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Displaying items by tag: Dublin Bay News

Naval vessels from France, Canada and Belgium are due to make calls to Dublin Port over the weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The first visitor to dock tomorrow will be the Latouche-Tréville (D646) a F70 type anti-submarine frigate of the French Marine Nationale. She is one of seven F70 ASM class anti-submarine frigates and is capable of carrying two 2 Lynx helicopters. In June 2010 the frigate visited London where the 1984 built 3,550 tonnes vessel moored alongside the WW II cruiser, HMS Belfast.

Also due to arrive tomorrow  is the Canadian Navy's HMCS St. John's which too is to berth at Ocean Pier. HMCS St. John's (340) is the eleventh 'Halifax' class frigate, measuring some 4,770 tonnes. The multi-role patrol frigate was commissioned in 1996 in St. John's, Newfoundland and is designed to perform three distinct functions: anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare and anti-surface warfare.

Like her French counterpart she can also carry a helicopter, the Sea King. The 134m long vessel has a crew of 225 sailors. The Canadian Navy comprises 33 warships, submarines, auxiliary and coastal defence vessels. The fleet is based in two naval bases, on the Atlantic at Halifax, Nova Scotia and on the Pacific west coast in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

On Sunday the third international naval visitor to Dublin Port will be the Belgium Navy's Léopold I (F930). This frigate is based in the Quartier Naval Base in Zeebrugge and in 1997 she was commissioned into service in a ceremony by Belgium's Queen Fabiola.

The 2,800 tonnes frigate is capable of taking two helicopters and the vessel can cruise at 21 knots using two diesel engines or is capable of reaching a top speed of 30 knots based from gas turbine power-plants. Léopold I has participated in NATO's Response Force (NRF). For a detailed visual discription of equipment click this link here

Published in Naval Visits
The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association's (DBOG) next lecture "A Hooker Evening with the Men from Kinvarra " will be held tomorrow evening. The lecture will be presented by captains of the Galway hookers and the venue is the Poolbeg Yacht Boat Club & Marina (PYBC).
The lecture starts at 8 pm but the organisers are encouraging those wishing to attend to assemble at 7.15 pm for a socialable drink in advance.

Poolbeg clubhouse overlooks the marina and faces the entrance to Alexandra Basin, where shipping activities of the commercial port can be viewed in closer detail.

To reach the clubhouse which is located on the South Bank, Pigeon House Road, Ringsend, take the Sean Moore Road that connects the Merrion Strand Road (from the south) and the East-Link Toll Bridge (if travelling from the northside).

For further information on the lectures to date click this link and in general about the DBOGA logon here. To contact the PYBC Tel: (01) 668 9983 or logon to www.poolbegmarina.ie/

Published in Boating Fixtures
2nd April 2011

HSS Sailings Resumed

This year's first ferry sailing of the HSS Stena Explorer from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead was disrupted yesterday due to 'technical reasons'.
The HSS (High Speed Service) fastcraft was scheduled to depart Dun Laoghaire at 13.15hrs but the sailing was cancelled. Passengers booked on the 19,638 tonnes fastcraft were transferred to Stena Line's neighbouring Dublin-Holyhead route, to take last night's sailing instead.

The Stena Explorer had completed her first sailing from Holyhead yesterday morning, the fastcraft having departed the Welsh port at 10.00hrs.

Due to the technical difficulties, the Stena Explorer was not in a position to accommodate passengers on the return crossing, though the fastcraft did depart Dun Laoghaire 'light' (without passengers) at 18.45hrs for Holyhead.

The Stena Explorer resumed service with this morning's 10.00hrs sailing from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire.

The re-introduction of the Stena Explorer is to provide greater capacity during the summer season compared to the smaller Stena Lynx III, which previously served the route until early January. The HSS will operate the two-hour route with a daily single round trip up to 13 Setember.

Published in Ferry
This weekend sees the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival (1-3 April) take place at Howth Harbour and throughout the peninsula, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Throughout the three-day festival which starts this Friday, a wide ranging programme of events and activities will be held at the north county Dublin fishing and yachting harbour.

A Sampi trail will be held in various pubs and hotels on the Friday night starting at 7pm, no booking is required. On the Saturday afternoon there is a Prawn Shelling Competition starting at 2.30pm.

Howth Yacht Club will open its doors to public viewing on the Saturday and the Howth Coastguard Station (West Pier) will also be open on that day too in addition to the Sunday. The West Pier is also to host a Fishing Techniques demonstration on Sunday at 3pm.

On the mornings of Saturday and Sunday a self-guided walk from Howth to up to Howth Hill taking up to two hours will meet at The Courthouse at 10am. The walk which is to be pre-booked and registered online is also suitable for families. The route is weather dependant and will follow one of the four looped walks.

The Irish Seal Sactuary will be offering a seal watching tour and harbour walks guided by volunteers on the Saturday and Sunday. An information stand will be made available for more details click www.irishsealsanctuary.ie

Throughout the weekend there will be all day events which include island boat / eco tour trips and the National Transport Musuem, noting that these activities will be charged. It should be noted that festival programme is provisional and is subject to change.

For more information about the full festival programme logon HERE and by contacting Howth Tourist Office on 01 8396955 and by email: [email protected]

Published in Coastal Notes
With just over a fortnight to go to resumption of Stena Line's Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead fast-craft sailings on 1 April, the route to Wales is to see the larger HSS Stena Explorer return instead of Stena Lynx III, writes Jehan Ashmore.
It was originally planned that the 4,113grt 'Lynx' craft would start the season while the 19,638grt HSS (High Speed Service) fast-craft would take over in June for the summer months.

According to Stena Line over 70% of its passengers business is carried by the HSS Stena Explorer in the high season. It is felt that the 1996 Finnish built fast-craft is better suited for the service due to a loyal customer base which was reflected by repeat bookings and their preference of the HSS craft on the 120 minute (2 hour) route.

A daily single round trip is scheduled with sailings from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead departing at 13:15hrs. The corresponding sailing from the Anglesey port departs at 10.00hrs and arrives at the Irish port at 12 noon. Sailings will operate through the summer until 13 September.

From there on Stena will make a decision as to its continuing schedule, though it is widely believed that the prospects of the fuel-thirsty, expensive to run HSS fast-craft service are likely to be at an end of an era.

Last month negotiations over the core issue of harbour fees were held between Stena Line and Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company. It is understood that the annual fee of €6.5m was dropped to €2m. The board of the harbour company has given a 'conditional green light' of a new ferry contract to Stena Line to run the service for the next two years with an option of a third year.

The service closed for its seasonal break earlier this year on 5 January with the 'Lynx' going into temporary lay-up at Holyhead's inner harbour to join the HSS Stena Explorer. The HSS had been 'wintering' at the port since September sailings were taken over by the Lynx.

Earlier this month the Stena Lynx III came to Dun Laoghaire to continue her lay-up period. The 1996 Tasmanian built craft will stay there before resuming seasonal sailings between Rosslare-Fishguard in tandem with the conventional ferry Stena Europe.

In the meantime the craft is berthed at the harbour's two-berth ferry terminal at St. Michaels Wharf. The HSS berth is only designed for this type of fast-craft whereas the other berth now occupied by the Lynx was built originally for conventional ferries but was re-configured last year to suit the fast-craft.

Published in Ferry
With Spring in the air...get into your stride and help raise funds for Aware's annual St. Patrick's Day Harbour 2 Harbour Walk around Dublin Bay.
Aware, a charitable organisation that assists in 'helping to defeat depression, ' is to run the Harbour 2 Harbour event on Thursday 17 March. The walk on St. Patrick's Day starts at 10.30am from Dun Laoghaire Harbour (Plaza of the ferry terminal) and ends at Howth Harbour (The Bloody Stream).

Alternatively walkers are welcomed to take the walk in the reverse direction starting at Howth and terminating at Dun Laoghaire. The walk takes approximately 4-hours to complete. The 16.4 mile route that skirts the shores of Dublin Bay will offer great views!

The walk last year was taken by families, friends and individuals and provided participants with a great sense of achievement!

For this year's event, walkers are invited to take part by booking places in advance online. Entries (€10 per person) close at midnight on Sunday 13 March, click HERE. Late registration will also be available on the morning of the walk  (€15 per person) or email [email protected]

To read more about Aware click http://www.aware.ie (noting the locall Aware Helpline Tel: 1890 303 302 / calling from overseas +353 1 6766 166) and further information about the Helpline click HERE

Published in Dublin Bay

The Royal Naval frigate HMS Cumberland (F85) departed Malta today, to conduct a second evacuation mission of stranded nationals in Libya. In the early hours of this morning, HMS Cumberland had arrived into the Grand Harbour, Valetta, Malta with 207 stranded people, after departing the port of  Benghazi on Thursday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Onboard the 5,300 displacement vessel (see photo) were 68 British nationals and 138 passengers from other nations who were rescued after the frigate docked at Benghazi, the second city of Libya. During the turmoil, 12 Irish citizens also managed to escape by boarding one of two vessels involved in assisting foreign nationals at the port which included HMS Cumberland.

According to the Commanding Officer, Captain Steve Dainton, said: "The ship's company have responded magnificently. Ten days ago we were off the coast of Somalia conducting counter-piracy operations. I think it gives an indication of the flexibility and the versatility of a British warship and indeed of the ship's company onboard."

Following the first evacuation, HMS York was expected to arrive in the vicinity of the Libyan coast, should further assistance be required by HMS Cumberland. To read on the latest developments click here and this link too.

In addition the US authorities had chartered a fast-ferry catamaran to bring back stranded US nationals and other nationalities from Tripoli, the capital of Libya. The fast-craft vessel arrived in Valetta last night.

As the crisis was unfolding in Libya, HMS Cumberland was returning to the UK via the Suez Canal after completing a four-month operation in the Gulf, where her duties included helping to protect Iraqi oil platforms. The installations account for nearly 90% of Iraq's national income.

A sistership of HMS Cumberland, the 1986 built frigate, HMS Chatham (F87) was the last Royal Naval visitor to call at Dublin in late November
(click here and for photo). 

At the time of HMS Chatham's visit to the capital, the 1988 built frigate had recently returned to UK waters, after also been engaged on anti-piracy duties, while off Somalia.

When HMS Cumberland has completed duties off Libya, the frigate, as originally planned is due to resume her voyage home to UK waters. The British Ministry of Defence are to decommission the 23-year old vessel.

Both frigates are 'Broadsword' Type 22 Frigates (Batch 3) along with HMS Campeltown (F99) HMS Cornwall (F86). All four frigates were launched during the mid 1980's and have a crew of 250-sailors.

Published in Ports & Shipping
It was a Valentine's Day start for Seatruck Ferries opening of the Dublin-Heysham freight-only route, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Initiating the service, the port welcomed back a familiar vessel, the chartered Anglia Seaways which only a fortnight ago had operated the same route before DFDS Seaways closed Irish Sea operations.

The vessel has accommodation for 12 drivers. Most of the daily sailings depart Dublin at 15:15hrs and return from the Lancashire port at 02:15hrs. On certain days the schedules vary, to view the timetable click here.

In addition to the new route for Seatruck Ferries, the freight-only operator has a fleet of 8 vessels on routes between Dublin-Liverpool, Warrenpoint-Heysham and Larne-Heysham.

Anglia Seaways arrived into Dublin yesterday morning from Avonmouth Docks, where the 120 unit capacity vessel went into temporary lay-up period, since departing the Irish capital on 31 January (see related posting and photo).

The 13,073grt vessel revived the 8-hour route yesterday with an afternoon sailing bound for Heysham. The vessel was originally reported to be relocated to Baltic Sea operations, but with its charter to Seatruck, the DFDS Seaways funnel symbol of the Maltese cross was painted out.

Though, the Maltese cross can still be seen in Irish ports with calls made by sisterships, Dana Gothia (ex. Maersk Westland) and Dana Hollandia (formerly Maersk Waterford) which are part of the DFDS Group container subsidiary DFDS Logistics.

In total the Lo-Lo shipping division operates four vessels on several routing options with weekly calls to Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Waterford to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge.

The German built sisters originally operated Dublin-Rotterdam and Waterford-Rotterdam routes for Norfolk Line (a subsidiary of Maersk / A.P. Moller Group).Incidentally Maersk /Norfolkline also owned the Anglia Seaways until DFDS Seaways purchased the vessel last year.

Published in Ferry

The Dublin Port Company has approved for the railway extension of the existing track tramway on Alexandra Road in order to serve one of the port's Lo-Lo container terminals, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The new extension is to directly connect rail-freight trains to the Common User Container Terminal at Alexandra Quay East. The extension will make a right turn off the Alexandra Road immediately after the Tara Mines zinc unloading facility and then along the quayside to the terminal, close to Ocean Pier.

Currently there are three weekly rail-freight trains running between Ballina, Co. Mayo and Dublin port, where the containers are required to be loaded and unloaded on Alexandra Road. From this location they are transferred by road to the terminal. When the new rail-tramway is completed in April, this will reduce costs by eliminating the transfer.

The rail-freight service to Dublin Port started operations in August 2009 and is run as a public private partnership between International Warehousing & Transport (IWT), Iarnrod Eireann and Dublin Port. IWT is the only train operator to the port, but it is believed that the Dublin Port Company has received a number of enquiries from other port users who are interested in using the new facility.

IWT are also agents for Tschudi Shipping and Tschudi Logistics on services to the Belgium, The Netherlands, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea which use the Common User Container Terminal. The terminal is operated by the Burke Shipping Group through its subsidiary Portroe Stevedores. Other clients using the terminal are Cobelfret, C2C Lines, APL, Coastal Containers, Evergreen, Gracechurch and OOCL.

In addition to the terminal, the port operates two other container facilities at the Dublin Ferryport Terminal (DFT) and the Marine Terminals Ltd (MTL). According to figures released yesterday, Dublin Port recorded growth in Lo-Lo container volumes by 1.1% with an outturn of 554,259 TEU in 2010.

Dublin Port's position as the island's largest Lo-Lo (unitised) port was reinforced by the rail-freight services to Ballina. According to IWT the service on an annual basis saves up to 5.5m road kilometres and CO2 emissions are reduced by as much as 2,750 tonnes. In addition the service removes up to 10,000 trucks away from the roads.

The Common User Container Terminal is also a multi-model terminal, as Ro-Ro traffic started in 2009 with the installation of a new ramp at berth 36/37 at Ocean Pier, Alexandra Basin East. In 2010 the port recorded Ro-Ro freight units increase by 12.8% to 725,665 which is less than 1% down from the port's highest ever throughput.

Ro-Ro growth in 2010 was driven in part by the new CLdN /Cobelfret Ro-Ro services to Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. CLdN's ro-ro Yasmine made a recent first-time visit to the port followed by the newest vessel of the Belgium owned fleet, Amandine (see photo) the last of six con-ro newbuilds, which too made an inaugural visit to the port. The 195-m vessel departed from the upgraded ramp at Ocean Pier yesterday bound for Rotterdam.

For further port traffic figures which showed an overall increase in the port's volumes of 6.1% in 2010, logon here

Published in Ports & Shipping
The Anglia Seaways became the last vessel of the DFDS Seaways fleet to depart Dublin yesterday, following the official closure of the operator's Irish Sea services at the weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.
In January DFDS announced the closure of the Dublin-Liverpool (Birkenhead Twelve Quays Terminal) and the freight-only Dublin-Heysham routes with the loss of 200 jobs to include 50 shore-staff based at the Irish terminal.

The ro-pax Dublin Seaways made a last crossing with a Saturday morning arrival at Birkenhead. After disembarking passengers, vehicles and freight traffic, the 21,856grt vessel immediately departed the Mersey for a short-term deployment on the company's North Sea Rosyth-Zeebrugge service.

Sistership, Liverpool Seaways also completed her last crossing to Birkenhead with an overnight Saturday sailing. This was the final scheduled sailing under DFDS Seaways ownership and marked the last foot-passenger crossing on the Liverpool route as rival operators P&O (Irish Sea) and Seatruck Ferries do not cater for this market.

The vessel returned to Dublin yesterday from Birkenhead; this was to facilitate the loading of drop-trailers and terminal based tugmasters (engine-driven truck/cabs) that tow unaccompanied trailers on the roll-on roll-off vessels. After a short turn around at the terminal, Liverpool Seaways departed Dublin, bound for Immingham. The UK east coast port is where DFDS operate an extensive freight route network across the North Sea.

DFDS_SEAWAYS

The ro-pax Liverpool Seaways and freight-ferry Anglia Seaways berthed in Dublin Port yesterday prior to sailing away from the Irish Sea. Photo Jehan Ashmore / ShipSNAPS

In addition the 13,704grt Anglia Seaways also docked in Dublin yesterday from Heysham to perform similar duties like the Liverpool Seaways. Several hours later, the 114-trailer capacity vessel set a southbound course past The Muglins, bound for Avonmouth.

DFDS cited its decision to exit entirely from Irish Sea sector due to the sharp decline in the Irish and UK economies in 2008 and 2009. The company suffered continuous losses on its remaining routes and the issue of over-capacity, particularly on the north Irish Sea.

Only last December, the Danish owned shipping operator sold its other two Irish Sea routes to Stena Line in a £40m acquisition deal. This is all the more remarkable considering DFDS Seaways purchased the previous route operator, Norfolkline's Irish Sea division of their four routes and seven vessels, in July 2010.

The sale to Stena covered the three terminals used on the Belfast routes to Birkenhead and Heysham, which is another freight-only service. In addition the acquisition involved the sale of the South Korean built freight-ferries Hibernia Seaways and Scotia Seaways; like the Anglia Seaways they were all former Norfolkline / Maersk Line vessels.

Interestingly the acquisition is to include the purchase of the chartered 27,510grt ro-pax sisters Lagan Seaways and Mersey Seaways. When the Visentini built sisters were completed at the Italian shipyard, they were placed on the Belfast-Birkenhead route in 2005.

On 1 December Stena Line UK Ltd acquired DFDS Seaways Irish Sea Ferries Ltd (since renamed Stena Line Irish Ferries Ltd). Although the acquisition of SL ISF by Stena Line has been completed and DFDS no longer owns SL ISF, Stena Line await formal approval from the Irish competition authority and the UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to integrate SL ISF into the wider Stena Line business.

In the meantime during this transitional period, it is business as usual for customers using the Belfast-Birkenhead and Belfast-Heysham routes. Online bookings continue to be accepted on www.dfdsseaways.com or tel: (01) 819 2999 and in the UK tel: 0871 230 033

Published in Ferry
Page 10 of 11

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