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A new website for Cork Harbour has been launched at CorkHarbour.ie providing up-to-dae information for local residents and anyone who uses the harbour.
The site features videos and photo galleries of habour life as well as links to groups and organisations based in the area, and intends to promote the wide range of things for locals and visitors alike to see and do both on and off the water.
The site also includes links to the harbour's new Twitter and Facebook pages to get the very latest news.
Cork Harbour spans a wide area that stretches from Roche's Point in the east, taking in the city of Cork, all the way to Fort Camden, near Crosshaven, in the west.
For more information visit CorkHarbour.ie.

A new website for Cork Harbour has been launched at CorkHarbour.ie providing up-to-dae information for local residents and anyone who uses the harbour.

The site features videos and photo galleries of habour life as well as links to groups and organisations based in the area, and intends to promote the wide range of things for locals and visitors alike to see and do both on and off the water.

The site also includes links to the harbour's new Twitter and Facebook pages to get the very latest news.

Cork Harbour spans a wide area that stretches from Roche's Point in the east, taking in the city of Cork, all the way to Fort Camden, near Crosshaven, in the west.

For more information visit CorkHarbour.ie.

Published in Cork Harbour
Ocean to City, Cork Harbour's annual maritime festival, takes place this year from 3-12 June.
The yearly celebration of Cork’s maritime history and its unique harbour begins on Friday 3 June when members of the public can voyage through the city by kayak, enjoy the thrill of a sea safari trip around Cork Harbour or follow TG4’s Padraig Ó Duinnín as he presents a historical walking tour and talk on rowing in Cork.
The highlight of the festival, An Rás Mór, takes place on Saturday 4 June and will see boats of all sizes row 15 nautical miles from Crosshaven via Cork Harbour, Monkstown and Blackrock before finishing at the boardwalk in Lapps Quay in Cork.
Around 400 Irish and International rowers will compete in a diverse range of vessels including dragon boats, kayaks, currachs, Celtic long boats, Cornish pilot gigs and Irish coastal rowing boats.
Sunday 5 June will see a special 10km kayak race through the city centre. The Irish Naval Service flagship LE Orla will also offer free public tours, while Meitheal Mara will host a guided voyage around the island of Cork by a variety of small craft.
To mark the Cork Harbour School and Heritage Trails Weekend from from 9-11 June, a series of events highlighting the attractions of Cork Harbour, both water and land based, will take place.
Activities include a summer school on the theme of 'recreation in a working port', which will be held in the Port of Cork on Friday 10 June and opened by Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney.
For more details visit www.oceantocity.com.

Ocean to City, Cork Harbour's annual maritime festival, takes place this year from 3-12 June. 

The yearly celebration of Cork’s maritime history and its unique harbour begins on Friday 3 June when members of the public can voyage through the city by kayak, enjoy the thrill of a sea safari trip around Cork Harbour or follow TG4’s Padraig Ó Duinnín as he presents a historical walking tour and talk on rowing in Cork. 

The highlight of the festival, An Rás Mór, takes place on Saturday 4 June and will see boats of all sizes row 15 nautical miles from Crosshaven via Cork Harbour, Monkstown and Blackrock before finishing at the boardwalk in Lapps Quay in Cork. 

Around 400 Irish and International rowers will compete in a diverse range of vessels including dragon boats, kayaks, currachs, Celtic long boats, Cornish pilot gigs and Irish coastal rowing boats. 

Sunday 5 June will see a special 10km kayak race through the city centre. The Irish Naval Service flagship LE Orla will also offer free public tours, while Meitheal Mara will host a guided voyage around the island of Cork by a variety of small craft.

To mark the Cork Harbour School and Heritage Trails Weekend from from 9-11 June, a series of events highlighting the attractions of Cork Harbour, both water and land based, will take place.

Activities include a summer school on the theme of 'recreation in a working port', which will be held in the Port of Cork on Friday 10 June and opened by Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney. 

For more details visit www.oceantocity.com.

Published in Cork Harbour
Cruiseships continue to grow in size but the opposite could be said for Grand Princess when her Skywalker Nightclub weighing some 211 tons was removed, writes Jehan Ashmore.
In a delicate operation, it took over 10 hours for torches to cut through the structure's two-legs that supported the nightclub that had once stood perched on the higgest deck. Overlooking the stern, nightclubbers on deck 18 were afforded spectacular views of oceans and ports-of-call.

A floating crane-barge with a 1,000 ton lifting capacity hoisted the structure sky-high away from the ship which was berthed at the Grand Bahama Shipyard drydock facility. The ships owners, Princess Cruises cited the main reason for the removal was in order to 'significantly improve the operational performance of the ship, including greater fuel efficiency.'

Grand Princess may have lost her signature Skywalker Nightckub but three-decks below a new nightclub, One5, inspired by its Deck 15 location was created. In addition to this work which took place during April and May the 2,600 passenger cruisehip also underwent a major refit. The ship which had its last major refurbishment in 2004 has amenities to include an outdoor movie screen, fitness centre, spa, casino and four swimming pools.
For 'interactive' deckplans click here and interior slideshow click this link.

The distinctive 'Skywalker' feature became one of the most iconic in cruiseship naval architecture when the Grand Princess was launched as leadship
of the 'Grand' class in 1998. Located at the extreme aft of the vessel, the nightclub could only be reached by clubbers using an angled walkway (photo). Externally the feature was referred by some as the 'shopping trolley' and others percieved the design infleunce from towering poops found on ancient war-faring galleons.

Irrespective of the design origins, another 10 'Grand' class vessels were built by the Italian Fincantieni (at Malfalcone) Shipbuilding Group. The 'handle' (photo) feature on the Grand Princess was made with a heavier material compared to Golden Princess (2001) and Star Princess completed a year later. So there are no plans to remove these nightclubs. Of the more recent additions to the class modifications have appeared, notably without the inclusion of the Skywalker Nightclub's but there are changes to funnel designs.

Outside the Princess Cruises brand, the Ventura and Azura (also of the Grand-class) operate for P&O Cruises, serving the UK market from Southampton. The Hamsphire port welcomed the pioneering leadship Grand Princess on 5 May after she made a 16-day trans-Atlantic repositioning voyage from Port Everglades.

The cruiseship which has a crew of 1,200 alone will make the UK port its seasonal homeport this year from where she sails on cruises in Europe. On one of these cruises itineraries the Grand Princess (290m long x 36 beam X 8.5m draft) included a visit to the Port of Cork today. You can monitor the ship from Cobh Cruise Terminal via the 'live' bridge web-cam, noting the vessel is due to depart at 18.00 this evening bound for Dublin Port.

Grand Princess became the first cruiseship to measure over 100,000 gross registered tonnes when the 108,806 (grt) vessel docked in Dublin on 31 August 2004.

Last year the port handled 88 cruisecalls and this number of vessels is to be closely repeated this season. Over 200 cruise calls with around half a million passengers and crew are scheduled to visit the island of Ireland. The cruise sector business is estimated to generate €60m to the economies
north and south.

Published in Cruise Liners
Douglas Bay formed the backdrop for passengers onboard the 20,186 tonnes Discovery which anchored off the Manx port capital yesterday, marking the first cruise-caller of the year to the Isle of Man, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Bermuda-flagged cruiseship departed Portsmouth in late April with her last port of call being Killybegs. Prior to calling at the north-west fishing port the 168m vessel had docked at Cork (Ringaskiddy) having made calls at Milford Haven, Isles of Scilly and Falmouth.

The near 700-passenger capacity ship operated by UK based Voyages of Discovery is scheduled to call at several Scotish ports before returning to Portsmouth via the North Sea.

Discovery has eight decks with facilities to include two swimming pools, one with a retractable roof, jacuzzis, lounges, bars, a library and gymnasium, lecture theatre, cinema, restaurants, an internet cafe, shop, beauty salon and a medical centre.

She was built in 1971 as the Island Venture, then renamed Island Princess after purchased by Princess Cruises, alongside her sister Pacific Princess which appeared in the popular US TV series sitcom the 'Love Boat' broadcast by ABC between 1977-1986.

In total there will be four cruise-calls during the season to Douglas but the next visit will be not until July when P&O Cruises Adonia calls on the 17th. The ten-year old 710 passenger vessel is due to be named by Dame Shirley Bassey at a ceremony held in Southampton later this month.

Also calling to Douglas will be Oceania Cruises brand new 60,000 tonnes / 1,250 passenger Marina on the 24th July and the final call is to be made by Noble Caledonia's Japanese built Clipper Odyssey in mid-August.

Published in Cruise Liners
Developing marinas on the Cork coastline is a top priority for county manager Martin Riordan.
Speaking to the Evening Echo recently, Riordan outlined plans to exploit tourism for job creation, focusing on Cork Harbour and the county's 680 miles of coastline.
"We need to develop a honey pot around Cork Harbour," he said. "An in terms of marinas, there is scope for another two or three marinas aroind the coast."
Riordan pinpointed Youghal and Schull as two preferred locations.
"I think Fáilte Ireland shoud be giving funding to get one or two of these marinas started," he added, noting that Cork County Council was prepared to provide council-owned land for the projects.
"If we could get another three marinas in the next four or fives years it would make a big difference to tourism," he said.
4NI reports that tenders have already been invited for a hotel and berthing area in Youghal.

Developing marinas on the Cork coastline is a top priority for county manager Martin Riordan.

Speaking to the Evening Echo recently, Riordan outlined plans to exploit tourism for job creation, focusing on Cork Harbour and the county's 680 miles of coastline.

"We need to develop a honey pot around Cork Harbour," he said. "An in terms of marinas, there is scope for another two or three marinas aroind the coast."

Riordan pinpointed Youghal and Schull as two preferred locations.

"I think Fáilte Ireland shoud be giving funding to get one or two of these marinas started," he added, noting that Cork County Council was prepared to provide council-owned land for the projects.

"If we could get another three marinas in the next four or fives years it would make a big difference to tourism," he said.

4NI reports that tenders have already been invited for a hotel and berthing area in Youghal.

Published in Cork Harbour
Following the impressive meeting for the first time of two cruiseships together at Cobh on Sunday, the Port of Cork has released footage on their website which can viewed by clicking here, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The cruiseships were the inbound Independence of the Seas (157,000 tonnes) one of the largest cruiseships in the world and the outward bound 121,000 tonnes Celebrity Eclipse. For another view taken at closer quarters of the cruiseships which have a combined tonnage of over a quarter million gross tonnes see below.
She will be returning to Cobh tomorrow for another overnight cruisecall. On the same day the Discovery (700 passenger capacity) is also due to arrive but the vessel operated by Voyages of Discovery will dock at Ringaskiddy. 

On Friday the Port of Cork welcomes another large cruiseship in the form of the Emerald Princess which carries 3,592 passengers, nearly 500 more than the Celebrity Eclipse. The 113,000 tonnes vessel is nearly 950-feet long, is 118 wide and draws 28 feet under the waterline. With 19 decks the vessel towers above the oceans and will also do so when alongside Cobh's 350m deepwater berth.

One of the numerous amenities onboard is the CyberGolf link and jogging track which are located high up near the stern. Directly situated below is the Skywalkers Nightclub and for movie-goers, films are shown at an oudoor theatre. The top of the range cabins are the 900 balcony staterooms which offer first class hotel style 24-hour room service.

Published in Cruise Liners
The Government has three months to start cleaning the toxic waste site in Haulbowline or risk court action by the European Commission, the Irish Examiner reports.
The site at the former Irish Steel plant contains an estimated 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer causing materials, and has been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.
Two petitions from local groups totalling 5,500 signatures were presented to the European Parliament's petitions committee in Brussels on Wednesday, according to The Irish Times.
Mary O'Leary, chair of the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (Chase), outlined to the committe that in spite of four reports between 1998 and 2005 highlighting the dangers of contamination from the site, the Irish State has failed to regulate it or take clean-up action.
Petitions committee member Jean-Francoise Brakland said he "fully agreed" with locals' concerns over the "dangerous mess".
He also commended Environment Minister Phil Hogan for understanding "the difficulties and the challenges of environmental implementation" but cautioned that "we are not going to wait for the next 10 years."
Brakland promised that if no real action was taken on Haulbowline after three months, the commitee would seek a court judgement againt the State.
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

The Government has three months to start cleaning the toxic waste site in Haulbowline or risk court action by the European Commission, the Irish Examiner reports.

The site at the former Irish Steel plant contains an estimated 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer causing materials, and has been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.

Two petitions from local groups totalling 5,500 signatures were presented to the European Parliament's petitions committee in Brussels on Wednesday, according to The Irish Times.

Mary O'Leary, chair of the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (Chase), outlined to the committe that in spite of four reports between 1998 and 2005 highlighting the dangers of contamination from the site, the Irish State has failed to regulate it or take clean-up action.

Petitions committee member Jean-Francoise Brakland said he "fully agreed" with locals' concerns over the "dangerous mess". 

He also commended Environment Minister Phil Hogan for understanding "the difficulties and the challenges of environmental implementation" but cautioned that "we are not going to wait for the next 10 years".

Brakland promised that if no real action was taken on Haulbowline after three months, the commitee would seek a court judgement againt the State.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour
Killian Bushe of Cork must be one of the best sailors to come out of Ireland. But unfortunately his opportunities to enjoy the sport at which he excels are severely limited by one inescapable fact. He is probably the best specialist boatbuilder in the world.

So whenever a high-powered strongly-resourced international challenge is taking shape, Bushe is the boat-builder of choice, favoured by leading designers and top skippers alike. But if you have a challenge in mind and he is top of the list, please join the queue.

For at the moment, he is immersed as leading consultant in building the new Groupama 4, the top French Volvo 70 for Franck Cammas. Before that, he built the two successful Ericsson boats for the last Volvo – they took first and fourth. In fact, he has built the overall winners of the last three Volvo races. And when Groupama 4 is launched in May and signed off for the race (which starts on October 29th) Bushe returns his focus to Sweden which is now his home, where he has been involved with the Artemis challenger for the America's Cup 2013.

For that project, the designer is Juan Kouyoumdjian, and the skipper is Paul Cayard. This is stratospheric stuff, but that's the level where Bushe operates. With more than thirty years of high tech boat building experience, and a string of success that is mind-boggling, he is the gold standard. But beyond that, he is still the Crosshaven kid who started his racing on his father George's Avocet (which George designed and built), and internationally he is the spirit of Cork sailing.

His renowned skill and knowledge in the use of advanced materials and composites is such that you'd expect him to be awarded a Honorary Doctorate in chemistry from some appropriate university. But in the meantime, his special place in Irish and world sailing was honoured on Saturday March 26th with his award of the Fastnet Trophy.

This trophy is co-ordinated by the Irish Cruising Club, and it operates in very broad brief. Initiated in 2005 with its first award to Paddy Barry and Jarlath Cunnane for their pioneering circuit of the Arctic via both the Northwest Passage and the Northeast Passage, its unique lineage has been maintained by such awardees as Robin Knox-Johnston, and the most recent one, centenarian circumnavigator Bill King of Galway.

The Fastnet Trophy is envisaged as highlighting a contribution to sailing which has a sense of the unique about it, and Killian Bushe is just the man. His international sailing achievements began back in 1976 when he was one of the crew that won the Half Ton Cup at Trieste in the Cork-built Silver Shamrock. They celebrated by sailing up the Grand Canal in Venice with spinnaker set. But gradually the boat-building took over, though Bushe sails with his family in Sweden whenever he can. That is what was being celebrated on Saturday night. Killian Bushe – very good sailor, extremely good boatbuilder.

Published in Cruising
Although most sailing delegates attending last weekend's Tall Ships workshop in Dublin appear to see Ireland's future sail training vessel as a square rigger there was one proposal floated last Saturday that, say the promoters, would at least be a temporary solution to allow young and old alike an opportunity to sail and experience Sail Training.  Gail McAllister of West Cork Sailing School own a 'Tall Ship Sailing Sloop' and here is what she proposes:

"There was fantastic energy at the Tall Ships workshop and while it was agreed that Ireland would benefit tremendously from an iconic square rigger tall sihip, this will take some to bring to fruition.

In the meantime, we are can look to existing Tall Ships operating with Irish Flag to offer the great experience that Sail Training can offer.  Rohan MacAllister, previously captain of Asgard II for 10 years attended the meeting with Gail & Niall MacAllister of West Cork Sailing Centre to present Cypraea as a marvelous tall ship sailing sloop that is equipped to provide sail training on our Irish waters this summer. 

The attendees of the meeting congratulated the MacAllisters on their tenacity and determination in bringing their sail training vessel to our waters and making the "Sail Training Experience" accessable for teenagers and adults this summer by dedicating July to Teenage Sail Training 5 day adventure sails for 350 euro and August to Adults at 450 euro.
Cypraea is a 23.5m steel sloop with berths for 10 at present and plans to increase to 16.  She has three sails and is an extremely hands on team work sailing experience.

West Cork Sailing have been providing ISA and RYA sailing for many years and are excited to be providing Sail Training and the amazing life changing opportunity that it can bring".

Looking for further reading on Tall Ships in Ireland? Click the links below:

Click this link to read all our Tall Ships Stories on one handy page


Previewing Ireland's Tall Ships 2011 Season


Can Ireland Get a New Tall Ship?

Published in Tall Ships
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines 28,388 tonnes Boudicca is to call to Dublin Port next month marking the inaugural cruiseship call for this year's season, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Over 200 cruise calls with around half a million passengers and crew are scheduled to visit the island of Ireland. The cruise sector business is estimated to generate €60m to the economies north and south.

Dublin Port last year had 88 cruisecalls and this number of vessels is to be closely repeated in 2011. One of the calls will be Princess Cruises 3,100 passenger Grand Princess. This was the first cruiseship of over 100,000grt to dock at Dublin which arrived on 31 August 2004 (click for photo on the day) and to read more about the cruiseship industry in Ireland from the IMDO click here.

Outside the capital the following vessels outlined are the first cruiseships to call at other ports in April. The season runs to September, though in recent years occasional calls are still made up to November.

The first cruise-caller at Waterford is Quark Expeditions adventure exploration vessel Ocean Nova. At only 2,118 tonnes the diminutive vessel is only 73m long and equally has the same number of passengers and a crew of 38.

Built in 1992 the polar adventure vessel has an ice-strengthened hull to enable the exploration of the icy waters of Greenland, the Weddell Sea and the Antarctic. A pair of Zodiac craft are provided for shore-landings.

The hosting of the Waterford Tall Ships Race Festival has led to funding of €1.7m from Failte Ireland to upgrade the city-centre's Frank Cassin Wharf. This will allow the large 'A' class tallships to berth and will be a lasting legacy of the festival. The wharf will then be used to berth cruiseships and other marine users. In total the crystal city is to welcome 12 callers to include the Crystal Serenity in July.

Cork is set to welcome 54 cruisecalls to include the return of the Cunard Line's 90,000grt Queen Victoria which made her first call to Cobh last year. The 2007 built vessel has a guest capacity for 2,000. The Cunard flagship Queen Mary is scheduled mid-September.

The deepwater berth at Cobh Cruise Terminal is capable of handling some of the largest cruiseships and which will see the return of the 122,000grt Celebrity Eclipse also in April.

Celebrity Eclipse made her maiden cruise and port of call to Cobh last year following her high profile repatriation voyage from Spain with stranded UK tourists arising from the fallout of the Icelandic volcanic ash-cloud. The 2,850 passenger €500m cruiseship which made an overnight call at Cobh during the May Bank holiday weekend.

From the south to the north at Belfast, the port's first caller on 24 April is the Ocean Nova which makes another appearance on the Irish cruiseship scene.

Belfast Harbour Commissioners have developed the 1km long Stormont Wharf to attract increasingly larger cruiseships to the city. The Ocean Nova's visit will mark over a dozen years since the first cruiseship docked in the northern capital.

In 2011 Belfast is scheduled to accommodate 30 cruise-calls bringing over 50,000 passengers to the city and surrounding environs.

Published in Cruise Liners
Page 20 of 26

Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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