Thames Ship Society



          2017 Programme               (Updated 16th August 2017) 

The programme of tours and trips for 2017 is shown below.

Saturday 28th January 2017 - Winter Social at Dover.

Around 38 members met at the Dover Marina Hotel on the last Saturday of January for our regular Winter Social get together.

There were no travel problems reported except for the usual traffic in Dover town centre and even weather was kind with good visibility across the channel giving excellent views of passing shipping and the ferry movements in an out of port. The rain managed to hold off until Sunday afternoon.

The day took on its usual format with pre-lunch drinks, teas and/or coffees, before sitting down in the Chartwell Suite for the lunch, which was up to its normal very high standard.

Following lunch, the tables were cleared back and the chairs re-arranged to enable everyone to enjoy the slide show, which was given by WSS Southampton branch member, Mick Lindsay.

The slides covered several decades and many areas of the world, including the St Lawrence, New York and places closer to home. Mick showed a good selection of vintage cruise ships, cargo liners and tankers, among others. Giving a different perspective on ship photo collections, most of the slides were purchased on e-bay or at car boot sales proving that with a little research you can pick up gems, such as the ‘Andrea Doria’ entering New York on her maiden voyage in 1954.

For those staying over on Saturday night, the reefer ‘Luzon Strait’ was seen entering Dover Harbour at breakfast time on Sunday and the morning dawned clear and sunny for those using AIS in their bedrooms and elsewhere to note the passing traffic.

Once again, our thanks go to Roger Hammond for organising the day, Mick for the slide show and to the staff of the Dover Marina Hotel who looked after us very well once again.

Due to its popularity, the committee has provisionally booked the venue again for Saturday 27th, January, 2018 at which, we will hopefully show photographs taken from our forthcoming trip to the Panama Canal. Members will be informed as soon as the details have been ironed out via a circular due to be issued later this year.


Ferry COTES DES DUNES at Dover.


Our members enjoying lunch at the Winter Social...





Photos by Ian Cochran and Paul Mason.

Report by Ian Cochran.


STI TEXAS CITY departing Miraflores Lock on a northbound transit.


MG SAKURA near Gamboa onwards to Miraflores.


STENA CLEAR SKY approaching Gamboa Southbound for Miraflores Lock.


CLIPPER POSH waiting in Gatun Lake preparing for onward transit through lock system.


MSC CHLOE well laden with containers departing from Gatun Lock.


PRETTY SIGHT waitiing in Gatun Lake to enter the locks.


ISLAND PRINCESS coming ito Miraflores Lock southbound towards the Pacific.


BREEZE making way slowly to Gatun Locks for onward transit to the Atlantic.

Report by Stephen Marginson.

Photos by Dave Smith.

2nd to 12th March 2017 - A visit to the Panama Canal

28 TSS members participated in the first long haul trip the TSS has undertaken for some time. This was to Panama and the Panama Canal to view the shipping transiting this major waterway. Over 250 ships were noted during the duration of the trip all being ocean traders with no coastal shipping noticed as we are used to in Europe. The main shipping highlights were as follows.

The Full Panama Canal Cruise taking 12 hours from the Pacific Ocean end of the canal to the port of Colon on the Atlantic side of the canal. This included locking in and passing through the Miraflores and San Pedro locks to raise the cruise vessel up 90ft to the main canal passing through the Gatun Cut and through the lakes and forest. We were in the locks with the tanker STI TEXACO CITY which delayed us somewhat but it was interesting to note how the vessel was “controlled“ by the mules which do the rope handling through the locks. Once through the San Pedro locks we met a series of ships Pacific bound which included the bulkers TOMORROW, LUSITANIA G, MG SAKURA, ULTA LETIZIA and OCEAN GOLD. Three large LNG carriers were also noted these including STENA CLEAR SKY, BW TUCAN and CLIPPER POSH.

Two visits were made to the visitor centres at the Miraflores Locks and the Aqua Clara visitor centre which overlooks the new Gatun Locks at the Atlantic end of the canal. This new facility offers excellent views of ships going through both sets of locks and anchored awaiting transit through the locks. The views over the new locks which take ships up to 150,000 tonnes was also very good. Large ships seen transiting these locks included LPG tankers PACIFIC WEI HAI, and GAS SUMMIT and the new generation container vessels MSC CHLOE and CALLAO EXPRESS. Other vessels noted included the bulkers DAXIA, UBC SEATTLE, CONDOR and PRETTY SIGHT. The USA Military sealift command vessel LT JOHN P BOBO was also noted. The Miraflores visitor centre by contrast offered relatively poor photo opportunities of ship moving through the locks but very close up views of the old locks and non-existent views of the new locks. Ships watched passing through the old locks included bulkers ABBYSINIAN and RESKO and the cruise ships STAR BREEZE, AZAMARA QUEST and ISLAND PRINCESS.

The 3 hour cruise on a catamaran round the Pacific anchorages proved to be a highlight of the trip with over 30 ships noted in excellent photographic conditions. Bulkers included JING LUI HAI, LANNA NAREE, CLIPPER TRITON and PUERTO ROSARIO. Reefers included BALTIC COVER, BALTIC MERMAID, SANTA MARIA and the elderly ORION S. Tankers included RIOJA KNUTSEN, B W ARIES and SCF PROGRESS.

These trips were supported by a Panama City tour, a journey from Colon to Panama City on the canal railway and a rain forest trip. The hotel was situated by the canal and offered reasonable views of passing ships although trees got in the way and light for much of the day was in the wrong place. Nevertheless this is the only canal side hotel and was a great place to be based right alongside the canal at the Pacific end of the waterway. Altogether a superb trip which was enjoyed by all.

Saturday 1st April 2017 - AGM and Southampton Cruise.

The AGM was held on the Ocean Scene but we had to transfer to the Wight Scene for the harbour tour. This might be the last time at Ocean Village for us as the Ocean Scene must find a new berth.

After a marvellous meal and the AGM we left Ocean Village about 1415. As we came out of the dock the HAMBURG EXPRESS 12/142295 passed Dock Head outward bound for Singapore.

At Dock Head we saw five tugs on the berth. Another fleet of tugs, this time Kotug Smit, has come to Southampton as reported in Trippers Times. SMIT TIGER 09/484 and SD SHARK 08/486 were at berth 48 the SD SALVOR 10/490 and ZP BOXER 12/299 at berth 104W. The Wallenius Car Carrier OBERON 08/71673 was at berth 44 having arrived earlier from Zeebrugge.

At 105 berth was the regular visitor AUTOSTAR 00/20010. The Dutch coaster PASSAAT 94/1937 on its fourth name was at 107 berth and the bulker FLORENTIA 16/36421 at 108/9. Florentia had recently hit the quay coming out of the KGV dock and suffered a hole requiring urgent repairs. The ship sailed for Iskenderun on the 2nd.

We were very lucky to see the KRISTIINA 99/4893 sailing without tugs from the KGV dock for Oxelosund. She had arrived from Tilbury. At the Container berths only the regular feeder LISA 03/7519 was alongside at SCT4E.

The Poole tug HANDFAST 84/79 with barge JML 50 loaded with rocks was working between Marchwood and the container port.

Near Fawley the Kristiina pulled away from us and the UKD BLUEFIN 97/4171 came inward bound to work off Fawley. Fawley seemed rather quiet with the MOSCOW UNIVERSITY 99/56076 on berth 5 and the LPG tanker MATHRAKI 03/18315 on Esso 1. UKD SEALION 03/224 was working near the berths. The smaller tanker ATLANTIS ANTIBES 09/4028 was on the other side at berth 9.

Then something very unusual happened. The Captain of the Wight Scene knew the Pilot on the incoming container ship MAERSK ENFIELD 11/141649 and also the Captain on the harbour launch Spitfire. The Pilot came on the bridge wing to wave to the Wight Scene. A few seconds later the Spitfire came right alongside the Wight Scene requesting cups of tea for his crew for letting us get so close. The transfer was completed safely in a couple of minutes then the Spitfire rushed away. But did they ever get their cups back I wonder? We then turned back towards Southampton following Maersk Enfield on the Hamble side.

We then turned into the Empress dock where there were the usual number of small craft and bunkering tankers WHITCHAMPION 03/2965, JAYNEE W 96/1689 and WHITONIA 07/4292. Amongst the smaller vessels were the AFON GOCH 97/123 and LLANDWYN ISLAND 94/113. Strangely the Llandwyn Island has not appeared on the ABP docks lists whereas the Afon Goch has. SVITZER SARAH 91/364 remained laid up. The Jersey Pilot Boat Rival was alongside the Oceanographic Quay.

As we returned to dock two ships sailed down the Itchen. The first was an Inverness registered ALYSSA. It is newly built by Southampton Marine Services at its Ocean Quay shipyard in Southampton. It is an aquaculture service vessel built for Scottish commercial diving and marine services company Leco Marine. Finally the CITY OF CHICHESTER 97/2074 came under the bridge heading for Shoreham. And so ended an excellent day involving two Blue Funnel ships. Thanks to the crews for an interesting day.


OBERON in the Eastern Docks.


FLORENTIA in the Western Docks.


KRISTIINA departing from KGV dock.


MATHRAKI at Esso berth 1.


MOSCOW UNIVERSITY at Esso berth 5.


MAERSK ENFIELD inward bound.


UKD BLUEFIN was also inward bound.


The harbour launch SPITFIRE.


Supplying tea for the crew of the Spitfire!

Report and Photos by Richard Jolliffe

Saturday 22nd April - South West Ship Show

We had a table at the South West Ship Show at Portishead with committee members on hand at this popular Ship Show.

Saturday 13th May 2017 - Thames and Medway Cruise (1)

Unfortunately this cruise has been re-scheduled to 19th August due to the unavailability of the Princess Pocahontas.

Saturday 10th June 2017 - Solent Cruise (1)

Our first Solent Cruise of the year took place on Saturday 10th June. The weather was dry with periods of sunshine as we departed from Ocean Village at noon on board Blue Funnel’s Ocean Scene. First we explored Southampton Docks. The Eastern Docks were busy with the usual array of vehicle carriers including Morning Lena, Hoegh Target and Baltimore Highway. Fred Olsen’s cruise ship Braemar was at 38/39 berth.

Mayflower Park was a hive of activity with preparations underway for the Seawork Exhibition, featuring various workboats, tugs and other vessels. The tug MTS Vanguard had just arrived with the large jack-up platform Skylift 3000 from Rotterdam. In the Western Docks the heavy lift ship HHL New York was busy loading yachts. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth was at 106 berth preparing for her next cruise. The vehicle carrier Viking Odessa passed us outbound, for Santander. The container terminal was a little quiet with just the Cosco Vietnam present.

We then made our way down Southampton Water and past the tankers at Fawley and across the North Channel in the Solent bound for Portsmouth. The Naval Dockyard at Portsmouth was populated with the Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring, the now retired RFA oiler Gold Rover and the SD Victoria amongst others. At the commercial port was the large cruise ship Crystal Symphony.

Back now to Southampton. We just managed to get back past Calshot on the “sunny side”, though there wasn’t a lot of sun by this time, for the departing cruise ships. Braemar was the first one out bound for Bordeaux. She was followed by the Queen Elizabeth whose first stop was Hamburg. As we made our way back to Ocean Village we just had time to photograph the coaster Sylvia outward bound from the KGV Dock for Oxelosund, though by this time we had crossed to the wrong side for the sun.

Our thanks as usual to Simon Martin and other TSS Committee members for organizing the day and to the captain and crew of the Ocean Scene for their hospitality.

Photos and report by Chris Brooks


MTS VANGUARD off Mayflower Park.


HHL NEW YORK loading yachts in the Western Docks.


COSCO VIETNAM in the container terminal.


HMS DARING in Portsmouth Harbour.


CRYSTAL SYMPHONY at Portsmouth Cruise Terminal.


Fred Olsen's BRAEMAR was the first cruise ship to depart...


...followed by the QUEEN ELIZABETH.


HAI YANG SHI YOU 720 in Waalhaven.


Heavy lift vessel HAN HUI in Waalhaven.


FSPO PETROJARL 1 in Wiltonhaven.


VLCC ZOURVA at Maasvlakte.


CSCL INDIAN OCEAN departing from the Euromax Terminal.


Triple-E MUNKEBO MAERSK at Maasvlakte 2.


ANANGEL HOPE at the mineral berths on the Caland Canal.


NAVE QUASAR and NS CAPTAIN in the Caland Canal.

Report by Ian Cochran.

Photos by Ian Cochran and Dave Smith.

Sunday 18th June 2017 - Rotterdam and Europoort Cruise on Partyschip Diane.

Nearly 50 members assembled at Vlaardingen for the usual 9am departure in almost tropical conditions. Due to a flood tide, this year’s 11-hour Partyschip Diane cruise around Rotterdam and Europoort/Maasvlakte started by visiting the upriver berths.

We sailed as far as the Parkkade, via the Eemhaven and Waalhaven complexes. One of the highlights in the Waalhaven was the Chinese research vessel Hai Yang Shi You 720 and the Hong Kong flagged heavy lift ship Han Hui, which for those staying at the Delta Hotel provided photo opportunities when sailing down the Nieuwe Waterweg that evening.

On the way back down river, we stopped at the Lekhaven and Wiltonhaven to keep the ‘tugnologists’ happy. The FPSO Petrojarl 1 was lying in the latter. The river berths at Pernis and Vlaardingen were full of tankers, including the Histria Agata. The orange juice carrier Orange Star passed us inbound as did the large pipe-layer Seven Borealis. We proceeded down the Nieuwe Waterweg passing the inbound UASC containership Al Manamah on her way to the Waalhaven, plus a few other smaller vessels.

Upon entering the Europoort complex, the large tankers Venice and Zouvra were spotted at Maasvlakte (8th Petroleumhaven) while the CSCL Indian Ocean was being pulled away from the Euromax terminal. We continued up to Maasvlakte 2 where the Triple-E Munkebo Maersk was berthed. Re-tracing our steps we saw the Evelyn Maersk and the Kyoto Express at the Europahaven and Amazonehaven, respectively, plus the usual selection of feeders.

Somewhat unusually, the Mississippihaven was completely devoid of bulk carriers, but the large tankers Besiktas Bosphorus and the 2017-built British Restraint could be seen at the 6th Petroleumhaven.

Turning back into the Caland Canal, both the mineral berths and the grain berths were almost full of bulk carriers, which included the Anangel Hope, Successor, Centaurus Dream on EECV and Inspiration, Lyric Harmony and Alpha Honesty discharging grain.

In the Caland Canal, we followed the inbound chemical tanker Baltico. One of the highlights in the Canal was the VLCC Nave Quasar taking cargo from the NS Captain in a ship-to-ship transfer operation. There were also several tankers of all shapes and sizes in the 7th Petroleumhaven, including the VLCC Samail and the Suezmax Amazon.

We continued passed the Brittaniehaven into the lock and headed towards Botlek along the Hartel Canal. There were several vessels in the Botlek complex, including P&O Ferries Pride of Bruges and the 2017-built Aframax Minerva Coralia at the shipyard.

Finally, opposite Vlaardingen in the 1st Petroleumhaven was the tanker Navig8 Violette and following us up the canal was another tanker, Emma Victory, which also berthed in the 1st Petroleumhaven, thus ending another very enjoyable day with well over 100 ships seen.

Our thanks go to the captain and crew of the Partyschip Diane for their excellent hospitality once again and the TSS committee for organising the day.

Saturday 24th June - Southampton Ship Show

We had a table at the Ocean Liner Society Ship Show at Southampton. For more information about the show please see the Ocean Liner Society website.

Several committee members were in attendance.

Thursday 6th July 2017 - Thames and Medway Cruise (2)

A warm and mainly sunny day greeted the TSS members who assembled at Gravesend for the midweek Thames and Medway cruise on board the Princess Pocahontas. Shortly after 11am we cast off and proceeded down river with Cobelfret’s Adeline just ahead of us. She was outbound from Ford’s at Dagenham. She slowly pulled away from us as she gained speed. The first vessel inward bound was the Pengalia on her usual run in to Tilbury Dock from Hull. She was followed in by the dredger Sand Fulmar.

At London Gateway, the large Hapag-Lloyd containership Cartagena Express was berthed with the large tanker Pacific A. Dorodchi just ahead of her at Shellhaven. She had apparently brought in aviation fuel from Singapore. The feeder containership Henrike Schepers was the next to pass inward, closely followed by the Sten Fjell in for Grays Terminal. At the Oikos jetty, the tanker Seashark was being berthed by three of the Svitzer Tugs.

The next inbound vessel was the cement carrier Cembay bound for Tilbury Dock. Finally the Cobelfret ro-ro Undine passed inward for Ford’s. As there were no vessels in the Southend Anchorage, we then proceeded to the Medway, slowing to allow the Navi Star to catch up with us. She was outbound from Tower Wharf. Just off the entrance to the Medway, the small bunkering tanker Conveyor was approaching the anchored coaster Butes.

Into the Medway now, as far as Thamesport where the small feeder containership A2B Future was the only vessel present. Sheerness was, however, fairly busy with the unusual sight of a Turkish owned general cargo ship Hilal Bey being the pick of the bunch. The vehicle carrier City of Amsterdam was being assisted to her berth by the tug Svitzer Victory. Also Wagenborg’s Oranjeborg was present.

We then left the Medway, being overtaken by the speedy Sheerness pilot boat Estuary Warden, fighting against the swell at the mouth of the river. We then proceeded back up the Thames, past the Oikos, Shellhaven and London Gateway berths allowing close up views of the vessels there and also of the tugs moored in the vicinity. These included the new Svitzer tugs Svitzer Ganges and Svitzer Monarch. The small containership CMA CGM Goya passed outbound from Northfleet Hope for Rotterdam.

We continued up the Thames past Tilbury and Northfleet Hope container terminal where the containerships Francop and Melchior Schulte were berthed. Further upstream the tanker Bro Nakskov was at the Vopak Jetty and the usual Cobelfret ro-ro vessels Valentine and Amandine were at Purfleet. At this point we turned around and made our way back to Gravesend, where the cruise ended. Our thanks to Dave Smith and members of the committee for organising the day and to Captain Potter and the crew of the Princess Pocahontas for looking after us so well on the day.

Photos and report by Chris Brooks.


ADELINE outbound at Gravesend Reach.


PENGALIA inbound for Tilbury Dock.


Hapag-Lloyd's CARTAGENA EXPRESS at London Gateway.


STEN FJELL inbound for Grays.


Cement carrier CEMBAY inbound for Tilbury Dock.


HILAL BEY at Sheerness.


Pilot boat ESTUARY WARDEN outward bound from the Medway.


New Svitzer tug SVITZER GANGES moored at London Gateway.


MELCHIOR SCHULTE at Northfleet Hope.


CUMBRIAN FISHER at Portsmouth.




BRAEMAR departing Southampton.


SAND HERON under repair at Southampton.


Feeder containership RANGER at the container terminal.


SEA HARMONY arriving with a cargo of scrap.


CARIBBEAN PRINCESS departing for St Peter Port.

Photos and report by Chris Brooks.

Saturday 5th August 2017 - Solent Cruise (2)

A reasonably sunny day greeted the TSS members assembling for the second Solent Cruise of the 2017 programme. Having departed from Ocean Village at noon on board the Ocean Scene, we decided to go straight to Portsmouth in order to get back to Southampton in plenty of time to see the late afternoon cruise ship departures. Having photographed the ARC vehicle carrier Resolve in the Eastern Docks, we proceeded down Southampton Water, past the inward bound vehicle carrier Autostar. At Fawley Oil Terminal the tankers included the LPG tanker Pazifik as well as a few smaller coastal tankers such as the Solway Fisher.

We continued across the Solent, to Portsmouth. Sadly the harbour was a little quiet, most of the Type 45 destroyers were in the enclosed dock under repair and out of view. The Fisher tanker Cumbrian Fisher was in harbour though as well as two frigates HMS Richmond and HMS St Albans. The reefers Crown Topaz and Colombian Star were in the commercial docks. We retraced our steps out of Portsmouth and back across the Solent to Southampton Water. A shower of heavy rain interrupted our photography as we passed Fawley, but by the time we got back to Southampton the sun was out again. A typical British summer!

We positioned ourselves just off Hythe for the departure of Fred Olsen’s smart cruise ship Braemar, which was bound for Eidfjord in Norway. We had time to view P&O’s Britannia in Ocean Dock, before the departure of the next cruise ship Navigator of the Seas. Sadly the sun didn’t shine for this one. Then up to the Western Docks where the Normed Antwerpen was loading yachts and the vehicle carrier Blue Ridge Highway was berthed.

The cruise ship Caribbean Princess was just departing from her berth as we passed her. We proceeded up to the container terminal, where the very large container ship MOL Triumph was berthed as well as the smaller Ever Lissome and feeder Ranger. Having photographed those, we headed back and caught up with the Caribbean Princess which had by this time swung and was departing for St Peter Port. At the same time the small coaster Sea Harmony was arriving with a cargo of scrap to add to the massive pile already on the quayside.

By this time it was time for our cruise to draw to a close and we arrived back at Ocean Village just after 6pm. Our thanks as usual go to the captain and crew of the Ocean Scene for looking after us so well and to Ian Cochran and members of the TSS committee for organising the day.

Saturday 19th August 2017 - Thames and Medway Cruise (1)

This is the re-scheduled Thames & Medway cruise originally planned for 13th May.

The re-scheduled first cruise in our popular series of Thames & Medway cruises for 2017 on the MV Princess Pochahontas starting from Gravesend. Demand for places on these cruises is usually very high so the advice is, as ever, to book without delay to avoid disappointment.

As on previous cruises, the exact sequence and extent of the cruise will be subject to the tides, shipping and other circumstances on the day. However, the usual pattern has been to first proceed down river past the new London Gateway container terminal, the tanker berths at London Gateway Coryton and Canvey Island, into the estuary for Southend Anchorage and then into the Medway as far as Sheerness Docks, the LNG discharge terminals at the Isle of Grain, plus the Thamesport Container Terminal. On the return trip, the cruise continues upriver beyond Gravesend past the Tilbury Container and Grain terminals to the Queen Elizabeth II road bridge and the Dartford and Purfleet terminals. The cruise will end at Gravesend by about 18.00.

The cruise should provide excellent photographic opportunities with the prospect of seeing almost any type of vessel. Sightings on past cruises in this series have included tankers, containerships, general cargo ships, bulk carriers, car carriers, reefers and coasters, as well as the local tug fleets and the regular Cobelfret and P&O ro-ro vessels. The London Gateway container terminal is now fully operational and handles some of the largest containerships afloat.

Date confirmed - fully booked with waiting list.

Photos from the 2016 Thames & Medway Cruise (1).


MAERSK LAVRAS at London Gateway container terminal.


POLA PACIFIC in Southend Anchorage.


BBC NORDLAND outward bound in the Thames Estuary.

Photos by Chris Brooks.

Photos from the 2016 Thames & Medway Cruise (3).


PALATINE inbound for Purfleet from Leixoes.


SEAMARLIN inbound for the Vopak Terminal.


Bulk carrier LINTAN in Southend Anchorage.

Photos by Chris Brooks.

Saturday 2nd September 2017 - Thames and Medway Cruise (3)

The third in our popular series of Thames & Medway cruises for 2017 on the MV Princess Pochahontas starting from Gravesend. Demand for places on these cruises is usually very high so the advice is, as ever, to book without delay to avoid disappointment.

As on previous cruises, the exact sequence and extent of the cruise will be subject to the tides, shipping and other circumstances on the day. However, the usual pattern has been to first proceed down river past the new London Gateway container terminal, the tanker berths at London Gateway Coryton and Canvey Island, into the estuary for Southend Anchorage and then into the Medway as far as Sheerness Docks, the LNG discharge terminals at the Isle of Grain, plus the Thamesport Container Terminal. On the return trip, the cruise continues upriver beyond Gravesend past the Tilbury Container and Grain terminals to the Queen Elizabeth II road bridge and the Dartford and Purfleet terminals. The cruise will end at Gravesend by about 18.00.

The cruise should provide excellent photographic opportunities with the prospect of seeing almost any type of vessel. Sightings on past cruises in this series have included tankers, containerships, general cargo ships, bulk carriers, car carriers, reefers and coasters, as well as the local tug fleets and the regular Cobelfret and P&O ro-ro vessels. The London Gateway container terminal is now fully operational and handles some of the largest containerships afloat.

Date confirmed - bookings currently being taken

7th to 12th September 2017 - A Schelde Sojourn.

Following the success of the 2015 Antwerp and Terneuzen tour, we have arranged another trip staying at the same riverside hotel. All types of vessels pass by the hotel within a few hundred metres, ie within easy photographic range. The hotel is located very close to the lock system at Terneuzen where vessels transit to and from the Ghent Canal and offers superb views of the main channel to and from Antwerp.

The highlight of the trip will be a private coach tour round the Antwerp dock complexes. Shipping ranges from tankers, reefers and general cargo vessels, to bulk carriers and containerships. The Eastern dock (left bank) is currently rapidly being expanded with the recent opening of the world’s largest lock and a huge riverside container quay.

In a departure from our normal routine, we will be travelling by coach from Doncaster, outward via the overnight P&O ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge and returning from Europoort to Hull and then back to Doncaster where the tour will end. This will give participants the opportunity to view ships in the River Humber and in Hull’s King George Dock, as well as around the Europoort/Maasvlakte complexes.

Upon arrival at Zeebrugge, the coach will tour the port and then proceed to Bruges to view the port and scrapyard, before continuing on to Terneuzen, where we will spend three nights at the 4-star Terneuzen Golden Tulip Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis. We have allowed plenty of free time to view and photograph shipping in the busy Schelde Waterway.

Trip features :

Thursday 7th September : Participants will assemble at Doncaster Interchange for a 1520 departure by coach to Hull King George Dock, to join P&O's overnight crossing to Zeebrugge. The ferry sails at 1830 from the enclosed dock area.

Friday 8th September : The ferry arrives Zeebrugge about 0800 local time. Following disembarkation, we will undertake a comprehensive tour of the port and then proceed to Bruges. From Bruges, we will drive via the canal side road to the Golden Tulip Hotel at Terneuzen. The rest of the day will be free to allow participants to enjoy the shipping on the River Schelde or entering/leaving the Ghent Canal.

Saturday 9th September : Breakfast at the hotel followed by a leisure day in Terneuzen. For members wishing to visit Ghent, there is a public port cruise operating this afternoon.

Sunday 10th September : After breakfast, we will proceed by coach for a comprehensive tour of Antwerp. The route followed is that recommended by the Port of Antwerp and we will make stops as required for photography. We will return to Terneuzen via Kruningen, which will allow us to view any ships berthed at the Reimerswaal shipyard at Hansweert.

Monday 11th September : After breakfast, we will leave the hotel and proceed via the Schelde tunnel to Vlissingen Sloehaven. From Vlissingen, we will drive to Europoort and on to Maasvlakte, before joining P&O Ferries’ 2030 overnight sailing back to Hull from Europoort.

Tuesday 12th September : The ferry is scheduled to arrive at Hull Riverside terminal at 0800. Following disembarkation, the coach will return to Doncaster Interchange where the tour will terminate.

Date confirmed - bookings currently being taken.



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