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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Dun Laoghaire harbour and marina looks great in the summer sunshine but most of all this latest drone footage to promote a Global CoderDojo Conference in October reveals Dun Laoghaire's compact and very complete regatta site with the close proximity of hotels, conference centre, rail links and restaurants all within metres of Dun Laoghaire's waterfront yacht clubs and a five gold anchor marina opening out on to Dublin Bay. The next big sailing event for Dun Laoghaire is this month's KBC Laser Radial World Championships is at the Royal St. George YC where 350 competitors and 48 nations will attend.

 

Published in Dublin Bay

#LuxuryMarket - Noble Caledonia's headquarters in London is close to the Irish Embassy in exclusive Belgravia, and the connection with this operator and our country was made when their newest cruiseship addition called for the first time to Dun Laoghaire Harbour today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Hebridean Sky was re-launched by Noble Caledonia having been the Sea Explorer 1. In fact, the luxury small ship Hebridean Sky was completed in 1991, the same year Noble Caledonia was established. Not only was there a change of name but also the 114 guest capacity vessel is fresh from a Spring time multi-million refurbishment to upgrade both the technical and interior of this vessel serving in the high-end luxury small ship cruise market.  The ‘Sky’s next port of call was to Portrush.

She joins a pair of sisterships that are more akin to private yachts and form part of a large yet small ship cruise fleet (including river cruising vessels) operated by Noble Caledonia. The trio of flagship sisters (out of an original order of eight vessels) were all built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times. They share attributes that make them among the finest small ships in the world. A competitor for example, Hapag Lloyd’s Bremen last week visited Bere Island, Co. Kerry.

Hebridean Sky is also noted for been the first cruiseship to dock alongside Dun Laoghaire’s upgraded Carlisle Pier, which Afloat reported back in April. The works included installing new fenders to berth No. 2 so to improve berthing infrastructure for small cruise ships and repairs to the outer pier piles.

These works costing in the region of €1m investment also involved repairs to a storm damaged stretch of the upper tier of the East Pier. This important public amenity attracts locals and cruise visitors alike and boasts the largest footfall of any Irish pier.

The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company have already welcomed the season’s debut caller, Mein Schiff 4 last month. Asides ‘Sky’s call a further six callers are scheduled, in which she is due back mid-August. Of these calls, just one remains of a much larger and deeper draft cruiseship, the debut in July of Celebrity Silhouette with a 2,886 passenger capacity and 1,525 crew.

The call to Dun Laoghaire of the giant 122,400 'Solstice' class ship operated by Celebrity Cruises is due to tidal restictions in Dublin Port that day. Otherwise the ship will make two calls to the capital this season.

 

Published in Cruise Liners

Just before 6am this morning, the giant cruise liner Mein Schiff I sailed into Dublin Bay on overnight passage from Scotland. As soon as the ship dropped anchor in Scotsman's Bay on the Captial's south shore, small tender boats were lowered into the water from its port side and the ship began to disembark passengers to go ashore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. A Dublin Port Pilot boat accompanied the ship to its anchorage. Today, in Dun Laoghaire town, a welcome party is set to  greet the passengers. Read more: Dun Laoghaire visit of Mein Schiff.

At the same time this morning, the Magic Disney liner docked in Dublin Port.

Published in Cruise Liners

Dun Laoghaire Harbour welcomes the TUI Cruise “Mein Schiff 1” on her first visit to the town tomorrow.

The US$320 million TUI Cruise ship Mein Schiff 1 weighs over 76,000 tonnes, comes complete with a Japanese style aqua spa, three swimming pools and can host over half of its 1,870 guests for dinner in just one sitting.

The ship is on a 12 day cruise of Britain & Ireland with a stop off in Greenock (Glasgow) before her 12 hour stopover in Dun Laoghaire arriving at 07:00 Thursday 26th May. The ship will continue on to Holyhead leaving Dublin at 20:00 on route to Cork then Southampton before completing her journey in Bremerhaven Germany.

Mein Schiff 1 is the first of 8 cruise calls to Dun Laoghaire this summer welcoming almost 10,000 passengers and crew to the area.

Carolyn Hanaphy of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company said today “We are thrilled to welcome this world class cruise ship here to our beautiful harbour. A local group of volunteers and local businesses are ready to welcome 3,000 guests and crew to the town along with a Welcome Concert outside the Pavilion at 14:00 on 26th“

Published in Cruise Liners

#HSSforSale - Stena Line’s former Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead fast ferry, HSS Stena Explorer is up for sale again for around £4.5m - just months after it was sold as previously reported on Afloat.ie

The Stena Explorer, once one of the world’s fastest large ferries, was sold in October to Turkish firm Karadeniz Holding who were planning to convert it into a high-tech floating office.

It was taken from Holyhead to Turkey last year and as Afloat adds following the withdraw of the HSS craft from the route that closed in September 2014.

But now the ferry - that originally cost £65m and first came on the Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire route in 1996 - is available to buy again.

Its price has fallen somewhat since its unveiling 20 years ago and is now available for $6.5m, around £4.5m.

For more on the story, the Daily Post has a report here. 

In addition to Afloat's report of a project to dismantle the Stena HSS berth in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. 

Published in Ferry

#HSSberth – The disused Stena HSS berth at Dun Laoghaire Harbour is to be dismantled and removed in a process taking up to 10 weeks to complete, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Planning permission was granted to Stena by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to dismantle berth No. 5 at St. Micheal’s Pier from where the final HSS Stena Explorer sailing to Holyhead took place in September 2014.

The operator having consolidated existing services on the Dublin Port route to the Welsh port that began in 1995.

Work at No. 5 berth is where the specialist docking infrastructure designed only for Stena HSS 1500 class fast-ferries, is to involve the removal of the linkspan, gangway and associated equipment.

A tug, MTS Valour is to begin towage of a barge from Stranraer, Scotland to Dun Laoghaire where the HSS related structures are to be loaded on board.

Coincidentally, Stranraer is also where Stena operated the HSS Stena Voyager in tandem with a pair of ferries on the Belfast route until switching Scottish ferryport to Cairnryan in 2011.

Also as part of the works in Dun Laoghaire (see Notice to Mariners No. 9) will be the removal of the pontoon at No 4 which is the adjacent berth on St. Micheals Pier. This berth-linkspan was last used by the smaller fast-ferry, Stena Lynx III until 2011.

Afloat.ie awaits a response from Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to finally confirm proposals to restore seasonal-only ferry services to Holyhead, having begun a tendering process in February 2015.

Only in recent months saw the retail letting opportunity of the former ferry terminal and now the project to remove ferry-related infrastructure from the port.

Published in Ferry

#FrenchNavy - A pair of French Navy trainee vessels visited Dun Laoghaire Harbour while all the attention focused on the NATO flotilla to neighbouring Dublin Port last weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

It was a busy scene as hundreds of visitors flocked to the NATO six-strong flotilla on the Liffey beside the East-Link Bridge. In stark contrast across the bay in Dun Laoghaire, French Navy vessels Tigre and Jaguar were berthed without the attention that a NATO call can draw, largely due to media coverage.

Senior French naval ratings were welcomed from the two Leopard class vessels at a reception held in the Harbour Lodge of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.

Each of the 335 tonnes vessels docked at berth No. 3 along St. Micheal’s Pier where the ‘former’ ferry terminal is available to let as previously reported on Afloat.

At this berth is also located the harbour’s only suitable ferry berth linkspan (see photo). The facility is to the left of the naval vessels but cannot be seen in the above photo.

On the adjacent side of St. Michaels Pier, is berth No. 4, where a linkspan (now redundent) was custom-built to handle the specialist berthing requirements of the HSS Stena Explorer. The fast-ferry was withdrawn from the Holyhead route following Stena’s closure of the service in 2014.

Published in Naval Visits

#€1mPierWorks – Works costing in the region of €1 million at Dun Laoghaire Harbour are currently been carried out, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The works involve repairs and maintenance on the public amenity of the East Pier and at the Carlisle Pier, from where only small cruiseships can berth.

A 100m stretch of the lower East Pier due to the spate of storm damage is under repair and works are due to be completed this month part as part of the rolling maintenance programme.

According to Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company these works on the popular pier will have minimum impact and that walkers will be able to stroll instead along the upper level of the East Pier.

Works at Carlisle Pier are to faciliate the continued berthing of the smaller cruiseships and this requires repairs to the outer piles and replacement fenders at berth no.2.

The upgrading of the pier is expected to be completed in June.

This season the harbour is scheduled to welcome eight calls in total. Of these calls, two are larger and deeper draft cruiseships that will anchor offshore while the remaining six callers will berth at Carlisle Pier.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Cruiseliners – An extra cruiseship is to visit Dun Laoghaire Harbour, since Afloat reported the end of the 2015 season marked by the maiden anchorage call of Mein Schiff 4, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The additional cruiseship, Celebrity Silhouette brings to eight in total to call during 2016. The 122,400 tonnes 'Soltice' class ship is to anchor off Dun Laoghaire in July and only because Dublin Port cannot accept the vessel due to unsuitable tides.

The Celebrity Cruises ship however will make three visits to Dublin Port throughout this season, for more click here. The port will be capable of handling much larger cruiseships following permission granted last year for a new cruise terminal.  

As for Dun Laoghaire Harbour, there is insufficient depth for larger cruiseships to dock inside the harbour and this led to plans lodged by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company for a €18m cruise-berth. A decision to grant or deny planning permission by An Bord Pleanala was delayed earlier this month and they announced that a final ruling on the controversial project may take months to reach conclusion. 

Celebrity Silhouette with a 2,886 passenger capacity will be a boost for Dun Laoghaire Harbour to where previously the German build cruiseship also made a maiden offshore call to the port last July.

Of the eight cruiseships for the 2016 season all ships have visited Dun Laoghaire Harbour before.

In the past five years the most frequent caller has been the sail-assisted Wind Surf. The four-mast cruiseship is scheduled to make 2 of the eight calls this season and dock within the harbour alongside Carlisle Pier.

To consult arrival and departures times for the cruiseships calling to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, click here in addition to those also scheduled to the port for the following season of 2017. 

Published in Cruise Liners

As Dun Laoghaire residents await An Bord Pleanála's decision on the controversial cruise liner berth proposed for the town's harbour, local banker Paddy Shanahan took a look at the books of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) – and finds the whole situation wanting. Harbour CEO Gerry Dunne's response is also posted below.

I am a banker with over 30 years' experience working in New York and London. I have recently returned to Ireland. I am married with two small boys and I run a corporate finance and restructuring practice here in Dublin. I live in Sandycove and am part of Dublin Bay Concern, an organisation comprising many residents of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown (DLR).

My concern relates to the future status of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC). I am opposed to the planned super cruise berth terminal for the harbour and to the Masterplan submitted by the DLHC. An Bord Pleanála is currently deliberating on DLHC’s application following a month-long oral hearing.

Meanwhile, the Harbours Bill 2015 was recently introduced into the Oireachtas. This bill will decide the future of DLHC. We are presented with two options, one of which will be decided by Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe:

a) DLHC becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of the chief executive DLR CoCo.
b) DLHC is dissolved and integrated into DLR CoCo.

On a matter of profound importance to the residents of DLR and to the hundreds of thousands who use the harbour as an amenity every year, there has been little to no communication by the relevant elected representatives back to their constituents on this matter, excepting Richard Boyd Barrett and his party People Before Profit.

Difficult financial situation

On my own volition, I obtained copies of DLHC’s accounts from 2012 to 2014. I have analysed these accounts and found the following:

DLHC’s financial position has been declining in recent years. In 2012 the company’s cash reserves declined by €2.0m and in 2013 by a further €1.3m. The decline in cash was much smaller in 2014 (€37,000) thanks to the receipt of a €406,420 grant, the provenance of which and use for is unidentified in their accounts.

At the end of 2014, DLHC had cash reserves of €3.5m. With no revenue from the Stena HSS in 2015, remaining cash reserves of €3.5m are rapidly dwindling.

DLHC had bank loans of €4.8m at the end of 2014 for which it does not appear to have sufficient cash or the prospect of sufficient cash to repay in future years.

Based on the above facts, it is clear to me that DLHC is in a difficult financial situation and has neither the reserves nor the ability to borrow the funds required to build the proposed cruise berth.

Notwithstanding its precarious financial position and ignoring the implications to the well-being of Dun Laoghaire Harbour, DLHC wishes to roll the dice and stake its future on providing giant cruise berth facilities – this despite the reality of Dublin Port.

Less than 5km from Dun Laoghaire, Dublin Port is a highly profitable world-class shipping port, and it is the preferred cruise ship destination offering quick access to Dublin city centre. It already receives over 80 super-sized cruise ships a year and has recently received planning permission to begin a €200m development which will double its large cruise ship capacity together with a state-of-the-art modern passenger terminal specifically being built for visiting cruise liners.

DLHC proposes a collusive duopoly for the cruise ship business with Dublin Port. Not only is this stupendously naïve, it is also illegal for State-owned bodies to distort the competitive environment, and elegantly demonstrates the flawed business case DLHC proposes – especially in light of the Stena HSS departing for good under DLHC’s watch.

'A likely white elephant'

The Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies issued by the Department of Finance in March 1992 and updated October 2001 states that:

“As the ultimate owners of, and investors, in State bodies, citizens and taxpayers have an important and legitimate interest in the achievement of value for money in the State sector. Whether commissioning public services or providing them directly, State bodies have a duty to strive for economy, efficiency, transparency and effectiveness in their expenditure.”

In 2012 and 2013 DLHC received €250,000 and €200,000 in grants from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo) in respect of DLHC’S Large Cruise Liners initiative. The former was for tendering facilities outside the harbour mouth; the latter was toward defraying costs relating to the planning application.

If it transpires that the €400,000 grant unidentified in the accounts for 2014 was from DLRCoCo, then it would appear that nearly €1m of DLR taxpayers' money has been paid over by the council toward the planning costs of building a likely white elephant.

Is it unreasonable to posit a conflict of interest where the executive branch of DLRCoCo making the payments to DLHC houses the same department that approved the planning application currently being decided by An Bord Pleanála? Is this like Hamlet without the prince? Have DLHC fulfilled their obligations under the code regarding transparency and governance? Clearly not. Where is the oversight? There isn’t any.

Allowing true oversight

Addressing the Dáil on the occasion of the Harbours Bill 2015 debate on amendments last Wednesday 2 December, Minister Donohoe specified there is to be an undefined period of due diligence and examination of DLHC prior to its future being decided by himself.

In the interests of democracy let us hope the minister dissolves the DLHC and transfers its unencumbered assets to the local authority, thus allowing true oversight and accountability.

Given the close relationship and history between the non-elected executive branch of DLRCoCo and DLHC, a decision by the minister that makes the DLHC a wholly owned subsidiary of the chief executive will be a step backwards and simply perpetuates the current unsatisfactory status quo.

The future of Dun Laoghaire Harbour should be decided by the elected representatives of DLRCoCo, the harbour’s genuine stakeholders, and its various community groups.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour, dear to the hearts of all residents of DLR, is being held hostage to the ambitions of a dysfunctional organisation that is running out of money and being supported in a clandestine manner against all principles of transparency and governance.

Response from Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company CEO

DLHC has decided that it is not appropriate to make further public comment while An Bord Pleanala is considering our planning application.
Suffice to make the following brief points ;
[a] the European Commission have stated that the grant of €20m towards the Dublin Port development is made on the basis that such support is not given to dedicated infrastructure and facilities for cruise ships. Therefore, Mr Shanahan is fundamentally incorrect in his belief that Dublin Port can provide dedicated cruise infrastructure/facilities
[b] Mr Shanahan might be very interested to know that the four Dun Laoghaire yacht clubs combined make only a very minor financial contribution of c.€70k annually towards the upkeep/maintenance of the infrastructure of the 200 year old man-made harbour. This annual contribution constitutes less than 2% of our annual operating/capital costs.

Gerry Dunne, CEO DLHC

Published in Dublin Bay
Page 8 of 21

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