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Modern luxury cruise line Celebrity Cruises has become the first major cruise line to confirm Dublin Port as a 'home' port when a ship will call the city home during early summer 2018.

For five sailings commencing in late April, throughout May and until the end of June 2018, one of Celebrity Cruises’ 2,800+ guest Solstice-class ships will offer cruises throughout northern Europe from Dublin. Full details on the destinations on offer will be announced later this year. Over 14,000 people are estimated to start their cruise holiday from Dublin on a Celebrity Cruises ship in 2018.

The move is worth an estimated almost €6 million to Dublin and the surrounding area in knock-on economic benefits. Celebrity Cruises already features Dublin and other ports throughout Ireland in its European deployment, however this is the most significant increase in its investment into Ireland in the history of the global business.

Jo Rzymowska, managing director, Celebrity Cruises UK and Ireland, explains:

“Celebrity Cruises has enjoyed significant support from our travel agent partners and guests throughout Ireland for many years. Now we are saying thank you by basing one of the flagships of our fleet in Dublin for a mini season during early summer 2018. We know that our guests from around the world, and in Ireland, will love the warm welcome they receive when starting a holiday in Dublin.

“Calling Dublin home in 2018 is a major development to our European deployment. We couldn’t be more excited. Thank you to Dublin Port for their support.”

In 2016 Dublin Port has played host to over 180,000 cruise visitors on over 100 cruise ship calls, of which four were cruise ship turnarounds where the ship begins its sailing and guests embark. Celebrity Cruises’ confirmation of a mini season from Dublin in 2018 brings significant growth to the port.

Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class of ships are the newest in its fleet, all introduced between 2008 and 2012. In addition to luxury guest accommodation, designer boutiques, extensive bars and restaurants, they also feature a real grass lawn on the top deck. With extensive awards particularly for its food and wine, Celebrity Cruises boasts the largest and rarest collection of wine at sea and a host of exclusive restaurants on-board all overseen by a Michelin-starred executive chef.

Pat Ward, Dublin Port, comments:

“It has been a clear ambition of Dublin Port to attract a cruise line to offer our great city as a homeport. Today, that ambition is realised and Celebrity Cruises will be an important step-change in our history. The opportunities that this new investment will bring are extensive. We look forward to maximising this new platform for growth and welcoming yet more cruise ships and holidaymakers to Dublin for the first time.”

Celebrity Cruises sails on every continent in the world and has a fleet of 12 ships. Plus, Celebrity Cruises currently has two new ships on order, scheduled to join the fleet in 2018 and 2020 respectively, and a further two ships on option. The cruise line is part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, the second large cruise business in the world.

Published in Cruise Liners
Tagged under

Sail Training Ireland recently held an awards event to recognise recent trainees who had completed sail training voyages with the support of Dublin Port Company.

Seven trainees were presented with their awards by Dublin Port CEO Eamonn O’Reilly.

The highlight of the event was the excellent presentations by four of the trainees who told the story of their voyages and the positive impact it had on them.

These voyages were made possible by the generous support of Dublin Port Company. Both Eamonn O’Reilly and Sail Training Ireland CEO, Daragh Sheridan spoke of the fantastic relationship between the two organisations and of the positive impact on the trainees and of the importance of the presence of the tall ships at the annual Dublin Port Riverfest.

Sail Training Ireland is Ireland’s National Sail Training Organisation and a registered charity, formed in 2011 as a replacement for Coiste an Asgard. The organisation raises funds to offer sail training voyages to young people from all backgrounds and abilities on the island of Ireland.

Sail Training offers a unique and very effective means of helping young people to reach their full potential. It provides a platform for personal and group development and offers a life changing experience that sparks a new perspective to help develop essential life skills.

The skills gained and challenges faced on board are transferable to everyday life and for some it can act as a stepping stone into maritime careers.

Published in Tall Ships

#PortReOrder – Frank McDonald of the Irish Times writes about plans by Dublin Port to ‘soften the hard edge’ between its Port Centre and the still-developing north Docklands.

Dublin Port, for long a nearly enclosed semi-industrial estate at the eastern end of Docklands, is planning to open up to the city with an imaginative scheme to reorder the entire area around its own headquarters off East Wall Road.

Project manager Jim Kelleher, who was responsible for the outstanding Diving Bell restoration on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, says the aim is to “soften the hard edge” between Port Centre and the still-developing north Docklands area.

Port Centre, designed by Scott Tallon Walker and completed in 1981, has been marooned behind a stone wall that extends all along the east side of the heavily trafficked East Wall Road, which is extremely hostile to pedestrians.

Standing six storeys high on a podium, the new building replaced the port’s old headquarters at the Ballast Office, on the corner of Aston Quay and Westmoreland Street, which in turn was demolished and replaced by a half-hearted “replica”.

An architectural competition in 2014 led to Darmody Architects winning the commission to create a significant public space around Port Centre, including removal of parts of the unlisted stone boundary wall dating from the 1880s.

Principal architect Tim Darmody says his scheme is “all about port-city integration”, with an impressive set of gates on East Wall Road leading to a plaza in front of the port company’s headquarters and a landscaped “garden” to the south of it.

A new boundary made from pre-rusted Corten steel panels will replace the late 19th-century stone wall at southern end of the two-acre site, with a relocated 10-tonne Stothert & Pitt crane, dating from the 1950s, rearing up above the new wall.

This dramatic installation will be “painted, illuminated, celebrated”, as Jim Kelleher says, as a totem for Dublin Port and its history, clearly visible to motorists driving north across the East Link Bridge towards the Port Tunnel and M50 motorway. To read much more of a separate but port related development proposed by Dublin City Council, click here.

Afloat.ie adds among the reasons for the proposed crane relocation is the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) project.

There has been a conservation assessment of such structures within the ABR that includes the site where Dublin Graving Docks Ltd operated until closure earlier this year.

In addition Afloat.ie is to further examine the background of the crane in greater detail as it forms part of the capital's port maritime industrial heritage.

 

 

 

Published in Dublin Port

#SailStavros – A French Navy fleet tanker replenishment vessel this morning departed Dublin Port and where a UK youth sail training ship arrived this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore.

BCR Somme (A631) is a Durance class command and replenishment ship which Afloat reported on during a another visit, click here. On this occasion,the 157m tanker had spent her Irish call having arrived on Friday to the port providing crew rest leave over the weekend.

As for the sail-trainee, Stavros S Niarchos of the Tall Ships Youth Trust, she is on a visit to the capital where some of the ferries that serve the Holyhead route share a connection with the brig, that been Stena Line. The 60m brig is managed by Northern Marine Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stena AB Gothenburg. The subsidiary formed in 1983 is headquartered in Clydebank, Scotland.

Trainees of the Portsmouth based brig are given duties which involves one of the three watches to operate the vessel. It's a 24 hour job and this is where they learn how to set sails of the two square-rigged masts, man the ropes, take the helm, keep a proper look-out. All these varied tasks that are involved to keep a Tall Ship sailing.

A typical cruising programme has voyages of between 2 and 12 days. This sees Stavros S Niarchos sail along the English south coast, to the Canary Islands, Azores and as far as the Caribbean.

On this Irish visit, Stavros S Niarchos headed upriver this afternoon and passed Alexandra Basin, where BCR Somme had been allocated a berth.

The final stretch of the voyage from Merseyside involved a transit of the Tom Clarke Bridge at Ringsend. The toll-lift bascule designed structure saw the lifting span (45m wide) rise, permitting the brig’s passage upriver on the Liffey.

Published in Tall Ships

Dublin Port has announced new figures showing a 6.8% increase in trade volumes for the first nine months of the year. The current pace of growth puts Dublin Port on course for a record year for the third year in a row.

Total throughput (imports and exports) for the nine months to the end of September was 26.0 million gross tonnes.

Exports moved ahead by 7.0% to 10.6 million gross tonnes in the first nine months, while imports climbed by 6.7% to 15.4 million gross tonnes, reflecting ongoing improvement in the domestic economy.

Ro-Ro freight trailers and Lo-Lo containers are the mainstay of Dublin Port’s business and they continue to show very strong growth.

Ro-Ro cargo arriving on trailer-trucks and lorries increased by 7.6% to 699,361 units, while Lo-Lo containers moved ahead by 9.3% to 495,304 TEU.

More than 77,000 new vehicles were imported through Dublin Port in the first nine months, up 9.8% on the same period last year as demand for new cars and commercial vehicles showed little sign of abating. Meanwhile ferry passenger traffic experienced a slight uplift by 0.5% as 1.4m ferry passengers and over 400,000 tourist vehicles passed through the port, as holidaymakers and Ireland soccer fans took advantage of direct routes to France and Britain.

Dublin Port’s cruise business grew with 103 cruise calls in the first nine months bringing 152,000 cruise visitors to the capital.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said:

“At 6.8% growth in the first nine months of the year, we are now certain that 2016 will be the third record year in a row for trade at Dublin Port. We are seeing the re-emergence of exponential compounding growth which has characterised the business of Dublin Port for many decades.

“In the period to September this year, we handled the same volume as we did in the whole of 2009, our lowest point after the economic collapse.

“The pace of growth is so strong that if current growth levels were to continue into the future, Dublin Port’s volumes would double over the 12 years to 2025. Our challenge now is how best to create additional port capacity in sufficient time to stay ahead of this growth.

“As part of our plans to maximise capacity at Dublin Port, we have purchased 44 hectares of motorway connected lands 14 km from the Port and we will develop these as an External
Port Logistics Zone over the next five years to increase the capacity of the Port to cater for future growth.

“We are also preparing plans for the development of over 50 hectares of port lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula both within the area of the West Poolbeg SDZ and elsewhere on the peninsula. These plans are an integral part of our Masterplan 2012 to 2040 which shows how we will develop the Port to accommodate a doubling in throughput”.

Published in Dublin Port
Tagged under

#Lamentable – The decision to close the largest graving dock in the state in Dublin Port has been described as ‘lamentable’ by the Maritime Institute of Ireland, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to the M.I.I.’s latest biannual newsletter, the Institute expresses concern that the closure could result in work being lost to Ireland “with the lamentable decision to close and in-fill the big Dublin Graving Dock No.2 which was in constant use by Arklow Shipping”.

It is almost exactly six months ago that Afloat.ie reported the closure of the country’s largest drydock, at 220m long. The ship-repairer and conversion firm, Dublin Graving Docks ceased operations officially on 29 April with the loss of a skilled labourforce of 26 marine engineering personnel. The business had been operated by DGD under license from the Dublin Port Company.

The Institute added “this valuable overhaul and survey work would be lost to the State. It is the biggest such facility in the Republic and was opened in 1957 in style by the then President Sean T.O’Kelly as befitted such an iconic State-funded enterprise”.

Furthermore, in the Autumn newsletter article, the Institute said hopefully, wise counsel will prevail and this valuable maritime facility will be retained on the east coast in the country’s major port.

The last ship, however to use the facility, was aptly an Irish flagged cargoship, Arklow Fame (pictured above) that occupied the graving dock before floated-out on 27 April.

Dublin Port Company are to incorporate the graving dock by infilling to make additional quay frontage and cargo space for the €227m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment.

The ABR project is to enable considerably larger deep drafted cargoships to enter the port. In addition to accommodate giant cruiseships by berthing much closer to the city-centre.

The newsletter also commented that Arklow Shipping has since seemed to be trying out Cork Dockyard. It the next largest such facility in this state which received former business of DGD through the Arklow Rose, which Afloat first highlighted in July.

This former Dutch flagged member of the ASL fleet however upon completion of drydocking emerged as Celtic Venture having been sold to UK based owners. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#DublinPort - Dublin Port achieved a 97% recycling rate in 2015, according to its latest sustainability report.

Published over the summer, the report also highlights a 97% reduction in water consumption and a successful surveillance audit for the ISO 14001 environmental management standards among its achievements in a year that saw significant increases in imports and exports, trade vehicles and passenger numbers.

Trade volumes have continued to rise into 2016, with an 8% increase in the first six months of this year, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

This is the third sustainability report released by the Dublin Port Company since statistics were first compiled for 2013.

Published in Dublin Port

East Wall Water Sports Club will launch two new clinker–built rowing boats next month. The hand–crafted punts were built with the support of Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council. 

East Wall Water Sport’s was founded in 1981 provides a wide variety of water sports activities to the local community. The new rowing boats will add to their growing fleet of vessels, which promotes coastal rowing on Dublin’s north side, according to the club's Martin Whelan.

'With the help of many other volunteers from the East Wall skiff rowing club the project has finally coming to an end. It’s wonderful to see at first hand the boatbuilding skills which our Viking ancestors handed down to us, still in use today', said Whelan.

The project began in October 2015 and the two clinker built boats, are to be blessed and launched on Sat 1st Oct at 12 noon.

With the growing popularity of rowing within the club, the skiff rowing section saw the need for these new vessels. These boats will primarily be to teach younger children the skills of rowing.

The current project is just one of numerous projects completed by this partnership over recent years that keeps alive an age old tradition of wooden boat building.

To date the club has refurbished two 26 ft rowing skiffs and built currachs and naomhogs in their workshop. Dublin Port Company provided free of charge the services of their resident shipwright Patsy Whelan and his apprentice Stephen, on a weekly basis to supervise the project.

East Wall Water Sports Club through their skiff rowing section and currach section now provide great rowing experiences for all ages at a very minimal cost. The club is open to all, young and old, and a friendly atmosphere is always maintained.

 

Published in Coastal Rowing

The Cruising Association of Ireland’s annual rally in Dublin’s River Liffey over the weekend brought a whiff of the open sea and a fleet of 32 boats into the heart of the busy city past the visiting “ten storey” cruise liner Nautica writes W M Nixon. And as one of the themes of the rally is the fleet’s negotiation of all the opening bridges upriver as far as the Customs House before returning eastward again in formation to berth at Dublin Port’s long pontoon immediately west of the Eastlink Bridge, inevitably there was interruption to shoreside traffic.

Cruise Liner Nautica in DublinThe Cruise Liner Nautica in Dublin at the weekend will probably have voyaged round the world, as her home port of Majuro is in the Marshall Islands in mid-Pacific. And the CAI’s Pat Murphy’s Aldebaran (extreme right) has certainly sailed round the world. Photo: W M Nixon

Cruising fleet eastlink  bridgeIt’s a Boat Show afloat…..the CAI fleet waiting for the eastlink to open. Photo: W M Nixon
It’s astonishing how quickly the long vehicle queues can build up, and reactions to this brief stopping of the city’s bustling traffic were predictable. Tourists and locals just out for the day and ambling along the quays were delighted by it all. It isn’t until it happens that you realise just how rare are boat displays in the river with which people can identify, for they see themselves in the crews on the many boats which as ever – boats and people alike – were remarkable in their variety.

Nauticat 33 ketch own-built steel 40-foot Swallow How’s this for two very different styles in cruising boats? Dave Hopkin’s recently-acquired Nauticat 33 ketch is in the foreground, while Wally McGuirk’s own-built steel 40-footer Swallow – O’Brien Kennedy’s last design – is beyond in close formation as they transit the Eastlink. Photo: W M Nixon

sailing yachts on river liffey“A bonny fleet comes into town” Photo: W M Nixon
But people on errands in cars or vans tended towards irritation until they saw the span on the Eastlink rising sky-wards, or the always fascinating Calatrava-designed Samuel Beckett bridge rotating to let the vessels through. Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part, but I though that the realisation of the co-ordinated project which was taking place had a soothing effect even on courier van drivers, while being a timely reminder that Dublin is Ireland’s largest port.

And as far as the welfare of our city port is concerned, even in the short year since the CAI was last in the river, the tower cranes have proliferated. Whatever about the future, there’s a building boom at present along the Liffey, and a sense of optimism.

cruis ass6The figurehead on the Jeanie Johnston provides an evocative frame for the boats of the CAI. Photo: W M Nixon

Samuel Beckett bridge opens for yachtsAny excuse to get the fascinating Samuel Beckett bridge to swing open is welcome, and a visit by the CAI is a better reason than most. Photo: W M Nixon

Of course, for the main event on Saturday, the weather was benign. We’ll blot out Sunday’s rain, and instead simply recall that on Saturday CAI Commodore Clifford Brown presided over a full house of boats and people in sunshine, with the usual conviviality at the capacity crowd for the dinner on the restaurant ship Cill Airne.

This included a reception for the people working in Dublin Port and with the City Council who facilitated the co-ordinated opening of the bridges. So there was enthusiastic support when world circumnavigation veteran Pat Murphy of Aldebaran suggested that in future it simply be called The Three Bridges Rally. In fact, they should copyright the name immediately, for it’s a great way to bring the cruising season gently towards its close.

Dublin Port’s pontoon pleasure craftEven with the full length of Dublin Port’s pontoon in use, fleet numbers were such that there still had to be some rafting up. Photo: W M Nixon

Published in Cruising
Tagged under

#DublinPort - Planning permission has been granted for a major dredging scheme at Dublin Port, clearing the final hurdle before works on the proposed new cruise liner terminal for the city.

The application, given the go-ahead by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday 13 September, provides for dredging from the North Wall Quay Extension to the -10m Chart Datum contour in Dublin Bay.

It also permits the disposal of dredged material at the existing licensed site west of the Burford Bank – a matter of much controversy this summer due to its location within the special are of conservation from Rockabill to Dalkey Island.

The subsequent Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project comprises the infilling of the basin at current berths 52 and 53, a deepening of the fairway and a marina protection structure, intended to future-proof the port to accommodate the next generation of cruise liners of more than 300m in length.

Dublin Port's plans advance as Dun Laoghaire awaits the next step in its own harbour masterplan proposals for a modern cruise terminal.

Published in Dublin Port
Page 11 of 48

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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