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#CruiseBerthOpposition – Some of the country's most exclusive yacht clubs in Dun Laoghaire Harbour are fighting to stop proposals for a new terminal designed to facilitate "super-sized" cruise liners.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company displayed plans to build a 390-metre long cruise berth for passenger ships as part of a non-statutory public consultation for two weeks over Easter.

It is one of three bodies involved in the Dun Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group, which is promoting the proposed facility. The other supporters are Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown county council and Dun Laoghaire Business Improvement District (BID).

The combined group will submit a planning application to An Bord Pleanala, by the end of this month.

The Royal St George Yacht Club, a 177-year-old institution with its elegant Victorian clubhouse at the harbour , has warned the proposed cruise berth would be "of megalithic proportions", would have a negative impact on local amenities and "dissect" the Victorian-built landmark.

To read more, The Sunday Times reports HERE

In addition an image supplied by Dún Laoghaire BID (Business Improvement District) Company and article as previously reported on Afloat.ie shows an artist's impression of proposed cruise-berth as viewed from high above the harbour. 

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#Missing - The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of an Irish man on a Caribbean cruise "remain unclear", according to US coastguard chiefs.

The Irish Independent reports on 67-year-old Dominic William O'Carroll, who was reported missing on Monday 13 April after a crew member on Croisières de France's MV Horizon saw something fall overboard from the vessel that morning.

A search and rescue operation covering more than 1,000 square nautical miles of the coast off Puerto Rico has since been called off.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

#cruiselinerberth – Dun Laoghaire harbour as a leisure facility, is in danger of being damaged by the proposal of a cruise liner berth according to the Coal Harbour Users Group (CHUG) who have submitted a written response to Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company. The group says this is particularly so for dinghies and small craft, though this might be mitigated by development of alternative sailing area and facilities west of the harbour.  The group have asked if it might be feasible for a lifting bridge be included on the access causeway to the new cruise berth and could a municipal marine facility be provided as part of the plan.

CHUG says the Impact on larger leisure craft appears to be less significant and it would be in favour of the cruise berth development if it is likely to financially viable and bring in revenue to the harbour company and / or local authority.

The CHUG response to DLHC is below: 

Dear Sirs

Thank you for briefing the committee of Coal Harbour Users Group regarding the proposed cruise liner berth in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The proposed cruise berth is an enormous development that will project approx. 60% of the distance from the shore to the harbour entrance. The Harbour Company anticipate that the berth would be in use for approx. 100 visits per season – i.e. on at least every second day during the summer months. Other boat movements would be restricted while cruisers are moving / berthing in the harbour and manoeuvring outside the harbour. This berthing and manoeuvring is likely to be a slower and longer process than for the HSS.

The above is likely to represent an inconvenience for persons moored in the harbour or on the marina while entering and leaving the harbour, and while moving within the harbour. There may be occasions where a boat needs to urgently enter the harbour (e.g. emergency, weather conditions), and may be delayed by cruiser manoeuvring. Dinghy sailors are likely to be more severely impacted, particularly because sailing within the harbour will be restricted, and they may need to sail close to the harbour mouth while a strong south-westerly is blowing.

The disruption to small boat sailors might be mitigated by development of a Marine Leisure Centre and sailing area for dinghies and sailboards immediately west of the west pier. A marine activity centre might also provide activities and attractions for visitors on cruise liners. The idea of a marine activity centre is outlined later in this e-mail.

Items for consideration by the Stakeholder Group:
Might some of the gantries between the proposed cruise berth piles / fenders be lifted when not in use to allow dinghies to pass between them?
Might a lifting bridge be included on the access causeway to the new cruise berth?
Might land reclamation be carried out to facilitate the development of a marine activity centre? This might be achieved by use of spoil from dredging. The cost of pumping a proportion of this spoil across the west pier might represent a saving over the cost of its removal to the Burford Bank. The above would be subject to further investigation, EIA, and planning requirements. Based on anecdote, spoil dredged from the harbour may contain pollutants including toxic substances. The spoil from close to the harbour mouth and from outside the harbour may be less contaminated.

The suggested Marine Activity Centre would:
Be a municipal building operated on the lines of a local authority leisure centre, but incorporating facilities for clubs and organisations that would be available for a nominal cost.
Encourage, promote and enhance public access for the "ordinary man" (and youth) to the sea and to marine leisure and sporting activities. This would include persons that are not members of the yacht clubs and other existing (privileged) organisations around the harbour.
Provide a facility for delivering Water Safety Education (classroom / lecture room, practical work area)
Provide showers, changing rooms, offices for clubs and organisations, boat / windsurf / canoe storage yard.
Incorporate a new slipway for dinghies and shallow draft boats (there are very few public slipways in the Dublin area).
The sailing area would include a safety boom a few hundred metres offshore, and removal of rocks close to the shore (or marking of them).
Provision of a cantilevered pedestrian boardwalk along the harbour wall alongside the access road east of the DMYC, and widening of the access road. Development in the West Pier area has in the past been restricted by access road width. This may provide a solution to access issues.

Summary:

In our opinion, the harbour as a leisure facility, is in danger of being damaged by the proposal. This is particularly so for dinghies and small craft, though this might be mitigated by development of alternative sailing area and facilities west of the harbour. Impact on larger leisure craft appears to be less significant, and mainly represents an occasional inconvenience. In principle, CHUG would be in favour of the cruise berth development based on the information provided by the Stakeholder Group if it is likely to financially viable and bring in revenue to the harbour company and / or local authority.

#DunLaoghaire - Plans by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to build a 400m berth for cruise liners have raised the ire of local dinghy sailors - whose petition to save their sport has attracted nearly 1,500 signatures.

Now local resident Roger Bannon has joined the chorus of disapproval, expressing his confusion at the reasoning behind the harbour company's plans in his submission as part of the ongoing public consultation.

Read what he had to say in his letter below:

I am utterly confused by the rationale purported to underlie this proposal.

Dublin Port has already made the decision to significantly enhance its facilities for accommodating cruise liners.

Consequently, I fail to understand the business case for replicating such a facility so adjacently in Dun Laoghaire, a location with much inferior infrastructure which will require major dredging and construction.

Furthermore, it does seem strange that such a berthing facility could be regarded as a safe all-weather mooring for large vessels when the harbour is so exposed to north-easterly gales which can produce a significant 'scend' in parts of the harbour which are not protected by a breakwater.

The business community in Dun Laoghaire cannot identify any local commercial benefits arising from this proposal.

  • Most visitors from cruise liners spend very little time ashore and in the case of Dun Laoghaire; the vast majority will get on the DART or a coach tour bus and head into Dublin for a few hours.
  • There are no attractions in Dun Laoghaire which could justify trying to persuade liner passengers spending time in the area.
  • The installation of the planned infrastructure to accommodate cruise liners would destroy much of the attractiveness of the harbour for both visitors and residents.

If this totally unsuitable development is allowed to proceed, the so-called economic benefits will be greatly outweighed by the loss of existing established economic activities generated by visitors to the piers and leisure boating users of the harbour.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour is an iconic, long-established community resource enjoyed by Dubliners for hundreds of years. It is not a commercial opportunity waiting to be developed by a QUANGO with no accountability to the local community.

It is a wonderful unique facility which would be envied by most other major cities but there seems to be a determination to desecrate it in the interest of generating an economic return.

Can the Harbour Board point to a precedent elsewhere in the world where the creation of major cruise liner berthing facility has worked to the benefit of a location and its community when immediately adjacent to a major city?

The truly successful facilities, such as Vancouver, Southampton, Sydney, etc have one major obvious attribute in common which is that the berths are all located virtually in the heart of the city, usually within a short walk or taxi ride of the city centre.

The days of Dun Laoghaire harbour being used as a commercial port are now over. There is no need for a Harbour Board and this master plan looks like an exercise in self-perpetuation of an unjustified bureaucracy.

  • The maritime responsibilities for the harbour should be devolved to Dublin Port.
  • The overall responsibility for the harbour should be allocated to the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
  • All future development of the harbour and its environs should be for the benefit of the local community and the larger Dublin Metropolitan Area which regularly enjoys its traditional and relaxing charms.
  • It is a national resource which should be treated, valued and preserved in a manner similar to the Phoenix Park.
  • The entire plan is comprised of vague wishful thinking with no financial or economic validation.
  • The local community, residents and businesses do not want it.
  • The logic of going into direct competition with Dublin Port has not been justified.
  • There are no drawings which illustrate the visual impact of the proposed development on the environment.

There is no meaningful evaluation of the impact of these proposals on the existing users of the harbour.

#DunLaoghaire - An online petition to 'save Dun Laoghaire dinghy sailing' has attracted nearly 1,400 signatures.

Set up by local Fireball sailor Peter Doherty, the petition rails against recently unveiled plans by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to build a 400m berth for cruise liners.

It's feared that the increase in cruise traffic will "destroy dinghy sailing in the harbour", described as "Ireland's most celebrated dinghy sailing location".

Using the harbour all year round, and availing of the local amenities, the dinghy sailing community feels short shifted by the harbour company's plans.

That's especially when "at most, [cruise] passengers will spend a day in Dun Laoghaire town, assuming they don't bypass the area entirely on their way into the city centre."

See more about the petition HERE.

#FerrytoCruisePlans – With increasingly mixed reaction on Dun Laoghaire Harbour's plans for a proposed new €18m cruise berth facility, what will happen to the existing albeit redundant Stena HSS fast-ferry linkspan berth, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Afloat.ie has inquired with Stena Line to confirm the status of the unique ro-ro port infrastructure on St. Michaels Wharf. The ro-ro linkspan berth was exclusively designed to serve the High Speed Seaservice (HSS) car-carrying and freight craft catamaran, Stena Explorer. She made her debut on the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route in April 1996.

It is now almost seven months ago since the route to Holyhead closed with the final sailing departing Dun Laoghaire Harbour on 9 September. Stena say as part of their agreement with Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, they will have to remove the linkspan and that they are making plans to do so with the assistance of Stena Metall and Stena Teknik.

The end of the Ireland-Wales route, came as no surprise as there was widespread speculation in recent years over the service's ability to be viable. It was in February when Stena announced the permanent closure of the route and that there would be no service in 2015.

This led to Stena pulling out of Dun Laoghaire Harbour and concentrate instead out of neighbouring Dublin Port on the existing route to Holyhead and launch of Stena Superfast X alongside Stena Adventurer.

When the HSS Stena Explorer entered service almost two decades ago, the Dun Laoghaire linkspan was custom built for the fast-ferry. Incidently, she was the first HSS launched and would become the last of the trio of HSS 1500 series to remain serving Stena Line. 

When berthing at the linkspan, the HSS Stena Explorer did not require mooring ropes alongside St. Michaels Wharf, but instead satellite technology guided the 19,638 tonnes fast-ferry to the linkspan. Shore-based arms would clamp at the craft-stern upon arrival and released for the departing sailing on the 52-nautical mile crossing to Anglesey.

An Irish Sea serving sister, HSS Stena Voyager which served Belfast-Stranrear (since closed) had on occasions appeared on the central corridor route to cover for 'Explorer's dry-docking. As for the third sister, HSS Stena Discovery, she served on the southern North Sea on the Harwich-Hook van Holland route.

Currently, a public consultation process on the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company's cruise-berth proposal is underway with an expiry date for submissions / observations next Monday 13 April (for further details click HERE).

The consultation is in advance of an expected planning application by DLHC on behalf of the Dun Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group to An Board Pleanala.

If the plan goes ahead the cruise facility would incorporate use of the former Stena ferry terminal on St. Michaels Wharf which was built in the 60's and originally featured a pair of ro-ro ferry berths.

The former Stena terminal as previously reported would also be transformed as the ferry vehicle marshalling area would be turned into coach, taxi and mini-bus parking use. 

In addition the project would involve constructing a new boardwalk overlooking the adjoining 820-boat marina.

Published in Ferry

#TradersFears-Cruise passengers will bypass Dun Laoghaire for Dublin's delights, that's what traders fear so that the new €18m berth will be a waste of money, writes The Independent.ie

Nearly 5,000 passengers and crew will disembark next month from a 20-storey floating pleasure palace as the first of 18 super cruisers and four smaller cruise ships sail into the port of Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, for the summer season.

It should be good news, right? A procession of well-heeled visitors coming into the seaside borough that has been hit harder than most by the crash?

But many locals say it won't mean a thing to them.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, among the record 22 cruise callers will be the anchorage call of the Splendida on May 11, with 1,313 crew and 3,900 tourists.

Each passenger will have paid up to €3,369 to be pampered with 11 nights of wining and fine dining aboard the 333-metre cruise vessel, plying the route from Hamburg to Southampton via Dublin and Scotland.

It boosts all-inclusive access to four restaurants, a jazz bar, ice cream parlour and chocolate shop among its amenities, but passengers and crew are also each expected to spend on average €70 each time they disembark.

Proponents of a plan to turn Dun Laoghaire into a major port of call for luxury cruising ships claim the estimated 100,000 passengers and crew aboard 22 cruise ships berthing at the port this summer will inject an estimated €7m into the local economy - with approximately one-third spent in Dun Laoghaire during a typical 12-hour stopover.

But as the Dun Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group, (DLSG) comprised of the local council and business improvement association and the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, begins a two-week public consultation process tomorrow (Afloat.ie adds that the process has already begun since last Monday, 30 March) on re-developing the historical harbour to accommodate super cruise ships, local opinion is sharply divided.

"It's madness," Peter Kerrigan, a local businessman and chair of the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Ratepayers' Association, said bluntly of the €18m plan to build a new berth and quay capable of accommodating super cruise ships up to 340 metres long.

Super cruisers currently have to berth off-shore with passengers getting to and from dry land via a shuttle boat.

The plan also includes transforming the now-defunct Stena Line ferry marshalling area into coach, taxi and mini-bus parking and building a new boardwalk overlooking the marina.

For more on this story, click here.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CruiseLiners - Telegraph Travel reports that a passenger on the Queen Elizabeth has died after an incident while boarding the ocean liner as it was anchored off Cambodia.

The female passenger, who has not been named, was boarding the Cunard cruise ship from a tender off Sihanoukville in Cambodia's south-west when she ended up in the water.

Despite the tender's crew quick efforts to rescue her from the water, she later died in the ship's medical centre.

The newest addition to Cunard's cruise liner fleet, and the second largest after the Queen Mary 2, was last seen in these waters when she berthed off Dun Laoghaire in August 2013.

The Telegraph has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

#HSStoCruiseScene - Had Stena Line retained running HSS Stena Explorer this year on the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route, this would have been her 20th year and with sailings scheduled to have begun last week, writes Jehan Ashmore.

However, the final chapter for Stena Line on this historic Ireland-Wales route came to an end with the official announcement in February to close the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route permanently in 2015 as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The development saw the historic 170 year route cease having its origins dating to 1835. Stena instead concentrated all operations on its other Dublin Bay service using those from Dublin Port on the existing route to Holyhead.

For more on the end of the Dun Laoghaire ferry-era, a photo of the HSS Stena Explorer (published in Ships Monthly) as she departs Dun Laoghaire Harbour for the final time on the 9th September with the return leg to Holyhead.

HSS Stena Explorer made her debut in 1999 as the first of a trio of 1500 series. The revolutionary catamaran car and vehicle carrying fast-ferry craft directly replacement the last conventional ferry on the route, the Stena Adventurer. Not to be confused with the current Stena Adventurer serving the Dublin Port-Holyhead route and joined earlier this month by Stena Superfast X.

Notably, no other vessel except the HSS Stena Explorer can use the custom built linkspan structures that lay idle in Dun Laoghaire Harbour and Holyhead Port, as the HSS was exclusively guided to these specialist structures using satellite positioning technology. Remarkably, this did not requiring berthing in the traditional way, as 'arms' clamped the stern without the need for ropes, dockers and related fees.

So what beckons the future ferry service? as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the invitation from Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company for a new ferry operator to run a seasonal-only service resulted in seven interested parties. According to DLHC, a berth has been made available and should a service resume, it would not be until 2016.

Further updates on this development will be made on 'Ferry News', noting the new dynamics following yesterday's launch by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company's Public Consultation Process over the proposed €18m cruise ship jetty and associated berth quay facility. 

For full details of the proposals and the public consulation process visit: http://dlharbour.ie/projects/cruise-berth-consultation/

The proposed port infrastructure at Dun Laoghaire would jut out into the harbour beyond the marina's eastern breakwater that adjoins the former Stena HSS berth linkspan. 

While across Dublin Bay, a €30m cruise terminal is also proposed in Dublin Port but closer to the capital 'Docklands' at the East-Link Bridge. Both proposed facilities would be capable of handling the world's largest cruiseships.

Published in Dublin Bay

#CruiseConcerns- An objection from businesses in Dun Laoghaire are to be lodged over the proposed development of the harbour into a cruise ship facility, reports the Herald.ie.

The Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Ratepayers' Association will make a submission outlining concerns about the Harbour Company's €15m plan to overhaul the harbour.

It will bring no economic benefit to the area and will upset the harbour, according to association chairman Peter Kerrigan.

"Passengers on cruise ships won't spend money in the town - they'll go out to Glendalough or into the city. All of their food and accommodation is on board," he said.
"With the ferries we had tourists coming in. They stayed locally and spent money."

The ferry routes were the "bread and butter" of the seaside town, Mr Kerrigan added.

Stena Line called time last month on its Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route.

For more on the newspapers story click, here. 

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company unveiled Cruise Berth Plans details of the proposed €18m plan to facilitate some of the world's biggest cruise liners inside the harbour walls. 

As of today (30 March), the DLHC has opened a two week public consultation process in advance of an expected planning application to An Board Pleanala for the project.

In advance of the submission of the planning application, the Dun Laoghaire Stakeholder Group is anxious to hear the views of harbour stakeholders and the general public. 

Observations or comments can be submitted to the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, anytime up to 5pm on Friday, 13th April 2015.

For full details of the proposals and the public consulation process visit: http://dlharbour.ie/projects/cruise-berth-consultation/

Published in Cruise Liners
Page 16 of 40

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