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Displaying items by tag: FastFerries

#CancelledSailings – Certain fast-ferry operated sailings on the Irish Sea today and for tomorrow (Tuesday 26 September) are cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

Irish Ferries have cancelled tomorrow's fast-ferry only operated sailings otherwise served by Jonathan Swift on the Dublin-Holyhead route.

Instead all passengers are to be accommodated on the alternative cruise-ferry Ulysses which will be operating to service as normal. For further information on sailing times consult the Irish Ferries website HERE.

As the Autumn season is underway, any further disruption to sailings can also be consulted on the 'AA website' which provides daily updates and contact details of the various travel operators by 'scrolling down' their website page HERE.

 

Published in Ferry
Dublin Port-Douglas sailings in the winter months are operated by Ben-My-Chree, a conventional ferry that only calls to the Irish capital on a handful of sailings during this period, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPCo) ferry docked just after midnight at the multi-user ferryport (terminal 1) and departed at around 02.30hrs. She returns to Dublin on the 22 October,17 December and the final sailing for this year is 26 December.

Following this mornings Irish route sailing, she resumed on her regular Douglas-Heysham route and she also serves Douglas-Birkenhead (Liverpool) during the winter months.

During the summer Dublin-Douglas sailings are served by fast-ferry catamaran Manannan (1998/5,743grt). The 96m InCAT built in Hobart,Tasmania had also operated Douglas-Belfast high-season crossings. Her roster is now confined to a Douglas-Liverpool sailing schedule.

Ben-My-Chree (photo) is Manx for 'Girl of my heart' and her island owners commissioned the 12,504grt ro-pax from Dutch shipbuilders Van de Giessen-de Noord. The 125m ferry was launched in 1998 and she can accommodate 630 passengers,275 vehicles and 1,235 freight lane-metres.

This particular ro-pax design has also been built for Channel Islands operator Commodore Ferries with their Commodore Clipper and a Scandinavian ferry operator. In addition another Dutch shipbuilder, Merwede built a multi-support vessel (MRV) derived from the design of Ben-My-Chree for the Royal New Zealand Navy when they commissioned HMNZS Canterbury (L421). Click for similar port-side photo view to compare differences.

Incidentally the Manannan prior to entering service last year for the IOMSPCo. was for five years chartered initially to the United States Navy but transferred to the United States Army Forces. To read more click HERE.

Published in Ferry
With the recent closure of Stena Line fast-ferry services from Dun Laoghaire and Rosslare, this leaves just four such services operating this winter between Ireland and Britain. By November only half of these services will be running on routes out of Dublin and Larne, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Currently three of these four services are employed on North Channel routes. P&O Ferries operate their fast-craft Express (1998/5,902 grt) on the one-hour route to Cairnryan which is also served by conventional ferry sisters that take two-hours. Since March the fast-ferry also joined the freight-ferry on the Troon route for the start of seasonal summer sailings which are to end on 3rd October.

The third service between Belfast-Stranraer is in the hands of rivals Stena Line which maintain the HSS Stena Voyager (1996/19,638 grt) on sailings but only to around mid-November. She will be replaced by conventional sister-ships which will be introduced on the North Channel's newest port when services switch from Stranraer to a new terminal close to Cairnryan.

Finally the fourth fast-ferry is Irish Ferries marketed 'Dublin Swift' service which runs on the Dublin-Holyhead route served by Jonathan Swift (1999/5,989 grt). The craft built by Austal in Fremantle, operates alongside the conventional cruise-ferry Ulysses.

Stena Line's decision to terminate HSS Stena Explorer sailings between Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead this day last week follows fast-ferry Stena Lynx III's end-of-season Rosslare-Fishguard sailings earlier this month.

From next year, Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead sailings are to be seasonal-only and according to Stena Line they hope to resume fast-ferry sailings in April or May though no exact date has been set. Unlike the central corridor route which was entirely dependent on HSS operations, the Rosslare-Fishguard route remains operating year-round with the conventional ferry Stena Europe.

As a result of the discontinued fast-ferries, the HSS Stena Explorer is now spending a lay-up period in the Welsh port for the winter. The smaller Stena Lynx III is also 'wintering' but in on the opposite side of the Irish Sea in Dun Laoghaire, where the vessel has done so in previous years.

The lay-up of both fast-ferries in Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead is ironic considering that neither ports' are connected by the very craft that used to share sailing rosters in recent years. In addition the wintering of these catamaran craft is the first time that this has occurred since the pioneering Stena Sea Lynx fast-ferry launched such sailings in 1993.

This first 'Lynx' provided seasonal sailings on the route with conventional car-ferry Stena Hibernia, the former St. Columba, custom-built in 1977 for Sealink /British Rail. She was given a second name under Stena ownership, the Stena Adventurer and remained on the 57 nautical-mile route until replaced in 1996 by the year-round operated HSS Stena Explorer.

Apart from cross-channel fast-ferry services, the Isle of Man is served by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. Ltd's routes linking the islands capital Douglas with Belfast, Dublin, Heysham and Liverpool (Birkenhead) in the winter. These routes include seasonal services which are operated by a combination of conventional tonnage using Ben-My-Chree and fast-ferry Manannan (1998/5,089grt), a former US Navy vessel, to read more click HERE. For sailing schedules, vessel type deployed on route and for fares click HERE.

Published in Ferry
The saga of Thor Gitta's prolonged stay in Galway to load two former Aran Islands ferries bound for Mauritius, culminated with the cargoship's departure this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Due to a series of incidents, mishaps and delays the Thor Gitta has been at the centre of attention. Crowds of Galwegians witnessed the loading of both ferries during the past week.

First to be loaded was the Clann na nOileáin on Wednesday in an operation than took four-hours while on Friday her sister Clann Eagle I took six-hours to be winched safely onto the cargo-deck during freshening winds.

It is ironic that since Thor Gitta 's arrival to the port's Dún Aengus Dock on 5 April that it would also nearly be the same time taken for the estimated 25-day delivery voyage of the ferries to the Indian Ocean island.

During the 8,300 mile journey Thor Gitta will make several port of calls with the first call to La Rochelle. The Bay of Biscay port is the next largest port south of Les Sables d'Olonnes, where the fast-ferries where built at the OCEA boatyard for her original owners Bád Arann Teoranta which traded as Aran Direct on routes from Rossaveal to the islands.

Thor Gitta was built in 1996 and is also designed to carry 364 TEU (twenty-foot equivilant unit) containers and belongs to an-eight strong fleet operated by the Danish company, Thor Rederi A/S of Svendborg.

One of the reasons why the heavylift vessel was delayed in loading was to ensure the correct positioning of the ferries so not to further disrupt other port call cargo allocation while on the long repositioning voyage to Mauritius.

The 4,078 tonnes cargsoship is also scheduled to make en-route calls to Pointe Noir in the Congo, Cape Town and Pemba in Mozambique before finally reaching the southern Indian Ocean destination.

When the ferries were completed in 2005 and 2006 they were valued between €5-6m but they only served up to September 2008 when the 243 passenger aluminium built craft were laid-up at the Connemara harbour due to financial difficulities.

This led to the company going into receivership and the vessels were put up for auction in Galway last February. Despite bids reaching €950,000, they were withdrawn at the auction hosted by the Cork based auctioneer, Dominic J. Daly.

In the following month the fast-ferries were sold to the French owner for a new career based from the island state which is in the Mascarene Islands. Mauritius is neighboured by the smaller islands of Agalega, Cargados Carajos, Rodrigues and the French island of Réunion some 200km to the southwest.

Published in Ports & Shipping
In the process to load two fast-ferries onboard a heavy-cargo liftship in Galway port the operation has taken on yet another setback, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Despite successfully loading the first ferry, the 172 gross tonnes ferry Clann na nOileain yesterday morning, which took four hours, the time to secure the vessel on the cargoship's deck continued much longer than anticipted.

As a consequence this led to further delays in the the clearance of existing cargo so to enable sufficient space to load the second ferry onboard the Thor Gitta.

THOR_GITTA

The 4,078 gross tonnes heavy-cargo liftship was due to have started loading the second ferry the 169 tonnes ferry Clann Eagle I yesterday afternoon but this has been delayed until 12 noon today.

The Danish-flagged Thor Gitta has been in Galway for over a fortnight. She berthed with her starboard side facing alongside the quay. With this orientation the cargoship's two-deck mounted cranes swing out on the opposite port side which were used to raise the first ferry out of the water on 7 April.

On that ocasion the forward sling snapped causing the Clann na nOileain to plunge into the waters within the port's single dock named the Dun Aengus Dock.

In recent daysThor Gitta has shifted berths which has resulted in the 100m long vessel berthing on her starboard side again next to the dock's quayside. The deck-mounted cranes on the port side continue to face out overlooking the open water of the dock.

The loading of Clann na nOileain is all the more skillfull considering that the 27m length of the ferry had to be hoisted and swung at an angle between the narrow span of the two deck mounted cranes.

For file photos of vessels in loading mode from the Rederi A/S fleet owners of the Thor Gitta click here.

Thor Gitta is the second chartered vessel called in to assist in the transportation of the two former Aran Islands fast-ferries.

The other cargoship, the longer 120 metre Patanal, ran aground at the end of March during stormy seas after dragging its anchor in Casla Bay, at the entrance to Rossaveal harbour. The 7,002 tonnes vessel sought initial repairs before leaving Galway Bay last week for further work in Germany.

The monuhull fast ferry pair were custom built in France for Bad Teoranta (trading as Aran Direct) but the company went into recievership.

At an auction held in Galway last month the vessels did not sale despite bids reaching €950,000, they were withdrawn at the auction. The ferries were later sold for a sum believed to be seven-figures to an operator based in the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

Published in Ports & Shipping
In a third attempt to load two fast-ferries bound for Mauritius, one of the vessel's has so far been successfully positioned onboard the cargoship in Galway dock, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Clann na nOileáin was first loaded onboard this morning whereas her sister Clann Eagle I will be hoisted this afterrnoon. It is expected that this procedure will take around four hours to complete.

The 234-passenger ferries have been the centre of attention since two previous attempts proved unsuccessful following incidents in the mid-west port.

On the first attempt that took place nearly a fortnight ago, three men onboard the ferry were injured when the ships's crane-sling snapped when handling the 170 tonnes ferry Clann na nOileáin.

Fortunately the ferry was hanging over the water and splashed into Dun Aengus Dock rather than landing on the hold of the 4,078 gross tonnes cargo-vessel Thor Gitta. In the second attempt last
Saturday one of the cargoship's cranes sounded a safety alarm which halted proceedings.

The Danish-flagged Thor Gitta is the second heavy-lift cargoship that has been called in to assist in transporting the two former Aran Islands fast-ferries. The 100m cargoship is owned by Thor Rederi A/S of Svendborg and is expected to depart Galway tommorrow morning.

The first heavylift vessel the German-flagged Patanal grounded in rough seas after dragging its anchor in Casla Bay at the entrance to Rossaveal, where the ferries were originally based in readiness for loading.

Patanal suffered hull damage and was taken into Galway Bay for preliminary repair work. Last week the 7,002grt vessel operated by Harren + Partners, departed the bay to undergo further repairs at a dry-dock in Bremerhaven.

Published in Ports & Shipping
In a third attempt to load two former Aran Islands ferries at Galway yesterday, operations took on a new twist as the cargoship chartered in to transport them was detained according to a report in todays Irish Times.
The Thor Gitta, a 4078 tonnes heavy lift cargoship was held at the port's Dun Aengus Dock as new complications arose in an effort to transport the two passenger fast-ferries Clann na nOileáin and Clann Eagle 1 which are bound for Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.

Harbourmaster Capt. Brian Sheridan, confirmed yesterday evening that the Danish flagged vessel had been detained at lunchtime on the instructions of the admiralty marshal, a High Court judge, acting under maritime law. Until matters are resolved, a ship's keeper has been placed onboard by the Revenue Commissioners.

Published in Ports & Shipping
The heavy lift cargoship Thor Gitta is due to make a second attempt to load two former Aran Islands fast ferries in Galway Docks tomorrow morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.
It is envisaged that the operation to hoist the sisters, Clann Eagle I and Clann na nOileáin which each weigh 170 tonnes will be completed by tomorrow evening. The Danish flagged heavy liftship is expected to remain in port until Friday so as to make further preparations in advance of the long delivery voyage to the ferries new owners in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.

In the first attempt to load the ferries last week, the Clann na nOileáin fell into the Dun Aengus Dock when the sling rope broke causing the French built 234-passenger craft to fall some 12m /40ft. Onboard the ferry were three people who were taken to hospital but were later released.

Thor Gitta is fitted with two deck-mounted cranes and this feature is also similarly found on the Patanal, which grounded in Casla Bay at the entrance to Rossaveal, nearly a fortnight ago. The German owned 7,002grt was the first vessel chartered to bring the fast-ferries from Rossaveal, but the ferries were subsequently sailed to Galway after the ship was refloated.

The 120m Patanal has undergone "underwater and internal inspections and repairs," according to Capt. Brian Sheridan, harbourmaster of Galway Port Company though he added "that the vessel would remain subject to an inspection by the Marine Survey Office before she can be released".

According to a statement released by the Patanal's owners, Harren & Partner, the vessel is then to be taken to dry dock in Bremerhaven for further repairs.

Since the incident the vessel has been at anchorage off Black Point on the Co. Clare side of Galway Bay where she was monitored initially for pollution and the tug Celtic Isle in attendance. The tug is operated by Celtic Tugs and is normally based in Foynes, Co. Limerick.

Published in Ports & Shipping

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