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Displaying items by tag: Ferry news

#SeaTrials - As a new car ferry is to be launched in Co. Wicklow yard as previously reported, an Arklow Shipping Dutch flagged and built cargoship is making first sea trials today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Royal Bodewes newbuild no 724, Arklow Valley, a cargoship with a modified bow design compared to her more distinctive sisters to improve energy efficiency, had been transported yesterday under tow. This involved a pair of tugs to take the near 87m long newbuild from the inland shipyard near Groningen to Delfzijl.

Further along the coast at Eemshaven, is where Arklow Valley had sailed to and this afternoon the newbuild was in the open sea off the Western Frisian Islands in the North Sea.

She is the fourth so far completed from 10 in a series of 5,100dwat Bodewes Traders on order to ASL. They will be part of Arklow Shipping Nederlands B.V. with an office located in Rotterdam.

The new series or ‘V’ class are all Dutch flagged and began with leadship, Arklow Vale. The single hold vessel was launched and named just over a year ago, by ships godmother, Mrs Mari Louise de Jong.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#NewBuild - Arklow Marine Services are to launch a new car ferry which is to serve Rathlin Island off the Antrim coast, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure (DFI) awarded the contract for the 6 vehicle /140 passenger ferry to the Co. Wicklow based boatbuilder, headed by Billy and John Tyrell.

Responding to Afloat.ie a DFI spokesperson said the Department is still in the process of evaluating the bids for tenderers to operate the new Rathlin ferry.

Following delivery of the new ferry to be named Spirit of Rathlin, the newbuild is to undertake trials for three to four weeks. In addition crew familiarisation is to take place, after which the vessel is expected to come into operation.

The Ballycastle-Rathlin route is operated by the Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd which currently uses three vessels, Canna, Rathlin Express and St. Sorney.

Canna is an ageing ‘Island’ class car ferry, which dates to 1976, having originally served the Scottish West Isles for CalMac. The 40 year-old ferry bow-loading vessel has the same vehicle and passenger capacity of the newbuild. 

In 1997, Canna was transferred to Rathlin with CalMac contracted to run the service. In the following year she was chartered by the Scottish publically funded ferry company to Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd who took over the operation of the service.

In 2009 the passenger-only, Rathlin Express, an aluminium catamaran craft, also built by Arklow Marine Services entered the route.

This leaves the third vessel, St. Sorney, also passenger-only and which serves as a reserve boat. The 40ft ‘Lochin’ cruiser was built by Ryan & Roberts of Limerick.

Published in Ferry

#FreightCapacity - Irish freight heading to and from mainland Europe via the UK landbridge will have additional freight capacity as Stena Line respond to demand on a North Sea route to the Netherlands.

The operator on the Killingholme-Rotterdam (Europoort and Hoek van Holland) route are to introduce a second ship from the Killingholme to Europoort. RoRo vessel Caroline Russ is to be enter service to operate three times weekly from Killingholme on the UK east coast to Europoort, with the first departure from the Dutch port on October 31.

The ship will join current RoRo ship, Stena Scotia (a former Irish Sea freightferry) on the route. The frequency will hereby increase to six departures per week in each direction. The Stena Scotia was introduced on the route September 2014 as a complement to the two freight ships, the Stena Transit and Stena Transporter on the Killingholme-Hoek van Holland route.

Annika Hult, Route Manager at Stena Line North Sea says: “We have seen a strong growth in the transport market to the UK over the past several years. We introduced our freight ship the Stena Scotia in 2014 in order to accommodate growing volumes of traffic. I am very pleased to announce that we will now take the next step in the strategic development of our Killingholme-Rotterdam (Europoort) route.”

“We expect trade to remain strong and want to be in the best place to service our customers and meet additional demands. Europoort continues to develop as an important freight hub for Stena Line and we are confident our customers will react positively to our expanded service”.

Facts: Caroline Russ

Type of ship: RoRo

Trailers: 102

Passengers: 12 

Year of construction: 1999

Length: 153 m

Width: 20.6 m

Max speed: 20 kn

                   

 

Published in Ferry

#Dredging - The Isle of Man Steam Packet is running into problems at Heysham, its main port in England.

The ferry company according to IOMToday is blaming a ‘failure of an agreed dredging programme’ for disruption to Douglas-Heysham services from today, Friday to next Monday.

A revised schedule for ropax Ben-my-Chree services has been announced.

This is due to a combination of tidal conditions and a lack of agreed dredging at Heysham means there will be insufficient under keel clearance for the vessel to operate its planned sailings.

For information on the following re-scheduled sailngs click here

Published in Ferry

#FinalLink – The final chapter of Stena Line’s history with Dun Laoghaire Harbour was marked this morning when a barge used to dismantle the former HSS berth departed under tow, writes Jehan Ashmore.

MTS Indus towed the barge SB-5018 that was used in the harbour as a floating platform. The red-hulled barge was moored next to the ferry terminal linkspan at Berth No. 5 on St. Micheals Pier.

The specialist custom built linkspan for berthing operations of HSS Stena Explorer lasted for almost two decades of the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route that closed two years ago this month. The loss-making route led Stena to consolidate existing operations out of neighbouring Dublin Port on a route also to the north Wales port. 

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company are looking for a new operator to restore the seasonal service next year, but using the adjacent Berth No. 4 alongside St. Micheals Pier. This linkspan was last used in 2011 by a smaller fast-ferry, Stena Lynx III. 

Originally the plan was to tow the Stena HSS linkspan away from the port, by placing on board the barge, however the breakers torch was used instead on site at the ferry terminal.

This is where the Swedish registered barge also acted as a support to the specialist linkspan (see yesterday’s report photo) from where the tug departed and is under way ironically bound for Holyhead. The port in Anglesey is operated by the Swedish owned ferry operator whose headquarters are based in Gothenburg.

Dismantling work by the contractors in Dun Laoghaire had begun earlier this summer to remove all Stena owned berth infrastructure at the site of the purpose built ferry terminal. This paved the way for the introduction of the revolutionary HSS Stena Explorer fast-ferry catamaran craft in 1996.

Asides the linkspan, gone are now the passenger gangways and associated equipment at No 5 berth. The concrete supporting columns of the gangway however remain as well as the jetty and associated dolphin structure.

Not all the dismantling work was carried out on the barge. Other parts were broken up onshore from where vehicles from the HSS Stena Explorer used to disembark or arrive at the marshalling area. It was from here that awaiting trucks were loaded to be disposed by scrap merchants.

Published in Ferry

#LinkspanScrap -A tug arrived in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this morning to remove a barge involved in the process to dismantle infrastructure of the former Stena HSS berth, writes Jehan Ashmore.

MTS Indus had sailed from Brixham in the UK to moor alongside the barge that arrived earlier this summer at St. Michaels Pier, from where Stena Line for almost two decades had operated as the only major client of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.

Stena’s pioneering HSS fast-ferry service to Holyhead launched in 1996 was revolutionary, bringing a completely new concept of ferry travel on the Irish Sea and setting new technical innovation globally. The HSS Stena Explorer was the first of a trio of HSS1500 (number reflecting passenger capacity) class craft capable of also carrying large freight trucks.

In more recent years, Stena suffered heavy losses and the near 20,000 gross tonnage craft was withdrawn in 2014, though an existing route from Dublin Port to the Welsh port was consolidated with the introduction of larger second replacement ferry.

Contractors at the Dun Laoghaire ferry terminal began work earlier this summer to dismantle all Stena related infrastructure consisting of the adjoining passenger gangway, linkspan and associated equipment at No 5 berth. These constituent parts were broken up on site, using the barge as working platform as well to torching work carried on shore on the site of the vehicle marshalling area, from where scrap merchants loaded trucks for removal.

Yesterday it was observed the lashing of equipment on the barge in addition to containers, portacabins and heavy machinery used in the works. According to DLHC, the MTS Indus was expected to tow the red-hulled barge to the Holyhead today. The north Wales port which is operated by Stena, however may not have the tug arriving until tomorrow, again weather permitting.

The works carried along the centre of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour waterfront also saw the removal of the pontoon located next to Berth No. 4. This is now the only berth complete with linkspan on St. Michaels Wharf.

With the completion of the work to remove Stena infrastructure, Berth 4 will now be made available for a new operator, should DLHC be successful in securing a suitable client in a tender process to resume a seasonal-only service next year.

Published in Ferry

#SolarPort - As part of a drive to become the world’s greenest ferry operator, Stena Line has just delivered an innovative solar project at its Port of Holyhead in Wales. 

The project involved the fitting of four 50kWp Solar PV panel arrays to the roofs of terminal buildings, garage and shore shop. Stena Line teamed up with Eco Environments Ltd, a grid-connected and off-grid power specialist. The project was completed on time and on budget over a 4-week period during the summer with no interruptions to the port nor business to daily ferry operations.

The energy efficiency stats and associated carbon reduction levels around the project are impressive. It estimated that the panels will saved approximately 89 432 kg CO2 annually, provide 164 400 kWh of electricity for use onsite and will provide a yearly benefit worth £27,276 in electricity savings together with additional government feed-in tariff revenue. The pay back for the system is estimated to be less than seven years.

Wyn Parry, Stena Line Port Manager, Holyhead, said: “This is a very innovative and exciting project for us to be associated with. Initiatives like this one point the way forward and, as a company, we need to focus on it if we are to achieve our vision of becoming the greenest ferry operator in the world. While the savings themselves are relatively modest from a financial perspective, if we look at this as a small project within a much more comprehensive approach to future sustainability then I think it’s an important step forward and one that I’m sure can be easily replicated across other parts of the Stena Line and wider Stena Group businesses.”

Published in Coastal Notes

#TallShipsRace - Bulker Arklow Meadow departed Aughinish, Shannon Estuary last week bound for the Port of Blyth, where the UK port was host to the North Sea Tall Ships Race, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Irish flagged Arklow Meadow had loaded at the Rusal Aughinish Alumina plant (see: sister report) from where the 'M' class 14,990dwt bulker departed to round Scotland. The bulker discharged at Blyth where the north-east English port has the Alcan Aluminium Ore Unloading Facility. The South Korean built bulker currently remains at this berth. 

At the Northumberland port a spectacular line-up of around 30 entrants of the North Sea Tall Ships regatta gathered for the Parade of Sail and which this year celebrated a Diamond anniversary of the Tall Ships race movement. The North Sea event followed that of the main Tall Ships Race 2016, the prestigious annual race which is also organised by Sail Training International.

It is exactly sixty years since the very first Tall Ships Race visited Lisbon, Portugal in 1956 - an international fleet aptly made a return visit this year, having set off from Antwerp, Belgium. The winner of the Tall Ships Race 2016 was Norway’s Statsraad Lehmkuhl as previously reported on Afloat.ie which visited Dublin Port last month after a cruise-in company to Coruña, northern Spain.

Last week’s sailing spectacular of the North Sea Tall Ships Parade of Sail was held in glorious conditions on the UK’s Bank Holiday at the end of August. As the magnificent tallships departed the Port of Blyth, the Parade of Sail was observed by spectators lining the decks of Princess Seaways, a ferry operated by the Parade sponsor, DFDS Seaways. The Danish shipping company also had something to celebrate, as 2016 marks their 150th anniversary.

Princess Seaways, made the special four-hour cruise to Blyth from Newcastle, further south along the coast. Otherwise the 31,000 gross tonnage ferry normally operates the Newcastle-Amsterdam (Ijmuiden) along with route partner and a sister, King Seaways. The former Val de Loire served Brittany Ferries seasonal Cork-Roscoff route until replaced by current incumbent, Pont-Aven that entered service in 2004 (this year installed with 'scrubbers'). The flagship also operates year round on France-UK and UK-Spanish routes.

Among the North Sea Tall Ship Races participants that were observed from the ferry's cruise, was another Norwegian entrant, Christian Radich, Poland’s Dar Mlodziezy, the UK’s Lord Nelson and the Dutch Morgenster, a visitor to this summer’s Dublin Riverfest.

At the weekend the Tall Ships had completed the 500 nautical mile leg from Blyth having arrived at the Swedish Port of Gothenburg culminating the North Sea Tall Ships Race. This was the fifth occasion that Gothenburg has hosted the Tall Ships.

Published in Tall Ships

#NewRoute - Seatruck Ferries, the Irish Sea’s dedicated unaccompanied freight operator, has begun a weekend service connecting Dublin and Bristol.

The UK west coast port, Bristol is a major hub for car imports, and the connection allows car manufacturers to enter Ireland directly without the need for a UK trunk. The new service uses a Seatruck ro-ro vessel that would otherwise be idle at the weekend.

The operator which celebrates its 20th year has a network of three routes: Heysham – Warrenpoint (their first route) Dublin-Heysham and Dublin-Liverpool.

With the summer just gone, this is normally a quieter period, however, Seatruck Ferries have reported strong growth and new service offerings on its Irish Sea routes. During August alone, shipment of unaccompanied trailers was 24.9% increase compared with the previous year.

By operating to Heysham and Liverpool, this allows freight operators using unaccompanied trailer shipments to use their drivers and equipment more efficiently.

The English ports providing significant road mileage savings compared with the traditional transit by other operators through ports in Wales and Scotland.

Published in Ferry

#NewEra - Scottish transport operator, CalMac has gone public for the first time with ambitious plans to transform west coast ferry services following formal granting of its new contract for the next eight years. 

As reported on Afloat, CalMac was announced as the successful bidder for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) tender in May, signed the contract with Transport Scotland on August 22 after finalisation of legal agreements. The contract begins on 1 October, 2016 and will run until 2024. 

Scottish Ministers and Transport Scotland place great value on the contribution that the Clyde and Hebrides Service can make to the social, cultural and economic vitality of Scotland, and in particular in the Island and Coastal communities.

Managing Director, Martin Dorchester, said that CalMac's winning bid was rooted in ambitious plans to drive improvements which will transform the experience of ferry travellers, exemplify customer focus, and show the company's determination to make a positive difference to the communities.

The planned innovations, most of which will be put in place in the first two years of the contract, include:

  • Maximise opportunities for local companies, supported businesses (where 30% of staff are disabled or disadvantaged) and social enterprises, to tender for supply contracts. CalMac has set a target of sourcing 80% of fresh produce from within its network area.

  • Appoint a Director of Community and Stakeholder Engagement and create a Communities Board to involve communities in strategic matters that affect them.

  • An innovative approach to the introduction of smart and integrated ticketing offering multi-modal ticketing to provide improved choice and convenience for passengers.

  • Continued investment in Officer Cadets and rating apprenticeships and partnering with local maritime training organisations such as University of the Highlands and Islands and City of Glasgow College to further to develop our qualified and skilled workforce, and develop a strong maritime training economy.

  • Work in partnership with shipyards to plan and schedule long-term maintenance activities to minimise reactive maintenance, improving vessel reliability for customers.

  • Investing £6m in on-board and port and passenger area improvements including consistent signage, a standard look and feel to customer sitting and waiting areas, upgraded restaurant counters and retail outlets, piloting an 'at seat' drinks trolley service, and digital information screens, all aimed at improving customer accessibility and experience.

  • Daily demand forecasting combined with the introduction of variable terms and conditions to discourage late cancellations and no shows.  This will lead to improved accessibility for customers, better capacity utilisation and greater certainty of travel.

  • Appoint a Transport Integration Manager to work with other providers on timetable planning, disruption management, and the displaying of digital travel information at ports and vessels to improve public transport connectivity and quality of customer information.

  • Maintaining membership of Marine Scotland, along with support for the 'blue economy.' This includes helping to monitor marine animals and working with marine conservation bodies, all of which supports economic sustainability.

 

 

 

Published in Ferry
Page 5 of 69

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