Friday, September 21, 2018

Cruise ship day

The waterfront was abuzz this afternoon with four cruise ships in port and a fifth on the way. The earliest arrival this morning was Serenade of the Seas followed an hour later by Silver Spirit.
This is not the first call for Silver Spirit, but is the first visit since its $70mn (US) upgrade earlier this year.
 Silver Spirit is inbound, while Celebrity Summit makes its way toward the pilot station from sea.

 Now with a sort of swayback look, the longer ship looks unfinished.

Built in 2009 by Fincantieri, Ancona, the ship had a capacity of 540 passengers and 376 crew and measured 36,009 grt.  This past spring it went into drydock at Fincantirei Paleremo where it was cut in two and an already built 15m section was inserted just about midships. The new section, and other extensive renovations, increased the ship's tonnage to 39,444 and capacities to 608 passengers and about 396 crew.

 At noon  time the large Norwegian Escape made its inaugural call in Halifax. With a capacity of 4,266 passengers and 1733 crew, it easily dwarfs the other ships in port. The "Breakaway Plus" class ship  was built in a remarkably short 17 months by Meyer Werft, Papenburg. Its $1.5 bn price tag bought 165,157 gross tons.

The ship turned effortlessly in number one anchorage and backed in to pier 22.

The fifth ship to arrive today, will tie up in mid-afternoon. The Halifax built Pearl Mist, a regular caller, will remain in port over night.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Busy Port Day

Several hundred attendees at the Port of Halifax annual Port Days event were hardly noticed on the waterfront today amid about 7,000 cruise ship passengers and activities surrounding the G7 Environment ministers meeting at the Nova Scotian hotel nearby.

Aside from an increased police presence, it was pretty much business as usual in the southend of the port. Port Day attendees however were told that the future may look very different - more on that later.

Three cruise ships called in Halifax. As posted yesterday, there was the early arrival of Regal Princess. Since its first arrivals here in 2015 it has had "decorative" painting added to the bow.

After their usual day in port the regulars Rotterdam and AIDAviva had already sailed when Regal Princess backed out of its berth at pier 22. (This followed a nearly ten minute horn malfunction, that blasted the south end of the city and no doubt polluted the aural environment for the G7 representatives!).

The heavy police presence on the land side of the water front, including dozens of officers on bicycles, was also seen on the water with the Halifax Regional Police boat Garrett Cotter zipping back and forth.

Built in 20014 by ABCO, Lunenburg, NS the 710 bhp aluminum hulled vessels is registered as C07536NS./ Interestingly that registration shows ownership vested in the Halifax Port Authority. 
[Although not as famous as the Australian criminal of the same name, this Garrett Cotter was the first chief of Hailfax police, then called City Marshal, appointed in 1864.]

The RCMP was represented with a fibreglas Rigid Hull Inflatable dating from 2015 when it was built by Kantar Marine Inc of St.Thomas, ON. It is registered under C17083NL, a Newfoundland designation, but ownership is shown as RCMP "H" Division, Halifax.

Not to be left out the Canadian Coast Guard  landed a helicopter at George's Island late in the afternoon. However this may have been a normal technician run.

The autocarrier Goodwood was sailing form Autoport, in deep shadow.

 The RCN had HMCS Summerside and Glace Bay in the harbour, but this seemed quite incidental too.

See a subsequent post for Port Days coverage.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Regal Princess - early arrival

Of the three cruise ships due in Halifax September 20, one is expected very early in the morning.

Regal Princess will be arriving at the pilot station at 0230 hrs due to a medical evacuation. The transfer will take place at an anchorage in the harbour to avoid docking delays. The ship will move in to pier 22 at 0700 hrs.

Fincantieri Monfalcone built the 142,714 grt ship in 2014 for 3,560 passengers and 1,346 crew. It made its first call in Halifax September 24, 2015 (see photo), having missed its first scheduled call April 19 due to weather en route.

Rotterdam and  AIDAviva are also due in port. The landside of the port area will be especially busy since it will also by the Port's annual Port Days, with several events planned in the same area where the cruise ships berth.

Grandeur of the Seas - late arrival

Most cruise ships arrive in Halifax early in the morning (and often in the dark) to give passengers a full day in port. The arrival of Grandeur of the Seas at noon today was an opportunity to see a ship arriving in daylight.Granted there was not much daylight - it was overcast with periods of drizzle.

On the ship's last trip out of Baltimore, it was in Port Canaveral, FL when Hurricane Florence crossed its proposed route to Bermuda. Instead the ship sailed to the Bahamas and then put around and east of Florence, arriving back in Baltimore arriving on September 15 instead of September 15. That likely accounts for its later arrival today. The ship will spend the night in port and sail early tomorrow morning.

The ship was built by Kvaerner Masa Helsinki in 1997, and has a capacity of 2446 passengers and 760 crew, with a gross tonnage of 73,817. It had a major refit in 2012, and again in 2013 after a fire.

This was the ship's second two day extension to a cruise this year. In January a port side steering issue en route Nassau to Baltimore caused the ship to divert to Port Canaveral for two days of repairs.


Monday, September 17, 2018

The Ins and the Outs

Three cruise ships called in Halifax today, and all sailed in the late afternoon.

Disney Magic one of the more pleasing looking ships, mostly because  ships it is largely devoid of superfluous décor, but also because of its traditional profile with two funnels.

It was built in 1998 by Fincantieri Breda, Marghera (with bow built in Ancona). In 2013 it was "re-imagined" by Navantia, in Cadiz, Spain, and now measure a modest 83,969 grt. The build included a 20 foot (looks bigger) "duck tail" to improve stability.

Next sail was Holland America's Zuiderdam. Also built by Fincantieri Breda, Marghera, but in 2002 (and much refitted in 2015) it is also a twin stacker. However its pair of vertical cylinders are much less pleasing, especially since they are really a Costa trademark, another line in the Carnival stable.

The ship had been tied up, bows north, at pier 20, but likely due to the stiff breeze, opted to back out southward to number one anchorage, then turn for sea. It saluted fleet mate Veendam (not pictured) which sailed later, which was toed up at pier 31..

Moving within the harbour Glorious Leader shifted berths from Autoport to pier 27 to offload some non-auto cargo. The ship was built in 2007 by Stocznia Gdynia, measuring 57,692 grt, 20,999 dwt.

It is on long term charter by Ray Car Carriers to NYK Line.

The first of two arrivals was a ship for bunkers. Pantazis L is a 39,746 grt, 76,629 dwt gearless bulk carrier built in 2003 by Imabari Zosen, Marugame. It was briefly named Red Tulip, but was mercifully renamed soon after delivery.

The ship arrived in ballast from Gijon, Spain. Once it has fueled it will sail for Sept-Iles, QC where it is due September 20 to load at the Iron Company of Canada dock.

The last arrival may be a one time stand in for Nirint Shipping. Vega Virgo is arriving in the usual slot for the ship Hollandia.  Built in 2011 by Zhejiang Yangfan Shipbuilding Co Ltd, the 9999 grt, 11,768 dwt ship has a container capacity of 957 TEU and carries a pair of 45 tonne capacity cranes.

Arriving as it is today from Moa, Cuba with nickel sulfides, it must have had a wild trip through some portion of Hurricane Florence.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Harry DeWolf - float off

In a day long exercise that for the most part resembled watching paint dry, the future Harry DeWolf AOPS1 was floated free of the Boa Barge 37 and finally secured at pier 8 Halifax Shipyard.

It was a complex exercise, done with considerable precision and care and was apparently 100% successful. The operation began shortly after sunrise, when the harbour was socked in by fog. Tugs towed Boa Barge 37 from pier 6 Halifax Shipyard to an deep water anchorage in Bedford Basin off Rockingham.

Once it was safely anchored the slow process of ballasting began, and it was after noon before the barge's deck was fully submerged.

 For a time the stern of the barge was considerably lower in the water than the bow.

A flotilla of small craft including several from RMI Marine, and some other official looking vessels attended the operation.

The trim was eventually corrected with some impressive pumping.

When the second and this tug arrived, it was not clear if Spitfire III was putting on a water display or cooling off a small Coast Guard boat.

By late afternoon, the ship's hull achieved buoyancy - granted with a slight starboard list- and the second and third tugs arrived for the actual float off, and the cold move back to the shipyard began.

The ship was safely alongside pier 8 and the tugs stood down by 1830 hrs.


Friday, September 14, 2018

Harry DeWolf - rolled on

The first of the RCN's Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (aka AOPS 1) , is one step closer to launch this evening. Halifax Shipyard Hull #103 was rolled onto the launch barge Boa Barge 37 in a day long operation. With careful trim adjustments, the operation was conducted successfully and early this evening a crane was lifting off various pieces of equipment. The wheeled transporters, and some of the blue cradles were back on land. Vertical stability pads were being moved into place on each side of the ship to provide balance during tomorrow's float off.

Operations will start early in the morning when the barge is moved to Bedford Basin. Once there the lengthy process of submerging the barge and gradually floating the ship will begin. According to pilotage orders, the ship is expected to be afloat and ready to clear the barge by early afternoon. It will then be moved by tugs,  to pier 8 Halifax Shipyard. 

The name Harry DeWolf has been selected for the ship, but until it is actually handed over to the RCN, it remains under control of Irving Shipbuilding, and is without an official name. A naming ceremony is some time away, as handover to the RCN is not scheduled until next summer. (Just in time for some federal election publicity). Commissioning may be some time after that.


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Harry DeWolf - we have lift off

The future HMCS Harry DeWolf - still known as AOPS1, was lifted off the ground today by multi-wheel transporters.

The blue cradles support the ship, but the red transporters carry the weight as the cradles are raised off the ground.
This is in preparation for tonight or tomorrow's move onto the barge Boa Barge 37. On Saturday morning the barge, with ship aboard, will be moved to Bedford Basin anchorage for the "launch" , or more properly "float off".

The ship will them be moved back to the shipyard for continued fitting out. With the hard stand area free, it is expected that AOPS 2 will very soon move out from the Assembly Hall.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Repeat Performances

Seeing the same ships several times poses challenges for original photos. The same ship in the same place over and over again begins to dull the senses. Fortunately today, although the ships were the familiar, there was something different.

When USS Arleigh Burke sailed this afternoon, the sun was on the Halifax side of the ship - unlike morning arrivals, which is the usual time to see warships.

 Name ship of its class, Arleigh Burke is proceeding cautiously as it leaves Halifax.

Also of course there is the desire to take the photo from forward, but a going away shot can provide some interest too. The ship arrived September 7 and was able to stay in port for a few days. Its May 10, 2017 visit was much briefer, arriving at 1000 hrs and sailing at 1600 hrs.

The autocarrier Elektra is such a regular caller, that I don't photograph it often.  Built in 1999 the ship is still in fine form despite its age. Classed as a Large Car and Truck Carrier (LCTC) it has a capacity of 7,194 cars. This is partly thanks to the 2005 lengthening that increased the ship's grt from 57,018 to 67,264.

Elektra moves from Autoport to pier 28 to off load some non-cars.

Original builder of the ship was Daewoo Heavy Industries, Okpo and the lengthening operation was carried out by Hyundai-Vinishin in Vietnam. A new section of nearly 30 meters was added, increasing the ship's capacity by 20%. It was the first of five Wallenius ships to get the upgrade.

The tanker Alpine Venture was here once before, and that was March 14, 2017, also from Antwerp.  Predictably it was built by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan and is 29,130 grt, 46,046 dwt. On that last visit it had to move to Bedford Basin to wait out a storm. That is unlikely to happen this time.

When the ship was here last, most of the refinery was still intact, although de-commissioned. It is all gone now except for the tanks.

Another regular caller, usually seen approaching or sailing from Halterm is Bomar Rebecca. Plowing a regular furrow for Tropical Shipping, it calls every second Monday, regular as clockwork. Today however was different. It unloaded completely, then moved in ballast to pier 25-26.

It is unusual to see a container ship underway in ballast.

Because Hurricane Florence is expected to make shore in the Carolinas later this week, the ship is taking a trip off. It may also be an opportunity for some maintenance with the ship idled for a week. Its counterpart calling alternate weeks, Asian Sun is likely sitting this one out at the southern end of the route. It will not be calling next Monday, when Bomar Rebecca is scheduled to sail.


Sunday, September 9, 2018


To use some waterfront jargon, the port was mostly pax (passengers) and cans (containers) this weekend. There was little other traffic to mention - no tankers, no bulkers, etc.,

On Saturday it was the always impressive Mein Schiff 6, the TUI Cruises ship, built in 2017 by Meyer Turku Shipyard. It made its first visit here September 2, 2017. The 98,811 grt ship has a capacity of 2,790 passengers, and appeared to be at capacity judging by the number of people on deck on departure.

  Mein Schiff 6 - decks crowded with passengers, sails Saturday evening.

On Sunday, the familiar Serenade of the Seas was joined by the Norwegian Dawn. The latter was re-directed here from its Boston / Bermuda trip by the developing Hurricane Florence. This may be the ship's first time here, since built in 2002 by Meyer Werft, Papenburg. The 92,250 grt ship can carry 2340 passengers.

Serenade of the Seas (left) at pier 22, stern to Norwegian Dream at pier 20 (right).

Even though the re-direction was a last moment one, some passengers opted to take a pass, but those that decided to stay were flocking ashore today in Halifax to buy sweaters. Granted it is cooler in Halifax than it would be in Bermuda, but the press made our climate as nothing short of polar.

The ship is infamous in  my mind for introducing "hull at" - that form of licensed graffiti that now defaces cruise ships throughout the word enough said.

Saturday's container arrival was the regular MOL Paradise for the EC5 service of THE Alliance. The 71,902 grt, 72,968 dwt ship has a capacity of 6350 TEU (including 500 reefers). After construction by Koyo Dockyard Co in Mihara, in 2005 it was briefly renamed APL Paradise from 2011 to 2012.

MOL Paridise threads its way through the Narrows - apparently effortlessly - despite the presence of pleasure craft.

Sunday's arrival was  Ikaria, now under anonymous Greek ownership, it is the former Long Beach Bridge of K-Line. Built in 2002 by Koyo Dockyard, Mihara, the 66,332 grt, 67,164 dwt ship has a capacity of 5576 TEU (including 440 reefers). It carried the name Ikaria briefly in 2010, and CCNI Antartico from 2010 to 2012.

 The tug Spitfire III heels as it assists the ship to make a course correction inbound.

Things were easier going as the ship transits the Narrows.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Onego Trader

Onego Trader sailed this afternoon after a lengthy stay in port. The ship arrived August 29 and tied up at pier 27. This is at least the fourth visit to Halifax for the ship siunce 2013, each time with a load Polish manufactured rails for CN. A multi-purpose ship of 6301 grt, 8930 dwt, it carries a pair of 40 tonne cranes, working a pair of box shaped holds of the open hatch configuration (the hold is the same size as the hatches).

Bodewes Volharding, Foxhol, Netherlands built the ship in 2001 as Dewi Laksmi. It was renamed Harns in 2008 and Onego Trader in 2010. Ownership and registry changed with the first name change, moving from Panama to Netherlands. Early in August of this year the ship was registered in Germany then immediately re-registered in Portuguese Madeira for new owners Hilda D Shipping.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Star Pride "inaugural call"

The cruise ship Star Pride made its inaugural call in Halifax today, but only under its current name. In fact it has been calling here for three decades.

When built by Schichau Seebeck, Bremerhaven in 1988 it was one of the classiest ships afloat. Named Seabourn Pride, its small size (only 212 passengers [new reduced to 208], 164 crew, 9975 grt) and clean yacht-like lines made a mark for Seabourn (managed by Cunard) wherever it went. It was one of the early ships to be named by a celebrity - in its case by Shirley Temple Black. 

The sleekly beautiful Seabourn Pride as built,

Its original appearance has unfortunately been marred over the years by several refits. The worst, in the early 2000s, installed individual windows and sliding doors on the upper deck cabins, which ruined the continuity of the clean blue window bands. The inevitable addition of giant Sat Domes can only be written off as a regrettable necessity.

The ship did not lose all its appeal with the addition of "Juliet balconies" and individual windows, but the blue bands lost their effect.

In 2014 when Seabourn sold the ship to Windstar Cruises, there have been further changes.

The complete elimination of the blue bands makes the ship look very chunky, even though the one blue stripe above main deck level remains. The ship continues to be well maintained and is showing few signs of age.


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

post Labour Day pickup

As usual Labour Day Monday was a quiet day in the port with only the cruise ship Veendam at the deep water piers. Things picked up somewhat today - particularly at Halterm.

First in was Asian Sun on its regular visit for Tropical Shipping. It was in port all day, discharging and loading. As Halifax is a terminal port for the line most of the ship's 1119 TEU capacity was unloaded and loaded.  It started calling in Halifax for Tropical in October 2017.

Under the watchful eye of Canadian Border Services, Asian Sun works at pier 42.
Next in line was AS Felicia, also a regular caller, on ZIM's Halifax / Kingston, Jamaica service, where it connects with ZIM's larger ships.

The tug Atlantic Fir makes up stern forward, to prepare to turn the ship for pier 41.

The ship made its first call in Halifax April 3, 2018. Although a major comedown in size from previous ZIM callers, some of which exceeded 10,000 TEU, this feeder service handles as many or more boxes in Halifax as the big ships did.
ZIM however is consolidating its services further in a slot arrangement with the 2M Alliance, (Maersk and MSC). Starting next week ZIM will drop one of its six Asia / US East coast loops in favour of a 3,000 TEU per week slot arrangement with 2M. This will allow the line to shed six Panamax time chartered ships. It has an industry high 90% charters in its 84 ship fleet.  

As Asian Sun was preparing t leave Cap Portland was arriving to take its spot at pier 42. Cap Portland is on only its second call in  Halifax. The first was August 1 when it inaugurated the new Med / Montreal Express (MMX) service for Maersk. The five ship service calls in Montreal westbound and Halifax eastbound.
Cap Portland is met by Atlantic Oak off Halterm as it makes its way to pier 42.

Built in 2007 by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan (yes they build something other than tankers) the 22,914 grt, 28,142 dwt ship has a capacity of 1819 TEU (including 462 reefers) and is fitted with three 45 tonne cranes. It was built as Santa Albano. but was renamed on delivery to owners associated  with CP Offen.

Cap Portland westbound on the St.Lawrence last week, appeared to be loaded to capacity.

Halterm was not the only location for activity today - Autoport resumed operations with the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Porgy. Flying the Liberian flag the 58,752 grt, 18,009 dwt ship has a capacity of 6,284 cars. It is on charter to W-W by Lucia Navigation of Panama. This is a change from original owners Sedona Car Lines Panama SA, which owned the ship until earlier this year. Managers remain Excel Marine Co Ltd.
It was built in 2009 by Toyohashi Shipbuilding in Japan.

Porgy makes the turn outbound around Ives Knoll.

There was also some activity at Imperial Oil as the tanker Harbour Feature arrived late Sunday.

Tied up at Imperial Oil number 4 dock.

Built  in 2011 by Yangfan Group, Zhoushan it measures 11,880 grt and 16,909 dwt, and it operated by Nordic Tankers of Hamburg under the Portuguese Madeira flag. It is one of a number of tankers operating under coasting licenses for Algoma Tankers, and trading between Canadian ports for the season. Algoma has recently applied to extend the license (originally from July 1 - September 30) to November 30 to meet unexpected demand for heavy fuel.

 I saw the ship earlier this summer transiting the St.Lawrence Seaway.
Line handlers are no longer needed in the locks, since magnetic suction plates hold the ship alongside during lock filling and emptying.

The ship sailed this evening for Sarnia, ON.

Victory II and Hugh R. Sharp

Two American built vessels made appearances in Halifax this morning.

The cruise ship Victory II was in only briefly en route from the Great Lakes to Gloucester. After a somewhat late start due to an extensive refit, the ship missed its inaugural call in Halifax June 2, but was able to enter service in July in Detroit (after a mandatory pre-Seaway call in Montreal). Its first call in Halifax was August 15.

Now completed with its Great Lakes tour season, it will carry out New England / Maritime cruises for the autumn. Built as  Cape Cod Light in 2004 by Atlantic Marine in Jacksonville, FL, it is a sister ship to Victory I, built as Cape May Light, and both somewhat checkered histories, but seem now to have found profitable work for Victory Cruise Lines. They can carry 202 passengers.

Also arriving this morning the US flag research vessel Hugh R. Sharp tied up at pier 26. The ship was built in 2005 by Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, WA for the University of Delaware. It can accommodate 12 scientists in addition to its crew of 8.

The ship measures 495 grt, and is powered by four Cummins engines driving two Schottel Z-drives.