Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Drogheda Port

One of the most dramatic marine visual sights in the country is along Drogheda Port’s town quays, where you can see the backdrop of the Boyne Viaduct which carries the main rail line from Dublin northwards.

It spans the historic River Boyne which has been known since ancient times …The Greek geographer PTOLEMY is said to have drawn a map of Ireland in the second century which included the Boyne…

The port has been crucial to the newspaper industry, as the major import centre for newsprint. Having reported quite a bit of its development over the years, one aspect which appeared to me not to be high on the priority list was the leisure sector, for which Drogheda would not be traditionally known.

FIDDLE CASE PIER DROGHEDA PORTFiddle Case Pier at Drogheda Port

There is a change in that aspect and its welcome. The Port Company tells me that its intention is to become an East Coast boating location in addition to its commercial development. A few developments are coming together in that regard and will be highlighted this weekend.

"The Port Company tells me that its intention is to become an East Coast boating location in addition to its commercial development"

The Fiddle Case Pier is one of the most unusual names I’ve ever heard for a pier. There was an original Fiddle Case Pier constructed in the 1850s in the port, but the origin of the name seems to lack specific records, so I’m told. The 40-metre Fiddle Case Pier there now is 400 metres upstream of that dramatic Boyne Viaduct vista and past the shipping quays.

A joint venture between the port and Louth County Council, it’s intended to provide for expansion, depending upon demand, which could increase with the opening up of maritime access to the Boyne Valley upon which the Boyne Navigation Group has been doing tremendous work to enable boats make their way up the Boyne.

This weekend the port will host the annual Maritime Festival and another piece of history when the French Navy visits for the first time. With Tall Ships and leisure craft gathered it will highlight the leisure aspect with the commercial at a time when the Port is at work on a Master Plan for the next twenty years or so and has put its subsidiary Bremore Port up for sale.

Big changes then at Drogheda and a port which is putting more emphasis on the leisure marine in the context of port development.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tagged under

The award-winning Irish Maritime festival is back. Taking place this weekend (16-17th June) in Drogheda Port, it’s a super-sized maritime celebration and it suitable for all ages. Hosted by Louth County Council and Drogheda Port Company in conjunction with Virgin Media, the event sees Drogheda’s busy working port converted into a weekend-long festival of all things maritime.

Parade of Sail: Friday 15th June, 12 noon

The whole event kicks off on Friday afternoon as the beautiful ships sailing to Drogheda Port. The ships muster at the mouth of the Boyne at noon and sail in a procession right up to the Town Quays. The best vantage point Is out at the Maiden’s Tower in Mornington where spectators have a birds-eye view of all the ships arriving.

Droghedas Magnificent Maritime Parade of SailDrogheda's Magnificent Maritime Parade of Sail

Tall Ships in Drogheda

There is a fantastic array of ships to look forward to this year. The Tall Ships include The Phoenix, The Earl of Pembroke, Johanna Lucrectia, The Keewaydin. They will be joined by three French Naval Vessels, the Altair, the Antares and the Aldebaran, each of whom will be available to board over the weekend.

"The Tall Ships include The Phoenix, The Earl of Pembroke, Johanna Lucrectia, The Keewaydin"

Back by very, very popular demand is the Liverpool-based tugboat the Brocklebank and her crew. They were such a hit last year, with queues to visit them both days, that it was just essential to bring them back again this year.

All ships will be open from 12.30 to 4.30pm, but it’s worth getting there early to ensure you don’t miss out. Festival gates open at 11.00am daily.

The Stowaway Sessions

(Friday 15th June and Saturday 16th June, 7.30pm)

2017 saw the inaugural “Stowaway Sessions” that the Irish Maritime Festival. Each night, the deck of the Earl of Pembroke played host to an intimate music gig with Drogheda’s historic Viaduct as the backdrop. 2018 sees the Stowaway Sessions return with two more incredible gigs – Friday night The Lost Brothers and Eve Belle and Saturday night Declan O’Rourke with Pilgrim Street. Tickets sold out in record time, but watch out for the 2019 progamme that will be announced in mid-April next year – the Stowaway Sessions are truly special gigs.

Maritime Education Zone

The Irish Maritime festival proper commences at 11am on Saturday morning as gates open to the public. Discover the Maritime Learning Zone which includes displays and crews from the RNLI, Inland Waterways Ireland, the Irish Coast Guard and many others. Enjoy boat displays from Boyne Boats, Power Kites and Sand Yachts. Learn all about the sea and measures to protect our seas with the crew from 'Seastainability'.

"The Drogheda Sail Training Bursary will give two more teams of youngsters from Drogheda the chance to learn to sail"

Sailors in the Making

The Drogheda Sail Training Bursary will give two more teams of youngsters from Drogheda the chance to learn to sail as part of the Irish Maritime Festival 2018. Departing in the Sail Training vessel, The Brian Boru, each team will take part in a week-long voyage at sea to learn how to sail. The adventure not only teaches sailing skills but valuable life skills of teamwork, communications and compromise. This award-winning scheme has trained over 100 young sailors in the past 5 years.

Boyne Swim

The challenging Boyne Swim is back. Cheer on the 200+ brave Boyne swimmers as they race the 2.7km down the Boyne on Saturday afternoon. With visitors from all over Ireland and Europe, this is a hotly contested title.

Boat Races

Watch out for the elegant yachts as the race up the Boyne, competing in the Howth-Drogheda Yacht Challenge on Saturday.

Spot the beautiful little Water Wags as they sail under the bridges of Drogheda up to the Boyne Canal and historic Oldbridge House on Saturday morning. Then watch them race up and down the Boyne on Sunday.

The Festival Sounds Fabulous

Music is a huge part of the Irish Maritime Festival this year is no different. It will be rocking to the music from 2 live stages for 2018. The first, the Fleadh stage will showcase Trad musicians from across the region ahead of the Fleadh in August.

The Ballast Key Stage promises to get your heart racing with up-and-coming acts to surprise and delight. Hosted by Gerry Hodgers of The Purple Sessions in Boyle’s of Slane. His line-up of acts always impresses the Festival audience. Watch out for Declan Garry and The Skins and Hats on Saturday and Davina Brady and Gerry Simpson’s Gospel Choir and Fuzz Gigolo on Sunday. The full line-up of acts performing on the ballast key stage is available on www.Maritime

Fabulous Food at Droghedas Irish Maritime FestivalFabulous Food at Droghedas Irish Maritime Festival

Maritime Festival Tastes Delicious

Enjoy A Taste of Ireland’s Ancient East in the super-sized food zone at this year’s Irish Maritime festival. Hosted by Boyne Valley Flavours, this event is part of the Boyne Valley Food Series 2018. A series of cookery demos will include TV3’s Chef Tara Walker and local chefs from across the region. Meet the producers behind some of the most wonderful local food brands that you know and enjoy. Ticket your taste buds with tastings of different products and who knows you might even take something tasty home with you!

There’s So Much To See And Do!

All your family favourites are back at the Irish Maritime Festival 2018. Finn McCool’s Fairground has lots of fun rides to enjoy. The ever-popular Sand Shanty includes our giant sandpit on the big day, your chance to discover archaeological treasures. Be amazed by our magician. Test your response times in the Road Safety Authority simulators. Unleash your artistic talents in the art zone.

Capt. Martin Donnelly, Harbourmaster at Drogheda Port concludes “There are loads to see and do at the Irish Maritime Festival 2018, especially our fabulous line-ups of ships. It offers fun and activity for all ages. The Irish Maritime Festival is truly is a family-friendly event that showcases our all that’s great in this maritime town. We look forward to welcoming visitors from far and wide to visit Drogheda this weekend.”

The Irish Maritime Festival takes place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June and is hosted by Louth County Council in conjunction with Drogheda Port Company. The Festival is proudly sponsored by Virgin Media and supported by Flogas, Glanbia and Fáilte Ireland. For more information visit

The Irish Maritime Festival Details

Dates: Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June 2018
Opening Hours: 11.00-18.00hrs (Ships open 12.30-16.30hrs)
Ticket Prices: Children under 12 Free (must be accompanied by an adult)
12 – 18-year-olds €3.00 Adults €8.00
Concessions* €5.00
* Concessions apply to students (with a valid student card), senior citizens (aged 60+), people with a disability and their carer.

Host: The Irish Maritime Festival is planned and managed by Louth County Council in conjunction with Drogheda Port and sponsored by Virgin Media
Animals: Service dogs are welcome however other animals are not permitted.
Ships: List of visiting ships:

Published in Drogheda Port

Next weekend, the Irish Maritime Festival in Drogheda Port welcomes the French Navy for the very first time. On Friday, as part of the Parade of Sail (noon on Friday 15th June), three French Sonar Towing Ships will join the Tall Ships, Tug Boats and yachts as they sail up the Boyne. On Saturday and Sunday, festival goers will have a chance to board the vessels and explore.

The 3 Minesweepers, M770 Antares, M771 Altair and M772 Aldebaran were commissioned in 1993. They were ordered to replace the last of the oceanic minesweepers and act as sonar tugs. Built in the Socarenam shipyard in Boulange-sur-Mer, they are similar in shape and size to trawlers. These strong and powerful vessels act as sonar towing ships.

Their role in the French Navy is to provide surveillance for French vessels accessing the Atlantic ports, especially Brest where the Oceanic Strategic Force are positioned. The purpose of their work is to detect and destroy mines in the water that could detonate, damaging vessels and harming crew. They do this by sonar surveillance of the seabed using the DUBM44 sonar system.

They also play a pivotal role in the training of navigation students and engage in public security missions including sea-rescue and wrecks reconnaissance.

Each one is 28m long and nearly 8m wide. They travel at a maximum speed of 11knots and have an engine capable of 3,500 miles, powered by a Baudoin 800 horsepower engine. They travel with 25 crew on board each one.

The names Altair, Antares and Aldebaran are derived from stars in the sky, which have always acted as important markers for maritime navigators. Each of these are the brightest stars in their respective constellations, Aquila, Scorpius and Taurus.

Visitors to the Irish Maritime Festival can visit Altair, Antares and Aldebaran (and the other visiting ships) on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June between 12.30-4.30pm. Festival gates open at 11.00am each day and early arrival is recommended to allow sufficient time to visit all the vessels.

The Irish Maritime Festival at Drogheda Port is a family friendly two-day celebration of all things maritime and includes Tall Ships, tugboats, yachts and a maritime education zone. Watch the Water Wags racing up and down the river. Cheer on the 250 participants in The Boyne Swim. Kick back with chilled out tunes on the 2 live music stages and enjoy the delighted of the Boyne Valley in the food zone. For more visit:

The Irish Maritime Festival takes place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June and is hosted by Louth County Council in conjunction with Drogheda Port Company. The Festival is sponsored by Virgin Media and supported by Flogas, Glanbia and Fáilte Ireland.

More on the Drogheda Maritime Festival website here

Published in Drogheda Port
Tagged under

The Irish Maritime Festival will be centre-stage on RTE Nationwide tonight at 7.00pm on RTÉ One as the full half-hour programme is dedicated to its recent staging at Drogheda Port on the River Boyne. It will feature the Boyne Swim, the visiting Tall Ships, the new Fiddle Case Pier, Drogheda’s Sail Training Bursary and all the colour of the festival.

Published in Maritime TV

The Boyne Swim will once again headline the Irish Maritime Festival taking place in Drogheda Port this summer.

200+ competitors will take to the river Boyne to swim the 2.7km tidal route.

Ray Donagh of Drogheda Triathlon Club is one of the Boyne Swim organisers. He explains: "The Boyne Swim takes place at 12.50pm on Saturday 10th June. The first swimmers will pass by the Tall Ships of the Irish Maritime Festival about 25 minutes later with the first swimmer crossing the finish line by 1.25pm."

2016 saw the ever-popular local man and ex-Olympian Colin Lowth take the title. With a very strong start, he led the field all the way and was a very worthy winner. He was presented with the Drogheda Port Company Boyne Swim perpetual trophy designed by artist Ronan Halpin.

Now in its 4th year, the race has garnered a reputation for being tough but enjoyable. Ray explains “Swimmers taking part in Open Water Swimming will typically have spent the winter and spring training in the pool about 3 times per week averaging around 10 K. Open Water swimming by its very nature means swimming in water temperatures of 12 C to 15 C. Swimmers will begin acclimatising to the colder water temp with weekly swims in the sea, rivers and lakes over the next month.”

Swimmers from right across the country will flock to Drogheda for this challenging river swim. The Boyne swim even attracts visitors from across Europe. "This year we welcome swimmers from Germany, France and Sweden among other countries" continues Ray. "Staging the race allows us to forge relationships with swimming clubs in other countries and encourage them to visit the beautiful Boyne Valley and be part of the swim in the historic river Boyne".

To find out more about the race visit The Irish Maritime Festival is hosted by Louth County Council and Drogheda Port Company in association with Virgin Media. Find out more by visiting

Published in Drogheda Port

The maritime buoy located at the Mall area of Drogheda town is now well established as a unique artistic canvas and a talking point since it was first used as a canvas back in 2012. St. Patricks Day marked the showcasing of the buoys modern new look following a community art project led by local visual artist Jene Hinds-Kelly, a mature art student in DIFE. This community project was a creative collaboration between Jene, Drogheda Homeless Aid, Murtaghs of Drogheda and Drogheda Port Company who initiated the project.

For the last few weeks Jene has been working hard with a group of volunteers from the Drogheda Homeless Aid to complete this piece of art in between dodging rain showers! The creative and visually striking design consists of much use of bright colours at the top and bottom with the main body of the buoy depicting outlines of people. Jene and the volunteers decided on this design which they based on the theme of ‘community inclusion and positive vibes in difficult times’. The design is a bright and vibrant piece of visual art that is designed to capture the imagination and smile of passers-by.

‘It was a super experience for me as an artist to work on this unique structure as it’s new to me. The weather was quite unpredictable but that aside I am thrilled with the result and would like to thank all those involved.’ said artist Jene Hinds-Kelly

The project was generously supported by Murtaghs of Drogheda who supplied all of the paint and material required. Austin Clark was the coordinator of the volunteers from the Drogheda Homeless Aid.

‘The 'Mall Buoy' is a decommissioned maritime marker buoy which saw service on the Irish coast for many decades in the last century and is traditionally painted starboard green. This buoy now offers itself as a very unique and public canvas and has been brightening up the Mall area of the port since it was first placed there. This year a community project seemed the perfect way to repaint the buoy with a new theme. We have worked well with the Drogheda Homeless Aid previously on a mural art project and approached them again with this project. Under the artistic lead of Jene and the homeless aid volunteers the finished project is visually stunning and adds so much to the area and location.’ said Nessa Lally of Drogheda Port Company.

Published in Drogheda Port
Tagged under

#LargestShip - The largest ever cargoship to dock at Drogheda Port berthed at the Co. Louth's downriver terminal at Tom Roes Point.

The MV Botnia arrived on 20 January from Klaipeda in Lithuania. The vessel having taken a seven day sea voyage with a cargo of 5,500 tonnes of animal feed for Cefetra Limited.

Drogheda has been building considerable trading links with Klaipeda over the past few years with regular calls increasing each year. It is one of the few ice-free ports in northernmost Europe and has a throughput volume larger than any port in Ireland.

The Botnia is registered in Antigua and Barbuda and has a deadweight carrying capacity of 8,300 tonnes.

The previous largest vessel was the MV ‘Arklow Bridge’ in 2012 with a deadweight carrying capacity 7,175 tonnes.

Botnia at 121m in length was assisted by the tug Mourne Pride which was dispatched from Greenore Port and the workboat tender Boyne Protector. 

Published in Drogheda Port

#MajorUpgrade - Polar small cruiseship operator, Quark Expeditions’ whose Sea Adventurer under another guise made a historic first but only cruise call visit to Drogheda Port is to undergo a major renovation, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The former Clipper Adventurer then on charter to Noble Caledonia made the historic occasion by berthing on the Boyne as Afloat reported in 2012 (scroll down for photo) is to undergo a major $8.5 million investment. The project involves renovation and upgrade work beginning in April 2017 at the Ulstein Verft in Norway.

The extensive works to the 4,367 gross tonnage Sea Adventurer will not just be focused on passenger facilities of the 132 traveller /83 crew run ship but significant technical enhancements – including two new engines – to improve fuel efficiency and minimize carbon footprint.

Passenger areas are to recieve a new look and feel throughout with a forward lounge and observation deck to enjoy mesmerizing polar views be it the Arctic or Antartica. As for accommodation, alterations are to include some new cabins and every cabin will get a new bathroom.

On completion of the dry-docking works, she is to emerge as the renamed Ocean Adventurer with a renaming ceremony to take place on 17 June next year for Quark, part of the TUI Adventure Division.

The works are more the remarkable given the veteran vessel has been in service for four decades having been built in 1976 at a Yugoslavian shipyard as the Alla Tarasova. Originally the Russian ship served as a coastal passenger ship for the Murmansk Shipping Company.

To embark on such an investment is down to Sea Adventurer’s structural integrity given a robust ice-strengthened hull. She is one of an octet of similar ships. It was Clipper Cruise Line that had the ship rebuilt almost a decade ago in 2007 for expedition cruising as Clipper Adventurer.

Published in Cruise Liners

#DroghedaPort - Drogheda Port was the base of a major emergency planning exercise this morning (Thursday 27 October) as Garda units and other emergency services simulated a three-stage hostage scenario, as The Irish Times reports.

In the first stage, the Garda Water Unit aided armed response officers in boarding a vessel detected acting suspiciously. This was followed by a hostage-taking simulation on the dock, concluding with an armed assault on a port warehouse to free the hostages.

The operation, which was expected to conclude by lunchtime, was focused on evaluating the emergency response capabilities of relevant units and personnel.

Published in Drogheda Port

#[email protected] - President of the Irish Farmers Association, Joe Healy, says farmers are extremely angry that brokers are continuing to import barley, undermining the Irish grain sector, at a time when incomes are on the floor and the sector is in serious danger of collapse.

The Meath Chronicle writes that at a protest held at Drogheda Port yesterday, where IFA president said the ongoing unnecessary importation of grain in preference to quality local supplies is aggravating an already serious income crisis on Irish tillage farms. This, combined with a lack of political will to address the problems faced by grain producers, poses a serious threat to grain production in this country, he stated.

Mr. Healy added “Grain farmers are extremely angry that some traders and brokers are importing grain when plentiful supplies of quality native grain are available. They are also frustrated at the failure of the EU Commission and the Government to recognise and take action on the unprecedented income crisis facing farmers. The future of grain farming in Ireland is at stake, with current price offers for new crop grain significantly below the cost of production, which is estimated at €145-150/tonne this harvest”

For more on the protest, the paper has a report here. 




Published in Drogheda Port
Page 2 of 4

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.

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 Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

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

Please show your support for Afloat by donating