1. Atlantic Companion (left) glides into anchorage and Atlantic Conveyor overtakes, passing west of George's Island bound for Bedford Basin.
It is not unheard of to see two ACL ships in port at the same time - it usually happens once or twice a year - but it is still unusual enough to warrant notice. Because the ships make westbound and eastbound calls in Halifax, when the westbound ship is delayed, it overlaps the eastbound caller.
Today's duo is Atlantic Companion and Atlantic Conveyor. Although Atlantic Companion was first to arrive, it apparently lost power and was met by two tugs which shepherded it into the number one anchorage area. Atlantic Conveyor then proceeded up west of George's Island, without tugs and headed directly for Fairview Cove to berth unassisted.
Atlantic Conveyor was built in 1984 by Swan Hunter on the Tyne, and made its first call on Halifax February 1, 1985. It was lengthened in 1987 at Greenock, on the Clyde. As the British ship in Atlantic Container Line as it was originally organized, the ship was in fact owned and operated by Cunard Steamships Co Ltd, and was one of the last cargo ships operated by that venerable line. Under the current ACL configuration all ships are Swedish flagged.
Atlantic Companion was built by Kockums in Malmo, Sweden in 1984 and lengthened in 1987 by Ulsan in South Korea.Originally owned by the Bostroms Group it has always been Swedish registered. From 1987 to 1994 it was renamed Companion Express under a vessel sharing arrangement with Hapag-Lloyd.
Its first call in Halifax was a westbound voyage March 27, 1984. Eastbound out of Halifax on April 7, 1984 it had a supercharger failure and had to be towed back into port by the tugs Point Vibert and Point Vigour. It seems to have suffered a less serious mechanical failure this time round, since it has now anchored in number one anchorage for a few hours for repairs. Atlantic Larch will remain alongside as long as the ship has no engine power.
There are five ships in the ACL fleet, allowing them to maintain a weekly transatlantic schedule -one of the toughest in the world.All are due for replacement in the very near future.