Ports & Ships Maritime News

Oct 12, 2005
Author: P&S

Starlight hopes to bring all-year cruising to South Africa

STARLIGHT Cruises managing director Allan Foggitt told travel agents at a function in Durban last night that he hoped to have a cruise ship based in Durban on an all year round basis in the near future.

Foggitt said this while hosting a function to introduce the start of this year’s summer season, which features the return of MSC Rhapsody for its second season. He said that advance bookings for local cruises on Rhapsody were already several thousand ahead on a day to day basis compared with last year, which augured well for everyone concerned.

Earlier he indicated to Ports & Ships that the ship to be stationed in Durban may possibly be the Monterey, which proved to be extremely popular with the South African public when she cruised here for a number of years until two years ago.

Meanwhile, Rhapsody sails from Genoa on Monday, 7 November on her positioning cruise to Durban via the Suez Canal, Seychelles and Mauritius and is expected in Durban on Monday 28 November. Rhapsody begins her cruise season with a three-night cruise to Portuguese Island later that same day.

The full schedule is available on the Ports & Ships Cruise page under Cruise Schedules, and a brochure can be obtained from most travel agents.

Transnet will go to markets for money

TRANSNET told parliament’s public enterprises portfolio committee this morning that it will probably have to borrow up to R25 billion made up of various amounts over five years between now and 2010 to fund capital investment projects already announced by its subsidiary companies.

In addition to the investments required, Transnet becomes responsible for a number of loans and bonds that mature during this period, raising the amount the company requires to around R75 billion.

Approximately two thirds of this amount will however be generated from profits made by the National Ports Authority, SA Port Operations, Spoornet and Petronet, with the shortfall having to come from borrowings on the open market.

Chinese place two men into space

CHINA TODAY successfully launched two men into a 119-hour orbital mission from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. The launch took place at 09.00 local time (01.00 GMT) and becomes the second Chinese manned orbit in two years. The first launch, in October 2003 placed a single astronaut in an earth orbit.

The Chinese satellite tracking ship Yang Wang 3, which earlier had visited Durban (see our News reports forecasting this launch dated 19 and 29 September and 5 October) will have played a key role while on station off the Namibian coast in the South Atlantic, as will have three similar ships off West Australia and in the Pacific.

It is anticipated although not confirmed that Yang Wang 3 will visit Cape Town once the mission is completed, possibly arriving about Tuesday or Wednesday next week (18 or 19 October).

Second floating dock in service at Durban

THE DURBAN ship repair company Elgin Brown & Hamer recently acquired the 60-ton floating crane known as Imvubu from the port of Durban and after a thorough overall has returned the craft to service in the harbour.

Elgin expects that much of the work undertaken by the floating crane will be internal and involved with ship repair, but has also made the vessel available for general work with outside companies. The tariffs are extremely competitive, about half of what is charged by the National Ports Authority for its 220-ton floating crane Indlovu.

Another craft soon to enter service with Elgin Brown & Hamer is a former dredger that was acquired from the NPA and which has had all its dredging equipment removed prior to having a 4-ton crane fitted. This vessel will also become available for assisting with repair work alongside ships in the harbour.

Enquiries about hiring these craft and other services including the Eldock floating dock can be made to 031-205 6391.

Madagascar delayed

UNCONFIRMED reports from the port of Durban indicate that the cruise ship Madagascar (former Stella Maris II/Viking Bordeaux), which was originally due to arrive in Durban about the middle of October to begin an all-year cruise season in South African waters, has been delayed.

According to these reports the ship will now arrive in Durban on 24 October and this is likely to lead to a postponement of the first two cruises – the first was scheduled for 31 October.

Kenya opens probe into Somali ship highjacking

FOLLOWING the release of the Kenyan freighter Semlow and the now confirmed highjacking of another ship Torgelow belong to the same company, the Kenyan government says it will investigate whether any of those involved with the highjackings have links with the Somali government.

The interim Somali government includes a number of local warlords, and if these are found to have been involved then Kenya says it will break off all diplomatic ties with its northern neighbour.

Torgelow has a crew of ten on board and was bound for El Ma’an with a general cargo in addition to a supply of fuel intended for its sister company ship Semlow, which had been released after being held captive for a number of months. Semlow is in the harbour at El Ma’an and apart from having run out of fuel has experienced engine problems as a result of the wrong kind of lubricating oil being used – when the ship was originally released the crew requested a supply of oil but all they were given was of a domestic variety which has damaged some of the machinery.

Meanwhile the UN World Food Programme announced it may turn to using road transport to ferry food aid into Somalia in future because of the threat to ships in the area.

Did you know that Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Beira on the East Coast

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