Friday, 16 September 2011


The largest passenger ship to visit the Clyde during 2011 was Cunard's QUEEN MARY 2, making her second visit to Greenock. Once again, she was on a cruise around the British Isles, and had started at Southampton, visiting Cherbourg, Cobh and Liverpool on the way.

On board QUEEN MARY 2 were some passengers who had sailed south from Greenock a few days earlier aboard QUEEN ELIZABETH, and who had transferred from one ship to the other at Southampton.

From Greenock, QUEEN MARY 2 continued her cruise around the north of Scotland to the Forth, where she anchored off Queensferry before heading back to Southampton.

Thursday, 15 September 2011


Another of the Princess Cruises fleet paid a one-day visit to Greenock during 2011. EMERALD PRINCESS is seen above making her way downriver after visiting the Clyde for the first time on a positiong voyage that was taking her from the Baltic to Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Having started at Copenhagen, she sailed to Oslo and Kristiansand before heading to Greenock. The 113,561 gross ton cruiseship, completed in the spring of 2007, was built by Fincantieri. She measures 290 metres, the maximum that can travel through the Panama Canal, and generally spends the summer months in European waters, and the winters in the warmer Caribbean.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Outbound for Belfast, another ship belonging to the combined Maersk/Brostrom fleet was seen leaving Loch Long with a cargo from Finnart. NUUK MAERSK, dating from 2008, is one of their six-strong 'N' class products carriers of 16,550 tonnes. She was carrying a cargo of refined products that had been pumped across Scotland from Grangemouth.

Saturday, 10 September 2011


The brightly coloured Dutch coaster REGGEDIJK was seen heading out to sea, fully laden with a cargo of scrap metal from Renfrew destined for the Spanish port of Seville. REGGEDIJK is the fourteenth, and last, ship of a series of 4,450 tonne deadweight coasters built by the Chowgule shipyard at Goa in India. She was delivered in April 2011, and is owned by Dutch company Navigia, and operated by German firm Apollo Shipping.

Friday, 9 September 2011


With SOUND OF SCARBA providing a splash of colour on an otherwise drab day, the products tanker BRO ATLAND heads past Hunter's Quay and the Holy Loch on her way to Finnart, where she would be loading a cargo of grades for Belfast, once a regular run for the ships of the Brostrom fleet.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


After calling at Greenock, PRINSENDAM had been due to sail overnight to Oban but, in light of the poor weather forecast, she remained alongside Ocean Terminal until early morning. With QUEEN ELIZABETH due alongside, PRINSENDAM moved clear of the berth and steamed the short distance across to the mouth of the Holy Loch, where she anchored for the day. Her tenders ferried passengers ashore at Sandbank, from where coaches were laid on to take passengers on excursions to parts of Argyll that they might have visited from Oban. PRINSENDAM sailed in the evening for Portree.


While SOUND OF SCARBA lies at her berth at Hunter's Quay, the cruiseship PRINSENDAM rides at anchor off the mouth of the Holy Loch. Diverted to 'Sandbank' instead of Oban because of a poor weather forecast, her tenders were running passengers ashore at the Holy Loch Marina. A couple of runs were also carried out by CRUISER.


Following QUEEN ELIZABETH up the Firth of Clyde was the Suezmax tanker VILAMOURA, fully laden with a cargo of Nigerian crude oil from Forcados. A modern double-hulled tanker, she was completed in March 2011 by Samsung Heavy Industries in Korea. 264 metres long, she has a deadweight of 158,621 tonnes and is operated by Heidmar.


Making her first visit to the Clyde, Cunard's latest cruise ship QUEEN ELIZABETH is seen above making her way upriver past Dunoon to Greenock Ocean Terminal. QUEEN ELIZABETH is slightly larger than her close sister QUEEN VICTORIA, which visited Greenock in July 2010. As she has a slightly different layout her tonnage is 90,901 gross tons. 

As QUEEN ELIZABETH made her way upriver, she passed another passenger ship, PRINSENDAM, which had lain overnight at Greenock. The pair exchanged greetings as they passed one another, both being owned by a subsidiary of the Carnival Corporation.

QUEEN ELIZABETH was launched in January 2010 and completed in October at the Fincantieri Molfalcone shipyard in Italy. She was named by Her Majesty the Queen at Southampton, her home port, on 11 October 2010 before setting out on a cruise to the Canary Islands.

Although several cruise ship have left Greenock and taken the Hunterston Channel on their way downriver, the departure of QUEEN ELIZABETH was unusual as it was probably the first time that a Cunard ship has done so. The last view shows her catching the evening sun as she heads towards Largs. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Arriving from Skagen, BREMEN TRADER was heading to Finnart to load a cargo of reformate for Buenos Aires. BREMEN TRADER is operated by Lomar Shipping, a London-based company. Built in South Korea by KY Heavy Industries at Mopko, she was named AUSTER initially before becoming HELLESPONT CHIVALRY in 2008, under which name she visited the Clyde in June that year. She became a member of the Lomar fleet in January 2011, along with two sisters, and was renamed. BREMEN TRADER has a deadweight of 13,185 tonnes and is 128.6 metres in length.


Putting out to sea into a fresh westerly wind, the products tanker NORTHERN OCEAN had been delivering a cargo of fuel to Rothesay Dock that she had loaded at Brofjorden in Norway. NORTHERN OCEAN is registered at Nolsoy in the Faroe Islands but has, in the past, been a regular visitor to the Clyde as STEN ODIN, her original name. She is now owned and operated by the Swedish Furetank Group.


Holland America Lines' attractive cruiseship PRINSENDAM returned to the Clyde for another visit to Greenock while on a cruise around the British Isles. The 1988-built ship, originally named ROYAL VIKING SUN and later SEABOURN SUN, was seen arriving from Belfast.

Sunday, 4 September 2011


Previously Serco's SD COLONEL TEMPLER, and having been for sale for several months, the former trials ship was drydocked by Garvel and has now been renamed SEAWAY ENDEAVOUR after being sold in July  to a Swedish company. Built at Aberdeen in 1966 as the stern trawler CRISCILLA, she is now being prepared for a new role as a survey vessel.

Saturday, 3 September 2011


One of the more varied container services running to Greenock is that operated by the Mediterranean Shipping Company from Antwerp. A wide selection of vessels of varying vintage and origin has appeared on the run, including this one, MSC IRIS, seen above on her first visit to the Clyde. MSC IRIS was built in 1982 by VEB Warnowwerft Warnemünde at Rostock, in what was at the time East Germany, for Soviet owners. Originally named KAPITAN GAVRILOV, she was later lengthened and, in 1995, renamed LISBOA. Now 203.1 metres long, and with a deadweight of 21,370 tonnes,  she was subsequently renamed several times eventually becoming MSC IRIS in March 2004.


Since the introduction of the new Islay ferry FINLAGGAN, the service has been maintained by both the new ship and one of the existing ferries on the crossing between Kennacraig and Port Askaig. With ISLE OF ARRAN on duty, the chance has been taken to take HEBRIDEAN ISLES off service and to update the control systems for her propulsion machinery. This work has been carried out afloat at Garvel, Greenock, and included the replacement of propeller pitch, steering and bow thruster controls with new electronic systems. In the view above, two of the new wiring looms can be seen dangling over the bridge wings before final installation.