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Displaying items by tag: Cruisecallers

It's been some time since more than one cruiseship has moored on the River Liffey's Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin Port, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Arriving from Douglas before sunrise was Zegraham Expeditions Clipper Odyssey (1989/5,218grt) which docked at berth No. 8, while Ponant Cruises Le Diamant (1974/8,282grt) made a leisurely mid-morning call at neighbouring berth No. 9.

Clipper Odyssey is an unusual caller to the capital as she normally operates cruises in the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to the Russian Far-East. As for Le Diamant she is a frequent caller not just to Dublin but throughout Irish ports during the season.

The Bahama-flagged 110-passenger Clipper Odyssey is scheduled to depart this evening around 21.45hrs. She is bound for Dunmore East with an lunchtime arrival off the Waterford fishing port. Le Diamant with a capacity for up to 226 passengers follows with a departure set for 23.00hrs and she is bound for Fishguard Harbour, the gateway to the scenic Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Berths 8 and 9 on the quayside are lined with sleek-glazed offices and apartment blocks where once stood the gasometer of the Dublin (Ringsend) Gasworks. In recent years with the building of the Sean O'Casey pedestrian and Samuel Beckett swing-bridges, cruiseships can no longer access berths further upriver, much closer to the city-centre, at berths 3 and 4.

Currently only small cruiseships can dock within the 'Docklands' quarter quays due to the limitations imposed on dimensions, as vessels transit through the East-Link toll lift-bridge which was built in 1984. The majority of cruiseships, which are considerably larger and can exceed over 100,000 gross tonnes, berth 2kms downriver mostly in Alexandra Basin and adjoining Ocean Pier.

There are proposals to build a dedicated cruise-terminal close to the East-Link bridge on the far side at North Wall Quay Extension, which would allow such larger vessels to dock. This would facilitate easier access for cruise tourists to visit the attractions of the city-centre and indeed the nearby amenities of the O2 Arena, which would be within walking distance of the proposed cruise terminal.  

 

Published in Cruise Liners
A record operating profit of €2.5 million for last year was made by the Shannon Foynes Port Company, according to a report in today's Irish Times.
The profit of the mid-western port is on foot of a 23% increase in tonnage which rose to 9.4 million tons, up from 7.6 million in 2009.

The boost is revealed in the state-owned company's annual report which shows the facility made a bottom-line profit for the year of €1.1 million – a five-fold increase on 2009. Operating cash flows rose to €3 million, up from €2.7 million a year earlier. To read more click HERE.

Late last month the Co. Limerick port was busy particularly with the seasonal arrival of three cruise ships and all made within one week, for more click HERE. This Friday sees the return of one of those cruise-callers, the French-flagged Le Diamant which is on charter to operator Inter Cruises.

Published in Ports & Shipping

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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