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Stena Line are to reduce its HSS fast-ferry between Dun Laoghaire Harbour and Holyhead next month, according to RTE.ie
The decision by the company for pulling the HSS Stena Explorer from service was because of the high operating costs and that "it traded at a financial loss for several years". The central corridor route generated much of its turnover between May and September.

Stena Line said the fast craft service would operate until 13th September and would then be suspended until the 2012 season. Two conventional ferries will continue to operate year-round on the company's neighbouring route between Dublin Port and Holyhead.

Stena said it hoped to start the service again in April or May although no decision has been made on an exact date.

Area Director for Stena Line's business on the Irish Sea Michael McGrath said: "Despite all our attempts to reduce operating costs over the last few years, it has not been possible to return the route to profitability.

"We regret that this decision will have an impact amongst our ship's personnel and our port operations staff in Dun Laoghaire but this is a decision that has to be taken for the benefit of the overall business. We simply cannot continue to sustain these levels of financial losses.

"We will now embark on a period of consultation with our staff and their union representatives to discuss the implications of the proposed changes with them."

Stena says it hope to start the service again in April or May, although no decision has been made on an exact date. It is believed around 53 staff will be affected by the decision.

Published in Ferry
As we draw closer to the end of this month that does not mean the holiday season is over especially where cruiseships are concerned, as no fewer than three such vessels are due to Dublin Port tomorrow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Two of the trio P&O Cruises 2,300-passenger Arcadia and Holland America Line's 2,100 passenger Eurodam are scheduled to arrive in Dublin Bay from 07.00hrs. They both weigh over 86,000 gross registered tonnes and share the same length of over 250 metres.

Arcadia caters for the UK market and she is on a 13-night cruise which so far has included calls to North Shields, Tyneside, Invergordon, Shetland Isles, Glasgow, Belfast and Liverpool. After her call to the capital she heads for Cork and finally to St Peter Port, Guernsey.

Readers may note that the vessel is of the same design as of Cunard Line's Queen Victoria, which also called to Dublin in May and Cork. In fact Arcadia was to be given the regal name but the 2005 Italian built vessel was transferred from Cunard Line to P&O Cruises, which are under control of US-owned cruise giant Carnival Corporation.

Notable external features of the Arcadia are glass-fronted lifts, two pools, one with a skydome and an interior that is brimming with an art collection consisting of over 3,000 works. She has many facilities such as a three-tier palladium theatre, an intimate 30-seater cinema and gymnasium with an ocean view to inspire those exercising at sea. She was constructed in just twenty months by the Fincantieri shipyard, just outside Venice.

Likewise Eurodam has an extensive art collection theme that is based on the Dutch master's 'Golden Age' including "The Nightwatch, Two Minutes Later", a contemporary re-interpretation of Rembrandt's famous painting. In addition there are 17th-century watercolour maps by famed cartographer Johannes Vingboons.

Passengers on the 11-decked Signature-class can also enjoy the Pan-Asian restaurant and lounge surrounded by panoramic views, an explorer's lounge bar, an Italian restaurant adjacent to the lido, jewellery boutique, atrium bar, show lounge and a photographic and imaging-centre.

Last but not least to dock around lunchtime will be the 30,000 tonnes Ocean Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, another subsidiary of the Carnival Corporation. The 680-passenger / 181 m long vessel may be the smallest of tomorrow's callers and within the Princess Cruises fleet, but the former Tahitian Princess, which underwent an extensive dry-docking in Singapore last winter is well equipped with facilities.

She has a cabaret lounge, club restaurant and bar, casino bar, main pool and spa, steakhouse restaurant, panorama buffet, an Italian restaurant and the Tahitian Lounge. To see the work conducted at the dry-dock, you can view a slideshow by clicking HERE and to see the work in a completed state which also applied to her sister Pacific Princess, watch this VIDEO.

Published in Cruise Liners
The Naval Service's OPV L.E. Roisin (P51) under the Command of Lt. Cdr. Peter Twomey is on a three-day visit to St. Petersburg in the Russian Federation, writes Jehan Ashmore.
L.E. Roisin is on a foreign trade deployment with calls to Helsinki, Tallinn and next Wednesday she is due to call to the Latvian capital Riga, where medical supplies are to be delivered on behalf of Adi Roche's Chernobyl Children's Project in Belarus, now in its 25th year of operations. Money to purchase the supplies were raised from a charity row-athon organised by the crew prior to departure.

Since Tuesday the offshore patrol vessel (OPV) has been berthed in the Baltic city of St. Petersburg. Her naval officers laid a wreath at the Piskarevskoye Memorial Cemetery. Also visited was the Central Naval Museum and the naval cruiser Aurora, where one of the first incidents of the 'October' Russian revolution took place in 1917.

Irish Ambassador to Russia Philip McDonagh boarded the L.E. Roisin yesterday to highlight Irish-Russian bi-lateral relationships and co-operation between the two countries in areas of economic, culture, education and tourism. In the first-half of 2010 bi-lateral trade with Russia was up 66% and St. Petersburg is the most important economic centre after Moscow.

The trade mission follows last year's visit of president Mary McAleese who became the first Irish head of state to visit Russia. On her visit which included St. Petersburg, she signed a protocol on partnership and co-operation between the Russian city and Dublin during the third St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum.

In March of this year representatives from St. Petersburg took part in the Russian Culture Festival in Dublin. Three months later in July, the Irish capital was visited by the Russian Naval destroyer Admiral Chabanenko (650), the flagship of the countries Northern Fleet. For more on that visit of the Udaloy –II class destroyer click HERE.

L.E. Roisin is not the first Irish Naval Service vessel to visit the Russian Federation as this accolade goes to the flagship L.E. Eithne (P31) which called to St. Petersburg in 2003.

Published in Navy
As Le Diamant berthed in Dublin Port this morning the Clipper Odyssey which also called to the capital with the French-flagged cruiseship this day last week, is visiting the fishing capital of Killybegs today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Co. Donegal port is close to Slieve League, at over 600m/1900-ft, they are Ireland's highest sea cliffs and inland in the north-west of the county is the Glenveagh National Park.

According to her schedule the Clipper Odyssey has since made several calls to include Waterford, Cobh and along the stunning scenery of the western seaboard with anchorage calls off the Great Blasket Islands, Dingle.

Yesterday the 5,218 tonnes vessel operated by Clipper Cruiuses had also called to Inishmore of the Aran Islands. Otherwise the 120 passenger cruiseship is normally found serving in the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to the Russian Far-East. She is due to depart Co. Donegal this evening bound for Portrush.

As for the 226-passenger Le Diamant she is a frequent caller not just to Dublin, she had arrived from Penzance. The 8,282 tonnes vessel is run by Marseilles based Ponant Cruises and the twin-funnelled vessel is due to depart this evening for Fishguard.

Published in Cruise Liners
The first of four freight-only ferries for Irish Sea operator Seatruck Ferries was launched last week according to The Motorship.
Measuring 18,920 gross tonnes the Seatruck Progrees built by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) in Germany is due for delivery in November with the final newbuild scheduled for completion in June 2012. The vessels are 142m long and have a width of 25m and with 2,166 lane metres, capable of carrying over 150 commercial vehciles spread across four decks.

The quartet of Heysham-Max class vessels are the largest ever vessels built to operate from the Cumbrian port which has determined the length of the new ships. Despite the restrictions imposed by the dimensions of the port, the optimum cargo-load of the newbuilds were achieved by positioning the deckhouse forward so to guarantee un-hampered loading of the upper decks.

Propulsion is from two MAN 7L48/60CR main engines of 2 x 8,000kW providing 21 knots. The powerplant is designed to meet rigorous emission and fuel consumption demands, according to FSG managing director Peter Sierk.

Published in Ferry

Derek Martin's Beneteau 44.7 Lively Lady produced wins on IRC and ECHO in Dublin Bay Sailing Club's race this afternoon in medium winds that featured a long spinnaker run the length of Dublin Bay. Martin's Royal Irish club mate George Sisk was second on IRC in WOW, a new J122 design. Third was Denis Hewitt in another Royal Irish yacht, Tiamat, a Mark Mills design. Full DUBLIN PORT Dublin Bay Sailing Club Results for 20 AUGUST 2011below:

BENETEAU 31.7 Echo- 1. Attitude (D.Owens/T.Milner), 2. Levante (B.Leyden/M.Leahy), 3. Thirty Something (Gerry Jones et al)

BENETEAU 31.7 - 1. Prospect (Chris Johnston), 2. Thirty Something (Gerry Jones et al), 3. Levante (B.Leyden/M.Leahy)

CRUISERS 0 Echo - 1. Lively Lady (Derek Martin), 2. Tiamat (Denis Hewitt & al), 3. Tsunami (Vincent Farrell)

CRUISERS 0 - 1. Lively Lady (Derek Martin), 2. Wow (George Sisk), 3. Tiamat (Denis Hewitt & al)

CRUISERS 1 - 1. Gringo (Tony Fox), 2. Xtravagance (Colin Byrne), 3. Contango (Barry Cunningham)

CRUISERS 1 Echo - 1. Powder Monkey (C.Moore/M.Byrne), 2. Indecision (Declan Hayes et al), 3. Contango (Barry Cunningham)

CRUISERS 2 Echo - 1. Peridot (Jim McCann et al), 2. Jester (Declan Curtin), 3. Bendemeer (L Casey & D Power)

CRUISERS 2 - 1. Peridot (Jim McCann et al), 2. Jawesome 11 (V.Kennedy/M.Dyke), 3. Bendemeer (L Casey & D Power)

CRUISERS 3 Echo - 1. Gung Ho (G & S O'Shea), 2. Pamafe (Michael Costello), 3. Jammie Dodger (J.H & D.O'Neill)

CRUISERS 3 - 1. Gung Ho (G & S O'Shea), 2. Asterix (Counihan/Meredith/Bushell), 3. Jammie Dodger (J.H & D.O'Neill)

FIREBALL Race 1- 1. Licence to Thrill (Louis Smyth), 2. Goodness Gracious (Louise McKenna), 3. No Name (B McGuire)

FIREBALL Race 2- 1. Licence to Thrill (Louis Smyth), 2. Goodness Gracious (Louise McKenna), 3. Samphire (Marguerite O'Rourke)

FLYING FIFTEEN Race 1- 1. Kooigjug (K Dumpleton), 2. Rollercoaster (Tom Murphy), 3. Deranged (C.Doorly)

FLYING FIFTEEN Race 2- 1. Mellifluence (Tom Leonard), 2. Deranged (C.Doorly), 3.Frequent Flyer (D Mulvin)

GLEN - 1. Glenluce (D & R O'Connor), 2. Pterodactyl (R & D McCaffrey), 3. Glenshesk (L.Faulkner et al)

IDRA 14 FOOT Race 2- 1. Dunmoanin (Frank Hamilton), 2. Squalls (Stephen Harrison), 3. Doody (J.Fitzgerald/J.Byrne)

IDRA 14 FOOT Race 1- 1. Squalls (Stephen Harrison), 2. Dunmoanin (Frank Hamilton), 3. Dart (Pierre Long)

MERMAID Race 1- 1. Jill (P.Smith/P.Mangan), 2. Aideen (B.Martin/D.Brennan), 3. Kim (D Cassidy)

MERMAID Race 2- 1. Jill (P.Smith/P.Mangan), 2. Kim (D Cassidy), 3. Aideen (B.Martin/D.Brennan)

PY CLASS Race 1- 1. P Keane (Laser 1), 2. N O'Toole (Laser), 3. R Tate (Laser)

PY CLASS Race 2- 1. Yvonne Gordon (Laser Radial), 2. R Tate (Laser), 3. Desmond McCarthy (Laser 1)

RUFFIAN 23 - 1. Diane ll (Bruce Carswell), 2. Ruff N Ready (Ann Kirwan et al), 3. Alias (D.Meeke/M.McCarthy)

SHIPMAN - 1. Whiterock (Henry Robinson), 2. Gusto (C Heath), 3. Curraglas (John Masterson)

SIGMA 33 - 1. White Mischief (Timothy Goodbody), 2. Leeuwin (H&C Leonard & B Kerr), 3. Pippa lV (G.Kinsman/K.Blake/M.O'Brien)

SQUIB Race 2- 1. Kookaburra (P & M Dee), 2. Nimble (Brian O'Hare), 3. Little Bird (N Barnwell)

SQUIB Race 1- 1. Why Not (Derek & Jean Jago), 2. Little Bird (N Barnwell), 3. Nimble (Brian O'Hare)

WHITE SAIL CRUISERS Echo- 1. Zephyr (R Cahill-O'Brien), 2. Arwen (Philip O'Dwyer), 3. Nirvana (Bernard Neeson)

WHITE SAIL CRUISERS - 1. Arwen (Philip O'Dwyer), 2. Vespucci (S & K O'Regan), 3. Zephyr (R Cahill-O'Brien)

Published in DBSC

The arrival of the largest and oldest Norwegian tallship the barque S/S Statsraad Lehmkuhl into Dublin Port yesterday made for an impressive sight, even without her sails set, writes Jehan Ashmore.

At nearly a century-old the square-rigged ship eased her way through the East-Link toll bridge where she proceeded to berth at Sir John Rogersons Quay, where she will be open to the public today between 12:00 – 16:30 and tomorrow,Saturday the 20th August from 10:00 –12:00. Her berth is downriver of the Samuel Beckett swing-bridge and the nearest DART stations are at Grand Canal Dock and Pearse St.
statsraad_1
Statsraad Lehmkuhl is 321-feet long and the barque is also one of the largest three-masted sailing ships in the world. The height from the water-line to the top of the mainmast is 240-feet and in total she carries 22 sails which cover an area of over 2,000 square metres. Under canvass she can achieve 18 knots or when under motor-power her 1,125hp diesel engine manages 11 knots. 
statsraad_2
As reported on Afloat.ie the steel-hulled barque departed her homeport of Bergen last week on a voyage across the North Sea to include a call to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. She was built in 1914 originally for the German Merchant Marine and at nearly a century-old she has had a colourful career having changed hands between Germany and Britain during both World Wars.
Since 1978 she has been with her current operators the Statsraad Lehmkuhl Foundation, based in the Nordic's country's second largest city. For further information about the 1,516-tonnes vessel specifications click HERE and interior illustration of deck layout click HERE.
statsraad_3

Her arrival marks nearly a year in advance to Dublin City welcoming the return of the Tall Ships Races, presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International. The capital last hosted the event in 1998 and next year up to 100 tall ships are to sail into the capital which will be the final host port for four days between 23rd-26th August 2012.

statsraad_4

Tall Ship S/S Statsraad Lehmkuh in Dublin Bay yesterday. Images: Iain White

The celebration of sail is expected to draw entrants from as far away as Chile, Mexico, Argentina, USA and European and Baltic countries including Italy and Norway will chart their course to Dublin. It is hoped that the event will attract over a million visitors to the city, topping the 500,000 spectators who thronged the Waterford quays during this year's tall ship race gathering.

tallship_jehan

Photo: Jehan Ashmore

Published in Tall Ships
It's been some time since more than one cruiseship has moored on the River Liffey's Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin Port, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Arriving from Douglas before sunrise was Zegraham Expeditions Clipper Odyssey (1989/5,218grt) which docked at berth No. 8, while Ponant Cruises Le Diamant (1974/8,282grt) made a leisurely mid-morning call at neighbouring berth No. 9.

Clipper Odyssey is an unusual caller to the capital as she normally operates cruises in the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to the Russian Far-East. As for Le Diamant she is a frequent caller not just to Dublin but throughout Irish ports during the season.

The Bahama-flagged 110-passenger Clipper Odyssey is scheduled to depart this evening around 21.45hrs. She is bound for Dunmore East with an lunchtime arrival off the Waterford fishing port. Le Diamant with a capacity for up to 226 passengers follows with a departure set for 23.00hrs and she is bound for Fishguard Harbour, the gateway to the scenic Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Berths 8 and 9 on the quayside are lined with sleek-glazed offices and apartment blocks where once stood the gasometer of the Dublin (Ringsend) Gasworks. In recent years with the building of the Sean O'Casey pedestrian and Samuel Beckett swing-bridges, cruiseships can no longer access berths further upriver, much closer to the city-centre, at berths 3 and 4.

Currently only small cruiseships can dock within the 'Docklands' quarter quays due to the limitations imposed on dimensions, as vessels transit through the East-Link toll lift-bridge which was built in 1984. The majority of cruiseships, which are considerably larger and can exceed over 100,000 gross tonnes, berth 2kms downriver mostly in Alexandra Basin and adjoining Ocean Pier.

There are proposals to build a dedicated cruise-terminal close to the East-Link bridge on the far side at North Wall Quay Extension, which would allow such larger vessels to dock. This would facilitate easier access for cruise tourists to visit the attractions of the city-centre and indeed the nearby amenities of the O2 Arena, which would be within walking distance of the proposed cruise terminal.  

 

Published in Cruise Liners
As one of the consequences of the statutory transfer of operations from Dundalk Port Company to the Dublin Port Company in July, the grab-hopper dredger, Hebble Sand is up for sale, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Last year Dundalk Port Company had accumulated significant trading losses. Against such difficult conditions, Dublin Port Company decided to exit the businesses of dredging, ships agency and stevedoring in the Co. Louth port with effect from the end of September.

The Dublin Port Company has sought expressions from interested parties in undertaking the remaining activities of the port on an exclusive basis.

The Dundalk registered dredger arrived to the capital port on 14 July where she remains berthed at the Bulk Jetty in Alexandra Basin. Her previous owners, the Dundalk Port Company were unique in that they were the only port company to own and operate a dredger in the Republic. For many years the 757-tonnes dredger has carried out numerous contract assignments in ports throughout the island of Ireland including work on the Samuel Beckett swing-bridge and the most project was at Queens Quay, Belfast on the Lagan close to the city-centre.

Hebble Sand was launched by Richard (Shipbuilders) of Lowestoft for British Dredging and later used by Associated British Ports to serve a network of UK ports. Despite her age, the near fifty-year-old veteran vessel has been kept in excellent condition and this was evident during a rather unusual appearance for a ship of her type when attending the Dublin Docklands Maritime Festival in 2009.

She was made open for the public amongst the tall-ships that lined the Liffey Quays. Such an initiative was inspiring as it provided a rare opportunity for the public to access such a dredger which otherwise is not familiar compared to the popularity of visiting tall-ships and naval vessels.

The only other port to operate their own dredger is Londonderry Harbour Commissioners, whose Lough Foyle has worked on projects outside her homeport. This has included work at the new £40m Stena Line ferryport terminal on Loch Ryan close to Cairnryan and is due to open in November.

Published in Ports & Shipping
At nearly 100 years old, Norway's oldest tallship, the sail training three-masted steel barque Statsraad Lehmkuhl is to call to Dublin Port next week, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Built in 1914, the 321" long vessel is also the largest, compared to the Nordic state's other A-class tallships, the 216" Sørlandet (1927) and the 205" Christian Radich (1937) which took part in the Waterford Tall Ships Race.

STV Statsraad Lehmkuhl is scheduled to arrive in Dublin Bay on Thursday afternoon where she will enter through the port's East-Link lift toll-bridge and berth at Sir John Rogerson's Quay. She departed Bergen last Thursday and is currently heading for Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.

She was originally christened Grossherzog Fridrich August when completed at the J.C. Tecklenborgwerft yard in Bremerhaven as a sail training ship for the German merchant navy.

In 1923 she changed hands and began a career with the Norwegian Shipowners Association on the initiative of the state Kritoffer Lehmkuhl. The vessel was renamed in his honour due to Lehmkuhl's dedication to the cause of cadetship programmes and his contribution in creating an independent Norwegian government in 1905.

She was transferred to the Bergen Schoolship Association in 1924. After many years serving the association the vessel was donated in 1978 to the Statsraad Lehmkuhl Foundation, an organisation also based in the country's second largest city.

Published in Tall Ships
Page 40 of 48

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