#ShippingREVIEW- Over the last fortnight, Jehan Ashmore has reported from the shipping scene, where the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) research vessel Keary, returned to Dun Laoghaire Harbour following modification work at Arklow Marine Services.
A record total of 64 cruiseships are to call to Cork Harbour, making the 2013 season the busiest year to date and includes six maiden calls and two cruiseships will make overnight calls.
The New Year brought changes at Ardmore Shipping, where new promotions have been made for personnel at senior management level.
Not a single fast ferry is to be found operating on the Irish Sea, not to bad weather, but for the brief absence of Irish Ferries Jonathan Swift, currently in refit, from year-round Dublin-Holyhead service.
One of Stena Line's Dublin Port-Holyhead route ships, Stena Nordica is on relief duty, covering for Stena Europe between Rosslare-Fishguard. In place of the 'Nordica' Dublin sailings, the chartered Finnarrow is maintaining sailings to Holyhead.
A major upgrade of the Scottish ferryport of Cairnryan, on Loch Ryan, has begun to improve operations for P&O Ferries short-sea route to Larne.
According to the Port of Cork, a total of 9.05 million tonnes in trade traffic levels was reached at the end of 2012, not since 2008, has the port surpassed 9m tonnes.
Royal Daffodil, one of the famous Mersey Ferries fleet due to be withdrawn, has been discussed with the National Waterways Museum, but no decision has been made as of yet.
The efforts of Cruise Belfast has paid off as the 2013 cruise season is to be a record year with close to 60 calls bringing more than 100,000 visitors to Belfast Harbour.