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Ferry company Stena Line has announced that Stena Embla, the last of its three new ferries destined for the Irish Sea, has successfully completed its sea trials in China’s Yellow Sea.

Stena Embla is the latest new Stena Line next generation RoPax vessel that is being constructed at the CMI Jingling Weihai Shipyard in China, marking the end of significant recent investment on the Irish Sea by the Swedish owned ferry company. The global pandemic did not delay the build of the vessel, which is being delivered to the agreed schedule.

The sea trials are designed to test the vessel at sea in order to ensure that all systems are fully operational and in line with strict specifications outlined by Stena Line. The tests include areas as engine performance and fuel consumption, navigation and radio equipment, emergency systems, speed tests, manoeuvrability, engine and thruster tests as well as safety tests.

Stena Embla - destined for Belfast Lough but on sea trials this week in China's Yellow SeaStena Embla - destined for Belfast Lough after successfully completing sea trials this week on China's Yellow Sea

“It is great to see that the shipyard has not missed a beat during this year’s final stages of the build. Today the last of our three next generation ferries achieved a very important milestone bang on time” said Stena Line’s Paul Grant, Trade Director, Irish Sea.

“Sea trials are a critical phase in a new ship’s development; it is our first opportunity to test a new vessel out at sea and put her through her paces to ensure that she is up to our high standards.

“We systematically go through all aspects of the new ship and I am pleased to say that Stena Embla has successfully completed every trial. We now look forward to the full handover of the vessel by the shipyard and starting her journey to the Irish Sea” he added.

Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson said that the introduction of Stena Embla and her sister ships, Stena Estrid and Stena Edda, reflected the company’s commitment to the Irish Sea, as Afloat previously reported here.

“The Irish Sea is very important to Stena Line’s global business and represents a significant part of our overall revenue,” said Mr Mårtensson.

“We strongly believe that our ferry business on the Irish Sea will continue to grow. It remains a key region for the company, as evidenced by our continued investment and the addition of three new vessels. This is underscoring Stena Line’s commitment to our Irish Sea operations and our determination to deliver the best possible freight and travel experience to our customers. 

“It has been a very challenging year for our business. But I am proud that as Europe’s largest ferry company, Stena Line continues to shape the industry for life after the global pandemic and to put us into a position to support our customers after Brexit” he concluded.

Part of a multi-million-pound investment in the region, the new Stena Line ferries are amongst the most advanced vessels in operation. They are 25% more fuel-efficient than existing vessels and with 215 metres in length they are much larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels, providing 30% more freight capacity with 3,100 lane meters. They also have the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew.  The roll-on roll-off design and the ability to load two vehicle decks simultaneously has reduced loading and unloading times, resulting in quicker turnaround times in ports.

The big, bright and airy design of the E-Flexer vessels has provided a safe travel environment during the COVID-19 crisis. With ample space to social distance, access to fresh air and the open plan design has meant large areas of the vessel can be sanitised easily. Giving customers the reassurance that travelling by ferry is the safest form of public travel during the pandemic.

Next up for Stena Embla is an official handover ceremony at the shipyard before she sets sail on the long journey from China to Belfast. Arriving home around Christmas in time start operating on the Belfast to Birkenhead route in early 2021 alongside sister ship Stena Edda, launched in March.

The new vessel replaces the Stena Mersey, which has successfully operated on the Belfast to Birkenhead route for 10 years. The Mersey will then head off to join sister ship the Stena Lagan in Turkey where both ships are being extended, before re-deployment on the Baltic Sea.

During the summer Stena Line also confirmed that the construction of two new larger E-Flexer ferries has begun in Weihai, China. Their keels were recently laid in the same shipyard in Weihai and the delivery is expected in 2022.

Published in Belfast Lough
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Ferry shipping company Stena Line continues to reduce CO2 emissions and is now ten years ahead of the international shipping targets for reducing emissions. In the newly published sustainability overview “A Sustainable Journey” Stena Line reports a reduction of both total CO2 emissions and per transported ton onboard the ferries. New, larger and more energy efficient vessels, AI assisted captains and an increased punctuality are some important measures.

Despite a tough situation for the ferry industry due to COVID-19 ferry shipping company Stena Line continues its sustainable journey. In the newly published sustainability overview Stena Line presents initiatives, improvements and challenges within the sustainability area as well as give account on the companies ambitious sustainability targets.

Stena Elektra – the aim is to launch a fully battery powered vessel before 2030Stena Elektra – the aim is to launch a fully battery powered vessel before 2030

During 2019 Stena Line to reduce CO2 emissions and is now ten years ahead of the international shipping targets for reducing emissions. The company reduced the total CO2 emissions with 1,7 %, corresponding to 24 000 tonnes of CO2 in total.

Even more important is that Stena Line continued to improve the efficiency and reduced the emissions per transported ton freight and passenger vehicles onboard the vessels with 3,6% CO2. This means that Stena Line, ten years ahead, already meets the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) targets for 2030 of a 40 % reductions in CO2 emissions efficiency from 2008-2030.

“We aim to be the leader in sustainable shipping and we have high ambitions. During the last ten years we have improved the efficiency with more than 320 energy efficiency actions onboard and onshore, both technical and operational improvements and investments. The introduction of AI assisted vessels and the delivery of our first new larger and energy efficient vessels that went into operations on the Irish Sea during the spring, are some highlights from last year”, says Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability at Stena Line.

Ambition is zero emissions by 2050

The largest challenge for the shipping industry as a whole and for Stena Line is to reach zero emissions by 2050, in line with international targets.

“We are currently working in parallel with reducing fuel consumption, and emissions to sea and air and at the same time exploring and evaluating the fuels for the future. We are currently involved in several projects with alternative fuels and propulsion, including the world’s first methanol powered vessel and a battery project with the aim of launching a fully battery powered vessel before 2030”, says Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability at Stena Line.

Highlights in “A Sustainable Journey 2019/2020”:

  • Reduced our total CO2 emissions with -1.7% as well as -3.6% ton/km, measured by unit transported on our vessels.
  • Reduced almost all single use plastic onboard and substantially improved share of recycled material in our offices, ports and terminals.
  • Reduced the use of harmful chemicals and detergents. The newly introduced Stena Estrid and Stena Edda are best in class with 80 % Eco-label chemicals.
  • Increased the number of female leaders in the company. In total 20 % of managers are females.
Published in Ferry
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The next generation of ferry travel proudly sailed into Belfast Harbour on Wednesday, with Stena Edda undertaking important final trials before it welcomes passengers on the Belfast Lough to Liverpool route in the coming weeks.

As Afloat reported earlier, the Stena Edda arrived at dawn after an epic four-week voyage and over six years’ in planning and construction, including design development in Sweden.

As part of this momentous occasion on its journey, the new advanced vessel took part in successful berthing trials at Belfast Harbour’s VT2 Terminal. A new access ramp has been specially built to accommodate the multi-million-pound ferry in Belfast.

With 40% more deck capacity, 40% more cabins and 30% more fuel-efficient than current vessels on the route, it will accommodate up to 1,000 passengers, 120 cars in its dedicated garage deck and 3,100 lane metres of freight.

It is more spacious inside with a Sky Bar and Scandinavian design providing new levels of comfort for both freight and travel guests. Despite the 215 metres length of the ferry, the new port infrastructure will deliver easier and faster loading and unloading for all passengers.

Stena Edda is part of a nine-figure investment by Stena Line in three new vessels and port upgrades, redefining ferry travel in the Irish Sea. Stena Edda is the first of two new ferries that will run on the popular Belfast to Liverpool route.

Published in Ferry
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#ferries - On International Women’s Day yesterday, Stena Line launched a new sustainability focus area – Equality and Inclusion. This is part of the company’s increased commitment to creating a sustainable working environment and an important step on the journey towards becoming a leader in sustainable shipping.

The ferry operator is committed to maintaining and developing a sustainable working environment, free from harassment, where everyone is given equal opportunities regardless of age, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability.

“At Stena Line we welcome everyone, whether you want to work here, travel with us or be one of our business partners. I am proud to announce that we are now increasing our focus on this important matter by adding another focus area to our sustainability strategy, says Ian Hampton, Chief People & Communications Officer at Stena Line.

A sustainability strategy is based on focus areas which are linked to the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and directly related to the company’s business. Equality and inclusion will be the fifth focus area, complementing the existing four areas - Clean energy, Good health and well-being, Life below water and Responsible consumption. For each area there are ambitious targets established and developments will be closely monitored, with the ambition of becoming a leader in Sustainable shipping.

“For equality and inclusion, the long-term goals are set to a minimum of 30% female leaders by 2022 and a zero-vision in terms of harassment. The work has already started with two new company policies for anti-harassment and equal opportunities launched last year”, said Margareta Jensen Dickson, Head of People at Stena Line.

In 2018 Stena Line also signed the Maritime UK’s “Women in Maritime Pledge” committing to “building an employment culture that actively supports and celebrates gender diversity, at all levels, throughout our organisation, and our industry”.

Main initiatives 2019

During 2019 the company will be focusing on anti-harassment initiatives, improving recruitment systems and procedures, promoting maritime careers for both men and women - as well as engaging in the “Women in Maritime Charter”.

“We need to deliver on a number of ambitious but achievable goals. For example, identifying obstacles in relation to recruitment and progression for women, improving recruitment methods for “decoded” job applications as well as benchmarking and mapping policies supporting a family friendly workplace and work-life balance for all, said Margareta Jensen Dickson, Head of People at Stena Line.

Care for customers

Diversity in the workforce not only contributes to a better working environment, it also helps Stena Line to better understand and care for its customers.

“Like us, our customers are diverse and the more knowledgeable we get, the better we will become at fulfilling their needs and creating a great travel experience which shows that we care”, says Ian Hampton, Chief People & Communications Officer at Stena Line.

Published in Ferry

#ferries - Ferry giant, Stena based in Sweden and tanker firm Stolt-Nielsen which is Bermuda registered, are reviewing their UK-registered ships ahead of Britain’s departure from the EU, the two leading transport companies told Reuters separately on Wednesday (yesterday).

Such commercial decisions could complicate any attempts by the British government to secure extra space on ships to help cope with potential disruption to trade if it fails to secure a negotiated departure from the EU.

And any possible loss of ships will also be a blow to the UK’s ship registry, which forms part of the country’s maritime services industry. Shipping companies in many flag states pay corporation tax based on vessel tonnage rather than profit.

“In the light of the Brexit process we are considering whether the UK flag can become a possible issue for us when it no longer will be an EU flag post the 29th March 2019, but we have taken no decisions and are reviewing different scenarios,” said Ian Hampton, chief people & communications officer with Stena Line.

“Our fleet needs to be as flexible as possible.”

All commercial ships have to be registered, or flagged with a country, partly to comply with safety and environmental laws.

Stena Line is one of Europe’s largest ferry operators with a large part of the business concentrated around the UK.

For further reading about Stolt-Nielsen click here in addition British based operator P&O Ferries which announced last month it would shift the registration of its UK vessels to Cyprus ahead of Brexit.

 

Published in Ferry

#ferries - A Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine has been involved in a near-miss with a ferry in the Irish Sea.

An investigation writes The Irish Times, has been launched into the previously unreported incident, which occurred on November 6th.

The ferry was Stena Superfast VII, which operates between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

It has a capacity for 1,300 passengers and 660 cars.

The submarine was submerged at the depth needed to extend its periscope above the surface of the water.

The Royal Navy would not confirm which of its 10 submarines was involved.

They are all nuclear-powered but only four carry Trident nuclear missiles.

A spokesman for the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said: “In November, we were notified of a close-quarters incident between the ro-ro [roll-on/roll-off] ferry Stena Superfast VII and a submarine operating at periscope depth.

To read more on the incident involving the ferry that operates Belfast-Cairnryan (not Stranraer as published) in the newspaper click here.

Published in Ferry

#ferries - Work has begun on ferries from Stena Line which involves a £5 million refit programme of its local fleet at Belfast's Harland & Wolff shipyard.

The 10-week upgrade schedule reports the Irish News, will see five Stena vessels dry docked consecutively to facilitate refurbishment and maintenance works.

The move continues the carrier's long-standing relationship with H&W, and will represent a considerable boost to the supply chain.

For comments made from the ferry operator and the shipyard, click here. 

Published in Ferry
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#ferry - During a month-long, fleet-wide donation campaign, Round Up for Charity, Stena Line and its customers raised an impressive €20,000 for the charity organisation Mercy Ships. The funds will enable Mercy Ship to help 133 people to get their sight back on board the hospital ship Africa Mercy.

The campaign which took place in November, involved customers across the Stena fleet of 38 vessels, who were encouraged to round up their onboard purchases and make a donation to Mercy Ships – a charity organisation sailing around the world bringing free, life-saving medical care to where it’s needed the most. There was also an impressive number of employee-initiatives to raise even more money for the charity. Some Stena Line employees rowed and cycling on board crossing the Irish Sea while others arranging quiz walks a shore and cake sales on board.

“An essential part of our partnership with Mercy Ships is to raise awareness about the organisation and this campaign has not only resulted in a generous monetary contribution from our customers, but also that more people are aware of Mercy Ships and their inspiring work. Many thanks to our employees for their engagement with the charity and their wonderful initiatives all across Europe”, says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO at Stena Line.

Stena Line’s customers donated €17,532, beating the result from last year’s donation campaign which ran for twice as long. With the additional contribution from the ferry operator, rounding up as well, the total amount of €20,000 will enable Mercy Ships help 133 people to get their sight back on board the hospital ship Africa Mercy.

“Because everyone on board Africa Mercy is there on a volunteer basis, we have managed to reduce the cost of an eye surgery to approximately €150. We are grateful so many of Stena Line’s customers chose to support our work and by doing so this has helped to change many lives. It has also been great to see the enthusiasm and engagement among the employees at Stena Line during the campaign,” said Tomas Fransson, National Director for Mercy Ships, Sweden.

The Round Up for Charity campaign was launched on all the ferries from 1 November. It ran for almost four weeks ending on Tuesday 27 November, a date which marked this year’s #GivingTuesday – a charity equivalent to Black Friday and Cyber Monday where instead of shopping people were encouraged to make a charity donation.

The humanitarian non-governmental organisation and Stena Line became partners in February 2017. The aim of the partnership is to raise awareness of Mercy Ships, increase the interest for donations among ferry customers and partners, as well as promote volunteering with their employees to share their unique technical and naval competence.

“In Mercy Ships, we have found a partner that is committed to helping those who need it the most, and like us see the benefits and the flexibility of having the ocean and ships as your workplace. This partnership is the most important part of our social sustainability initiatives, as it gives us an exciting opportunity to involve our employees, customers and partners in helping to make a difference. It also embodies our core value – care”, says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO at Stena Line.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - An option to build a seventh and eighth of the E-Flexer ro ro class has been decided by Stena.

The two vessels will be deployed within the ferry company's route network with a planned delivery in 2022. Additionally, Stena RoRo has taken an option on the construction of a further four E-Flexer vessels also to be built at Avic Weihai Shipyard, China.

“We are very pleased to have ordered two additional E-Flexer vessels from Stena RoRo. We foresee increasing demand for freight capacity in Northern Europe and our new vessels fit very well in matching anticipated market developments as we prepare ourselves for further expansion. At this stage we haven’t decided where within our route network these two vessels will be deployed and are currently evaluating several options,”says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line.

The new order and the four further options are important milestones for Stena RoRo.

“These vessels are the result of good cooperation between Stena RoRo and the AVIC Weihai Shipyard. With their strong design capabilities, Stena Line will be able to optimise its capacity to accommodate the vessels within most parts of its route network,” says Per Westling, MD Stena RoRo.

As with the previous E-Flexer vessels ordered by Stena, energy efficiency and sustainability will be key design features.

“We want to lead the development of sustainable shipping and set new industry standards when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competiveness,” says Niclas Mårtensson.

The two new ships on order will be larger than the three E-Flexer designs currently being built for Stena Line. The first three E-Flexer ships will be 215 meters long with 3 100 (lm) lane meters whilst the next two ships will measure 240 meters with a freight capacity of 3 600 lane meters.

“We are building on our successful RoPax concept mixing freight and passenger traffic. Through standardisation we can secure a reliable operation and by investing in tonnage that is flexible we can provide an even better product that will ultimately support our customers and help them to grow,” said Niclas Mårtensson.

A total of eight E-Flexers have now been ordered by Stena from Avic Weihai Shipyard in China. The first one is planned to operate on Holyhead-Dublin (in early 2020) and the next two delivered are planned to operate on the Liverpool-Belfast service. Three other vessels will be chartered out to external ferry operators by Stena RoRo.

Facts about E-Flexer 7 and 8

Length over all (LOA): 239,7 m

Width: 27,8 m

Draught, max: 6,4 m

Pax capacity: 1200

No of cabins: 263

Capacity: 3 600 lm

 

Published in Ferry
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#ferry - A ferry operator from Estonia says sale boosts group's financial position, but not material to results.

Tallink Grupp said it concluded sales agreements with Sweden's Stena Line for the sale of two passenger-car ferries.

The group said the deals with Stena Ropax will cover the 32,728-gt Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII. (Afloat adds the pair operate the Belfast-Cairnryan route)

Tallink said the deal is valued at EUR 133.5m ($152m). The vessels will be delivered to the buyer in December 2017. Until then, the vessels continue operations in the UK waters.

For more Tradewinds has a report here.

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Ireland's offshore islands

Around 30 of Ireland's offshore islands are inhabited and hold a wealth of cultural heritage.

A central Government objective is to ensure that sustainable vibrant communities continue to live on the islands.

Irish offshore islands FAQs

Technically, it is Ireland itself, as the third largest island in Europe.

Ireland is surrounded by approximately 80 islands of significant size, of which only about 20 are inhabited.

Achill island is the largest of the Irish isles with a coastline of almost 80 miles and has a population of 2,569.

The smallest inhabited offshore island is Inishfree, off Donegal.

The total voting population in the Republic's inhabited islands is just over 2,600 people, according to the Department of Housing.

Starting with west Cork, and giving voting register numbers as of 2020, here you go - Bere island (177), Cape Clear island (131),Dursey island (6), Hare island (29), Whiddy island (26), Long island, Schull (16), Sherkin island (95). The Galway islands are Inis Mór (675), Inis Meáin (148), Inis Oírr (210), Inishbofin (183). The Donegal islands are Arranmore (513), Gola (30), Inishboffin (63), Inishfree (4), Tory (140). The Mayo islands, apart from Achill which is connected by a bridge, are Clare island (116), Inishbiggle (25) and Inishturk (52).

No, the Gaeltacht islands are the Donegal islands, three of the four Galway islands (Inishbofin, like Clifden, is English-speaking primarily), and Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire in west Cork.

Lack of a pier was one of the main factors in the evacuation of a number of islands, the best known being the Blasket islands off Kerry, which were evacuated in November 1953. There are now three cottages available to rent on the Great Blasket island.

In the early 20th century, scholars visited the Great Blasket to learn Irish and to collect folklore and they encouraged the islanders to record their life stories in their native tongue. The three best known island books are An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers, and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin. Former taoiseach Charles J Haughey also kept a residence on his island, Inishvickillaune, which is one of the smaller and less accessible Blasket islands.

Charles J Haughey, as above, or late Beatle musician, John Lennon. Lennon bought Dorinish island in Clew Bay, south Mayo, in 1967 for a reported £1,700 sterling. Vendor was Westport Harbour Board which had used it for marine pilots. Lennon reportedly planned to spend his retirement there, and The Guardian newspaper quoted local estate agent Andrew Crowley as saying he was "besotted with the place by all accounts". He did lodge a planning application for a house, but never built on the 19 acres. He offered it to Sid Rawle, founder of the Digger Action Movement and known as the "King of the Hippies". Rawle and 30 others lived there until 1972 when their tents were burned by an oil lamp. Lennon and Yoko Ono visited it once more before his death in 1980. Ono sold the island for £30,000 in 1984, and it is widely reported that she donated the proceeds of the sale to an Irish orphanage

 

Yes, Rathlin island, off Co Antrim's Causeway Coast, is Ireland's most northerly inhabited island. As a special area of conservation, it is home to tens of thousands of sea birds, including puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots. It is known for its Rathlin golden hare. It is almost famous for the fact that Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, retreated after being defeated by the English at Perth and hid in a sea cave where he was so inspired by a spider's tenacity that he returned to defeat his enemy.

No. The Aran islands have a regular ferry and plane service, with ferries from Ros-a-Mhíl, south Connemara all year round and from Doolin, Co Clare in the tourist season. The plane service flies from Indreabhán to all three islands. Inishbofin is connected by ferry from Cleggan, Co Galway, while Clare island and Inishturk are connected from Roonagh pier, outside Louisburgh. The Donegal islands of Arranmore and Tory island also have ferry services, as has Bere island, Cape Clear and Sherkin off Cork. How are the island transport services financed? The Government subsidises transport services to and from the islands. The Irish Coast Guard carries out medical evacuations, as to the RNLI lifeboats. Former Fianna Fáíl minister Éamon Ó Cuív is widely credited with improving transport services to and from offshore islands, earning his department the nickname "Craggy island".

Craggy Island is an bleak, isolated community located of the west coast, inhabited by Irish, a Chinese community and one Maori. Three priests and housekeeper Mrs Doyle live in a parochial house There is a pub, a very small golf course, a McDonald's fast food restaurant and a Chinatown... Actually, that is all fiction. Craggy island is a figment of the imagination of the Father Ted series writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, for the highly successful Channel 4 television series, and the Georgian style parochial house on the "island" is actually Glenquin House in Co Clare.

Yes, that is of the Plassey, a freighter which was washed up on Inis Oírr in bad weather in 1960.

There are some small privately owned islands,and islands like Inishlyre in Co Mayo with only a small number of residents providing their own transport. Several Connemara islands such as Turbot and Inishturk South have a growing summer population, with some residents extending their stay during Covid-19. Turbot island off Eyrephort is one such example – the island, which was first spotted by Alcock and Brown as they approached Ireland during their epic transatlantic flight in 1919, was evacuated in 1978, four years after three of its fishermen drowned on the way home from watching an All Ireland final in Clifden. However, it is slowly being repopulated

Responsibility for the islands was taking over by the Department of Rural and Community Development . It was previously with the Gaeltacht section in the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

It is a periodic bone of contention, as Ireland does not have the same approach to its islands as Norway, which believes in right of access. However, many improvements were made during Fianna Fáíl Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív's time as minister. The Irish Island Federation, Comdháil Oileáin na hÉireann, represents island issues at national and international level.

The 12 offshore islands with registered voters have long argued that having to cast their vote early puts them at a disadvantage – especially as improved transport links mean that ballot boxes can be transported to the mainland in most weather conditions, bar the winter months. Legislation allowing them to vote on the same day as the rest of the State wasn't passed in time for the February 2020 general election.

Yes, but check tide tables ! Omey island off north Connemara is accessible at low tide and also runs a summer race meeting on the strand. In Sligo, 14 pillars mark the way to Coney island – one of several islands bearing this name off the Irish coast.

Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire is the country's most southerly inhabited island, eight miles off the west Cork coast, and within sight of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse, also known as the "teardrop of Ireland".
Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast, which has a monastic site dating from the 6th century. It is accessible by boat – prebooking essential – from Portmagee, Co Kerry. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, it was not open to visitors in 2020.
All islands have bird life, but puffins and gannets and kittiwakes are synonymous with Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. Rathlin island off Antrim and Cape Clear off west Cork have bird observatories. The Saltee islands off the Wexford coast are privately owned by the O'Neill family, but day visitors are permitted access to the Great Saltee during certain hours. The Saltees have gannets, gulls, puffins and Manx shearwaters.
Vikings used Dublin as a European slaving capital, and one of their bases was on Dalkey island, which can be viewed from Killiney's Vico road. Boat trips available from Coliemore harbour in Dalkey. Birdwatch Ireland has set up nestboxes here for roseate terns. Keep an eye out also for feral goats.
Plenty! There are regular boat trips in summer to Inchagoill island on Lough Corrib, while the best known Irish inshore island might be the lake isle of Innisfree on Sligo's Lough Gill, immortalised by WB Yeats in his poem of the same name. Roscommon's Lough Key has several islands, the most prominent being the privately-owned Castle Island. Trinity island is more accessible to the public - it was once occupied by Cistercian monks from Boyle Abbey.

©Afloat 2020

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