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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company

#CRUISE CALLS - The docking of the Quest in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this morning marks the first phase of cruise calls this summer as part of a new development to attract cruiseships, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The opening of the cruise sector business which formed part of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company's Masterplan is seen as a significant boost to the local economy considering the declining operations of the HSS fast-ferry service in recent years.

The Quest which is operated by Noble Caledonia is on a 9-night 'Garden' Cruise of the UK and Ireland, where prices started from £3,295. She berthed at the Carlisle Pier where for many generations passengers boarded the mail-boats followed by the conventional ferry to Holyhead which last left the route in 1996.

questdunlaoghaire

Quest along side in Dun Laoghaire. She carries 50 passengers

At just under 50m long the Quest carries only 50 passengers though this number is set to increase when a further four cruise calls are scheduled this season with larger vessels capable of carrying around 500 passengers.

Published in Cruise Liners

#CRUISELINERS – The Quest (1992/1,180grt) an ice-strengthened expedition cruiseship, will have the distinction of being the first cruise caller to Dun Laoghaire Harbour in many years. The cruise call next week (24th April) will mark a new era in attracting the cruise sector as part of the harbour's masterplan launched last year, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Quest will have a German clientele of around 50 passengers, though other larger capacity vessels are scheduled for the summer in this first phase of cruise callers. The cruise sector season is seen to be a significant economic boost to the local economy considering the reduced ferry side of the harbour business in recent years.

Passengers on the Noble Caledonia operated vessel are to take a 9-night 'Garden' Cruise with prices starting from £3,295. She is to set sail from Oban Scotland, then to Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and Channel Islands.

On her Dun Laoghaire call passengers will head for Powerscourt and nearby Mount Usher gardens in Co. Wicklow. On the second Irish port of call to Waterford as previously reported, they will visit the privately owned Mount Congreve Gardens on the banks of the River Suir.

Notably scheduled in for next year's season is the 'flagship' of the Cunard Line fleet, the 2,620 passenger liner Queen Mary 2, all of 151,400 gross tonnes. She is to make an anchorage call in May 2013, according to Captain Frank Allan, Dun Laoghaire Harbourmaster.

As part of the programme to attract and develop Dun Laoghaire as a cruise call port of call, a new tender docking facility was recently completed. The facility is designed to cater for large cruiseships using the harbour as it will cater for easier access by boats tendering passengers to vessels such as Queen Mary 2 during anchorage calls out in Dublin Bay.

The new tender facility will also benefit the public as the facility can be used for training purposes and for the operation of boat tours around Dublin Bay and trips out to Dalkey Island.

Published in Cruise Liners

#DUN LAOGHAIRE NEWS - Dun Laoghaire's historic Victorian sea baths are to be replaced with a small 'urban beach' under rejuvenation plans for the harbour, the Irish Independent reports.

County councillors for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown voted on Tuesday to green light the construction of a new sea baths facility, part of the 'master plan' development proposed by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company that has raised the ire of the harbour's yacht clubs.

The decision is the latest in a long series of ambitious plans for the Victorian baths, which recently received a new coat of paint as part of the Dulux Let's Colour Project but have lain derelict for 15 years.

Under the new plan, all but two of the buildings on the baths site, which was built in 1843, will be demolished to make way for a new jetty and changing area, which is set to include an 'urban beach' in the future.

Only the baths pavillion and a small outbuilding will be retained for an artist's studio, a gallery and café.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

#MARTIME MUSEUM AT EASTER - Earlier this week Dun Laoghaire's maritime museum re-opened its doors to the public after a €4m renovation project was carried out on the apt venue of the former Mariners Church, which incidentally closed on this Easter Day forty years ago, writes Jehan Ashmore.

With a new lease of life the extensively renovated and upgraded museum can look forward to a future. Visitors enter the museum at a new entrance, where in the reception foyer there is a souvenir shop, beyond that in the main body or nave are exhibits displayed, each telling a story and for children there is a Knott Station. To view the initial exhibits on display, click HERE.

In addition there is new facility in the form of a café, which was much needed and where two new stained -glass windows by Peadar Lamb feature, they were sponsored by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company. As for the original stained-class windows they were restored to their full glory.

The renovation began in 2006 and was funded by the Government which led to a three-phrased project that involved work carried out from the re-roofing right down to the floorboards. Walls were re-plastered, electric systems modernised and wheel chair-lift and ramps installed.

Work also took place to clean the exterior of the stone-cut granite building hewn from Dalkey Quarry and which led to the consecration of the Kingstown Episcopalian Mariners Church in 1843.

After many generations of mariners and their families, parish numbers dwindled and its use as place worship ended on Easter Sunday 1972. The Maritime Institute of Ireland which runs the museum relocated two years later having had a smaller museum sited along the town's harbour waterfront.

For the next three decades the museum which has attracted locals and visitors from home and overseas, eventually had to close due to deteriorating conditions of an aging building.

Now that the museum is up and running, the M.I.I. which is staffed by volunteers has in recent years also had the support of a FAS scheme of workers, which according to the institute have been invaluable.

The museum is open 11am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday and every Bank Holiday, for further information visit: www.mariner.ie


Published in Dublin Bay

#DUBLIN BAY NEWS - The inaugural European Tour for the MOD70 trimaran class is set to come to Dublin next summer, pending agreement with the relative authorities in January.

The Irish Times reports that the National Yacht Club is at the head of efforts to include an event in Dun Laoghaire on the first tour for the new 70-foot design.

But apart from the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, there has so far been little support from local or national authorities despite organisers waiving the €250,000 franchise fee.

John McKenna of tour organiser OC Thirdpole says he is determined to ensure Dublin is included, and that costs will be borne by the competing teams.

However, he added: "The tour needs to be assured that it will have a major public occasion in Dublin if it is to commit to coming here."

mod70

The MOD 70 fleet – plans are afoot to bring the fleet to Dun Laoghaire and moor them off the National Yacht Club at the Carlisle Pier

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Dublin Bay welcomed its first MOD70 earlier this year when yachtsman Roland Jourdain tested his Veolia Environnement trimaran ahead of the Fastnet Race.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay
At 13.07hrs Stena Line's HSS 1500 fast-craft ferry HSS Stena Explorer pulled away from her berth for the last time this year on the Dun Laoghaire Harbour-Holyhead route, as she headed for the harbour mouth several crew members waved from the stern to shore-based colleagues on the link-span, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Only yesterday, sailings on the daily single-round trip operated route had to be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions on the Irish Sea caused by the tail end of Hurricane Katia. The decision with today's closure was made well in advance and comes as no surprise as the Stena Explorer (1996/19,638grt) "has traded at a financial loss for several years" according to her owners Stena Line. Around 53 staff in Dun Laoghaire will be affected by the decision.

The core reason to withdraw the HSS on the 120-minute route which is not to re-open until the 2012 season, rests with the high operating costs of the fuel-thirsty fast-ferry which is powered by four gas-turbine engines. In addition the route's generated most of its turnover during the period May-September, leaving the remaining months unsustainable, as such the company wants the route to be seasonal-only in the long-term.

HSS_Stena_Explorer

HSS Stena Explorer departs Dun Laoghaire Harbour on her final sailing this season. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

Passengers and freight customers will instead need to use the company's other Dublin Bay route between Dublin Port and Holyhead. The 3 hour 15-minute central corridor route is served by two ro-pax vessels, Stena Adventurer (2004/43,532 grt) and Stena Nordica (2000/24,206 grt) which operate to a year-round schedule, for times click HERE.

What is not certain is the precise date for resumption of Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead services as Stena Line have only indicated that they hope to reopen in April or May nor it is outlined as to what type of fast-craft would operate the route next year.

With today's break in service for at least the next six months, this is the most significant absence of the revolutionary HSS (High Speed Sea Service) 1500 fast-ferry which made her official maiden voyage on the route from Dun Laoghaire on 10th April 1996. The only other notable occasions when the HSS was off-service was for the short spells to allow for annual dry-docking, refit, repairs or when the route in recent years was partially operated by Stena Lynx III.

The 1500 referred to the number of passengers the Stena Explorer could accommodate. She was the first of the three Finish-built HSS 1500 catamaran vehicle capable carrying craft to enter service on three routes from the UK. The next sister completed HSS Stena Discovery entered service in the same year between Harwich-Hook van Holland and the final of the trio HSS Stena Voyager entered the Belfast-Stranraer route in 1997. Several years ago the HSS ceased operating on the Dutch route and the HSS currently serving on the North Channel is due to be replaced by conventional ferries in mid-November as previously reported on Afloat.ie, to read more click HERE.

On the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead service the HSS enjoyed the boom years, and at its peak there were five daily round trips. From 2006 onwards the routes fortunes began to decline due to the ending of duty-free sales, competition from low-cost airlines, and the increasing cost of fuel.

In order to stave off further losses, a series of cost cutting measures were implemented over the next five years. Firstly the sailing frequency was reduced then the passage times were increased to reduce fuel consumption at the expense of faster crossings. In addition the company resorted to withdrawing the Stena Explorer during the shoulder months surrounding the summer and as previously mentioned these sailings were covered by the Stena Lynx III.

When the Stena Explorer returned for the summer months, the Stena Lynx III switched to her normal high-season spell on Rosslare-Fishguard sailings in tandem with regular route vessel Stena Europe. This year she served as usual on the St. Georges Channel route with the last high-season sailing completed on 4 September.

Stena Lynx III remained initially at Fishguard until making a repositioning voyage to Dun Laoghaire via the Kish Lighthouse last Wednesday. She berthed adjacent to the now disused HSS berth link-span on St. Michaels Wharf. The Tasmanian built craft has spent previous winter layover periods in Dublin and last year in Dun Laoghaire whereas the Stena Explorer is expected to do so in her home port of Holyhead.

At the neighbouring Carlisle Pier, the former terminal where numerous steam-packets, 'mailboats' and the conventional Sealink/British Rail car-ferries served (the last being the Stena Adventurer better known as St. Columba built in 1977) there are plans for a national diaspora museum.

The centrepiece landmark building would form as part of the masterplan proposed by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company as part of a concerted effort to offset the reduced role of ferry operations. The masterplan is also to attract cruiseship business amongst other proposals envisaged.

Published in Ferry
Tomorrow morning walkers at Dun Laoghaire Harbour's pier-heads will have close-up views of the departing Solitaire du Figaro race fleet and a French Navy patrol vessel, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At 11 o'clock the third race-leg heads for Les Sables d'Olonne, Vendée, a distance of 475 miles. They will be accompanied by the (OPV) offshore patrol vessel PSP Cormoran (P677) which is scheduled to depart in advance at 10 o'clock so to allow the boats to gather in Dublin Bay. From there the PSP Cormoran will act as an escort 'guard-ship'. A role in which she has been engaged since the prestigious solo-sailor race started a fortnight ago.

The 447 tonnes OPV provides communication liaison and assistance should the forty six sailors require during the arduous race including SAR. As such the vessel can deploy a rapid response high speed RIB-craft from an internal dock-well located at the stern.

Otherwise the RIB is used to board fishing vessels as part of fishery monitoring duties and patrolling France's Exclusive Economic Zone out to 200 nautical miles (370 km). She is a Flamant class OPV and was built in 1997 by the Cherbourg based shipyard Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie. The 54m/177-ft craft is equipped with two 12.7mm machine guns.

As Dun Laoghaire is the only international port of call during the four-leg stages of the 1,695 nautical miles (3,390kms) the hosting of the Irish harbour is a welcomed boost to the sailing community and the local economy. Leading off the Carlisle Pier are pontoons where the one-design boats are moored and opposite is the East Pier jetty berth where the PSP Cormoran is docked.

Also at the East Pier is a festival market which is part of the Festival des Bateaux. The three-day festival ends tomorrow and was organised by the race-hosts the National Yacht Club, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. For further festival details click HERE.

The presence of a foreign naval visitor to the harbour was more commonplace particularly during festivals held in the 1980's. In addition to the French, navies from Belgium, The Netherlands were regular festival participants.

Published in Navy
A French Navy offshore patrol vessel PSP Cormoran (P6277) that has been escorting the second leg of the La Solitaire du Figaro Race to Dun Laoghaire, is to dock tomorrow morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The race fleet departed Ouistreham (Caen) last Sunday on the 470 nautical mile course to Dun Laoghaire, the only international port of call of the prestigious race. This morning the fleet are offshore of Land's End.

To celebrate the stopover of the four-stage 1,695 nautical mile (3,390 km) race, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and the National Yacht Club have joined forces to create the Festival des Bateaux (12-14 Aug).

A festival highlight will be a fireworks display which be held on Friday night at 10pm on the East Pier. In addition during the three-day festival programme includes live bands, street entertainment and a market on the Carlisle Pier. For more details and times of the free event go to www.dlrevents.ie

Visitors to the East Pier can take a closer view of the PSP Cormoran from the quayside where the 23 knot offshore patrol vessel (OPV) will be berthed. The Flamant class (OPV) entered service in 1997 after completion by Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie, Cherbourg, where the 477 tonnes vessel is based.

The 54m/177-ft vessel has two 12.7mm machine guns and is used for fishery monitoring, SAR and patrolling France's Exclusive Economic Zone out to 200 nautical miles / 370 km. In addition she is equipped with a high speed RIB-craft that can be deployed from an internal dock-well at the stern.

Published in Navy
Two new stained glass windows were unveiled in the Maritime Institute of Ireland's (M.I.I.) maritime museum in Dun Laoghaire this week, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The windows which are located in the former Mariners' Church, are the work of artist Peadar Lamb and were sponsored by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company. Attending the unveiling ceremony was Councillor Jane Dillon Byrne, President of the Maritime Institute, Peadar Ward and Peadar Lamb.

For several years the museum has been closed for vital repair and extensive renovation work. In October the M.I.I. will celebrate their 70th anniversary which will be marked by a 'soft launch' and in the following year the museum is to be officially re-opened in Easter 2012.

Published in Dublin Bay
Dublin Bay it set to burst alive with 'joie de vivre' during the only foreign stopover in the world-famous French Solitaire du Figaro yacht race.
Dun Laoghaire will be the only international stop in the race, considered the unofficial world offshore solo championshop, between 11 and 14 August.
To celebrate the visit of the iconic 3,390km race, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and the National Yacht Club have joined forces to create the Festival des Bateaux.
The harbour will be a magnificent tapestry of colour as the boats arrive for this international event. Dun Laoghaire will be resplendent with fireworks, music and the sights, sounds, foods and ‘joie de vivre’ of France.
Fireworks will light up the sky at 10pm on Friday 12 August. There will also be a festival village with public access to visiting boats, a colourful and authentic French market and exhibition, a festival stage at Harbour Plaza and activities throughout Dun Laoghaire, not to mention a spectacular farewell as the boats depart early on Sunday 14 August.
Meanwhile, plans to berth the 45 or so competitors expected are well underway, according to the National Yacht Club.
Funding was secured between DLRCoCo and Fáilte Ireland, and the tender for the supply and delivery of 18x11.5m pontoons and associated service bollards was won by McNiven Marine, Irish agents for Ronautica Marine.
The gangway contract was secured by Tynes Gangway, and the last contract for the installation and de-commissioning of the infrastructure is currently underway.

Dublin Bay it set to burst alive with 'joie de vivre' during the only foreign stopover in the world-famous Solitaire du Figaro yacht race.

Dun Laoghaire will be the only international stop in the race, considered the unofficial world offshore solo championship, between 11 and 14 August.

To celebrate the visit of the iconic 3,390km race, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (dlrcoco), the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and the National Yacht Club have joined forces to create the Festival des Bateaux.

The harbour will be a magnificent tapestry of colour as the boats arrive for this international event. Dun Laoghaire will be resplendent with fireworks, music and the sights, sounds, foods and ‘joie de vivre’ of France.

Artist_Impression_Solitaire_stopover

How Dun Laoghaire will look in August

 

Fireworks will light up the sky at 10pm on Friday 12 August. There will also be a festival village with public access to visiting boats, a colourful and authentic French market and exhibition, a festival stage at Harbour Plaza and activities throughout Dun Laoghaire, not to mention a spectacular farewell as the boats depart early on Sunday 14 August.

Meanwhile, plans to berth the 45 or so competitors expected are well underway, according to the National Yacht Club.

Funding was secured between dlrcoco and Fáilte Ireland, and the tender for the supply and delivery of 18x11.5m pontoons and associated service bollards was won by McNiven Marine, Irish agents for Ronautica Marine.

The gangway contract was secured by Tynes Gangway, and the last contract for the installation and de-commissioning of the infrastructure is currently underway.

Published in Figaro
Page 5 of 6

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