costa Atlantica in 2000, made sea-trials on the Irish Sea, which Afloat tracked taking place as far south when between Dublin and Holyhead. 

Afloat also tracked this morning the Margaritaville at Sea when offshore of Lisbon, Portugal and is bound for Gibraltar. 

The 85,861 gross tonnes ship in January entered the historic Belfast dry-dock where an extensive refurbishment took place for the ship’s new operator, the US-east coast based Margaritaville at Sea.

During dry-docking, the 12 deck cruise ship underwent a full exterior livery repaint and re-design carried out by H&W's'tradespeople. The shipyard also created and developed a framework for the ship’s LED screen systems in addition to laying out the foundations for the vessel's sports courts.

In order to facilitate the sizeable amount of work, sub-contracting work was carried out on the 300m ship, which also involved work on the 1,100 cabins, which were completely refurbished.

Margaritaville at Sea becomes the flagship for the company, which is to set sail next month from the operator's new homeport in Tampa, Florida, to the Gulf of Mexico.

This will see 4 and 5 night cruises calling to Key West, Cozumel and Progreso both in Mexico.

The cruise company’s second ship, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise sails on two- and three-day excursions from Palm Beach and Tampa to Grand Bahama Island, Mexico and Key West.

Published in Cruise Liners

The shipyard owner of Belfast’s Harland and Wolff Group has denied that the UK government has refused to give the group a £200m loan guarantee which is seen as crucial to the yard’s future.

As The Times newspaper reported on Wednesday, the Treasury is set to block the £200m guarantee of the London-listed Harland & Wolf Group Holdings.

In addition to the 162 year old Belfast shipyard, the group has a further three sites across the UK, Arnish and Methil in Scotland and Appledore in England.

But the Queen’s Island in Belfast-based shipyard said negotiations which began in December last year with the government are continuing.

Harland & Wolff described the report as "misleading and inaccurate".

The Chief Executive, John Wood said "We were disappointed to read this article and the reaction it has caused,"

"Our application has not been rejected and continues to be a work in progress. I expect to be providing a fuller update on our refinancing plans in the next few weeks."

More on the shipyard story, BBC News reports.

Published in Shipyards

Harland & Wolff has signed a contract with Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US-based cruise brand Villa Vie Residences to carry out at its historic Belfast Dry Dock a refurbishment of the 24,344 gross tonnage cruise ship Braemar, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Commenting on the announcement, John Wood, Group Chief Executive Officer of Harland & Wolff, said: “We are thrilled to have secured this contract with Villa Vie Residences and continue building on what has been a very busy start to the year for our Belfast yard. Our world-class facility is fast becoming recognised as a global cruise ship centre of excellence, delivering high-quality repair, dry docking, refit, and outfitting services. We look forward to welcoming Villa Vie Odyssey and her crew to our yard next month.”

Braemar was previously part of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines until the vessel was acquired in March.

Following the completion of a multi-million-dollar transformation by Harland & Wolff into a residential cruise ship to be renamed, Villa Vie Odyessy, it will feature villa residences available to buy from $99,999 or be used by guests based on rental segments.

Afloat tracked Braemar from Rosyth, Scotland, where it departed the North Sea port on 23 April and arrived at Belfast Harbour five days later. On completion of the works, Villa Vie Odyssey was originally to depart Southampton on its inaugural three-and-a-half-year world cruise on 15 May; however, this has been rescheduled to May 30 with a change of port to Belfast. The change of departure dates is to facilitate necessary operational enhancements of the Villa Vie Odyssey.

Those on board can either own a villa on the ship or travel on a pay-as-you-go basis, with guests taking the entire world voyage, which Villa Vie Residences markets as the ‘first perpetual, all-inclusive world cruise’, covering 425 destinations in 147 countries and 100+ islands. This will involve crossing all seven continents as it circumnavigates the globe every three and a half years which is 1,301 days.

The Braemar is docked in Belfast Dry-Dock which was previously occupied by another US-based company, Margaritaville at Sea Cruises of Palm Beach, Florida, whose second ship, the former Costa Atlantica, renamed Margarita at Sea Islander underwent a major refurbishment as previously reported, which is to launch the 2,380 passenger flagship to the US east coast and Gulf of Mexico. The cruise ship remains berthed adjacent to Belfast Dry-Dock and is to enter service next month.

In 2016 Braemer became the first scheduled cruise ship in 20 years to visit Rosslare Europort, which saw the almost 196 metre vessel, (lengthened in 2008: see video), also as the longest ship to call at the Co. Wexford port

Fred Olsen acquired the 1993 built Cunard Crown Dynasty, originally 19,089 gross tonnage and they had inserted a 31 metre mid-section to boost capacity (729 cabins increased to 988) and the inclusion of a lounge and swimming pools.

Published in Shipyards

Scilly Ferries, a division of Harland & Wolff Group, is a new ferry operator that was due to start running in May between the Isles of Scilly and Penzance, Cornwall, but has been delayed.

The shipbuilder group announced on Friday that the new fast ferry, which is to be renamed Atlantic Wolff, has been chartered for its 90-minute service between the archipelago and mainland England and will not run until early June.

H&W’s Group’s chief executive officer, John Wood, apologized to customers who had made reservations with the operator to be marketed as Scilly Ferries, with sailings to start in May.

The CEO said the new (passenger-only) ferry Atlantic Wolff, would depart Spain for the UK in the coming days and would then need to go through a regulatory process.

He added that the process the 42-metre ferry had to go through before it could run was "significant and important," and the timescale was "a little out of our gift.".

BBC News has more on the delay of the new operator on the service off south-west England, from where Afloat adds it will operate sailings up to twice a day to and from St Mary’s, the largest of the five inhabited islands.

This week, Afloat identified the high-speed aluminium catamaran as the former Aquabus Jet 1, which departed Vilvanova, near Barcelona, on the western Mediterranean. The Damen-built 4212 design fast-ferry flagged in Tuvalu, yesterday called en route to Algeciras, has transited the Strait of Gibraltar and this morning is off Portugal, bound for Lisbon, with a final UK destination in Portsmouth.

Aside from the delayed start to the summer season, according to the Scilly Ferries website, they anticipate running the (catamaran-based) service as late into the autumn as the weather allows.

Its rival is the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, whose origins date to 1920, operate the 2-hour, 45-minute island lifeline and popular tourist route using an aging ferry, Scillonian III, which is to be replaced by a newbuild along with a freighter.

Published in Ferry

Shipyard group Harland & Wolff has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC) regarding the company’s plans to transform its Arnish and Methil facilities into leading hubs for renewable infrastructure.

Proposals for Harland & Wolff’s Scottish sites have advanced to the second stage of SOWEC’s Strategic Investment Model (SIM). SOWEC, a partnership between the Scottish public sector and the offshore wind industry, aims through its SIM process to deliver the significant upgrades required for Scotland’s offshore wind developments.

Support through the SOWEC SIM would significantly enhance Harland’s & Wolff’s ability to service and maintain the burgeoning renewable energy sector through both its Scottish sites, with the investment transforming Arnish and Methil into state-of-the-art centres for the fabrication and assembly of turbines and other structures for the industry.

Investment allocated to Methil would greatly expand its capacity to build fixed and floating offshore foundations, capitalising on its status as one the most geographically advantageous areas to support Scotland’s offshore wind developments. Through investment of around £172 million and improvements such as a quay extension, the site would have the ability to construct approximately 750MW of installed capacity each installation season and enable Harland & Wolff to take on large-scale renewable projects.

Harland & Wolff submitted its application in partnership with Stornoway Port to enable the development of the Stornoway Offshore Wind Hub.

£99 million of investment would allow for the creation of a new quay and floating dry dock, increasing the site’s construction capacity to 255MW of installed capacity per installation season. The upgraded port at Stornoway would boast a laydown area of over 10 hectares, providing ample space for the assembly and storage of renewable energy components.

By increasing the capacity and capabilities of the Methil and Arnish sites, Harland & Wolff is positioning itself as a key player in the development of sustainable energy solutions for Scotland and beyond. At present more than 12 offshore wind developers have been engaged in discussions around the projects.

The proposed £270 million investment would have a profound impact on the local communities, creating numerous direct and indirect job opportunities. The project at Methil would result in an additional 400 jobs, with a minimum of 200 roles expected for the project at Arnish including an apprenticeship and graduate programme for around 30 people. Harland & Wolff will work closely with local suppliers and educational institutions to ensure that the benefits of any investment are felt throughout the Methil and Arnish communities.

Scotland has set ambitious renewable energy targets, and Harland & Wolff’s enhanced facilities would enable the construction and maintenance of cutting-edge renewable energy infrastructure, contributing to Scotland’s reputation as a global leader in green energy.

John Wood, CEO of Harland & Wolff, said: “The seas around Scotland are a rich resource for renewable energy and we feel the proposed investments into our sites would best maximise this opportunity and support growth in this increasingly vital sector. The plans we have submitted to SOWEC are indicative of our ambitious plans for Arnish and Methil and our desire to make Harland & Wolff a leading player in the renewables industry.

“With the investment outlined for Methil, we hope to build upon Energy Park Fife’s reputation as a offshore wind hub, whilst funding for Arnish is focused on providing critical capacity for projects on Scotland’s west coast. In each of their own way, proposals for both sites aim to greatly enhance Harland & Wolff’s manufacturing facilities to best ensure a quality service for our offshore wind clients.

“Our proposals would support the creation of hundreds of jobs and we are committed to nurturing a skilled workforce that will both contribute to local economies and reinforce Scotland’s reputation as a global leader in sustainable infrastructure.”

Humza Yousaf, First Minister of Scotland, who recently visited Harland & Wolff’s Arnish site said: “It was a pleasure to join Alasdair Allan MSP and Cllr Susan Thomson at Arnish and meet the brilliant team earlier this month. There is clearly a wealth of important work taking place and it was fantastic to see the opportunities that Arnish is offering to local people – including through its apprenticeship programme.

“Harland & Wolff’s ability to service and maintain the renewable energy sector through both of its Scottish sites was clear to see and I look forward to hearing more about the continued progress in Arnish and Methil throughout the ongoing SOWEC process.”

Published in Power From the Sea

The south-west England operator running between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has “unequivocally rejected” a takeover bid from the Belfast based shipbuilder Harland and Wolff (H&W), reports Business Live.

Bosses at the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group (ISSG), which runs the passenger ferry Scillonian III and two freight vessels, said the approach from the H&W group which in 2020 acquired Devon’s Appledore shipyard, was not in the best interests of shareholders.

In August as Afloat reported, H&W outlined a plan to build new vessels, a passenger ferry, cargo-ship and an inter-island vessel in order to launch its own service on the 37 nautical mile route of Penzance Harbour-St. Mary’s, the largest of the Isles of Scilly.

The Aim-listed firm had previously said it was seeking an operating licence and would work with local councils to apply for ‘Levelling Up’ funding amounting of £48m, in which the UK Government has already allocated for the construction of newbuilds to serve the route.

On Friday (24 Nov.) the board of H&W said it was “disappointed” that an indicative and preliminary cash offer for the entire share capital of the ISSG had been rebuffed. H&W added that they would “consider their options”. At this stage, H&W now has until 21 December, to formally announce whether or not it has a firm intention to make an offer for the Penzance based ISSG, in accordance with the Takeover Code.

The origins of the ISSG can be traced to 1920 when the Isles of Scilly Steamship was established, and the Group continues to be the only operator of passenger and freight services along the route. In April, ISSG announced it had secured a £33.6m loan from private asset finance provider Lombard to fund its own plans for a new 600 passenger ferry and two new freight vessels, to be built by a French shipbuilder’s facility overseas and scheduled for delivery by March 2026.

Published in Shipyards

Shipbuilder, Harland & Wolff Group Holdings is in the running to build and operate two new ferries to serve the remote Isles of Scilly, 24 nautical miles off Cornwall in south-west England.

The shipbuilding group which has facilities on both sides of the Irish Sea, is reaching the conclusion of a full technical, operational and financial business case on the newbuild ferries on the Penzance Harbour-Hugh Town, St. Mary’s route.

According to The Irish News, H&W will join partners, including local councils, to make an application for the UK government's levelling up funding. In addition, to seeking a licence to operate the two vessels on the 37 nautical mile route and be based initially over a five-year period.

Harland & Wolff however, warns that "there is no certainty at this point that this opportunity will proceed to financial close".

In the event that if H&W’s project proceeds, it is not known whether any of the workload for the newbuilds, would be carried out at the shipbuilder group’s main Belfast shipyard.

More on the story here and as BBC News reported, H&W's proposal would put it in competition with the established Isles of Scilly Steamship Company which celebrated its centenary in 2020.

The shipyard at Queens Island, Afloat adds is one of Harland & Wolff’s four facilities. Two are located in Scotland and the fourth in England, at Appledore, Devon is where the current Scilly ferry, Scillonian III was built in 1977.

In recent years, the shipyard in 2019 was acquired by Infrastrata, owners of H&W and the facility with 300 years of shipbuilding was renamed Harland & Wolff (Appledore).

Published in Shipyards

The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will visit Belfast this Thursday evening to mark the return of naval ship building in Northern Ireland, Downing Street has announced.

Last month it was confirmed that Harland & Wolff Group as part of the Team Resolute bid was awarded a £1.6bn Ministry of Defence (MoD) contract to develop and build the next generation of Fleet Solid Support Ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). .

The RFA newbuild trio will provide global logistics and operational support to the Royal Navy. In addition the role of these replenishment vessels will include the essential QE aircraft carrier-led Maritime Strike Group when on deployment.

The Prime Minister's two day visit to NI, is expected to highlight “the UK-wide nature of the project” and that it “demonstrates how intertwined Northern Ireland’s economy is with the rest of the UK.”

The visit of Mr Sunak represents the first official visit to Northern Ireland since he took office in October.

More from Belfast Telegraph of the PM's visit that will emphasise in the boosting of the UK’s naval shipbuilding capabilities for the future and secure job creation at the famous H&W shipyard. 

Published in Shipyards

The UK quoted company, InfraStrata plc which focuses on strategic infrastructure projects and physical asset lifecycle management, is pleased to announce it has applied to Companies House to trade under the name Harland & Wolff Group Holdings plc.

The parent company has over the past 18 months, proceeded through various phases which have included, the acquisition of assets, significant upgrades to all its facilities, the introduction of state-of-the-art technology. While simultaneously establishing a substantial sales pipeline which now stands at £7.8bn (on an unweighted) and £1.8bn (on a weighted).

The company is now at its final stage of full reactivation (incl. apprenticeships) of all its yards, which involves building a multi-year backlog for its facilities across its five key markets: defence, cruise and ferry, commercial, renewables and energy. The company believes that this change of name will better reflect its ambition in expanding its core business and the significant development of its shipbuilding and fabrication activities.

The organisation’s flagship Islandmagee gas storage project will retain its name, with management remaining focused on obtaining the Marine Construction Licence and Final Investment Decision (FID) thereafter. Whilst the project now has substantially more life expectancy with the need for major volumes of hydrogen storage (subject to regulatory approvals) it is a relatively straightforward technical change to make in a phased approach as the project transitions from gas to hydrogen over time.

Trading in the company's shares on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange under the new name of Harland & Wolff Group Holdings plc is expected to take effect as soon as a new stock ticker name has been issued by the AIM team.

An application for the stock ticker “HARL” has been made and will be confirmed as soon as the company’s name has been formally changed at Companies House. A further announcement will be made as soon as regulatory permissions have been secured and the new Company stock ticker has been issued.

In order to reflect the change of name, the company's corporate website will change to The information required pursuant to AIM Rule 26 will be available at this address.

John Wood, CEO of InfraStrata plc commented: “We are delighted to make this announcement today, signalling the end of upgrade and reactivation phases. With the new national shipbuilding strategy due to be released in the autumn and the government’s ten point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, we have confidence that the shipbuilding and fabrication business will deliver substantial value to all our stakeholders as we enter this exciting new stage of building our multiyear backlog of projects.

Since acquiring Harland & Wolff in December 2019, we have seen the organisation grow significantly; in August 2020 we reopened what is now known as Harland & Wolff (Appledore) and in February 2021, we acquired two ex-BiFab sites based in Scotland - now renamed Harland & Wolff (Arnish) and Harland & Wolff (Methil) respectively giving us one of the largest fabrication footprints dedicated to our core markets, in addition to two of the largest drydocks in Europe at Harland & Wolff (Belfast) which at 80% capacity could give sales of in excess of £500m per annum when operational efficiencies have been achieved.

This is a natural progression in building and further developing the Harland & Wolff brand, our commitments to high-quality jobs across our five markets including the 34 apprenticeships recently announced as well as providing socio-economic investment into local, regional, and national communities.”

Published in Shipyards
Page 1 of 8

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 Associations

ISA sidebutton
isora sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating