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Displaying items by tag: Mega Yacht

#BoutiqueYacht – Making a maiden Irish port of call was mega yacht Variety Voyager that brought yesterday a refreshing change in Dublin Port where the trend is for considerably larger giant sized ships, writes Jehan Ashmore.

At just 1,593 gross tonnage the boutique sized cruiseship Variety Voyager with capacity for only 72 guests pampered in ultra-luxury docked next to the Tom Clark Toll-Bridge. The 2012 built sleek four passenger-deck mega yacht had sailed overnight from Holyhead. Notably the call to the north Wales ferryport took place in the inner harbour where the Stena HSS fastferry craft had served Dun Laoghaire but currently only caters for small cruiseships.

The 60 odd nautical mile crossing that is between Holyhead to Dublin takes ferries just over three hours to complete, however the 68m/223ft mega-yacht took a more leisurely eight hour passage. The debut call to Dublin represented the first of seven calls scheduled this season by the boutique mega yacht's upmarket Greek operator Variety Cruises.

Variety Voyager is the largest of the Athens based operator of 11 mega yachts and motor sailers. They are also the largest mega yachts operator in the Mediterranean and one of the top 3 worldwide in the Small Ship market. In 2016-2017, Variety Cruises won in The ‘Best Boutique Cruise Line’ by USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards.

Cruising in one of these small ships offer guests (4 to 5 star luxury) which offerr the ultimate mega-yacht experience. With capacities ranging from 5 to 36 cabins, it is the latter capacity that relates to Variety Voyager whose guests are served by 33 crew.

As one would expect from a mega-yacht, Variety Voyager has cabins and public areas finished with warm fabrics, rich marbles, Axminster carpeting and soft tones wood panelling. Everywhere, unobstructed views of the ocean and of the ports visited.

Asides operating throughout the Mediterranean, Variety Cruises global ports destinations include Cuba and The Seychelles. In addition to the Irish debut, new for 2017 is that the operator have added destinations further into the Atlantic with cruises to Iceland along with southern hemisphere calls to Madagascar and the Mozambique Islands.

Published in Cruise Liners

#Offshore - A giant private yacht has broken the record for the most southerly navigation, reaching 78°43.997’ S and 163°41.421’ W at the Bay of Whales in Antarctica’s Ross Sea.

The World, a 43,188-ton yacht with 272 crew and carrying 145 residents and guests, recorded the new polar record – the furthest any vessel has ever sailed – at 10.41 ship’s time (New Zealand time) on Saturday 28 January.

The mega yacht, which circumnavigates the globe every two to three years, is currently undertaking a 22-day expedition of the Ross Sea, including 12 days in Antarctica assisted by EYOS Expeditions led by Rob McCallum.

Commenting on the new record, The World’s Captain Dag H Saevik said: “When we designed this remarkable expedition to the Ross Sea with our residents, that has taken two years of preparation, we hoped that with the right conditions we might be able to reach the ice shelf and set a new record for the most southerly navigation.

“This voyage of more than 5,000 nautical miles has taken us to the most isolated area of the world. Explorers like Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott have always been driven to explore the furthest boundaries. However, not many people get to travel to the end of the earth from their own home.”

Few vessels have made the journey to this remote part of Antarctica. In February last year, the polar expedition vessel Akademik Shokalskiy reported reaching 78°43.971’S.

Published in Offshore

It's not often we get a mega yacht (a private boat above 70m or 230 feet) in Dublin bay. The Skat  is currently lying on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay. Click HERE and have a look at the images at the bottom of the page.

According to Wikipedia The Skat is a luxury yacht built by Lürssen of Bremen, Germany as project 9906, a number prominently displayed on the hull in a font matching that of military vessels. The project started in November 1999 and the yacht launched in 2001. The owner is Charles Simonyi, a former Software Engineer from Microsoft and the fifth space tourist. The yacht is the 64th-largest in the world with a length of 71 metres. 

Published in Cruising

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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