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Finished With Engines: Irish Sea Shipping is now closed to new updates - J.H. Luxton Photography - Transport, Industrial History, Regional Photographs UK & beyond


July 26Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard, Michael Bracken, Tony Brennan, Alex Mc. Cormac, Stan Basnett and "others"


BEN-MY-CHREE - As part of the celebrations for the 175th Anniversary of the World's oldest continuously operating shipping company the ship undertook her first "Round The Island" cruise in perfect conditions on Saturday July 23. Over 400 passengers enjoyed a wonderful evening which for the modest fare of £17.50 included an excellent buffet.  For a Voyage Report on the first Circumnavigation of the Isle of Man by the BEN-MY-CHREE .


On July 25 the company announced they had appointed a Director of Marketing - Rupert Trevelyan. he has worked for a number of "blue chip" companies including Centrica.

Hamish Ross, Steam Packet Managing Director said, ‘Rupert joins our Company with an excellent pedigree and will greatly strengthen our senior management team. Working with the Isle of Man Department of Tourism and our other partners in tourism I am sure he will help deliver the tremendous potential for growth of visitor numbers to the Isle of Man. The Island has so much to offer year round. The appointment of Rupert is good news for the Company and the Island’.


Contrary to earlier reports that the historic steam yacht NAHLIN would be transported from Liverpool to Hamburg on board the heavy lift ship TERN, it appears that the move will be effected by CONDOCK V. This vessel arrived at Huskisson #3 Branch Dock on Tuesday July 26. Somewhat similar in appearance to the well known SAGA MOON, this vessel can open its stern door and flood its cargo space enabling smaller vessels to be floated on board rather like a naval amphibious landing ship.


SUPERSTAR EXPRESS was moved by tugs into Canada Graving Dock on Monday morning, July 25. Even before the water had been fully pumped from the dock work had commenced to remove the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company logos as captured in the photograph taken by Michael Bracken - right.

There are proposals to establish a cruise ship terminal in Cumbria at Barrow in Furness. A recent study by has favoured the town over Workington further up the coast, partly due to facilities already in place.

Funding of between £7m and £10m will now be sought for the deepwater facility in the Walney Channel. It is hoped that within 10 years up to 25 cruise ships per year will call at Barrow.


SHANNON - the former ELDERGARTH has arrived on the Liverpool station this week.




As part of their holiday programme, Irish Ferries are currently promoting Summer day trips to Britain on their Dublin-Holyhead and Rosslare-Pembroke routes.

Offering the prospect of a day away in Wales, fares begin at EUR16 per person return with a children-go-free offer. Day trips are also possible by car on all routes/all ships priced from only EUR119 midweek for car and driver with EUR14 return for adults and half price for children.

Further information and bookings can be made on line at


Irish Ferries have extended until further notice the booking period for their new peak season EUR139 each way long-stay fare to Britain for a car plus one adult.

Reminding motorists that flying is for the birds, the fare has been described by their Sales Manager Declan Mescall as a competitive response to the airline sector.

Operative until end-August, the EUR139 fare is applicable on Monday to Thursday sailings on their Rosslare-Pembroke route. Other low fares are also available for weekend and Dublin-Holyhead departures. A 5-day mid week fare from EUR279 for a car plus 2 adults, with a kids go free offer is also available.

Book on line


Pressure is building in Torpoint for a U-turn on the introduction of a  two-ferry service outside peak times. Protesters with placards packed the  town's council chamber as Tamar Bridge and Torpoint ferries general manager David List gave an update on the current £17 million improvement scheme.

Local residents say a two-ferry, 15-minute service is not good enough,  and want all three ferries to run throughout the day, not just at morning and  afternoon peak travel times.

The joint committee of Plymouth city and Cornwall county councillors  which runs the two crossings has decided to try the two-ferry off-peak  system for a year, amending it if necessary after that time.

But local people are campaigning for the opposite experiment - running  three ferries continuously from the start of the morning rush-hour to the  end of the evening one.

A petition has been opened in the town's library, with South East  Cornwall MP Colin Breed expected to be among those adding his name to it..

Mr List says the move would cost local taxpayers an extra £200,000 a  year and is unnecessary, as the new, larger ferries would be running partly  empty for much of the time.

Torpoint town councillor Ray Skelly told Mr List at the meeting: "The  people of Torpoint and the Rame Peninsula want three ferries running all the  time."

But Mr List replied: "The joint committee will review after one year  and, if I've got it wrong, we will rectify it."

Torpoint county councillor Eric Parkin claimed dropping to a two-ferry  service during the day would hamper the First bus company's operations, and  said he had a letter from a Torpoint estate agent claiming people were being  put off buying homes in Torpoint because of perceived problems with the ferry service.

Mr List said the matter had been discussed several times by the joint committee, which would liaise with the bus company over service times.

He added that though people might like buses to come along every five minutes, it didn't happen because First had to tailor its service to fit  demand. The same was true of the ferry service, he said.

Mr List pointed out that around £60 million was being spent on  strengthening and widening the Tamar Bridge, introducing electronic tolling, buying three new ferries and revamping all six slipways, all  without causing toll increases on either crossing.

He revealed that at present one pair of slipways was out of commission  because it was being improved.

In about six week's time, the service would be reduced to one ferry  for about 24 hours while one of the ferries was switched to a different set of chains, enabling work to start on the second pair of slipways.

This process would happen once more before all the slipways were completed and the third new ferry could join her sister ships.

Mr List said the two new ferries were already carrying more vehicles than the three old ones had done at this time last year.

Asked about HGVs taking up space on the ferries, he said only two large vehicles would be allowed on at a time, buses would have priority over lorries and the county council looked set to impose a weight limit on Torpoint roads. [Evening Herald]


The SPIRIT OF DOCKLANDS, the new Liffey Voyage tour boat, was officially named at a special ceremony on Wednesday, 29th June 2005, in Dublin’s Docklands. Not quite a Viking Longboat, the ‘Spirit of Docklands’ was built in Sweden and delivered to Dublin by the builders, Westers Mekaniska, the previous week.

The traditional naming ceremony included a blessing and the symbolic breaking of a bottle of champagne on its bow to wish it luck on its travels on the River Liffey.

The blessing was performed by Father Paul St. John of City Quay and was attended by members of the Docklands Authority, the boat’s designer, Peter Lund-Nielsen of Ole Steen Knudsen, Denmark and builder, Klas Westers of Westers Mekaniska from Sweden.

The ‘Spirit of Docklands’ is a 52-seat low profile boat, 23 metres long and capable of travelling at 9.5 knots. The vessel will undergo a period of trials and testing before the service is formally launched.

Tours on the Liffey Voyage will operate between the Docklands and the city centre, exploring the historical sights and landmarks along the River Liffey. A tour guide will deliver entertaining snippets on Dublin life specific to the Liffey and Docklands.

Landing stations for the Liffey Voyage will be at the IFSC and off the boardwalk at the Ha’penny Bridge and O’Connell Bridge. The tour service will operate daily with journey times expected to take up to 50 minutes.

July 21Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard, Philip Parker, Michael Bracken, Adrian McBride, Tony Brennan, Andrew Thallon & "others".

Please note the next scheduled update is Monday July 24 as your web master will be visiting the Isle of Man this weekend to sail on the BEN-MY-CHREE's first "Round the Island" Cruise which takes place on Saturday evening.


SUPERSTAR EXPRESS once more ventured out of the wet basin for a run down to Formby on Thursday, July 21, 2005. This is her second outing within the past 7 days.


LAGAN VIKING arrived on the Mersey on Monday July18.

Correspondent Michael Bracken writes:

"On Monday 18th July 2005 Norse Merchant ferries brand new vessel Lagan Viking arrived on the Mersey, Flushed by rain and fountains of water supplied by a local tug,

The Lagan dwarfs all other ferries on the Mersey and is in fact the largest conventional ferry ever built for service out of Belfast, Lagan Viking will almost probably be the final ever vessel to arrive for Norse Merchant ferries before the anticipated acquisition by Norfolk Line later this year.

From the outside she looks magnificent and her red livery brings a link to the past to the former Norse Irish ferries link, Inside she doesn't fail with 3 lounges beautifully decorated in a modern setting this set up also includes a quiet lounge Pullman lounge) 2 bars and 120 ensuite cabins, Passengers can also spend time watching the cinema or have a meal in the spacious restaurant or browse through the shop, Lagan Viking has got to be the pride of the fleet.

On her maiden voyage passengers where awarded a Commemorative certificate for the occasion. Due to her faster service speed the crossing between Belfast & Birkenhead can now take 7 hours almost an hour less than the ship she is replacing. A second sister ship is due to enter service in December and is to be named Mersey Viking."

VARBOLA & LEILI currently on charter to NorseMerchant Ferries from ESCO serving Belfast & Dublin to Heysham have been bought by Greek interests and therefore will be renamed the RR SHEILD (Leili) & RR ARROW (Varbola) applicable from Monday July 18.  The vessels are currently dry docking in Harland & Wolff Belfast & this is where the transfer will be made .


Dockwise Shipping's heavy lift ship TERN is expected to arrive on Monday July 25 and depart on Tuesday 26 conveying the historic steam yacht NAHLIN [ex LUCEAFARUL,  LIBERTATEA] to Hamburg. It is believed she has been sold to a 31 year old German owner.


WINDSOR CASTLE - the former Cammell Laird built liner was reported having arrived at Alang for demolition on July 20, 2005.


Passengers travelling the Irish Ferries vessel Normandy were delayed for three hours on Monday July 18 at Cherbourg when the ship was prevented from docking by protesters at the French port.

The ship had to wait for three hours before 50 French seafarers ended their protest at 13:30, which allowed the 1,000 car passengers to disembark. Foot passengers were able to disembark an hour earlier.

It is understood that the protesting seafarers from Brittany Ferries.

This was the third occasion on which docking of the Normandy has been delayed by protesters in an ongoing campaign against the recruitment of overseas workers, who are on lower pay rates and inferior conditions, unions claim.

July 17Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Adrian McBride & "others".

Please check "What's New" for details of mid-week updates. The next scheduled update is Thursday July 21. However, from now until early September all scheduled updates are subject to change. Though notices will be posted on Irish Sea Ships Yahoo Group to advise of any delays.


The search function has now been repaired and is functioning again.


BEN-MY-CHREE - will undertake her first "Round The Island" cruise on Saturday July 23 as part of the company's 175th Anniversary Celebrations. She will depart Douglas at 18:45 arriving back at 23:15. Fare inclusive of food and musical entertainment is £17.50.

SUPERSEACAT TWO appeared to develop technical problems on Saturday afternoon with her 17:30 Douglas to Liverpool sailing not arriving at Liverpool until around 20:45. She had been operating at reduced power during the crossing. Delays are also reported on sailings on Sunday July 17.


SUPERSTAR EXPRESS made an unexpected trip out of the wet basin at Birkenhead on Friday evening - July 15, 2005. She departed around 18:45. Proceeding out into Liverpool Bay she ran engine trials, before returning. She locked in at Langton Lock, Liverpool at 23:15. Departing Langton again at 03:00 she was back in the wet basin on the morning tide. The reason for the short trip is not known. However, the vessel has been laid up at Birkenhead since September 2004 when her charter to P&O ended.


Unsubstantiated reports suggest that the historic steam yacht NAHLIN [ex LUCEAFARUL,  LIBERTATEA] will depart Merseyside soon, bound for Hamburg on a heavy lift barge. The ship, which is a familiar sight to passengers travelling in and out of the Mersey has been undergoing restoration work at Sandon Dock for some time.


Following a competitive tendering process the contract for the refurbishment of the Torpoint ferry slipways at Devonport and Torpoint has been awarded to Edmund Nuttall Limited, and the work, valued at approximately £3m, will be undertaken between mid-July and late December 2005.  

The major component of the work involves the provision of a new berthing slipway surface for the ferries, offering a more durable, high-grip finish with uniform gradients. The work will also involve the provision of a smooth steel-faced toe at the bottom of the slipways to ensure a smooth running surface for ferry chains during low tides.

 The contractor will concentrate on one set of slipways at a time, and work will take place on both sides of the river simultaneously to save time. In order to achieve this, it will be necessary to reduce to a two-ferry service for the majority of the working period. This will mean a ferry frequency of one every 15 minutes at peak times instead of every 10 minutes at present, but with two of the new 73-car ferries in operation, the service will offer the same hourly vehicle carrying capacity as with all three of the old ferries.

 As the work on a set of slipways is completed, one of the two operational ferries will be moved onto it in order to make the next set available, and during this move only one ferry can be operated. Every effort will be made to minimise the time taken to complete each ferry move and advance notice will be given locally and to the media.

 Refurbishment work will normally take place between 07.30 and 19.00 Monday to Saturday. A limited number of working periods outside of these core times, to coincide mainly with low tides, will be worked subject to approval.

 In order to allow work to commence on schedule the remaining old ferry, LYNHER, was removed from service on July 06 and a 2-ferry service operated

 Close liaison between the contractor and ferry staff will be maintained throughout the construction period in order to reduce disruption to the service to a minimum, but customers are asked for their forbearance during this demanding time.

The third replacement ferry, LYNHER II, which was launched in early June, is scheduled to be completed in late August but will remain at Ferguson Shipbuilders, yard on the Clyde until completion of all slipway work.


LINDAROSA - the Stena owned ship has completed her charter to Norse Merchant Ferries. Sailings are at present being covered by SAGA MOON. She is now sailing between Vigo, Spain and Mont De Bretagne, France.



The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced on July 13 that 9 foreign ships were under detention in UK ports during April 2005 after failing Port State Control safety inspection.

Latest monthly figures show that there were 5 new detentions of foreign flagged ships in UK ports during April 2005, along with 4 other ships still under detention from previous months. This represents a decrease of 2 new detentions in comparison to March. The overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last 12 months is 5.3% with is identical to March’s 12 month rate.

Vessels detained in April include the following:

• A Panamanian flagged, 22600 GT bulk carrier was detained on 27/04/05 at South Shields. There were 28 recorded deficiencies. The vessel remained detained at the end of the month.

The attending Inspectors found the following detainable items:

o The decks were found to be corroded through and repaired with tape.
o No. 6 hatch cover was corroded through in at least 4 places. Hatch covers 1, 2, 5 & 6 were also repaired with tape
o The Engine Room door from the main deck could not be made weathertight.
o The lower stern light had been modified and did not show the correct sector.
o A major non conformity under section 10 of the ISM code was raised as the maintenance procedures failed to ensure that the vessel complied with the Load Line, Solas and Collision regulations.

• A Maltese flagged, 6894 GT ro ro cargo ship was detained on 22/04/05 for 2 days in Harwich. There were 20 recorded deficiencies.

The vessel was detained because:

o A number of fire dampers on the weather deck could not be closed.
o The Engine Control Room fire door had been modified and the self closing device removed.
o Pipes were in way of the steering gear watertight doors preventing two doors from shutting.
o Two watertight doors on the main deck could not be closed due the positioning of the cargo

• An Antigua & Barbuda flagged, 2295 GT ro ro cargo ship was detained on 17/04/05 for 3 days in Felixstowe. A total of 16 deficiencies were raised.

The vessel was detained because:

o The manning was not as required by the Minimum Safe Manning Document.
o Records of rest as required by ILO 180 were missing.
o The fire fighting equipment was not readily available.

• During the month of April 139 Port State Control Inspections were carried out in the UK. From these inspections a total of 103 vessels had deficiencies raised against them. 70 had between 1 - 5 deficiencies, 25 had between 6 - 10 deficiencies, 7 had between 11 – 20 deficiencies and 1 had more than 20 deficiencies.


The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced July 13 that 7 foreign ships were under detention in UK ports during May 2005 after failing Port State Control safety inspection.

Latest monthly figures show that there were 5 new detentions of foreign flagged ships in
UK ports during May 2005, along with 2 other ships still under detention from previous months. The number of new detentions is identical to what it had been in April. The overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last 12 months is 5.1 which is a decrease of 0.2% from April’s 12 month rate.

Vessels detained in May include the following:

A Maltese flagged, 22009 GT bulk carrier was detained on
4 May 2005 for 4 days in Bristol. There were 27 recorded deficiencies. The vessel was detained because the main emergency fire pump was found to be inoperative, the lifejackets were found to be perished and the crew were unable to perform a satisfactory fire drill. During the drill the crew entered the area of the fire without fire suits or breathing apparatus and no reference was made to the fire control plans or contingency plans.

An Antigua & Barbuda flagged, 1307 GT general cargo vessel was detained on
9 May 2005 for 1 day in Par. There were 12 recorded deficiencies. The engine room fire flaps were found to be inoperative and the quantity of oil in way of the bilges and tank tops was deemed to be a fire hazard. It was found that the Halon system had not been serviced or inspected for over 2 years, as such the vessel was released for a single voyage to Antwerp where the vessels Class Society will a attend the vessel and consult with the Flag State regarding the Halon
A Moroccan flagged, 3801 GT refrigerated cargo vessel was detained on 25 May 2005 in Sheerness. There were 43 recorded deficiencies. The vessel remained detained at the end of May. The vessel was detained under ISM because the maintenance of the ship and its equipment was found to be inadequate. The number of deficiencies on board the vessel indicate that the on board safe management procedures are insufficient to ensure that the vessel remains compliant with International requirements.

Amongst the deficiencies found there were numerous defects relating to the lifeboats, the MF/HF aerials were defective, there were no charts available for the area of operation, the passage plan was not berth to berth, the notice to mariners were not up to date, there was insufficient food on board for the intended voyage and the sanitary conditions for the crew were poor.

During May 2005 a total of 180 port State control inspections were carried out in the
UK. Of these inspections 125 vessels were found to have deficiencies, 78 vessels had between 1 to 5 deficiencies, 32 vessels had between 6-10 deficiencies, 13 vessels had between 11 to 20 deficiencies and 2 vessels had greater than 20 deficiencies. [MCGA DETENTION LIST LINK]

July 14Acknowledgements: Dan Cross, Ian Collard, Chris Jones, Philip Parker and "others".


Apologies for having to reschedule this Wednesdays update to Thursday. This has also proved to be necessary next week as well. From next week until September 6, updates will be subject to change at short notice. Any revisions will appear in the Update Schedule.


Notes on the Minister of Transport's Statement to Tynwald on 12th July 2005

The statement did not come until well after 20:00 and was vague on detail and showed some rather muddled thinking. It talked in terms of enabling service levels to be maintained at a time when competition from low-cost airlines was reducing the Steam Packet's business. Without this initiative the Steam Packet - "like other ferry operators" would have to reduce its services. It took a question from the floor for the minister to clarify that it was not low cost airlines to the IOM that he was talking about - but low cost airlines which took the Steam Packet's passengers to other places. Repeat business had to be earned/fought for each year so this was to help the Steam Packet do that. The subsidy which had enabled Emerald to offer low-cost flights on the Liverpool-IOM route had now been withdrawn. There was no mention of IOM Tourism talking to easyJet.

The Passenger Transport Development Initiative (PTDI) is aimed to increase the incoming business to the IOM - particularly in the off-peak periods. After a period in which traffic through Douglas Harbour had been increasing by 5% per year the Steam Packet's was now in decline. Mention was made of the extra capacity on the Ben (now 630) and (particularly for cars) by using SUPERSEACAT TWO rather than SEACAT ISLE OF MAN... the point was that the IoMSPCo had provided extra capacity .. and the Government were going to help them fill it. The £2 per head refers to extra capacity provided, so the difference in capacity between SUPERSEACAT TWO and SEACAT ISLE OF MAN and the extra capacity of the BEN qualifies at £2 per seat per trip. It is for a 12 month period from April 01, 2005  to March 31, 2006, subject to a max of £500,000

To justify this the company will try to grow the inbound market with new lower rates for coaches from Europe and more car based special offers from NW England.

There was nothing said about the Liverpool winter service or the fleet replacement programme. The minister seemed to think that given the current state of the ferry industry hanging on to what Irish business there still is was some sort of achievement - and that with the trend towards bigger craft with lower frequencies, services were more likely to be reduced further than enhanced. 

The minister thought that the service/cost package for getting to IOM was better than to the Channel Islands (and other islands of similar population). In 1995 the cheapest foot pax return fare was £62 .. and now it is £30.

There were other questions about whether the costs of running SUPERSEACAT TWO and the demands of Montagu (not mentioned by name) had contributed to this situation. It was also suggested that as the company accounts were not public no one new what their profitability was anyway.


Reports indicate that the Department of Transport is looking to extend the tanker berthage at Douglas from 85m to 92m. This is to cope with imports of motor fuels, heating oils and aviation fuel, imported by Manx Petroleum at Douglas and by Total at Peel.


HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS will berth at #9 Dock during her visit to Manchester near the Lowry Centre. She is scheduled to depart Manchester at  Saturday 13:00, due Eastham 20:00. She will pass through the Menai Straits.


Northwestern Ship Repairers has been given notice to quit the former Cammell Laird North Yard by the end of August, by landlords Reddington Finance.

The north yard was bought from the receivers of Cammell Laird plc by A&P Group in 2001. The yard was sold last year by A&P to Reddington Finance, owners of the Cammell Laird south yard and leased back.

In May this year it was announced that A&P had sold their Birkenhead business to Northwestern Ship Repairers.

However, it has emerged in the local press this week that Reddington are unhappy over certain aspects of the A&P / Northwestern deal and the lack of consultation. It is reported that Reddington served notice to quit just two days after the A&P / Northwestern deal was completed.

Reddington say they will support ship repair on part of the former Cammell Laird site and claim to be in discussions with a number of interested parties.

July 10Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Jenny Williamson, Dan Cross, Trevor Kidd, John & Jenny Williamson, Kevin Bennett, Ian Collard and "others"



Please note that several unscheduled updates were posted during the week - please check "What's New" for full details.


Technical problems persist with the web site search function, as solution is still being sought.



The traditional October Irish Holiday weekend sailings, this year scheduled for October 28 / 31 have disappeared from the online booking computer, though these sailings still show in the printed timetable. Perhaps an indication that the LADY OF MANN will not return? - She was scheduled to operate these sailings.

SUPERSEACAT TWO - adverse weather conditions led to delays on Wednesday July 06. She arrived at Liverpool at 11:00 assisted by BRAMLEY MOORE and did not get away again until 14:00 when she was assisted by tug GLADSTONE. Apparently there was some delay in discharging vehicles due to the pitching of the link-span pontoon.

BEN-MY-CHREE - on Wednesday her evening sailing was delayed until after 22:00 probably due to technical problems. This led to knock on delays with the return 02:15 sailing. However, she was back on schedule by Thursday evening. The delay being


SEA EXPRESS 1 on Thursday she was noted running around 1hr 30 minutes late at and reduced speed on her return run from Dublin. It is understood she took material into one of her water jets near Dublin. Divers went down at the Landing Stage to clear the problem on her return to Liverpool. She then departed the stage for a test run.


Passenger figures compiled by the Harbours Division for May 2005 at 58,585 show a 4.2% decrease on the figure for the same period in 2004 which was 61,185. The year to date figure at 176,397 passengers shows a 9.7% decrease over the same period in 2004 which was 195,409.

During May car traffic through Douglas Harbour decreased by 2.9% from 15,007 vehicles to 14,573 vehicles. The year to date figure at 47,826 vehicles shows a 7.5% decrease over the same period in 2004 which was 51,697.

Scheduled Routes show the following changes in passenger numbers for May:-






Minus 25%




Minus 49%




Plus 6%




Minus 19%




All plus




All plus




All plus




All plus




All plus



Director of Harbours, Captain Michael Brew comments:

“The increase in passengers travelling on the Heysham Route is the only positive in this month’s passenger figures, with all the other core scheduled routes showing significant falls in passenger numbers. Some of these falls may be attributable to more TT related traffic actually travelling in June this year.”


Plans to redevelop the Cammell Laird site were published at the end of this week. The proposals basically envisage the setting up a self contained town at a cost of £1.4bn. The proposals would include virtually the whole of the North and South Yard sites. Only the #4 and #5 dry docks remaining for ship repair. The Wet Basin appears to be incorporated into a marina with a much restricted entrance.

The construction hall will remain as the "Leisure Box" housing an ice rink, indoor snow ski slope, Cammell Laird Museum and Conference Centre.

A new island will be constructed off shore for residential, retail and leisure use. Other parts of the site will be given over to Maritime Support Industries, a Nautical College, Offices etc. The site would be supplied with energy from its own gas fired power station.

Of course all this is subject to planning permissions etc. How much of this grand plan actually materialises remains to be seen. The company recognise the proposals will result in local opposition from residents and politicians. Many still consider that much of the site could be operated as a viable ship yard. The loss of the wet basin would certainly restrict the use of the site. 

Whilst there is probably some scope to redevelop some of the site, it is certain that he local maritime community will not be too impressed by the proposals.


The Fleetwood - Knott End ferry service will restart in July. The service is currently suspended to allow work to be done on landing facilities on both sides of the River Wyre.

Final work is also being completed on a new ferry to operate the route. When it resumes the council-funded ferry will operate a year-round service,  replacing the previously seasonal service using former fishing vessel  Harvester.

A spokeswoman for Wyre Council said: "We are still expecting services to resume in July and will be making a public announcement as soon as specific  details are available." Lancashire County Council has spent £500,000 on a new vessel and upgrade  work to slipways at Knott End and Fleetwood.


EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY will refit this week on Merseyside. Her last sailing is the 20:00 from Larne on Sunday July 10. Once discharged at Cairnryan and she will sail for Merseyside.


TOTNES CASTLE / LADY WAKEFIELD has been delivered to the Ullswater Transit and Navigation Company at Glenridding.

The former River Dart Steamboat Company ship built by Philip of Dartmouth has in recent years sailed for Plymouth Boat Cruises. It is anticipated that she will be in service by Christmas and will sail under the name LADY WAKEFIELD.

LADY WAKEFIELD will increase the company's capacity as well as providing the opportunity to provide day time charter sailings


Stena are dropping the Stranraer - Belfast HSS roundtrip at 00:15 ex Belfast and 02:30 ex Stranraer from 12 July - the sailing had operated Tuesday - Saturday.

This will see some minor tweaking to the HSS schedule. Below are the new sailing times with any former sailing times in (brackets).

Ex Belfast: (02:30), 07:40, 12:25 (12:20), 17:20 (17:10) and 22:10 (21:55). Ex Stranraer:(00:15), 04:55 (05:20), 10:00, 14:50 (14:45) and 19:50 (19:35).

There are fairly sweeping changes to the STENA CALEDONIA schedule which see her operating a tight timetable to enable her to operate 3 roundtrips some days and on other days concentrate her sailings on overnights. Her daytime roundtrip had been fairly slack and clearly this new schedule is designed to cover for the loss of the HSS roundtrip overnight. Her sailings often only allow a 45 minute turnaround time.

STENA LEADER  departed Larne 22:00 loaded for Fleetwood. Arrival at Fleetwood was 05:30 Saturday. She discharged and proceeded to Merseyside for dry docking arriving early afternoon.

STENA SEAFARER takes up her schedule with the 22:00 ex Larne on Saturday. The 10:00 ex Fleetwood on Saturday July 09 is cancelled, traffic transferred to the STENA SEAFARER departure at 05:00 or STENA PIONEER at 2200. STENA SEAFARER's usual sailings are cancelled.


DUNBRODY - The replica emigrant ship has now received its passenger certificate. She was due to take part in the parade of sail as the Tall Ships departed Waterford on July 09.

Between June 29 and July 05 she operated a number of day excursions from New Ross and Waterford.

For more information visit

July 03Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Adrian Mc, Bride, Tony Brennan, Michael Bracken and "others"


The July - September update schedule has been posted. Please note that all updates from late July until the first weekend in September are subject to change at short notice.


The Tynwald Agenda for July 12 was published this week. Item 6 for that day is a Statement by the Minister of Transport on "Department  of Transport's proposals for a Passenger Traffic Development  Initiative in relation to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company".


The following advertisement appears on Frank Ship Brokers web site. Asking price for LADY is just $1.8m

770    3.713  76 UK         115     517   64     GL0   2PI 21  $1.8m


The evening / early morning sailing to Dublin which was recently cut back to Friday, Saturday and Sunday only, appears to have seen a further pruning this week with the Friday and Saturday noted as not operating. The online booking system now reveals that the second weekends only round trip will only now operate from late July, its start corresponding approximately to the summer school holidays.


ENVOY - it appears that the former Irish Sea stalwart ENVOY  [ex P&O's EUROPEAN ENVOY] now owned by Kystlink will return to the Irish Sea for a month this summer under charter to operate the Liverpool - Dublin route between July 27th and late August to provide refit cover for NORBAY and NORBANK. The ship is now showing up on the P&O online booking page.


A correspondent reports that demolition work is underway on one of the buildings adjoining the construction hall at the Cammell Laird south yard side.


LYNHER the last of the three previous vessel will be taken out of service on July 06, 2005. Her replacement, LYNHER II, was launched in June at Ferguson's yard in Scotland. Fitting out of the vessel should be completed by the end of August.

However, she is not expected to be delivered to the River Tamar until late December. This is to permit £3 million of improvement work to be undertaken at the Torpoint and Devonport terminals. This will obviously lead to longer queues at for the ferries during peak times. However, this should be ameliorated by the higher capacity of the two new vessels, TAMAR II and PLYM II which have already entered service.


MERCHANT BRAVERY entered dry dock at Harland and Wolf around 11:30 on Friday July 01, 2005.


A private investor is seeking to increase his shareholding in the company which operated the Totnes - Dartmouth and Dartmouth - Kingswear ferry services as well as harbour and coastal cruise services from Dartmouth.

Value Investments Ltd, whose sole director David Barry,  is offering £13 per share aims to take up to a 29% holding in the company. An earlier tender to buy shares resulted in Value Investments securing 16% of the company. This was in December 2001 when a price of £7 per share was offered.

The directors of the Dart Valley Railway Plc have circulated a letter to shareholders urging them not to sell their and pointing out that non of the directors would be selling their shares. The directors are concerned that should Value Investments hold over 25% of the company's share capital it would have the ability to block any special resolutions put to shareholders at a general meeting.

The closing date for the Value Investments offer is July 12, 2005.



When it comes to raising money for a worthy cause, Stena Line staff on the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead route have a mountain to climb in fact they have three!

Ten employees on the HSS STENA EXPLORER will be taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July to raise money for the UK Seafarers fund.

The Ship Management and On Board Services department on board the fast ferry will start off by climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland, then onto Scafel Pike in the Peak District before conquering Snowdon in Wales.

And to make things worse, they have to complete the challenge within 24 hours.

Team leader Steve Leighton, electrical officer on the Stena Explorer, said:

"We wanted to do a fundraising event that would challenge us physically and mentally. We've been training together for a number of months now and feel ready to take on the three peaks.

"UK Seafarers is a great charity that raises money to support seafarers and their dependents in the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy and fishing fleets. Stena Line has been raising money for the charity for a number of years and we're aiming to reach a target of ?7,500.

"The climbing will be really tough, especially on the final peak, but we're all looking forward to completing it. We've had so much support from our colleagues and from Global Challenge who put together the logistics for the challenge."

In addition to sponsorship money, Stena Line is running a sweepstake on the time it will take everyone to complete the challenge. First prize is an original water colour painting donated by Tony Richards, First Officer on the Stena Explorer, who is an amateur painter and a semi-retired Deep Sea Master/

STENA SEAFARER entered Canada Graving Dock on Saturday July 02, 2005, presumably to have her bow thrust unit removed the other week, returned.


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