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Ports & Ships Maritime News

11 January 2012
Author: Terry Hutson

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A shiny white hulled SAFMARINE MAFADI (50,686-gt, built 2007) makes her first visit to Fremantle in Western Australia on 7 January 2012. Chris Gee in Australia reports that the ship has entered the Maersk/MSC Boomerang / New Wallaby container service between South East Asia / Australia and the Far East.

As a result of vessel deployment changes the 4300-TEU SAFMARINE MAFADI has ultimately replaced Maersk's similar MAERSK GATESHEAD. She joins the Safmarine (Maersk) sister vessels SAFMARINE MERU, SAFARINE MULANJE and SAFMARINE MAKUTU in the 11 ship joint Maersk/MSC service.

Picture by Chris Gee


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Cruise ships in the world-famous V&A Waterfront are to become a thing of the past following new instructions from the Home Affairs department of Immigration. Picture by Terry Hutson

Passenger or cruise ships may no longer make use of the V&A Waterfront and will have to berth in the main Cape Town harbour, a more secure area which is not open to the public.

The directive comes from Tariq Mellet, Director Immigration of Western Cape Home Affairs and will come as a severe blow to the attractions and business interests presented by the V&A to visiting cruise ships.

The report says that the practice of docking passenger ships in the V&A Waterfront will cease with immediate effect and claims that a dedicated passenger ship berth will be established.

Until now the medium and smaller sized cruise ships have been able to make use of the V&A Waterfront, while larger ships over 200 metres have berthed in the main Cape Town harbour. Because of security concerns surrounding the ISPS Code, public access to the larger ships has become non-existent while creating inconvenience for those collecting or delivering passengers to the ships.

At the V&A none of these presented a problem as the vessels were able to berth within an area right within the Waterfront and easily accessible, although the jetty used for cruise ships was normally fenced off from the public.

Over the next few months Cape Town is expecting the following cruise ships: The World (due today), Silver Wind (14 and 24 January, and 3 and 13 February), Queen Mary 2 (24 - 26 January which is too large for the V&A), Seabourn Quest (2 - 3 February), Silver Whisper (4 - 5 February), Silver Spirit (14 February), Explorer (24 - 29 February), National Geographic Explorer (24 - 26 March), Athena (1-3 May), Asuka (3 May), and Ocean Princess (5 - 7 May). Most of these would have docked in the V&A Waterfront.


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Grant Daly

Safmarine announced yesterday (Tuesday) that Grant Daly has been appointed as the new Safmarine CEO with effect from 1 February 2012.

South African-born Daly, currently Safmarine’s Head of MPV (Multi-Purpose Vessel) unit, replaces Tomas Dyrbye, who has been Safmarine’s CEO for the past two and a half years. Daly joined Safmarine 17 years ago after graduating from the University of Stellenbosch with a Bachelor of Economics degree.

The appointment of a new Safmarine CEO follows the announcement in October 2011 of the Maersk Liner Business’ intention to integrate the corporate and regional management activities of Safmarine into those of the Maersk Line, whilst retaining and growing a separate Safmarine brand and operating model.

Safmarine will continue to have its own independent pricing, capacity, sales and customer services structure, supported by more than 1,400 Safmariners located in 130 countries around the world.

As new CEO, Daly will be based at the new Safmarine headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark where he will report to Hanne B Sørensen, Maersk Line’s Chief Commercial Officer.

“For close on two decades I have been fortunate to enjoy a varied, exciting and immensely fulfilling career with Safmarine and it’s an honour to take the helm as chief custodian of the Safmarine brand,” says Daly. “My immediate priority is to establish the Safmarine Centre team in Copenhagen and to ensure we provide Safmariners in the countries with the support they need to deliver on our Safmarine promise to customers.”

He said he was looking forward to meeting and working with Safmariners and customers in the months ahead.

Hanne B Sørensen said that the challenge of making brand segmentation work without a separate management structure is a new one in the shipping industry. “We are delighted that Grant has accepted this challenge. We know he has the necessary Safmarine experience, skills and knowledge to build and grow a resilient and highly respected brand.

“We strongly believe that our multi-brand strategy, which will allow us to serve several and more customer segments with different products, is the path to a prosperous future for the Maersk Liner Business and we are committed to providing Grant and his new team with the support they need to grow the Safmarine brand info the future.”


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Maersk and Safmarine’s SAFARI 2 service between Tanjung Pelepas in South-East Asia and the Indian Ocean islands and southern Africa has been converted into a feeder service based out of Port Louis, Mauritius.

Three of the six ships previously employed on Safari 2 have been withdrawn, leaving three 1725-TEU capacity ships to operate a 21-day rotation between Port Louis, Reunion, Tamatave/Toamasina, Maputo, Beira and Port Louis. The service including Tanjung Pelepas used to take 42 days and required six ships to maintain a weekly schedule.

Safmarine will be taking slots on the service and will refer to the service as Safari 3.


Tanker VASI goes on auction in Cape Town tomorrow

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Picture by Admiralty Sales

The tanker VASI (8247-gt, built 2008) which has been under a detention order at Cape Town for some time, goes under sale by judicial auction tomorrow (12 January 2012).

The public auction will be held in the marine department’s Board Room at the offices of attorney’s Bowman, Gilfillan in the SA Reserve Bank Building, 60 St George’s Mall, Cape Town at 11h00 local time.

The sale is being conducted by Captain Roy Martin of Admiralty Ship Sales.


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Six cruise lines to launch news ships this year

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Disney Dream sister ship to Disney Fantasy that launches on 31 March

Six cruise lines will be launching new cruise ships in 2012, reports World Maritime News. None of the newbuilds will be new designs – the nearest one gets to that will be in 2013 when Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line will launch Royal Princess and Norwegian Breakaway.

The ships to be launched this year include:

DISNEY FANTASY, Disney Cruise Line. Sister-ship to Disney Dream she will be 40% larger than the line’s other two ships, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, and will be coming out in in typical Disney style. The 5-star Disney Fantasy catering for 4,000 passengers will be launched on 31 March 2012.

RIVIERA, Oceania Cruises. Sister-ship to the Marina, the 5½-star Riviera is about twice the size of the other ships in Oceania’s fleet. She will be introduced on 24 April 2012, and will accommodate 1,258 passengers.

COSTA FASCINOSA, Costa. The 4½-star Costa Fascinosa is a sister-ship to the Costa Favolosa which accommodates 3,800 passengers. The launching ceremony is scheduled for 11 May 2012.

MSC DIVINA, MSC Cruises. The 4-star MSC Divina is modeled after sister-ships MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia. MSC Divina will have accommodation for 4,363 passengers, and launches on 27 May 2012.

CARNIVAL BREEZE, Carnival Cruises. Like her sister-ships Carnival Magic and Carnival Dream, the 4½-star Carnival Breeze will offer comfort and entertainment to 3,690 passengers. Launch date is 3 June 2012. NORWEGIAN BREAKAWAY, Norwegian Cruise Line. As the newest member of an innovative fleet, the 5-star Norwegian Breakaway will incorporate the most popular elements of all of Norwegian’s existing ships, as well as introduce some exciting new features to 4,000 passengers. She will be introduced in service on 30 April 2013.

Several ships are undergoing refurbishment and renaming during the year. They include:

COSTA neoROMANTICA, Costa Cruise Line. Formerly the Costa Romantica, this 4-star ship is being completely restyled and refurbished before emerging as the neoRomantica. Two half-decks and more than 100 cabins are being added, and an additional 120 cabins and suites will receive private balconies. She will be designed to accommodate 1,800 passengers. The relaunch is set for 20 February 2012.

MV VOYAGER, Voyages of Discovery. Formerly the Alexander von Humboldt, the 3-star MV Voyager is small enough to reach off-the-beaten-path ports, yet large enough to offer all the comforts of cruising to 556 passengers. She reappears in her new incarnation on 17 November 2012. Source World Maritime News


MSC Poesia goes aground off Grand Bahama

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MSC Poesia aground off Grand Bahama Island

In other cruise news, MSC Cruises’ MSC POESIA ran aground off Grand Bahama Island on the recent weekend.

Four tugs were hurriedly dispatched from Port Lucaya to go to the aid of the 92,627-gt cruise ship. On the incoming high tide the ship was successfully refloated with no apparent damage and the scheduled cruise was able to continue after the unexpected interruption.

There are no details as to how the incident happened. MSC Poesia which was launched in 2008 carries up to 3605 passengers along with a crew of 987.


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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan may be running out of luck with his plan to do away with a substantial fuel subsidy as strikers forced businesses across the country to close.

The unions called the strike in protest against Jonathan’s withdrawal of the subsidy and analysts are already speculating that this is one of those cases when the government will be forced to bury its pride and back down.

The president is being advised that he should reinstate the subsidies and consider a gradual phasing out of them instead, as a face-saving alternative. The House of Representatives has called on him to reverse the decision and the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, which called the strike that started on Monday have said they are prepared to discuss subsidies if he does.

In the meantime it is reported that port activity has been adversely affected by the union call to down tools, although it isn’t yet possible to evaluate the full effect on the country’s harbours.

The strike has however already forced cocoa bean producers to stop transferring beans from the farms for processing and grading. Without grading and certification Nigeria’s cocoa beans cannot be bagged for exported. Nigeria is the world’s fourth largest cocoa bean producer.


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The Italian-flagged and owned container ship ITAL MATTINA (42,020-gt, built 2007) in Cape Town harbour during January. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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