The Irish Sea Shipping Archive

About ISSContactContentVoyage ReportsISS Amazon Shop
PhotographsFeaturesShip AISShips on FilmNews
Finished With Engines: Irish Sea Shipping is now closed to new updates
 
www.jhluxton.com - J.H. Luxton Photography - Transport, Industrial History, Regional Photographs UK & beyond

MSN JULY 1997

 

MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS

20 July 1997

SEA CONTAINERS (IOM) LTD/

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY LTD

I can now confirm that the information that I received concerning a SuperSeaCat having visited the Mersey recently for berthing trials was not correct.

I have commented on the route taken by the LADY OF MANN between Liverpool and Dublin in recent editions of Mersey Shipping News. The route appears to go some distance to the north when compared to that taken by the Holyhead to Ireland services of Irish Ferries and Stena Line and the Liverpool to Dublin freight service of P&O.

I was informed that the northerly route was preferred by Captain Cowin, however, the southerly route is that preferred by Captain Kinley and as Captain Kinley was to be in command on Saturday 19th July I decided to take a trip and make comparisons.

ISLE OF MAN CUSTOMS & EXCISE

The Manx Customs and Excise service have until now had to rely on the HM Customs Service to provide off-shore patrol facilities. However, the Manx service has now taken delivery of a new fast rigid inflatable boat. Capable of over 30 knots the BLUE RANGER has been financed by money made available through the "Seized Assets Fund".

 NORSE IRISH FERRIES

The new MERSEY VIKING is due to enter service this week. Until the end of July all fares for travel on the MERSEY VIKING are reduced by 25%. The offer does not apply to sailings on NORSE LAGAN.

HM BARK ENDEAVOUR

The Australian built replica of Captain Cook's HM BARK ENDEAVOUR is due to depart Liverpool for Fishguard on Monday 21 July as she continues her UK tour.

 CAMMELL LAIRD

Cammell Laird successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange this week, shares initially opening at 1.14UKL

IoMSPCo PEVERIL remains in Lairds along with the drill ship DEEPSEA WORKER from which the complete drilling rig assembly has now been removed and appears to be placed on the platform of the large floating crane BALDUR which is a frequent visitor to the Mersey. JAMES FISHER's RFA OAKLEAF remains in dry dock though appears to be afloat.


 

MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS

13 July 1997

 

SEA CONTAINERS (IOM) LTD

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY LTD

 

I was informed yesterday, albeit via a "third hand" source that a SuperSeaCat visited the Mersey for berthing trials at the IoMSPCo linkspan at Prince's Landing Stage about two weeks ago.

Can anyone substantiate this?

Coastal Cruising magazine commented to the success of the Liverpool-Llandudno-Douglas excursion operated in May when the LADY OF MANN carried 800 passengers on the Llandudno sector. Apparently more regular Llandudno - Douglas sailings may be considered next year. So perhaps the LADY will continue to survive? Apparently the Liverpool to Llandudno sector wasn't so well supported with around 100 on board. I have spoken to someone who was on that trip who told me he had great difficulties obtaining tickets from the Liverpool Terminal.

 

Traffic on the Liverpool-Dublin route appears to be building up nicely now. More details in the Voyage Report below.

 

 MERCHANT FERRIES

It looks as though Sea Containers will soon be feeling some competition on the Liverpool to Dublin passenger route from April 1998. Two new ro/pax vessels are currently under construction in Spain by Astilleros Espanoles for delivery in March 1998. These vessels have 2000 lane metres with a capacity of 260 passengers 112 of which will be accommodated in 56 en-suite double berth cabins. The vessels are too large to operate into Heysham though will fit the company's berth on the River Liffey. Obviously, until the completion of the on-river link span the IoMSPCo service will have a speed advantage even assuming that the LADY OF MANN remains in service next year. The MERCHANT FERRIES service will need to lock into the port.

 HM BARK ENDEAVOUR - LIVERPOOL VISIT

The ship claimed to be "the most authentic replica ship in existence" according to the director of the National Maritime Museum arrived in Canning Dock on Thursday, 10 July. The HM BARK ENDEAVOUR is a 130 feet tall replica of Captain James Cook's ship.

Construction of the Australian vessel was commenced in 1988 and completed in 1994. She has undertaken a number of international voyages since completion. Her present trip to Britain began last October, the ship making calls in South Africa and the Atlantic Islands before arriving in Britain at Easter to undertake a 15 port tour. Liverpool is her eighth port of call and she is scheduled to be open to the public for the coming week before she moves on to Wales for a call at Fishguard.

A visit to the ship is highly recommended. Admission for adults is 5.00UKL with concessions for children, families and senior citizens. There really is so much to see on this vessel and if you go make sure you take your camera and a flash! It took me no trouble to fire off a 36-exposure roll of film and if I had had more film on me I could easily have taken many more pictures.

I should have these up on MSN in a month or so when I have another Photo CD Disk made up.

The ENDEAVOUR was not constructed as a naval ship, she was originally a collier built for the east coast coal trade. Purchased by the admiralty she was converted for use by James Cook for his voyages of exploration the first of which begin in 1768. As a result her design is somewhat unusual with accommodation to the rear of the vessel having an unusually low deck head room of just 4 feet 6 inches!

A visit to the ship is highly recommended. Admission for adults is 5.00UKL with concessions for children, families and senior citizens. There really is so much to see on this vessel and if you go make sure you take your camera and a flash! It took me no trouble to fire off a 36-exposure roll of film and if I had had more film on me I could easily have taken many more pictures.

Several interesting publications are available for sale which give details of the ship and her voyages.

 STEAM TUG KERNE CAUSES ALARM!

Last week a Maritime Festival was held at the former Preston Docks. The Mersey based steam tug KERNE was one of the visitors. However, this attractive little tug was to cause the emergency services a false alarm. A Southport angler spotted what he thought was a small vessel on fire. Thoughtfully he called the Southport Lifeboat whose crew, were participating in fund raising activities for the Southport Lifeboat Fun Day. However, it just turned out to be the KERNE steaming from Liverpool to Preston!

CAMMELL LAIRD

Next week Cammell Laird will become a quoted company on the London Stock Exchange.

IoMSPCo PEVERIL remains in Lairds along with the drill ship DEEPSEA WORKER from which the complete drilling rig assembly has now been removed and appears to be placed on the platform of the large floating crane BALDUR which is a frequent visitor to the Mersey. JAMES FISHER's RFA OAKLEAF remains in dry dock.


 

MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS

6 July 1997

 

SEA CONTAINERS (IOM) LTD

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY LTD

There have been some interesting special sailings undertaken by IoMSPCo recently. A special free one-hour cruise on SEACAT ISLE OF MAN was operated to Maughold Head under the command of Captain Dermott O'Toole for over 350 Manx School Children last week.

A Champagne and Strawberry Cruise around the Island was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon by SEACAT ISLE OF MAN for 300 members of the Women's' Institute.

The Llandudno to Dublin special sailing on board LADY OF MANN arranged in May just prior to the start of the TT Season carried 900 passengers, much better than a recent scheduled sailing from Fleetwood which I was informed only carried 36 passengers! Perhaps Llandudno might just reappear in IoMSPCo schedules.

IRISH SEA FARE WARS!

The three principal contenders for the central corridor routes to Ireland are battling it out for the UK day-tripper's pockets. The following fares are being advertised.

Stena Line

[Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire]

Fares valid until 16 July

Early Bird Specials - out 04.10 return 20.45/21.45

Sunday to Friday: 10.00UKL. Saturdays: 12.00

Day Return

Sunday to Friday: 18.00UKL. Saturdays: 20.00UKL

Sunday Special: 15.00UKL

reductions for children and family groups available.

Irish Ferries

[Holyhead to Dublin]

From 10.00UKL day return inclusive of Dublin Bus's sightseeing tour.

Family fares from 24.00UKL

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

[Liverpool to Dublin}

10.00UKL Adult, 5.00UKL Child

5.00UKL Senior Citizen - Tuesdays and Thursdays only - no advanced booking for Senior Citizens' fare.

All in all an interesting range of offers which should tempt a lot of people into crossing the Irish Sea for a day trip. It will be interesting to see how things develop between the three players on the central corridor routes. The Holyhead operators obviously perceive a danger from the Sea Containers/IoMSPCo Liverpool service. The fur should really start to fly should a SuperSeaCat be deployed next year.

DUBLIN LINER CALLS

July 14th - QUEEN ELIZABETH II

July 17th - CALYPSO

July 20th - HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS

July 30th - SPLENDOUR OF THE SEAS

BELL LINES - THE END

Bell Lines Container ships have been a familiar sight at Irish Sea ports for a long time. The company has been in difficulties for some months. A court appointed examiner has failed to secure a rescue deal to save the company, which has debts of 25million IRL. It was only last Saturday I watched Bell Lines INISHOWEN [chartered from Arklow Shipping] move off her berth in Dublin Port and head out for sea. Bell Lines vessels were all chartered tonnage so they will probably reappear elsewhere. The EUROPOWER a Waterford registered container vessel, which had been on charter to the company had been laid up for some weeks earlier in the year in Liverpool.

JAMES FISHER PLC ORDERS THIRD TANKER FROM VSEL

The ever growing James Fisher Plc which celebrates it 150 anniversary in 1997 has placed an order for a third 4,500 clean products tanker from VSEL at Barrow. Last year Fisher awarded a contract to build two tankers to VSEL - their first Merchant Shipping order for some years.

CAMMELL LAIRD

There are no changes this week to the ship's currently in CAMMELL LAIRDs. In Laird's this week: IoMSPCo PEVERIL, Drill ship DEEPSEA WORKER and James Fisher's RFA OAKLEAF. On Saturday 5 July the MDHC floating crane MERSEY MAMMOTH was noted undertaking work on the drilling tower on DEEPSEA WORKER, the top most portion of which has been removed.

 

Visit www.jhluxton.com for Transport, Industrial Heritage & Regional Digital Photographs and Growing Online 35mm Archive

Irish Sea Shipping - What's New July 2008Irish Sea Shipping - What's New August 2009Back Home Up Next 

Irish Sea Shipping John H. Luxton 1995-2018. Content John H. Luxton and Contributors