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Displaying items by tag: Port of Dublin

At 13.07hrs Stena Line's HSS 1500 fast-craft ferry HSS Stena Explorer pulled away from her berth for the last time this year on the Dun Laoghaire Harbour-Holyhead route, as she headed for the harbour mouth several crew members waved from the stern to shore-based colleagues on the link-span, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Only yesterday, sailings on the daily single-round trip operated route had to be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions on the Irish Sea caused by the tail end of Hurricane Katia. The decision with today's closure was made well in advance and comes as no surprise as the Stena Explorer (1996/19,638grt) "has traded at a financial loss for several years" according to her owners Stena Line. Around 53 staff in Dun Laoghaire will be affected by the decision.

The core reason to withdraw the HSS on the 120-minute route which is not to re-open until the 2012 season, rests with the high operating costs of the fuel-thirsty fast-ferry which is powered by four gas-turbine engines. In addition the route's generated most of its turnover during the period May-September, leaving the remaining months unsustainable, as such the company wants the route to be seasonal-only in the long-term.

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HSS Stena Explorer departs Dun Laoghaire Harbour on her final sailing this season. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

Passengers and freight customers will instead need to use the company's other Dublin Bay route between Dublin Port and Holyhead. The 3 hour 15-minute central corridor route is served by two ro-pax vessels, Stena Adventurer (2004/43,532 grt) and Stena Nordica (2000/24,206 grt) which operate to a year-round schedule, for times click HERE.

What is not certain is the precise date for resumption of Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead services as Stena Line have only indicated that they hope to reopen in April or May nor it is outlined as to what type of fast-craft would operate the route next year.

With today's break in service for at least the next six months, this is the most significant absence of the revolutionary HSS (High Speed Sea Service) 1500 fast-ferry which made her official maiden voyage on the route from Dun Laoghaire on 10th April 1996. The only other notable occasions when the HSS was off-service was for the short spells to allow for annual dry-docking, refit, repairs or when the route in recent years was partially operated by Stena Lynx III.

The 1500 referred to the number of passengers the Stena Explorer could accommodate. She was the first of the three Finish-built HSS 1500 catamaran vehicle capable carrying craft to enter service on three routes from the UK. The next sister completed HSS Stena Discovery entered service in the same year between Harwich-Hook van Holland and the final of the trio HSS Stena Voyager entered the Belfast-Stranraer route in 1997. Several years ago the HSS ceased operating on the Dutch route and the HSS currently serving on the North Channel is due to be replaced by conventional ferries in mid-November as previously reported on Afloat.ie, to read more click HERE.

On the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead service the HSS enjoyed the boom years, and at its peak there were five daily round trips. From 2006 onwards the routes fortunes began to decline due to the ending of duty-free sales, competition from low-cost airlines, and the increasing cost of fuel.

In order to stave off further losses, a series of cost cutting measures were implemented over the next five years. Firstly the sailing frequency was reduced then the passage times were increased to reduce fuel consumption at the expense of faster crossings. In addition the company resorted to withdrawing the Stena Explorer during the shoulder months surrounding the summer and as previously mentioned these sailings were covered by the Stena Lynx III.

When the Stena Explorer returned for the summer months, the Stena Lynx III switched to her normal high-season spell on Rosslare-Fishguard sailings in tandem with regular route vessel Stena Europe. This year she served as usual on the St. Georges Channel route with the last high-season sailing completed on 4 September.

Stena Lynx III remained initially at Fishguard until making a repositioning voyage to Dun Laoghaire via the Kish Lighthouse last Wednesday. She berthed adjacent to the now disused HSS berth link-span on St. Michaels Wharf. The Tasmanian built craft has spent previous winter layover periods in Dublin and last year in Dun Laoghaire whereas the Stena Explorer is expected to do so in her home port of Holyhead.

At the neighbouring Carlisle Pier, the former terminal where numerous steam-packets, 'mailboats' and the conventional Sealink/British Rail car-ferries served (the last being the Stena Adventurer better known as St. Columba built in 1977) there are plans for a national diaspora museum.

The centrepiece landmark building would form as part of the masterplan proposed by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company as part of a concerted effort to offset the reduced role of ferry operations. The masterplan is also to attract cruiseship business amongst other proposals envisaged.

Published in Ferry
Coliemore, a former Dublin Port tug named after Coliemore Harbour in Dalkey, Co. Dublin is undergoing scrapping this week at Cork Dockyard, writes Jehan Ashmore.
For over a decade the veteran tug built in 1962 by Richard Dunston (Hessle) Ltd, in Yorkshire has been languishing at the dockyard ship repair facility in Rushbrooke, Cork Harbour.

The 162 gross tonnes tug had served a career of nearly three decades in Dublin Port, after entering service in 1972. Prior to working in Irish waters the 100ft tug spent the previous decade operating in the UK as Appelsider for Lawson-Batey Tugs Ltd who chartered her to Tyne Tugs Ltd. For historical record and photos click HERE.

In 1998 the Dublin Port Company disposed of the Coliemore alongside her running mate Clontarf (1963/178grt) the former Cluain Tarbh, also built from the same Yorkshire shipyard on the banks of the River Humber.

Initially they were towed to Liverpool but they later appeared at Cork Dockyard in 1999. The Clontarf remained there for a year until she was sold to Barcazas Dominicia SA, Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. For photo of the tug in far distant waters click HERE. It was intended Coliemore would follow her Caribbean counterpart but her sale fell-through.

The vessel's ownership eventually transferred to Cork Dockyard where her scrap value will pay for her long-term berthing fees. The tug recently made her final short journey under tow from her berth at the former Verolme Cork Dockyard (VCD) to the facilities slipway where work to break-up the vessel began.

Coliemore and her fleet-mates were given the traditional naming theme of Dublin Bay coastal suburbs spelt in Irish. The naming policy was used by the Dublin Ports & Docks Board (DP&DB) which operated the fleet remained until transferred to the Dublin Port Company established in 1997.

The last tugs to carry the traditional names, Ben Eadar (Howth), Cluain Tarbh (Clontarf) and Deilginis (Dalkey) are now up laid-up awaiting to be sold, to read more click HERE.

Between the 14-16th centuries Dalkey Sound became increasingly important as larger vessels with deeper drafts could no longer enter the port in Dublin due to the dangers of constantly shifting sandbanks and swallow channels in Dublin Bay.

The nearest alternative was for vessels to anchor off Dalkey Island and in the relative shelter of Dalkey Sound where cargoes for the capital where transferred to and fro by lighters to the coastline along Dalkey at Coliemore, which became the principle port for Dublin. Some of the cargo was stored temporally in the medieval castles in Dalkey, otherwise it was directly transported by horse and cart across the plateau to the city.

It was not until the 17th century that the issue of accessing the port of Dublin was resolved, with the completion of the harbour walls that enabled shipping to return on a frequent basis. Captain Bligh of the 'Mutiny on the Bounty' completed mapping Dublin Bay in 1803 which became the most accurate chart at the time and this aided to the safety of mariners.

The fortunes of Dublin's shipping trade increased due to the combination of an easier and safer navigational channel and deeper depths along the quaysides. This led to the eventual demise of shipping using Dalkey. The present-day harbour structure at Coliemore Harbour was constructed in 1868 and is home to a humble fleet of recreational boats and a passenger-ferry service to the island.

Published in Cork Harbour
Prior to the start of this evening's 'Western Europe Cruise' from Dublin Port of the Azamara Journey, existing cruiseship passengers are exploring the visitor attractions of Trinity College and Powerscourt Gardens in Co. Wicklow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 30,000 tonnes Azamara Jouney (photo) arrived early this morning from a cruise that had set off from Copenhagen on a Norwegian Fjords and Iceland Cruise. Some of the passengers of the 700-capacity vessel ended their cruise in Dublin today by flying home. As passengers left others arrived mostly from Europe and the United States had flown in to pick up the cruise from Dublin. In addition Irish passengers are boarding the ship which is operated by Azamara Club Cruises.

Tonight's departure is for Holyhead, where the call to Anglesey also covers tours of Snowdonia, the impressive castles of Conwy, Caernarvon and Harlech and a stop to Bodnant. Following the Welsh call she is to visit Cobh. Other calls are to Bordeaux (overnight), Bibao, Gijon,Vigo and the final port of call is Lisbon on 7 September where passengers will remain in their cabins for an overnight stay. The next day there is a scheduled tour of the Gulbenkian Museum, the Jeronimos Monastery and Sintra.

On one-day the ship will spend the entire day at sea which will enable passengers to indulge further of the facilities such as the casino and entertainment in the theatre, for more click HERE. Fares for the Irish passengers of the 10-day cruise/11-day holiday started at €2,062 per person (cruise-only) based on the lowest grade twin cabin. After completion of the cruise in Lisbon they will take a flight to return to Dublin.

Azamara Journey formed part of the eight-strong series commissioned for Renaissance Cruises which collapsed a decade ago. They were built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in St.Nazaire and were uninspiringly named as R One, R Two etc with the R Six now the re-named Azamara Journey.

As August and the high-season draws to a close that doesn't' stop the cruiseships calling as over twenty more are due in Dublin before the season closes. In total the port this year has handled some 90 cruiseships and 160,000 passengers. A further 65 callers so far are scheduled for 2012.

Published in Cruise Liners
As we draw closer to the end of this month that does not mean the holiday season is over especially where cruiseships are concerned, as no fewer than three such vessels are due to Dublin Port tomorrow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Two of the trio P&O Cruises 2,300-passenger Arcadia and Holland America Line's 2,100 passenger Eurodam are scheduled to arrive in Dublin Bay from 07.00hrs. They both weigh over 86,000 gross registered tonnes and share the same length of over 250 metres.

Arcadia caters for the UK market and she is on a 13-night cruise which so far has included calls to North Shields, Tyneside, Invergordon, Shetland Isles, Glasgow, Belfast and Liverpool. After her call to the capital she heads for Cork and finally to St Peter Port, Guernsey.

Readers may note that the vessel is of the same design as of Cunard Line's Queen Victoria, which also called to Dublin in May and Cork. In fact Arcadia was to be given the regal name but the 2005 Italian built vessel was transferred from Cunard Line to P&O Cruises, which are under control of US-owned cruise giant Carnival Corporation.

Notable external features of the Arcadia are glass-fronted lifts, two pools, one with a skydome and an interior that is brimming with an art collection consisting of over 3,000 works. She has many facilities such as a three-tier palladium theatre, an intimate 30-seater cinema and gymnasium with an ocean view to inspire those exercising at sea. She was constructed in just twenty months by the Fincantieri shipyard, just outside Venice.

Likewise Eurodam has an extensive art collection theme that is based on the Dutch master's 'Golden Age' including "The Nightwatch, Two Minutes Later", a contemporary re-interpretation of Rembrandt's famous painting. In addition there are 17th-century watercolour maps by famed cartographer Johannes Vingboons.

Passengers on the 11-decked Signature-class can also enjoy the Pan-Asian restaurant and lounge surrounded by panoramic views, an explorer's lounge bar, an Italian restaurant adjacent to the lido, jewellery boutique, atrium bar, show lounge and a photographic and imaging-centre.

Last but not least to dock around lunchtime will be the 30,000 tonnes Ocean Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, another subsidiary of the Carnival Corporation. The 680-passenger / 181 m long vessel may be the smallest of tomorrow's callers and within the Princess Cruises fleet, but the former Tahitian Princess, which underwent an extensive dry-docking in Singapore last winter is well equipped with facilities.

She has a cabaret lounge, club restaurant and bar, casino bar, main pool and spa, steakhouse restaurant, panorama buffet, an Italian restaurant and the Tahitian Lounge. To see the work conducted at the dry-dock, you can view a slideshow by clicking HERE and to see the work in a completed state which also applied to her sister Pacific Princess, watch this VIDEO.

Published in Cruise Liners
Three Voith-Schneider tugs that are surplus to the requirements of the Dublin Port Company towage fleet are for sale, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Two of the three tugs, Deilginis and Cluain Tarbh that are painted in a cream and black livery scheme, can be seen berthed at the North Wall Extension, close to the East-Link toll-lift bridge. Moored alongside them are their green hulled replacements.

The smallest of the tugs for sale is the 17-tonnes bollard pull Ben Eadar (1972/198grt) which was built by Richard Dunston (Hessle) Ltd. She is berthed elsewhere in the port alongside the former Dundalk Port Company owned dredger Hebble Sand, which too has been recently put up for sale. For more information about the grab-hopper dredger click HERE.

Ben Eadar was decommissioned in 2009 and her 35-tonnes bollard-pull fleetmates Cluain Tarbh (1991/268grt) built by McTay Marine of Bromborough and Deilginis (1996/335grt) remained in service until late last year.

Of the trio Deilginis is the last tug commissioned by the Dublin Port & Docks Board (DP&DB) and the 30m tug is also the last to carry a traditional naming theme based on Dublin Bay coastal suburbs spelt in Irish. Deilginis is the Irish for Dalkey, Cluain Tarbh is for Clontarf and Ben Eadar is a translation for Howth.

Deilginis was launched from Astilleros Zamakona S.A. in Bilbao, the same Spanish shipyard that was commissioned by the Dublin Port Company to build two 50-tonnes bollard pull tractor tug sisters. The first newbuild Shackleton entered service late last year and she was followed by Beaufort in early 2010. In March of that year the tugs that cost €6m each to build were officially named in a joint ceremony.

Published in Dublin Port
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

The arrival of the largest and oldest Norwegian tallship the barque S/S Statsraad Lehmkuhl into Dublin Port yesterday made for an impressive sight, even without her sails set, writes Jehan Ashmore.

At nearly a century-old the square-rigged ship eased her way through the East-Link toll bridge where she proceeded to berth at Sir John Rogersons Quay, where she will be open to the public today between 12:00 – 16:30 and tomorrow,Saturday the 20th August from 10:00 –12:00. Her berth is downriver of the Samuel Beckett swing-bridge and the nearest DART stations are at Grand Canal Dock and Pearse St.
statsraad_1
Statsraad Lehmkuhl is 321-feet long and the barque is also one of the largest three-masted sailing ships in the world. The height from the water-line to the top of the mainmast is 240-feet and in total she carries 22 sails which cover an area of over 2,000 square metres. Under canvass she can achieve 18 knots or when under motor-power her 1,125hp diesel engine manages 11 knots. 
statsraad_2
As reported on Afloat.ie the steel-hulled barque departed her homeport of Bergen last week on a voyage across the North Sea to include a call to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. She was built in 1914 originally for the German Merchant Marine and at nearly a century-old she has had a colourful career having changed hands between Germany and Britain during both World Wars.
Since 1978 she has been with her current operators the Statsraad Lehmkuhl Foundation, based in the Nordic's country's second largest city. For further information about the 1,516-tonnes vessel specifications click HERE and interior illustration of deck layout click HERE.
statsraad_3

Her arrival marks nearly a year in advance to Dublin City welcoming the return of the Tall Ships Races, presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International. The capital last hosted the event in 1998 and next year up to 100 tall ships are to sail into the capital which will be the final host port for four days between 23rd-26th August 2012.

statsraad_4

Tall Ship S/S Statsraad Lehmkuh in Dublin Bay yesterday. Images: Iain White

The celebration of sail is expected to draw entrants from as far away as Chile, Mexico, Argentina, USA and European and Baltic countries including Italy and Norway will chart their course to Dublin. It is hoped that the event will attract over a million visitors to the city, topping the 500,000 spectators who thronged the Waterford quays during this year's tall ship race gathering.

tallship_jehan

Photo: Jehan Ashmore

Published in Tall Ships
As one of the consequences of the statutory transfer of operations from Dundalk Port Company to the Dublin Port Company in July, the grab-hopper dredger, Hebble Sand is up for sale, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Last year Dundalk Port Company had accumulated significant trading losses. Against such difficult conditions, Dublin Port Company decided to exit the businesses of dredging, ships agency and stevedoring in the Co. Louth port with effect from the end of September.

The Dublin Port Company has sought expressions from interested parties in undertaking the remaining activities of the port on an exclusive basis.

The Dundalk registered dredger arrived to the capital port on 14 July where she remains berthed at the Bulk Jetty in Alexandra Basin. Her previous owners, the Dundalk Port Company were unique in that they were the only port company to own and operate a dredger in the Republic. For many years the 757-tonnes dredger has carried out numerous contract assignments in ports throughout the island of Ireland including work on the Samuel Beckett swing-bridge and the most project was at Queens Quay, Belfast on the Lagan close to the city-centre.

Hebble Sand was launched by Richard (Shipbuilders) of Lowestoft for British Dredging and later used by Associated British Ports to serve a network of UK ports. Despite her age, the near fifty-year-old veteran vessel has been kept in excellent condition and this was evident during a rather unusual appearance for a ship of her type when attending the Dublin Docklands Maritime Festival in 2009.

She was made open for the public amongst the tall-ships that lined the Liffey Quays. Such an initiative was inspiring as it provided a rare opportunity for the public to access such a dredger which otherwise is not familiar compared to the popularity of visiting tall-ships and naval vessels.

The only other port to operate their own dredger is Londonderry Harbour Commissioners, whose Lough Foyle has worked on projects outside her homeport. This has included work at the new £40m Stena Line ferryport terminal on Loch Ryan close to Cairnryan and is due to open in November.

Published in Ports & Shipping
12th August 2011

Big Lips Kiss Dublin Bay

A cruise ship with a difference docked in Dublin Port today, the Aidablu displays a distinctly bold livery scheme of a giant red mouth and eyes emblazoned across the bow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Towering 15 decks above the oceans, the Italian built 71,300 tonnes vessel berthed at Ocean Pier after an overnight passage from Cobh. Aidablu has a capacity for over 2,000 passengers and 600 crew.The vessel has all the usual expected facilites to be found on a cruiseship but she also has a rather novel attraction, a brewery, the first to be installed on a cruise ship.

She was launched last year from the Meyer Werft shipyard. The 252 m vessel is operated by German operator Aida Cruises and the lips symbol is also the logo used by the company which operates a fleet of seven vessels.

Should you wish to take a closer look of Aidablu, she departs this evening at 21.00hrs and she will head out of Dublin Bay via the North Burford buoy off the Baily Lighthouse bound for Liverpool. The cruise started from Dover and after her visit to Merseyside tommorrow, she will then proceed to Greenock, followed by Invergorden before ending the cruise in Hamburg.  

Published in Cruise Liners
The Dublin Port Company has announced today over 200 responses from a wide range of stakeholders in a report issued on the Masterplan Public Consultation Process.
The consultation process secured 222 formal responses from a range of important participants. Common themes emerged from the responses including:

The need to ensure that Dublin Port and Dublin City are integrated and that the Port "turns its face" to the City, by removing physical barriers to integration and encouraging more people to visit the Port or view the activities taking place in the Port.

Widespread acceptance that Dublin Port is a key part of national strategic infrastructure and plays a key role in the life of the City and the greater Dublin area.

The importance of facilitating international trade in Ireland.

Unanimous agreement that everything possible should be done to encourage and facilitate the increased presence of Cruise Ships in Dublin Port.

General agreement that DPC faces significant challenges in operating and growing the Port in light of the location of the Port alongside sensitive environmental zones.

A common view that DPC should fully exhaust all viable alternatives to meet the operating requirements of the Port before engaging in additional reclamation works.

Widespread recognition that the creation of new port facilities at Bremore or elsewhere was not likely in the medium term given the financial challenges facing such a project in light of current national capacity, the scale of the engineering project involved and current funding.

The process sought views from a wide circle of stakeholders whose views on the operations and future of the port are important. Community briefings attracted over 100 people from Clontarf, East Wall and Ringsend. A conference was attended by 140 key stakeholders, while additional briefings were held with 12 organisations and groups.

Commenting, Mr. Eamonn O'Reilly said: "The objective of growing Dublin Port to allow it to handle 60m tonnes by 2040 is generally regarded as a reasonable basis for long term planning of the port. We are delighted with the response to our consultation process to date and we will make every effort to respond to all inputs we have received.

The Masterplan will help drive our national competitiveness by planning responsibly for an efficient and effective infrastructure to underpin the trading needs of our economy into the future. We are very conscious of the challenge of doing this, while integrating well with the city of Dublin and its citizens and expanding in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner."

Arising from the Consultation Process and the responses to the Issues Paper, there are a number of additional reports and studies that will be considered in the context of finalising the production of the Masterplan and a number of further meetings will be arranged with specific stakeholders.

Published in Dublin Port
Page 2 of 3

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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