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Ports & Ships Maritime News

14 June 2016
Author: Terry Hutson

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002


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GIULIANA 7 June 2016 under arrest 480

Sign of the times perhaps, as the economic downturn continues? The Greek-owned Libyan flagged general cargo ship GIULIANA (8034-dwt, built 2001) outbound from Durban harbour but only as far as the outer anchorage where the ship will languish until either her debts and demands against her are met, or she comes up for judicial auction. This picture is by Trevor Jones

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Burned out truck after being attacked by Renamo soldiers near Malawi border

Rebel Renamo soldiers on Saturday ambushed another three road vehicles in addition to a number of road tankers that have been set alight, as the organisation appears to be focusing on making the northwest area of Mozambique bordering with Malawi a no-go area.

The latest attacks came three days after another truck was also shot up and set alight, while a fifth is missing.

The Saturday attack came as a group of Malawians came across a roadblock set up by militia men. At least ten trucks were stopped and shooting was taking place, according to one of the survivors, who said he put his hands up to show he was surrendering when he saw one of the militia pointing a gun at him.

"He came shouted something in his language which I did not understand but I fell on the ground and immediately he left me for others after his master called him and this forced me to flee into the bushes," he told the Nyasa Times.

He remained in he bushes for about half an hour after things were quiet, before returning to his truck and backtracking to Malawi. A spokesman at the Mwanza Immigration office confirmed that trucks destined for the port of Beira were turning back.

The situation in this part of Mozambique has clearly escalated beyond the isolated incident. Road convoys are still being deployed on the North South highway to the south of the Malawi border area. However, in Malawi concern is growing that the continued acts of violence and insurrection will lead to a crippling of the Malawian economy, which is dependent on its links with the sea at either Beira in the south or Nacala in the north-east.

Malawi is especially vulnerable because of its dependence on Mozambique for fuel imports.

The CEO of Importers Petroleum Limited (IPL) said he was looking at alternatives to the road to Beira to import fuel.

"We are thinking of using the Zambia-Zimbabwe route which is safer than the Mozambique route but it will depend on whether Zimbabwe will allow us to use its pipeline," he said. "If all goes well then we will be transporting fuel via that route to protect lives of Malawians as well as property."

However, he warned that this route would prove more costly than that through Mozambique. sources: Maravi Post, Nyasa Times

Mhoje malawiantankerablaze photo jpg 11 June 2016

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is off to a flyng start after launching its first-ever Islands of the Indian Ocean fly-cruise on board the 880-passenger BOUDICCA.

The fly-cruise is still 18 months away but has attracted unprecedented interest, being almost fully-booked in under ten hours!

The fly-cruise departs from London or Manchester on 29 November 2017, with guests able to enjoy an idyllic 15-night paradise holiday, spending two days in Mauritius, three days in the Seychelles, two days in Madagascar, a day on Reunion Island and a day on Mayotte, returning to the UK on 14 December 2017.

Ports of call are: Port Louis, Mauritius (overnight stay) -- Praslin Island, Seychelles (overnight stay) -- cruising Silhouette Island at sunset -- Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles (overnight stay) -- Mamoudzou, Mayotte, Comoros Islands, France -- Hell-Ville (Andoany), Nosy-Be, Madagascar -- Diego Suarez (Antsiranana), Madagascar -- Port Reunion, Reunion Island -- Port Louis, Mauritius.

Following such strong interest and to meet the expectations of customers who were disappointed at not being able to book for the exotic cruise, Fred. Olsen has launched another two new itineraries on board Boudicca to explore the much-sought-after Indian Ocean region: a new 33-night sailing to the Mediterranean, Zanzibar & Mauritius, departing from Liverpool on 14 October 2017 -- this is also the ship's positioning voyage, and a new 15-night Islands of the Indian Ocean fly-cruise, ex London / Manchester to Port Louis, Mauritius on 16 November 2017.

"It is clear that we significantly underestimated the demand for this type of holiday," said Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. "After listening to our customers, we have now organised two new fly-cruises to this hugely-popular region, so that our loyal guests who missed out on the first sailing now have two further opportunities."

Philpot described the Indian Ocean region as an exquisite part of the world, with some of the very best beaches, such as Flic en Flac, Anse Lazio and Cote D'Or, as well as rainforests, National Parks, extinct volcanoes and beautiful flora and fauna. "There will be opportunities to walk with lions, discover giant tortoises, see black lemurs and even go in search of the rare black parrot!"

He pointed out that hotels and flights to destinations in the Indian Ocean are very costly, and it is near-impossible to visit this number of islands and enjoy so much of the scenery on a land-based holiday. "We have painstakingly researched and planned every detail of this cruise holiday to offer our guests the very best experience, all for a very reasonable price."

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South Africa Fly-Cruise
BOUDICCA is also visiting South Africa during the summer of 2017/18 and details of fly/cruise options (from the UK) have been announced. The inaugural South Africa Fly-Cruise takes place as a 14-night itinerary, with guests departing from London or Manchester on 10 January 2018 and flying into Cape Town.

"This immersive itinerary has been created to give you the opportunity to visit a whole range of wonderful Game Reserves," said Philpot. "For example, we arrive early and stay overnight in Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay and Durban, so you will have the best chance to see the Big Five, by taking a Game Drive at dawn and again at sundown -- not forgetting the obligatory G&T, as you watch the sun descend across the African plains!

"The highlight for me is the beautiful, award-winning city of Cape Town: there is so much to do here that we are staying for three nights. Scale Table Mountain by cable car, discover the winelands of Stellenbosch or Constantia, take a stroll along Camps Bay, dine, shop and be entertained at the impressive Victoria & Alfred Waterfront complex and visit what is perhaps the most beautiful cricket ground in the world, at Newlands. You might like to discover Cape Town on the back of a Harley Davidson, take a boat out whale and dolphin watching, or even go shark diving!" he said.

The ports of call are: Cape Town -- Port Elizabeth (overnight stay) -- Richards Bay (overnight stay) -- Durban (overnight stay) -- Mossel Bay -- Cape Town (three-night stay).

There will be further announcements of the Boudicca visit to Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean and options to join the cruises from South Africa may be available -- details of these should be made to the South African agents for Fred. Olsen Lines, Triton Cape Sea Travel, Cape Town. Tel 021 443 9030 or go to the website www.tritonsea.co.za or email info.nclsa@galiloeosa.co.za

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Mi Casa, performing at the Durban Ports festival this weekend

Live music and entertainment, a special kids' zone, water craft displays and tours, South African Navy vessels, a careers exhibition and more will be part of the exciting line-up of activities taking place at the Durban Port Festival this weekend.

The bumper weekend of activities is hosted by Transnet National Ports Authority, in partnership with the South African Navy and eThekwini Municipality.

The festival kicks off at 09h00 on both days and the main activities take place at Wilson's Wharf and at the N Shed facility at the Durban cruise terminal.

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David Jenkins, aka Quadasi

Well-known South African music acts Mi Casa, Zakes Bantwini and the Drakensberg Boys Choir, will share the festival stage with a line-up of local musicians, DJs and other performers.

A Best of Durban Talent line-up from 09h00 to 11h30 at Wilson's Wharf on both Saturday and Sunday will feature a number of entertainers from in and around the port city. They include acapella act Hyena Blues, pantsula and Kwaito group Tinkler Champions, the Ubuhle Umlazi Zulu dancers, Indian dancing from the Kumari Shiksha's Dance Institute and music from Ndumiso Shabangu. Also performing is 13 year old singing sensation Sandra Majola, known by her stage name Lasandra, as well as musician David Jenkins aka Qadasi, an accomplished Maskandi musician who developed a deep passion for Zulu culture and music at a young age while growing up in Empangeni.

The Drakensberg Boys Choir is the highlight of the official festival opening ceremony on Saturday at 13h00.

Mi Casa performs on Saturday while Zakes Bantwini is the crowd-puller on Sunday.

The Durban Port Festival provides an exciting celebration of South Africa's busiest commercial port, with the public able to access a number of waterside and landside activities throughout the weekend.

"A festival like this intends to expose port communities to the port and the opportunities that exist through the maritime sector, but in an interactive and entertaining manner," said Durban Port Manager, Moshe Motlohi.

Two South African Navy vessels, SAS PROTEA and SAS ISAAC DYOBHA, will be open for the public to board and view throughout the festival weekend. The vessels will be berthed at the Durban cruise terminal and are in port as part of the Navy's World Hydrography Day celebrations. The SA Navy will also have its diving display tank present on site for the public to interact with SA Navy divers.

Other activities include a shark dissection by the KZN Sharks Board, tugboat displays by Transnet NPA and a yacht sail-past and boat rides from Sail Africa, which provides sail training for young South Africans who could otherwise not afford the privilege of participating in sailing.

Zakes Bantwini
Zakes Bantwini, another performer on at the Durban Ports Fesitval
There will also be a free careers exhibition to expose the youth and learners to some of the opportunities available in the maritime industry. Participating organisations include Transnet National Ports Authority, National Sea Rescue Institute, eThekwini Maritime Cluster, SA National Defence Force, Transnet Maritime School of Excellence, Transnet Engineering, Transnet Freight Rail, Transnet Port Terminals, Durban University of Technology, Subtech Group, University of KZN, SA Maritime School & Transport College, MSC Cruises and Maritime Business and Computer College.

Landside activities will offer family fun, live entertainment, leisure activities, an arts and crafts market, local food stalls and children's entertainment.

Entry is free for all activities. The festival will be open from 09h00 to 17h00 on Saturday and Sunday. Queues to visit the navy ships close at 4pm on both days.

Attendees are encouraged to take along their camp chairs, blankets and picnic baskets to ensure they are comfortable during the two days of fun. No braais will be allowed. No outside beverages, alcohol or weapons will be permitted through the security checkpoints. There will however be food and beverages on sale at the festival as well as arts and crafts market.

The Durban Port Festival's Facebook event page can be found at http://ow.ly/LAad300DKKl or follow #DurbanPortFestival for the latest information.

Find Transnet National Ports Authority on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @TransnetNPA

The SA Navy Band will providea free concert at the City Hall this Friday evening. Interested people must phone 031 460 6376 to book tickets for this. On the following morning the Navy will exercise its Right of Entry parade outside the City Hall at 11am. Taking part will be sailors from the two navy ships in port, SAS Protea and SAS Isaac Dyobha, the SA Navy Band, and the SA Navy Precision Drill Squad. The Mayor of Ethekwini will be the guest of honour at this event.

Meanwhile, the two navy sips will be open t the public at the N-Shed passenger terminal from 09h00 to 16h00 on Saturday and Sunday. There will also be a SA Navy Diving Display, SANDF career exhibition and several SA Navy Precision Drill Displays alongside. Entry is free but long queues are expected for those visiting the ships so people are invited to come early but expect a wait.

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Travellers to East Africa's busiest border, Busia, which is on the Uganda border with Kenya, will now enjoy improved service, lesser transit time at the border following the completion and hand over of Busia-Uganda One Stop Border Post (OSBP), reports TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).

OSBP's afford lesser formalities for goods and persons crossing borders. By reducing border transit time by up to 30 percent, Busia OSBP especially addresses needs of Uganda, a landlocked country, which suffers high transit costs for traded goods which have to be transported by road to the ports located either in Kenya or Tanzania.

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), which was undertaking the construction and operationalisation of the OSBP, handed over the building this month to the Uganda Ministry of Works and Transport.

A final inspection established that all the buildings, roads and parking areas, whose works were undertaken under the original contract are technically ready for use. The facility also includes scanners shed, targeting booths, warehouse and canopies.

All the Uganda border agencies including immigration, customs and police, have already relocated into their respective offices in the OSBP. Kenyan Customs officials are already working on the Uganda side of the border and the One Stop Controls for cargo are already in place. Immigration officials from both Uganda and Kenya will exchange staff before the end of the week. This will result to improved efficiency of customs and other government agencies by avoiding unnecessary duplication of clearance procedures. By sitting under one roof, Uganda and Kenyan officials will increase cooperation, sharing of information and trade data.

This development makes Busia one of TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) first OSBP's where completion of physical infrastructure occurs at the same time as the operationalisation of the border post.

TMEA has invested approximately US$6 million in the construction of the Busia-Uganda OSBP and an additional US$1.2 million for purchase of computers and software required to operationalise.

An OSBP is a 'one stop' form of border crossing point jointly managed by neighbouring countries and where activities are streamlined to maximise efficiency. In this case, travellers will stop only once at the country of destination, where their travel or other documents will be stamped both exit (from country of origin official) and entry (by country of destination official) at the same time. The officials will be seated next to each other, thus the 'One Stop'.

TMEA is funded by a range of development agencies including: the government of Belgium through the Belgium Development Cooperation; Canadian Government through Global Affairs, Canada; Danish Government through the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). Others are Finnish Government, Dutch Government, Swedish Government through the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA); UK government through the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States of America Government through the United States Agency for International Department (USAID). source: TMEA

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Picture: Simon's Town Boat Company

The Department of Environmental Affairs has postponed the allocation process for the Boat-Based Whale Watching (BBWW) and White Shark Cage Diving (WSCD) operating permits.

Accordingly, permits allocated in 2011 will be renewed for a further period of 12 months.

The department says that it will commence with the allocation process by inviting applications for BBWW and WSCD operating permits towards the end of the year.

The department will also hold stakeholder engagements on the policies and application requirements for these operating permits.

The date for stakeholder engagements will be published in due course.

In 2011, the department concluded the allocation process for BBWW and WSCD operating permits -- 13 permits were issued for WSCD and 23 permits for BBWW.

"As one of the critical pillars of the Nine-Point Plan, Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy is considering activities involving non-consumptive use of marine resources to grow the ocean economy for all citizens in an inclusive society," the department said at the weekend.

Therefore, it said, through Boat-Based Whale Watching and White Shark Cage Diving, South Africa has the opportunity to boost this contribution considerably, leveraging its rich marine resources in a sustainable manner to boost both economic and social development. source: SAnews.gov.za

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EXPRESS SANTORINI 480 br>Express Santorini, one of two Greek vessels repaired at Gibdock recently

Recent projects at Gibdock (Gibraltar Dockyard) stress the value Greek ferry owners are placing on high quality, reliable ship repair partners in the Western Mediterranean in the first half of 2016, with two first-time ship visits also emphasising the Gibraltar yard's ability to meet contrasting ship renewal needs.

The Hellas Seaways ro-pax vessel NISSOS CHIOS and the Portucalence Shipping Company ferry EXPRESS SANTORINI were both in the yard for the first time recently -- the former undergoing a broad spectrum of scheduled repairs and the latter in for emergency structural renewal. Both ships are deployed seasonally in the Western Mediterranean, with Nissos Chios operating on the mainland Europe-North Africa route and Express Santorini connecting to the Azores, before returning to Eastern Med services during the winter.

Commented Richard Beards, Gibdock Managing Director: "We are delighted to have been working with Greek ferry owners in the run up to Posidonia 2016, at a time when stable, reliable and efficient partners are so critical for them. Gibdock takes pride in its reputation for quality work completed to schedule, while the role of Alkis Koukis and the team at our Greek agent Hellenic Industrial & Marine Agencies Ltd was also vital in securing these projects. It is particularly pleasing to hear from both owners after completion that they see opportunities for further cooperation."

In addition to Second Special Survey work undertaken in Gibdock's No.2 dock, the Elefsis Shipyards-built Nissos Chios underwent a scheduled stern ramp removal and renewal, including fabrication, bush replacement and pin overhauls. The 141-metre lOAa ferry's bow thruster also needed to be dismantled and removed to the yard's workshop for blade and seal replacement. Despite the fact that stern ramp work proved more extensive than had been anticipated, the complete job was carried out within the owner's 15-day time window.

Meanwhile, the Express Santorini project highlighted Gibdock's flexible approach to owner requests, with a slot found between other scheduled dry dockings for emergency repairs to ballast tank number 19 behind the forepeak tank, despite a three-day turnaround at the height of the yard's seasonal ferry work period. The 42-year old, 115.4-metre lOA vessel went into No.3 dock, with the timely turnaround requiring 24-hour working patterns, and re-delivery accomplished on time, on budget and to class specifications.

John Taylor, Gibdock Operations Director, added: "These were very different jobs, but one thing they had in common was that they came to us after recommendations from existing ferry clients on our quality and reliability, and the lack of hidden costs in doing business with Gibdock. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with both owners in the months ahead."

Paul Ridgway

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RMS St Helena arriving in Cape Town in 2012. Picture by Ian Shiffman

As a result of complications with the new airport on the South Atlantic island of St Helena, where a strong wind shear has all but prevented airliners from landing in safety, the 'retired' mailship and cargo/passenger vessel RMS ST HELENA will be returned to duty to make another three voyages from Cape Town to the isolated island while experts try to find a solution for the air service.

The first test flight involving a Boeing 737-800 series aircraft flown by Comair from Johannesburg was able to land at the airport but only after experiencing a strong wind shear that rocked the aircraft dangerously at 350ft above ground as it made its final approach.

The airport has been built by filling in a deep gorge and levelling other sections and has a steep drop into the ocean on one side, from where the wind shear forms. How a solution to this challenge will be found is unclear but until then it appears that the 128-berth mailship will continue in service operating between Cape Town and the island. It is presumed that the same schedule as before the ship was retired from service will apply, but this has not been confirmed.

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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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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

Naval News
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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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Palm Springs commercial photography

The hospital ship AFRICA MERCY, which has been operating her services in Madagascar since last visiting Durban, has returned to undergo routine maintenance and a period of layby until her next assignent in mid August. The ship arrived in port yesterday (13 June) and has proceeded to the ship repair jetty at the Bayhead where she is being readied for entry into the graving dock under the care of Messrs Dormac Marine. The picture shows the hospital ship arriving in port, against the distinctive backdrop of Durban's Bluff. The picture is by Trevor Jones


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