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Due to necessary maintenance works, the Thomas Clarke Bridge at Dublin Port will need to remain in the upright position overnight from 11pm tonight, Thursday 6 May until 6am tomorrow, Friday 7 May.

Dublin Port appeals for motorists to use alternate routes to cross the River Liffey during this time and apologises for any inconvenience these works may cause.

Published in Dublin Port
The public will have greater access to see shipping activity in the Port of Dublin, when a new boat-based tour of the country's busiest port starts tomorrow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Titled the River Liffey & Port Tour, the 45-minute excursion is a partnership between Sea Safari Tours and the Dublin Port Company. Tours will operate from the pontoon where the M.V. Cill Airne floating river-restaurant and bar venue is berthed at the North Wall Quay. Cill Airne was built in the Liffey Dockyard nearly fifty years ago, where she forms part of the tours audio commentary covering the history and the present day.

In addition to cruising this stretch of the River Liffey alongside the 'Docklands' quarter, the tour RIB boat will pass downriver through the East-Link toll bridge where visitors will get closer views of the variety of vessels and calling cruise liners from other ports throughout the world.

There will be five daily tours beginning at 10.00am, 12.00pm, 2.00pm, 4.00pm and 6.00pm.Tickets cost €15.00 for adults, €12.50 for students and the charge for senior citizens and children is €10.00.

In addition Sea Safari operate a 'River Liffey' only tour, a Dublin Bay 'North' and 'South' tours which visit Howth Head, Baily Lighthouse, Ireland's Eye and to Dalkey Island and Killiney Bay, where both bay tours provide a chance to spot local marine wildlife of seals, porpoises and sea birds.

Published in Dublin Port
The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association's (DBOG) next lecture "A Hooker Evening with the Men from Kinvarra " will be held tomorrow evening. The lecture will be presented by captains of the Galway hookers and the venue is the Poolbeg Yacht Boat Club & Marina (PYBC).
The lecture starts at 8 pm but the organisers are encouraging those wishing to attend to assemble at 7.15 pm for a socialable drink in advance.

Poolbeg clubhouse overlooks the marina and faces the entrance to Alexandra Basin, where shipping activities of the commercial port can be viewed in closer detail.

To reach the clubhouse which is located on the South Bank, Pigeon House Road, Ringsend, take the Sean Moore Road that connects the Merrion Strand Road (from the south) and the East-Link Toll Bridge (if travelling from the northside).

For further information on the lectures to date click this link and in general about the DBOGA logon here. To contact the PYBC Tel: (01) 668 9983 or logon to www.poolbegmarina.ie/

Published in Boating Fixtures

The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association (DBOG) Winter /Spring lecture programme continues in the Poolbeg Yacht Boat Club & Marina (PYBC). with the next lecture: "The Installation, Operation and Maintenance of Marine Diesels". The lecture will be held on Tuesday, February 8th and the presenter is Sean Walsh (Yanmar Agent).

The the organisers are encouraging those wishing to attend to assemble at 7.15 pm for a socialable drink in advance of the talk starting at 8 pm. The Poolbeg clubhouse is located on the South Bank, Pigeon House Road, Ringsend which can be accessed from the Sean Moore Road that connects the Merrion Strand Road (from the south) and the East-Link Toll Bridge (from the north).

For further information on the DBOG lectures please contact Tim Magennis on 087 2593113. For information in general about the PYBC Tel: (01) 668 9983 or logon to www.poolbegmarina.ie/

Published in Boating Fixtures

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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