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Displaying items by tag: Ulysses

The MV Ulysses, the leading Irish Ferries freight and tourism vessel on the Dublin to Holyhead route, returns to Dublin today following an extensive dry dock investment at Cammell Laird shipyard in Merseyside.

The four-week upgrade was undertaken to complete refurbishment and maintenance work and will see the Ulysses return to service looking like 'new', having had new propellers, new rudder components, a full refurbishment of her stern thruster and other underwater works. Investment didn’t stop there, with engine overhauls and Vehicle Deck painting programmes. Birkenhead based shipyard and engineering service company Cammell Laird was chosen for the MV Ulysses dry dock refurbishment due to their extensive expertise and a strong track record with this vessel.

Andrew Sheen, Irish Ferries Managing Director said “This is a significant investment in the Ulysses, which we know is a much-loved ship for both freight and tourism traffic. We are delighted to see her return to service to continue to provide the comfort and reliability that our customers expect from the Irish Ferries fleet”.

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#FerryNews - Ulysses, flagship of Irish Ferries which was forced out of service for over a month during the peak season is once again not operating on the Holyhead route having docked in Dublin Port last night, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The company had cited a 'technical reason' though it is understood this incident it is not a repeat of the summer's problems with the starboard controllable pitch propeller which took place on 24th June. This led to the 50,938 gross tonnage flagship having to undergo major repairs in Harland & Wolff, Belfast. Otherwise the custom-built cruiseferry has had a strong reliability record since introduction in 2001.  

Ulysses having completed a round trip to Holyhead, yesterday evening proceeded upriver to berth in Alexandra Basin. It would appear that the off service situation is short-term, given that the Ulysses is scheduled to return to service this Wednesday (1st November) on the 20:55 sailing to Holyhead. Check here for updates. 

In the meantime while Ulysses remains in Alexandra Basin, this is also where earlier this month, the route's Holyhead newly introduced fast-ferry craft Dublin Swift had problems too. Work was carried out that enabled a return to the route just days before it ended a first 'seasonal' service previously operated by Jonathan Swift.  The winter layover in the port of the larger and newer fast-craft is to end with resumption of sailings in Spring 2019.

Currently, taking place of Ulysses sailing roster is Isle of Inishmore, where Afloat noted a repositioning passage from Rosslare which saw an arrival yesterday morning to Dublin Port. The Isle of Inishmore is no stranger on the Dublin route having also been custom-built in 1997 to serve the north Wales route when ordered by the operator's parent company ICG. 

Also operating on the Wales route but routinely is ropax Epsilon, however a third ferry was also in service until Sunday night, Oscar Wilde that provided additional sailings since earlier this month. The cruiseferry also served direct Dublin-Cherbourg crossings, however in the early hours of yesterday morning made a repositioning passage to Rosslare to take over the 'Inishmore' roster that began with a morning crossing to Pembroke.

On a related note to Ireland-France services, Afloat will have more to report on the much delayed €150m cruiseferry W.B. Yeats that was to have made a debut on the Dublin route last July followed by a transfer to Holyhead from September but only for the winter.  During that time Epsilon would maintain the year-round operated route given no Rosslare based sailings. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Ulysses has returned to service today (Thursday 26 July), having completed a sailing from Dublin Port to Holyhead this morning.

The Irish Ferries flagship left Belfast Dry Dock yesterday evening (Wednesday 25 July) after a month of extended repairs on a problem propeller shaft.

Epsilon, the ferry drafted to replace Ulysses on the current summer schedule, is expected to remain on standby should any further technical issues be encountered.

Afloat.ie's own Jehan Ashmore will be sailing on Ulysses later today.

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#FerryNews - Technical issues for Irish Ferries Ulysses remain unresolved as they are more serious than originally anticipated, forcing the operator to cancel further sailings than expected during the peak season on the busy Dublin-Holyhead route.

Ulysses since late last month has been out of service due to problems with a propeller shaft that led to the largest ferry on the Irish Sea to receive repairs in Harland & Wolff, Belfast. The ferry was due to return to service last Wednesday, 4th July. 

According to a statement issued today by Irish Continental Group (parent company of Irish Ferries), the cruiseferry reported technical issues of the starboard controllable pitch propeller on the (Sunday) 24th June. The investigation and repairs to the vessel were expected to take no longer than 5 days allowing the cruiseferry to resume service on the (Wednesday) 4th July. Service engineers have informed the operator, that the issue is more serious and the cruiseferry will be out of service for a further period of 1 to 2 weeks. 

Irish Ferries added that despite their best efforts they were unable to find replacement tonnage in what is now the peak tourism season.

This is the first major technical problem to beset the Ulysses since introduction of the 50,938 gross tonnage cruiseferry in 2001. The vessel remains docked in Belfast Dry-Dock from where it entered on the 28th June. Afloat had previously tracked the cruiseferry make an overnight passage from Dublin Port on 26th June to Belfast Lough from where anchorage took place off Bangor before the dry dock could accommodate the 209m cruiseferry.

Irish Ferries said it would be contacting affected passengers and has adjusted the schedules of other vessels to minimise the disruption to customers as much as possible.

The operator said it will continue to run the schedule (Ex: Dublin – 08:05 & 20:55 and Ex: Holyhead – 02:40 & 14:10) using their alternate vessel Epsilon and will increase the number of Dublin Swift sailings with an additional round trip in the evening.

The disruption follows last month's announcement from ICG of another delay to newbuild delivery of cruiseferry W.B. Yeats. The cruiseferry which is similar in appearance to Ulysses but larger at around 55,000 tonnes is now set to enter service this autumn on the Dublin-Holyhead.

Originally, W.B. Yeats was to debut on the continental connection linking the capital and Cherbourg, France followed by a launch on the service to Wales in September.

 

 

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#FerryNews - Operator Irish Ferries has said all sailings on the Ulysses vessel which serves the Dublin to Holyhead route have been cancelled for the next week.

As the The Irish Times reports, the ferry operator said the ship has been taken out of service due to a “technical issue” and to allow repairs be completed.

A spokeswoman for Irish Ferries said there is a problem with a propeller shaft necessitating the ship going to dry dock for a number of days and it is expected the Ulysses will return to normal service by the middle of next week.

In a statement (for updates click here) the company said all passengers affected are currently being advised and will be accommodated on an alternative ship or sailing.

For more on this story, click here.

Afloat adds the flagship departed Dublin Port this evening and is bound for Harland & Wolff, Belfast to undergo repairs. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Ulysses, Irish Ferries cruiseferry on the Dublin-Holyhead route has sailings cancelled today (2 May) and up to Friday (4 May). 

According to the operator's website this is due to technical reasons. All of the cruiseferry's operated sailings in both directions on the Ireland-Wales route are cancelled. 

Passengers instead can be accommodated on the route's fastferry, HSC Dublin Swift and the ropax ferry Epsilon.

For updated sailing information click the link here and also for contact details.

The 50,938 gross registered tonnes flagship Ulysses is the largest ro-ro ferry operating on the Irish Sea. Since introduction in 2001, the cruiseferry has held a strong reliable track record of service maintaining the core short-sea route. 

The cruiseferry is no longer docked at Dublin Ferryport Terminal 1 having proceeded upriver to berth in Alexandra Basin.

 

Published in Ferry

#FlagshipRefit - The Iargest ferry on the Irish Sea the 50,938 tonnes Ulysses completed a Dublin-Holyhead crossing before departing Anglesey in the early hours of yesterday morning bound for an annual refit in Falmouth, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The flagship of Irish Ferries made what is understood to have been a 20 hour passage including the Celtic Sea before entering a drydock at A&P Falmouth last night in Cornwall.

The Finnish built flagship dating from 2001 was under the Irish flag, however for the past decade the 209 metre long vessel transferred to the Cypriot flag. She is to undergo a routine maintenance prior to beginning her 15th year in service.

Ulysses can carry 1,875 passengers, 1,372 cars and 300 trucks and is the fifth largest ferry in tonnage terms operating in UK waters. All these large ferries operate on North Sea routes to the Netherlands.

Taking Ulysses place on the Dublin route is Isle of Inishmore which repositioned from Rosslare-Pembroke duties and which in turn are been covered by Oscar Wilde. The Rosslare-based French seasonal services cruiseferry having completed Christmas sailings to boost capacity on the Holyhead service.

At the Cornish shiprepairer, conversion and maintenance facility is also the landing ship dock RFA Lyme Bay (L3007), coastal products tanker Whit Navigator and Wavewalker 1.

The latter craft based in Falmouth, is Fugro Seacore’s award-winning eight legged ‘walking’ jack-up rig that carried out maintenance work last year at the Arklow Arklow Bank Offshore Windfarm.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS- This morning Irish Ferries Dublin-Holyhead route cruiseferry Ulysses departed for Birkenhead, on the Mersey, for annual maintenance at the Cammell Laird dry-docks facility, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In place of Ulysses, the Isle of Inishmore has taken up her sailing roster, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the ro-pax ferry had last night completed her own additional sailings to cope with increased demand over the festive season.

Isle of Inishmore which normally operates the Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route, will too be dry-docked for 15 days at the same facility, releasing Ulysses which is expected to return to service on 14 January, with the 08.50hrs sailing to Holyhead.

When the 'Inishmore' is off service, she will be joined by the central-corridor route's fast-craft Jonathan Swift, albeit in a separate dock, remaining there until 2 February.

Once work on Isle of Inishmore is completed, she is planned to vacate the dock on 30 January, which in turn will allow cruiseferry Oscar-Wilde to enter the next day, for her period of routine maintenance.

This will allow Isle of Inishmore to return to the Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route, where the Oscar Wilde is currently operating. The French routes ferry Oscar Wilde will finally return to launch the Cherbourg route on 27 February, followed by high-season sailings to Roscoff beginning in May.

Published in Ferry

#FERRIES - Ulysses arrived fresh from refit on the Dublin-Holyhead route yesterday after annual dry-docking at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on Alfoat.ie the Irish Ferries 'flagship' sailings on the central corridor route (also served by Jonathan Swift) where relieved by Isle of Inishmore earlier this month. 

Isle of Inishmore departed Dublin Port last  evening and headed to Liverpool Bay, where she anchored overnight. She docked at Cammell Laird this afternoon, where she too is to undergo annual overhaul.

With Isle of Inishmore off service on her usual Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route, the company's French routes vessel, Oscar Wilde is maintaining sailings.

On 19th February, the Oscar Wilde resumes service on Rosslare-Cherbourg route and she will also re-open the seasonal-only operated route to Roscoff which starts in May.

Published in Ferry

#FERRIES - As the adverse weather continues, ferry services across the Irish Sea remain affected, with several crossings cancelled, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Irish Ferries 08.05hrs sailing this morning from Dublin to Holyhead operated by Isle of Inishmore, departed over three hours later than her scheduled time.

Last night she had just been deployed on the route so to cover sailings usually operated by Ulysses, which went off-service for annual dry-docking at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, as previously reported on Afloat.ie

In addition the fast-ferry craft sailing at 08.45hrs from Dublin Port served by the Jonathan Swift were cancelled and the following sailings are also cancelled:

Dublin -Holyhead 14.30hrs

Holyhead-Dublin 12.00hrs AND 17.15hrs

Passengers booked on the Jonathan Swift instead will be accommodated on the Isle of Inishmore. For further information on Dublin-Holyhead sailing updates click HERE.

On the Rosslare-Pembroke Dock service, sailings were too cancelled with last night's sailing from Wales, which are currently served by Oscar Wilde. She sailed as scheduled with this morning's 08.45hrs sailing to Pembroke Dock.

To keep updated on Rosslare-Pembroke Dock sailings click HERE.

For further information, Irish Ferries Central Reservations contact: 0818 300 400 and for Irish Ferries, Rosslare Harbour contact: 00353 53 9133158

STENA LINE

For information on sailing schedules and updates from the company's Ferrycheck facility click HERE.

To contact Stena Line call: 003531 204 77 99 when travelling to Britain or 0044 (0) 8705 755 755 when travelling to Ireland or Scotland

P&O FERRIES

Dublin to Liverpool  sailing at 1500hrs  is cancelled  and passengers will be accommodated on either 2130hrs tonight or 0900hrs on Friday 6th January.

For other sailings and on the Larne-Cairnryan click HERE and to contact +44 (0) 871 66 44 777 if calling from UK
OR (01) 407 34 34 if calling from ROI. In addition to latest sailing infomation on  +44 (0)845 832 8888

FOR OTHER FERRY OPERATORS

Please click this LINK and choose the relevant highlighted ferry route for further information.

Published in Ferry
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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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