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Displaying items by tag: Dublin Port

Dublin Port Company has welcomed RMR Shipping's new increased frequency of its service to West Africa, from a monthly to fortnightly service starting next month, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The direct service which began in 2009 using a single vessel from the capital to Nigeria, Ghana with calls to Lagos and Takoradi, is set to gain a second ship as demand for the service rises.

Two 157-trailer capacity ro-ro sisters are to be deployed on the route, they are the 23,000 gross tonnes sisters Celandine and Celestine. The Belgium-flagged pair both built in 2000 will take 18-days to transit between Dublin and Ghana.

The next sailing to Dublin is due on 5 July when the Celandine (PHOTO) is to dock at berth 51a, which is one of three berths located in the ports multi-user ferryport Terminal 1, shared by Irish Ferries, Stena Line and seasonal services of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Commenting on the development, Eamonn O'Reilly, Chief Executive Dublin Port Company said: "We are delighted with this development. Anything which increases the link between Ireland and emerging economies beyond Europe has got to be good for exports.

He added, "The service to Takoradi complements our involvement with Irish Aid from 2008 to 2010 in delivering an international training programme for ports in emerging countries including Ghana. The TrainForTrade programme was delivered with UNCTAD and we are hopeful of being able to announce a follow-up to the first programme in the coming months.

The development of RMR Shipping on the direct sea freight link was also welcomed by the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) whose chief executive John Whelan commented that exports to Nigeria last year exceeded €200m, the second largest market for Irish goods into Africa.

Published in Dublin Port

It may just be another cruiseship visiting Dublin Port today, but the gleaming white painted Costa Marina started her career in complete constrast as a grey-hulled containership, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The cruiseship has some unusual hull design features indicating clues to her origins as the containership Axel Johnson (click PHOTO) notably the pronounced chine bow (horizontal-lines) still clearly visible under her name when launched in 1969 at the Oy Wärtsilä shipyard in Turku, Finland.

She was the leadship of five sisters of over 15,000 tonnes ordered by her Swedish owners, Johnson Line. The next sister completed, Annie Johnson was also converted into a cruiseship and she too serves Costa Cruises as their Costa Allegra.

Axel Johnson measured 174m in length and was fitted with two deck-mounted gantry-cranes to handle containers. Her design even catered for passengers but was limited to just four-persons compared to today near 800 passenger capacity and an increase in tonnage to 25,500. To see how she looks now click PHOTO

Her Scandinavian owners sold the vessel in 1986 though it was not until 1988 that the containership came into the ownership of her current owners Costa Cruises who converted the vessel at the Mariotti Shipyard in Genoa. Two years later the ship emerged as the Costa Marina (to see another click HERE).

She has nine decks which feature restaurants, bars, jacuzzis, pools, gym, treatment rooms, sauna, an outdoor jogging track, theatre, casino, disco and a squok club with PlayStation entertainment. Accommodation comprises for 383 cabins including 8 suites with private balcony and a crew close to 400.

Costa Cruises were founded in 1924 but they are a relative newcomer to Dublin. The vessel departs this evening from Ocean Pier bound for the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. To view the ship's web-cam click HERE (noting to scroll right down the page).

Costa Marina and indeed larger cruiseships may in the future relocate upriver to berths much closer to the city-centre, should proposals by Dublin City Council take pace. In order to boost tourism numbers a dedicated new cruiseship terminal could be built at a site close to the O2 Arena and East-Link bridge.

The site at North Wall Quay Extension is currently in use by ferry operator P&O (Irish Sea) for their ro-ro route to Liverpool. To read more in a report in yesterday's Irish Times click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
23rd June 2011

The Empire Strikes Back

The 14,620 dwt US-based training-ship Empire State made a return call to the Port of Cork last night for a four-day stay, writes Jehan Ashmore.

At over 172m long the cruiser-sterned vessel with a port of registry of New York, moored at the Cobh Cruise Terminal which was recently visited by another US training ship, State of Maine (click HERE).

The veteran vessel now in her sixth decade of service and is the also the sixth training-ship to carry the name 'Empire State' for the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College.

Empire State was laid down as SS Oregon at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newport News, Virginia. She was launched in 1961 for the States Steamship Company and delivered a year later for service in the Pacific trades. For further information about the vessel's interim career before she was converted for her current role click HERE.

Despite her conversion she still presents a distinctive profile with the superstructure positioned amidships between the cargo-holds.

Prior to the Empire State's arrival the French cruiseship Le Diamant departed Cobh for an overnight passage to Dublin, where last year the Empire State made a port of call.

The next cruise-caller to Cobh is the 296-passenger Silver Cloud which is scheduled to dock on Monday evening.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Lord Mayor of Dublin and Admiral of Dublin Port, Gerry Breen, performed the 523 year-old "Casting of the Spear" ceremony in Dublin Bay on midsummer's day, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 'casting' for yesterdays' re-enactment by the Lord Mayor took place onboard the Dublin port Company tug Shackleton.

From the deck of the Spanish built 50-tonne bollard pull tractor-tug, a spear was launched into the sky and fell deep into the cold water's of Dublin Bay. The ceremony once again marked the position of the city boundaries eastwards.

The medieval tradition of 'Casting of the Spear' dates back to 1488 when the then Lord Mayor, Thomas Mayler, set out on his horse to ride the city's boundaries.

According to historical records he rode out onto the strand as far as a man might ride and from there he cast a spear into the sea. At that time, casting the spear demonstrated the extent of the city boundaries eastwards.

The tradition marks one of many significant moments in Dublin Port's long history since its establishment as a trading post some 1,200 years ago.

Published in Dublin Port

Passengers embarking in Dublin Port for a cruise next month will firstly spend their first night onboard while docked in the capital, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The classic cruiseship Saga Ruby will welcome her passengers and after checking in they can explore the 4-star rated vessel followed by dinner, marking the first evening of an eight-night cruise of the Faroe, Orkney & Outer Hebridean Islands.

On the following day passengers can remain onboard and enjoy the facilities or take an optional tour of Dublin or Wicklow prior to returning to the cruiseship for the evening departure on 24 July.

Prices start from €1,159pp in a twin inside cabin, for more information on other cabin categories and the cruise from John Galligan Travel click here.

Saga Ruby is one of the last traditionally built cruiseships, featuring spacious wooden decks in particularly on the tiered decks overlooking her cruiser stern. The 24,492 tonnes vessel joined Saga Cruises in 2005 after a $17m refit and was at one stage was the Caronia of Cunard Line, but she started her career as Vistafjord for Norwegian America Line as a combined cruise-liner /cruise-ship when built in 1973. To read more about the classic ship click here.

She can take over 600 passengers and is currently operated by the Saga Cruises which caters primarily for the UK over-50's market noting passengers can be accompanied by adults over 40.

Published in Cruise Liners

Cruising off the east coast of Leinster this evening is the veteran cruiseship Marco Polo which is bound for the Scilly Isles off Land's End, writes Jehan Ashmore.

For those with an appreciation for the more traditional tiered deck profile compared to the bulky new giant cruiseships, the 22,080 tonnes vessel built as the Aleksandr Puskin at the Mathias-Thesen-Werft, East Germany, certainly represents a different era. 

The liner entered service in 1966 with the Baltic Shipping Company on their regular trans-Atlantic Montreal-Leningrad service. In 1975 she was converted for her new role as a full-time cruiseship. For a cut-away deck profile and description of facilities click here.

Presenting a distinctive profile with a pronounced flared bow and cruiser stern, she boasts the classic lines of a vessel nearing 50 years ship. Such ships are increasingly becoming a rare sight on the ocean waves.

She can take 850 passengers accommodated in 450 cabins. Her main dimensions reflect her ocean-going design noting her draft is 8.2m (26.9ft) with a length of 176.3m (578.4ft) and a beam of 23.6m (77.4ft). Crewing is divided between senior officers (international) and cruise staff and entertainers are both British and comprising of other nationalities.

In recent years Marco Polo served the German market but she now is run by Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) on cruises from the UK.  The company also operate the Ocean Countess which first started out her days as Cunard Countess.

Published in Cruise Liners
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Mr. Leo Varadkar T.D. yesterday announced his intention to amalgamate Dundalk port with the capital port, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Minister Varadkar said: 'It is with great regret that I have come to the conclusion that the financial difficulties faced by Dundalk Port Company mean that it no longer has a future as an independent company'.

"In order to ensure the orderly management of the company's affairs, I have decided that the best course of action is to transfer responsibility for the port to Dublin Port Company. I would be hopeful that port activities will continue at Dundalk following the transfer.

He added, once the current difficulties are overcome, it may be the case that Dundalk Port can return to local control, in cooperation with the local authority and private sector operators.

To amalgamate the two port companies a Transfer Order will be made under the Harbours Act 1996. In addition a draft order has to be approved by both Houses of the Oireachtas before being signed into law which is expected to take place within the coming weeks.

The Co. Louth port which is equidistant between Dublin and Belfast, has shown to have a long history as an independent seaport. However the recession has had a significant impact making trading conditions particularly difficult for the company. At its peak in 2006 there were over 220 vessels calling at the port but dropped to just over 60 vessels last year. Figures for 2011 show no signs of improvement.

Vessels of up to 3,500 dwt and 106m in length can be handled at the port's six berths. Unusally for an Irish port vessels can be seen resting on the mudbank subject to the state of the tide. The port is some 8kms from the open sea and is reached along a narrow channel which requires the compulsory use of a pilot.

Published in Ports & Shipping
For nearly a week the cargo-ship Arklow Future has been berthed at the lead-in jetty to the only dry-dock facility in Dublin Port, writes Jehan Ashmore.
She is one of the 9 'F' –class series within a fleet of 32 vessels managed by the Arklow Shipping Ltd (ASL). The Co. Wicklow based company has its Irish headquarters on the banks of the River Avoca in addition to its Dutch operation Arklow Shipping B.V. (ASN) which manages a further 10 vessels. The majority of this smaller fleet fly the of The Netherlands.

This month ASN are due delivery of the 4,700 gross tonnes Arklow Bridge, the second 'B' class newbuild was also built by the Dutch company of Bodewes Shipyards B.V. She is the fifth vessel to carry this name since Arklow Shipping was founded in 1966.

The Arklow Bridge is registered in St. John's the capital of the Caribbean island of Antigua where she will be flagged. Antigua became an associated state of the Commonwealth until it was disassociated from Britain 30 years ago.

Her sister Arklow Brook entered service this year and is designed with two holds with a total (grain and bale) capacity of 9473.1m3 or an equivalent of 33,4524 ft3.

For cargo-separation the holds can be sub-divided by a portable bulkhead in up to 8 positions. In addition to carrying agricultural-based cargoes, the 116m (OA) overall long vessel can handle 177 (TEU) containers in the hold and another 88 can be stowed on top of the hold's hatch covers. Both the holds are fitted with dehumidifier's.

The power-plant is derived from a MaK 6M32C 2999kW main engine with a Renk gearbox and Berg controllable pitch propeller that provides around 12 knots.

With the entry of Arklow Bridge, the combined fleet is over 40 ships that trade in the north-west of Europe and the Mediterranean. For further vessel statistics of the sisters click here and for a photo of the new vessel click this link.

Asides the Rotterdam based operation of ASN, the Irish side of the company is the largest indigenous owned shipping company in terms of Irish-flagged and registered tonnage. Arklow is not only the headquarter's of ASL but the homeport is also where the vessels are registered.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Following the visit of Grand Princess to Dublin Port on Monday another cruiseship which also had a royal-theme to its name is to dock tommorow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The cruiseship Silver Explorer was formerly the Prince Albert II, named after the monarch of Monaco who arrived on his first state visit to Ireland accompanied by his fiancée Charlene Whittstock in April.

At 6,000 tonnes, the luxuriously appointed expedition cruiseship caters for only 132 guests. She is designed to explore remote waters and with an ice-strenghtened hull she can provide destinations that include the polar ice-caps. Shore-based excursions from the ship are taken by a fleet of Zodiac-craft to transport passengers to isolated locations.

Onboard the Bahama-flagged vessel, passenger can browse in the boutique, sip a drink in the internet café, enjoy a full-service spa, take a beauty treatment in the salon, get fit in the gym or take it easy in the sauna. Plus there's live-evening entertainment and not forgetting the two top-deck whirlpools.

For a vessel of this size her facilities are comparatively impressive to the large cruise giant's such as the Grand Princess. She became the first cruiseship to measure over 100,000 tonnes when she made an inaugural call to the capital in 2004.

Nearly 300m long the vessel is the equivalent in length to three football pitches. The ship may not actually feature a playing pitch though she does have a nine-hole putting golf course!

Published in Cruise Liners
The first grand cruise liner, the 109,000 tonne, 290 metre "Grand Princess" with almost 4,000 passengers and crew sailed into Dublin Port at 8am this morning. The ship is the epitome of luxury with a magnificent array of facilities that include swimming pools, whirlpool spas, restaurants, bars and cinemas.

Grand Princess is the first of the grand cruise liners that will form part of the 85 cruise visits that Dublin Port Company has secured for Dublin following its marketing efforts to attract this valuable business. The arrival of these ships will generate a major boost to the city of up to €50 million for the local economy, as the liners will carry almost 130,000 high-spend passengers to the capital this year along with significant numbers of crew who can experience the city during their shore leave.

The Grand Princess is 290 metres long, the equivalent in length of three football pitches and carries almost 3,000 high spend passengers and over 1,000 crew members. The $450 million vessel offers the latest in cruise luxury with over 710 staterooms, on-board shopping mall, cinema, a range of restaurant facilities, casino, swimming pools and even a nine hole golf putting course.

The cruise sector has become a hugely important part of the city's tourism product since Dublin Port Company first targeted this trade in the mid 1990s. It is estimated that cruise liners have contributed over €350 million to the city in the last decade alone so Dublin Port Company is pleased to have played its role in attracting this business for the city.

Mr. Eamonn O'Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company said, "Dublin is a great city and a really fantastic destination for visitors. Having the port so close to the centre of Dublin makes it an attractive destination for cruise liner operators who can bring their passengers right to the heart Dublin allowing them to get to its visitor attractions as quickly as possible. We're delighted that Dublin Port Company can play such a major role in bringing this very valuable trade to Dublin."

Ms. Gina Quin, Chief Executive, Dublin Chamber of Commerce said; "The cruise industry has emerged as a significant contributor to the capital's tourism business. Dublin Port Company's ongoing work in attracting the cruise liners to the city provides a welcome boost of up to €50 million annually to Dublin's retailers and other businesses in the city. The 130,000 passengers and crew will no doubt experience the legendary Irish welcome as they visit the city's fabulous tourist attractions as well as the capital's bars and restaurants."

Published in Cruise Liners
Page 43 of 49

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