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Displaying items by tag: Ferry news

#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

#LiverpoolBerth - Before plans for a new landing berth in Liverpool for the Isle of Man ferries can go ahead, several questions must be answeered says TravelWatch.

The IOM Today writes that the passenger watchdog held a public meeting last Thursday when numerous issues were raised.

Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne MHK has visited Liverpool to meet the city’s Mayor Joe Anderson to discuss plans to relocate the Steam Packet berth from its historic Pier Head location to make way for a cruise liner terminal. A new site to the north at Waterloo Dock has been earmarked for Manx ferries.

The proposed new landing stage will be almost half a mile away from the current one.

The cost of the move has been estimated at £15m, but Mr Gawne has described that figure as ‘ridiculously optimistic’.

For further coverage on plans for the ferry terminal relocation, click here.

Published in Ferry

#SeasonStarts – CalMac’s Ardrossan-Campbeltown (Mull of Kintyre) summer-only ferry route which began on a trial pilot basis in 2013, resumed seasonal service last week on what is now a ‘permanent’ route in the Scottish operators network, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The permanency of the Ayrshire-Kintyre route in south-west Scotland was announced in January by Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay following three successful summer seasons.

In total the route transported an average of over 10,000 passengers and 2,000 cars annually on the season route that began in April and concluded at the end of September. This season the route that began almost a week ago by Isle of Arran (1984/3,296grt) will continue operations up to the 25 September and the permanent route is part of an enhanced summer timetable for CalMac services.

Prior to last week’s reopening, Afloat noted that the Isle of Arran had received a scheduled dry-docking at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead. The veteran vessel dating to 1984 will as usual provide additional summer sailing capacity on the Arran service: Ardrossan-Brodick served by Caledonian Isles (1993/5,221grt).

According to the CalMac website, essential improvement works on the island port of Brodick are being carried out around to boarding and disembarking areas. Sailings will be unaffected by these improvement works.

Published in Ferry

#RoPaxReturns - Ropax Ben-My-Chree, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's Douglas-Heysham route ferry has returned to service with a sailing this morning from the Manx capital, following completion of her scheduled statutory biennial overhaul.

The 12,500 tonne ship, which has served the Island for 18 years, has been in dry dock for three weeks for her scheduled ‘service’. The work has included a technical overhaul as well as refreshing some of the passenger areas, including refurbishments to the seating, general decor and lighting in the Executive, Niarbyl and Premium lounges

During the overhaul MV Arrow has maintained freight services whilst fast craft Manannan has operated scheduled passenger services to Heysham, Liverpool and Belfast.

 

Published in Ferry

#PortofLarne - Providers of accommodation in Larne, Co. Antrim according to The Newsletter, are fearing for their future due to plummeting visitor numbers, following the loss of the Troon ferry route.

The loss-making Irish Sea route, which traditionally ran from March to October, was officially scrapped by operators P&O Ferries in January.

And with the tourist season now in full swing, a number of Larne businesses are beginning to feel the inevitable fallout of the route’s withdrawal – with some guesthouses reporting that visitor numbers have halved.

The Larne Times spoke to several guesthouse operators in the town, who all confirmed they have experienced a substantial drop in business in recent weeks.

Ivy Chalmers of Derrin Guest House revealed that bookings over the past month have shrunk by about 40 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The newspaper has more, click here.

Afloat adds that P&O Ferries continue to operate the Larne-Cairnryan route which is operated year round by a pair of ropax ferries. 

 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - The fire broke out on the Irish Ferries 2.40am (yesterday, Monday) Holyhead to Dublin crossing and normal services have now resumed.

According to the Daily Post, the firm’s largest ferry Ulysses, which can carry up to 2,000 passengers, was close to docking at Dublin Port when the blaze was detected at 5.45am.

A spokesman for Irish Ferries said the fire started in a lorry cab, however the cause has not yet been established.

There were no reports of any injuries.

He said: “We can confirm there was a small fire on Ulysses this morning, on the 2.40am Holyhead to Dublin service.

“The fire was detected immediately and didn’t spread to any other vehicles.

For more on the story, click here.

Published in Ferry

#ServiceAgreement - The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has presented an ‘offer’ to the Manx Government for a new strategic sea services agreement to replace the user agreement.

The IOM Today writes that last summer the government issued an ultimatum to the Steam Packet – make us a ‘significantly enhanced’ offer or ferry services will be put out to competition.

Now the ferry operator’s chief executive, Mark Woodward, has confirmed an offer has been made which he hoped Tynwald will get the chance to support in the next few months.

The company has not yet disclosed details of the ‘offer’ but Mr Woodward told the Courier it will be made public and that it will involve investment in new ships.

Welcoming the appointment of Vision Nine as the new promoter for the TT and Classic TT, Mr Woodward said the offer to government would ‘help address the crucial issue of visitor capacity’.

For more on the story, click here.

Published in Ferry

#GreekCharter - The charter of a Greek vessel to P&O Ferries to cover dry-docking of the one of three ropax ships on the Dublin-Liverpool is drawing to a close, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Piraeus based Neptune Lines, a vehicle logistics operator have their Neptune Aegli operating in place of P&O’s European Endeavour which is at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead for annual overhaul.

The Spanish built European Endeavour is scheduled to re-enter service tomorrow with an arrival to Dublin in the morning. It is expected the 366 passenger / 112 lorry ropax will appear with a modified version of the traditional P&O livery scheme already introduced on the route's Dutch built sisters, Norbank and Norbay. The pair are also ropax's having been built originally for North Sea service. 

While the ‘European’ is away, the 1,550 freight vehicle lane metre capacity Neptune Aegli presented a sleek looking profile. The ship built in 2002 is not a ropax but is designated a Pure Car & Truck Carries (PCTC) which can transport 1,800 car units. Neptune Lines has operations in 20 countries and more than 30 key ports, focusing on the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

 

Published in Ferry

#CutEmissions - Brittany Ferries has invested €17 million to cut fuel emissions from its flagship Pont-Aven with the installation of exhaust gas cleaning systems.

As previously reported on Afloat, Pont-Aven is unique in that it is the only ferry operating in Irish waters in 2016 to be fitted with “scrubbers”, which dramatically reduce sulphur emissions to almost zero and significantly reduce particulate output.

Hugh Bruton, General Manager of Brittany Ferries Ireland said, “As a company, we have a profound respect for the environment and we have made a significant investment to ensure that our passengers will be travelling on the cleanest and most environmentally-friendly ship to operate in Irish waters this year. The installation of the scrubbers is just one of a number of steps that we have implemented as we strive to achieve sustainable tourism.”

The scrubbers were installed at the renowned Gdansk shipyard in Poland, before the commencement of the 2016 Cork-Roscoff sailing season earlier this month. The work on the Pont-Aven marks the completion of a major €80 million project over 18 months by Brittany Ferries to significantly improve the environmental performance of its six-strong car ferry fleet in Ireland and the UK.

Mike Bevens, Group Commercial Director at Brittany Ferries added, “Today we are still largely owned by the collective of French farmers who launched the company more than 40 years ago, with the aim of linking territories and improving trade. These aims have always been framed by a will to respect the environments in which we operate and this significant investment is testament to our on-going commitment.”

Brittany Ferries implements various measures to reduce the impact of its operations and to support organisations that promote conservation work including:

Cutting CO2 emissions while sailing
Brittany Ferries operations are planned to minimise fuel consumption, by reducing speed on overnight crossings. The effects of tides and the wind are also harnessed to optimise fuel efficiency.

Our water discharge policy
The Pont-Aven is fitted with water treatment units so that uncontaminated water is discharged to sea, and at a minimum of 12 nautical miles from the coast. Polluted water is stored on board, then discharged on shore, to be disposed of by certified waste disposal contractors.

Using anti-fouling paints
Brittany Ferries uses the latest silicon-based anti-fouling paints to coat the submerged parts of hulls. These are low in toxicity and also enhance flow through the water, aiding fuel efficiency and thereby reducing CO2.

Conservation work
The Pont-Aven is taking part in the longest running marine biological survey in the world, towing continuous plankton recorders (CPR) for SAHFOS. Brittany Ferries also works with whale and dolphin charity ORCA. Wildlife officers are hosted on the Pont-Aven throughout the summer to monitor and report on whale and dolphin sightings though the Bay of Biscay. This helps government fulfil its obligations under the Habitats Directive, but also supports conservation work to protect these beautiful sea creatures.

The Pont-Aven continues to offer the fastest direct ferry crossing from Ireland to France, taking just 14 hours and operating to a convenient weekend schedule. The state-of-the-art ship is the newest and most modern ship to be found on any direct crossing between Ireland and France. Passengers onboard enjoy unmatched cruise style standards and award-winning service and cuisine. Facilities include pool and bar areas with panoramic sea views, two cinemas, shopping malls, luxurious spa treatments and a wide range of restaurants, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi in all public areas of the ship.

Published in Ferry

#Epsilon - Epsilon the ropox which has been on charter to ICG’s division Irish Ferries since 2013, is nearing completion of routine maintenance dry-docking at A&P Falmouth, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 26,375 ton Epsilon is in dry-dock No. 2 while those sailings rostered by the ropax on Irish and French routes remain cancelled. The ferry is however scheduled to re-enter service next Saturday, April 23 on the Dublin-Holyhead. In addition to operating the Dublin-Cherbourg route that weekend with the oubound sailing from the Irish port also next Saturday. 

Epsilon completed in 2011 is one of the popular and proven Visentini ropax class series designed by the Italian yard. Primarily, the ropax concept is to carry large amounts of ro-ro freight vehicles and not catering for high passenger capacity. In the case of Epsilon the passenger certificate is only for 500 passengers and accommodation based on 2 and 4-berth en suite cabins.

The 2.8km in freight vehicle deck lane metres of the Epsilon has contributed in boosting the fortunes of ICG, notably by increasing midweek capacity on the Irish Sea’s premier Dublin-Holyhead in support of daily sailings by Ulysses and high-speed craft, Jonathan Swift.   

Passenger facilities on Epsilon are limited and so the marketing of the vessel on both routes are based on an 'economy class service'. Compared to the luxurious Oscar Wilde, where the cruiseferry has extensive amenities to offer on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route already underway. Next month 'Oscar' is to resume the summer-only Rosslare- Roscoff route.

Epsilon's Irish career has also covered sailings during annual dry-docking of Oscar Wilde on the Rosslare-Cherbourg service. On occasions the ropax has taken on additional business in transporting trade vehicles discharged at the Wexford port.

Published in Ferry
Page 10 of 69

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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