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World's Largest Ro-Ro Ferry to Be Introduced on Dublin Routes Linking Mainland Europe

23rd October 2017
If you think this ship looks big towering above Ocean Pier, operators of Valentine, CLnd/Cobelfret Ferries are to introduce the world's largest ro-ro (freight) ferry on Zeebrugge /Rotterdam - Dublin routes this week. If you think this ship looks big towering above Ocean Pier, operators of Valentine, CLnd/Cobelfret Ferries are to introduce the world's largest ro-ro (freight) ferry on Zeebrugge /Rotterdam - Dublin routes this week. Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#worldlargest - The world's largest ro-ro ferry described as a 'game-changer' is to make a maiden call this week to Dublin Port from Zeebrugge and is to be followed with an introduction on the Rotterdam route, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Landlocked based shipping operator, CLdN ro ro S.A. with headquarters in Luxembourg, is to launch the giant 234m ro-ro freight ferry M.V. Celine with a capacity of 8,000 lane meters on the Ireland-Belgium route. The longer Dutch link will also be served by the giant ship. Beforehand of CLnd/Cobelfret's Dublin operations they had served out of Rosslare Europort until transferring to the capital in 2010.

Such sized ships will play an even bigger role given the reality of a 'post-Brexit' EU when the need to have direct sea-transport links with added capacity between Ireland and continental mainland Europe will become increasingly apparent.

Celine is to dock at Dublin's Ocean Pier in Alexandra Basin East which adjoins the larger basin of the same name from where the single largest redevelopment project in the past 200 years of the port is underway. Also related to the ABR project is the Capital Dredging Programme that began at the weekend with works in the basin along with those in the bay due to be completed by March 2018.

Newcomer Celine draws a maximum depth of 8.1m and this demonstates the requirement for Dublin Port to maintain that the channel approaches meet the demands from this ship and ever increasing larger and deeper draft ships to safely navigate and be accommodated within the port.

One of CLdN Ro Ro ships serving with sister company Cobelfret Ferries on the route linking Zeebrugge, Mazarine, namesake of her class which having reported for Ships Monthly in 2010 (Feb issue) made today a lunchtime arrival to Dublin Port. This 196m ro-ro can carry just 180 trailers, whereas the newbuild will take considerably more with 580. Such trailer traffic will involve a purpose-built ramp linkspan currently under construction in Alexandra Basin in which Afloat will have further to report. 

Asides standard unaccompanied trailers, Celine's capacity caters for tank containers, project cargo, new cars and a capacity for 12 driver accompanied units. The leadship newbuild completed by Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan,South Korea represents a fleet expansion plan for CLdN, with a sistership due in the coming months.

Currently the largest ro-ro vessel using Dublin Port is Stena Line's passenger/vehicle ferry, Stena Adventurer which has a length just shy of 211m. By coincidence the Holyhead serving ship introduced in 2003, was also built by the same Asian shipyard.

As previously reported on Afloat back in early 2016, CLdN also operates an extensive northern European network, had then confirmed two more vessels ordered but through Croatian shipbuilder Uljanik along with an option for a further four ships but with a smaller 5,400 lane metre capacity. 

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