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Displaying items by tag: Port of Dublin

The public will have greater access to see shipping activity in the Port of Dublin, when a new boat-based tour of the country's busiest port starts tomorrow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Titled the River Liffey & Port Tour, the 45-minute excursion is a partnership between Sea Safari Tours and the Dublin Port Company. Tours will operate from the pontoon where the M.V. Cill Airne floating river-restaurant and bar venue is berthed at the North Wall Quay. Cill Airne was built in the Liffey Dockyard nearly fifty years ago, where she forms part of the tours audio commentary covering the history and the present day.

In addition to cruising this stretch of the River Liffey alongside the 'Docklands' quarter, the tour RIB boat will pass downriver through the East-Link toll bridge where visitors will get closer views of the variety of vessels and calling cruise liners from other ports throughout the world.

There will be five daily tours beginning at 10.00am, 12.00pm, 2.00pm, 4.00pm and 6.00pm.Tickets cost €15.00 for adults, €12.50 for students and the charge for senior citizens and children is €10.00.

In addition Sea Safari operate a 'River Liffey' only tour, a Dublin Bay 'North' and 'South' tours which visit Howth Head, Baily Lighthouse, Ireland's Eye and to Dalkey Island and Killiney Bay, where both bay tours provide a chance to spot local marine wildlife of seals, porpoises and sea birds.

Published in Dublin Port
After making a rare Irish call, the Russian Navy anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabaneko (650) departed Dublin Port, this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The pilot cutter Dodder escorted the 8,950 tons full load displacement Udaloy II class destroyer out into Dublin Bay as far as the Baily Lighthouse. From there the 30-knot capable destroyer passed the North Burford bouy and headed for the Kish Lighthouse to proceed southbound over the horizon.

The 534ft long vessel was built for the KGB Maritime Border Guard and is heavily equipped with missiles, torpedoes, guns and the ability to carry helicopters.

Admiral Chabaneko had arrived on Friday afternoon and docked at berth 30 in the inner port area within Alexandra Basin West. The last Russian naval visit was taken by one of her half-sisters, Severomorsk, a Udaloy-I class destroyer that docked at Ocean Pier in Alexandra Basin East for a three-day visit in 2009.

Published in Navy
Cruiseships of varying size, vintage and design were all represented in Dublin Port today, as they surrounded the berths at Ocean Pier, writes Jehan Ashmore.
First to make an appearance in the early hours was Princess Cruises Dawn Princess (built 1997/ 77,441 gross registered tonnes). Some two hours later the 77m long coastal tanker Keewhit (2003/2332 dwt) arrived from Liverpool to berth alongside the 260m long cruiseship, this was to provide a ship-to-ship refuelling operation or in nautical-speak 'bunkers'.
The practise is not that unusual as the Keewhit has conducted this procedure before in the port. For example in May she was alongside Grand Princess (see PHOTO).Today's transfer of fuel was completed by lunchtime which saw the Hull-registered tanker return to the Mersey.

Some six hours previously Swan Hellenic's sleek Minerva (1996/12,500grt) picked up a pilot off Dalkey after sailing overnight from Portsmouth. She was followed astern by Saga Cruises Saga Ruby (1973/24,292grt) from Dover and likewise she too picked up a pilot close to the South Burford bouy. Incidentally Minerva had operated for Saga Cruises as their Saga Pearl but in recent years she has returned to her original name.

The classic lines of Saga Ruby are attributed to her combined ocean liner/cruiseship design when launched Vistafjord in 1973. The vessel was built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders for Norwegian America Line. A decade later she was sold to Cunard Line who retained her original name until 1999 when she became the third Caronia. To read more about this former 'Cunarder' click HERE and how her interior looks now click HERE.

Dawn Princess departed Dublin this mid-afternoon bound for Cobh. Minerva is to due to leave around midnight while Saga Ruby remains overnight, in fact her call is particularly leisurely as she does set sail from the capital until tea-time tomorrow.

Published in Cruise Liners
The opening this week of a new rail-spur in Dublin Port by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar T.D.,brings a boost to rail freight competitiveness, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Dublin Port Company invested €1.5m for the 1.6km long rail-spur expansion which links freight-trains directly alongside ships berthed at Ocean Pier. The new facility at the Common User Terminal eliminates the need for loading and unloading trucks at Alexandra Basin East (click MAP)

The minister welcomed "the important investment by Dublin Port Company in its rail network. It will further enhance the attractiveness of the port as a destination for rail-based freight. The project represents a commitment on the part of Dublin Port Company and Iarnród Éireann to customers who want to move goods by rail".

The project took six months to complete and the public private partnership involved Dublin Port Company, Iarnród Éireann and the first customer of the new facility, International Warehousing and Transport (IWT).

IWT is a privately owned Irish logistics company, which already operates freight-trains to Ballina that are expected to increase from 4 to 5 trains per week in each direction as a result of this investment. The rail-operator believes that the service will save up to 5.5million road kilometres annually and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 2,750 tonnes.

The Irish Exporters Association also welcomed the development of the IWT freight operation at the new facility, where increased frequency in services will enhance Ireland's contribution to the European Union's modal shift aspirations from road to rail.

The Common User Terminal is also open to other shipping companies. Existing clients using the lo-lo container terminal operated by Burke Shipping Group through its subsidiary Portroe Stevedores are C2C Lines, APL, Coastal Containers, Evergreen, Gracechurch and OOCL . The terminal also has a ro-ro berth facility where CLdN /Cobelfret operate from on routes to Belgium and The Netherlands. 

In addition to the Dublin-Ballina service the port exports 400,000 tonnes of lead and zinc concentrate from the freight customers Boliden/Tara Mines with 15 trains per week. The facility at Alexandra Basin Jetty is regularly served by vessels from Arklow Shipping Ltd, where the 2011 newbuild Arklow Field (2,998 tonnes) is currently berthed.

Published in Dublin Port

It may just be another cruiseship visiting Dublin Port today, but the gleaming white painted Costa Marina started her career in complete constrast as a grey-hulled containership, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The cruiseship has some unusual hull design features indicating clues to her origins as the containership Axel Johnson (click PHOTO) notably the pronounced chine bow (horizontal-lines) still clearly visible under her name when launched in 1969 at the Oy Wärtsilä shipyard in Turku, Finland.

She was the leadship of five sisters of over 15,000 tonnes ordered by her Swedish owners, Johnson Line. The next sister completed, Annie Johnson was also converted into a cruiseship and she too serves Costa Cruises as their Costa Allegra.

Axel Johnson measured 174m in length and was fitted with two deck-mounted gantry-cranes to handle containers. Her design even catered for passengers but was limited to just four-persons compared to today near 800 passenger capacity and an increase in tonnage to 25,500. To see how she looks now click PHOTO

Her Scandinavian owners sold the vessel in 1986 though it was not until 1988 that the containership came into the ownership of her current owners Costa Cruises who converted the vessel at the Mariotti Shipyard in Genoa. Two years later the ship emerged as the Costa Marina (to see another click HERE).

She has nine decks which feature restaurants, bars, jacuzzis, pools, gym, treatment rooms, sauna, an outdoor jogging track, theatre, casino, disco and a squok club with PlayStation entertainment. Accommodation comprises for 383 cabins including 8 suites with private balcony and a crew close to 400.

Costa Cruises were founded in 1924 but they are a relative newcomer to Dublin. The vessel departs this evening from Ocean Pier bound for the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. To view the ship's web-cam click HERE (noting to scroll right down the page).

Costa Marina and indeed larger cruiseships may in the future relocate upriver to berths much closer to the city-centre, should proposals by Dublin City Council take pace. In order to boost tourism numbers a dedicated new cruiseship terminal could be built at a site close to the O2 Arena and East-Link bridge.

The site at North Wall Quay Extension is currently in use by ferry operator P&O (Irish Sea) for their ro-ro route to Liverpool. To read more in a report in yesterday's Irish Times click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

The Docklands Summer Festival takes place this weekend in Dublin's 'Docklands' and it is to host the Waterways Ireland Inter-County Sailing Championship, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Other events taking place on the River Liffey and throughout the docklands range from a Dragon Boat display in the Grand Canal Dock (outer basin) and a Boat Show (inner basin) see map. In addition the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre will be open, noting all these activities and venues are to take place between 10am-6pm on Saturday.

On the following Sunday the Waterways Ireland Inter-County Sailing Championship Races are  scheduled between 10am-4pm in the Grand Canal Dock's outer basin. City Canal Cruises will operate each day as well as an International Food Market, held in the Grand Canal Square, opposite the Grand Canal Theatre.

The pristinely kept M.V. Cill Airne, now a floating restaurant and bar will be open at her berth alongside North Wall Quay, close to the striking Samuel Beckett Bridge and The Convention Centre.

The historic veteran vessel built in Dublin at the Liffey Shipyard in the early 1960's was launched as a passenger tender to serve trans-Atlantic liners that called to Cobh. During her tender-duties she brought the rich and famous ashore to include Laurel & Hardy and US President Eisenhower.

The festival is sponsored by Waterways Ireland and the Docklands Business Forum. To see the full festival programme and a map of the docklands click HERE and www.ddda.ie

Published in Maritime Festivals
The flagship of the Irish Ferries fleet Ulysses celebrates her 10th anniversary on the Dublin-Holyhead port route, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At 50,938 gross tonnes, the cruiseferry which has space for 1,875 passengers and 1,342 vehicles, remains the largest ferry operating on the Irish Sea. Over the decade she has made approximately 14,000 crossings which equates to 826,000 nautical miles on the route linking the Irish capital and Anglesey, north Wales.

In January 2000 the keel of the worlds largest car ferry was laid at the Aker Finnyards in Rauma, Finland. The following year the €100m cruiseferry giant departed the shipyard on a four-day delivery voyage to Dublin Port. Upon Ulysses's arrival on 4th March she was presented with a traditional welcoming escort of saluting water-firing tugs.

The Ulysses was named at a ceremony in the port on 21st March by the 'golden godmother' Mairead Berry, Ireland's 25-year old Paralympic Games gold medallist. Four days later Ulysses made her commercial maiden voyage to Holyhead on 25th March.

Wih 12 decks the vessel has an extensive range of facilities and they are named with themes derived from James Joyce's famous novel 'Ulysses'. There is seating available for up to 1,938 passengers and there are 117 twin or single-cabins, accommodating up to 228 passengers.

Only two months into service the Ulysses won the prestigious 'Most Significant New Build - Ferry' category award in the Cruise & Ferry magazine 2001 Awards competition. Her Finnish builders are not only builders of large cruise-ferries for Baltic Sea operators and beyond but also are also renowned for the construction of very large cruiseships for international clients.

Ulysses was designed specifically to serve the central corridor route with a schedule of two round trips daily. She directly replaced the 1997 Dutch built 34,031 grt ro-pax Isle of Inishmore, which transferred to Rosslare-Pembroke Dock service.

In 2006 the Ulysses alongside her fleetmates were transferred from the Irish flag to the Cypriot flag in addition to a change of Irish crew with those outsourced from citizens mostly from the Baltic and Eastern European countries.

Due to the sheer size of the Ulysses, which has a length of 209m, a beam of nearly 32m and a 6.4m draught, she has not missed a single crossing due to bad weather conditions. The vessel has a 22 knot / 41kph service -speed on the 60-mile route which translates to a distance of over 182,000 kms a year.

To celebrate Ulysses 10th year in service, Irish Ferries has enhanced the Club Class option to passengers which includes free-Wifi, which enables a constant connection and an array of other benefits during the 3-hour 15 minute crossing.

For a virtual tour of the Ulysses with views taken from the top deck as the cruiseferry departs Holyhead and the mountains of Snowdonia setting as a backdrop plus interior tours of the vessel click here.

Published in Ferry
Page 3 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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