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Displaying items by tag: Grand Canal Basin

#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

#EscapeRoom - The ‘escape room’ business initially an Asian craze has arrived in Ireland and appears to be booming at the moment.

The latest addition to the sector was launched in Dublin yesterday afternoon – and its backers are hoping to stand out from their competitors by offering something a little different: Ireland’s first ‘escape boat’.

“We’ve done a lot of research on escape rooms,” Ronan Brady of escapeboats.ie told TheJournal.ie at Dublin Port as he watched the soon-to-be-refitted Zorg Ella barge being lowered into the Liffey.

I’ve travelled around Europe doing a lot of them and we’ve done all the ones in Dublin – and we think there’s room for huge improvement.

Brady, who has teamed up with Irish Ship and Barge Fabrication for the new venture, hopes to have the attraction up and running on Grand Canal Quay, near the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, by spring.

They’ve spent months sourcing props for the 101-year old ship and thinking of ideas for the different rooms on board, he said.

To read more on this new craze, click here.

Published in News Update

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners that the Dragon Boat Regatta will take place in Dublin's Grand Canal Basin this weekend Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 September.

The event will be running both days from 8am to 6pm. Masters are requested navigate with due caution if transiting the basin on these days and note the advice of safety boat marshals.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaterways - The Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit (IUSRU) has announced details of its Raft Race as part of the Waterways Ireland Docklands Summer Festival.

Entry is €25 per person with four persons per raft for the day of wackiness on the water at Grand Canal Basin on 19 May.

And for those who can't build their own raft in time, prebuilt rafts can be supplied by the organisers.

More details of the event can be had from the IUSRU at 087 975 8656 or [email protected]

The complete programme of events for the Docklands Summer Festival will be posted on the official website shortly.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland wishes to advise masters and owners that as part of the Docklands Summer Festival, yacht racing will take place in the Grand Canal Basin from 09.00 hrs until 16.00hrs on Sun 26th June.

On Sat 25th, there will be a practice session from 13.00hrs until 19.00hrs.

In addition 'Come and Try It' activities including canoeing and paddle-boarding for novices will take place in the inner basin beside the Waterways Ireland Visitors Centre, from 10.00hrs until 18.00 on both days.

There will be restricted movement of vessels in the Grand Canal Basin during the events, lock operations will be suspended once the events have commenced.

Commercial operators in the Dock are requested to adhere to these restrictions and the planned routes and schedules for the duration of the event.

Boat owners presently in the Grand Canal Basin should comply with all reasonable instructions and guidance from event marshals.

Published in Inland Waterways

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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