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FIRST VIEW : CAP CORTES
Hamburg Sud's container ship CAP CORTES (52,065-dwt, built March 2013) arriving in Durban harbour late in July. The 3820-TEU ship is owned by Carsten Rehder and was was built at the Taizhou CATIC Shipbuilding Heavy Industry yard in China as their hull number UN 01. This picture is by Keith Betts
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TAZARA WANTS INDEPENDENT STUDY INTO PORT OF DAR ES SALAAM'S COMPETITIVENESS
An independent study into the competitveness of the Port of Dar es Salaam has been ordered by the directors of TAZARA (Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority).
This arises from a dispute over Value Added Tax that has been imposed on transit goods on the railway which is used by landlocked countries inland from the port.
The study will raise the issue of how competitive Dar es Salaam is when compared with other regional East African ports and what effect this might have on TAZARA.
Following the imposition of VAT on transit goods a month ago, stakeholders using the port have complained about the extra cost at the Tanzanian port, which they say will drive cargo from Dar es Salaam in favour of other ports such as Mombasa in Kenya.
According to the Tannzania Revenue Authority Commissioner for Domestic Revenue , Elijah Mwandumbya, Dar es Salaam is cheaper than Mombasa even with the VAT tax added.
TAZARA has recently come under new management and the railway has embarked on a programme of winning back old traffic as well as gaining new business from countries like Zambia, Malawi and the DRC.
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MAERSK LINE DISMISSES TALK OF HYUNDAI MARINE MERGER
Maersk Line has dismissed talk of a likely merger between the Danish shipping giant and South Korea's Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM).
The denial refers to rumours that Maersk would buy out the interests in HMM, and comes from Maersk Line CEO for the Asia Pacific, Robert van Trooijen who said he was not aware of any plans. However, he did say that such decisions are taken at board level in Copenhagen.
Speculation soared after HMM signed an MoU with Maersk Line and MSC, bringing the two world's largest container lines closer together with HMM.
It is now thought that while Maersk will not be taking over HMM, they do remain keen on a joint service with MSC and HMM by next year.
It has also been reported elsewhere that a subsidiary of the Korea Developmet Bank will bring about a new leadership plan for HMM, very possibly by way of appointing a foreign CEO.
Rumours of Maersk taking over HMM were fueled in June when analyst Drewry stated in its monthly newsletter that: "Maersk's aim is not actually having HMM as a junior alliance partner, but rather to prepare to acquire it or joint venture with it (the same way Maersk courted Sea-Land and then P&O Nedlloyd before buying them)."
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CRUISING THE CARIBBEAN ABOARD CARNIVAL GLORY
Former Capetonian Tony de Freitas, who now lives in Florida, USA, recently went on a 7-night cruise in the Western Caribbean. We asked him for his impressions of the cruise on board the CARNIVAL GLORY.
The Port of Miami is home to no less than seven cruise ship berths that have as many terminals to accommodate each vessel simultaneously. It is definitely the hub to the Caribbean. Upon our arrival there were five cruise ships in port. We proceeded to our terminal and stood outside in a steady growing line. Once inside we went through a security check before heading into the terminal itself. Once there we stood in line once more and waited for our turn at the counter where our picture was taken and were given our cabin key cards that doubled as our ID cards when disembarking and returning to the ship from shore excursions and charge card for any purchases onboard. Once this was done we hung around until they announced they were taking passengers. We walked up a flight of stairs, went through another security check and proceeded to the glass enclosed gangway that led us to the ship. The terminal itself had the feel of an airport.
Once aboard we were welcomed by some of the waiting crew. Our entry point was deck three (main deck) and upon entering we took the elevator up to deck 6 and started to look for our cabin. Even numbers being on the port side and odd on the starboard side, we quickly found our cabin which was 6-317, thanks to the map of the ship which was issued when getting our cabin key cards.
This was an inside facing cabin. The cabin itself was fairly spacious with ample cupboard space, along with a neat bathroom/shower set up. Initially I wanted to go for a cabin with a balcony, however my girlfriend reassured me that we would be wasting our money as the only time we would be in our cabin would be to sleep. She was right of course. Each morning I'd be up on deck 14 or on the stern with 180 degree views of the sunrise.
Before setting sail we had to do an emergency 'drill' which was somewhat relaxed and not taken seriously by most of the passengers. It was somewhat concerning and in the back of my mind the thought that should we have to encounter an emergency at sea, it would have been frightening. Once everyone was in their muster station and a head count was taken the Captain gave the all clear and we were allowed to continue on our own.(Our Muster station was four lines deep with people. We had two crowd control staff.)
We headed straight up to Deck 9 and waited to depart. Before long I noticed the berthing crew letting go the lines and then saw us gently peel away from the fenders. We headed to the turning berth, along the way passing another Carnival ship. We exchanged waves and whistles as we passed by before turning around and heading out to sea.
Food aboard was of a surprisingly high quality. We chose to do a late seating for dinner and ate in the restaurant every night except one night when we had a reservation for the steakhouse. Each night the menu changed in the restaurant along with a specialty menu that showcased the current port of call. Here we were spoiled for choice and were allowed to eat as much as you wanted. If you wanted to try two starters,3 main courses and 2 desserts so be it, the servers would bring it for us.
Our servers in particular were really good. They were personable, professional and anticipated our needs. By night two I had a Coca Cola waiting for me at my seat. Around the ship there were different eateries, from a taster bar at the casino, to Guy's (Fieri) Burgers (Host of food networks Diners, Dives and Drive ins) to the Lido restaurant that hosted buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, here too the food was of a high quality and I was impressed to see the day to day changes to the menu. A pizza bar that was the only 24 hour outlet (along with room service) and soft serve machines meant there was always a steady line for these.
Depending on the time of day determined how long the line was at the buffet for breakfast or lunch. Our experience at the Steak House was also impressive. The food, service, presentation and overall feel was that of an up market steakhouse, however it was strange to see it not as busy as it should have been considering it was $35 per person for a four course meal; the largest steak being a 22oz. Granted beverages were an additional cost, with that being said at our steakhouse ashore you are looking at no less than at least double that for a two course meal. There was definitely something for everyone. Bars were spread throughout the ship and were not as busy as I thought they would be.
Being a 'Fun Ship' there was an arcade for kids, and a fairly large casino for adults which was open unless in port. We went to a comedy show which was really amusing. Another night we went to see a musical that was okay. Deck 5 is where the gift shop, duty free shop, jewelry store and Pixel photo store could be found along with a candy store and games room.
I was surprised to find postcards in the gift shop of destinations we were not going to see on our voyage and no postcards of the ship at all! Two pools on deck 9 that were almost always full, a waterslide on deck 10, on deck 12 a basketball court, a volleyball court, mini golf and a running track along with a shuffleboard meant once again there was always something to do besides tan on a deck chair. There was an adult section on deck 11 that included a gym, two Jacuzzis, and a spa. In the same area there was also a kids club. Overall something for everyone to do. By day the giant TV screen would show slideshows of exotic destinations and by night movies under the stars. We opted to do this one night along with playing bingo which seems to be another popular pastime.
For excursions we opted to go through Carnival. Mainly due to the fact that if you go out on your own and your tour runs late, the ship will leave without you!
Grand Cayman -- Bahamas
Our first stop was the Island of Grand Cayman -- Bahamas. We anchored just outside the tiny port and were tendered ashore. The area around the port was lined with curio shops, bars and restaurants and diamond and jewelry stores. We had nothing planned and decided to take a tour of the island and spend some time on the beach before heading back to the ship. The smaller tour buses looked just like the mini bus taxis back home. The tour of the island was quite interesting, it's still a British colony and they drive on the 'wrong side' of the road. We passed by a mix of luxury hotels and houses that resembled driving through Bredarsdorp. The water here was crystal clear and sand was a fine white.....
Isla Roatan -- Honduras
Our next port of call was Isla Roatan/Mahogany Bay -- Honduras. At first light we were met by a humble looking pilot boat and proceeded to pass rocky outcrops and more islands before heading to our berth. Upon entering we noticed two shipwrecks but since returning little information has been found in my research on these. A small shrimp fishing fleet and two fast ferries were the only other vessels in port.
It seems our berth was built by the iant cruise ship corporations as it looked fairly modern. Upon disembarking we took a short walk along paved brick streets lined with more curio shops, a post office and a few restaurants until we found our tour guide. Here we chose to do swimming with dolphins and dolphin encounter. No sooner had our tour bus left than we were out of the safety net of the tourist trap and on our way up hills and passed untouched wooden houses with wooden shutters for windows, people walking out of the jungle with handfuls of fruit, stray dogs, some slum areas where people were living in poverty, more jungle until we finally arrived at our destination.
We took a small boat to where the dolphins and instructors were waiting for us in a bay closed off to the sea by nets. The overall dolphin experience was incredible to say the least. Upon leaving we were led to the gift shop before getting back onto the bus and taken back to our ship. We had some time to spare and managed to send my mom some post cards from here.
Belize -- Belize
Our next port of call was Belize City -- Belize. Just before sunrise we could see the lights of Belize in the distance, however as it turned out it was not a straight shot to the port. We weaved around sand bars, rocky outcrops and shallow water before anchoring and being taken ashore by tenders. The 'cruise Terminal' had its now familiar line of comfort food restaurants, bars and curio shops, diamond and jewelry stores and duty free shop. In the distance there appeared to be what looked like the city centre with older buildings. Here our excursion was cave tubing and zip lining through the jungle, by far our most adventurous excursion. A 40 minute bus trip with a very informative tour guide made the trip feel shorter. Once on the bus we were again away from the tourist safety net. Fast food chains here were carts in the street selling home grown Belizean cuisine. This City seemed to be the least impacted by the tourism industry the further out we drove.
Cozumel -- Mexico
Our final port of call was the Port Of Cozumel -- Mexico. This looked to be another port built by the giant cruise ship corporations with modern looking piers, more bars and restaurants and curio shops and jewelry stores. The largest trap of all was that in order to leave the port you had to walk through the duty free store, which meant when returning you had to run the gauntlet again.
Here we chose to do the Mayan Ruins of Tulum. In order to get there we had to take a waiting fast ferry across the bay to the Yucatan Peninsula and from there hop onto a bus to the ruins. Upon arriving at the Yucatan Peninsula it was evident that tourism is the main attraction; there were hotels lining the beaches and going a block or two inland. Once we arrived at the ruins we were met with more curio shops with shop keepers trying to sell us everything from sombreros to sunglasses. A short walk from here brought us to the actual entrance to the ruins. These ruins were built on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It must have been quite a site to be the Spanish sailing by and stumbling upon this. Unfortunately when it rained a second time our tour guide left and waited for us at the bus leaving us on our own for an hour at the ruins. None the less it was an amazing experience!
Days at sea
Our first and last days were sea days. Overall Carnival Glory was well maintained, there was some rust showing through but once we put into port she was touched up. This was good to see. She was bigger than expected and even though there were over 2000 people on board you would have never guessed, such is the way the vessel is designed.
The ship in pictures
One of three glass elevators on the ship. Having a slight fear of heights and a mix of vertigo I did try taking a photo from the glass elevator looking down but it came out as a blur, needless to say way I opted to this photo instead. We used these elevators a few times......
Next up the view looking down from deck 6. Deck 5 and 4 where the gift shop, duty free shop, jewelry stores, games rooms could be found, and deck 3, one of the many bars scattered around on the ship, guest services, and place of initial entry.
Here is a shot of the elevator lobby on deck six. Two identical sets, one forward and one aft. Our cabin was on this deck and literally round the corner, unlike the other set of elevators which were a walk down the passageway to get to our cabin. Dead centre the stairway leading up to deck 7 and down to deck 5. We opted to use the stairs more often than not, depending on the time of day and where we were headed too as many guests utilised these elevators even if it meant going up or down one deck!
Next up the focal point of this two storey restaurant, the chandelier. It was here we ate all of our dinners except one (we tried out the steakhouse one night). We opted for the late seating which was at 8:15pm. Being part of a large group (girlfriend's family vacation) we were assigned to two tables. One of the tables was directly midships facing aft and just beyond it the windows looking out to the open ocean. They couldn't have assigned us a better table, although on two nights there was entertainment which we could not see from where we were sitting, however the servers assigned to us gave us a personal show as they were well versed in the choreography.
Here is a shot of the Carnival Glory in the major cruise lines company-built port of Roatan/ Mahogany Bay -- Honduras. I was hoping that our stops would be in working ports and would see a variety of island trampers, but to my surprise the two ports we came alongside at appeared to have been specially built for the cruise ship industry. To the right of the picture was the mysterious wreck, fast ferry terminal and shrimp fishing fleet.
Here is a view from deck three. The deck above was off limits and only during our 'drill' before sailing were we allowed there. This was also the type of sea state we encountered for most of our voyage. Deck 3 was the main deck where you could find guest services, a bar, the atrium which I regret not taking photos of and no Chief Pursers office!!!! Shows you the last time I boarded a cruise ship (1995 which doesn't feel like so long ago).
This was taken at night standing on deck 14, the highest deck open to passengers. The waterslide to the left, the most popular pool on deck 9 enjoyed by both adults and kids alike, the big tv screen that by day showed slideshows of destinations and by night movies under the stars. The netted area by the funnel is where a basket ball and volley ball court, mini golf and a running track van were to be found.
Here is a shot of a light-up mosaic artwork piece showcasing the ship and her builders. This was directly opposite the glass doors leading out to the deck to the pool. Taking a photo straight on was difficult without getting a washed out reflection, hence the photo taken from the side.
The final photo is of the Miami harbour tug Dade and fuel barge as they come alongside at the conclusion of our seven-night cruise. Hope you enjoyed the photos.
Tony de Freitas
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AFRICA RISK COMPLIANCE: AN INNOVATIVE NEW BUSINESS
Shipping companies operating in West Africa can now benefit from an innovative new business, Africa Risk Compliance (ARC).
This new management company, announced at the end of July, offers long term partnerships to its clients providing a wide range of operational support services across West Africa.
Chief Executive Officer of London-based ARC, Michael Wingate, along with his team, has extensive knowledge of the region, having supported shipping in the Gulf of Guinea for many years. ARC has strong relationships with governments and regional navies. Relationships were forged when advice was provided them on security strategy. Exposure to the different levels of the shipping industry in the region ensures the company is built on solid foundations.
Expansion into support services stems from recognition of the need for an organisation to take a leading role in a region that is seen as challenging.
"We are really excited to be pressing ahead with this innovative and exciting concept that we believe offers something completely different to services currently available in West Africa," commented Wingate.
"When we devised the ARC concept, we sought to address a wide range of problems faced by the shipping industry in West Africa. ARC had first hand experience of these problems from our visits to the region over the past four years.
"Through seeing and being a part of regional operational development in the Gulf of Guinea and listening very carefully to our clients' feedback, we aim to understand shipping companies, governments, navies and most importantly to us, the local businesses in the region.
"We established our company to work in the most complimentary manner, whilst maintaining everything that was good from alternative operating models. We see ourselves as an extension of our clients' office in West Africa and we operate very much on behalf of shipping companies, offering them all the support they need."
ARC's services range from security provision and advice, to full operational support and logistic services, shipping agency support and a variety of brokerage services. These are all underpinned by comprehensive insurances and legal support, ensuring a compliant service no matter the country of operations, and at extremely competitive prices.
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CMA CGM INTRODUCES GRR ON WEST AND SOUTH AFRICA SERVICES
CMA CGM Africa Two. Picture by Terry Hutson
French container carrier CMA CGM has announced the following Rate Restorations affecting services from East Coast South America to West Africa, South Africa, Arabian Gulf, and the West Coast North India.
The rate restoration will come into effect as from 1 September 2016 (B/L date).
From East Coast South America to West Africa:
All cargo including dry, reefer, OOG and Breakbulk:
US$150 per container.
From East Coast South America to South Africa, Arabian Gulf, West Coast North India:
All cargo including dry, reefer, OOG and Breakbulk:
US$ 150 per 20ft
US$ 200 per 40ft
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TRANSNET PORT TERMINALS BRINGS WARMTH IN WINTER
TPT's Eastern Cape Regional Corporate Affairs Manager Sindie Ndwalaza (standing, 4th from left) handing over some of the blankets to eThembeni home care-givers and elderly
Transnet Port Terminals brought some warmth to the residents of eThembeni Old Age Home in Motherwell, Eastern Cape on 29 July as part of Nelson Mandela Day.
The home provides shelter for the aged, abused and displaced. The TPT team not only spent quality time with the elderly at the home but also made a heart-warming donation of 50 blankets and 47 pairs of slippers to the needy residents.
"As much as TPT plays an important role in strengthening our region's economy, we also believe in the importance of giving back to the communities we operate in," said Sindie Ndwalaza, TPT's Eastern Cape Regional Corporate Affairs Manager. "It has been an honour and privilege to celebrate our elders who are still the pillars of our community. This has been a truly special experience and one that shouldn't be limited to just Mandela Day. We hope that these blankets will assist the home in keeping the residents warm throughout this cold winter."
The eThembeni Safe Home opened its doors in 1996 as one of the leading NGOs in the care for the elderly in the Eastern Cape. Shortly after this, they initiated the project for abused, neglected and displaced elderly and eventually a joint initiative was undertaken with the Department of Social Development for the inter-generational programme with children and the elderly at the then Thembelihle Children's Home in Motherwell.
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EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT
Port Louis - Indian Ocean gateway port
Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.
In the case of South Africa's container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.
You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.
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CRUISE NEWS AND NAVAL ACTIVITIES
QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman
We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section, but this is also available in a dedicated Cruise News section. This section will include various stories and news not covered in the general news so if you have an interest in this sector don't forget to check regularly on our CRUISE NEWS page.
This you will find here in CRUISE NEWS & REVIEWS
Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories which also have their own dedicated section, although some stories may be duplicated in the general news section.
Find the Naval Review section HERE
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PIC OF THE DAY : THORCO GALAXY
The recent extreme weather experienced along the KZN coast included a heavy swell that resulted in the port of Durban having to be closed on several occasions. The 'bar' across the entrance often influences an unusually strong swell that can take some ship crews by surprise just as they are anticipating the safety of the breakwaters. THORCO GALAXY (13,802-dwt, built 2008) in these pictures gives an example of this phenomena when a swell is running and it's when things get a bit more extreme that the port authority makes the call to close the port -- never a decision that is taken lightly. The lower picture shows the ship now well within the channel and in calm waters. Note the wind turbine blades carried as deck cargo -- readers may recall us showing pictures not very long ago, on 13 June 2016 of one of Thorco Galaxy's sister ships, Thorco Ranger, also laden with wind turbine blades and bound for Adelaide in Australia. These pictures are by Keith Betts
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