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Displaying items by tag: Clipper Odyssey

#COASTING CRUISING – The small expedition cruiseship Clipper Odyssey (1989/5,218grt) departed Cobh Cruise Terminal this evening on a short cruise-hop along the West Cork coastline to Sneem in neighbouring Co. Kerry, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The twin funnelled vessel is normally associated with cruising in the Pacific on cruises from New Zealand to the Russian Far-East. For 2012, however she will be voyaging also to the Scottish Isles, Faroe Islands and Norway having previously served earlier this year on Indian Ocean safari cruises from Zanzibar to Mozambique visiting Madagascar and Mauritius.

A crew of 70 look after 128 guests accommodated in 64 cabins. Of the staterooms they all have ocean views, and each feature lower level beds, a private bathroom, sitting area with sofa, individual temperature control, in-room music systems and television.

At the stern is the fitness suite and outdoor pool. Other facilities include a lounge, library, gym, a medical clinic staffed by a registered physician and a gift shop. The small vessel is ideally suited for calling to shallower waters, where passenger can reach shore destinations using the vessels own tender fleet made up of Zodiac craft.

The Bahamas flagged vessel was last refurbished this time last year and she is operated by Noble Caledonia which specialise in providing a diverse range of cruising opportunities including those sailing under sail.

The company's Caledonia Sky (1991/4,200grt) has also been cruising in Irish waters this week. The 114 passenger vessel is better known as the Hebridean Spirit which had for many years operated for Hebridean Island Cruises. While on a cruise around a decade ago she made a rare promotional port of call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Published in Cruise Liners
As Le Diamant berthed in Dublin Port this morning the Clipper Odyssey which also called to the capital with the French-flagged cruiseship this day last week, is visiting the fishing capital of Killybegs today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Co. Donegal port is close to Slieve League, at over 600m/1900-ft, they are Ireland's highest sea cliffs and inland in the north-west of the county is the Glenveagh National Park.

According to her schedule the Clipper Odyssey has since made several calls to include Waterford, Cobh and along the stunning scenery of the western seaboard with anchorage calls off the Great Blasket Islands, Dingle.

Yesterday the 5,218 tonnes vessel operated by Clipper Cruiuses had also called to Inishmore of the Aran Islands. Otherwise the 120 passenger cruiseship is normally found serving in the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to the Russian Far-East. She is due to depart Co. Donegal this evening bound for Portrush.

As for the 226-passenger Le Diamant she is a frequent caller not just to Dublin, she had arrived from Penzance. The 8,282 tonnes vessel is run by Marseilles based Ponant Cruises and the twin-funnelled vessel is due to depart this evening for Fishguard.

Published in Cruise Liners

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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