Ports & Ships Maritime News
Dec 12, 2005
SOUTH AFRICA – New role for MV Madagascar
After a less than satisfactory start as an all-year cruise ship based in Durban, the local owners/charterers of the MV Madagascar say they intend refitting the ship and re-marketing her at a higher level of comfort and luxury. In addition it is likely that the ship may be repositioned to spend more time in East Africa where they hope to find calmer seas.
Madagascar arrived with little fanfare in Durban in October and has so far completed only a single voyage as planned, mainly as a result of encountering rough seas each time the ship left Durban. The problem of whether the ship can handle the rough seas typical to this part of South Africa’s east coast were compounded a week ago when the ship was placed under judicial arrested by the European owner for reasons not yet full disclosed.
According to Trevor Boynton, MD of Indian Ocean Cruises the financial hiccup is of a temporary nature and will be sorted out shortly, after which the ship is to undergo an extensive refit that will see her accommodation reduced from the present 235 to about 110 passengers along with upgrading the public areas of the ship.
“We’re looking at doing more cruises from places like Dar es Salaam from April,” he said but added that this didn’t exclude the ship operating between Durban and other South African ports at other times, although there would be a greater emphasis on shore visits.
SOMALIA – Kenyan Navy begins escort duty
It is being reported that ships of the Kenyan Navy are now escorting vessels operating in waters along its coast north of Mombasa. The Kenyan Defence Department says that international ships sailing along the Kenyan coast are now required to notify the Kenyan Navy of their presence.
Last week the German cruise ship Europa became the first cruise vessel to receive this attention with an escort provided by two Kenyan Navy vessels, the Province class missile boat Nyayo (P3126) and the Shupavu class patrol boat Shujaa (P6130).
Kenyan has taken these steps to help ward off any possibility of an increase in freight rates being applied to cover higher insurance premiums on shipping along the East African coast. There have been fears that the region may be declared a war zone.
Meanwhile the highjacked Kenyan freighter Torgelow and its crew of ten returned safely to Mombasa at the weekend after being released by the Somali pirates who took the ship into captivity in October.
Torgelow was headed for the Somali coast with a cargo of supplies for another ship captured and then released when other pirates on several small boats approached and boarded the vessel, forcing the Torgelow to sail for the pirates’ lair on the Somali coast.
It is reported that Somali businessmen negotiated the release of the vessel, the third company ship to be captured in quick succession by the pirates.
UGANDA – ferry owner looks to expand lake operations
Brigitte Gaetje-Defloor, MD of Kamanga Ferry in Uganda says there is a huge potential for Uganda to expand its shipping interests on Lake Victoria.
Kamanga Ferry is the owner and operator of an eight-ship passenger and cargo fleet operating from Tanzania and Kenya. Gaetje-Defloor said the potential was obvious from the amount of cargo congestion in the lake’s ports.
The shortage of ships on the lake was exacerbated earlier this year when the mv Kabalega collided with another ship, mv Kaawa and sank. Kabalega was loaded with a cargo of wheat at the time. A tender for the salvage and recovery of the vessel was offered to Durban-based Subtech Diving.
Uganda had five vessels plying a ferry trade across Lake Victoria – mv Pamba, mv Kaawa, mv Uhuru, mv Umojo and the ill-fated mv Kabalega. In October a new ship, the 37.5m long mv Kalangala was due to enter service and be operated by the Dutch construction company Damen Shipbuilding. The new ship provides a passenger and cargo service between Lutoboka on Bugala Island and Nakiwogo in Entebbe
- source New Vision and Ports & Ships own reports
SOUTH AFRICA – Coega loans guaranteed
Small and micro enterprises (SME’s) received a fillip with the news that they will be guaranteed loans for new enterprises secured within the Coega Industrial Development Zone.
Standard Bank says that black-owned SMEs will qualify automatically for a credit facility with the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) acting as guarantor. The CDC says that it will provide a mentoring role for the new businesses with ongoing training to endure there are no defaults on the loans.
SOUTH AFRICA – navy comes a callin’
The US Fast Sealift ship USNS Denebola (T-AKR 289) arrived in Durban on Sunday to load bunkers. USNS Denebola is of the same class of Fast Sealift vessels as the USNS Antares, USNS Algol and USNS Altair which have called in Durban previously. Since then others of the class have called at Cape Town rather than Durban but on this occasion the shortage of fuel at the Cape port (see Ports & Ships News dated 9 December) is thought to have forced the ship’s diversion.
In January another regular naval visitor is due in Durban for a short courtesy call. This is the French Navy patrol frigate FNS Nivose which is expected between 26 and 30 January 2006.
CLIPPER RACE UPDATE
Monday 12 December 2005
The afternoon update from the race competitors has been delayed today owing to poor internet communication but as of this morning the race position remained as it was throughout the weekend, except that Jersey and Qingdao are now jointly in 4th position and are racing alongside of each other on the ‘same patch of ocean.’ Durban Clipper slowed down slightly overnight with a 12-hour run of 100 miles but was still some 54 miles ahead of second place Victoria.
The log position this morning was (with distance in miles to the finishing line at Fremantle):
Jersey & Qingdao (each 1036)
New York (1109)
- source http://www.clipper-ventures.co.uk
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