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Displaying items by tag: Ferry news

#FERRY NEWS – Celtic Link Ferries which operates on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route has reached an agreement with Rosslare Europort, to end a stalemate in over €100,000 relating to port landing fees. It comes after the port company recently lodged a petition in court to wind up the company over alleged unpaid bills.

The O'Flaherty brothers who own Celtic Link along with partner O'Leary International Transport Company said that the ferry firm were being overcharged in comparison with competitors Stena Line and Irish Ferries and other ports around the country.

Rosslare Europort had been demanding a landing fee of €14.92 for cars and €48 for freight vehicles, however for some time Celtic Link Ferries have been paying €3 for cars and €35 for freight vehicles, as they believed that this was approximately what their competitors were paying.

For more on this story as reported in last week's edition of the Wexford People click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#ROUTE BOOST- Since Stena Line took over the Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) route and two ro-pax ferries last summer, passenger figures have increased, according to PlaceNorthWest.

In June 2012 volumes were up across all measures compared to the same month last year with passenger vehicles recording: 7,577 (2011: 6,773), car passengers: 15,838 (14,342) and foot passenger figure of 2,473 (2,276).

Richard Horswill, Route Director for the route said "A like-for-like monthly comparison between June 2011 and June 2012 shows an increase across the board in vehicles, car and foot passengers travelling on the route.

This is as a direct result of the investment over the last number of months with the £4m refurbishment of the Stena Mersey and Stena Lagan as well as a focus on customer services.

Published in Ferry

#STENA 50TH ANNIVERSARY – In this 50th anniversary year of Stena Line, the Swedish owned ferry operator has 19 routes stretching from Belfast to Scandinavia. This is set to further expand as Stena have secured approval by German competition authorities to acquire Scandlines, a rival German ferry firm running in the Baltic Sea, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In the deal which is to be finalised in August, Stena Line are take-over five routes and two ships from Scandlines. The routes are mostly freight-orientated services to Germany, Sweden and Latvia would accelerate Stena's position in one of Europe's fastest growing short-sea shipping markets.

Incidentally the Scandlines ferry 'Sassnitz' (1989/21,154grt) featured on last Sunday's BBC One British version of the popular Swedish police drama series 'Wallander'. The vessel operates from Sassnitz in Germany to Trelleborg near Ystad, where the drama is set and in which detective Kurt Wallander is played by Belfast-born Kenneth Branagh who won a BAFTA in 2010 for the leading-role.

It was in Belfast last year that saw several developments by Stena Line taking place, notable the acquisition of DFDS Seaways Irish Sea operations which included the freight-only Belfast-Heysham and Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) routes. Following this was the launch in November of two 'Superfast' ferries onto the new Belfast-Cairnryan route.

This is new territory as Stena have never operated from the Mersey on the 8-hour crossing which also operates night sailings. The route is another first for Stena on the Irish Sea, which is been marketed as one of their 'Overnight Superferry' routes, however they similarly market other routes being: Harwich-Hook van Holland, Frederikshavn-Oslo, Gothenburg-Kiel and Karlskrona-Gdynia.

As part of the deal with DFDS the 27,000 tons ro-pax sisterships Lagan Seaways and Mersey Seaways would remain on the route, as an existing charter arrangement had still to run its course.

To reflect the change of ferry operator, the sisters were renamed Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey and by the end of March this year both of the 980-passenger / 2,662-vehicle deck lane metre capacity vessels, underwent each a £1.5m internal refurbishment at Harland & Wolff and external painting.

The upgrade saw passenger facilities greatly improved compared to a somewhat spartan interiors as prescribed when the ships were completed by Italian shipbuilder Visentini. Since the vessels return to service the pair have been purchased from the charterer by Stena RoRo, the Gothenburg based charter division of Stena Line.

In essence this means that should further refurbishment of Stena style passenger facilities be planned, they can now be carried out without limitations imposed by the previous charter-owners.

Published in Ferry

#SPONSORSHIP HIGHLAND GAMES – The venue of Glenarm Castle Estate on the stunning Antrim coast is where the P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival (13-14 July) is due to take place, writes Jehan Ashmore.

For 14 years Glenarm has played host to the world famous Highland Games and where yet again teams from Ireland and Scotland will be head to head as they battle in the grounds of the historic estate.

An integral part of the festival is 'The Clash of the Celtic Giants'. Participating is the UK's strongest man Glenn Ross who will be throwing down the gauntlet to his Scottish counterparts after making the annual trip across the Irish Sea. The North Channel route between Cairnryan to Larne is operated by P&O Ferries, which celebrate their 175th anniversary this year and they are sponsoring the festival in Glenarm.

Arthur Murphy of P&O Ferries, said: "As operator of the shortest, fastest and most frequent crossings between Ireland and Scotland, P&O Ferries is delighted to sponsor the Dalriada Festival for the 10th year running".

"Since the start of our sponsorship of the Highland Games in 2002 we have witnessed the event grow in size, stature and popularity attracting even greater audiences to the picturesque coastal village of Glenarm.

Glenarm is around 11 miles from the Port of Larne where the sea-crossing to Cairnryan is 32 miles /51.2km. Passage time is just two hours for the aptly named ferry sisters European Highlander and European Causeway, to complete the crossing at a speed of 22 knots /25.3mph.

As previously reported the European Highlander, notably had the honour last month in transporting the 'other' games Olympic torch on its relay across the UK and detour to Dublin.

European Causeway was the first of the 20,000 tons pair built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Shimonoseki, Japan. Each can carry 410 passengers, 375 cars or 116 X 13.5 freight units on the vehicle decks which equate to 1,771 lane metres.

Currently the sisters are accompanied by the P&O Express which provides additional 'fast-ferry' operated sailings. In addition the fast-ferry also covers crossings on the seasonal-only Larne-Troon route.

Published in Ferry

#FINAL FREIGHT-FERRY Seatruck Precision has become the final newbuild of a quartet of ro-ro freight-only ferries to enter Irish Sea service for Seatruck Ferries, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 18,920 tonnes newbuild completed her maiden 'commercial' round-trip, departing Liverpool on Tuesday and returning overnight from Dublin with an arrival on Merseyside early yesterday morning.

She was built by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FGS), Germany along with her sisters with each having a freight capacity of 2,166 lane metres spread over four decks, carrying 151 (un-accompanied) trailer units. An increase of 36 trailers compared to the quartet of older 'P' class ships.

The FGS quartet are called the 'Heyham'-max series, as they are the largest-ever vessels designed to use the tight confines of the Lancashire port. It is believed that the latest newbuild will be deployed out of the port joining Seatruck Performance, the third newbuild of the series which runs on the route to Dublin.

The remaining pair, Seatruck Power and leadship of the series Seatruck Progress operate on the Dublin-Liverpool route. However as the latter vessel is currently moored at Cammell Laird shiprepair facility in Birkenhead, the newbuild is deputising in her place on the central corridor route.

Seatruck also operate Heysham-Warrenpoint and in May a new route Heysham-Belfast began service.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY DEPARTS FOR INDONESIA – An end of an era was marked this afternoon with the departure of the last passenger ship (including 'Sealink' car-ferry) built by Harland & Wolff, when Portlink, slipped down Belfast Lough, for the last time, for new owners in South East Asia, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Since November the ferry then named Stena Caledonia was withdrwan from Stena Line's Belfast-Stranraer route following the opening of a new €80m ferry terminal at Loch Ryan Port close to Cairnryan. The new route is also operated by a pair of larger, newer 'Superfast' sisterships built in 2001, while the older ferry embarks on a career with PT ASDP Indonesia Ferry (Persero).

Originally Stena Caledonia started her career as the St. David, which was launched in 1981 as the final member of a quartet of 'Saint' class near sisterships for Sealink/ British Rail. With her sale to overseas owners, she was the last of the Saint class still operating in UK waters.

Before today's start of the delivery voyage which includes a port of call to Gibraltar, invariably to call for bunkers, the 31 year-old veteran vessel, had been berthed close to the H&W's Musgrave yard. The St. David became the last vessel launched from that particular yard at the Queens Island complex. Incidentally she would also become the last ever passenger ship built at H&W.

For over the last two decades Stena Caledonia has provided a sterling service operating on the North Channel, firstly from Larne-Stranraer when Sealink was taken over by Stena Line in 1990 and then the route switched several years later to the Belfast-Stranraer route.

While in her earlier career as St. David she operated on two routes she was purpose built for between Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead and Rosslare-Fishguard, though she rarely served on the St. Georges service.

Instead she was deployed mostly on the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route alongside St. Columba, where these vessels featured a stern-bridge. The stern-bridge in itself also reflected an end of an era in ferry design,  this was to facilitate easier and safer access while navigating the tighter confines of the inner harbour of the Welsh port located on Holy Island.

In between her early and final years on the Irish Sea, St. David also ran on routes from Dover where Sealink /British Rail operated their 'Blue' Ribbon service to Calais maintained by two of her three sisters.

Published in Ferry

#STENA SALE SHIP- Irish Sea ferry stalwart Stena Caledonia (1981/12,619grt) has been sold to ASDP Ferry of Indonesia according to Ships Monthly. The vessel remains moored in Belfast awaiting her delivery voyage, which will be the longest ever she is to undertake in her career, writes Jehan Ashmore.

All Stena Line funnel and hull markings of the 31-year old vessel have been painted out and she has been renamed Portlink and re-registered in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.

Since late November she stood down following the switch of Scottish ferryport from Stranraer to Cairnryan, where a new £80m Loch Ryan Port ferry terminal is served by two newly introduced and luxuriously refurbished sisters Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII. The pair built in Germany in 2001 have successfully been introduced on the new Belfast-Cairnryan route. 

Initially the Stena Caledonia was laid-up in Belfast at Albert Quay though in recent months she shifted berths to the former Outfit Quay at Harland & Wolff, ironically this location being very close to the facilities Musgrave Yard, where she built as St. David for Sealink / British Rail.

She became the last vessel to be launched from that particular yard on Queens Island and historically she is significant in that she is the last passenger (including car-ferry) vessel to be built by H&W.

Published in Ferry

#CORK FERRY RELAUNCH - According to today's Cork Independent, the Cork-Swansea ferry route which closed last Autumn has been followed-up by a new group to assess the feasibility of reopening the Celtic Sea service.

Those involved in the new group are from Cork County Council, the Port of Cork, Fáilte Ireland and representatives from the Irish Exporters Association which was announced by Mayor Tim Lombard, who believes that the wind up of Fastnet Line earlier this year and departure of ferry, has really hurt businesses in West Cork.

"There is a lack of tourism and a lack of business in West Cork this summer. There has been a major effect seen in the businesses in West Cork following the closure of the Fastnet Line," Cllr Lombard said. "It's why we are trying to push the boat out, if you pardon the pun," He added that the loss is also felt by the manufacturing sector which has lost a vital alternative freight link to the UK.

To read more about this story click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS - A commemoration plaque in memory to those who lost their lives when the Irish Sea passenger ferry S.S. Patrick (II) was attacked by a bomb from the Luftwaffe during WW2, is to be unveiled in Rosslare Europort next Wednesday.

The tragic attack in 1941 resulted in the 1,922 tonnes vessel sinking with the death of 30 people while the twin-screw steam turbine powered vessel was on passage off the Welsh coast. The ship built in 1930 was launched from the Alexander Stephen & Sons Glasgow (Yard No 525) Glasgow, and she commissioned to serve the St. Georges's channel route between Rosslare and Fishguard.

She had been targeted by a German machine gunner the previous year even though it was not a military vessel and the reasons for its attack have remained a mystery to this day.

Diane Poole OBE, Head of PR and Communications at Stena Line said, "The ship that sank was owned by the Fishguard and Rosslare Railways and Harbours Company (FRRHC), of whom Stena Line along with Irish Rail/Rosslare Europort are descendants.

She added: "Despite the deaths and the trauma attached to the event, the memory of the ship and those who went down with her has largely been lost. There has never been a true commemoration in Ireland of the disaster – until now."

For further information about the tragedy click HERE and a documentary recorded for RTE Radio On can be listened to by clicking this LINK.

The current ferry operating the route is the Stena Europe (1981/24,828grt) which has maintained the route for the last decade. Sailings on the summer schedule will not be boosted by the fast-ferry craft, Stena Lynx III which was sold last year to serve new South Korean owners.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS – A £4m upgrade of Stena Line's Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) sisters has been completed at Harland & Wolff. The work was carried on the pair of 27,000 tonnes ships by Newry based specialist marine outfitters MJM Marine, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Work on the 980-passenger vessels Stena Mersey and Stena Lagan began in March and ended last month. During that timeframe the Stena Feronia which was in a collision with a cargoship in Belfast Lough, was deployed to cover the overhaul of the sisters, now sporting Stena Line livery.

The investment programme introduced on board entails facilities such as a lounge pod-area featuring several iMacs, a trucker's lounge, free wi-fi and a bar & grill and a restaurant.

In addition the refurbishment has improved customer experience with the inclusion of an improved shop, improved guest services, and cinema offering guests free movies during the north Irish Sea crossing.

The pair built by Visentini, the Italian shipbuilder based near Venice, can handle 2,662 freight lane metres are now owned by a subsidiary of Stena Line, in the form of Stena RoRo which purchased the vessels from a German bank.

Beforehand the ferries were part of Epic Shipping which chartered them in turn to DFDS Seaways. The Danish owned operator's short-lived Irish Sea route network venture was sold last year to Stena which included the sisterships.

Stena RoRo also purchased the Visentini built ro-pax Watling Street and also from the same yard the former Celtic Link ro-pax Norman Voyager, which is currently back on its original Portsmouth-Le Havre route running on charter to French ferry operator LD Lines.

Meanwhile Celtic Link's existing Rosslare-Cherbourg route vessel Celtic Horizon, is on a five year charter from an offshoot of the same Italian shipbuilder and again is another vessel of the successful ro-pax design.

Published in Ferry
Page 59 of 69

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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