Following a reasonable level of success in 2007 [click here] and 2008 [click here], once again, Irish Sea Shipping presents Old Lamb Banana's Irish and Celtic Sea Nautical Predictions for 2009. [With apologies to Old Moore!]
As with previous years' predictions - some are serious - others seriously light hearted - its up to you to decide which are which! You may also note that some predictions from last year have been carried over.
The predictions will be reviewed at the end of July and the end of December 2009.
July Mid Year review comments shown in green
December end of year review comments in red
1. There will be much talk about upgrading the Liverpool Cruise Terminal to facilitate ship turn around which will result in a solution being found for 2010 season.
2. Fred Olsen Lines will, despite comments made in October 2008, announce that another ship will be based at Liverpool to replace the BLACK PRINCE in 2010.
3. The imposing structure of the new Mersey Ferries Terminal will lead strangers to Liverpool mistaking it for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's Terminal.
4. HSS STENA EXPLORER will be withdrawn from service by the end of 2009.
5. The Swansea - Cork service debate will continue - but due to prevailing economic situation nothing will be resolved by the end of 2009.
No solution yet but there has been talk.
UK Government have rejected current proposals due to the fact that the project was subsidised by over £9m. However, if this money could be repaid there may be a way forward. Interested parties are reported to be meeting again early in 2010 - so the talk looks likely to continue .....
BOUDICCA will operate a programme of cruises during the spring and autumn of 2010.
The Mersey Ferry Terminal won the "Carbuncle Cup" awarded to Britain's worst new building!
Rumours suggest this may happen ....
A press release on the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company web site suggests that a smaller vessel will be used from February 2010. Meanwhile the HSS STENA EXPLORER is withdrawn from January 06, 2010 "until further notice".
Fastnet Line has been established though services will not commence until 2010 using Color Line "JULIA"
Fastnet Line commences services on March 01, 2010. Old Lamb Banana is delighted to be proved wrong on this prediction and wishes the new service the success it deserves!
6. Ballycastle - Campbeltown will continue to be a talking point amongst Irish and Scottish politicians - with promises for a service in 2010 which it will be announced by the end of 2009 will not materialise.
7. The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company fast craft MANANNAN will prove to be a great success and become very popular with the travelling public.
8. Llandudno Pier - the berthing head will still not be repaired in 2009!
9. Barrow based James Fisher will acquire yet another company during 2009.
10. HMS PLYMOUTH and HMS BRONNINGTON will be sold for scrap.
Wasn't even much of a talking point, is it finally slipping into oblivion 10 years after the last sailings?
MANANNAN appears to have attracted much favourable comment.
MANANNAN appears to have been so popular that passengers who have found themselves travelling on SNAEFELL have been disappointed!
It hasn't been fixed - but there are some vague rumours of a possible solution .... eventually!
James Fisher and Sons plc announced in August the purchase of MB Faber Ltd
WRONG - They are at the end of 2009 still mouldering away at Vittoria Dock, Birkenhead.
11. Brittany Ferries will announce that the split service to Santander from Portsmouth and Plymouth will revert to Plymouth only at the end of the 2009 season.
12. Celtic Link will sell out to another European operator.
13. Isles of Scilly Steamship Company will announce the awarding of a contract to build SCILLONIAN IV.
14. Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's VIKING will be used during the Isle of Man TT festival to provide additional capacity.
15. There will be an "incident" involving one of the Irish Sea wind farms this year.
Not quite - the Plymouth - Santander service remains split.
However, acquisition of SUPERFAST V means that two full round trips will operate to Santander from Portsmouth.
Some interesting changes have occurred in late 2009 with LD Lines' NORMAN VOYAGER operating on sailings to Rosslare and an indication that DIPLOMAT will be sold.
WRONG - constant wrangling over Penzance Harbour development appears to have slowed the whole project up.
The company announced she was available but was not used.
VIKING was later sold after a summer charter to Greek Interests.
16. The congested nature of the new on-stage Isle of Man Steam Packet terminal at Liverpool will lead to delays in vessel turn-rounds during the 2009 peak season.
17. Mersey Ferries will continue to use the Ravestein Skyline Barge 15 for the whole of 2009 with the construction of a new stage being announced for completion in 2010.
18. Irish Ferries will be sold to new owners in 2009.
19. There will be a further challenge to the Douglas Linkspan User Agreement during 2009.
20. The economic downturn will result in reductions in Irish Sea services as the recession starts to bite.
WRONG - This didn't appear to happen!
Ravestein Skyline Barge remains in use. Rumours of a new stage being announced in 2010 for completion in 2011.
Moonduster Consortium withdraws takeover attempt.
Seaside Shipping was given permission for a further challenge to the "User Agreement" in April 2009.
Norfolkline have reduced Heysham - Dublin sailings. HSS STENA EXPLORER down to one round trip per day.
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Irish Sea Shipping - What's New July 2008Irish Sea Shipping - What's New August 2009