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Displaying items by tag: Secondhand tonnage

UK based operator Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines which have been regular callers to Irish ports, has recently acquired a pair of secondhand mid-sized cruiseships due to the fallout of Covid19 which has severely impacted this trade sector globally, writes Jehan Ashmore

The new additions of Rotterdam (built 1998) and Amsterdam from 2000 (both of around 60,000 gross tonnage) are from Holland America Line.

(HAL) is one of several subsidiaries, among them the iconic name of Cunard Line and Princess Cruises of US giant, Carnival Corporation of Miami, Florida. In addition HAL have also disposed of older fleetmates Veendam built in 1996 and older Maasdam dating to 1993. Another fleetmate, Zaandam was centre-stage of a Covid-19 outbreak off Panama (also involving Rotterdam) before a port of call was permitted in the US to enable disembarking passengers among them Irish citizens.

As for the Fred Olsen destined pair Rotterdam and Amsterdam both built in Italy, they each just have a 1,400 passenger capacity. This will prove an ideal fit for the mid-sized cruiseship operator based in Ipswich, Suffolk bordering Essex where in Purfleet (operator CMV cruises this week collapsed). So it would appear based from industry sources that it was an opportune time for Fred Olsen to seize these secondhand vessels at an attractive price for such tonnage that remains relatively new.

The cruiseships also have relatively large cabins and suites and despite been built less than a quarter century ago, they have classic features such as teak decking and a fully encircling promenade deck, somewhat likewise of current long-serving sisters Black Watch and Boudicca. As for these former Royal Viking Line pair built in Germany and dating to the early 1970's, their future would seem even more in doubt given these more challenging times.

The announcement of the acquisition was made by Fred Olsen Jnr, chairman of the cruise line, whose Norwegian family shipping interests date five generations to 1848 but impressively expanded (incl. former owners of Harland & Wolff, Belfast). As for the current fleet, this comprises of five mid-sized cruiseships in addition a dedicated European continent based river cruising-vessel.

Returning to Rotterdam which when entering service in 1998 the newbuild became the 'flagship' of HAL in the year of the company's 125th anniversary, and having replaced the inherited namesake of the classic predecessor dating to 1959 which was withdrawn the previous year. This much smaller Rotterdam of some 38,000 gross tonnes however continued service as Rembrant for Premier Cruise Lines before taking up a static role as a floating musuem-hotel ship aptly in Rotterdam. So when the new Rotterdam was built with twin uptakes (funnels) this again retained a homage to the former classic trans-Atlantic ocean-going ship.

As for the Amsterdam and Rotterdam, they are to be renamed with typical Fred. Olsen fashion with the naming theme use of 'B' names, in these cases they are to be Bolette and Borealis. Along with new names, the pair will bring features including more balcony cabins and suites, an all-weather swimming pool with a retractable roof and a wide choice of restaurants, lounges and bars all designed with original artwork and premium décor. In addition a classic two-tiered theatre, enabling all to have great views of evening shows.

As at the moment, Fred. Olsen have paused cruises until the end of September, but given the situation is very changeable. The line among with other UK cruise operators including the industry's own body – CLIA, Public Health England and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) are working to ensure safety and they all agree on the best protocols before they start sailing again and this work continues.

Fred Olsen also cited that their efforts is to ensure the operators policies are in line with the latest research and this has led to them developing a 'Safe Sailing Charter' to inform cruise customers on all the ways they are already keeping you safe on board our smaller ships.

In addition Pete Deer, Fred. Olsen Managing Director, emphasized to assure all guests who are due to sail with the line, that they will contact them at least 30 days before they are due to travel and have changed payment terms for this year to ensure guests know they do not need to pay their balance before they are sure they will be sailing.

In addition the line has introduced a 'Plain Sailing Guarantee' during these unusual times without clauses or caveats but this will only be applicable to guests on cruises departing in 2021.

Published in Cruise Liners

#Ports&Shipping - Arklow Shipping have added yet another former Flinter Group B.V. cargoship to their 50 plus strong fleet with acquisition of a fourth 11,048dwt sister that was recently handed over in Malta, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The latest addition Arklow Dusk previously named America had arrived to Valleta's Grand Harbour in mid-May. The original grey hull colours of Flinter Group (which went bankrupt in 2016), still remained as the vessel moored in the Mediterranean island's capital port.

At the time of the bankruptcy Flinter owned 28 vessels. This saw operations involved navigating areas comprising the Atlantic region, the east coast of America and South America.

In the interim period up to January last year, the 132m double-hold cargoship launched as Flinteramerica had transferred to another Groningen based shipping managment company.

The secondhand tonnage follows the initial acquisition in Autumn last year of a pair of sisters and third sister Arklow Dale joining the fleet last month. The quartet were all built by Ferus Smits' Dutch yard in Westerbroek between 2010 and 2011.

Afloat has tracked down Arklow Dusk which today is making a maiden delivery repositioning voyage from the Mediterenean Sea to north-western Europe.

The Irish flagged cargoship equipped with deck mounted gantry cranes, had departed Marina di Carrera, Italy in late May. The port south of La Spezia is on the Ligurian Sea. This afternoon the cargoship is heading for the Bristol Channel bound for Avonmouth Docks.

Likewise of the Dusk's 'D' class sisters, they are all classed with Bureau Veritas and among the class notations, the quartet are designated with Ice Class Finnish 1A, permitting them to operate icy Baltic Sea conditions.

The ship's main engine is a Mak 8M32 from which propulsion is driven through acontrollable pitch propeller delivering a speed of around 14.1knots. For added in port assistance is a 573kw bow-thruster.

Flinter's fleet at its peak had 50 ships, consisting of multipurpose and container feeder vessels, varying in size from 3,000 to 11,000 tonnes. The range was similar to ASL albeit based only from those of the smallest short-sea traders of 4,000 tonnes.

ASL operate considereably larger vessels involving the 14,000 tonnes  'M' class bulk-carrier and the largest in the fleet a pair of 34,000 tonnes deep sea 'S' class bulk-carriers.

 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ports&shipping - In a break from the norm Arklow Shipping has acquired secondhand tonnage following a splurge of newbuilds delivered over recent years, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The latest addition, Arklow Dawn brings a revised fleet total to 52 multipurpose vessels. This does not include those newbuilds almost completed, among them Arklow Venus as reported recently and now the addition of this former Flinter Group B.V. cargsoship. Likewise of the newbuild, Arklow Dawn revives a vessel name albeit that been of a larger dry-cargo bulker. 

The Flinter Group was one of the largest shipping groups in the Netherlands operating around 50 multipurpose vessels in the shortsea sector. The firm however was forced into bankrupty which led to the business closing in December 2016. A leading creditor ceased funding the Group with the assets in the form of the ships put up for auction.

As for ASL's latest member of the mixed Irish and Dutch flagged fleet, Arklow Dawn flies that of the tricolor from the ship's stern with Arklow as port of registry. 

Arklow Dawn has been issued with a Certification of Classification from international classification society, Bureau Veritas based in Germany.  At 132m long and on a beam of 15m, the general cargoship that cany grain is also certified to carry containers.

The 11,204dwt cargoship has a capacity of 13,008m3 and a speed of 12 knots. The annual survey 1 was carried out earlier this year in Aalborg, Denmark.

Arklow Dawn is currently on passage from Lisbon, Portugal and heading eastbound through the English Channel. The cargoship is off the Contentin Peninsula in Normandy, France from where the ship is to sail upriver on the Seine to the inland port of Rouen.

Published in Ports & Shipping

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