Archive for the ‘Ferries’ Category

Tilbury Gets A New Ferry

July 9, 2017

08/07/17 Tilbury Ferry

A NEW operator took  over the historic Tilbury Ferry service in May 2017.

The river crossing between Tilbury and Gravesend is now operated by Jetstream Tours using the Thames Swift trimaran vessel.

It’s a return to the service after a 15 year absence for Thames Swift, having originally been built in Gravesend by a previous ferry operator – White Horse Ferries – in the 1990s under the name Martin Chuzzlewhit.

The Medway-based company has been awarded a temporary contract to operate the service and is maintaining the same six day timetable as before.

It was  the end of an era for regular users of the service when the previous operator’s boat carried out her final service.

Duchess M, belonging to Captain John Potter’s Lower Thames and Medway Passenger Boat Company, had been working the crossing since 2002. She had originally been a Gosport ferry under the name Vesta.

Curiously the vessel is a trimaran fast-ferry, but given the route is only takes a few minutes to cross, it is unlikely to ever go fast. It has a capacity for 50 passengers.

I must say that even on a very calm day on the Thames, it did rock and roll a bit. It is also easy to bump your once head inside, on the low ceiling.

I fully appreciate that 99.9 per cent of you reading this are not remotely interested, but Tilbury is my local port.

Malcolm

New Tilbury Ferry slide-show: HERE

Princess Pocahontas

December 21, 2016

MV ‘Ulysses’ Super-ferry

November 8, 2016

I know that there are some Ferry enthusiasts out there:

During this summer, I took a short trip to Dublin.

I chose  MV ‘Ulysses’ super-ferry, operated by Irish Ferries, to get there. This was the Holyhead to Dublin route, which is a 3 hour voyage. I’m told that this ferry route has existed since 1850!

When Ulysses entered service in 2001, she was the world’s largest RO PAX ferry, in terms of vehicle capacity.

Standing 12 decks tall, Ulysses can carry up to 2,000 passengers, 1,342 cars, and 240 trucks.

As you board the vessel, she resembles a large modern cruise ship. You very quickly forget that she has five decks of vehicles below you.

Her on board facilities include restaurants, two cinemas, TV lounges, video and electronic games, casino, children’s play area, two large lounge bars, a shop and a club class lounge.

Ulysses also has 228 passenger berths (cabins).

Due to Dublin harbour being relatively shallow, she was designed with a smaller draft and smaller propellers, to prevent her from  getting stuck in the silt.

Malcolm

(Thanks to Michael Pender for additional images)

Another super-ferry, Stena Holandica review: HERE

Seafrance Berlioz Cross Channel Ferry (slide-show): HERE

DFDS Ferries, Dover (slide-show): HERE

What Is The Fastest Ship?

August 31, 2016

I was wondering what the fastest ship is TODAY.

When I say “ship”, I mean “passenger vessel”. Now I don’t doubt that there are some super-charged speed-boats out there, but my criteria is a large vessel that carries paying passengers.

(SS United States Today - source unknown)

(SS United States Today – source unknown)

Ocean Liner fans will know of the SS United States, built in 1952 for the United States Line. She broke the transatlantic speed record on her maiden voyage. She still holds the Blue Riband for being the fastest ocean liner of all time. They say she could achieve 38 knots. (The SS United States was laid-up in 1996 and her fate remains uncertain).

Given the fact that she was a bloody-great Ocean liner carrying 2,000+ passengers, that is a VERY impressive and unparalleled achievement.

The Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 must certainly be one of today’s fastest cruise ships (liner). She can achieve 30 knots, which is faster than most.

(Courtesy Incat)

(Courtesy Incat)

People no longer cruise for speed.  My research tells me that Fast-Ferries (SeaCats etc.) hold the maritime speed records today.

The fastest ferry on the planet is Incat’s ‘Francisco’ (2012). She operates on the Rio de la Plata estuary (River Plate) between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay.

The 99-metre long ‘Wave Piercing Catamaran’ accommodates 1024 passengers and 150 cars. Her water-jet engines can achieve a maximum speed of up to 58.1 knots, or 67 mph.

Interestingly she can be powered by duel fuel, one being LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) which looks set to also be the future choice of cruise ships.

Malcolm

Video of ‘Francisco’ HERE

Malcolm says: The various fast-ferries around the world are very impressive. However their service normally has to be suspended when the seas get rough. Condor currently operate fast-ferries up to a 3.5 meter wave height.  After this they become very uncomfortable for passengers.  In contrast the QM2 is designed to cross the North Atlantic, in winter, whatever the weather.

The SRN4 Hovercraft HERE

Fast Ferry

August 26, 2016

I know a few of my readers have an interest in ferries and fast-ferries.

DSC_0180

After all the big car ferries (such as Ulysses) are just like state-of-the-art cruise ships with a car deck or two.

Then we also have the fast-ferry technology: often catamarans (Seacats) propelled by water-jets.

Below is a slide-show of the fast-ferry ‘Condor Rapide’:

Regular readers will also know that I am a big fan of HOVERCRAFT.

Malcolm