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Displaying items by tag: Maiden Voyage

The newest Stena Line ferry is expected to begin sailing the Dublin to Holyhead route on the Irish Sea today.

The 215m (705ft) Stena Estrid, writes Independent.ie, is described as "one of the most advanced vessels in operation", with space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers.

The ship's official maiden voyage, a 8.55am sailing from Holyhead to Dublin, has been delayed due to adverse weather coinciding with Storm Brendan, but a 2.50pm departure from Dublin remains on schedule as we publish.

For more click the newspaper here in addition to Welsh coverage from the NorthWalesLive. 

In an update, Afloat adds that the corresponding sailing from the Irish capital has been delayed this afternoon. According to the Stena Line website, the 'new generation' ropax ferry has been delayed approximately by an hour due adverse weather conditions.  

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Completing a maiden high-speed craft (HSC) crossing on Irish Ferries Dublin-Holyhead route this morning is Dublin Swift, replacing a smaller craft that has served for almost two decades, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Dublin Swift docked in Holyhead this morning just after 11.00. 

The newcomer takes over from HSC Jonathan Swift which has operated since 1999 on the core Irish Sea route. The car-carrying catamaran becomes the largest fast-ferry on the Irish Sea and has entered service in the shoulder season in advance of the busy high-season months on the Ireland-Wales link. 

Dublin Swift operates at 35 knots to maintain the same frequency of sailings with twice daily return crossings likewise to the replaced Jonathan Swift. ICG sold the fastferry to Spanish operators to serve a career in the Meditteranean linking the Balearics. 

Prior to introduction, Dublin Swift underwent a refurbishment programme in Belfast following a charter overseas, so to bring the HSC up to Irish Ferries standards for 820 passengers and space for 200 vehicles. Onboard facilities are located on one deck, compared to the double deck arrangment on Jonathan Swift. 

The facilities of Dublin Swift include a dedicated TV Snug, cafeteria, self-service restaurant and games area.

Passengers have a selection of spacious seating accommodation in the standard cabin, or plush reclining seats with views to sea, in-seat recharging points and complementary refreshments in the Club Class Lounge. This area of the fastferry is positioned at the bow. Free Wi-Fi is offered throughout.

The HSC brings increased capacity on the core Irish Sea route also operated by flagship Ulysses and ropax Epsilon.  

The 8,403 gross tonnage Dublin Swift, (formerly Westpac Express) was in 2016 acquired by ICG, parent company of Irish Ferries for $13.25 million. Built in 2001 by Austal Ships Pty to their in-house 101m Auto-Express design. The yard in Fremantle, western Australia is also where Jonathan Swift was custom built for ICG. 

Dublin Swift is also the only fast ferry operating between Ireland and Britain, though the Isle of Man is served by the Steam-Packet's fastferry Manannan on seasonal routes including the Dublin link.  

 

Published in Ferry

#DublinPort - The brand new Delphine made a maiden call to Dublin Port, the giant ship is a sister of leadship Celine, claimed to be the world’s largest short-sea ro-ro freightship, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Celine of 74,000 gross tonnage is now equally partnered with Delphine's debut. The newbuild arrived from Zeebrugge, Belgium but firstly anchored in Dublin Bay to wait for Celine's departure from the port. This took place last Thursday evening.

The sisters operated by CLdN Ro Ro SA /Cobelfret Ferries serve the Rotterdam-Zeebrugge-Dublin route which is also connected to a UK port. 

Delphine has an impressive 8,000 freight lane metres and can handle 600 freight units. The South Korean built Delphine boosts capacity to Celine and together provide Irish exporters with greater flexibility by trading with markets in continental Europe, particularly against the backdrop of post-Brexit.

Luxembourg based CLdN also offers connections from the European mainland, Scandinavia and Iberia.

Delphine's inaugural call to the Irish port's Alexandra Basin is from where the 234m ro-ro docked at the custom-built ro-ro ramp linkspan.

On the occasion of Celine's first call in October last year, the ship instead docked in Alexandra Basin (East). The change to the new ro-ro linkspan took place the next month allowing smaller fleetmates also serving to continue to use the adjacent basin facility.  

The Maltese flagged Delphine has a beam of 35m and the cargo decks are all accessed through an aft vehicle loading/unloading ramp. Cargoes using the ship's ro-ro ramp includes unaccompanied trailers, tank containers, project cargo, new cars.

In addition accommodation is available for 12 driver accompanied units. 

Published in Dublin Port

#WorldLargest - An historic milestone in Dublin Port took place late last night as Celine, the world’s largest short-sea ro-ro freight ferry completed a commercial maiden voyage from mainland continental Europe, writes Jehan Ashmore.

On arrival from Zeebrugge, Belgium, a pair of tugs assisted the giant Celine to dock in Dublin Port just after 23.00hrs.

At 234m long the sheer length of the new ship was demonstrated in that Alexandra Basin East’s Ocean Pier is 242m. The measurement of the ship does not take into account the length of the ship's stern loading ramps when lowered into position at the berth's linkspan which itself is part of the overall pier length. As such Celine's bow has extended beyond the pier out into the port’s main internal shipping channel, unlike fleetmate Valentine of just 162m (see photo related story). 

At 74,000 gross tonnage, Celine is easily the biggest capacity ro-ro freight ferry to Dublin Port having sailed on the Rotterdam-Zeebrugge to the Irish capital with up to 8,000 freight lane meters. The next largest regular ro-ro ship using Dublin is Irish Ferries cruiseferry giant Ulysses of 50,000 gross tonnage and around half the freight unit capacity.

Ships such as Celine serving direct Ireland-continent services have raised concerns with landbridge routes via the UK, notably Holyhead, see story posted on Afloat yesterday.

Celine can handle 600 freight units which will provide Irish exporters with additional capacity and greater flexibility by trading with markets in continental Europe, particularly in post-Brexit.  The range of cargoes includes unaccompanied trailers, tank containers, project cargo, new cars and a capacity for 12 driver accompanied units. The ro-ro ship however will also include a North Sea link from Belgium to the UK.

Landlocked based operators, CLdN Ro Ro S.A. of Luxembourg had placed the order for Celine to South Korean yard of Hyundai Heavy Industries at their Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan. Celine also has green credentials in that the newbuild is 'LPG ready' which brings greater flexibility to operations.

The debut of Celine also marks a significant era for CLdN /Cobelfret Ferries as the newbuild is the first of a major intensive fleet expansion programme with a sister due for delivery later this year. The programme is for 12 newbuilds, so far six have been completed. They will join an extensive short-sea network across northern Europe.

Asides the ports mentioned that Celine is serving, other members of the 24 strong ro-ro fleet also operate other routes calling to Gothenburg, Esbjerg, Hirtshals, Santander and Porto.

Published in Dublin Port

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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