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#DisneyDublin - Disney Magic is to be one of the highlights of Dublin Port's cruise season and as the first Irish port to welcome Disney Cruise Line, a subsidiary of the famous Walt Disney Company, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the call next Thursday of the 300m long Disney Magic, only 33 short of the port's record holder MSC Splendida, will have 3,650 people on board visiting the capital. The 84,000 tonnes cruiseship has a 2,700 passenger capacity and they are accommodated in 875 staterooms. In total there are 11 public decks and a crew of 950.

The call by Disney will represent further confidence by the sector in choosing to make Dublin Port a destination in a season scheduled to bring 180,000 visitors from 113 calls. Of those calls four are turnaround cruises, where cruise-goers travel to the capital to begin their cruise.

The cruiseship was built in 1998 by the Italian yard of Fincantieri and the then newbuild was homeported in Port Canaveral, Florida until transferred to Europe almost a decade ago in 2007.

This led Disney Magic to make a repositioning voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and beyond when based out of Barcelona to embark inaugural cruises in the Mediterranean.

Disney Magic has an appearance that clearly echoes to the era of the trans-Atlanctic liners.

The design of having two funnels and painted in red and topped in black pays homage to liners like Normandie, France (see, large containership/longsest cruiseship). This iconic liner latter became converted into a cruiseship as the Norway, that anchored off Dun Laoghaire in the mid-1990’s.

Published in Cruise Liners

#WorldsLargest – The World's largest pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessel, Höegh Target, with a 14 deck capacity for 8,500 car equivalent units, made another call to Dublin Port today along with a giant cruiseship, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The arrival from Rotterdam of the 76,420 gross tonnes PCTC, is impressive given not just because of the sheer overall size of the leadship of six ‘Horizon’ class Chinese built newbuilds, but also the imposing square shaped upper superstructure at the bow. This compared to a circular conventional car-carrier design, is to maximise additional space to enable a total deck area equal to the size of 10 football fields or 71,400 sqm. Of the 14 decks, five are capable of been 'lifted'. 

It is claimed by Norwegian operator, Höegh Autoliners, that the 12 meter width ramp could easily crowd 75 elephants! on the stern ramp which takes 375 tonnes of cargo weight. The final Horizon class that are Post Panamax vessels, is to be delivered this year and they are each estimated to emit 50 per cent less CO2 per car transported than a standard car carrier.

At 200m in length, Höegh Target is some 89m short of the ‘Grand’ class cruiseship, Caribbean Princess which too is docked in port.

As reported today, the 19 deck Caribbean Princess with more than 3,000 passenger capacity called from Cobh, Cork Harbour and is berthed at Ocean Pier. While on the other side of the pier is where Höegh Target docked within Alexandra Basin east.

Both vessels present a temporary high-rise environment on the port estate, where such large vessels are increasing in number to the port. This has led to the Dublin Port Company’s ABR project costing €277m, the largest single capital investment project in the port for 200 years.

The ABR is to permit very large ships with even deeper drafts following major dredging, to dock inside the port.

Published in Dublin Port

#CaribbeanCall - Caribbean Princess of 112,894 tonnes sailed overnight from Cobh, Cork Harbour and made a very early arrival call of 03.30 to Dublin Port this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Princess Cruises call follows that of another giant MSC Splendida of 137,936 tonnes that made a recent return to the port following a debut to Dublin last season. This year is a record breaking season with 113 calls scheduled and bringing around 180,000 visitors.

At 289m Caribbean Princess may not be the longest ever cruiseship to dock in Dublin Port as demonstrated by the 333m MSC Splendida with up to 4,600 passengers. Today's call of the impressive 'Caribbean' that towers 19 decks alongside Ocean Pier, is one more deck higher than the 'Fantasia' class MSC Splendida.

The 3,142 capacity Caribbean Princess is one of the most frequent class of cruiseships to visit Dublin Port over the last decade. In 2004 the ‘Grand’ class leadship, Grand Princess made an inaugural call which then broke the port record as the first cruiseship to exceed 100,000 gross tonnes.

Princess Cruises is operated by the world’s largest cruise company, the US based Carnival Corporation which among its other subsidiaries includes P&O Cruises. Last year their 700 passenger Adonia called to Cobh last year.

Under a new brand ‘fathom’ the Adonia, made a historic call to Havana, Cuba this month, the first US cruise ship to visit the country in almost four decades.

Published in Cruise Liners

#FuelPipeline - A controversial €20m aviation fuel pipeline proposed by a developer, planned to stretch from Dublin Port to Dublin Airport, must indemnify Dublin City Council against any environmental damage caused by accidents on the line.

The Herald writes that this was one of 33 conditions laid down by An Bord Pleanala in granting planning permission for the 14km project.

Residents living along the route of the proposed line had raised concerns over its safety and possible environmental impact.

The pipeline runs through Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council territory. Both councils granted permission for it to go ahead last year.

While the Fingal decision wasn’t appealed to An Bord Pleanala, appeals were lodged against the decision of Dublin City Council by residents.

For more on the story, click here.

Published in Coastal Notes

#LargeContainership - One of the largest ever containerships in recent years docked in Dublin Port on the same day of the longest cruiseship to call to the capital, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Afloat.ie has in recent weeks been monitoring CMA CGM Shipping’s containership Nicolas Delmas, with a capacity of 2,207(TEU) twenty foot-long equivalent units, which on Tuesday had discharged and loaded at Peel Ports operated MTL terminal in Ringsend. See, Maersk Line’s new Seago Line route: UK-Ireland-Spain (Algeciras: hubport) for Med/ North African ports.

The call of Nicolas Delmas provided an ideal opportunity to visit Dublin Port where on the opposite side of the port, MSC Cruises giant cruiseship MSC Splendida at 333m long had berthed. This was was the second successive season to the capital by the 4,600 passenger capacity ship.   

CMA-CGM's rotation of Nicolas Delmas is operated in a butterfly loop with the Windhoek, 1,577(TEU) on the FAS Irish Sea Feeder service that began in 2003. In fact, Windhoek is due to arrive this evening from Liverpool. Normally the rotation involves the following ports: Antwerp, Southampton, Liverpool, Dublin, Belfast, Greenock, Le Havre and then a return to Antwerp.

The Marsaille based CMA-CGM was formed in 1996 following a merger between Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètement (CMA) and Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM). The latter partner, CGM had previously run a ‘liner’ side of the business with the famous classic liners 'France' and ‘Normandie’.

In the case of MSC Cruises, they are a parent company of Geneva based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) that continues likewise of rivals CCM-CGM, in the operation of very large containerships fleets on global networks.

At the top of this massive global business is the Maersk Group, which operates the world’s largest container shipping company through subsidiary Maersk Line. Recently the operator launched a new direct Cuba-Cork-continental Europe service.

So it was interesting to witness the contrasting shipping sectors from Dublin's East-Link toll-lift bridge. Also on that day President Higgins in a ceremony unveiled a plaque as the bridge is now named the 'Tom Clarke Bridge'. The bascule bridge completed in 1984 is the final river-crossing between the Liffey and the main port area leading out to the sea. 

Published in Dublin Port

#1916bridge - President Michael D Higgins unveiled a plaque to ‘Tom Clarke Bridge’ officially now the name to Dublin’s East-Link toll-lift bridge which is the last road crossing over the Liffey before meeting the sea, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The bridge name honours the memory of Tom Clarke, one of the chief organisers of the 1916 Rising and the first signatory of the Proclamation. The unveiling ceremony by the President accompanied by his wife Sabrina, took place on the Ringsend side of the bridge and coincided with the centenary this day 100 years ago of his execution along with Patrick Pearce and Thomas MacDonagh at Kilmainham Jail (Gaol). The State will commemorate all the other executions of the Leaders of the 1916 Rising up to 12 May.

According to Dublin City Council which took control of the bridge last year, there say there are no records of the bridge having been previously named. So for more than 30 years the bridge has been simply known as the ‘East-Link’ or ‘Toll-bridge’ taking traffic, mostly commuting motorists and port-related freight vehicles.

Completed in 1984, the bascule bridge forms a critical part of the capitals road infrastructure and a lifting span (45 metres wide) to permit vessels to pass to and fro between the main port and upriver to the city-centre. The process of raising and closing the span takes 3 minutes.

The last large vessels to transit through the bridge before today’s naming ceremony were a trio of Belgian Navy vessels that departed the capital following a visit over the May bank holiday weekend.

For today's proceedings to take place involving relatives of the 1916 leader, city officials and dignitaries, the bridge was ironically closed to both road and shipping traffic. This caused the most frequent boat user of the bridge, St.Bridget of Dublin Bay Cruises not able to carry out morning cruises. This would of seen the former Aran Islands and Inishbofin ferry berth upriver at Sir John Rogersons Quay.

In terms of the last most frequent Irish flagged commercial shipping to sail past the raised bridge span, that fell to the ‘Guinness’ ships, The Lady Patricia and Miranda Guinness. These purpose-built stout tankers plied the Irish Sea between Dublin and the Mersey and from there onto the Manchester Ship Canal.

Published in Dublin Port

The spectacular 333m MSC Splendida, the longest ship ever to visit Dublin Port, returned to Dublin early this morning officially marking the start of Dublin Port’s 2016 cruise season. She is one of 113 cruise calls confirmed for Dublin Port this year, a record number of cruise calls in a year for Dublin Port that will bring over 180,000 visitors to experience the city’s sights and attractions.

Currently the 11th longest cruise ship in the world, the MSC Splendida arrived in Dublin from Greenock, Scotland carrying over 4,600 passengers and crew on board. Her inaugural call made maritime history when she became the longest vessel ever to visit Dublin Port last summer. She boasts a VIP section with 24 hour butler service and features more than a dozen bars and lounges, a spa and Turkish baths, four swimming pools, squash courts and a Formula 1 simulator, all spread over 18 decks. Having arrived from Greenock, Scotland, the MSC Splendida will depart Dublin at 7:45pm for Cork.

The MSC Splendida and other ships greater than 300m in length cannot turn presently within Dublin Port and therefore are brought stern first (reversed) up the Liffey. However, this complicated manoeuvre will no longer be required once the €230m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project, which will expand capacity in Dublin Port, is complete. Larger ships will then be able to routinely call at the port and turn within the expanded Alexandra Basin West and berth as far upriver as East Link Bridge.

Pat Ward, Head of Corporate Services, Dublin Port Company, said: “We are delighted to welcome the MSC Splendida, the longest ship ever to visit Dublin Port, back to the city to mark the start of our 2016 cruise season. We are shaping up for a record year in cruise tourism, with some 113 cruise calls carrying over 180,000 visitors to the city scheduled for 2016. Highlights this season include the arrival of “Disney Magic” on her maiden call to Ireland in May, as Dublin Port becomes the first Irish port to welcome Disney Cruise Line. Dublin Port will also host the Cruise Europe Conference this year, the first time the conference is to be held in Dublin.”

Published in Cruise Liners

#FinalShip – The last ever vessel to use Dublin's dry-dock, cargoship Arklow Fame departed on Wednesday from the unique facility in the capital that officially closes today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The shiprepairer, maintenance and engineering facility has since 2002 been run by Dublin Graving Docks Ltd under license of the Dublin Port Company. The port company has other plans for the site as part of the €277m ABR project, see report.

Today’s closure marks the end of a chapter in Irish maritime industry that is consigned to historical heritage as well as the loss of 26 jobs staff. The small yet skilled workforce have taken on tasks involving numerous vessels among them containerships, coasters, ro-ro freight ferries, supertrawlers, tugs and timber tallships.

It was fitting that the final vessel to use graving dock no.2 was the Irish flagged Arklow Shipping cargoship and given the Co. Wicklow based company were the firm's largest client.

The 90m Arklow Fame (4,950dwt) is one of the smaller cargoships in the ASL fleet to use the dry-dock as dry bulk-carriers such as the 136m Arklow Marsh (14,490dwt) have occupied the 220m long dockyard completed in 1957. In recent years the ‘M’ class have undergone conversion work at the country's largest dry dock in the capital to increase deadweight tonnage.

Asides routine work carried out on Arklow Fame, the leadship of 10 Spanish built ‘F’ class vessels built a decade ago, also saw work to install a new rudder stock. This involved a manufacturer in Europe to make the replacement part which was transported by truck to be installed at the Dublin facility.

The graving dock could take vessels up to 6.5m draft and had a 24.5m wide entrance accessed by a gate (caisson) see above photo. The watertight retaining structure would be floated in and out of position between pumping in or out water of the dry dock. It should be noted even when a ship was not in dry-dock, work took place at the yard's marine workshop and also off site where required.

Now that the dry dock is closed, ASL will be forced to go elsewhere, noting that Cork Dockyard has a graving dock, measuring 165.5m long and has a narrower entrance of 21.3m. Technically speaking, Arklow Fame with a beam of 14.5m could be accommodated at the country's now largest dry-dock.

So it remains the issues of cost, expertise and strategic location that will determine where shipowners take their business to a graving dock, be it at home or overseas. 

In fact during Cork-Swansea Ferries operation and that of the main ferry that ran throughout those years was carried out by the Superferry, however her beam was too wide to use the Cork dry-dock. Instead, the Japanese ferry of more than 14,000 gross tonnes docked at the Dublin facility.

The frequency of ferries using Dublin dry dock however notably declined from around the mid-1990's as the size of newbuilds introduced on the Irish Sea have dramatically increased in tonnage.

This trend in larger ferries undergoing refit overhauls and repairs are mostly carried out in Belfast (Harland & Wolff), Birkenhead (Cammel Laird) and Falmouth (A&P Falmouth).

Published in Ports & Shipping

#DryDockClosing – Its the end of an era as the nation’s largest dry dock is to close with the loss of 26 jobs as Dublin Port Company are to infill the site as part of the €227m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) project, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Dublin Graving Docks Ltd has operated Graving Dock No. 2 since 2002 under licence from Dublin Port Company. In recent years the marine engineering business have fought to retain the ship repair, maintenance and conversion facility, however the license expires tomorrow.

The shiprepairer had generated about €2.5m annually. Around 20 vessels have dry-docked each year. Vessels are mostly cargoships/short sea traders, dry bulk-carriers, ro-ro freight ferries, large trawlers, the port company's tugs and in 2014 the tallship Jeanie Johnston. Previous owners of the drydock worked on ferries which are now larger and go elsewhere, not including Cork Dockyard.  

For almost 60 years the 220m long dry dock which can handle one large or two smaller vessels at a time has served Irish owned ships and from overseas clients. The final ship to have worked carried out at the 1957 built dry dock was the 90m cargoship Arklow Fame. The 2,998 tonnes vessel called in mid-April and was floated-out with a departure yesterday afternoon.

Dublin Graving Docks had submitted a final observation to the An Bord Pleanála hearing held last year on the ABR which is a Strategic Infrastructure Development that was granted planning permission last summer. The decision leaves the capital port without a strategic ship repair and engineering facility.

The main reason why Dublin Port want to re-use this part of their port estate is to gain a higher financial yield per acre of land through the redevelopment of Alexandra Basin.

The ABR project is to enable much larger and deeper drafted cargoships and the largest cruiseships in the world to berth at a dedicated €30m cruise terminal located closer to the city centre.

Dublin Graving Docks cited they were not opposing the accommodation of giant cruise ships but they were against the reconfiguration and the scale involved in the ABR project.

At approximately 1.4 hecteres the area including the dry dock can handle ships up to 6.5m draft and is accessed by a dock gate 24.5m wide. Under the project this entrance is be blocked with a reconfigured quayside and consequent in-fill of the dry-dock to create additional space. As the port has broken trade figures this has led to critical requirement for additional capacity to cope with demand. 

The ABR will be the biggest single infrastructure capital investment development to be undertaken in the past 200 years of the port. Also the project marks phase one of Dublin Port's Masterplan 2012-2040.

Published in Dublin Port

Dublin Port Company has announced the launch of its 2016 cruise season as preparations get underway for the return of luxury cruise liner MSC Splendida next week. She is among 113 cruise calls confirmed this season, the largest number of cruise calls in a year for Dublin Port bringing over 180,000 visitors to experience the city’s sights and attractions. Among the 113 calls are four turnaround cruises, which will see passengers travel to Dublin to begin their cruise.

Dublin Port’s cruise business started as early as January with three calls in the first quarter, but the season begins in earnest next week with the arrival of the 333m long MSC Splendida on Tuesday, 3rd May. Currently the 11th longest cruise ship in the world, her inaugural call made maritime history when she became the longest vessel ever to visit Dublin Port last summer. She will return next Tuesday morning carrying over 4,600 passengers and crew on board.
One of this season’s highlights will be the arrival of the 300m long Disney Magic cruise ship when Dublin Port becomes the first Irish port to welcome one of Disney Cruise Line’s signature vessels on Thursday, 26th May. Disney Magic’s maiden call will bring some 3,650 passengers, cast and crew to the capital.
Days later over 200 delegates from leading cruise destinations will converge on Dublin for the Cruise Europe Conference, which will be co-hosted by Dublin Port and Dublin City Council and held in the capital for the first time. The prestigious three day event (31st May – 2nd June 2016) will showcase Dublin to all the major cruise lines and service suppliers of the cruise industry worldwide.
The event comes as Dublin Port plans to market Dublin as a ‘Home Port’ to the cruise industry, having recently established a new cruise tourism development and marketing agency called Cruise Dublin. Set up to promote Dublin as Ireland’s cruise capital to cruise lines internationally, Cruise Dublin works collectively with its members which are drawn from the capital’s leading retail outlets, visitor experiences and tourism bodies, including Fáilte Ireland. As a membership organisation, Cruise Dublin’s remit is to support those businesses in the capital looking to develop their offering in tandem with the future growth of Dublin as a marquee cruise destination.
Pat Ward, Head of Corporate Services, Dublin Port Company, said: “2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year for cruise at Dublin Port with 113 cruise calls and over 180,000 visitors scheduled for the port and the city. We are delighted to welcome the return of MSC Splendida, and one of the highlights this season will be the arrival of Disney Magic on her maiden call in May. For the first time this year, Dublin Port will also host the Cruise Europe Conference.”
“Dublin is rapidly developing a reputation among the international cruise lines as a marquee destination that offers passengers easy access to a vibrant European city. Demand in the market is so strong that Dublin Port is being asked by the cruise lines to accommodate ships much larger than we routinely handle, such as the MSC Splendida. With the ABR Project largely complete in the next four years, Dublin Port will have the enhanced infrastructure and capacity to meet market demand for future years. All the signs from the cruise lines now point to Dublin’s potential to become one of the next leading turnaround capitals for cruise passengers by 2020, especially for the North American market.”
Dublin Port’s current operational limit on ship length is 300m, which means that longer ships such as MSC Splendida cannot currently turn within the Liffey and must, therefore either reverse in or reverse out of Dublin Port. Work has already commenced on the €230m ABR Project which will expand capacity in Dublin Port and will be largely completed in four years. The ABR Project, once complete, will mean that larger ships will be able to routinely call at Dublin Port, turn within the expanded Alexandra Basin West and berth as far upriver as East Link Bridge.

Published in Cruise Liners
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Page 14 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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