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Cobelfret Sale Ro-Ro Freighter to Finnish Operator With Irish Connections

18th April 2015
Cobelfret Sale Ro-Ro Freighter to Finnish Operator With Irish Connections

#Cobelfret – Finnlines have acquired ro-ro freighter Dorset from Cobelfret, which spent a brief spell late last year (see report/photo) on their Irish operations, Dublin- Zeebrugge and also to Rotterdam, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The sale to Finnlines earlier this year sees the 2,606 lane-metre vessel renamed Finnmerchant of 23,235 tonnes serve a new Baltic Sea route between Hanko,Finland and Rostock, Germany.

In addition the move to Scandinavia comes only a year later to when a Cobelfret subsidiary, C-Bulk Shipping purchased the 2003 built vessel launched as Longstone along with sister, Beachy Head.

It was in the previous spring of 2013 that the pair become surplus to the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD) requirements as part of a Private Finance Initiative contract involving all six 'Point' class sisters.

The sale in 2014 of Longstone to Cobelfret and renaming as Dorset followed a career with Foreland Shipping. That operator was previously Andrew Weir Shipping (AWSR Ltd) who originally ordered the vessel as part of quartet of Point class sisters from FGS yard in Flensberg, Germany.

The remaining Point-class pair where built by Harland & Wolff which completed Hartland Point first. Her sister, Anvil Point made history as she became the last ever ship to be completed at the famous yard when she was launched into Belfast Lough in 2003.

Another Irish connection with the Scandinavian operator came in the form of Celtic Ferries, whose ro-ro freighter, Finnforest, was chartered to serve in the Baltic.

Finnforest was originally built for Stena as one of the 'Searunner' class in which a sister, Diplomat became Celtic Link Ferries first ship running Rosslare-Cherbourg sailings. 

Celtic Link Ferries final Ireland-France sailing came to an end more than a year ago (March 31, 2014).

From thereon, the operations of CLF were officially acquired by Stena Line and this included the chartered Celtic Horizon on the 17 hour crossing.

The ro-pax was given a revised renaming, Stena Horizon and marked the operators first ever Ireland-mainland European route.  

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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