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Mix of Ship Types Visit Dublin Port to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

17th March 2017

#Visitors - A French naval vessel, a UK based cruiseship and a local excursion boat are in Dublin Port to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The French Navy are represented in the capital with the presence of the small offshore patrol vessel, Cormoran. At just shy of 50m long the craft is on a courtesy call during the festivities having berthed at Sir John Rogersons Quay. The 390 gross tonnage vessel is on a five-day visit. 

Cormoran normally patrols EEZ waters off western France, had been the Guardship for the La Solitaire du Figaro Yacht Race that called to Dun Laoghaire Harbour in recent years. Accompanying the French visitor on the Liffey is one of the Irish Navy's smallest units, the coastal patrol vessel, L.E. Orla.

Sister of the Peacock class, L.E. Ciara had also berthed here last week during the call of foreign naval visitor, BNS Castor a Ready Duty Ship of the Belgium Navy. More recently HMS Westminster, a Duke class Type 23 frigate also visited the port but took a downriver berth along Ocean Pier.

Also making a visit to Dublin this St. Patrick’s Day with up to 449 passengers is Saga Pearl II which is on cruise having departed Dover. The call of the small Saga Cruises includes an overnight stay in the capital to give cruise-goers more time to enjoy the attractions and Irish hospitality.

The arrival of Saga Pearl II follows the first cruise visitor of 2017 which came in the form of Fred Olsen's Boudicca. The larger 880 passenger capacity cruiseship made a call within the first week of January, however the cruise season proper gets underway next month in late April. 

As thousands of Dubliners and visitors also from overseas throng the capital’s thoroughfare for today's St. Patrick’s Day Parade, there are those taking the sights of the capital from offshore. This is been carried out by Dublin Bay Cruises excursion boat, St. Bridget.

The former Aran Islands ferry had undergone work at Howth Boatyard in advance of seasonal cruises. Up until now the 100 assenger boat had been wintering in Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock Basin from where she departed in recent days. 

St. Bridget operates cruises from Sir John Rogersons Quay. Almost facing opposite on the far bank is based replica 19th century museum famine-emigrant tallship Jeanie Johnston. The barque this week finally returned to its home-berth in the city-centre at Custom House Quay having undergone maintenance dry-docking.

Guided tours that tell the tales of Irish emigration during the famine to North America are brought to life on board the tallship. 

Published in Dublin Port
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Dublin Port Information

Dublin Port Company is currently investing about €277 million on its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR), which is due to be complete by 2021. The redevelopment will improve the port's capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths. The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028, which will also include initial work on the Dublin Port’s MP2 Project - a major capital development project proposal for works within the existing port lands in the northeastern part of the port.

Dublin Port has also recently secured planning approval for the development of the next phase of its inland port near Dublin Airport. The latest stage of the inland port will include a site with capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructure such as an ESB substation, an office building and gantry crane.

Dublin Port Company recently submitted a planning application for a €320 million project that aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility within the port in order to cope with increases in trade up to 2040. The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240 metres in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth into a deep-water container berth.

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