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Displaying items by tag: A&P Falmouth

#DryDocking - Ireland-France cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde will resume seasonal services next month but in the meantime the ship is undergoing routine maintenance in a UK shipyard, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to a source following a visit to Falmouth, Cornwall the Irish Ferries Rosslare routes cruiseferry was seen in dry-dock with a damaged tail ramp having carried out routine tests.

The 1400 passenger / 580 car Oscar Wilde was introduced by Irish Ferries almost a decade ago when making a debut on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route in late 2007.

The 31,000 gross tonnage ship offered superior standards with luxurious facilities compared to the 1982 built Normandy in which she replaced from the continental link. The one-time former Stena Normandy, also served that owner out of Southampton to the same French port as part of long and varied career until scrapping. An elder sister, Stena Europe remains serving Rosslare-Fishguard. 

Oscar Wilde was originally named as Kronprins Harald having been launched in 1987 at the Oy Wärtsilä AB shipyard, Turku, Finland for Norwegian owners, Jahre Line. The Scandinavian cruiseferry began her career serving the Oslo-Kiel service. This route is two hours longer than that of the 17 hours 30 minutes crossing time on the Irish route to Cherbourg.  

In 1991 the impressive cruiseferry was sold to fellow Norwegian operators, Color Line. She served under the same name until sale to current owners, Irish Continental Group.

ICG’s ferry division will see Oscar Wilde return to Rosslare duties by beginning sailings on 1 March. The route to Normandy will be complimented in the high-season with the service to Roscoff, Brittany that begins in May.

Published in Ferry
6th April 2012

Ferry For Falmouth

#FERRY NEWSEuropean Endeavour (2000/ 24,046grt), the largest of three ferries running for P&O's Dublin-Liverpool route departed from the capital's port this afternoon bound for A&P Groups dry-dock facility in Falmouth, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The former Dover-Calais serving ferry started working on the Irish Sea on a full-time basis last year as previously reported. Her fleetmates are the 17,000 tonnes sisters Norbank and Norbay.

The trio of ro-pax ferries are to a design where freight is predominately the main cargo and passenger capacity is reduced considerably compared to most conventional ferries. European Endeavour can handle 130 lorries and accommodate 210 passengers whereas her fleetmates are the reverse with greater freight capacity for 150 freight units and a reduced capacity for 114 passengers.

P&O are the only ferry firm on the route providing passenger and car ferry service though they do not cater for 'foot' passengers. Their rivals Seatruck Ferries offer the only dedicated freight-operation on a network of routes on the north Irish Sea including the Liffey-Mersey link, where in recent months new tonnage has entered service.

Published in Ferry
4th April 2011

Stena's Southern Sailings

Sailings on Stena Line's Rosslare-Fishguard port route remain for freight-users only until the passenger ferry returns from essential maintenance this week, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The passenger ferry Stena Europe is currently in dry-dock at the A&P Group's Falmouth facility and is scheduled to resume normal service with the first sailing at 14.30hrs from Fishguard on Thursday 7th April. The corresponding first outbound sailing from Rosslare is on the same day with the 21.15hrs sailing.

In the meantime freight-only ferry Stena Seafarer is operating the St. Georges Channel route having arrived at Rosslare on a repositioning voyage from Belfast on 29th March.

Stena Seafarer (1975 / 10,957grt) was one of a trio of freight-ferry sisters that served the Larne-Fleetwood port route until its closure in December. Like her sisters Stena Leader (1975 / 12,879grt) and Stena Pioneer (1975 / 14,426grt) they were built at the West German shipyard of J.J. Sietas in Hamburg.

Stena Seafarer's sisters remain laid-up in Belfast and with each vessel over 35 years in service it would seem likely there are nearing the end of their careers, at least on the Irish Sea.  

To provide additional passenger capacity the Stena 'Express' fast-ferry service will return to the southern corridor route between 1 July-4 September. The high-season sailings as usual will be operated by the InCat built Stena Lynx III which is to operate a daily single round trip in tandem with Stena Europe.

Published in Ferry

Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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