#CRUISE LINERS-Aside the main ports where most cruise ships visit while touring this island, Londonderry would be a less frequent destination, as such vessels only began visiting the north-west port since 1995, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Some of the leading operators though have called over the years called to the port, they are: Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Residensea, Seabourn and Silverseas.
This year's line-up will see eight scheduled calls starting in May with the 446 passenger Quest for Adventure (for more click HERE) built in 1981 and operated by Saga Cruises. A younger near-sister Astor built in 1987 is also due to call in August.
Below is a list of the cruise callers and dates.
Quest for Adventure 9 May
Marco Polo 14 July
Prinsendam 16 July
Astor 11 August
Clipper Odyssey 18 August
Princess Daphne 30 August
Albatross 12 September
Ocean Countess 15 September
The vessels will use various berths dependent upon size within the port which is run by the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners. The facilities are at the city quays, Lisahally or require anchorage off Greencastle in Lough Foyle.
#PORTS & SHIPPING- Berthed at the Steam Packet Quay, Drogheda is the suction-trailer dredger Lough Foyle (1979/868grt) which is on contract work with the Drogheda Port Company, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Following the sale last month of Hebble Sand, as previously reported on Afloat.ie (clcik HERE), the Lough Foyle (PHOTO) is now the only port-owned dredger on the island of Ireland. The Londonderry Port & Harbour Commissioners (LPHC) purchased the vessel from Dutch interests in 2009. She was originally the Saeftinge, built in 1979 at the Van Goor Scheepswerf in Monnickendam.
Since her introduction she has performed previous dredging operations to include the Drogheda Bar leading into the Co. Louth port. Her most recent contract was in Waterford Estuary, from where she arrived from on Tuesday after an overnight voyage.
In addition she has worked at the new Stena Line ferryport terminal at Loch Ryan, Cairnryan, to see related report click HERE. The Scottish ferryport is due to be officially opened tomorrow, to read more including the newly introduced 'Superfast' sisters click HERE.
#DUBLIN PORT-The former Dundalk Port Company grab-hopper dredger Hebble Sand (1963/757grt), which has been laid-up in Dublin since last Summer, was sold to new owners a month ago, writes Jehan Ashmore.
She remains berthed at the Bulk Jetty, Alexandra Basin, where she arrived from the Co. Louth port on 14 July, two days after the assets, liabilities and operations of Dundalk Port Company were transferred to Dublin Port Company by an order of statutory instrument. Against this background, Dublin Port Company decided to divest in the business of dredging resulting in placing the veteran vessel for sale.
During her career in Drogheda, she was the only dredger to be operated and owned by a port company apart from the suction-trailer dredger Lough Foyle (1979/868grt) operated by Londonderry Port & Harbour Commissioners.
Hebble Sand, registered in Dundalk has retained her original name since her launch from Richard (Shipbuilders) of Lowestoft for British Dredging. She has been kept in good condition considering a career nearing five decades. To read some of her last contracts undetaken outside her homeport, click HERE.
From a distance some people have mistaken Hebble Sand (PHOTO) to the last of the 'Guinness ships, as she bores a resemblance to the final custom-built stout tanker Miranda Guinness ( PHOTO), taken on her farewell sailing. The vessels shared a similar red funnel and black funnel, a roomy sized superstructure painted in cream above and a dark blue hull. To read more about the last of the brewery tanker-fleet click HERE.
According to the Lough Foyle Ferry Company website, the directors sincerely hope that the suspension of the service will be temporary and look forward to re-commencing operations in early 2012.
The 10-minute crossing served by the 300-passenger / 44-vehicle capacity Foyle Venture (photo) provided year-round sailings. During the summer months the schedule was increased to a continuous shuttle-service as it provided a convenient short-cut for Northerners heading to Donegal.
Motorists could save nearly 80 kms (50 miles) by travelling across the Inishowen Peninsula instead of having to drive through London/Derry. In its third year of operations, the company carried its one-millionth passenger and since then the route has exceeded 2m passegers.
As for Cary Ali, she is a 87ft long was built in 2007 by Nordhavn to a design of Jeff Leishman. From her stern flew the flag of the Marshal Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Inside the four-decked vessel there is the main salon, a dining room, galley and three guest staterooms, and a master cabin (click HERE). In total eight people can be accommodated. In addition she has a jacuzzi, fly-bridge and is equipped with a tender and has crew of four.
She has a speed of 24-knots and is equipped with 50hp bow and stern thrusters. To read more about the luxurious motoryacht including facts and figures click HERE.
The Cary Ali had berthed at the 100-berth marina of the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club which caters lesiure craft up to 20 metres and is centrally located on the south side of Dublin Port. The facility has accommodated larger motoryachts over the years. Though even larger motoryachts such as Battered Bull, a Feadship 52m has berthed further upriver at Dublin City Moorings.
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- MY Caly Ali
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- Lough Foyle Ferry Company
A notice on each pier says the Lough Foyle Ferry Company regrets the service will be suspended from the close of business on Sunday, October 2nd. The notices say directors of the company hope the suspension will be temporary, and they look forward to recommencing operations early in 2012.
For a photo of the ferry that once served on the Shannon (Killimer-Tarbart) service as Shannon Willow click HERE. Note in the background is the veteran cruiseship Princess Daphne at anchor in Lough Foyle. To read more about the ferry service visit www.loughfoyleferry.com/main.htm
A major search operation will today get under way in the Strabane area to find missing man David Calhoun, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
The 22-year-old is feared drowned after fleeing from police in the direction of the River Mourne in the early hours of Sunday 22 May. He has not been seen since.
Rescue workers and volunteers will today begin searching stretched of the Mourne and Lough Foyle for any trace of Colhoun, from nearby Lifford in Co Donegal.
Joining in the search are relatives of other missing people, such as the sisters of Limerick man Shane Moran, who disappeared near the River Shannon in January 2009.
The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.
The RLM which stands for "Ridiculously Large Missile" is the second-largest civilian rocket ever launched in Ireland. In fact the organisers have built a larger one called the BFM: that's "Big Fat Missile".
The spectacular event has previously taken place on the last Sunday of each month since April. Today's launch will be the fifth and final blast-off of this year's rocket season.
Returning to earth, the museum located in the old coastguard station overlooks Greencastle harbour, which has one of busiest fishing fleets in Ireland.The maritime museum and its planetarium will also be open today. For summertime opening hours and admission fees information Tel: (074) 9381363 or visit http://www.inishowenmaritime.com/about.shtml
Greencastle is also conveniently connected by a 15-minute car-ferry service across Lough Foyle to Magilligan in Co. Derry. The route is served by the Foyle Venture, for ferry times and fares visit www.loughfoyleferry.com/
This week Northern Ireland welcomes the launch of two new coastal canoe trails.
The new Foyle Canoe Trail stretches for 33 miles from Lifford in Co Donegal to Moville on the Inishowen peninsula at Lough Foyle, passing through Derry on the way, with plenty of wild and official campsites along the route.
Meanwhile, the South East Coast Canoe Trail is a sea kayaker's dream – 50 miles of rocky bays and sandy beaches past the Mourne and Cooley mountain ranges from Strangford village to Newry.
According to OutdoorNI.com, the trails were developed by the Countryside Access and Activities Network (CAAN), the Loughs Agency and Down and Derry District Councils, add to the five inland canoe trails already in place.
CAAN development officer Kathryn Callaghan commented: "Both these trails offer a golden opportunity for us all to explore two picturesque corners of Northern Ireland from a unique perspective.”
Waterproof guides for both trails are available free from from local tourist information centres or online from www.canoeni.com.
The coastal trails are the first of four to be launched in 2011. Later this year the North Coast Canoe Trail will take in the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, while the East Coast Canoe Trail will pass the renowned Glens of Antrim, Belfast Lough and the Ards peninsula.
The cross-border service is funded by Donegal County Council and Limavady Borough Council. The route in recent years has experienced an unfavourable exchange rate, increased cost of fuel, poor weather, a depressed tourism market sector and notably reduced construction traffic, contributing to a sharp decline in demand. In the current climate the local authorities may find it difficult to provide funding as they scale back on budgets.
Record levels in 2005/2006 saw traffic reach 106,179 vehicles and 302,740 passengers. Such was the success of the service annual subsidies for 2008 and 2009 were not required. According to the latest 12-monthly traffic figures for June 2009-June 2010, vehicle volumes dropped to 52,669 and passengers levels have decreased more than halve to 149,455.
The 10-minute route is operated by the 44-vehicle capacity Foyle Venture which served the Kilimer-Tarbert route for the Shannon Ferry Co. The mid-west estuary ferry was replaced by newbuild Shannon Breeze in 2000 and later sold to Lough Foyle Ferry Co.
When the Lough Foyle route began operations in 2002, the service received a subvention of €108,000 each from the local councils. Over that timeframe, the route has received a total funding of €500,000 from Donegal County Council.
In 2009, the two local authorities agreed to provide a €200,000 subvention, but this runs out in March 2011. An application has also been submitted to the Special EU Programmes Body for funding.
On the west side of the Inishowen Peninsula is the Bunbcrana-Rathmullan service, which is also in doubt if a subsidy from Donegal County Council cannot be maintained. The Lough Swilly route started in 2004 and is served by the 20-vehicle capacity Foyle Rambler, a former German river-ferry. The north-west ferry route takes 25-minutes and recorded 15,000 passengers at its peak.
In busier times, tourists from the North, instead of passing through Derry city, used the 'land-bridge' routes across the Inishowen Peninsula to reach holiday-homes and popular seaside resorts throughout Co. Donegal.