Displaying items by tag: Dublin Port
#HomePort - Celebrity Eclipse has been revealed as the first cruiseship by a major operator to 'home port' in Dublin Port by offering cruises that begin in early summer 2018.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie Celebrity Cruises begins the ships home port on a mini season of five sailings in late April, throughout May and until the end of June 2018. The 'Solstice' class Celebrity Eclipse with a 2,800 passenger capacity will operate cruises departing Dublin Port to destinations throughout northern Europe. Full details on the destinations on offer will be announced later this year.
It is estimated that more than 14,000 people are to start their cruise holiday from Dublin on the Celebrity Eclipse. The deployment of the German built 122,000 gross tonnage vessel to the Irish capital is worth an estimated €6 million and to the surrounding region in knock-on economic benefits.
Celebrity Cruises already features Dublin and other ports throughout Ireland in its European deployment, however this is the most significant increase in its investment into Ireland in the history of the global business.
#DutchFrigate – A Dutch navy frigate HNLMS Van Amstel (F831) equipped with surface and anti-submarine warfare systems is to visit Dublin Port this weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 3,353 tonnes Karel Doorman-class multi-purpose frigate of the Royal Netherlands Navy is calling to the capital tomorrow for the purposes of crew rest and recreation.
According to NavyToday the frigate has been part of a NATO fleet earlier this year tasked to fight against people-smugglers in the Aegean Sea.
Launched in 1990 at the shipyard Koninklijke Schelde Groep in Vlissingen, HNLMS Van Amstel also has air defence capability. The 122m long frigate is named after from Captain Jan van Amstel a commander of the Dutch navy during the 1650’s. The current navy has six frigates of two classes.
Earlier this month it was the turn of Cork City to receive another member of a Dutch navy in the form of ‘Walrus’ class submarine HNLMS Bruinvis. The 68m long submarine with up to 40 torpedoes had docked in the port for crew time ashore.
#LiffeyPotential – Post-Brexit potentially poses an exodus of UK banks relocating from London to the EU and notably Dublin’s financial Docklands, where the Liffey flows through with barely any river-traffic compared to the Thames, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Since the Brexit vote on the EU referendum, property agents in Dublin have had a 30% increase on inquiries from UK firms looking to relocate. This is according to a joint report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland. Potentially such an influx of thousands of financial services employees could further boost the Docklands quarter with spin offs leading to new river-based operations / floating businesses. The increased financial flight of capital could also favour related corporate sponsorship of tallships and powerboating races.
Among the major high-rise Docklands developments underway is Dublin Landings, an impressive 1 million sq foot central north riverside project also at Spenser Dock. This is a mixed development of offices, apartments and retails space includes the new headquarters of the Central Bank originally destined to be that for Anglo Irish Bank no less!
There are also plans at Spenser Dock for the DART Underground, this would be something of a Dublin version of London’s Canary Wharf Docklands. Passing this major financial district in June was RMS St. Helena heading to the UK capital, the first visit ever visit to her homeport of registry, yet notably having taken place after the 'RMS' made a unique call to Dublin Port 21 years previously on the River Liffey.
As reported previously, Thames commuter-river bus operator MNBA Thames Clippers whose 15 catamarans will carry four million customers by the end of 2016. The operator MNBA do a lot more as they are also one of the UK's largest credit card issuers. Obviously there is considerably less demand for a Liffey commuter service, given the bridges built and since the Celtic Tiger and the extension of the LUAS Red Line to the Point. A commuter service however did exist in the form of the far more humble Liffey Ferry operation when compared to the busy Thames scene.
It was during the credit crunch crash that Liffey Ferry with the support of the then Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) ran a river-taxi shuttle service between bank to bank… pardon the pun. The river-taxi RIB named Liffey Flyer was aptly yellow in colour like its New York land-based counterpart. The three-minute hop between Sir John Rogersons Quay and the North Wall. The DDDA was transferred to Dublin City Council and Afloat at another stage will be examining DCC’s North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) and its relationship with the River Liffey. The underutilised water thoroughfare and Grand Canal Basin is in stark contrast to some other EU capitals as echoed by Docklands Business Forum.
Outside of peak times, Liffey Ferry attracted tourists as it was a short-cut in which having personally availed to reach the working port of Dublin beyond the East-Link Lift Toll Bridge now named the Tom Clarke Bridge. There are currently plans at the river crossing to ‘reorder’ this area of waterfront where small vessels among them cruiseships transit through the lift-bridge to reach city-centre quays. The ‘old’ Liffey ferry whose origins date to the 14th century, was operated by Dublin Corporation’s own fleet that mostly served dockers until the ferry was made redundant in 1984 with the opening of the East-Link Bridge.
In regard to the Liffey Ferry of the DDDA this only operated for about two years and was always a stop-gap measure in advance of the opening in 2009 of the new Samuel Beckett Bridge, part of the Docklands regeneration vision. The swing-bridge was ‘imported’ having already been completed in the Netherlands from where the structure was towed on a barge and ‘sailed’ through the East-Link bridge as it was known then.
At present the Liffey has only one operator, albeit the ‘tourist-excursion’ year-round service of Dublin Discovered Boat Tours. They operate a 48 seat sight-seeing craft, Spirit of Docklands, custom-built for the DDDA when launched in Finland for Liffey River Cruises. The ‘Spirit’ plies between Bachelors Walk upriver to the Old Ha’penny Bridge and downriver to the 3Arena, formerly the O2 and before that the Point Theatre. As previously covered, the Liffey Line ran during the mid-1990’s a similar shuttle river-bus and night-time service for theatre patrons from City Quay using a former Shannon based water-bus craft.
On the North Wall is berthed the Dublin 1962 built veteran M.V. Cill Airne, a former transatlantic liner tender based in Cobh which has been a ‘resident’ of the Dublin Docklands for almost a decade. The static venue with restaurants and bars on board the 500grt vessel is located at a prime position close to the Convention Centre, host of a historic reception for Queen Elizabeth II in 2011.
Also gracing the northside is the Jeanie Johnston, a replica of a 19th century barque which tells the story of Irish emigrants fleeing the famine to start a new life in America. The floating museum tallship is undergoing maintenance but is scheduled to reopen to visitors next month.
Not strictly a Liffey operator, Dublin Bay Cruises in recent years began seasonal ‘summer’ excursions also from City Quay on a network linking Howth and Dun Laoghaire Harbours. St. Bridget is to resume duties also next month albeit in the context of ‘festive’ river party cruises.
#NewEPSOchairman - At the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) General Assembly held in Brussels Eamon O’Reilly was unanimously elected as Chairman following a vote held yesteray. O'Reilly succeeds Santiago Garcia-Mila who chaired the organisation during the last four years.
The General Assembly also elected Annaleena Mäkilä and Bernard Mazuel as Vice-Chairs. Ms Mäkilä, who is currently Executive Director of the Finnish ports Association now starts a second term in that role. Mr Mazuel is Managing Director of the French Ports Association.
Upon his election, Mr O’ Reilly said: “I am very honoured to have been elected as Chairman of ESPO for the next two years. Over these years, ports will be challenged by the implementation of the Port Regulation and other legislative initiatives. There will also be a continuing need for ports to plan and finance major infrastructure investment at the key nodes of Europe’s transport networks. Overarching these challenges, however, is the global problem of climate change and how our industry plays its part in addressing this enormous issue.
“I would like to thank the Members of ESPO for putting their trust in me and I look forward to working with Isabelle and her excellent team as we represent the interests of Europe’s ports in our response to these challenges in the years ahead.”
Mr. O’Reilly has been serving as Chief Executive of the Dublin Port Company since 2010.
Today, ESPO has also published its Annual Report 2015-2016, which outlines the activities of the organisation over the past year. A copy of the report can be found here.
In addition, tonight will see the celebration of the 8th annual ESPO Award on Societal integration. The theme of this year is nature in ports. European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc will be announcing the winner at a ceremony taking place at the Palais d’Egmont in Brussels.
For five sailings commencing in late April, throughout May and until the end of June 2018, one of Celebrity Cruises’ 2,800+ guest Solstice-class ships will offer cruises throughout northern Europe from Dublin. Full details on the destinations on offer will be announced later this year. Over 14,000 people are estimated to start their cruise holiday from Dublin on a Celebrity Cruises ship in 2018.
The move is worth an estimated almost €6 million to Dublin and the surrounding area in knock-on economic benefits. Celebrity Cruises already features Dublin and other ports throughout Ireland in its European deployment, however this is the most significant increase in its investment into Ireland in the history of the global business.
Jo Rzymowska, managing director, Celebrity Cruises UK and Ireland, explains:
“Celebrity Cruises has enjoyed significant support from our travel agent partners and guests throughout Ireland for many years. Now we are saying thank you by basing one of the flagships of our fleet in Dublin for a mini season during early summer 2018. We know that our guests from around the world, and in Ireland, will love the warm welcome they receive when starting a holiday in Dublin.
“Calling Dublin home in 2018 is a major development to our European deployment. We couldn’t be more excited. Thank you to Dublin Port for their support.”
In 2016 Dublin Port has played host to over 180,000 cruise visitors on over 100 cruise ship calls, of which four were cruise ship turnarounds where the ship begins its sailing and guests embark. Celebrity Cruises’ confirmation of a mini season from Dublin in 2018 brings significant growth to the port.
Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class of ships are the newest in its fleet, all introduced between 2008 and 2012. In addition to luxury guest accommodation, designer boutiques, extensive bars and restaurants, they also feature a real grass lawn on the top deck. With extensive awards particularly for its food and wine, Celebrity Cruises boasts the largest and rarest collection of wine at sea and a host of exclusive restaurants on-board all overseen by a Michelin-starred executive chef.
Pat Ward, Dublin Port, comments:
“It has been a clear ambition of Dublin Port to attract a cruise line to offer our great city as a homeport. Today, that ambition is realised and Celebrity Cruises will be an important step-change in our history. The opportunities that this new investment will bring are extensive. We look forward to maximising this new platform for growth and welcoming yet more cruise ships and holidaymakers to Dublin for the first time.”
Celebrity Cruises sails on every continent in the world and has a fleet of 12 ships. Plus, Celebrity Cruises currently has two new ships on order, scheduled to join the fleet in 2018 and 2020 respectively, and a further two ships on option. The cruise line is part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, the second large cruise business in the world.
Sail Training Ireland recently held an awards event to recognise recent trainees who had completed sail training voyages with the support of Dublin Port Company.
Seven trainees were presented with their awards by Dublin Port CEO Eamonn O’Reilly.
The highlight of the event was the excellent presentations by four of the trainees who told the story of their voyages and the positive impact it had on them.
These voyages were made possible by the generous support of Dublin Port Company. Both Eamonn O’Reilly and Sail Training Ireland CEO, Daragh Sheridan spoke of the fantastic relationship between the two organisations and of the positive impact on the trainees and of the importance of the presence of the tall ships at the annual Dublin Port Riverfest.
Sail Training Ireland is Ireland’s National Sail Training Organisation and a registered charity, formed in 2011 as a replacement for Coiste an Asgard. The organisation raises funds to offer sail training voyages to young people from all backgrounds and abilities on the island of Ireland.
Sail Training offers a unique and very effective means of helping young people to reach their full potential. It provides a platform for personal and group development and offers a life changing experience that sparks a new perspective to help develop essential life skills.
The skills gained and challenges faced on board are transferable to everyday life and for some it can act as a stepping stone into maritime careers.
Dublin Port, for long a nearly enclosed semi-industrial estate at the eastern end of Docklands, is planning to open up to the city with an imaginative scheme to reorder the entire area around its own headquarters off East Wall Road.
Project manager Jim Kelleher, who was responsible for the outstanding Diving Bell restoration on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, says the aim is to “soften the hard edge” between Port Centre and the still-developing north Docklands area.
Port Centre, designed by Scott Tallon Walker and completed in 1981, has been marooned behind a stone wall that extends all along the east side of the heavily trafficked East Wall Road, which is extremely hostile to pedestrians.
Standing six storeys high on a podium, the new building replaced the port’s old headquarters at the Ballast Office, on the corner of Aston Quay and Westmoreland Street, which in turn was demolished and replaced by a half-hearted “replica”.
An architectural competition in 2014 led to Darmody Architects winning the commission to create a significant public space around Port Centre, including removal of parts of the unlisted stone boundary wall dating from the 1880s.
Principal architect Tim Darmody says his scheme is “all about port-city integration”, with an impressive set of gates on East Wall Road leading to a plaza in front of the port company’s headquarters and a landscaped “garden” to the south of it.
A new boundary made from pre-rusted Corten steel panels will replace the late 19th-century stone wall at southern end of the two-acre site, with a relocated 10-tonne Stothert & Pitt crane, dating from the 1950s, rearing up above the new wall.
This dramatic installation will be “painted, illuminated, celebrated”, as Jim Kelleher says, as a totem for Dublin Port and its history, clearly visible to motorists driving north across the East Link Bridge towards the Port Tunnel and M50 motorway. To read much more of a separate but port related development proposed by Dublin City Council, click here.
Afloat.ie adds among the reasons for the proposed crane relocation is the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) project.
There has been a conservation assessment of such structures within the ABR that includes the site where Dublin Graving Docks Ltd operated until closure earlier this year.
In addition Afloat.ie is to further examine the background of the crane in greater detail as it forms part of the capital's port maritime industrial heritage.
#SailStavros – A French Navy fleet tanker replenishment vessel this morning departed Dublin Port and where a UK youth sail training ship arrived this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore.
BCR Somme (A631) is a Durance class command and replenishment ship which Afloat reported on during a another visit, click here. On this occasion,the 157m tanker had spent her Irish call having arrived on Friday to the port providing crew rest leave over the weekend.
As for the sail-trainee, Stavros S Niarchos of the Tall Ships Youth Trust, she is on a visit to the capital where some of the ferries that serve the Holyhead route share a connection with the brig, that been Stena Line. The 60m brig is managed by Northern Marine Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stena AB Gothenburg. The subsidiary formed in 1983 is headquartered in Clydebank, Scotland.
Trainees of the Portsmouth based brig are given duties which involves one of the three watches to operate the vessel. It's a 24 hour job and this is where they learn how to set sails of the two square-rigged masts, man the ropes, take the helm, keep a proper look-out. All these varied tasks that are involved to keep a Tall Ship sailing.
A typical cruising programme has voyages of between 2 and 12 days. This sees Stavros S Niarchos sail along the English south coast, to the Canary Islands, Azores and as far as the Caribbean.
On this Irish visit, Stavros S Niarchos headed upriver this afternoon and passed Alexandra Basin, where BCR Somme had been allocated a berth.
The final stretch of the voyage from Merseyside involved a transit of the Tom Clarke Bridge at Ringsend. The toll-lift bascule designed structure saw the lifting span (45m wide) rise, permitting the brig’s passage upriver on the Liffey.
Dublin Port has announced new figures showing a 6.8% increase in trade volumes for the first nine months of the year. The current pace of growth puts Dublin Port on course for a record year for the third year in a row.
Total throughput (imports and exports) for the nine months to the end of September was 26.0 million gross tonnes.
Exports moved ahead by 7.0% to 10.6 million gross tonnes in the first nine months, while imports climbed by 6.7% to 15.4 million gross tonnes, reflecting ongoing improvement in the domestic economy.
Ro-Ro freight trailers and Lo-Lo containers are the mainstay of Dublin Port’s business and they continue to show very strong growth.
Ro-Ro cargo arriving on trailer-trucks and lorries increased by 7.6% to 699,361 units, while Lo-Lo containers moved ahead by 9.3% to 495,304 TEU.
More than 77,000 new vehicles were imported through Dublin Port in the first nine months, up 9.8% on the same period last year as demand for new cars and commercial vehicles showed little sign of abating. Meanwhile ferry passenger traffic experienced a slight uplift by 0.5% as 1.4m ferry passengers and over 400,000 tourist vehicles passed through the port, as holidaymakers and Ireland soccer fans took advantage of direct routes to France and Britain.
Dublin Port’s cruise business grew with 103 cruise calls in the first nine months bringing 152,000 cruise visitors to the capital.
Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said:
“At 6.8% growth in the first nine months of the year, we are now certain that 2016 will be the third record year in a row for trade at Dublin Port. We are seeing the re-emergence of exponential compounding growth which has characterised the business of Dublin Port for many decades.
“In the period to September this year, we handled the same volume as we did in the whole of 2009, our lowest point after the economic collapse.
“The pace of growth is so strong that if current growth levels were to continue into the future, Dublin Port’s volumes would double over the 12 years to 2025. Our challenge now is how best to create additional port capacity in sufficient time to stay ahead of this growth.
“As part of our plans to maximise capacity at Dublin Port, we have purchased 44 hectares of motorway connected lands 14 km from the Port and we will develop these as an External
Port Logistics Zone over the next five years to increase the capacity of the Port to cater for future growth.
“We are also preparing plans for the development of over 50 hectares of port lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula both within the area of the West Poolbeg SDZ and elsewhere on the peninsula. These plans are an integral part of our Masterplan 2012 to 2040 which shows how we will develop the Port to accommodate a doubling in throughput”.
#Lamentable – The decision to close the largest graving dock in the state in Dublin Port has been described as ‘lamentable’ by the Maritime Institute of Ireland, writes Jehan Ashmore.
According to the M.I.I.’s latest biannual newsletter, the Institute expresses concern that the closure could result in work being lost to Ireland “with the lamentable decision to close and in-fill the big Dublin Graving Dock No.2 which was in constant use by Arklow Shipping”.
It is almost exactly six months ago that Afloat.ie reported the closure of the country’s largest drydock, at 220m long. The ship-repairer and conversion firm, Dublin Graving Docks ceased operations officially on 29 April with the loss of a skilled labourforce of 26 marine engineering personnel. The business had been operated by DGD under license from the Dublin Port Company.
The Institute added “this valuable overhaul and survey work would be lost to the State. It is the biggest such facility in the Republic and was opened in 1957 in style by the then President Sean T.O’Kelly as befitted such an iconic State-funded enterprise”.
Furthermore, in the Autumn newsletter article, the Institute said hopefully, wise counsel will prevail and this valuable maritime facility will be retained on the east coast in the country’s major port.
The last ship, however to use the facility, was aptly an Irish flagged cargoship, Arklow Fame (pictured above) that occupied the graving dock before floated-out on 27 April.
Dublin Port Company are to incorporate the graving dock by infilling to make additional quay frontage and cargo space for the €227m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment.
The ABR project is to enable considerably larger deep drafted cargoships to enter the port. In addition to accommodate giant cruiseships by berthing much closer to the city-centre.
The newsletter also commented that Arklow Shipping has since seemed to be trying out Cork Dockyard. It the next largest such facility in this state which received former business of DGD through the Arklow Rose, which Afloat first highlighted in July.
This former Dutch flagged member of the ASL fleet however upon completion of drydocking emerged as Celtic Venture having been sold to UK based owners.