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Displaying items by tag: Port of Waterford

#CruiseWaterford - Noble Caledonia, an operator in the high-end small ship cruise market whose latest addition, Hebridean Sky yesterday called to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, having sailed from the quays of Waterford City, writes Jehan Ashmore.

This was the 4,200 tonnes ship’s second call this year to the River Suir quayside berth that allowed her guests easy access to Ireland’s oldest city. The 72 crew of Hebridean Sky with other cruise-goers are to visit the city with a third and final call this season at the end of August.

In all 16 callers are to visit the Port of Waterford, where the smallest cruiseships sail to the city quays whereas Belview, the main terminal for the Port of Waterford caters for medium sized cruiseships. This leaves, Dunmore East at the mouth of the estuary with deeper waters for much larger cruiseships to anchor and passengers tendered and from the fishing harbour.

The former Sea Explorer renamed Hebridean Sky was re-launched for Noble Caledonia this season as one of a trio of flagships, after undergoing a multi-million refurbishment in Sweden. During Spring’s dry-docking of Hebridean Sky, this involved upgrading to both technical and interiors including crew quarters.

At only 90m long the 114 guest cruiseship joins a pair of flagship sisters, Hebridean Sky and Caledonian Sky, the trio are more akin to private yachts and amongst the most luxurious in this market. The trio under Noble Caledonia operate expedition cruising destinations including the Antarctic as well to runnning a fleet of river cruising vessels.

The Caledonian Sky under a previous operator, Hebridean Island Cruises visited Dun Laoghaire Harbour in 2001 as Hebridean Spirit  which berthed at the East Pier. On that occasion, I was able to board as a port visitor during a promotional cruise tour. Sadly, the use of this berth, no. 1 is no longer available to visiting tallships, navies and mostly vessels of the Irish Naval Service.

It was noted then the recent changes made to the 'Spirit's exterior styling, notably the single funnel, compared to her sisters twin uptakes. This work was carried out for Hebridean Island Cruises, which still operates Hebridean Princess, which is claimed to be the most luxurious small-cruise ship in the world.

The former CalMac ferry, Columba, mostly cruises throughout the Scottish Isles, but also the rest of the UK and occasional calls to Ireland. 

Published in Cruise Liners

#NewCrane - A new €3m mobile crane commissioned for Belview is a vote of confidence for the Port of Waterford.

The Port of Waterford Company welcomed the investment by Suir Shipping Ltd in the crane that loads and unload ships at Belview. This is the main terminal for the port located in Co. Kilkenny and is situated downriver of Waterford City. 

The newly-commissioned Liebherr crane will be used by the stevedoring company run by the O’Brien family to service a range of ships carrying bulk cargo to and from the Southeast.

With a lifting capacity of up to 84 tonnes and the ability to discharge 1,500 tonnes per hour, the new crane is particularly well suited to the types of ship that use the facilities at Belview.

Frank Ronan, CEO, Port of Waterford, said: “We welcome this significant investment by Suir Shipping Ltd in the infrastructure they use to serve shipping customers at Belview. It is a vote of confidence by them in the future of their business which is based on efficiently servicing ships transporting bulk products to and from the region.”

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Dredging - Freeway, a trailing suction hopper dredger is working on removing silt from the shipping channel on Waterford Estuary between Belview Port and out to sea, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Dutch flagged vessel with a dredging spoil capacity of 4,500m3 began duties last week on what in total will be a continuous 14-day dredging operation. Dumping is taking place at an approved site south-west of Hook Head.

Freeway is a sister of Causeway, which last year carried out the same work for the Port of Waterford. The dredgers form part of a 30 strong fleet from Dutch specialists Boskalis Westminster B.V, whose agent in this country is Irish Dredging Ltd.

The port which has a container (lo-lo) terminal at Belview also handled a 10% increase in tonnage of bulk cargoes in 2015 compared to 2014.

In addition Waterford City welcomed 16 cruise ships in 2015, including those making anchorage off Dunmore East. The cruise sector has provided further economic spin-offs for the city and the wider south-east region.



Published in Ports & Shipping

#ShippingReviewJehan Ashmore reviews the shipping scene over the last fortnight where among the stories are outlined below.

The Port of Waterford reported increases in 2015 across all categories shipped in to and out of the port at Belview.

Uncertainty about China’s economic performance and slowing trade growth will make 2016 a difficult year for shipping executives according to one leading analyst.

European Sea Port Organisation and maritime industry stakeholders co-signed a joint declaration for the recently adopted EU Operational Guidelines on Places of Refuge.

A new director was appointed to UK's top energy port of Milford Haven. Natalie Britton will be tasked among other roles in bringing new business to the Welsh waterway that includes Pembroke ferryport.

Belfast Harbour handled around 23m tonnes in 2015, similar to its throughput for the preceding year.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Waterford - The Port of Waterford Company has announced increases across all categories shipped in to and out of the port at Belview in 2015.

There was a 10% increase in tonnage of bulk cargoes in 2015 compared to 2014. The number of containers handled was up by three per cent on the previous year while total throughput at the port grew by eight per cent to 1.58m tonnes. In all, 415 cargo vessels arrived at the port in 2015, up 3.75% on 2014.

In addition, the port welcomed 16 cruise ships during 2015, providing a further positive economic spin-off for Waterford and the wider southeast as thousands of passengers took shore excursions to visitor attractions across the region.

Commenting on the 2015 figures, Frank Ronan - CEO at the Port of Waterford Company since October – said: “Reflecting the improving macroeconomic situation, we are satisfied with the results achieved last year while obviously now focused on 2016 and beyond.

“For this year, a priority is to further grow our container business. We are also working on an overall masterplan for future development at the port in Belview and this will underpin significant opportunities for growth. We are also very positive about the prospects for regeneration of our former hub at Waterford’s North Quays in partnership with Waterford City & Council and other stakeholders.

“The port is well positioned to benefit from the Irish economic recovery which continues to gather momentum and the team here are committed to identifying and leveraging every possible inbound and outbound trading opportunity.”

Published in Ports & Shipping

#AnchorageCallers – A pair of cruiseships are to anchor off Dunmore East next week bringing a potential capacity of 1,940 passengers in total to the south-east region along with more than 1,500 crew, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The arrival of two cruiseships to Dunmore East at the mouth of Waterford Estuary has happened before in recent years. On this occasion the ships due next Tuesday are Thompson Spirit (1983/33,390grt) from Falmouth and Crystal Symphony (1991/51,044grt) whose last port of call is scheduled to be from St. Peter Port, Guernsey.

Thompson Spirit is due to arrive first and anchor around 08.00hrs and followed by Crystal Symphony at 09.30hrs. The former ship is a relatively new caller to Irish waters operating for Thompson Cruises since 2012 and serving the UK market based out of English east coast ports while Crystal Cruises have been a regular customer to the Port of Waterford.

Passengers will be transferred ashore by tenders to the pontoon facility within Dunmore East's joint fishing and leisure harbour which is sited along a scenic stretch of the Waterford coastline.Time spent ashore will be approximately 7-8 hours to explore visitor attractions providing an economic boost to the region where a total of 10 cruise callers (using Dunmore East) are scheduled in this year's season.

As previously reported on, the Port of Waterford handles cruiseships throughout the estuary, asides Dunmore East, callers can berth at Belview, the main port or along the city quays.


Published in Cruise Liners

#UnderwaterWaterford – Following our port snapshot of Waterford Harbour shipping this morning which included a dredger, INFOMAR takes us on a 3D-fly-through of the estuary (in reverse direction) showing the seabed as its winds its way upriver to the city, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 3D imagery shows (click link, scroll down and enlarge video) the varying depths and channel widths of the shipping lane along Waterford estuary taken from the research vessel, the RV Keary.

As mentioned above this is where a dredging campaign is currently underway, notably for ships using Belview Por, the main terminal facility of the Port of Waterford Company which has contracted WD Mersey (1983/1,696grt) to carry out the work.

Since late last month dredging operations along the estuary has involved the spoil to be dumped south-west off Hook Head.

As for the role of RV Keary this took place in 2011 and was the first INFOMAR survey leg to be carried out by the South African built aluminium constructed catamaran. The survey took two-months to complete and was conducted in preparation to hosting the second Tall Ships Festival held that year.

The seabed survey mapping of RV Keary concentrated on the navigational channel while the surrounding shallower waters were tasked to a smaller RIB based craft, RV Geo. Together this was the first occasion the pair of GSI vessels worked on a survey.

The 15m RV Keary is a state-run marine research survey vessel commissioned for and operated by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI). As reported in 2012, the Central Fisheries Board cutter Cosantoir Bradan was chartered by GSI in an RV role.

The vessels primary function is to provide an inshore survey capability for the national INtegrated Mapping FOr the Sustainable Development of Ireland's MArine Resource - in short INFOMAR.

In addition assistance in the INFOMAR programme which is funded by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, is also made available from the Marine Institute's pair of research vessels, RV Celtic Voyager and larger fleetmate RV Celtic Explorer.

To keep track of GSI vessels current locations, click this map-link.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#WaterfordCrystalCruises – Opening the Port of Waterford's cruise season next Monday is Noble Caledonia's Island Sky, the 118 passenger and 77-crew vessel is to dock along the city's quays, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Island Sky is the first of 17 cruise callers to the 'Crystal' city among them Crystal Cruises six-star rated Crystal Symphony (940 passenger/545 crew) which calls in August and Crystal Serenity (1080/655) to form the final cruise call of the season in early September.

Island Sky will also be the first cruise caller to make a repeat call in June out of the 12 cruiseships visiting, among them the largest Celebrity Infinity (see pictured under cruise-schedule list link). The 3,000 plus passenger vessel and more than 1,200 crew on board are to anchor off Dunmore East and like last year she is to return this season in June and August respectively.

Also due to make an impressive sight off Dunmore East in July and September, is Wind Surf, the 310-guest vessel, which as the name suggests sets seven triangular self-furling sails than are operated by computers. The former Club Med I currently operated by Windstar Cruises has a sail surface area of 26,881sq ft set on five 164-ft masts.

The third location in Waterford Estuary for cruise callers is the port's main terminal at Belview Port which as previously reported on is connected with an inter-model operation with freight-train services linking in with regular containership calls.

However in August, the cruise season's only caller to dock along Belview is to be Regent Seven Sea Cruises Seven Seas Voyager, another six-star rated vessel with capacity for 700 guests and pampered by almost 500 crew.


Published in Cruise Liners

#SeaRailFreight- A year has passed since reported on the revival of container rail-freight services between Waterford Port and Ballina, to link in with DFDS Logistics sailing schedules to Europe.

According to which has more on this, since the re-launch in early March last year of the DFDS Logistics liner trains between Ballina rail freight terminal and Belview Port at the Waterford of Port (onward shipping to Rotterdam) the service has moved over 2,500 containers.

The service, operating twice weekly in both directions, departure from Ballina at 11:05 on Tuesdays and Fridays and from Port of Waterford at 11:30 on Mondays and Thursdays.



Published in Ports & Shipping

#HollandAmerica – Dunmore East is to host three Holland America Line (HAL) cruiseships of varying sizes this season which runs until mid-September, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The largest of the trio Eurodam (86,273grt) had visited today with an anchorage call and she is to be followed by a pair of fleetmates next month. The twin funnelled vessel is cruising from Alesund in Norway to Amsterdam with a passenger capacity potential of 2,104 passengers and a crew of 929.

Next to call on 2 August is Veendam (56,982grt) also from Amsterdam and heading for Bergin with her 1,350 passenger capacity and 580 crew. She is named after the capital of the Netherlands's northern peat colonies.

Making the final member of this trio is a call on 14 August by Prinsendam (37,845grt), which is the smallest of HAL's 15-strong cruiseship fleet.

She originally began her career as Royal Viking Line's white hulled Royal Viking Sun, and she is to sail from Reykjavik to Amsterdam with her designed capacity of 766 passengers and 460 crew.

Combined these calls bring a welcome boost to the Waterford estuary region with benefits to key tourist attractions, among them the House of Waterford Crystal.

Across the estuary is the Hook Lighthouse & Heritage Centre which as previously reported is where the Gathering of Lighthouse Keepers is to be held on the Hook Peninsula in September.


Published in Cruise Liners
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