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Displaying items by tag: Ferry news

Stena Line are to reduce its HSS fast-ferry between Dun Laoghaire Harbour and Holyhead next month, according to RTE.ie
The decision by the company for pulling the HSS Stena Explorer from service was because of the high operating costs and that "it traded at a financial loss for several years". The central corridor route generated much of its turnover between May and September.

Stena Line said the fast craft service would operate until 13th September and would then be suspended until the 2012 season. Two conventional ferries will continue to operate year-round on the company's neighbouring route between Dublin Port and Holyhead.

Stena said it hoped to start the service again in April or May although no decision has been made on an exact date.

Area Director for Stena Line's business on the Irish Sea Michael McGrath said: "Despite all our attempts to reduce operating costs over the last few years, it has not been possible to return the route to profitability.

"We regret that this decision will have an impact amongst our ship's personnel and our port operations staff in Dun Laoghaire but this is a decision that has to be taken for the benefit of the overall business. We simply cannot continue to sustain these levels of financial losses.

"We will now embark on a period of consultation with our staff and their union representatives to discuss the implications of the proposed changes with them."

Stena says it hope to start the service again in April or May, although no decision has been made on an exact date. It is believed around 53 staff will be affected by the decision.

Published in Ferry
With the recent failure of an un-manned Russian rocket reaching the International Space Station, and its subsequent crash into Siberia coupled with NASA's retired shuttle programme, perhaps the solution to reaching orbit lies much closer to home, writes Jehan Ashmore.
To be more specific the answer may be found in Co. Donegal where a rocket-ship is scheduled to blast-off (weather permitting) this afternoon at 3pm from the grounds of the Inishowen Maritime Museum and Planetarium at Greencastle. For further information on this free event click HERE.

The RLM which stands for "Ridiculously Large Missile" is the second-largest civilian rocket ever launched in Ireland. In fact the organisers have built a larger one called the BFM: that's "Big Fat Missile".

The spectacular event has previously taken place on the last Sunday of each month since April. Today's launch will be the fifth and final blast-off of this year's rocket season.

Returning to earth, the museum located in the old coastguard station overlooks Greencastle harbour, which has one of busiest fishing fleets in Ireland.The maritime museum and its planetarium will also be open today. For summertime opening hours and admission fees information Tel: (074) 9381363 or visit http://www.inishowenmaritime.com/about.shtml

Greencastle is also conveniently connected by a 15-minute car-ferry service across Lough Foyle to Magilligan in Co. Derry. The route is served by the Foyle Venture, for ferry times and fares visit www.loughfoyleferry.com/

Published in Coastal Notes
The first of four freight-only ferries for Irish Sea operator Seatruck Ferries was launched last week according to The Motorship.
Measuring 18,920 gross tonnes the Seatruck Progrees built by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) in Germany is due for delivery in November with the final newbuild scheduled for completion in June 2012. The vessels are 142m long and have a width of 25m and with 2,166 lane metres, capable of carrying over 150 commercial vehciles spread across four decks.

The quartet of Heysham-Max class vessels are the largest ever vessels built to operate from the Cumbrian port which has determined the length of the new ships. Despite the restrictions imposed by the dimensions of the port, the optimum cargo-load of the newbuilds were achieved by positioning the deckhouse forward so to guarantee un-hampered loading of the upper decks.

Propulsion is from two MAN 7L48/60CR main engines of 2 x 8,000kW providing 21 knots. The powerplant is designed to meet rigorous emission and fuel consumption demands, according to FSG managing director Peter Sierk.

Published in Ferry
As one of the consequences of the statutory transfer of operations from Dundalk Port Company to the Dublin Port Company in July, the grab-hopper dredger, Hebble Sand is up for sale, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Last year Dundalk Port Company had accumulated significant trading losses. Against such difficult conditions, Dublin Port Company decided to exit the businesses of dredging, ships agency and stevedoring in the Co. Louth port with effect from the end of September.

The Dublin Port Company has sought expressions from interested parties in undertaking the remaining activities of the port on an exclusive basis.

The Dundalk registered dredger arrived to the capital port on 14 July where she remains berthed at the Bulk Jetty in Alexandra Basin. Her previous owners, the Dundalk Port Company were unique in that they were the only port company to own and operate a dredger in the Republic. For many years the 757-tonnes dredger has carried out numerous contract assignments in ports throughout the island of Ireland including work on the Samuel Beckett swing-bridge and the most project was at Queens Quay, Belfast on the Lagan close to the city-centre.

Hebble Sand was launched by Richard (Shipbuilders) of Lowestoft for British Dredging and later used by Associated British Ports to serve a network of UK ports. Despite her age, the near fifty-year-old veteran vessel has been kept in excellent condition and this was evident during a rather unusual appearance for a ship of her type when attending the Dublin Docklands Maritime Festival in 2009.

She was made open for the public amongst the tall-ships that lined the Liffey Quays. Such an initiative was inspiring as it provided a rare opportunity for the public to access such a dredger which otherwise is not familiar compared to the popularity of visiting tall-ships and naval vessels.

The only other port to operate their own dredger is Londonderry Harbour Commissioners, whose Lough Foyle has worked on projects outside her homeport. This has included work at the new £40m Stena Line ferryport terminal on Loch Ryan close to Cairnryan and is due to open in November.

Published in Ports & Shipping
The capsized Rolex Fastnet Race entrant Rambler 100 was not the only vessel that got into difficulties yesterday as an Aran Islands ferry became stranded off Doolin Pier, according to a report in today's Irish Times.
Rose of Aran, a passenger ferry operated by Aran Doolin Ferries stranded on rocks for three hours, just metres off Doolin Pier when making an approach at 11.30 am to collect passengers travelling to the islands. The ferry was between Crab Island and Doolin pier when it ran aground about 25m from the shore.

According to ferry operator Kevin O'Brien, there were no passengers on board at the time and the vessel got under way again when it was lifted from the rocks with the tide. Mr O'Brien added "this was a very minor incident and there was no damage to the ferry. Doolin is tidal so these things do happen. Even a few inches of water can make a difference".

The Irish Coast Guard was notified of the incident at midday, and its marine rescue co-ordination centre in Dublin requested that members of the local Coast Guard unit board the vessel to assess if there was a pollution risk.

Doolin Coast Guard personnel carried out an inspection and confirmed the ferry had not been damaged and there was no risk of pollution. At about 2.15pm the ferry got under way again with the tide. The company was able to operate services to and from the Aran Islands with its second vessel.

Published in Ferry

Ambitious plans to introduce load-on load-off (Lo-Lo) facilities at Rosslare Europort have been announced, according to a report in yesterday's Wexford People.

 
John Lynch, manager of the port talked about the expansion of the ports current role which is exclusively for roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) ferry business into Lo-Lo traffic and the eventual development of a rail-freight terminal.

However, to facilitate all these developments, Mr Lynch said they will need the reclamation of up to 20 hectares of additional land and the deepening of part, or all, of the port from the current 7.2m to 9m and perhaps, eventually, 11m.

Mr Lynch said these developments would be facilitated, and accelerated, by of a port centric logistics zone (a grouping of activities dealing with freight transportation) on lands beside the south-eastern port.

Mr Breen said he recognises the 'fundamental and strategic importance of Rosslare Europort to the economic development of the county'.

The county manager said he will recommend that 'appropriate policies, objectives and development management standards are included in the draft plan to facilitate the development of the port', subject to the appropriate technical and environmental assessments.

As part of his submission, Mr Lynch also requested that the '1902 Lighthouse' at the port, which is recognised on the National Inventory of Architectural Services, not be included on the Record of Protected Structures.

Mr Breen said he would give further consideration as to whether it would be appropriate to de-list the lighthouse in advance of the draft plan.

Next month the port will host the annual Irish Ports Conference in the Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford on Friday 30 September.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Celtic Link Ferries have named their new vessel Celtic Horizon, a 27,552 tonnes ro-pax ferry which is to enter the Rosslare-Cherbourg port route in October, writes Jehan Ashmore.
A competition to name the vessel (see photo) drew a wide response from the public with thousands of entries received. Celtic Horizon will operate the year-round route on a five-year contract. She will also be the newest and fastest vessel sailing on routes between Rosslare and France.

With an increased capacity of nearly 1,000 passengers accommodated in 428 cabin berths, the vessel will offer a wider choice of bars, restaurents and childrens' play area compared to the current route ro-pax Norman Voyager, which like her successor was built by Italian shipbuilders  Visentini. The 25-knot replacement ship will have 2,285 lane metre space for 800 cars or 150 freight vehicles.

Celtic Horizon becomes the first vessel to incorporate the companies name since foundation in 2005 when the freight-ferry Diplomat started operations. In recent years the company has secured the contract to import new trade vehicles from French manufacturers.

Before the newcomer makes her Autumnal debut, the 2006 built vessel is currently operating as Cartour Beta while on charter to Caronte and Tourist's (C&T) Salerno-Messina service in Sicily. To read more click here.

As for the Norman Voyager, she first entered as a newbuild in 2008 for LD Lines weekend operated Rosslare-Le Havre route, subsequently transferred to Cherbourg. LD Lines first foray into the Irish market was short-lived as the ro-pax was sub-chartered to Celtic Link Ferries the following year, though the French company are to transfer the vessel to their Marseilles-Tunis route in November.

Published in Ferry
With less than a week in service on the Larne-Troon port route, the ro-ro freight ferry Norcape has replaced the European Mariner which is reportedly sold to Turkish ship-breakers, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Norcape (1979/14,087grt) entered service on 17 July and she brings an increased freight boost capacity of 125 trailer units compared to European Mariner's (1977/5,897grt) 53 trailer units. She departed Larne for the final time five days earlier, on her delivery voyage to Izmir in the eastern Mediterranean.

Prior to her arrival on the North Channel, Norcape had been laid-up in Liverpool since February 2010 after the former B+I Line vessel (MV Tipperary) was replaced by European Endeavour on the central corridor route to Dublin. As of this week the ro-pax freight vessel which has been running in a freight-only mode will now carry motorists likewise to her route fleetmates Norbank and Norbay.

With the departure of European Mariner from the Irish Sea, she follows a trio of former Stena Line freight-ferry sisters which were made redundant since the closure of the Belfast-Heysham route late last year. It is believed the sisters Stena Seafarer, Stena Leader and Stena Pioneer have been sold to Russian interests to serve in the Black Sea in connection to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The sisters were renamed, Stena Pioneer became Ant 1, Stena Seafarer is the Ant 2 and Stena Leader is the Anna Marine. They departed Belfast Lough in mid-June to Sevastopol in the Ukraine under the Moldovan flag and with a port of registry in Giurgiulesti.

Published in Ferry
Operators of the Cork-Swansea port route, Fastnet Line celebrated their 100,000th passenger late last month, after opening the service in March 2010, writes Jehan Ashmore.
While down on its initially forecasted target, it should be noted that, between January to March this year, the 1,500-passenger capacity ferry Julia was dry-docked in Swansea for essential maintenance. Refurbishment of the 1982-built 22,161 tonnes vessel took place in some public areas and three new luxurious mini-suites have been created.

In addition passengers travelling on the Julia can visit the newly installed tourist office where an advanced booking system will be available for all accommodation, leisure, and hospitality facilities located on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Irish and Welsh members of the West Cork Tourism Co–Operative, which established the ferry operation will staff the tourist office full-time during the summer months. The facility is unique to Irish-UK ferry services and was officially opened by the new Cork County Mayor Tim Lombard. For further information from the co-operative click www.westcork.ie and more about the other on board facilities click HERE.

With competition from summer sells on offer from rival operators on the Irish Sea, in particular on St. Georges Channel services, Fastnet Line are combating with deals to encourage higher occupancy sailings during the peak season.

The company are also preparing to accommodate Irish soccer fans in the autumn, following the success of Swansea City F.C. in gaining promotion to the Premiership.

Published in Ferry
Diplomat, the original ferry that started operations for Celtic Link Ferries in 2005 has been sold to Indian ship-breakers after serving a spell on charter in the Caribbean, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Since leaving the Rosslare-Cherbourg port route in late 2009, the Diplomat has run between Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and San Juan (Peurto Rico) for Marine Express. For more click HERE. The freight-ferry was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea in 1978 and she was the final 'Searunner' class of 11 ordered by the Stena Rederi.

Launched as the Stena Tranporter, the career of the 16,000 tonnes has spanned over three decades in which the 151m vessel changed through several owners and subsequent vessel renamings.

It was when she served under the name Baltic Ferry, that her most notable career took place in 1982 during her wartime deployment as part of the
Falklands Islands Task Force. The 151m vessel was requisitioned by the British Ministry of Defence which saw the ship engaged in military operations when RAF Harrier Jump-Jet aircraft transferred store supplies from the deck of the ship as part of the war-effort in the South Atlantic Ocean.

In 2001 the vessel undertook ferry operations to Ireland as the European Diplomat on the Dublin-Liverpool route for the P&O (Irish Sea) route network. The following year she was transferred on the direct route to France until P&O pulled the plug on the continental service in December 2004, leaving Irish Ferries as the sole operator.

It was not until February 2005 that the route resumed service but this time under new owners Celtic Link Ferries. The O'Flaherty brothers, owners of a large fishing fleet in Kilmore Quay purchased the vessel and renamed her Diplomat. See PHOTO.

For the next four years she built up a steady customer loyalty between freight-hauliers drivers and car-only accompanying passengers who were accommodated in the ship which had a limited passenger certificate for 114 passengers. In addition she had a license to transport livestock.

Currently Celtic Link Ferries operate the ferry Norman Voyager but the 800-passenger / 200-car ro-pax vessel will only remain on the route until an October debut of a larger sistership the Cartour Beta.

The vessel is running this season between Italy and Sicily and with an added deck the 27,552 tonnes vessel has an increased capacity for passengers, cars and enhanced range of facilities. Recently the company had run a competition to name the new vessel which is to begin a five-year charter on the service between Wexford and Normandy.

Published in Ferry
Page 67 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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