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Displaying items by tag: Cruise Liners

#Cranes&Cruises – Two ports in south Wales operated by Associated British Ports (ABP) have invested over £2.8 million in the refurbishment of five cranes at Newport and Swansea, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The work which took 14 months to improve operational efficiency and extend the lifespan of the cranes was carried out by Port Talbot based engineering company, Celtic Engineering. Among the products to be handled by the cranes are coal, aggregates, forest products and steel. The refurbishment also allowed for increased handling efficiency when loading and discharging vessels.

Afloat.ie has also been researching UK operator Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) whose 1,250 passenger capacity flagship Magellan is to offer a direct departure from Newport located to the east of Cardiff. Cruise-goers in season 2017 can take a two-night Dublin Mini-Cruise in June or remain on the 46,000 gross tonnage vessel as part of a longer 11 nights Fjordland Splendour & Dublin Cruise. More on Magellan but that of CMV's move to offer direct cruises from the Irish capital will appear on our Cruise Liners news.

Further along the coast beyond the Walsh capital to the west is Swansea where the investment programme by ABP to upgrade cranes will be complemented by a new Mantsinen Hydraulic Crane due to be installed at the port next month. The crane forms part of a £6 million deal that will see five new cranes delivered across the UK port group’s network of 21 ports.

Swansea has strong Irish maritime connections given the former Swansea-Cork Ferries service that was followed by last incumbent, Fastnet Line that ceased operations in 2011. In more recent times at Swansea Dry Docks the shiprepairer and recycling facility was last winter the recipient of Cork based Mainport Group’s disposed seismic support vessel Mainport Ash.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#RecordOilFine- A US$40m penalty is to be paid by Princess Cruises after pleading guilty to seven federal charges in an illegal ocean pollution case that involved one ship’s use of a so-called 'magic pipe' to divert oily waste into UK waters, writes The Guardian. 

Miami US attorney Wifredo Ferrer told a news conference the penalty was the largest ever of its kind. A plea agreement filed in federal court also requires Carnival, the UK and US-listed parent company of the Princess line, to submit 78 cruise ships across its eight brands to a five-year environmental compliance programme overseen by a judge.

Ferrer said the illegal practices came to light when an engineer aboard the Caribbean Princess discovered the “magic pipe” in 2013 off the coast of Britain and told investigators about it.

Authorities later learned the 952ft ship had been illegally discharging oily water into the ocean since 2005.

“Our open seas are not dumping grounds for waste,” Ferrer said. “One thing we must never do is take our clear blue oceans for granted.”

A single illegal discharge dumped 4,227 gallons of oil-contaminated waste about 20 miles off the coast of England on 26 August 2013, according to court documents.

The documents also show illegal practices were found on four other Princess ships, including use of clean ocean water to fool onboard sensors that would otherwise detect dumping of improperly contaminated bilge water. Authorities say cost savings was the motive and that the ship’s officers and crew conspired to cover up what was going on.

John Cruden, assistant attorney general for the US justice department’s environmental division, said the Caribbean Princess “violated the law, they covered it up and then they lied about it”.

“We’re sending a strong message in this case to the entire industry.”

To read more on a statement released from Princess Cruises click here. 

In August this year Afloat covered the story of a power failure on Caribbean Princess bound for Dublin Port which rendered the vessel adrift for nine hours on the Irish Sea.

Afloat.ie adds that Caribbean Princess is to call to Dublin Port in season 2017 as the most frequent of any cruiseship with 13 separate visits. The giant 112,894 gross tonnage vessel with a guest capacity of 3,142 (lower berths) is scheduled to make the first call in April.

The Carnival subsidiary will also see Pacific Princess calling to Dublin. Described by Princess as the 'small cruiseship experience' given the 30,277 gross tonnage and only 672 (lower berths) capacity vessel which is to make three calls. Together these cruiseships will total 16 calls calling to the capital.    



 

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#HomePort - Celebrity Eclipse has been revealed as the first cruiseship by a major operator to 'home port' in Dublin Port by offering cruises that begin in early summer 2018.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie Celebrity Cruises begins the ships home port on a mini season of five sailings in late April, throughout May and until the end of June 2018. The 'Solstice' class Celebrity Eclipse with a 2,800 passenger capacity will operate cruises departing Dublin Port to destinations throughout northern Europe. Full details on the destinations on offer will be announced later this year.

It is estimated that more than 14,000 people are to start their cruise holiday from Dublin on the Celebrity Eclipse. The deployment of the German built 122,000 gross tonnage vessel to the Irish capital is worth an estimated €6 million and to the surrounding region in knock-on economic benefits.

Celebrity Cruises already features Dublin and other ports throughout Ireland in its European deployment, however this is the most significant increase in its investment into Ireland in the history of the global business.

 

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#ChargesWaived - Shipping lines have been notified by Rosslare Harbour that it is to waive charges for cruise ships for 2017, 2018 and 2019. The initiative is to establish the south-east as a destination for what is Europe’s fastest growing tourism sector.

This follows the success of the arrival of the Fred Olsen Lines’ MS Braemar in July of this year, which was the first cruise ship to call to Rosslare in 20 years. Feedback from cruise passengers and crew was excellent, from the ease of arrangements with the Europort to the programme of activities and the warm welcome from representatives of Wexford County Council and Fáilte Ireland, supported by Visit Wexford

John Lynch, General Manager Rosslare Europort said “up to 400,000 tourists visited Ireland on cruises this year, and it is a sector which continues to grow rapidly. Europe-wide, the cruise industry contributed over €40 billion to European economies, supporting 350,000 jobs.

“We believe – and customers from MS Braemar agreed – that Wexford and the South-East provide a destination which would be an excellent inclusion in any cruise itinerary visiting Ireland. By waiving charges, and working with local authority and tourism colleagues on the Working Group I established to develop new cruise business for the Europort, we are confident we can build a consistent and sustainable business which will bring tourists, profile and, crucially, employment and income to the South-East.

“We are fortunate at Rosslare that not only do we have the capacity to operate as a busy commercial port, but we are also situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty and rich cultural heritage and I believe that there will be many more Cruise Ships that will want to explore the wonders of Wexford and the South East.

“Our waiving of charges is a first step – we want to establish long-term relationships with the many cruise line companies operating in Europe which will support the Europort and the region into the future.”

Since 2008, European cruise capacity has grown by 44%, a trend which shows no sign of abating.

Customers on the MS Braemar had availed of pre-arranged excursions throughout the Wexford Region including scenic drives and walks, and visits to Tintern Abbey, Wells House, Kilmore Quay, the Irish National Heritage Park and the Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CruiseBerth - Mixed reaction from local businesses follows the decision to grant a new cruise ship berth with planning permission in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, writes the Herald.ie

The €18m development will allow ships of 250 metres in length to enter the port, paving the way for luxury cruise liners to dock at Dun Laoghaire. But locals are concerned that they will see little of the increased tourist trade promised by the development.

"It's going to put more nails in the coffin in Dun Laoghaire," said Andrew Ball, of Dunphy's Bar. "I personally don't think it's going to give us anything. People get on buses and go to the city - we don't see much of the benefit."

Neglected

Danielle Kelly, of Hicks butchers, said that anywhere away from the seafront has been "forgotten about".

"It was better when the boats from England were coming over on day trips. Most were originally from Dun Laoghaire or local and would stay here for the day," she said. "But now because they've stopped them they're all going out to town."

Declan Coates of Cameo Jewellers said that money might be better spent on developing the town. "It's lovely down on the seafront, but they've neglected up here on the streets," he said.

However, some locals were looking forward to added business from the cruise ships.

For more responses to the planning decision, the newspaper has more here. 

Published in Dublin Bay

#PortReOrder – Frank McDonald of the Irish Times writes about plans by Dublin Port to ‘soften the hard edge’ between its Port Centre and the still-developing north Docklands.

Dublin Port, for long a nearly enclosed semi-industrial estate at the eastern end of Docklands, is planning to open up to the city with an imaginative scheme to reorder the entire area around its own headquarters off East Wall Road.

Project manager Jim Kelleher, who was responsible for the outstanding Diving Bell restoration on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, says the aim is to “soften the hard edge” between Port Centre and the still-developing north Docklands area.

Port Centre, designed by Scott Tallon Walker and completed in 1981, has been marooned behind a stone wall that extends all along the east side of the heavily trafficked East Wall Road, which is extremely hostile to pedestrians.

Standing six storeys high on a podium, the new building replaced the port’s old headquarters at the Ballast Office, on the corner of Aston Quay and Westmoreland Street, which in turn was demolished and replaced by a half-hearted “replica”.

An architectural competition in 2014 led to Darmody Architects winning the commission to create a significant public space around Port Centre, including removal of parts of the unlisted stone boundary wall dating from the 1880s.

Principal architect Tim Darmody says his scheme is “all about port-city integration”, with an impressive set of gates on East Wall Road leading to a plaza in front of the port company’s headquarters and a landscaped “garden” to the south of it.

A new boundary made from pre-rusted Corten steel panels will replace the late 19th-century stone wall at southern end of the two-acre site, with a relocated 10-tonne Stothert & Pitt crane, dating from the 1950s, rearing up above the new wall.

This dramatic installation will be “painted, illuminated, celebrated”, as Jim Kelleher says, as a totem for Dublin Port and its history, clearly visible to motorists driving north across the East Link Bridge towards the Port Tunnel and M50 motorway. To read much more of a separate but port related development proposed by Dublin City Council, click here.

Afloat.ie adds among the reasons for the proposed crane relocation is the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) project.

There has been a conservation assessment of such structures within the ABR that includes the site where Dublin Graving Docks Ltd operated until closure earlier this year.

In addition Afloat.ie is to further examine the background of the crane in greater detail as it forms part of the capital's port maritime industrial heritage.

 

 

 

Published in Dublin Port

#Transfer - Minister for Transport has said in the Seanad the transfer of governance of Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company to the local council is imminent, writes The Irish Times.

Minister Shane Ross said he understood the company and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council had established transitional teams which were working on the practical issues associated with the transfer. (See: Regional Ports Transfer)

He said officials from his department had met both sides on a number of occasions to assist in the process. “I have also met with many local groups,’’ he added.

Mr Ross said the company faced a challenging financial and operating environment as it moved from commercial shipping activities towards a different operating model, with the focus on marine leisure and marine-related tourism.

Stena Line’s departure from Dún Laoghaire Harbour added to the future challenges to the company. “The financial impact on the port is significant and it is very clear that the company faces a very different operating environment than it faced in the past,’’ he said.

For more on the commercial future of the harbour, click here

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a Public Meeting regarding the proposed giant cruise liner berth is scheduled today, Thursday 27 October at 7pm in the Royal Marine Hotel. Speakers including Richard Boyd Barrett TD and Cllr Melissa Halpin will outline the two main options for the Government as the SOS movement sees it.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The cruise ship industry is a huge and growing business …. The “ship hotel” as it has been dubbed. There is huge competition amongst the companies which own the ships and amongst the ports which want them to call. More, bigger cruise ships than ever have been and are being built, with ever-bigger passenger capacity. The Cruise Line International Association Europe said last year that the contribution of Cruise Ship Tourism to the economies of Europe was worth €40 billion and accounted for nearly 350,000 European jobs and that Europe was the second biggest market worldwide, after the United States.

Ireland has been attracting plenty of cruise ship business. Last year 193 vessels called to Irish ports - Dublin and Cork being the main locations, followed by Waterford, with Dun Laoghaire, Killybegs, Foynes and Bantry Bay also calling-locations. That number of ships was an increase of 16 and the number of passengers was close to 250,000 – an increase of almost 40,000 - on the previous year. As dictated by Government policy, the ports are in competition with each other and the cruise ship business is one of their primary targets, though port administrations say that local businesses and the economy generally benefits more than they do from calls by cruise ships.

With more ships being built, many with bigger-than-ever passenger capacity, is the best approach for Ireland that its ports should be competing with each other for the business?

That’s the question I have been discussing on THIS ISLAND NATION Podcast this week, with a man in a position to see both sides, Capt. Michael McCarthy is Cork Port’s Commercial Manager and also Chairman of Cruise Europe. I talked to him in Cobh, as the town celebrated its latest international award for the handling of cruise ships.

• Listen to the Podcast below: 

Published in Island Nation

#FinalCaller - Nautica became the final cruiseship caller of the season to visit the Port of Waterford, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Oceania Cruises which operates the cruiseship which has undergone a multimillion dolar refurbishment had berthed at Belview on Monday.

The facility 5kms downstream of Ireland's oldest city is the main terminal for the port, which launched last week a business plan looking forward to 2020.

The 30,000 tonnes ship had called with a capacity for 684 passengers. Accommodation consists of 342 luxurious suites and staterooms, nearly 70% of which feature private verandas.

Guests visited the attractions of the south-eastern region in which a total of 16 calls were made this season. 

The cruiseships calling at Waterford Estuary asides using Belview,  also docked at the city quays and at anchorage off Dunmore East.

Published in Cruise Liners

#DublinPort - Planning permission has been granted for a major dredging scheme at Dublin Port, clearing the final hurdle before works on the proposed new cruise liner terminal for the city.

The application, given the go-ahead by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday 13 September, provides for dredging from the North Wall Quay Extension to the -10m Chart Datum contour in Dublin Bay.

It also permits the disposal of dredged material at the existing licensed site west of the Burford Bank – a matter of much controversy this summer due to its location within the special are of conservation from Rockabill to Dalkey Island.

The subsequent Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project comprises the infilling of the basin at current berths 52 and 53, a deepening of the fairway and a marina protection structure, intended to future-proof the port to accommodate the next generation of cruise liners of more than 300m in length.

Dublin Port's plans advance as Dun Laoghaire awaits the next step in its own harbour masterplan proposals for a modern cruise terminal.

Published in Dublin Port
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