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St. Peter Line has agreed to purchase the Pride of Bilbao for €37.7m from Irish Continental Group (ICG) which has been on charter to P&O's UK-Spain route, writes Jehan Ashmore.
ICG will charter the 37,583 gross tonnes cruiseferry to St. Peter Line on a hire-purchase basis with instalments to be paid over six years, with the final payment and transfer of vessel ownership in 2016. The vessel is to undergo refurbishment and renamed Princess Anastasia before opening a new second route for St.Peter Line between St. Petersburg and Stockholm  in April 2011. The new twice weekly service will call via Tallinn, Estonia and will for the first time provide visa-free cruises from Sweden to the Russian Federation.

For the last 17 years the Pride of Bilbao has operated between Portsmouth and Bilbao under charter to P&O. Built in 1986, she was launched as Olympia for Viking Line between Stockholm and Helsinki, then the Baltic Sea ferry was one of the largest overnight passenger capacity ferries in the world. At 177 metres long the vessel can accommodate 2552-passengers, 600-vehicles and space for 77-trucks. She has a sister, the Mariella, which currently operates on Viking Line's Stockholm-Mariehamn–Helsinki service.

In 1993 the vessel was renamed Pride of Bilbao and launched a new service on the Bay of Biscay, under charter from her Scandinavian owners. The following year ICG purchased the Pride of Bilbao from Viking Line and she was re-registered to the Bahamas. The vessel was subsequently entered into a British bare-boat charter arrangement between P&O Ferries and ICG. Due to unsustainable losses the route closed on 28 September this year but rivals Brittany Ferries soon shortly announced they would reopen the route in Spring 2011.

Throughout the Pride of Bilbao's career under ICG (parent company of Irish Ferries), the cruiseferry has only once visited Ireland. In between Spanish sailings, she was sub-chartered for a three-day Christmas mini-cruise from Portsmouth to Dublin in 2004, where the Pride of Bilbao berthed at the ferryport close to the ICG headquarters.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Following the recent announcement of DFDS Seaways to sell two Irish Sea routes and four vessels to rivals Stena Line, the company are to close the Larne to Fleetwood route, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Stena claim the closure is not to do with the £40m transaction deal with DFDS Seaways. "The decision to close Fleetwood to Larne was taken some time ago on the basis of the current and projected performance of the route, and before the opportunity arose to buy these other routes," said Irish Sea area director Michael McGrath.

The route has made significant losses over recent years and to running an aging fleet on the 7-hour service. Stena cite that investment in new tonnage was not an option due to higher capitol costs. "No business can continue to carry such losses on an ongoing basis so there is no alternative but to close the route at the end of this year," he added.

The trio of vessels, Stena Leader (1975/12,879grt), Stena Pioneer (1975/14,426grt) and Stena Seafarer (1975/10,957grt) serve the link between Lancashire and Northern Ireland which takes freight, cars and their passengers but does not cater for 'foot' passengers.    

Late last month a fire took place in the engine room of the Stena Pioneer during a sailing to Fleetwood, the fire was extinguished using onboard equipment and fortunately without incident to crew or passengers.The Stena Pioneer was operated by B&I Line as their Bison in a joint service with Pandoro on the Dublin-Liverpool route between 1989-1993.

Under the new agreement, Stena Line's take-over of Belfast-Heysham, the port is a close neighbour to Fleetwood will include the 13,000 tonnes sisters Hibernia Seaways and Scotia Seaways.The other route aquired is Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) which is significant in that the deal will include the purchase of the chartered 27,000 gross tonnes ro-pax twins, Mersey Seaways and Lagan Seaways. The sisters were built in 2005 at the Visentini shipyard, Italy, which also built the ro-pax sisters Dublin Seaways and Liverpool Seaways.

Measuring 21,000 gross tonnes these vessels operate Dublin-Birkenhead route but remain under DFDS Seaways control and this applies to their freight-only service from the Irish capital to Heysham served by the Anglia Seaways. The 120-trailer freight ferry is also a sister of the Belfast-Heysham pair.

Notably the transaction will see Stena Line enter operations on the Mersey for the first time.The Swedish operator will use the river's Birkenhead Twelve Quays ferryport terminal located on the Wirral, opposite the famous Liverpool waterfront.

Stena Line will not only share the double berth facility with DFDS Seaways but also the Isle of Man Steam Packet (IOMSPCo) which in recent years has operated winter sailings to Douglas. In the summer the Isle of Man ferry operator uses the Liverpool landing stage berth on the other side of the river which is also shared by the 'ferry cross the Mersey' fleet operated by Mersey Ferries.

Published in Ports & Shipping
DFDS Seaways, which only entered into the Irish Sea ferry sector, after acquiring Norfolkline operations during the summer has sold two freight routes and vessels to Stena Line, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The sale covers the routes between Belfast and Birkenhead (Liverpool) and Belfast-Heysham. Operating on the northern Irish Sea routes are two 13,000 gross tonnes Japanese built freight ro-ro ferries sisters Hibernia Seaways and Scotia Seaways in addition to two chartered ro-pax vessels as part of the transaction.

Niels Smedegaard, CEO of DFDS, said: "The Irish routes we took over in conjunction with the purchase of Norfolkline have, in spite of the recent impressive efforts by everyone employed on the routes, in the last two years lost more than thirty million euros. Given the depressed economies a turnaround of the activities, without structural solutions, is not realistic. On this basis, we have decided to scale back our activities and sell the two routes to and from Belfast."

In the deal Stena Line, the Swedish owner will also take control of port terminals in Belfast, Birkenhead and Heysham. The majority of shore-based staff at these port terminals will be transferred to Stena, maintaining their current conditions.

DFDS and Stena Line will share staff at these locations during an agreed transitional period at the end of which DFDS will establish their own agency operations at Birkenhead and Heysham.

The new arrangement will see DFDS focusing on its other services between Dublin to Birkenhead (which includes passengers) and from Dublin to Heysham. Italian built sisters ro-pax sisters Liverpool Seaways and Dublin Seaways currently operate on the Dublin-Birkenhead route and the 120-trailer freight-ferry, Anglia Seaways maintains serving the Heysham route. Operations at the Dublin Port terminal are not affected by this transaction.

DFDS will continue to review their strategic and operations routes in Dublin, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2011. The Danish owned shipping and logistics transportation company operate an extensive route network throughout the Irish Sea, North Sea and Scandinavia.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Representatives of Tanzania, the Maldives, Ghana, Indonesia and Malaysia have benefited from the experience of Ireland's largest and most successful port management company.

Dublin Port Company today announced it has completed a training programme for five developing countries as part of its UN-appointed role under UNCTAD's TrainForTrade programme.

Efficient maritime transport and port services are essential for creating sustainable economies in the developing world. The TrainforTrade programme helps ports in developing countries build better local economies by attracting and generating greater trade volumes using improved commercial handling practices learned from their training partner. In 2007, Dublin Port Company was chosen as the United Nation's partner to deliver training to ports in English-speaking countries in the developing world.

Representatives from the ports of Tanzania, the Maldives, Ghana, Indonesia and Malaysia, who have successfully completed their Train for Trade programme were today presented with their certificates by the Minister of State for Overseas Development, Mr. Peter Power TD, at a ceremony in Dáil Éireann.

Speaking at the presentation of certificates to course participants, Minister of State for Overseas Development, Mr. Peter Power, TD, said: “I congratulate Dublin Port Company on successful completion of UNCTAD’s TrainforTrade programme. Five ports in developing countries have benefited significantly from the skills and knowledge from Ireland’s largest and most successful port management company. This programme is important for improving trade in the developing world and driving economic growth.”  

Responding to the Minister, Mr. Eamonn O'Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: "Dublin Port is proud to have been able to contribute to the UN's English-speaking pilot port training programme.  We became involved in this initiative as part of our wider CSR programme and we hope that we have made a positive contribution and left a lasting legacy to help developing countries build stronger, more efficient ports for the future."

Dublin Port Company is a self-financing, private limited company wholly-owned by the State, whose business is to manage Dublin Port, Ireland's premier port. Established as a corporate entity in 1997, Dublin Port Company is responsible for the management, control, operation and development of the port. Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers.

Located in the heart of Dublin City, at the hub of the national road and rail network Dublin Port is a key strategic access point for Ireland and in particular the Dublin area. Dublin Port handles over two-thirds of containerised trade to and from Ireland and 50% of all Ireland's imports and exports, making it a significant facilitator of Ireland's economy. Dublin Port also handles over 1.5 million tourists through the ferry companies operating at the port and through cruise vessels calling to the port.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The annual Odyssey on the Liffey canoe tour is scheduled for this coming Saturday 20 November.

Organised by the Canoeing Ireland Training Centre and the Wild Water Kayak Club, the tour runs from the Garda Boat Club in Islandbridge along the capital's historic quays to  the East Link Bridge in the Docklands.   

The event is open to all paddlers who have a minimum of Level 2 skills standard and who have their own canoe or kayak. Registration details are available on Canoeing Ireland's website at www.canoe.ie.

Published in Canoeing

Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey T.D. today announced the launch of a national ports policy review with the publication of a consultation document. 

There are ten State commercial port companies established and operating pursuant to the terms of the Harbours Acts 1996 - 2009; Cork, Drogheda, Dublin, Dundalk, Dún Laoghaire, Galway, New Ross, Shannon Foynes, Waterford and Wicklow.

It is estimated that approximately 99% by volume of all goods traded into and out of Ireland are handled at our ports. Dublin Port is the State's biggest port handling approximately 44% of all tonnage in 2009. Cork and Shannon Foynes were the second and third biggest ports respectively in 2009.

Today's consultation document provides stakeholders with an opportunity to help shape future ports policy.

Speaking today Minister Dempsey said; "In 2005 our national Ports Policy Statement outlined national ports policy in a single document for the first time. Since then the commercial, technological, and regulatory environment in which Irish ports operate has changed dramatically, both domestically and globally. It is now time to carry out a review of this policy framework to ensure that our ports are properly positioned for the future.

Since 2005 our ports have experienced both record highs and more recently sharp declines in tonnage throughput. The ports face considerable challenges and it is important that national policy helps address these. The indications are that the country's return to economic growth will be export led. In this regard, it is vital that the ports are in a position to facilitate this and to make their contribution to improving national competitiveness.

I would encourage all interested parties to engage fully in this important consultation process."

The consultation document provides an overview of developments in the sector since 2005 and poses a number of questions on the continued validity and future direction of national ports policy.

Important issues addressed in the document include planning and funding future port developments, the role ports have to play in delivering the "Smarter Travel" agenda, competition within the sector and the corporate governance regime for port companies.

The public consultation period is scheduled to continue until Friday 29th October 2010.

The full Consultation Document is available for download below

To make a submission click HERE

Read Tom MacSweeney's Island Nation blog on the importance of ports HERE

Published in Ports & Shipping

Blue skies coloured Dublin Bay again yesterday with a sea breeze of 12 knots providing perfect sailing conditions for the ICRA Nationals, writes Claire Bateman. The results illustrate the closeness of the competition in most divisions. Anthony O’Leary in Antix is leading IRC 0 after five races and indeed had the unusual situation today of having a tied result with Dave Dwyer’s Marinerscove.ie on corrected time each receiving 1.5 points in Race four. This is keeping it very much in the O’Leary family as it is Anthony’s son Nicholas is helming Mariners cove. Antix is very much the dominant force in Class zero, discarding a fifth after yesterday's racing to leave her with four wins on the scorecard. 

ICRA members will be interested to know that Mariners had a better day scoring a total of 4.5 from the three races and as the defending champion is now a mere three points adrift of the leader. It is great to see Peter Rutter’s Quokka 8 competing and he is now lying third on 17 points.

In Class One IRC the O’Higgins Rockabill V appears to be walking away with the series having scored three wins and two seconds leaving him with seven points. Currently following on Rockabill’s heels, is a plethora of J109s led by J.Maybury’s Joker 2 followed by Jalapeno and Jelly Baby. However, should there be a discard tomorrow Jelly Baby could come up the leader board and it is all to play for here.

In Class Two IRC the pre race favourite, Kinetic, the Colwell/Murphy well sailed Corby 25 and defending title holder, has built up a good lead and is currently on 12 points followed by Denis Coleman’s Corby 25 Thunderbird from Cork with Anthony Gore Grimes in the X302 DUX just one point adrift. Things are very tight with the top two boats in Class Three IRC with just one point separating the current leader the O’Brien, Kenefick and Kenefick, Tiger, from the defending title hoilder Flor O’Driscoll in his J24 Hard on Port.

Currently lying third is Supernova and it most def initely is all to play for in this class.

In the Non Spinnaker Division Five IRC four races have been sailed and they have already received a discard. Counting the discard and leading on 4 points is Tsumnai, one point ahead of Orna followed by Lula Belle on 7 points. 

In the Non Spinnaker Division 6, again with one discard applied, the Howth Yacht Club Dehler 34 Voyager is on four points, two points ahead of fellow HYC yacht Brazen Hussy, and a Welsh raider from Pwllheli SC, Mojito, who is on equal points with Brazen Hussy.

In Class 0 ECHO Marinerscove.ie continues to hold her lead followed by Tiamat and Antix respectively. In Class One ECH0 Rockabill V leads Joker 2 with Donal O’Leary’s D- ‐Tox in third position. In Class Two ECHO Kinetic leads Thunderbird Page 2 followed by Indigo who is on equal points with Thunderbird. Class Three ECHO has very tight results to date at the top with only one point separating the leading three boats.

The current leader is Jibberish on 33 points, followed by Tiger and Supernova both on 34 points. However, it is Tiger has the more consistent results which could stand to her in the case of a discard. Class Five ECHO Adelie is on 7 points, Lula Belle also has 7 points and the Sigma 38 Persistance is just one point adrift on 8 points. Class 6 ECHO is currently led by Voyager on 5 points followed by Brazen Hussy on 7 points and Mojito on 8 points.

 

A lot at stake for today in many classes.

Published in ICRA

East Wall Sailing Group was honoured with a Lord Mayor's Award today for its considerablye contribution to Dublin life. The group introduced 5,000 people to sailing and watersports from its sailing centre off Alfie Byrne Road last year, and has developed a range of new programmes through its new website www.eastwallsailing.com.

Since its inauguration in 1989 these awards honour individuals and groups who have made a special contribution to Dublin and its citizens.  The awards are an annual event and are Dublin City’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to people who make a difference.

“It is an honour for me to present the individuals and groups here today with an Award.  Their commitment, dedication and tireless efforts to their causes and their zest and love of life, have without doubt, enriched and enhanced our City.  Tonight is my way of thanking the recipients on behalf of myself and the people of Dublin for their remarkable contribution to our society.  I congratulate them on their achievements and wish them all the best for their future endeavours” said the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Emer Costello.

The East Wall Water Sports Group is a voluntary organisation based in East Wall Water Sports Centre on Alfie Byrne Road, Dublin 3.  It introduces children and young people to rowing, sailing and kayaking.  The group receives its award for encouraging thousands of young people to foster a love of the water and water sports from across Dublin city and in acknowledgement of Joe Teeling’s founding vision. Paul Dolan was there to receive the award on their behalf.

 

 

Published in News Update
4th December 2009

Howth Harbour

Howth Harbour

howth_harbour.jpg

A picturesque fishing village nestled on the rugged peninsula that forms the north side of Dublin Bay, Howth is one of Ireland’s many hidden treasures. That is not to say that the village doesn’t receive its fair share of visitors. Far from it. Howth is a favourite holiday destination and benefits especially from its popularity amongst yachtsmen and pleasure boaters. Indeed Howth Yacht Club dates back to 1895 and with around 2,000 members it is by far the largest in the country and enjoys a busy programme of racing, regattas and voyaging. The marina and club complex combine state of the art with old and traditional with standards of services superb across the board. As you would expect from such a large club, berths are plentiful and marine services top notch.

Away from the harbour itself there is much to recommend Howth. Historians will love the ruined abbey, nearby Baily Lighthouse and 15th century castle. You can take a bracing stroll along the piers, sight-see aboard an open top tram, watch seals and dolphins in the waters along the shore and take in breathtaking views from cliff top walks. Of course, Howth’s working fishing port means that fish and seafood lovers are absolutely spoilt when it comes to dining out and the pub scene is second only to Dublin itself, if a little more relaxing.

Howth is a lovely place from which to discover Ireland. You can blow away the cobwebs and kick back and explore the magnificent coastline at your leisure knowing you will be returning after each trip to one of the friendliest places on earth. And that’s the truth.

 

Marine Services in Howth – click here

Pilot Notes for Howth – click here

Marinas in Howth – click here

Accommodation in Howth – click here

 

Emergency

Fire/Ambulance/Police: 999/112

Customs: 874 6571

Harbour Master: 83 222 52

Lifeboat: 8323 524

Beaumont Hospital: 83 777 55

 

Tourist Information – Fingal Tourist Information Office +353 1839 6955

 

Air Travel

Aer Lingus: 705 3333

British Midland: 283 8833

RyanAir Flight Information: 1550 200200

CityJet: 844 5566

 

Car Ferries

Stena Line: 204 7777

Irish Ferries: 66 10 511

 

Rail Transport – Iarnrod Eireann (Irish Rail): 83 66 222

 

Howth Harbour  Harbour Master's Office – Captain Raja Maitra, tel +353 (0) 1 83 222 52 or mobile 086 3814926. fax +353 (0) 1 832 6948 (Office situated Northern End of Auction Hall)

Published in Irish Ports

explorer_at_berth_1.jpg

South Coast Garda Sailing Club

The Garda Siochana (Irish Police Force), Sailing Club was formed in October 1993 to promote sailing and all its benefits among members of the Force.

The Force now has two clubs – one on the South Coast and another on the East Coast, based in Dublin.

Membership of SCGSC is open to Garda and non-Garda members. If you would like to learn more about what we do please contact us.

SCGSC is the proud owner s of Explorer, a Beneteau 393, pictured above. SCGSC has previously owned a Westerly Konsort and a Jeanneau SunFizz.

The 2005 cruising programme included a number of cruises on the South West Coast and two aborted cruises to the Isles of Scilly off Cornwall. Even the foolhardy occasionally stay in port in bad weather.

In the racing front the club has competed in the Round Ireland and Cork Week races. Already in 2005 the club claims a 3rd place in the Cobh Regatta and third overall in the Cobh Sailing Club September League. We also achieved a notable 6th place in the Royal Cork Yacht Club Autumn League White Fleet. Well done everybody concerned.

In racing in 2006 the Club placed 3rd in White Fleet in the annual Blackrock Race, we have also competed in several of the Leagues hosted by Cobh Sailing Club during the summer with notable results.

We would welcome contact from other police force sailing clubs internationally.

Cruise bookings: [email protected]

(The above information and image courtesy of the South Coast Garda Sailing Club) 

 

South Coast Garda Sailing Club, c/o Patrick Allen, Anglesea Street Garda Station, Cork. Tel: 087 278 6794, email: [email protected]

Have we got your club details? Click here to get involved

 

Published in Clubs
Page 11 of 14

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