Thames Ship Society

(T.S.S.)

 
 

             2018 Programme              (Updated 14th December 2017) 

The provisional programme of events for 2018 is shown below.

Saturday 27th January 2018 - Winter Social at Dover.

Once again we have decided to return to the Dover Marina Hotel on the seafront at Dover as the location has proved popular in the past and still offers a realistic price.

The hotel commands uninterrupted views of the main shipping channels across to the French coast, and nestling under the historic White Cliffs, the hotel fronts onto Dover's regal promenade. Why not make the social into a long weekend. Take a day trip to France, or visit some of the nearby historical sites and towns in Kent.

Commencing at midday, a three course meal will be served in the private Chartwell Suite. After lunch there will be a slide show covering the recent TSS tour to Panama presented by Dave Smith.

Date confirmed - 41 participants so far - bookings being taken.

Saturday 7th April 2018 (12:00 departure) - AGM and Southampton Cruise.

The 2018 Annual General Meeting and Southampton Cruise will be held Blue Funnel’s vessel Ocean Scene in Southampton. The afternoon will begin with a three course meal and coffee followed by the AGM meeting where society members will be presented with the review of the last year including the financial status and plans for the coming year. Members will have the chance to address questions to the committee at the end of the meeting.

Following the meeting we will have a cruise of Southampton docks and down Southampton Water as far as the oil terminal at Fawley. This will give members the opportunity to view and photograph ships of all types at Southampton. Frequent callers at Southampton include the largest container ships afloat. Other regular visitors include cruise ships, bulk carriers, reefers, vehicle carriers and coasters. Fawley and Hamble should provide excellent opportunities to photograph all types of tankers.

Date confirmed

Photos from the 2017 AGM Cruise

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FLORENTIA in the Western Docks.

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MOSCOW UNIVERSITY at Esso berth 5.

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MAERSK ENFIELD inward bound.

Photos by Richard Jolliffe

Photos from the 2016 Rendsburg trip

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Tug KIEL towing the old Rendsburg icebreaker ANSCHUETZ to Rotterdam.

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LPG tanker TEMSE passing on 23rd April.

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Heavy load carrier PAPENBURG passing with a newbuild ship section on board.

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OOCL RAUMA, bound for St Petersburg passing in early morning light on 24th April.

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... she was followed by the CELLUS bound for Monsteras, Sweden.

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Veteran coaster MISTRAL passing on 24th April bound for Szczecin.

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German naval vessel A515 Main passing Southbound on 25th April.

Photos by Chris Brooks

Thursday 26th April to Tuesday 1st May 2018 - Rendsburg and the Kiel Canal.

Following the continuing popularity of the Kiel Canal, we have decided to return for a five-night break at the ideally placed town of Rendsburg. Rendsburg is located about half way along the Kiel Canal – the world’s busiest in terms of the number of ships transiting – where during daylight hours it should be possible to see around 50 ships passing.

Once again, we will be staying at the Convent Garten Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis. The Hotel is ideally located alongside the Canal on the North Bank, about a 20-30 minute walk from the town centre and the railway station, or a short taxi ride. The hotel boasts a terrace café alongside the upper Canal path.

Adjacent to the hotel is a foot and bicycle tunnel crossing underneath the Canal, which gives access to the South Bank. This spot is ideal for photographers, as the sun is to the South for most of the day. On both sides of the Canal there are footpaths, with intermittent seating, which stretch for miles, affording ample walking opportunities for the more energetic.

Rendsburg is a small town, but with plenty of restaurants, bars and shops in the centre. About a mile east of the Hotel is the classic Transporter Bridge on top of which runs the main railway line. Right underneath the bridge alongside the Canal is a café / restaurant, complete with a running commentary of the passing shipping. Ships usually pass in convoys of at least three vessels, due to the giant lock systems at each end of the Canal. The maximum size of ship allowed to transit is around Panamax size. Larger ships take priority over the smaller ones.

For the more adventurous, from Rendsburg station regular trains go to Hamburg (about 80 minutes away) and to Kiel (about 30 minutes away) allowing a full day in either shipping location. Other destinations can also be reached, including Flensburg and Husum.

The plan is to take advantage of the regular flights from London to Hamburg with coach connections to and from Rendsburg. Flights are based on British Airways economy class schedule service from and to London Heathrow.

Date confirmed - bookings being taken.

Saturday 19th May 2018 (10:00 departure) - Thames and Medway Cruise (1)

The first in our popular series of Thames & Medway cruises for 2018 on the MV Princess Pochahontas starting from Gravesend at 10.00 am. 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 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, freighters, bulk carriers, car carriers, reefers and coasters, as well as the local tug fleets and the regular Cobelfret ro-ro vessels. The London Gateway container terminal now handles some of the largest containerships afloat.

Date confirmed

Photos from one of last years Thames & Medway trips

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ADELINE outbound at Gravesend Reach.

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PENGALIA inbound for Tilbury Dock.

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Hapag-Lloyd's CARTAGENA EXPRESS at London Gateway.

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HILAL BEY at Sheerness.

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Pilot boat ESTUARY WARDEN outward bound from the Medway.

Photos by Chris Brooks

Photos from the June 2017 Solent Cruise

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MTS VANGUARD off Mayflower Park.

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HHL NEW YORK loading yachts in the Western Docks.

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HMS DARING in Portsmouth Harbour.

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

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...followed by the QUEEN ELIZABETH.

Photos by Chris Brooks

Saturday 2nd June 2018 (12:00 departure) - Solent Cruise

This trip has something for everyone with the prospect of seeing almost all types of ships ranging from the largest container vessels, down to tugs and coasters as well as warships. Bring your partner, even if they are not particularly interested in ships, as this is a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon. This trip will depart from the Hythe Ferry berth, Town Quay, Southampton, on board our old favourite, the Blue Funnel vessel Ocean Scene. The trip will last for six hours.

Ocean Scene has two open deck areas as well as large enclosed saloons with toilets, and is an excellent platform for photography. The bar will be open for the purchase of drinks and light refreshments at cost. The cruise will cover Southampton Docks, which are served by some of the largest containerships afloat. Other regular visitors include cruise ships, bulk carriers, reefers, vehicle carriers and coasters. Fawley and Hamble should provide excellent opportunities to photograph all types of tankers. The furthest extent of our cruise, Portsmouth Harbour, will provide the opportunity to see Royal Navy warships and auxiliaries and possibly some ferries. The rotation will depend upon the tides on the day, the discretion of the Captain and Port Control instructions.

Date confirmed

Sunday 17th June 2018 (09:00 departure) - Rotterdam and Europoort Cruise on Partyschip Diane.

Due to its continued popularity, the TSS has again decided to offer a day trip on the Partyschip Diane for 2018 on Sunday 17th June. Once again participants will have the flexibility of making their own travel arrangements and hotel bookings.

The ‘Diane’ Rotterdam / Europoort / Maasvlakte cruise is always one of the highlights of the year for many people where it is possible to observe and photograph all types of ships. As last year the cruise has been extended by one hour to 11 hours (09:00 to 20:00), due to the extra time required to cover the new Maasvlakte 2 complex at Europoort. The intention is to sail as far upriver as the Waalhaven and downriver, covering Botlek Harbour, the Caland Canal, Europoort and Maasvlakte 2, however, the exact routing will be decided upon on the day by the Tour Leaders, in consultation with the vessel’s Captain, taking into consideration timings, tides, weather, etc.

Participants will be responsible for organizing their own travel to and from Vlaardingen in order to join the cruise. There are many ways of travelling to and from Rotterdam / Vlaardingen without incurring too much expense, as long as the travel is booked well in advance to take advantage of cheap(er) tickets. For example, participants could catch the overnight Harwich / Hook of Holland ferry, returning the following night. Another route is by Eurostar from London, or Ebbsfleet, to Brussels from where there is a regular train service to Rotterdam; or by flying to Rotterdam, or Schiphol (Amsterdam) from where there is a direct train to Rotterdam leaving about every 20 minutes.

Date confirmed

Photos from the June 2017 Diane Cruise

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HAI YANG SHI YOU 720 in Waalhaven.

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Heavy lift vessel HAN HUI in Waalhaven.

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VLCC ZOURVA at Maasvlakte.

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CSCL INDIAN OCEAN departing from the Euromax Terminal.

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Triple-E MUNKEBO MAERSK at Maasvlakte 2.

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NAVE QUASAR and NS CAPTAIN in the Caland Canal.

Photos by Ian Cochran and Dave Smith.

Photos from the July 2017 Thames & Medway trip

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STEN FJELL inbound for Grays.

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Cement carrier CEMBAY inbound for Tilbury Dock.

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New Svitzer tug SVITZER GANGES moored at London Gateway.

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MELCHIOR SCHULTE at Northfleet Hope.

Photos by Chris Brooks.

Thursday 12th July 2018 (11:00 departure) - Thames and Medway Cruise (2)

The second in our popular series of Thames & Medway cruises for 2018 on the MV Princess Pochahontas starting from Gravesend at 11.00 am. 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 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, freighters, bulk carriers, car carriers, reefers and coasters, as well as the local tug fleets and the regular Cobelfret ro-ro vessels. The London Gateway container terminal now handles some of the largest containerships afloat.

Date confirmed.

Saturday 4th August 2018 (12:00 departure) - Solent Cruise

This trip has something for everyone with the prospect of seeing almost all types of ships ranging from the largest container vessels, down to tugs and coasters as well as warships. Bring your partner, even if they are not particularly interested in ships, as this is a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon. This trip will depart from the Hythe Ferry berth, Town Quay, Southampton, on board our old favourite, the Blue Funnel vessel Ocean Scene. The trip will last for six hours.

Ocean Scene has two open deck areas as well as large enclosed saloons with toilets, and is an excellent platform for photography. The bar will be open for the purchase of drinks and light refreshments at cost. The cruise will cover Southampton Docks, which are served by some of the largest containerships afloat. Other regular visitors include cruise ships, bulk carriers, reefers, vehicle carriers and coasters. Fawley and Hamble should provide excellent opportunities to photograph all types of tankers. The furthest extent of our cruise, Portsmouth Harbour, will provide the opportunity to see Royal Navy warships and auxiliaries and possibly some ferries. The rotation will depend upon the tides on the day, the discretion of the Captain and Port Control instructions.

Date confirmed.

Photos from our August 2017 Solent Cruise.

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CUMBRIAN FISHER at Portsmouth.

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BRAEMAR departing Southampton.

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Feeder containership RANGER at the container terminal.

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CARIBBEAN PRINCESS departing for St Peter Port.

Photos by Chris Brooks.

Photos from our third 2017 Thames & Medway Cruise

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NORDIC HANNE at the Vopak Terminal.

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GRANATO inbound for Grays Terminal.

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MAERSK LUZ approaching the Gateway Terminal.

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Cement carrier ENCOFRADOR departing for Gijon...

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...followed by the MAXI out from Erith.

Photos by Chris Brooks.

September 2018 (10:00 departure) - Thames and Medway Cruise (3)

The third in our popular series of Thames & Medway cruises for 2018 on the MV Princess Pochahontas starting from Gravesend at 10.00 am. 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 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, freighters, bulk carriers, car carriers, reefers and coasters, as well as the local tug fleets and the regular Cobelfret ro-ro vessels. The London Gateway container terminal now handles some of the largest containerships afloat.

Date to be confirmed.

Date to be advised - Baltic Ports Tour.

The committee is currently investigating a tour around several Baltic Ports. More information will be posted here when it becomes available.

 

 

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