Friday, 31 July 2009


Friday also saw a new vessel making her first call at Greenock, on her first voyage on charter to Macandrews and taking the place of her sistership ACHIEVER at Liverpool the day before. BELIEVER, which was built in 1992 and launched as SVEN OLTMANN, becoming GRACECHURCH PLANET seven years later. Renamed EMILY BORCHARD in 2002, she reverted to her original name after a year. In 2004 she took her current name. Now owned by a Norwegian company, she is registered at Valetta. BELIEVER is a Type 148 ship, capable of carrying up to 510 TEU boxes, and is 116.8 metres long, with a deadweight of 6,620 tonnes. After sailing from Greenock, BELIEVER was heading for Bilbao in northern Spain.


Also arriving on Friday morning was the Royal Fleet Auxiliary FORT ROSALIE, a vessel that recently underwent a major refit on the Mersey. After spending 14 months at the Cammell Laird shipyard at Birkenhead, FORT ROSALIE has, since mid-February, been conducting Operational Sea Training, interspersed with periods alongside at Crombie on the River Forth and Devonport.


Lying at 'Bravo 4' on Friday morning was VICTORIA, the ship employed on the West Coast Feeder 2 service for CMA CGM, and serving Avonmouth, Greenock, and Le Havre. Arriving from Dublin was X-PRESS MATTERHORN, on her OOCL Southampton-Irish Sea Express charter which also serves Belfast. Between them, heading to Dunoon, is the small passenger ferry ALI CAT.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


Two coasters lay at the 'Bravo' anchorage on Tuesday, each waiting to move not upriver, but into two of the nearby lochs. On the left, the Cypriot-flagged coaster SKARPOE, built in 2005 and operated by the German company Hermann Buss. This 90-metre long,4,508 tonne deadweight vessel was about to head for Sandbank, where she would load round timber. On the right, the coaster AMANDA had arrived a day or so previously from Barrow-in-Furness with a miltary cargo for Faslane. She is Danish-flagged, and was built at the Sietas yard in 1981. A little smaller than SKAPOE at 80.94 metres in length, she has a deadweight of 1,795 tonnes. Between the two, the Clydeport pilot cutter CLOCH, still standing in while TOWARD undergoes overhaul at Largs Marina.


Early morning sunlight catches the Dutch cargo ship SPAARNEGRACHT as she steams past McInroy's Point towards Greenock, where she would berth at Ocean Terminal to load paper reels for shipment to the USA. The Spliethoff-owned ship, no stranger to the Clyde having been here on a number of previous occasions, sailed on Wednesday afternoon for Baltimore.

Monday, 27 July 2009


The fleet tanker BAYLEAF sailed from her berth at Loch Striven on Monday morning, and moved upriver to spend some time on the Baron's Point degaussing range. The Royal Fleet Auxilairy ship had spent several weeks at the Loch Striven fuel jetty following her recent refit at Cammell Laird on the Mersey, and around a week ago had spent a day steaming around the lower Clyde estuary. After a number of passes over the degaussing range, BAYLEAF set sail from the Clyde.

Saturday, 25 July 2009


Seen passing the Ashton Buoy after her second visit to Greenock - the first was at the beginning of July - Princess Cruises' CROWN PRINCESS was heading for Invergordon as she made her way round the British coast on a 12-night cruise from Southampton. CROWN PRINCESS is one of the Clyde's largest visitors at 113,651 gross tons, and 290 metres in length. She was completed in 2006 at the Fincantieri yard at Monfalcone and can carry up to 3,080 passengers. The second ship in the Princess Cruises fleet to use the name, her predecessor was featured here recently as A'ROSA BLU.


The German coaster PERU arrived from Waterford on Saturday afternoon, and proceeded to the Bravo anchorage before heading upriver to load scrap at Renfrew. PERU, owned by Wessels, was built in 1998 in Serbia and is 90.12 metres overall, with a deadweight of 4,279 tonnes.


Newly arrived during the night from her builders at Bristol, Clyde Marine's latest acquisition glistens in the sun after her passage up the Irish Sea. CLYDE CLIPPER is a 125 gross ton catamaran and will be able to carry up to 250 passengers. 28 metres in length, and 11 metres in breadth, she is fitted with two Doosan engines and has a speed of around 12 knots.

Friday, 24 July 2009


Also outward bound on Friday was RMS LIBAVA, a small coaster of 1,566 tonnes deadweight registered in Belize. This 74.80 metre long ship was built in Papenburg in 1983 as AMISIA, later becoming RMS RUHRORT in 1998, and adopting her current name in 2007. She is now managed by Clermont Services, a Latvian company.


Laid down at the Slovenske Lodenice yard at Komarno on the River Danube in the late 1990s as ORTRUD MULLER, this ship was taken over while under construction, and completed for Erwin Strahlmann as PINNAU in 2003. One of the popular 'Rhein' class, she is 3,687 tonnes deadweight and is 87.97 metres overall. She was seen on Friday afternoon sailing with a cargo of scrap metal, loaded at Shieldhall, outward bound for Bayonne.


Passing Cloch Point on her way upriver to discharge a cargo of motor spirit from Eastham, the Dutch-flagged tanker BRO GARLAND is a brand new ship, only delivered from the Ferus Smit shipyard in May this year. BRO GARLAND, operated by Brostrom Tankers, and managed by Marin Ship Management, is 116.35 metres overall and has a deadweight of 7,559 tonnes.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Paying a last call to Greenock, the veteran cruiseship SAGA ROSE was seen passing Cloch Lighthouse on Wednesday afternoon, as she made her stately way down the Clyde and on to Liverpool. Her final cruise will leave Southampton on 30 October and take her on a 37-night venture around the Mediterranean. On arrival back at Southampton on 6 December, she will be retired from the Saga fleet.

Monday, 20 July 2009


Arriving on the Clyde on Monday was the Liberian-flagged tanker HELLESPONT TRIUMPH, a ship built in 1998 and which was named PECOS when new. She was built by Daewoo in Korea, and is 157,406 tonnes deadweight, with an overall length of 274 metres. Unusually for a tanker, her hull is painted white - this was done at a recent drydocking in Dubai. HELLESPONT TRIUMPH, operated by Hellespont AG, a German company, was carrying a cargo of Nigerian crude oil.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Yesterday's ClydeSights: CLIPPER ADVENTURER

One of the smaller passenger ships that has, on numerous occasions in the past, visited Greenock, is the small passenger ship CLIPPER ADVENTURER. She was built in Yugoslavia in 1975 as the Soviet ferry ALLA TARASOVA, and rebuilt for cruising in 1997-98. With her ice-strengthened hull, she is often found on cruises to polar regions for a variety of charterers, carrying up to 122 passengers. She is 5,750 gross tons, and has an overall length of 100 metres.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Yesterday's ClydeSights: ROYAL PRINCESS

Another view of P&O Princess Cruises' ROYAL PRINCESS, seen here leaving Greenock after a visit in September 2003. Two years later, she was transferred to P&O Cruises, given their trademark buff funnel, and renamed ARTEMIS. Built in 1984 , her order had been announced two years earlier and was placed with the Wartsila Shipyard at Helsinki as no British shipyard was able to guarantee delivery deadlines at the required price of $150 million. She was named by the late HRH Princess of Wales at Southampton in November 1984 as a mark of the ship's status within the P&O Group.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Yesterday's ClydeSights: SUNDREAM

Passing the Gantocks outward bound on a chilly, damp July afternoon in 2004, the former Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship SUNDREAM was, by that time, operating for Airtours under the My Travel name. She had been built in 1970 by Wartsila at their Helsinki shipyard, the first ship for the new Royal Caribbean company. Lengthened in 1978, she was sold to Sun Cruises (part of Airtours) in 1996 at which time the distinctive 'sky lounge' - later to become a trademark of RCCL ships - was removed, improving her appearance. She continued to sail for My Travel until September 2004, after which she was renamed DREAM PRINCESS and was sold to an Israeli company. She had a spell acting as an accommodation ship following the devastation at New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, losing the 'Princess' part of her name at that time. Since then she has had a somewhat chequered career, most rceently having been seen at a Bulgarian shipyard undergoing a transformation from her last role as the 'PEACEBOAT'. At 22,945 gross tons, FESTIVAL - as she is currently named - was 194.3 metres in length and could carry just over 700 passengers.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Yesterday's ClydeSights: GLORY C

Rather unusually for a bulk carrier, GLORY C was fitted with a full set of her own cargo-handling gear which included derricks and cranes. She made a number of visits to the Clyde in 2003-04, bringing in cargoes of animal feed to Shieldhall, and was seen sailing after one such visit in October 2004. GLORY C had been built in Japan in 1976 as BUNKO MARU, becoming in 1986 TRADE CARRIER. She was again renamed in 2000, becoming GLORY C. Still reported to be afloat today, she was 200.0 metres overall and had a deadweight of 51,672 tonnes.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Yesterday's ClydeSights: PIONEER

One of the best-loved car ferries belonging to Caledonian MacBrayne in recent years was PIONEER, a vessel built in 1974 at the Robb Caledon shipyard at Leith. She was built specifically to serve between the shallow waters of West Loch Tarbert and Islay, and her arrival on the route saw considerable amounts of traffic returning to the state-funded route, much of it having transferred in the preceding few years to Western Ferries' rival service from Kennacraig. It was undoubtedly her appearance that led to the demise of the private operator's service a number of years later. PIONEER went on to serve on many CalMac routes, and in fact served at one stage or another on all of her owner's main services apart from the Ullapool-Stornoway crossing. The 67.47 metre long vessel, which could carry 218 passengers and around 35 cars, was sold in 2004 to begin a new life in West African waters under a new name, BRENDA CORLETT.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Yesterday's ClydeSights: KNM OKSØY - M340

Commissioned into the Royal Norwegian Navy in 1994, OKSØY was a minehunter built to a new catamaran design, the first ship in a class of four vessels, which were later joined by another five similar craft built as minesweepers. Built by Kvaerner Mandal, the 55.2 metre long OKSØY and her sisters are surface effect craft, with twin fibreglass hulls and a kevlar skirt fitted either end between them, which when air is blown into the enclosed space, results in a draft of less than one metre. Waterjet propulsion was driven by twin MTU diesel engines, giving a speed in excess of 20 knots. OKSØY suffered damage when she ran aground in 2005, and is currently awaiting disposal.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Yesterday's ClydeSights: MARIANNE

Employed on a service to Southampton during the summer of 2003, the containership MARIANNE was seen as she arrived on the Clyde early one day in July that year. She had been built in 1974 by the German Sietas shipyard as FRANCOP, and was mainly used on short-term charter work, much as similar vessels are today. The 93.2 metre long vessel, of 3,317 tonnes deadweight, spent two spells on charter to Manchester Liners, and carried the names MANCHESTER FAITH in 1976-77 and again in 1978-83. Since then she has carried a variety of names, including MARIANNE between 19998 and 2003. She is still trading as ARROW S under the Togo flag, managed by a company based in the Lebanon.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Yesterday's ClydeSights: A'ROSA BLU

Having previously called at Greenock while named CROWN PRINCESS under the Princess Cruises houseflag, this ship revisited the Clyde in August 2003 in the guise shown here, as A'ROSA BLU. Shortly after this picture was taken she was renamed AIDABLU and she was transferred to Aida Cruises. In April 2007, she was again renamed, this time becoming OCEAN VILLAGE TWO, and still sails under the Ocean Village banner mainly in the Mediterranean, although later this year she is due to move to the Australian market, where she will be renamed yet again, to become PACIFIC JEWEL. She was built in Italy in 1990, and is 245.6 metres overall, with a gross tonnage of 69,845 tons. Her current capacity is for 2,014 passengers who are accommodated in 832 cabins.