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Displaying items by tag: Celtic Link Ferries

#FERRY DRYDOCKING - Only two round trip Irish Ferries operated Rosslare-Cherbourg sailings are to remain before the year is out, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The cruiseferry Oscar Wilde is to undergo annual maintenance and routine inspection during January before opening the French service in late February 2013.

In the interim period this leaves Celtic Link Ferries which also runs to Cherbourg, as the only operator serving a direct year-round service using the ro-pax ferry Celtic Horizon.

The third operator on the Irish-French market, Brittany Ferries whose flagship Pont-Aven completed sailings for this year in early November.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS - Celtic Link Ferries have announced their best ever ferry deal between France and Ireland to coincide with The Gathering 2013.

On Friday 15 March 2013 - in time for the St Patrick's Weekend festivities - all vehicles will sail from Cherbourg to Rosslare Europort for just €1 each.

The fantastic deal is inclusive of a vehicle, cabin and the people in the cabin - but act fast, as this 'next to nothing' offer is available for this one day only.

“Celtic Link Ferries are simply bringing in as many passengers as they can - for as little price that they can,” says passenger manager Rory McCall.

Bookings for this day can be made at www.celticlinkferries.com.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY TO RESUME – Services on Celtic Link Ferries Rosslare-Cherbourg route as previously reported on Afloat.ie are scheduled to resume with tomorrow (20 November) night's sailing departing 21.30hrs.

According to the ferry operator, the ro-pax ferry Celtic Horizon will be operating to a reduced capacity, however the sailing will mark the return of standard sailing times.

Due to the restrictions in place any passenger with special needs are requested to contact CLF on 053 916 2688 (Ireland) or 02 33 43 23 87 (France) and for further information visit www.celticlinkferries.com

Published in Ferry

#NO FERRY SAILING – Due to a mooring issue that took place in Cherbourg, there will be no sailing today (18 November) on Celtic Link Ferries 19.00hr departure from Cherbourg to Rosslare.

According to the operator's website, yesterday's outward sailing from Rosslare was also cancelled and that passengers intending to travel today will also be looked after on other sailings. In the meantime the ro-pax vessel remains berthed at Rosslare Europort.

To keep updated of further developments passengers are requested to consult the operators website HERE and by contacting CLF on 053 916 2688 (Ireland) or 02 33 43 23 87 (France).

Published in Ferry

#PORTS & SHIPPING REVIEW - Over the last fortnight Jehan Ashmore has reported from the shipping scene where Celtic Link Ferries celebrated their first year in service of the ro-pax ferry Celtic Horizon which operates the Rosslare-Cherbourg route.

Also in Rosslare, Stena Line's Fishguard ferry Stena Europe attempted to berth in high winds which led to the vessel making contact with the bow of Irish Ferries cruiseferry Oscar Wilde.

Further ferry news, though from Cork where last weekend saw the final end of season round-trip sailing to Roscoff operated by Brittany Ferries cruiseferry Pont-Aven.

According to the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO), Irish Ports are in a good position to capitalise on the growing demand for offshore renewable energy services.

Following the tallship Tenacious 'Open Day' in Dublin Port in late October, the 65m long barque returned to Dublin Bay, but instead made an overnight visit to Dun Laoghaire with 28 crew trainees on board. Her owners the Jubilee Sailing Trust are looking for volunteers to carry out tasks while she undergoes dry-dock this month.

Turnover in the Dublin Port Company has edged fractionally higher in 2011 at €69.1m and operating profit also slightly increased by €0.8m to €27.8m on 2010 figures.

An apt office location for Decisions (D4H) a software firm specialising in emergency response technology has made its new home at a building block adjacent of the Baily Lighthouse in Dublin Bay.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#CELTIC LINK - The Celtic Horizon, the 27,522 tonnes ro-pax ferry this week celebrates her first year in service on Celtic Link Ferries Rosslare-Cherbourg route, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to the Celtic Link they have had a 'resoundingly successful inaugural year with the Celtic Horizon'. The Co. Wexford based operator saw double digit-growth in the number of tourist passengers sailing on the 17 hour route.

Celtic Link envisage that this growth will continue in 2013 and as the only year-round operator between Ireland and France. On the freight front, strong performance has been recorded despite the turbulent economic conditions in which the company has claimed to have performed in line with yearly forecasts.

The 1000 passenger capacity ferry, with space for 200 cars and up to 120 freight vehicles, completed her first round trip voyage last October, having been chartered by CLF for a five-year term contract. On board the 186m vessel facilities include 110 cabins, a bar, restaurant, lounges, cinema, shop and wi-fi connectivity.

Celtic Horizon was built in 2006 by Cantiere Navala Visentini, Portoviro, in Italy and she retains her port registry of Bari. As the Cartour Beta, she began her career serving routes between Naples and Sicily for Caronte & Tourist (C&T) until her charter ceased late last summer.

Last September, the vessel was berthed in Palermo, in advance of her four-day delivery voyage to Ireland. The voyage set a course that saw her offshore of the Algerian coast and before leaving the Mediterranean, an en-route call was made to Gibraltar to load bunkers, until she finally reached Rosslare Harbour.

She has more passenger deck space compared to her predecessor, Norman Voyager, which likewise was built of the same overall ro-pax design of the Italian shipbuilder. A notable and novel feature is the escalator which whisks passengers from the vehicle decks to the main passenger deck.

Published in Ferry

#PORTS & SHIPPING REVIEW - Over the last fortnight Jehan Ashmore has reported from the Shipping scene where the Stena Line HSS seasonal-only operated Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead service completed its final sailing for the summer, though sailings are to resume over Christmas/New Year period.

Despite the HSS Stena Explorer's last high-season sailing on 11 September, the fast-ferry made a return call to Dun Laoghaire five days later, for a special freight-only charter, to load stage trucks following the Lady Gaga concert held in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.

Incidentally the ferry terminal in Dun Laoghaire now features a new exhibition space, where the Tanaiste Eamonn Gilmore, T.D. officially launched the Shackleton Endurance Exhibition – 'Triumph Against All Odds'.

The Cork Harbour Open Weekend provided a great opportunity for locals and visitors alike to see what the world's second largest natural harbour has to offer, in terms of activities held on and off the water, including trips to Spike Island.

At Cobh a detained French registered fishing vessel was escorted to the town by the Naval Service OPV L.E. Roisin, following alleged breaches of technical fishing regulations.

A Dutch owned cargoship, the Julia, which docked in Drogheda Port faced arrest, following claims by its crew that they were owed in total $102,700 in unpaid wages to them.

The summer may be over, but that's not stopping Irish Ferries offering Autumn short shopping breaks and wine mini-cruises on the route to Cherbourg.

While rivals Celtic Link Ferries, found themselves taking additional business at short notice, as passengers were transferred from the cancelled Brittany Ferries Roscoff-Cork sailing, following strike-action by French staff over a dispute on new working conditions.

Celtic Link Ferries will however be expecting a response from customers as they take part in Gathering 2013, as the ferry operator are offering free car travel on 15th March next year in advance of St. Patricks Day celebrations.

Leo Varadkar, Minister for Transport, has appointed James Frater to the board of the Dublin Port Company. The Scot has held senior positions at ports in the UK, Egypt, Hong Kong and Oman.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#FERRY NEWS – Celtic Link Ferries are to participant in Ireland's The Gathering 2013, a year-long initiative to celebrate all things Irish, with a unique opportunity to take a car from France on their Cherbourg-Rosslare service for free, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The special offer is limited to the sailing scheduled to depart Cherbourg on 15th March, with an arrival the next day to Rosslare Europort, in advance of  the nation's annual celebrations on St. Patrick's Day.

Those travelling on this sailing will have the chance to sample the Celtic Horizon, the newest and fastest ship sailing on this route between Normandy and Wexford.

Among the facilities on board the 27,522 tonnes vessel is the forward facing restaurant, the Cherbourg Café Lounge and adjoining children's playroom, cinema and Wi-Fi. Accommodation is provided in 110 cabins and vehicle decks for 200 cars and up to 120 freight trucks.

For further details of The Gathering voyage and other offers visit: www.celticlinkferries.com

Published in Ferry

#CELTIC LINK – Rosslare-Cherbourg operator Celtic Link Ferries which runs the Celtic Horizon (2006/27,522grt) on the 17 hour route, is operating her first high-season, since the 940-passenger ship was introduced last October, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Celtic Link Ferries are the only company to provide an all year-round service on the Irish-French services which are also served by other operators running out of Rosslare and Cork.

The Celtic Horizon has larger and improved passenger facilities compared to predecessor Norman Voyager. Among the facilities on board the newcomer is the forward facing restaurant, the Cherbourg Café Lounge and adjoining children's playroom, cinema and Wi-Fi. Accommodation is provided in 110 cabins and vehicle decks for 200 cars and up to 120 freight trucks.

CLF have a short wine-break offer for a driver and companion, plus return car to stock up on your favourite French wines. The offer also includes a two berth outside cabin both ways and costs €200. For further, information click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#PORTS & SHIPPING REVIEW - Over the last fortnight Jehan Ashmore has reported from the Ports & Shipping Scene which saw trade volumes in Drogheda Port continue to rise. An increase of over 44% was recorded for the first six months of 2012 compared to the same period last year.

Off the west coast, a record breaking 48 tonnes of silver bullion has been recovered from the wreck of S.S. Gairsoppa, a 412-ft British cargoship that was torpedoed by U-Boat in WWII.

The Competition Authority is to conduct an in depth review of how our ports perform and how they are to be funded and to examine whether Dublin Port has an economically dominant position.

A boost on all fronts for traffic figures on Stena Line's Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) route was welcomed by the ferry operator which completed the takeover of operations from DFDS Seaways last summer.

Single-route operator Celtic Link Ferries reached an agreement with Rosslare Europort, to end a stalemate in over €100,000 relating to unpaid port landing fees.

Deutschland, one of the three cruiseships that visited Dublin Port last weekend completed its cruise in London, where the vessel is currently moored as a floating hotel for the German Olympic Sports Federation.

Belfast M.P. Nigel Dodds is leading a campaign to keep the WWI battleship cruiser HMS Caroline, the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland, from leaving the city. The 1914 built ship could be moved to Portsmouth for preservation or even face scrapping.

At the other end of the island, Cork based Irish Mainport Holdings has acquired a new seismic-support ship. The vessel renamed Mainport Kells has recently taken up a long-term charter contract for clients operating in the North Sea.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Sharks in Irish waters

Irish waters are home to 71 species of shark, skates and rays, 58 of which have been studied in detail and listed on the Ireland Red List of Cartilaginous fish. Irish sharks range from small Sleeper sharks, Dogfish and Catsharks, to larger species like Frilled, Mackerel and Cow sharks, all the way to the second largest shark in the world, the Basking shark. 

Irish waters provide a refuge for an array of shark species. Tralee Bay, Co. Kerry provides a habitat for several rare and endangered sharks and their relatives, including the migratory tope shark, angel shark and undulate ray. This area is also the last European refuge for the extremely rare white skate. Through a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) project, Marine Institute scientists have been working with fishermen to assess the distribution, diversity, and monthly relative abundance of skates and rays in Tralee, Brandon and Dingle Bays.

“These areas off the southwest coast of Ireland are important internationally as they hold some of the last remaining refuges for angel shark and white skate,” said Dr Maurice Clarke of the Marine Institute. “This EMFF project has provided data confirming the critically endangered status of some species and provides up-to-date information for the development of fishery measures to eliminate by-catch.” 

Irish waters are also home to the Black Mouthed Catshark, Galeus melastomus, one of Ireland’s smallest shark species which can be found in the deep sea along the continental shelf. In 2018, Irish scientists discovered a very rare shark-nursery 200 nautical miles off the west coast by the Marine Institute’s ROV Holland 1 on a shelf sloping to 750 metres deep. 

There are two ways that sharks are born, either as live young or from egg casings. In the ‘case’ of Black Mouthed Catsharks, the nursery discovered in 2018, was notable by the abundance of egg casings or ‘mermaid’s purses’. Many sharks, rays and skate lay eggs, the cases of which often wash ashore. If you find an egg casing along the seashore, take a photo for Purse Search Ireland, a citizen science project focusing on monitoring the shark, ray and skate species around Ireland.

Another species also found by Irish scientists using the ROV Holland 1 in 2018 was a very rare type of dogfish, the Sail Fin Rough Shark, Oxynotus paradoxus. These sharks are named after their long fins which resemble the trailing sails of a boat, and live in the deep sea in waters up to 750m deep. Like all sharks, skates and rays, they have no bones. Their skeleton is composed of cartilage, much like what our noses and ears are made from! This material is much more flexible and lighter than bone which is perfect for these animals living without the weight of gravity.

Throughout history sharks have been portrayed as the monsters of the sea, a concept that science is continuously debunking. Basking sharks were named in 1765 as Cetorhinus maximus, roughly translated to the ‘big-nosed sea monster’. Basking sharks are filter feeders, often swimming with their mouths agape, they filter plankton from the water.

They are very slow moving and like to bask in the sun in shallow water and are often seen in Irish waters around Spring and early Summer. To help understand the migration of these animals to be better able to understand and conserve these species, the Irish Basking Shark Group have tagged and mapped their travels.

Remarkably, many sharks like the Angel Shark, Squatina squatina have the ability to sense electricity. They do this via small pores in their skin called the ‘Ampullae of Lorenzini’ which are able to detect the tiny electrical impulses of a fish breathing, moving or even its heartbeat from distances of over a kilometre! Angel sharks, often referred to as Monkfish have a distinctively angelic shape, with flattened, large fins appearing like the wings of an angel. They live on the seafloor in the coastal waters of Ireland and much like a cat are nocturnal, primarily active at night.

The intricate complexity of shark adaptations is particularly noticeable in the texture of their skin. Composed of miniscule, perfectly shaped overlapping scales, the skin of shark provides them with protection. Often shark scales have been compared to teeth due to their hard enamel structure. They are strong, but also due to their intricate shape, these scales reduce drag and allow water to glide past them so that the shark can swim more effortlessly and silently. This natural flawless design has been used as inspiration for new neoprene fabric designs to help swimmers glide through the water. Although all sharks have this feature, the Leafscale Gulper Shark, Centrophorus squamosus, found in Ireland are specifically named due to the ornate leaf-shape of their scales.