Ports & Ships Maritime News

Dec 9, 2005
Author: P&S

EMAIL: jhughes@hugheship.com
WEB SITE: www.hugheship.com

CONGO – They giveth and they taketh

Member companies of the EWATA consortium have announced a port congestion surcharge for the port of Matadi to cover the waiting time for berthing because of what EWATA calls extreme congestion. The surcharge amounts to €50/£35 per TEU and comes into effect from 14 December 2005. On that date the lines will also impose a terminal surcharge of €275/£185 to cover congestion delays at the Matadi container terminal.

However, thanks to the improvement of the draft on the river Congo, the Congo River surcharge has been cancelled.

COMOROS – Mbeki calls for Comoros stability

South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki yesterday made an appeal for foreign assistance to help stabilise the coup-plagued Comoros islands as the small country heads towards next year’s general election.

He said the future of humanity would become very bleak if the world couldn’t help an under-developed country of half a million people in its time of need.

Mbeki was on a one-day visit to the Comoros to co-chair a summit of donors and financial institutions who are reviewing a needs-assessment report. According to the Comoros government at least US0 million in assistance is required to fund a four-year agriculture and fishing programme aimed at development and poverty reduction among the islands.

In the past 30 years the governments of the Comoros, which lie astride the northern Mozambique Channel midway between Mozambique and Madagascar, have been overthrown at least 20 times, including on some occasions involving violence and foreign mercenaries.

SOUTH AFRICA – Cape Town runs out of gas

The port of Cape Town has run out of MGO and is unable to refuel ships with this type of fuel. The shortage is expected to be of temporary duration, according to a bunker supply dealer today.

NIGERIA – Bonny Channel to be cleared

The Nigerian Ports Authority has arranged to clear the Bonny Channel of various shipwrecks that have made it impossible to dredge the passage leading to Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas’ berthing facilities.

The port authority said this week that they hoped to have the wrecks cleared by the end of April next year in order for dredging of the Bonny River channel to commence.

SOUTH AFRICA – Cruise season underway with a hiccup

With the advent of the summer season, the ports are again playing host to a bevy of cruise ships. First to arrive was the diminutive Madagascar, which sailed in with the hopes and aspirations of her would-be owners but little else in the way of suitability to meet the demands of an unrelenting and often cruel coastline.

That lack of experience and suitability has already become all too apparent, with the little ship on several occasions being unable to reach her intended destination. Since then has come the hammer blow of a judicial detention (arrest) and if the latest reports are correct, her cruise schedule has been cancelled.

Fortunately for those with hopes of lazy days visiting tropical islands from the springboard of a luxury cruise ship, the MSC Rhapsody has also arrived and has entered smoothly into her regular smorgasbord of two, three, four and even longer cruises. By all accounts reservations have been heavy.

Added to that is the happy news that another MSC ship, the Monterey will return to South Africa from next November to be based in Durban all year round, where she will be joined by the Rhapsody returning for the 2006/07 summer season (see our Cruise News section date 26 November 2005 for details).

But also on our immediate horizon are a number of international cruise ships visiting southern Africa as part of their annual ‘down’ or ‘round Africa’ cruises, and those who enjoy seeing these attractive visitors are in for a treat in the weeks and months ahead.

The first to grace our harbours is the German ship Hanseatic, which arrived on the coast this week. She will be followed by lovely Italian luxury liner Silver Wind, which arrives at Richards Bay on 15 December for a two-day stayover before heading to Durban on 17 December and then on to East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town before retracing her path back up the coast.

Among the smaller yacht-like cruise ships coming our way is Island Sky, due later in December and in January. This little ship has an interesting cruise schedule which includes the Querimba archipelago in northern Mozambique before crossing to the Comoros and then to Madagascar and Mauritius before heading for Maputo, Richards Bay and Durban. After that her itinerary includes a planned call at Port St Johns, which must be the first time in many years that any passenger ship has even thought of stopping offshore (weather permitting) at this port of yesteryear. We hope this isn’t another example of ignorance playing bliss on an unforgiving coast!

From January to April there are numerous other ships calling, including the Hebridean Spirit 9also on the small side), Deutschland, Europa, Prinsendam, Vistamar, Saga Rose, Oriana, Saga Ruby, Alexander von Humboldt, Mona Lisa, Royal Star, Van Gogh and Crystal Serenity.

The next few months will be busy ones for tour operators and other benefiting from the cruise industry. May they all be successful. Details of these arrivals can be found in our Cruise Schedule section under Cruise News & Reviews


Thursday 9 December 2005

There are now two distinct groups in this leg of the race; Singapore and Glasgow sailing in the north, and the balance which are following a more southerly course towards Fremantle. So far the choice of the northerly route has not paid dividends for Singapore and Glasgow who are in positions 8 and 10 respectively. On the other hand the two leg leaders, Durban and Victoria have had the benefit of better winds for the past 24 hours and covered greater distances than any of the others over the 12 hour preceding this report. Durban now holds a 38 mile lead from Victoria and 98 over third-placed Westernaustralia and has 1446 miles to go to the finish. Behind Westernaustralia are Jersey, Qingdao, Liverpool, New York, Singapore, Cardiff and Glasgow. To give an idea how the pack has stretched out, the distance between the leading yacht and the last is 271 miles. However, there’s still a long way to go.

- source http://www.clipper-ventures.co.uk

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