Displaying items by tag: DublinLiverpool
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.
Dawn Merchant and Brave Merchant represented the first pair of the 'Racehorse' class quartet of ro-pax sisters commissioned for the Cenargo Group. The quartet were built by Spainish shipbuilders Astilleros Espanoles SA in Seville, noting the first pair at 22,046grt where slightly smaller in tonnage terms compared to their 22,215grt counterparts Midnight Merchant and Northern Merchant. Upon delivery in 2000 the second pair were chartered to Norfolkline's Dover-Dunkerque route.
With a 130 truck capacity the Norman Trader can handle a marginally higher number of freight vehicles compared to the Norcape which handled 127 trucks. The Norcape, a 32-year-old freight-only vessel,was stood down in February and remains laid-up at Liverpool's Huskisson Dock. Incidentally, Norman Trader has joined one of her Racehorse class sisters, European Endeavour (formerly Midnight Merchant) which had directly replaced the Norcape on the central corridor route.
Likewise the European Endeavour is no stranger to the Irish route as for the last two years she has acted as winter relief vessel to cover the refits of the routes Dutch built ro-pax sisters Norbay and Norbank. The latter vessel is now undergoing a refit by Cammell Laird Shiprepairers in Birkenhead, now that the Norman Trader is in service to maintain the three-ship operated 8-hour route.
The Norman Trader had arrived into Dublin Bay last Friday from London's Tilbury Docks, on the next day she entered Dublin Port. In recent years she has operated on English Channel routes for the French shipping giant Louis-Dreyfus Armateurs through their ferry division LD Lines.
Norman Trader's (Dawn Merchant) sister Brave Merchant now renamed Norman Bridge also runs for LD Lines 'Motorways of the Seas' (MOS) route across the Bay of Biscay between Nantes /St. Nazaire to Gijón in northern Spain. The 14-hour route which started last year, which was run iniatially as a joint venture between Grimaldi Lines and Louis-Dreyfus and traded as GLD Atlantique.
- Dublin Port
- Bay of Biscay
- irish sea
- Ports and Shipping News
- Motorways of the Sea
- European Endeavour
- Central Corridor
- P&O Irish Sea
- Norman Trader
- LD Lines
- Merchant Ferries
- Cenargo Group
- RaceHorse Class
- Tilbury Docks
- Cammell Laird
- Grand National
- Aintree Grand National
Seatruck Ferries, the only Irish Sea ferry company, dedicated solely to the carriage of freight, are looking to appoint a Group Operations Manager. The position is based in their Heysham office in Cumbria. In addition the appointment would require regular travel to Seatruck's other terminals on both sides of the north Irish Sea.
The company operates the Dublin-Liverpool, Warrenpoint-Heysham and Heysham-Larne routes which are served by an eight-strong fleet. In recent years four Spanish built newbuilds were commissioned into service on the Dublin-Liverpool and Warrenpoint-Heysham routes. Each newbuild has a 120 freight unit capacity.The remaining four vessels where built in 1998 and they can each handle 65 freight units.
Seatruck's Dublin Port operations is located at the Alexandra Basin terminal close to the East-Link Toll-Lift Bridge and the Point Village.