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Displaying items by tag: Le Diamant

As Le Diamant berthed in Dublin Port this morning the Clipper Odyssey which also called to the capital with the French-flagged cruiseship this day last week, is visiting the fishing capital of Killybegs today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Co. Donegal port is close to Slieve League, at over 600m/1900-ft, they are Ireland's highest sea cliffs and inland in the north-west of the county is the Glenveagh National Park.

According to her schedule the Clipper Odyssey has since made several calls to include Waterford, Cobh and along the stunning scenery of the western seaboard with anchorage calls off the Great Blasket Islands, Dingle.

Yesterday the 5,218 tonnes vessel operated by Clipper Cruiuses had also called to Inishmore of the Aran Islands. Otherwise the 120 passenger cruiseship is normally found serving in the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to the Russian Far-East. She is due to depart Co. Donegal this evening bound for Portrush.

As for the 226-passenger Le Diamant she is a frequent caller not just to Dublin, she had arrived from Penzance. The 8,282 tonnes vessel is run by Marseilles based Ponant Cruises and the twin-funnelled vessel is due to depart this evening for Fishguard.

Published in Cruise Liners
Ireland's leading fishing port of Killybegs, Co. Donegal, this morning received the 226 passenger yacht-like cruiseship Le Diamant, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 8,282 tonnes Le Diamant had sailed overnight from anchorage in Galway Bay and prior to visiting the 'City of the Tribes' the vessel also called to Foynes port in the Shannon Estuary as reported previously in Afloat.

In 2004 Killybegs received a significant boost in the completion of a €50m outer harbour with berthing quays totalling 350-metres long so to accommodate the north-west fleet and to include the 'supertrawlers'.

Despite the major port infrastructural investment, Killybegs has seen declining fortunes in the fish industry though in recent year's new business from the offshore exploration and cruise ship industries has assisted in generating new revenue.

Published in Cruise Liners
A record operating profit of €2.5 million for last year was made by the Shannon Foynes Port Company, according to a report in today's Irish Times.
The profit of the mid-western port is on foot of a 23% increase in tonnage which rose to 9.4 million tons, up from 7.6 million in 2009.

The boost is revealed in the state-owned company's annual report which shows the facility made a bottom-line profit for the year of €1.1 million – a five-fold increase on 2009. Operating cash flows rose to €3 million, up from €2.7 million a year earlier. To read more click HERE.

Late last month the Co. Limerick port was busy particularly with the seasonal arrival of three cruise ships and all made within one week, for more click HERE. This Friday sees the return of one of those cruise-callers, the French-flagged Le Diamant which is on charter to operator Inter Cruises.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Cruiseship passengers on board the Spirit of Adventure which anchored in Galway Bay today will have an opportunity of visiting the famous race course venue at Ballybrit, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At just under 10,000 tonnes Spirit of Adventure built in 1980 with a capacity for 352 passengers is the largest cruise-caller this season to make a call to the mid-west port. She had sailed overnight from Foynes and is due to depart later today bound for Kirkwall, Orkney Islands.

The vessel first visited Galway in 2009 but this call will be her last year operating under the Spirit of Adventure cruise banner. The company are to replace the vessel  next season with the Saga Pearl II which will be transferred from the parent company Saga Cruises and renamed Quest for Adventure.

Prior to the Spirit of Adventurer's call, the 226 passenger Le Diamant arrived from St. Malo last Friday. She became the first vessel to make a call to the 'City of the Tribes' on behalf of her French operators, Cie de Ponant. Her passengers were taken on tours of the city, Connemara and the Aillwee Caves in neighbouring Co. Clare. The vessel is due to return early next month.

With three cruise-calls this year the port is set to increase this figure to 7 in 2012 arising from the ports campaign over the last two years. Paul Carey, Chairman of the Harbour Company, said "We are beginning to see the fruits of this campaign and look forward to growing Galway's association with the return of the majestic passenger liners to Galway".

"The passenger liner The World has been confirmed for a two-day visit in August 2013 which is a great endorsement of Galway as a cruise destination".

The call by the world's first ocean-going luxury resort vessel will also be another first for Galway. Operators of the 43,524gt vessel, Residences at Sea have made previous Irish ports of call to include Dublin, for more on her to the capital last August click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
Visitors to Ireland's newest coastal tourist attraction at Loop Head Lighthouse will not only have stunning sea views but also as a place to observe seasonal cruise ships calling to Foynes, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Within the next seven days, three cruise callers are due to enter the mouth of the Shannon Estuary. The first to arrive is the French-flagged Le Diamant which docks tomorrow in the Co. Limerick port. The 8,200 tonnes vessel operated by Ponant Cruises is tonight sailing from St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly.

Her arrival will be followed by P&O Cruises latest addition Adonia on Saturday. With 710 berths the 30,000 tonnes vessel is the smallest of the seven-strong fleet which can accommodate between 1,800 and up to 3,100 passengers as in the case of the Azura. The 115,000 tonnes vessel departed Dublin Port this evening. Her first call to the port was last year (click HERE) and she is the largest cruise ship to call to the capital.

On Tuesday of next week the 9,000 tonnes Spirit of Adventure (cruises) marks the third cruise caller to Foynes. The port is along with five other terminals located throughout the country's largest estuary are operated by the Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC).

Incidentally Spirit of Adventure and Azura where two of another trio of cruise ships that visited the Port of Cork on Monday, with Holland America Line's 59,000 tonnes Rotterdam forming the third vessel. This was the first occasion that Cork has handled this number of cruise ships on a single day, bringing 7,000 passengers which set a new record for the port.

Published in Cruise Liners
The sleek-profile of the 10,700 tonnes mega-yacht cruiseship Le Boréal is set to make her inaugural Irish port of call to Dublin port this Tuesday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Le Boréal was to make her maiden Irish call to Cobh but the capital which was also scheduled for the 10 May will instead take this honour from the one-year old ship which is operated by France's only cruise operator, Compagnie du Ponant.

The 142m long ship was built by the Italian Fincantieri shipyard won the 'Best New ship of the Year 2010' by the European Cruiser Association. She can take 264 guests in an interior which has a distinctly French flair from the hand of designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. A crew of 139 look after the running of the six-decked vessel which has 132 luxurious appointed cabins.

Late last month Le Boréal was joined by her new sister L'Austral which was inaugurated into service during a fireworks display off the company's headquarters in Marseille. Both ships made a cruise to the Frioul Islands and famous Chateau d'If and later that day their Le Levant also took part in the celebrations when the trio returned off Marseille.

The other two vessels of the five-strong fleet are the Le Ponant, a three-masted 88m sailing ship and Le Diamant (also due Dublin and Cork this season) form a fleet of bijou cruiseships which are small in size and as such can access remote and exclusive ports of call.

Compagnie du Ponant was established in 1988 and is owned by the CMA CGM Group, the world's third largest container shipping group. The company is an integral part of French maritime heritage with origins from the renowned Compagnie Générale Transatlantique French Line.

Published in Cruise Liners

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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