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Displaying items by tag: Cruises

The summer season sees Carlingford Lough Ferry kicking off with the launch of its passenger 'cruise' schedule.

As Dundalk Democrat writes, last week dates were released for their June Sunset cruises, which commences this Saturday June 12th and tickets are already being snapped up.

Carlingford Lough is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and is at its most beautiful as the sun sets over the Cooley Peninsula and the majestic Mourne Mountains.

These new sunset lough cruises are specifically designed to offer customers the opportunity to take a safe and socially distanced cruise on the iconic Carlingford Lough.

While onboard (Aisling Gabrielle), passengers will enjoy a fascinating audio tour, that will offer insights into the myths and legends of this majestic Lough, its formation as a glacial fjord, and its abundance of wildlife and bird life, in addition to live music and entertainment.

Carlingford Lough Ferry launched it’s passenger cruise service, ‘Carlingford Lough Cruises’ in 2019, and these passenger cruises on the Lough have since proved extremely popular with the number of cruises increasing annually.

This summer, they are extending their range of cruises once again and offering a host of new cruise experiences.

Their popular Lough & Lighthouse cruises return throughout July and August, with June featuring a new Sunset inner Lough cruise to start the summer season of cruises.

For more details on other themed cruises and prices click here.

Published in Ferry

The May Bank Holiday weekend finally marked a particularly eagerly awaited return of Dublin Bay Cruises, following Covid19's dramatic impact on last year's reduced season, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Normally the season starts during the St. Patrick's Festival and so the 2021 season at last can cater for domestic demand from Dubliners and given current restrictions, those from neighbouring counties.

According to Dublin Bay Cruises website, all passengers are asked to bring a face mask and scarf to cover your face while on board. Also to adhere to the 2 metre social distance recommendation when queing to board the two-deck passenger vessel.

Excursions can be taken from 9 cruise options, that collectively connect Dublin Port (Liffey Quays), Dun Laoghaire (East Pier) and Howth (West Pier) and from where is a cruise around Ireland's Eye. In addition a final cruise of the day is back in Dublin Bay with a Dun Laoghaire-around Dalkey Island round trip.

The first passengers to board St. Bridget took place on Saturday when the summer season's opening cruise began to those wanting to get away on to the sea and see the broad variety of natural and mademade coastal landmarks. Also opportunites to spot marine wildlife.

In fact, Afloat observed on Sunday, a repeat of the around Dalkey Island cruise, which involved St. Bridget make a late afternoon transit through Dalkey Sound and rounding off Sorrento Point into the splended scenery of Killiney Bay.

There to welcome the season's inaugural patrons were the crew of the St. Bridget, which presents a most smart appearance of a dark blue hull and white superstructure. The vessel has a bar within the 96 capacity excursion vessel which tge operator also provides for private and corporate charter.

A fresh livery was applied following a 'lift' into the dry dock at Howth Boatyard (see photo) with St. Bridget undergoing routine preparations for this sailing season. Up to then the former Aran Islands /West coast ferry had spent the Winter and Spring tied up as usual in Grand Canal Dock Basin.

Now that St. Bridget is back operating, the excursion vessel is based in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, while alongside St. Micheals Wharf.

Published in Dublin Bay

#Cruises - Cruise Ireland's members will meet in January to discuss controversial proposals to change the way the organisation is funded.

At November's board meeting of the industry body representing interests in the Irish cruise industry, the Port of Cork's commercial manager Michael McCarthy charged that Ireland's biggest ports in Dublin and Cork should no longer be Cruise Ireland's primary funders.

McCarthy cited the wish for greater contributions from other tourist venues that reap the biggest business from Ireland's cruise traffic.

Echoing his sentiments, Cruise Ireland chair Eamonn O'Reilly noted that the body's current subscription model of 'the bigger you are, the more you pay' was no longer tenable in an increasingly competitive cruise marketplace - in light of plans by Dun Laoghaire, among other ports, to attract cruise liners.

O'Reilly, who is chief executive of the Dublin Port Company, proposed of a flat membership fee of €10,000 - which was objected to by a number of those present.

And though the matter was deferred for further discussion in the New Year, O'Relly shared Dublin Port's position that it would not not commit to funding Cruise Ireland under the current model beyond 2014.

Other matters discussed at November's meeting included a review of Cruise Ireland's marketing strategy at important international trade shows, in order to more effectively sell Ireland as a key European cruise destination.

Cruise Ireland's next meeting will take place on 21 January 2014.

Published in Cruise Liners
Cruise Ireland, the marketing group promoting Ireland as a cruise destination; has announced that the overall economic contribution of the cruise business is estimated to be worth €60 million to the island of Ireland. On average there are over 200 cruise calls to Ireland per year carrying approximately half a million passengers and crew.

There are many indirect economic and tourism benefits to Ireland from this sector, as well as the benefit of introducing Ireland to new markets and business opportunities. Such cruise visits also help to showcase Ireland's world class shore products, destinations and highlights all that Ireland has to offer visitors.

One of Ireland's advantages is the strategic and geographic spread of its numerous ports, many of which are in close proximity to world class tourism destinations.

Speaking at Seatrade Miami this week, the Chairman of Cruise Ireland, Mr Brendan Keating said "Cruise Ireland aims to promote the island of Ireland as an excellent cruising ground for cruise companies. With the total economic contribution of €60 million, we need to ensure that Ireland maintains this level of business and looks at methods of growing it in the future."

He continued; "Cruise Ireland is looking forward to the 2011 season with confidence. We expect to see further growth in ship calls and the continued establishment of Ireland as an important cruise liner destination. Marketing Cruise Ireland at Seatrade will hopefully encourage further cruise bookings to Ireland in 2012 and 2013."

Representatives from Cruise Ireland attended Seatrade Miami to promote the Island of Ireland as a cruise line tourism destination. This event is attended by over 10,000 delegates, cruise line operators, the world's leading cruise tourism destinations and 118 countries.

Each year, all of the international operators including Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Cunard, Holland America Line and NCL visit Irish ports to access Ireland's world class destinations.

The 2011 season will kick off in early April with calls by the MV Queen Victoria to Cork, the MV Boudicca to Dublin and the MV Ocean Nova to Belfast

Published in Cruise Liners
The Holiday World Show in association with The Sunday Times, opened its doors today at the RDS Simmonscourt Complex in Dublin. The three-day show, which runs tomorrow and Sunday, will have numerous exhibitors with worldwide destinations and all types of holidays on offer.
As part of the show, visitors can attend a series of free talks held each day. One of the talks will be about "Cruise Holidays" –All You Need To Know, presented by cruise travel specialist, John Galligan of (John Galligan Travel) which starts at 3pm on Saturday. For a full list of the other speakers click HERE

The following ferry and  cruise operators are exhibiting at the show: Azamara Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Celtic Link Ferries, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cruise Holidays, Travel.ie, Hurtigruten, John Galligan Travel, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruise Lines, Pullmantur Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Saga, Silversea Cruises, Thomas Cook and Voyages To Antiquity.

Also exhibiting is Emerald Star for those interested in taking a cabin-cruiser holiday on the Shannon.

For opening times of Holiday World Show (incorporating the Caravan & Motor Home Show) see below

Friday 28 January 1.00 pm - 8.00 pm 

Saturday 29 January 11.00 am - 5.30 pm

Sunday 30 January 11.00 am - 5.30 pm

For a full listing of exhibitors, ticket prices and further information about the show logon to www.holidayworldshow.com

Published in Cruise Liners

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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