Saturday 26th January 2008 - Winter Social.
attended the kick-off to this year's events - the Winter
Social which took place at the Churchill
Hotel, on the seafront at Dover.
We were lucky to to have dry
bright conditions for the weekend and some members took advantage of
special rates we had negotiated with the hotel and made a weekend of it.
Olsen's new addition to their fleet, the Balmoral was in port for
the weekend before her planned inaugural cruise (which was later cancelled
due to technical problems).
The social kicked off with an enjoyable
three course meal followed by a slide show given by Mike Jackson, assisted
by Andrew Humphreys. The entertaining and informative slide show covered
Mike's time sailing on tankers from the 1960's onwards.
On Sunday, for
those members who has stayed overnight, a visit to Dover Coastguard
Station was organised by Andrew Humphreys.
Fred Olsen's new BALMORAL
was berthed at Dover during our Winter Social.
Dover Harbour with the Churchill Hotel
on the seafront on a sunny January day.
The brand new vehicle carrier GARNET
LEADER taking her pilot in the Elbe on 18th April.
COSCO NAPOLI departing from Hamburg on
18th April, taken from one of the passing ferries.
HARBOUR BRIDGE departs from Hamburg on
WAPPEN VON STUTTGART catches some
evening sunshine as she arrives on 18th April.
The bulk carrier BLED photographed
from my hotel room early on the morning of 19th April.
The classic reefer ELECTRA also passed our
hotel early in the morning of 19th April.
Chipolbrok's CARNIVAL catches the last
rays of sunshine during the evening of 19th April.
The Hamburg tug ACCURAT photographed
during a harbour tour on 20th April.
KIRCHDORF is one of the vessels
operating the Harbour Tours at Hamburg.
Feeder ZEALAND departs from Parkhafen,
Hamburg during one of our harbour tours on 20th April.
The bulk carrier TARANG passed our
hotel outward bound on 20th April.
ALEKO KONSTANTINOV passing our hotel
on 21st April.
The NEUENFELDE is one of the ferries
calling at the ferry terminal near our hotel.
Thursday 17th April to Monday 21st April 2008 - Relax by the Elbe.
On Thursday 17th April, 30 TSS members assembled at Terminal 5, Heathrow, for the trip to Hamburg. Happily, there were no issues with the operation of Terminal 5 on that day and we were quickly checked in and through security for our mid afternoon British Airways flight to Hamburg.
After an uneventful, but slightly delayed flight, we soon found ourselves on-board our coach for the short transfer to The
Golden Tulip Hamburg Aviation Hotel on the banks of the River Elbe near the Airbus factory at Finkenwerder. The Hotel is perfectly situated for ship photography with a landing stage for the local ferries directly in front of it. The rooms were very comfortable and as our rooms were all river facing, it was possible to photograph passing shipping from our hotel rooms!
Friday morning dawned with partially sunny conditions, so we were all up early planning our day ahead. In order to keep costs down for the basic trip it has been decided not to plan any organised trips during our stay in Hamburg, but, very soon we were exploring the local ferries, buses and rail network. Some of the group stayed at the hotel as the photography of the passing shipping was very good. Others made their way into Hamburg by the cheap and frequent ferries to take a
“Grosse Hafenrundfahrt”, in other words one of the frequent one hour harbour trips, which explored the container berths and
some of the other dock complexes as well as the river, of course.
Examples of the shipping seen during the day included large container ships
LT Cortesia and APL France; the brand new vehicle carrier Garnet
Leader, completed in Gdynia in March 2008; the elderly Russian sea-river ship
Tyovo Vyakhya and the huge bulk carrier BW
Fjord, which departed in the early evening.
Saturday was mainly cloudy but bright at times with no rain. Again, members of the group did some exploring by public transport with Bremerhaven and Brunsbuttel visited amongst other places. The less intrepid settled for the usual mix of ferry rides, harbour trips or merely relaxing at the hotel watching and photographing the passing shipping.
The highlights of Saturday’s shipping included an early morning arrival of the reefer
Electra; the arriving container ship CSCL Zeebrugge and, finally, as the sun was setting, Chipolbrok’s classic cargo ship Carnival
passed the hotel inward bound. (Why do the interesting ships always move at dawn or dusk??).
Sunday was spent similarly, the one exception was that the ferries had a “free day” and were consequently quite crowded. Unfortunately some of our group did not realise this until they had purchased tickets from the automatic ticket machines!
Sunday’s highlights included the arrival of the container ships Kota Latif and
Skagen Maersk, as well as the
departure of the bulk carrier Sigrun Bolten.
Too quickly, Monday dawned – a beautifully sunny day. We were due to leave at 3pm for the airport, so most people stayed in the vicinity of the hotel and photographed the passing shipping in excellent photographic conditions. Unfortunately the river was quite quiet and as usual started to get busy when it was time to depart for the
airport, with the arrival of the Hanjin Rio De Janeiro and feeder
container Taipan being our last ships photographed during the trip.
Our flight home was again slightly delayed, but at least our bags turned up on time at Terminal 5! Good-byes were said and we were on our way home after a very successful time in Hamburg. I hope that this enjoyable trip can be repeated in future years.
Finally, thanks go to Roger Hammond, Ray Smith and Mark Teadham for organising and leading the trip and to other committee members involved in making this trip the success it was.
Report and photographs by Chris Brooks.
April 2008 - Annual General Meeting and Southampton Harbour Cruise.
Around 40 TSS members attended the AGM and Southampton Harbour Cruise
on a gloriously sunny and warm Saturday on Blue Funnel's vessel the Ocean
The day started with drinks followed by an excellent three
course meal. Once we had finished the meal, coffee was served upstairs and
the formalities of the Annual General Meeting were conducted efficiently
by the members of the committee.
At about 14:30 we cast off for the
cruise of Southampton Harbour. Unfortunately, one of the cruise ships
visiting Southampton on that day, the Brilliance of the Seas had
already departed by the time our cruise started. However, we were pleased
to see that the Sea Princess, Queen Elizabeth 2 and the
brand new Independence of the Seas were all in port. Independence
of the Seas had arrived on the previous day on her maiden voyage from
her builders in Finland. She will be named in Southampton on 30th April
and will spend her 2008 season cruising from Southampton.
As well as the
cruise ships, the vehicle carrier Grande Spagna and three large
container vessels were present in the Western Docks. When we had completed
our cruise of the Western Docks, we made our way down Southampton Water to
Fawley Oil Terminal, where several tankers were moored as well as the
newly delivered tug Apex (which was unfortunately not in a position
to get a photograph). The tanker Cape Beira made for a colourful
photograph at Hamble Oil Jetty.
We then made our way back to Southampton
where we witnessed the departure of the cruise vessel Sea Princess
and also the moving of the Queen Elizabeth 2 from 105 berth in the
Western Docks to her normal berth 38/39 in the Eastern Docks.
interesting to compare the graceful lines of the QE2 with the new Independence
of the Seas as she passed the latter vessel at the end of our cruise.
thanks to Simon Martin and the committee members for organising what was a
very enjoyable day and of course the captain and crew of the Ocean Scene
for yet another successful day out.
photographs by Chris Brooks
The brand new INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS
was in Southampton for her naming ceremony.
GRANDE SPAGNA was at 102 berth in the
OOCL EUROPE was one of three large
container ships at the container terminal.
CAPE BEIRA provided some colour was we
passed Hamble oil jetty.
The SEA PRINCESS passed us at close
quarters as she departed for Vigo.
QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 was moved from 105
berth to 38/39 berth at the end of our cruise.
The graceful QE2 against the more
modern lines of the INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS.
C.COLUMBUS takes her pilot off
Gravesend at the beginning of our cruise.
FINNFIGHTER turning in the river in
order to enter Tilbury Lock.
OSTEND WAY slowly passing our vessel
after departing from her berth.
ALEXANDRA RICKMERS inward bound in the
Thames for Northfleet Hope.
MONTE ROSA passes us at speed on our
way back to Gravesend.
HILDEGAARD was berthed at Coryton.
CMA CGM HOMERE outward bound in the
Thames having departed from Northfleet Hope.
Report and Photographs by Chris Brooks
Saturday 17th May - Thames and Medway Cruise
On a dull and cloudy morning, on Saturday 17th May, almost 60 TSS members congregated at the landing stage at Gravesend for the first Thames and Medway cruise of the year. After a period of warm and sunny weather, unfortunately the weather had taken a turn for the worse, with rain being forecast.
Whilst waiting to board our vessel, the Princess Pocahontas, we were lucky enough to witness the arrival in the Thames of the cruise ship
C. Columbus, which was making her way upriver. We boarded our vessel at 10am and shortly after casting off the outward bound tanker
Laguna D passed us. We then made our way upriver to photograph the vessels at Northfleet Hope container terminal where Hamburg-Sud’s
Monte Rosa was present as well as the CMA CGM Homere. We continued past the grain terminal where there were two small coastal vessels, up to the Vopak and Cobelfret berths at Dartford to photograph the various ro-ros and product tankers there before turning downstream. Two of the Cobelfret ro-ros passed us outward bound as we got to Dartford. By now, the weather had closed in and it was raining quite heavily at times.
On our way downriver we passed the ro-ro Finnfighter being eased into the locks at Tilbury by the tug
Svitzer Laceby. We continued past Gravesend, slowly being overtaken by the outward bound ro-ro
Ostend Way to witness the inward bound container vessel Alexandra Rickmers looming out of the misty rain. She was to take the
Monte Rosa’s berth at Northfleet Hope as the latter vessel was on the point of departure.
The next point of interest was the tanker berths at Shellhaven and Coryton. The ex Russian Arctic tanker
Stavrodromi was at Shellhaven with the large Hildegaard at Coryton, together with the smaller
FS Philippine and Sigas Earl. Inward bound to Coryton was the product tanker
Aurora which we passed downriver from the tanker berths.
We pushed on further downriver in deteriorating weather conditions when our ploughman’s lunch was served. It was at this point due to the weather and the fact that there was only one vessel in Sheerness, and with no vessels at Thamesport, that we made the decision to turn back upriver and miss out the Medway part of the cruise.
So, we made our way slowly back up the river past Coryton, where, by now, the Aurora
was being berthed by the tugs Stanford and Corringham. We were quite lucky to witness the departure of the container vessels
Monte Rosa and CMA CGM Homere, both of which passed us at speed as we headed back for Gravesend.
The cruise finished at Gravesend, slightly earlier than planned, where everyone said their goodbyes in the rain. The cruise did not really proceed as we had planned, nevertheless, it was good to meet up with everyone and we were quite lucky with the container vessel movements.
With thanks to the organisers of the trip and Captain Potter and the crew of the Princess Pocahontas for making us welcome, as always. We look forward to the next trip on the Thames and Medway and hope for some better weather next time!
14th to 21st
June - Summer Continental
On a sunny Saturday 14th June sixteen TSS members gathered at Harwich Ferry Terminal for the early morning Stena line sailing to the Hook of Holland
at the start of the 2008 TSS Continental Tour.
Celebrity Constellation was the first ship photographed as she was alongside the adjacent cruise terminal at Harwich. We were soon on our way, past the container terminals at Felixstowe out into the channel for our crossing to Holland. After a smooth crossing, we were approaching Rotterdam for our mid-afternoon arrival, photographing the shipping arriving and leaving Europoort and the New Waterway.
For the first two nights we stayed in the Delta Hotel, conveniently located on the banks
of the river at Vlaardingen. There we were joined by other members of our group who had travelled independently to Rotterdam. The hotel has a restaurant and bar which has an open balcony overlooking the river. Soon after our arrival we were photographing a whole manner of shipping, particular favourites being the departing bulk carrier
Julia and the container carrier Frisia Lissabon. They made excellent photographic subjects in the early evening sunshine.
Sunday 15th dawned bright and sunny and after breakfast we made our way down to the nearby landing stage to our cruise vessel for the day, our old friend, the
“Partyschip Diane”. A ten hour cruise had been planned to cover the entire Rotterdam and Europoort docks complex. We were soon on our way down to Europoort via the Caland Canal. By the time we got to Europoort some cloud had built up and we had a few showers of rain. Happily the rain did not last too long and we were soon in sunshine again. Many large tankers, container ships and bulk carrier were in port, examples being the bulk carrier
Bao Fu, container ship APL France and tanker Barents
We then made our way back to Rotterdam where a whole array of shipping was photographed in the old port area, including the Russian general cargo ship
Ivan Shadr, large Finnish tug Zeus and newbuild offshore vessels
Toisa Pegasus and Toisa Perseus. The cruise finished at 7pm when we adjourned for dinner at the hotel.
On Monday 16th it was time to depart the Delta Hotel for the second part of our tour, our stay in Vlissingen on the River Schelde. We took our leave of Rotterdam mid-morning and made our way by coach to Vlissingen via “The Hill” at the Hook of Holland where we photographed some passing vessels and any new ships berthed in Europoort. The drive down to Vlissingen took a couple of hours so we arrived early afternoon at the Arion Hotel in Vlissingen for our five night stay. The Northern Channel into the River Schelde passes close along the seafront at Vlissingen so it is possible to photograph vessels from your hotel room balcony. The rest of the day was spent at leisure – some members walked
a short distance to the pilot station where it is possible to photograph vessels in both channels in the River Schelde on their way to and from Antwerp, Gent, Terneuzen and Flushing.
The next day was spent at Terneuzen after a short coach journey from Vlissingen. Terneuzen is probably the best place on the River Schelde to photograph vessels bound for Antwerp. It is also the location of the locks for the Gent canal. It was a busy day on the river and beautiful, sunny, weather. Many
excellent photographs were taken of the passing traffic, which included MSC Sarah, Maersk Vyborg, CMA CGM America, Stina Kosan and
On Wednesday 18th we departed from the hotel for a day trip to Antwerp by coach and our five hour private cruise around Antwerp Docks. After a brief stop at Antwerp Locks to see if any shipping was moving, we boarded our vessel, the “Kempenland”, and we were soon underway photographing the diverse range of shipping at Antwerp. This included the conventional general cargo ships
Namibia and Krokus, reefers Caribbean Star, Lady Racisce and
Star Prima and many other bulk carriers, container ships and tankers. On completion of our cruise we made our way back to Vlissingen and our hotel.
Thursday saw us visiting Terneuzen again and also taking a coach tour of Gent Docks kindly arranged by our friend from Belgium, Andre. Unfortunately the weather was dull with light rain at times, but we still managed to photograph a number of ships in Gent docks including
HMS Fearless being broken up at the scrapyard. We made our way back to Terneuzen for mid afternoon by which time the weather had brightened up. On departure from Terneuzen we returned to our hotel in Vlissingen.
Friday saw us again take the coach to Terneuzen, but there was the option of continuing on the coach to Antwerp for the public harbour cruise of Antwerp, which some members of our group decided to do. Some members stayed at Terneuzen again to photograph the passing shipping.
All too soon, our tour had come to and end. We checked out of the Arion Hotel on Saturday and made our way back to Rotterdam, by coach, again via “The Hill” at the Hook of Holland. Here we spent some time photographing passing shipping including the tanker
King Everest and container carrier ANL Esprit. Our 14:30 ferry sailing back to Harwich left on time, and, after an uneventful crossing we arrived back at Harwich at 8pm, where our tour
With thanks to Paul Mason, Roger Hammond and Ray Smith for their hard work in ensuring that the 2008 continental was, as always, a very enjoyable and successful trip.
Photos and report by Chris Brooks
The evening sunshine illuminates JULIA
as she passes the Delta Hotel.
SOCRATES was seen during our Rotterdam
BAO FU berthed at Europoort during our
Traditional general cargo ship
IVAN SHADR in Rotterdam during our cruise.
TOISA PEGASUS under construction at
VAAL RIVER passing our hotel at
Vlaardingen on 15th June.
PIONER YAKUTII catching the morning
sunshine as she passes our hotel at Vlissingen.
MAERSK VYBORG passing Terneuzen on
The brand new STINA KOSAN passing
Terneuzen on 17th June.
KROKUS at Antwerp during our port
Bulk Carrier MAKIKI at Antwerp during
The large LNG carrier METHANIA
dominated the scene at Antwerp during our cruise.
TSURU ARROW passing Vlissingen on 20th
MSC BENEDETTA, one of the many
container carriers to pass during one of our visits to Terneuzen.
COTE D'IVOIRIAN STAR passing our hotel
An unusual visitor for Southampton -
bulk wood-chip carrier MIMOSA DREAM
NEW BREEZE was at 202 berth, Western
BERGE SUMMIT at Fawley Oil Terminal
ECUADOR STAR outward bound in
ARK ROYAL was at Portsmouth Naval Base
NORMANDIE EXPRESS also departing from
EURODAM rounding Calshot after
departing from Southampton...
...followed by OCEANA...
...which was followed by INDEPENDENCE
OF THE SEAS....
...and then SEA PRINCESS....
...with APL GERMANY bringing up the
Saturday 28th June - Solent Cruise
Fifty-six TSS members gathered at Ocean Village at Southampton on a breezy, sunny day on 28th June for the first Solent Cruise of the year. We were soon boarding blue Funnel’s
Ocean Scene for our six hour private cruise of Southampton, the Solent and Portsmouth.
We were encouraged to note that Southampton Docks were quite busy with four cruise ships and a number of other vessels present. We departed at midday and started by exploring the Eastern Docks. After photographing the bunkering tankers in Empress Docks we cruised round Dockhead to photograph P&O’s
Oceana at berth 38/9, followed by the tugs in Ocean Dock. A new tug for Southampton was present, the
Portgarth, normally to be found in the Bristol Channel.
We continued on to Western Docks, where the massive Independence of the Seas was at the City Cruise Terminal at berth 101. She is based in Southampton for the cruising season this year. At 104 berth was Holland America Line’s brand new vessel
Eurodam, straight from the builders in Italy on a courtesy visit to the port. 106 berth was taken by the
Sea Princess, the fourth cruise ship to be photographed.
At berth 107 was an unusual visitor for Southampton, a large bulk wood-chip carrier –
Mimosa Dream, unloading cargo. 201/202 berth was taken by Autotransporter, Atlasgracht loading yachts for Palma and the reefer
New Breeze which had been lying at the berth for some time. Just around the corner, the container terminal housed the feeder
WMS Harlingen, and the large container ships APL Germany and
CMA CGM Nabucco.
We re-traced our steps through the docks and out into Southampton Water where it was time for our lunch. Lunch was interrupted by the arrival of the vehicle carrier
Integrity and several tankers at Fawley Oil Terminal, comprising the
Berge Summit, Eland and Overseas Reinemar. The new tugs moored at the oil terminal were also of interest to our tug enthusiasts.
Off to Portsmouth now, via the North Channel, passing the incoming dredger
Arco Dee on the way. Portsmouth was quite busy with the RFA tanker
Bayleaf being berthed by two tugs, as well as the departing reefer
Ecuador Star passing very close to us as we went through the entrance to the harbour.
For the naval enthusiasts the Ark Royal and the Illustrious were in port as well as several destroyers and frigates. We also paid a visit to Fareham Creek to photograph the laid up warships there. On our way out of the harbour we were overtaken by the Brittany Ferries fast ferry -
We were on our way back to Southampton now to witness the departure of the four cruise ships, the first one,
Eurodam, being scheduled to depart at 16:00. Unfortunately the Eurodam made it to Calshot just before we did so we could only take a stern photograph of the vessel as she rounded Calshot, bound for her inaugural visit to her home port of Rotterdam. We crossed the channel after she had passed to get into the optimum position for photographing the
Oceana which passed us shortly afterwards, followed by the Independence of the Seas and
Sea Princess. Luckily the sun stayed out to photograph the passing cruise ships and some excellent shots were taken. Following the cruise ships was the large container ship
APL Germany which also passed us at close quarters. Time was getting on - so we then made our way back to Ocean Village, where our cruise ended.
A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all, with a varied range of shipping seen in good photographic conditions. Thanks go to our tour leader Simon Martin for arranging the day, and the captain and crew of the Ocean Scene, for their usual excellent hospitality.
We look forward to the next Solent Cruise of 2008 in August.
Report and Photographs by Chris Brooks
Thursday 31st July - Thames and Medway Cruise
The weather forecast for the second (midweek) cruise on the Princess
Pocahontas was reasonably promising, although with the threat of some thundery showers later; certainly better than the conditions I had left behind in the Westcountry the previous day and those experienced on the first Thames and Medway trip back in May.
We all gathered as usual at the Gravesend Ferry Terminal and, just before boarding, we got our first vessel underway – the
ro/ro Norcape 79/14807 heading downriver for Zeebrugge. We then set off upriver as far as the ro/ro and tanker berths in the vicinity of the Dartford road bridge. One of the two vessels at Northfleet Hope Container terminal, the Cypriot flag
Ariake 05/28592, caused a certain amount of interest. She was wearing the funnel colours of the old P&O Nedlloyd consortium – dark blue with orange band – and, coincidentally, her name had been carried by one of that group’s ships until a few years ago. She is actually owned within the German Schulte Group and was launched as Sarah Schulte. Her last port was listed as Philadelphia and next port Bremerhaven, and a recent LSI lists ports of call as Melbourne and Dunedin in mid June. Quite a range.
Our captain then deftly took us right into the inside berth on Tilbury Grain terminal to get some close-ups of the Strahlmann low air coaster
Rantum 89/1984, before re-emerging to catch the sailing from Tilbury lock of the feeder containership
JRS Capella 05/7464 for Rotterdam.
Up in the vicinity of Dartford we were treated to the usual collection of Cobelfret roros, including the now ageing, but still smart,
Anglian Way 77/7628 – a sistership to the ill-fated Riverdance
77/6041, of Blackpool Beach fame. There were several tankers too at the berths on the North side of the river, including the red-hulled Italian
Turchese 99/8428, a flag not often seen in British waters, and FS
Philippine 05/11118, registered in Marseille (a reminder that a group of members would be heading off to that part of the World the following week).
Heading back downriver now, we caught the arrival of Arklow Willow 03/8938 just berthing on Tilbury Grain Terminal to load for Carthagena. I was quite pleased with this one as she completed my sightings of all three of the “big” Arklow “W” ships. Next, some interest for the tug enthusiasts at the Gravesend/Denton moorings, and in amongst the more modern Svitzer shiphandling tugs, one of the oldest Thames lighterage tugs still in service,
Unico 27/51, and another (although young by comparison) Silver
Beam 51/92. Then a lull in proceedings before the tanker berths at Coryton; time to grab some lunch and something to quench the thirst on what was turning out to be quite a warm day.
With lunch barely finished (in my case not quite finished) our captain announced over the tannoy that there were two coasters inbound ahead of us. They turned out to be the feedership
Ara Zeebrugge 91/3815 and the general cargo coaster Sea Ruby
92/1382. The latter was originally Hoo Larch. Both made for good shots as they passed by. Then back to the saloon to quickly finish off lunch before we arrived off the tanker berths at Coryton, where there were three tankers in residence.
We had expected to venture out into the anchorages in the Estuary but the reports were that nothing was at anchor (although there were vessels due), so we headed straightaway into the Medway. Sheerness provided some variety with the bulker
Carrara Castle 84/30163 (renamed from Star Evanger earlier this year), reefer
Summer Flower 84/12659 and bright red car carrier Seine Highway
07/23498. Thamesport too provided a containership in the shape of the smart-looking
MOL Solution 01/66332, and then the eagle-eyed amongst us spotted a vessel over in the River Swale at Grovehurst Jetty. She turned out to be the Dominican flag
Fairplay 71/1834; now something of a veteran at 37 years of age. Unfortunately, she was a little out of camera range.
By now the sky was beginning to show signs of the threatened thundery showers and the visibility towards the anchorages had become somewhat hazy. However, as we headed back towards the Thames we could make out a 6-crane bulker now anchored off. She would be
Alinda 77/17855, which was due for the Thames Refinery jetty at Silvertown. Unfortunately though, time was now pressing and our return to Gravesend would be against the ebb tide, so we were unable to make the detour to get photographs. We did, however, have enough time to get in nearer to the berths at Coryton on the way back, for close-ups of the three shiphandling tugs and better shots of the three tankers. The return journey also provided some underway shots of the low air coaster
Sea Shannon 96/1670 departing, and feedership Georg Mitchell 98/2599 and Cobelfret
ro/ro Victorine 00/23987, both arriving on their regular runs to the Thames.
Once again, another successful outing on the Thames and Medway, with in excess of 30 vessels recorded plus local tugs and dredgers. As always, thanks are due to the TSS organiser, Mick Axford, and to the captain and crew of Princess Pocahontas for looking after us.
Report and photos by Geoff Hoather
NORCAPE outward bound in the Thames
after departing from Tilbury.
Containership ARIAKE at Northfleet
Hope container terminal.
Italian tanker TURCHESE berthed in the
ARA ZEEBRUGGE passes us inward bound
in the Thames.
Reefer SUMMER FLOWER berthed at
The well loaded CARRARA CASTLE at
MOL SOLUTION berthed at Thamesport.
Tug CORRINGHAM awaiting her next
customer at Coryton.
USMA getting ready to sail from
VICTORINE speeds past us inward bound.
D641 DUPLEIX was at Toulon during our harbour cruise.
landing ship L9012 SIROCO was also at Toulon during our visit...
as was the new Dock Landing Ship L9013 MISTRAL.
MONTE CINTO at Marseille during our harbour cruise of the port, having
arrived from Corsica.
MEJEAN was berthed on the outer breakwater in Marseille port.
cruise ship CORAL at Marseille cruise terminal.
SUPER SERVANT 4 was also in Marseille
port during our cruise.
Turkish coaster AYGUN was in Port De
LADY berthed at the Oil Terminal at Port St Louis, Fos, during our port
Local tug MISTRAL 10 on her way to
assist a departing car carrier at Port St Louis,Fos.
was anchored in the bay of Fos during our cruise...
... as was the bulk carrier ANGELIC
CASANOVA arriving at Mareille from Bastia, Corsica, on 10th August.
Photographed from the Isle d'If tourist boat.
arriving at Marseille from Ile Rousse, Corsica, early on the morning of
11th August. Photographed from Jardin de Pharo.
|8th to 11th August - Marseille / Fos & Toulon by TGV - A Unique
A new destination for the TSS for 2008 was Marseille and Toulon, so, on Friday 8th August, TSS members gathered gathered at the Eurostar terminus in St. Pancras Station, London for the trip to Marseille. We boarded the 09:57 Eurostar departure to Brussels calling at Ebbsfleet and Lille and were soon speeding through the Kent countryside to the Channel
Tunnel. We had also been joined by the remainder of our party at Ebbsfleet, making a total of 46 members in total on the tour.
Our train arrived in Lille, on time, and we had a short while to wait before the TGV service to Marseille arrived in the station. We were soon departing for Marseille, calling at, amongst others, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Lyon. We arrived in Marseille after a scenic journey through France in the early evening. On arrival we transferred, by coach, to our base for our holiday, the comfortable and modern, four star, New Hotel of Marseille. The hotel is situated by the Vieux Port, the large marina at Marseille and directly opposite the Jardin du Pharo which overlooks the entrance to the busy ferry port.
After checking in to our excellent rooms, it was not long before several members congregated at the vantage point in the Jardin du Pharo in order to find out the best position for photographs and to see what shipping was in port. In the evening, from the Jardin du Pharo, the sun
is slightly against you for taking photographs of the arriving and departing ferries, however, in the morning it is a perfect vantage point for photography. There are several ferry services from Marseille, to Corsica, Sardinia, Tunisia and Algeria, served by a large number of vessels. Most ferries arrive early in the morning and depart in the late afternoon and evening. Soon it was dusk and it was time to explore the Vieux Port area which is full of open air restaurants and bars for our evening meal.
Saturday was an early 08:00 start in order to travel by coach to Toulon. It is a very scenic drive through the hills to Toulon. On arrival, we met our local guide and were soon on our private hour long cruise of the harbour, taking in the various French naval vessels berthed at the naval
base, including the large dock landing ships L9013 Mistral
and L9012 Siroco as well as the destroyer D641 Dupleix. Once our cruise had ended, we had a scenic drive through Toulon to the Tour du Mourillon at the entrance to the harbour. Unfortunately, there were no shipping movements due so we adjourned to the harbourside restaurants for lunch. After lunch we had special permission to have a guided tour of the naval base on a “road train” followed by a visit to the maritime museum. By now it was late afternoon and time to return to our hotel in Marseille.
On Sunday a private six and a half hour boat trip taking in the port of Marseille and the several ports in the bay of Fos had been organised. We met our boat in Vieux Port in beautiful sunny conditions and then made our way through the ferry port and commercial port of Marseille, photographing a wide variety of shipping, including many ferries, the cruise ship
Coral, semi-submersible heavy lift Super Servant 4 and general cargo
Marfret Mejean. We then made out way around the coast to the Bay of Fos, where we first of all visited the Port de Bouc. This harbour contained several tankers and a couple of general cargo ships. On crossing the bay, we passed close by several anchored vessels including the tankers
STX Ace 8 and Dattilo M. We were now nearing Port St Louis which comprises several harbours handling tankers, bulk carriers, containerships and vehicle carriers. Several large vessels were photographed including bulk carriers
Cape Veni and Cape Riviera, tankers Star Lady and
Baltic Sun II, container vessels Bangkok Express and Ibn Asakir and car carrier
St. Barbara which was getting ready for departure with attendant tugs. Once we had visited all the harbours in Port St. Louis, it was time to make our way back to Marseille passing the anchored ships in the Bay of Fos again, this time including the tanker
Byzantion and the large bulk carriers Castillo de San Jorge and
Angelic Power. We eventually arrived back in Vieux Port at around 16:30 after a thoroughly enjoyable day.
After the boat trip some members went back to the Jardin du Pharo to photograph the incoming ferries and two of us took a public boat trip to an offshore island, Isle d’If to get better photographs of the incoming ferries, we were rewarded with excellent shots of the large ferry
Danielle Casanova entering the port.
All too soon, Monday morning came and it was time (after some early morning photography of the incoming ferries) to take our leave of the hotel and head for the railway station. Our TGV train arrived on time and we started the journey back to the UK, changing at Lille as we did on our outward journey. We arrived back in St Pancras just after 19:00 where goodbyes were said and the trip ended.
Thanks go to the organiser of the trip Mark Teadham for all his hard work and the other members of the TSS committee who assisted him. I thought it was an excellent trip, with good weather and an interesting range of vessels noted and photographed. I hope that this enjoyable trip will be repeated in future
Report and photographs by Chris Brooks.
Saturday 23rd August - Solent Cruise (2)
The day had started off beautifully sunny and hot, but, by the time we
boarded Blue Funnel's Ocean Scene at midday, clouds were somewhat
obscuring the sun. Once our 60 plus members were on-board the Ocean
Scene we were soon on our way on the second Solent Cruise of the year.
Our six hour cruise started off with a trip around Eastern and Western
docks at Southampton. We had planned the date of the trip carefully as we
knew that four cruise ships were in port on this day. At berth 38/9 in the
Eastern Docks was the Norwegian Jade, with the remaining
three, Independence of the Seas, Black Watch and Oceana berthed
in the Western Docks. also in Eastern Docks were the car carriers Don
Carlos and Hoegh Oslo, both of which had just arrived in the
port. At the grain berth was the coaster Velox.
We continued past the cruise ships in Western Docks to the container
terminal which was busy with the large vessels OOCL Faith, Chicago
Express and CMA CGM Don Giovanni present and the feeder WMS
We then made our way out of Southampton and down Southampton Water,
bound for Portsmouth. On our way we passed Fawley Oil Terminal, at which
was berthed the Maersk Nordenham, Baltic Champion, Clipper Inge and
the Greek Agathonissos. We could also see the large tanker Thornbury
leaving the BP Jetty at Hamble as we were approaching Fawley and we
eventually got close enough for some photographs of her at Calshot as she
turned into the main channel.
At this point we also passed, at close quarters, after our captain had
obtained permission from the pilots, the incoming dredger Thames,
which had recently been renamed, followed by the
Cobelfret ro-ro Undine. We then proceeded on to Portsmouth via the
North Channel and, believe it or not, the sun was coming out!
Portsmouth yielded the visiting US warship USS Barry which
generated some interest, especially as she was flying her courtesy Union
Jack upside down! This was reported to the relevant authorities by
our Captain on VHF radio! Portsmouth was quite busy with RN ships too,
including HMS Scott, St Albans, Ark Royal, Richmond and
Westminster to name but a few. As we departed Portsmouth, Brittany
Ferries' Mont St Michel departed ahead of us and we were closely
followed out of the harbour by one of the Isle of Wight ferries as well.
Back to Southampton now for the finale of the cruise, the departure of
the four cruise ships. On our way back we passed the dredgers Arco Dee
and Donald Redford outbound, passing both on the "sunny
side" thanks to our skillful Captain. We were followed and eventually
overtaken by the local tug Bentley as well, returning to
Southampton after escorting the departing tanker Thornbury to the
Nab. The Thornbury's place at the BP Jetty, Hamble had been taken
by the Indian tanker Jag Pushpa which we photographed on our way
back up Southampton Water.
We then learned that the first of the departing cruise ships, the Norwegian
Jade had been delayed due to some lost luggage, but shortly afterwards
we were informed that it had been found and she was leaving Southampton 30
minutes late. This proved fortuitous for us as it allowed Captain Sid to
position the Ocean Scene in a prime position so that we could
photograph the four cruise ships "sunny side up" as they passed
us in Southampton Water.
The Norwegian Jade was the first to leave, closely followed by
the Oceana and the Independence of the Seas with over 5,000
passengers and crew on board! The Black Watch was the last to leave
and our Captain, with the agreement of the relevant authorities took the Ocean
Scene in to the harbour to meet the outgoing vessel at close quarters.
The graceful Black Watch made a beautiful photograph as she passed
us in excellent photographic conditions.
After a quick visit to Empress Dock to photograph the various bunkering
tankers based there our very successful cruise ended at 6pm.
With thanks to Simon Martin and the other committee members for
organising yet another excellent Solent Cruise. Also,
our thanks to Captain Sid and the crew of the Ocean Scene for their
hospitality and excellent organisation once again. We look forward to
being on the Ocean Scene again next year.
OOCL FAITH was one of the
containerships at the container terminal.
Dredger THAMES inward bound for
The USS BARRY provided some interest
for our naval enthusiasts.
HMS SCOTT was also in Portsmouth
during our cruise.
BENTLEY overtaking us on our way back
BALTIC CHAMPION was at Fawley Oil
NORWEGIAN JADE was the first cruise
ship to leave Southampton.
...closely followed by P&O's
...then the huge INDEPENDENCE OF
THE SEAS passed us....
... with the graceful BLACK WATCH
bringing up the rear.
The not so beautiful HOEGH OSLO
catches the evening sunlight at 40 berth, Southampton.
Report and photographs by Chris
ID HARMONY and KENT LOCOMOTION passed our
hotel on 2nd September....
...as did the TRENDEN and for the tug
enthusiasts the Polish tug ZEUS.
The cruise ship DISCOVERY and HAPPY
BEE passed early on the morning of the 3rd September.
small coasters TINA and HELA also passed on 3rd September.
and DANUBE HIGHWAY passed on the sunny morning of 4th September.
The naval oiler TEGERNSEE and ro-ro
ELEKTRON also passed on 4th September.
NADVOITSY and LEHMANN LOADER passed on
our final morning, 5th September.
to 5th September - Relax by the Kiel Canal - Visit to Rendsburg
24 members assembled at Heathrow Terminal 5 for the British Airways flight to Hamburg on 1st September. The flight was slightly late, but we arrived in Hamburg and after smoothly clearing immigration our waiting
coach quickly took us from Hamburg to the Conventgarten Hotel on the banks of the Kiel Canal at
The great advantage of a free form trip like this, is that everyone is free to do his or her own thing. So during the week, various excursions were made to Kiel, Brunsbuttel & Hamburg. However some chose to remain in the vicinity of the hotel, transporter bridge & the local shops.
The weather for the week was nothing to write home about, but the rain did manage to hold off each day until the light was no longer good enough for photography. There was a wide range of traffic on the canal from the smallest tug to tankers, feeder ships, bulk carriers & even a cruise liner. In fact, something to suit all tastes.
However, all too soon it was back to Hamburg airport for our flight back home. A good time having been had by one and all.
With many thanks to Paul Mason & Roger Thayne for leading the trip.
Report and Photographs by Roger Hammond
to 11th October - Turkish Treasures - A seven night tour to Istanbul
and the Bosphorus.
On the morning of Saturday, October 4th, 50 TSS members gathered at
Terminal 5, Heathrow for the last trip of the year. A week in Istanbul.
After a trouble free flight we arrived in a sunny Istanbul and were
soon on our coach to the 4 star Best
Western President Hotel which would be our base for the next seven nights.
The hotel is situated in the Beyazit area of Istanbul near the Grand
Bazaar and a short walk from the tram which runs down to the ferry
terminal at Eminonu. The breakfast room and roof terrace on the 6th and
7th floors of the hotel has an excellent view over the busy anchorage at
Shipping transitting the Bosphorus does so on a convoy system with the
Northbound convoy entering into the Black Sea between midnight and midday.
The Southbound convoy sailing out of the Black Sea does so between midday
and midnight. Hence, there is an anchorage at each end of the Bosphorus,
for ships waiting to transit the Bosphorus, as well as many vessels taking
on bunkers or waiting for orders.
On Sunday 5th, after breakfast a large number of our group made their
way down to the ferry terminal at Eminonu for the 10:30 "Tourist
Ferry" sailing which makes it's way up the Bosphorus as far as the
entrance to the Black Sea. The ferry is a good platform from which to
photograph shipping underway in the Bosphorus. The ferry also stops at
Rumeli Kavagii at the top of the Bosphorus which affords a good vantage
point from which to see the afternoon Southbound convoy of ships making
their way out from the Black Sea.
Unfortunately, after arriving at the top of the Bosphorus, the weather
took a turn for the worse and we had a couple of hours of rain which put
paid to our photography from Rumeli Kavagii. Luckily the rain disappeared
for the return ferry journey, so we photographed a few ships during that
time. On arrival back at Eminonu, we also took a trip to Kadikoy by ferry,
which also passes the container terminal at Haydarpasa.
Luckily Monday 6th dawned bright and sunny, as it was our first private
boat trip of the tour. We boarded our boat, the "Kaptian Bego
Sevket" at 10am and set off for Istanbul anchorage and Ambarli
harbour via the cruise terminal and Haydarpasa container terminal.
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the tour organisers, our travel
agents and the boat company, we were unable to get permission to enter
Ambarli Harbour, but, this did not detract from the boat trip in any way
as there was a large amount of shipping in the various anchorages off
Istanbul which kept us busy for the entire 8 hours of the trip. Many
general cargo ships were photographed, of the type no longer seen in
Western Europe, as well as bulk carriers and tankers of all types.
The next two days were free days and members either did some
sightseeing in this interesting and vibrant city, found good places on the
shores of the Bosphorus to photograph the passing shipping and of course
the daily 10:30 "Tourist Ferry" was a popular choice. The
weather during these two days was pretty good with sunny conditions mainly
Thursday 9th again dawned bright and sunny, which we were very happy
about, as it was the second of our 8 hour trips - this time down to coast
from Istanbul to the shipyards at Tuzla. As well as an extensive harbour
containing many shipyards where vessels are built as well as repaired,
Tuzla has a large anchorage offshore as well.
We arrived at Tuzla at about midday and spent over an hour slowly
cruising around the semi-circular bay photographing as many of the vessels
tightly packed into the shipyards as possible. In fact there were so many
ships present that we did a second circuit of the harbour to photograph
and log any ships missed during the first sweep! After the harbour, and
lunch we made a start on the vessels in the anchorage and this kept us
buys for another two hours, with many interesting vessels noted, of
varying types. We eventually got back to Istanbul at 6pm where the day's
Friday, our final full day in Istanbul, again dawned bright and sunny
with the early birds managing to get a few hours of photography in before
some rain showers arrived mid-morning. Luckily the rain cleared up in the
afternoon, which was quite busy with a large Southbound convoy starting
just after midday.
All too soon Saturday came along and it was time to pack our cases and
head for the airport. Our 13:55 British Airways flight was soon departing
and we soon found ourselves at Heathrow where our tour ended. Goodbyes
were said and we all departed for the far flung corners of the British
All that remains is for me to thank Paul Mason and Roger Hammond for
leading the tour and for the assistance of the other committee members who
contributed to make this a very successful and enjoyable end to the year's
tours. I hope that we will visit Istanbul again in the near future as it
is without doubt one of the best locations to observe and photograph
shipping in Europe (or is it Asia!?).
Report and Photographs by Chris
CRISTAL was at the cruise terminal on
our first day in Istanbul.
ALTENAVI was in the anchorage at
Istanbul during our first private cruise...
...as was the MIKHAIL STENKO.
ELLA J passed our vessel at close
quarters at the end of our cruise on 6th October.
The captain and crew of our vessel at
the end of our cruise.
EMIN KUL one of the many Istanbul
ferries photographed during the week.
ZIM INDIA passing Rumeli Kavagii at
the Black Sea end of the Bosphorus.
RASHA STAR photographed at Rumeli
Kavagii on 7th October.
COSTA SERENA was at the Cruise
Terminal at Istanbul during our cruise to Tuzla....
.... as was the OCEAN MONARCH.
BIRLIK 1 was berthed at Tuzla during
our private cruise.
ECE NUR K - one of the many
newbuildings photographed at Tuzla.
GOZDE D was under repair at one of the
many Tuzla shipyards.
GEORGIOS I was photographed in the
anchorage off Tuzla...
... as was the OXFORD CASTLE.
25th October - London International Ship Show
We will, as usual, have a table at this year's London Ship Show
on 25th October at the Royal National Hotel, Bloomsbury, where members of
the committee will be on hand to welcome both old and new members at table
For more details about the Ship Show use the following link : Ocean
Saturday 20th January 2007 - Winter Social.
This year's Winter
Social took place at The
Pier at Harwich Hotel. The hotel has splendid views of the Stour and
Orwell Estuaries, including the ports of Harwich and Felixstowe.
early birds managed to photograph a few ships including the departure of
the Trinity House Vessel Patricia from Harwich as well as the new Stena
Trader, which was departing from Harwich Ferry Terminal for the Hook
of Holland. There was also a wide array of container ships at Felixstowe,
including the CSCL Hong Kong and James River Bridge.
36 members attended the social, which commenced at 11:30 in a very
comfortable room in the hotel. Refreshments were served followed by a very
tasty buffet lunch.
After lunch we were treated to a very interesting slide show given by
Ron Davies. The slide show showed shipping in the ports of Ipswich,
Felixstowe and Harwich from the 1970's and 1980's - before containers took
over the port of Felixstowe. Slides of lovely old colliers and general
cargo ships reminded us of how shipping used to be. Also we saw some
interesting slides taken on early TSS trips from the same era.
The thoroughly enjoyable day finished at 5pm.
With thanks to Ron Davies for the excellent slide show and Stephen
Marginson for organising the day.
HONG KONG was at Felixstowe.
THV PATRICIA departed from Harwich shortly before our social started.
STENA TRADER departing for the Hook of Holland.
(Photos and report by Chris Brooks)
passes our hotel in the evening sunlight on 14th April.
convoy passes Rendsburg with the Transporter Bridge in the background.
Polish tug ODYS provided interest for the tug enthusiasts.
ro-ro ELLA J passed Westbound on the 15th April.
photographic conditions for the NATHALIE EHLER on the 16th April.
naval enthusiasts were catered for by the sighting of the German Naval Tug
of the many Russian ships photographed - the LADOGA-13
was probably the largest vessel photographed on the canal.
OSTEBORG passing on the 16th April.
(Photos and report by Chris Brooks)
to 17th April - Rendsburg, Kiel Canal
Thirty two TSS members gathered at Heathrow Terminal 1 for the short British Airways flight to Hamburg on 13th April. Although the flight was slightly late, we arrived at Hamburg in good spirits as we were looking forward to spending a relaxing few days on the banks of the Kiel Canal in good weather.
The coach quickly took us from Hamburg to the three star Conventgarten Hotel on the banks of the Kiel Canal at Rendsburg. On arrival we were quickly checked in and found our very comfortable and
well appointed rooms. The hotel had a restaurant and outdoor terrace
overlooking the canal which was very well patronised by our group for the
remainder of our stay.
There is a famous transporter bridge at Rendsburg with a ship “greeting point” and it was not long before a number of our group were enjoying an evening meal at this location, enjoying the local hospitality and watching the ships passing in the darkness. This location would
also prove very popular with many of our group during our stay.
We awoke on Saturday to a cloudless sky and the prospect of excellent photographic conditions. A few members decided to take the train to Hamburg and partake of one of the public harbour cruises around Hamburg port. The majority of the group occupied various vantage points on the South
bank of the Canal (our hotel was on the North bank, but is conveniently situated near a foot tunnel under the canal) to get the best photographic opportunities with the sun behind us.
The shipping traffic on the Kiel Canal consists mainly of feeder container ships, coastal tankers, ro-ro vessels and general cargo ships. Many of the ships transitting the canal are of Russian origin. The weekend days tend to be the busiest for shipping on the canal and we were not disappointed, as we photographed in the region of 40 ships on our first day.
Sunday was a very busy day on the canal with some members photographing 70 ships, passing in small convoys throughout the day. Some of our group took a cruise on the pleasure boat
"Adler Princess" to Kiel and back, whilst others took the paddle steamer
"Freya" from Rendsburg to Kiel and came back via the train.
Monday was another glorious day with clear blue sky. We took up our usual positions on the canal and photographed the passing ships until dusk.
Finally the day of our departure came, but we were able to watch and photograph the shipping until 2pm
on Tuesday when our coach left Rendsburg for Hamburg airport. The journey homewards was uneventful and we quickly arrived at Heathrow where we said our goodbyes and so the tour ended.
All of our members thoroughly enjoyed this short break made all the more enjoyable by the glorious unseasonal weather. Many first timers to the Kiel Canal were very pleased with the experience and vowed to return again soon. With thanks to Paul Mason, Paul Allen and Ray Smith for their usual excellent organisation during this thoroughly enjoyable trip.
21st April - AGM and Solent Cruise
Fifty four members assembled on blue Funnel’s
Ocean Scene in Ocean Village, Southampton for the Annual General Meeting activities on a gloriously sunny day on Saturday 21st April.
After renewing old acquaintances over a lunchtime drink at the on-board bar we settled down to a three course lunch provided as part of the AGM activites. After a very
enjoyable meal we adjourned upstairs for coffee and the AGM.
The AGM business was conducted quickly and efficiently by the committee. After a presentation to our outgoing secretary John James and his wife Penny in recognition of John’s many years of service to the TSS, we got ready for the cruise of Southampton Docks and Southampton Water.
We were very lucky as Southampton Docks was quite busy. Three cruise ships were present,
including our old favourite, the
QE2. Also present was newly renamed Ocean Village Two which was in Southampton for her
official naming ceremony and Celebrity Cruises large ship,
Southampton Container Terminal was also full to capacity with four large container ships present as well as a feeder container ship. Amongst those present was the
Berlin Express, Yorktown Express, Maersk Nottingham and MOL Priority. Various smaller general cargo vessels were also tied up at some of the other berths in the Western Docks.
We then made our way down to Fawley Oil Terminal and were again blessed with all the berths being occupied. Two large tankers
Agathonissos and Ras Laffan were there as well as some smaller coastal vessels.
We made our way back down Southampton Water in order to see the QE2 departing at 17:00, but were told that her departure had been delayed until 17:30. With our cruise ending at 18:00 we were hoping that we would be able to still see her
Whilst we were slowly making our way back to Southampton for the QE2 departure we also witnessed the vehicle carriers
Liberty and Montlhery leaving the port. Finally the QE2 was slowly pulled off the berth by the local tugs and we were able to take some nice photographs of her departure in the evening sunlight.
We then made our way back to Ocean Village where our cruise ended.
With thanks to Simon Martin and the members of the TSS committee for a thoroughly enjoyable day and also thanks to the crew and caterers of the
Ocean Scene for looking after us so well.
The OCEAN VILLAGE TWO was at 46 berth
for her naming ceremony.
Millennium at berth 101 in the Western
MAERSK NOTTINGHAM was at the container
....as was YORKTOWN EXPRESS.
RAS LAFFAN was one of two large
tankers at Fawley.
MONTLHERY departed as we made our way
back to Southampton.
The QE2 is pulled away from her berth
by the local tugs....
....and so she departs for New York.
(Photos and report by Chris Brooks)
Our vessel on the Thames - the
SNOW CRYSTAL seen at Sheerness on our
Saturday 5th May - Thames and Medway Cruise
Our first Princess Pocahontas cruise of the year.
We will depart from Gravesend at 10:00 and cover the Thames up to
Dartford and the remainder of the Thames downstream including the tanker
berths at Coryton out as far as Southend
We will then turn our attention to the Medway covering Sheerness and
Thamesport container terminal.
The cruise will finish at Gravesend at 17:00.
All times and cruise itinerary are subject to tide and weather
conditions on the day.
Unfortunately, this trip had to be cancelled due to technical
problems with the Princess Pocahontas..
16th to 23rd
June - Summer Continental
Early on Saturday 16th June, 22 members of the TSS gathered for the 2007 Continental Tour at the ferry terminal in Harwich. We departed on the recently enlarged Stena Britannica at 9am for the sailing to the Hook of Holland.
After a quiet crossing we arrived mid-afternoon at the Hook of Holland and were soon on our coach to the Delta Hotel in Vlaardingen, where we were met by several other TSS members who had elected to travel to Rotterdam by their own means including Eurostar and by air to Schiphol.
The Delta Hotel is situated on the banks of the River Maas and during the evening many members spent quite a few hours in the restaurant and bar of the hotel overlooking the river, photographing the passing vessels in the pleasant evening sunlight.
Sunday morning dawned cloudy with rain showers, which was a shame as it was time for our nine hour private cruise of Rotterdam and Europoort on our usual vessel the
“Partyschip Diane”. We commenced the cruise by travelling down the Nieuwe Waterweg to Europoort - luckily the weather had started to brighten up. Many bulk carriers, tankers and container ships, large and small, were photographed in the various havens in Europoort.
We then made our way back to the Port of Rotterdam via the Caland Canal to
cruise around Botlek, Eemshaven and Waalhaven harbours as well as all the other smaller havens in Rotterdam itself. Many different types of ships were photographed including the giant new Allseas pipe-laying vessel,
Audacia being fitted out in Botlek Harbour.
The cruise ended in the early evening and we made the short walk back to the Delta Hotel for another relaxing evening watching and photographing the passing vessels whilst enjoying the fayre provided in the hotel bar and restaurant.
On Monday morning we made a leisurely departure from the Delta Hotel and made our way to our second base for the week in Vlissingen. Before arriving in Vlissingen we paid a short visit to “The Hill” at the Hook of Holland to see if any new ships had arrived since our cruise and photograph the passing shipping in the Nieuwe Waterweg.
We arrived at Vlissingen, mid-afternoon, at the Arion Hotel, and quickly made
ourselves at home in our hotel rooms overlooking the shipping channels on the River Schelde. Shipping in the North Channel passes close to the hotel and you can photograph the ships from your hotel room balcony. However, the best views of the passing shipping can be obtained by taking a short walk to the Pilot Station at Vlissingen where shipping in both channels passes within photographable distance.
Tuesday saw us taking our coach to Terneuzen, one of the best places to photograph shipping arriving and departing from Antwerp. The ships pass close to the shore at Terneuzen and the uncluttered background with the sun behind you makes a good location for taking
good quality photographs. The pleasant town is also where the Gent canal joins the Schelde via the locks situated at Terneuzen. The Gent canal is quite a busy shipping channel and regularly sees large bulk carriers making their way up to Gent docks.
After spending the day at Terneuzen photographing many different ships in sunny weather, we made our way back to our hotel at Vlissingen for some more evening ship-watching whilst enjoying the many cafes and restaurants along the boulevard on the seafront.
On Wednesday, it was time for our five hour private cruise around the enclosed docks at Antwerp. We made our way by coach to Antwerp and after spending a short while at Antwerp locks where we photographed the arriving and departing shipping, we arrived at our embarkation point for the cruise. We were lucky to have sunny periods of weather during the cruise which made for some good photographs. In addition the docks were quite busy with a good selection of bulk carriers, tankers, container ships, reefers and general cargo ships present. After the docks cruise we made our way back to Vlissingen where a few hours were spent again photographing the shipping passing our hotel.
We went Terneuzen by coach again on Thursday, but this time there was an optional coach tour around Gent docks arranged by our Belgian friend Andre, which was enjoyed by all those who participated. The remainder of the party stayed at Terneuzen to photograph the ships underway in the Schelde.
Friday saw us going to Terneuzen again followed this time by an optional trip to Antwerp on the coach in order to take the short public docks cruise around Antwerp. Some members elected to stay at Terneuzen photographing the passing shipping instead until early evening when the coach arrived back from Antwerp.
We managed to dodge most of the showers of rain that day!
All too quickly the holiday was drawing to a close and it was time on Saturday morning to depart from Vlissingen back to the Hook of Holland for the early afternoon departure of the Stena Hollandica to Harwich. We travelled back to the Hook of Holland again via “The Hill” to photograph and new shipping arrivals at Europoort, before boarding the ferry for the trip home.
With grateful thanks to Paul Mason and Ray Smith for organising yet another successful continental trip. We will be looking forward to a similar trip planned for June 2008.
The TSS Group at the Hook of
Holland shortly before taking the ferry back to Harwich at the end of the
2007 Continental Tour. (Photo
by Tony Dyer).
group of TSS members watch the MARBLE HIGHWAY passing close to Terneuzen.
(Photo by Andrew Humphreys)
Report by Chris Brooks.
TOR FUTURA passing our hotel in
Vlaardingen on 16th June.
Kotug's SVEZIA passing the Delta Hotel
in the evening sunlight.
CAPE ISLAND during our cruise of
Europoort on 17th June.
The huge pipe layer AUDACIA under
construction in Botlek Harbour during our Rotterdam port cruise.
Chipolbrok's WIENIAWSKI berthed in
Rotterdam on 17th June.
Heavy lift JUMBO JAVELIN was in
Rotterdam during our port cruise.
SHARON SEA departed from Rotterdam
shortly before we left our hotel for Vlissingen.
The pilot boat EXPLORER arriving at
Vlissingen Pilot Station.
EIDE MASTER passed our hotel at
breakfast time on 19th June.
STAR LANGANGER passing Terneuzen
during our visit there on 19th June.
NORDERTOR passing Terneuzen bound for
SIFNOS SUN at Antwerp during our
cruise on 20th June.
HANSA CENTURION arriving at Antwerp
during our port cruise.
NANDU ARROW was also caught underway
during our cruise.
CAPE ELLIS passed the pilot station at
Vlissingen on 20th June.
ELISA passing our hotel in Vlissingen
on 22nd June.
CMA CGM CASTILLA passing Terneuzen on
Photos by Chris Brooks
BADENIA underway at the start of our cruise.
C inbound in the Thames.
ERENBURG was at the tanker berths.
approaching her berth with the tug STANFORD.
PANAMA inbound in the Thames Estuary.
at anchor off Southend.
HIGHWAY departing from Sheerness.
HARVEST at Sheerness.
CGM Sambhar sailing from Tilbury at the end of our cruise.
Thursday 5th July - Thames and Medway Cruise
After the last minute cancellation of the first of this year’s very popular days out on the
Princess Pocahontas, it was with some relief that a full contingent of members stepped aboard at Gravesend on a fairly sunny July morning.
There were movements from the word go, with the Antiguan-flag coaster Antari
heading downriver and the Balmoral leaving Tilbury stage. We then headed upriver as far as the ro/ro and tanker berths near the Dartford road bridge, passing on the way a couple of containerships berthed at Northfleet Hope, including the ’06-built
CMA CGM Sambhar. The ro/ro traffic was dominated by Cobelfret vessels – the former “Dart” names having now disappeared in favour of names ending “ine”. After photographing a good number of vessels, including the underway tanker
Multitank Badenia and, yes, a British-flag ship in the shape of Carisbrooke’s ’06-built
Heather C, we turned back downriver.
We passed Tilbury again, where there were attempts to identify several vessels in the enclosed docks – some success thanks to an up to date list off the Internet - then on past the Panamanian bulker
Powerful at Tilbury Power Station and the tug moorings at Gravesend. Next up, the tanker berths at Coryton, which were dominated by the 114500 dwt Cypriot-flag
Pantelis. Then we were treated to another movement at close quarters, the inbound OMI tanker
Rhine, with the tug Stanford rushing to attend her. Incidentally, this tug and her two sisters have had the BP funnel colours painted out – presumably in connection with the sale of Coryton refinery to Petroplus.
Heading on towards the estuary, where we could see several vessels tantalisingly at anchor, we passed another inbound vessel – this time the brand new geared containership
CFS Panama. She was, unusually, devoid of any visible containers, due to this being her maiden voyage, I believe. In amongst all this, we also managed to do justice to the excellent ploughman’s lunch served up by the crew!
As we reached the anchorages the wind decided to whip up the sea a bit – a precursor to the threatened change in the weather – forcing us to make good use of our “sea legs”. After taking some excellent shots of the three vessels at anchor, including the smart Cypriot bulker
Pontomedon, we headed off towards the Medway and Sheerness. Unfortunately, Thamesport was empty but we were treated to another movement at Sheerness – the bright red car carrier
Elbe Highway – and a coaster and a reefer at the berths.
The return journey up the Thames was in deteriorating weather, with the wind whipping spray over our bows; but this didn’t stop the diehards taking more photos as we passed several outbound vessels. Just after we had moored up at Gravesend, the finale of the trip was the arrival of the containership
CSAV Santos, which had been following us, and the sailing of CMA CGM
Once again, a successful day, with in excess of 40 vessels recorded, plus the tugs, and a good number of movements into the bargain. Thanks go to Mick Axford for organising and leading the trip.
Trip Report and Photographs supplied By Geoff Hoather
28th July - Solent Cruise
It seemed that the TSS had been very lucky, during a dismal summer, weather-wise, as a full complement gathered in Ocean Village, in sunshine, to board Blue Funnel’s
Ocean Scene for the annual Solent Cruise. However, the clouds soon gathered and by the time we were leaving Ocean Village the sky was grey with a few light rain showers on the horizon.
Our cruise began with a visit to Empress Dock where the Beluga
Recognition was loading wind turbine sails to deliver them to
Milwaukee, USA. We then made our way around dockhead, past the Klazina
C, loading grain, at 36 berth, and the Queen Mary 2, at berth
38/39, to meet a large outgoing container ship MOL Paramount, assisted by the Southampton tugs in their new Svitzer livery. Western Docks was home to the two large cruise ships
Navigator of the Seas and the Grand Princess, as well as a coaster.
We then made our way up to the container terminal, past the general cargo ship
Aleksandrov, which was unloading a consignment of yachts at 202 berth. The smart feeder container ship
Euphoria was at 203 berth with the large Shanghai Express and
CMA CGM La Traviata under the container cranes in the main terminal.
Retracing our steps we then headed for Southampton Water and Fawley. On the way down Southampton water we passed the incoming container ship
Reinbek which made a good photographic subject. At Fawley, the large tanker
Elka Athina was berthed and the Coral Meandra was in the process of berthing. At the same time the container feeder
Philipp was passing inward bound to Southampton on the other side of us, so, it was difficult to know in which direction to point your camera!
With Fawley under our belt we made our way down the Solent to Portsmouth with a short diversion to the anchored BP tanker
British Serenity, which has previously left BP’s jetty at Hamble earlier in the morning.
We arrived at Portsmouth well fed after our ploughmans/chicken and chips. Portsmouth was quite busy with the visiting French minesweeper
Cephee and the Chilean (ex Royal Navy) frigates Almirante Lynch and
Almirante Cochrane visiting the port. The Royal Navy was represented by the carrier
Ark Royal and several frigates and destroyers.
After a quick visit to Fareham Creek to see the laid up warships there, we made out way out of Portsmouth and back across the North Channel in the Solent to view the departing cruise ships from Southampton. Unfortunately, we learned that the departure of the
Grand Princess and the Navigator of the Seas was delayed and would not leave before our cruise was due to finish. We did, however, pass the
Queen Mary 2 in Southampton Water on her way to New York and could see the
Navigator of the Seas making her way out in the distance when we had to return to Ocean Village where the cruise ended.
With thanks to the organiser of the cruise, Simon Martin, and the other members of the committee for making the cruise a very enjoyable experience and the captain and crew of the
Ocean Scene for their usual excellent hospitality.
Report and photographs by Chris Brooks
MOL PARAMOUNT departing from
Southampton during our cruise.
EUPHORIA was at the container teminal
as we made our way around Southampton Docks.
GRAND PRINCESS was one of the three
cruise ships present.
We met the REINBEK bound for the
container terminals as we made our way down Southampton Water.
ELKA ATHINA was at Fawley.
BRITISH SERENITY was anchored in the
Solent having previously departed from BP Hamble.
Chilean sisters ALMIRANTE LYNCH &
ALMIRANTE COCHRANE were berthed in Portsmouth...
... as was the French minesweeper
QUEEN MARY 2 was departing from
Southampton for New York as we made our way back to Ocean Village at the
end of the cruise.
to 22nd August - French Follies
A short tour of the Northern French
ports of Dieppe, Caen, Le Havre and Cherbourg has been organised. The trip
has been arranged so that we will see the maximum number of ships in these
ports by keeping to weekdays as many French ports do not work cargo on the
There will be the possibility to organise at least two port
tours at additional cost and subject to port permits.
Included in the tour :
Sunday 19th August : Coach pick up points at Woking, Gatwick, Brighton
or Newhaven. Afternoon ferry sailing Newhaven to Dieppe. Accommodation in
Hotel de L'Europe in Dieppe.
Monday 20th August (morning) : Subject to demand and port permits a
coach trip of the port of Dieppe can be arranged.
Monday 20th August (afternoon) : Arrival at Caen staying at the Holiday
Inn in the City Centre.
Tuesday 21st August : Arrival at Le Havre and subject to demand and
port permits a harbour trip or a coach tour of the dock facilities will be
arranged. Stay overnight at the Hotel Ibis in the City Centre.
Wednesday 22nd August : Travel to Cherbourg with early afternoon ferry
departure to Portsmouth with Britanny Ferries. Coach drop offs on return
to the UK.
Note : Unfortunately this trip has been cancelled due to
We passed the BRITANNIA BEAVER in the
EGMONDGRACHT heading upriver in the
MARE ACTION arriving at Coryton.
DARIN NAREE was photographed in the
EVER DIAMOND was at Thamesport.
The outbound containership MONTE
CERVANTES in the Thames.
Saturday 1st September - Thames and Medway Cruise
The weather was not too bad as we started our cruise on the Princess Pocahontas.
Up-river, Kent Voyageur was at Northfleet Terminal and then on past the container terminal, which graced us with the presence of
Mare Internum and Monte Cervantes. Then on to Purfleet with the usual collection of ro-ros, including
Celestine. Here, we turned to head down river, passing Bekau newly arrived at the Grain Terminal. Bulker
Tetien Trader was discharging at the Power Station.
As we headed down river, we were passed by the inbound Sichem
Defiance, Pembroke Fisher
and Egmondgracht. Then Mare Action manoeuvring to her berth at Coryton which was otherwise devoid of shipping.
At the inner anchorages were tanker Lady Martine and ro-ro Cervine. As we were heading towards the outer anchorages, we were passed by the inbound dredger
Charlemagne and container ship MOL Cullinan.
In the outer anchorages, we photographed tanker Shakhdag with bulkers
Vinashin Island and Darin Naree.
We now headed for the Medway, overtaking the inbound Kingswear
Castle. Unfortunately, Sheerness was completely empty, but Thamesport produced the newly arrived
Ever Diamond and the rather shabby Alnoof.
We now started our return journey up the Thames passing the outbound Sten
Tor, Monte Cervantes and Louise Russ.
All too soon, we were back at Gravesend where our cruise finished. Grateful thanks to the organisers
and to the crew of the Princess Pocahontas for a most enjoyable day.
Report and photographs by Roger Hammond.
15th to 30th September - Oriental Treasures
On Saturday 15th September twenty TSS members gathered at Heathrow Terminal 2 for the flight to
Shanghai at the start of the 2007 TSS Far East Tour. After a long but uneventful flight we arrived in Shanghai on the afternoon of Sunday 16th and were soon on our way to the Sofitel Hyland Hotel on Nanjing Road. This comfortable and well appointed hotel was to be our base for the next five days in Shanghai.
Monday 17th dawned fine and sunny. This was to be a free day to recover from the long journey to Shanghai, however, most members gathered for the 2pm public cruise down to the mouth of the Huangpu River and back on a gloriously sunny afternoon, cameras at the ready. The river was busy, as usual, with many
ships photographed during the three and a half hour cruise. The shipyards were
busy with LNG tankers and bulk carriers and container ships under construction. There were also a number of vessel movements which were photographed including the traditionally designed North Korean cargo ship
Chong Chon Gang. However, there was talk of a typhoon approaching the Shanghai area, amongst some members, who has seen the news earlier on in the day….
Tuesday, the day of our all day cruise on the Huangpu River dawned with heavy rain. Nevertheless we all turned up at the departure point for the cruise to be told that the government had closed the river to pleasure craft due to the impending arrival of typhoon “Wipha”. Disappointed, and after much heated discussion, with our local tour guide, we made our way back to the hotel.
During the next two days we had various amounts of wind and rain as the typhoon neared, but it did not actually hit Shanghai. The river was more or less closed to traffic so we amused ourselves with some sightseeing, visiting museums, shopping and getting acquainted with the locally brewed beer in the hotel bar! Some members even went for a round trip to the airport on the magnetic levitation train (MAGLEV) which reaches speeds of 430kph – just for the experience!
On Thursday, our last full day in Shanghai, another private cruise had been organised, but this was shortened to a half day cruise in the afternoon, due to the
after effects of the typhoon again. We went upriver and photographed the ships at the shipyards not normally accessible by the public cruises. Ships under construction included several bulk carriers, tankers and two satellite tracking ships. The river was also quite busy with shipping movements
including the newbuild Sten Aurora departing and so the cruise proved quite productive.
Friday saw us making a morning departure from Shanghai for Bankgok. After a relatively short flight we found ourselves being greeted by our enthusiastic local guide in Bangkok. Very quickly we were transported to the excellent Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
The day dawned dry and bright on Saturday for our eight hour cruise to the mouth of the Chao Phraya River and back. Shipping in Bangkok is very varied and includes traditional general cargo ships which load and unload into barges in the centre of the river. Quite a few ships passed us underway during our cruise including reefer
Well Success 103 and the inbound general cargo ship Yukki.
Sunday was a free day to relax in Bangkok. Some of our members hired “fishtail” boats from the landing stage at the hotel and headed off down the river to see what new shipping was about. They were well rewarded with a number of new arrivals as well as the sailing of the conventional cargo ship
On Monday we said goodbye to Bangkok and made our way to the airport again for the short flight to Singapore. We were met in the very efficient Changi airport in Singapore by our local guide who accompanied us to our hotel for our stay in Singapore - the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort on Sentosa Island, overlooking Singapore’s Western Anchorage.
Our first private cruise of the Singapore anchorages was booked for Tuesday. We boarded our junk, the
Fairwind V, for our eight hour cruise starting in the Eastern Anchorage. Many large tankers, bulk carriers and container ships were present and we visited each one in turn to take photographs in the hot and sunny weather conditions. Once the Eastern anchorage was covered, we briefly visited the Western Anchorage, including the cargo handling wharves at Pasir Panjang. Much of the Western Anchorage is out of bounds these days due to the increased security, no doubt something to do with the close proximity of the oil terminals to the anchorage itself.
Two free days were planned for Wednesday and Thursday. Members of our group spent these days sightseeing, shopping and relaxing by the hotel pool, whilst a few hired a local launch to take more photos of the ships at anchor, one member also paid a visit to a shipyard just across the straits in Indonesia.
Our last full day, Friday, saw us take another eight hour cruise of the anchorages, this time the limited visit to the Western Anchorage first, where we were lucky enough to get good photos of the
F.Diamond, which was originally the 1967 built ferry Tor
Hollandia. We also witnessed the departure of two cruise ships from the cruise terminal. The rest of our cruise was spent in the Eastern Anchorage where the usual array of large tankers, bulk carriers and container ships were present.
Saturday was spent relaxing and preparing for our early evening departure to the airport for a late evening Singapore Airlines flight back to Heathrow. We arrived back early in the morning on Sunday 30th September, tired after the long flight, but having thoroughly enjoyed the last two weeks - no matter what weather was thrown our way!
With thanks to Paul Mason and Ray Smith for leading the trip and our travel agents Silverbird, as well as the local tour guides in the respective countries for their hard work in organising an extremely enjoyable experience.
Report and photographs by Chris Brooks.
TAI HUA moored in the Huangpu River,
BAO ZHONG 168 was photographed in the
ship repair yards at
DAPENG SUN under construction at
FU YU SHAN outward bound at the mouth of
the Huangpu River.
Newbuild STEN AURORA passed us outbound
during our cruise at Shanghai.
BLUE OCEAN, one of the reefers
photographed in Bangkok.
YUKKI inward bound in the Chao Phraya
HALO GAS outward bound in the Chao
WELL SUCCESS 103 passes our cruise boat
outward bound at Bangkok.
TYCOON is typical of the many general
cargo ships seen in Bangkok.
IOS ELAINE in Singapore's Eastern
Anchorage during our first Singapore cruise.
JI XIANG KOU was also in Singapore's
ISLAND ACCORD, one of the many
VLCCs sighted at Singapore.
WIN SHUEN SHING was in the Western
Anchorage during our second Singapore cruise...
...as was the veteran ferry F.DIAMOND
dating from 1967.
Gas tanker CLIPPER STAR taken from our base, The Rock
Hotel, on 15th October.
Local ferry,AL MANSOUR heading for North Africa on 16th
Bulk Carrier CONSUL POPPE from our trip on the the
"Dolphin Boat" on 16th October.
POLYDEFKIS receiving bunkers from the AEGEAN TULIP on 16th
LPG tanker YUHSHO photographed off Europa Point on 17th
..and another gas tanker in the Eastern Anchorage - ARCTIC
VOYAGER photographed on 18th October.
Tanker BULDURI with The Rock as a dramatic backdrop on
Bulker GENCO CARRIER in the Western Anchorage on 18th
The veteran gas tanker LAIETA was seen on 18th October.
One of many Maersk container ships seen during the trip -
MAERSK VYBORG on 18th October.
.. yet another gas tanker, METHANIA, in the Eastern
Anchorage on 18th October.
The wrecked bulker NEW FLAME off Europa Point on 18th
Tanker SEATURBOT at anchor on 18th October.
Trip report and photographs by Geoff Hoather.
15th to 19th
- A Rock, Some Apes and Ships
This trip was something of an experiment when first advertised – the last time the TSS visited Gibraltar was six years ago – but its popularity was soon
realised, with maximum bookings being achieved quite quickly.
Monday 15th October saw our group of 29 just about evenly split for the outward journey, with one bleary-eyed contingent opting for the 07.30 flight from Gatwick, (entailing being at the airport by 5am!) whilst the other (more sensible?) lot chose an early afternoon flight from
Luton. Our base in Gibralter was to be the famous Rock Hotel, which commands great views over the busy bunkering anchorages towards the Spanish port of Algeciras with its extensive container and tanker berths. There are also frequent ferries across the Straits to North African ports, with both conventional and fast ferries.
I had opted for the Gatwick flight, which went very smoothly and, by lunchtime, we were checked into our very comfortable rooms with balconies overlooking the bay. I soon realised it was eminently possible, with a telephoto lens, to get quite reasonable shots of those vessels anchored nearest the hotel. I was also lucky in that my room mate from Scotland had brought his very powerful (60x) ‘scope, and “Big Bertha” (as we called it) proved its worth throughout the trip, even if her owner did complain a little about the resulting weight of his hand luggage! Anyway, thanks Dick!
We had decided not to include any “pre-organised” days on this trip so as to give people complete freedom of choice. This seemed to work well as the Rock itself is easy to get around by public transport, taxi or on foot and, for those with a head for heights, there is a cable car to the summit to see the famous apes and get magnificent views (so long as you choose a clear day). It is also easy enough to get a bus from the nearby Spanish border to Algeciras – at least one couple did this – and from there you can get day trips across to North Africa, although I don’t think anyone ventured that far. Of course, Gibraltar is a duty-free area, so the shopping too wasn’t neglected in between the shipping activities, and there were plenty of eating places and watering holes in the town itself if you didn’t want to frequent the hotel for that purpose all the time. If this was your first visit to the Rock there was plenty of friendly TSS expertise on hand too if you needed advice.
Most of us spent the first day acclimatising and identifying the many vessels out in the Roads and over at Algeciras (courtesy of “Big Bertha”!), although unfortunately the weather wasn’t entirely helpful, as we had arrived on a cloudy and, at times, rainy day. Luckily though it did improve as the week progressed. By early evening we were joined by the Luton contingent and were able to tell them what they had missed before they arrived, although they had the extra time on the last day with the later flight time. It was early to bed that evening, at least for us “Gatwick” people, with the satisfaction of having identified some 70-plus vessels. These ranged from the extensive fleet of bunkering tankers, several being of Japanese origin, such as Vemaoil VIII and IX, to larger tankers such as the sisterships Wilana and Wilmina of 149,000
dwt, gas carriers (of which we were to see quite a number) – the veteran, but smartly painted, Laieta from 1970 being a highlight – through to bulkers of all sizes, and of course plenty of containerships – Maersk being the dominant company; the largest on that first day being Maersk Surabaya at 94000gt.
The next day, Tuesday, a number of us decided to go “dolphin watching” in the bay – well actually the main reason for taking this boat trip was to photograph ships, of course! The 90-minute trip enabled us to get photos of a good number of the vessels at anchor, although of course the dolphins dictate where the boat actually goes on any given occasion. The bay was surprisingly choppy though, so you needed a steady hand with the camera. We did also see some dolphins at close quarters by the way, as well as the gas tanker Hoegh Galleon, bulker Consul
Poppe, reefer Izumo Bay and containership Maersk Nanhai amongst others.
One of the “must visits” for the ship enthusiast is the southernmost point of the Rock, Europa Point, where a red and white striped lighthouse guards the Straits. It was a short ride from the hotel on the No 3 bus, which runs every 15 minutes during the day.
It was well frequented by us throughout the week as you can get good shots of vessels entering or leaving the bay, and also you can identify others waiting out in the Eastern Anchorage round the other side of the Rock. These seemed to be mainly tankers and gas carriers. A further attraction at the moment is the partly submerged bulker New Flame, which had the misfortune to collide with the tanker Torm Gertrud in August as she was leaving the bay. She drifted and grounded on a reef just off the point and is currently being attended by the large salvage tug Fotiy Krylov and the smaller Megas
Alexandros. Apparently her hull is cracked so she may be there for some time. If you visit Europa Point when there is good visibility it is also possible to identify vessels passing through the Straits. I managed quite a few during several pleasant hours spent there on the Wednesday.
Thursday was the last day for the Gatwick contingent as we were due to leave at 10am on the Friday. It was a pleasantly sunny day and some of us made the most of it by managing to locate and hire independently a (primarily) rod fishing boat but which also does sightseeing tours around the Rock for up to 12 people. The captain was more than happy to oblige our photography needs and, during a 4-hour cruise, took us right round everything in Algeciras Bay, even allowing us to get some shots of vessels alongside the container berths, including the giant Emma Maersk at 170000gt. We then did a comprehensive tour of the dozen or so vessels in the Eastern Anchorage – six of these being large gas carriers, including the Indian Maharshi Vamadena and the Hoegh Galleon again, which was now in the process of being renamed Margaret Hill. In addition, we were able to get some close quarters shots of the grounded New Flame.
As with all trips, just when you are enjoying yourself you have to go home! After breakfast on Friday morning, we said our goodbyes to the Luton contingent, who no doubt managed to add to their notebook tally during the rest of the day before their own flight home; however, I was more than happy with my own 200-plus sightings recorded. Apart from a hefty thunderstorm just before takeoff, causing a bit of turbulence for the first half hour of the flight, we had a smooth journey back to Gatwick.
As always, thanks must go to the tour leader, Ian Cochran, ably assisted by Paul Mason, for an excellent visit to Gibraltar.
20th - London International Ship Show
We had a table at this year's Ship Show
on 20th October at the Royal National Hotel, Bloomsbury, where members of
the committee were on hand to answer questions and have a chat.
For more details about the Ship Show use the following link : Ocean
January - Winter Social
Our Winter Social, the first TSS event of the new year, took place at
Hotel, on the seafront
at Dover. 41 members enjoyed a very pleasant three course meal.
The meal was followed by a very entertaining and informative slide show
given by Mike Jackson entitled "My Voyages on Bulk Carriers".
This covered Mike's voyages on several bulk carriers during the 1970s and
1980s. Some wonderful slides of many ships long departed from today's
shipping scene were shown.
Many members stayed in the hotel on Saturday night and partook in a
organised visit to Dover Coastguard Station on Sunday morning.
After breakfast a convoy of 21 members plus 2 local guests of the organiser made
the short journey to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency building at Langdon Battery
on the cliffs at Dover. We were treated to a two hour presentation of how the organisation
is run, explaining their responsibilites in the both keeping an eye on the traffic separation zones in
the Dover Straits (where there can be around 600 vessel movements in any one
day) and the surrounding areas, plus the duties involved as the coastguard.
We even received a surprise close by fly-past by one of the search and rescue planes 'Echo November'.
A thoroughly enjoyable two hours and thanks goes to Ted Ingham and Gordon Wise of the MCA,
both shipping enthusiasts, for taking the time to show us around. It was most refreshing to be
welcomed somewhere as a 'ship spotter'.
Thanks also to TSS members Mike Jackson and Andrew Humphreys for organising the visit and also for
putting together the slide show on Saturday afternoon.
Final thanks go to Paul Mason for organising an excellent weekend.
- bathed in winter sunshine during our Winter Social!
members being shown around the MCA building at Dover.
The veteran steam turbine cruise vessel
OCEANIC at Barcelona on 20th March.
Pullmantur's BLUE DREAM departing from
Barcelona with MSC's MELODY in the background.
Bulk carrier ELECTRA I catches the
evening sunlight during one of our harbour trips.
Gaudi's Parc Guell during our city tour.
Gaudi's unfinished cathederal Sagrada
Reefer COOL EXPRESS in Barcelona Docks.
GRAND MISTRAL was inactive in the
port for our entire stay.
ROSE BROOK was in the port on our
last day in Barcelona.
The modern AIDACARA at the cruise
terminal on the 23rd March.
Photographs by Chris Brooks
20th March to 23rd March - Barcelona
Early on Monday morning, 20th March, 19 members of the TSS assembled at
London Gatwick airport for a three night trip to Barcelona taking in some
sunshine, shipping and Gaudi!
Having left a cold grey London it was pleasant to arrive in Barcelona
on a warmer, bright day. After a painless check-in at the three star
Montblanc Hotel close to the city's main tourist area, La Rambla, members
of the group eagerly made the short walk down to the harbour and were
surprised to see that there were five cruise ships in the port.
Unfortunately a number of the harbour cruises run by the Las
Golondrinas were pre-booked by various school parties, which meant that
TSS members had to wait until the late afternoon harbour cruise, or take
the longer "coast cruise" which toured part of the dock complex
on it's way back from the coast in order to view the shipping at close
Some excellent photographs of the various cruise ships were obtained
during the harbour trips - with the highlight of the cruise ships being
the veteran steam-turbine Oceanic dating from 1965, as well as the New
Flamenco, Grand Mistral, Blue Dream and MSC's Melody.
Tuesday morning was taken up by a city tour organised by our travel
company. This tour was very interesting and took in Gaudi's eccentric Parc
Guell, the famous cathederal of La Sagrada Familia, which is still being
constructed, as well as a walking tour of the old city and the La Rambla
On Tuesday afternoon a number of members took another harbour
cruise. Only the Grand Mistral was left from from the previous
day's cruise ships, but other bulk carriers, container ships, ro-ro's and
ferries were noted and photographed, including the departure of the
container carrier Melfi Italia II assisted by a local tug.
Wednesday was another free day, some members explored the city of
Barcelona, some visited the excellent Maritime Museum, whilst others made
their way down to the harbour to see what shipping had turned up
overnight. A number of TSS members took another harbour cruise in the
We were booked on a late afternoon flight on Thursday, which meant
leaving the hotel at 14:30 for the airport. Luckily a coastal cruise was
due to leave the harbour at 11:30 and return by 13:00, so this gave a
number of members one last chance to photograph the new ships in the port.
Two cruise ships had arrived early in the morning, these being the Coral
and AIDACara and these were duly photographed during the cruise as
were some new merchant shipping arrivals.
After an uneventful flight back from Barcelona we arrived at Gatwick
airport on Thursday evening after a thoroughly pleasant few days.
Our thanks go to Ian Cochran and everyone else who contributed to the
organisation of a very pleasant trip.
22nd April - AGM at
On a beautifully sunny Saturday afternoon, 48 TSS members attended the AGM on-board Blue Funnel's Ocean Scene
An excellent three course lunch was first served followed
by the AGM. After the AGM business was completed, we had a 3 hour cruise of Southampton
Docks and Southampton Water as far as Fawley Oil Terminal.
As the cruise
season has just started in earnest in Southampton, we were fortunate to be
able to view the cruise ships Black Watch at the City Cruise
Terminal and P&O's Arcadia at the Mayflower Cruise Terminal, in
perfect photographic conditions.
The container terminal was also busy
with three large container ships present, the Shanghai Express, CMA
CGM Verlaine and NYK Castor.
After viewing the Western
Docks, we proceeded down Southampton Water to photograph the tankers on Fawley
Oil Terminal, passing the inbound Grimaldi vehicle carrier Grande
Mediterraneo, arriving from Antwerp, on the way.
Fawley was quite
busy with four tankers present, including the large Stellar Voyager.
The new Solent Towage tug Tenax was also present at Fawley and
viewed at close quarters.
We then slowly cruised back to Southampton,
with just some time to see the departure of the Black Watch, before
the cruise ended in Ocean Village.
With thanks to Simon Martin for organising the day and the crew of the
Ocean Scene for another successful day in Southampton.
P&O's ARCADIA was at Mayflower
.... and the BLACK WATCH was at the
City Cruise Terminal.
EXPRESS was one of three large container ships present.
MEDITERRANEO inward bound in Southampton Water.
VOYAGER at Fawley.
Photographs by Chris Brooks
ANGLIA performed a little dance for us even before we had set off on our
S was out in the anchorage awaiting a berth...
was the BRITISH EXPERIENCE.
new Medway tug ADSTEAM HARTY passes us to meet....
the HYUNDAI SHANGHAI which was bound for Thamesport ...
which passed the EVER DIVINE outward bound from Thamesport.
Photographs by Chris Brooks
|6th May - Thames and Medway
Unfortunately, Saturday 6th May turned out to be a cloudy day with
weather forecasts predicting rain in the afternoon. Nevertheless, TSS
members from all over the country converged at Gravesend in good spirits
for the first Thames and Medway cruise for 2006 on board the Princess
Before the cruise had left the landing stage, one of the Adsteam tugs, Adsteam
Anglia, gave us a demonstration of her manoeuverability at close
quarters as she was escorting the large outward bound container ship Monte
After casting off we proceeded downstream, bound for the anchorages off
Southend. One the way we passed the oil jetties at Coryton which were
quite quiet with only a couple of small tankers present.
By the time we reached the anchorages, it had started to rain slightly,
but we still got some good pictures of the ro-ro Eva Oden, the BP
tanker British Experience and the old bulk carrier Amna S,
all waiting for berths in the Thames. Luckily the rain did not persist for
We then turned out attention to the Medway, with reports that two large
container ships would be moving in the next hour or so. We were not
disappointed, as we arrived in the Medway to witness the Ever Divine
departing from Thamesport, assisted by the new Medway tug Adsteam Harty.
Having pulled the Ever Divine from her berth the new tug then sped
past us to meet the inward bound container ship Hyundai Shanghai.
The Hyundai Shanghai was on her maiden voyage from the Far East,
having been delivered from her builders in Ulsan, South Korea earlier this
We made our way back up the Thames, passing the outward bound EK-Sky
on the way. Unfortunately, the container terminal and grain terminal at
Tilbury were both devoid of shipping. We continued upriver as far as
Dartford before turning around and returning to Gravesend, where the
With thanks to the organisers and the crew of the Princess Pocahontas
for another enjoyable day out.
20th to 27th May - Continental Tour
On Saturday 20th May, fourteen participants of the Continental Tour
arrived in Harwich to take the Stena Discovery HSS ferry over to
the Hook of Holland. Despite some windy conditions on the previous day, we
had an uneventful, comfortable crossing. On arrival at the Hook of
Holland, we transferred to the Delta Hotel by coach where the remainder of
the twenty-three participants joined us after making their own way to
Having settled into the hotel, the ship photography started with
several vessels being photographed underway passing the hotel, the
highlight of which was the outbound container ship Kota Pelangi.
On Sunday morning we awoke to heavy rain which was less than ideal
conditions for our private Rotterdam and Europoort port cruise on our old
friend the Diane. However, shortly after we departed from the
landing stage for Europoort the rain stopped and we even had some periods
of sunshine! At Europoort, the highlight of the shipping present was the
Chinese semi-submersible heavy lift ship Kang Sheng Kou which had
arrived with a deck cargo consisting of the SSP Piranema platform,
from China for the Keppel Verolme yard. Many ships of all shapes and sizes
were photographed during the full day's cruise.
Monday morning saw us departing from the Delta Hotel for the second
part of our week long stay, based at the Arion Hotel on the seafront at
Vlissingen. After a quick visit to "the hill" at the Hook of
Holland to witness any new shipping that had arrived in Europoort
overnight, we proceeded to Vlissingen. The Arion Hotel at Vlissingen
overlooks one of the channels used by shipping using the ports of
Antwerp, Gent, Terneuzen and Flushing on the River Schelde. You can even
photograph the passing shipping from your hotel balcony.
On Tuesday morning we travelled by coach to Terneuzen, which is one of
the best places on the Schelde to photograph shipping underway. It is also
the point at which the Gent Canal joins the River Schelde, via the
Terneuzen Locks. Several ships were photographed underway passing
Terneuzen as well as the Chinese An Bao Jiang and the large bulk
carrier Medi Taipei arriving at Terneuzen Locks.
Wednesday saw us travel by coach to Antwerp for our five hour private
cruise of the enclosed docks at Antwerp. After a short visit to the
Antwerp locks in our coach where we photographed two ships arriving, we
boarded our vessel for the day, the Kempenland. Antwerp, as always
produced some interesting vessels, including a variety of reefers, bulk
carriers and general cargo ships. We were lucky to witness a number of
movements of vessels as well, including the tanker Sealing and the
bulk carriers Clipper Morning and Amna S (previously seen on
the Thames & Medway trip a few weeks ago).
A visit by coach to the port of Gent was arranged for Thursday, with
our local member Andre kindly arranging for permission for our coach to
visit all the quays in the port. Several vessels were photographed in
changeable weather conditions, the highlight of the tour being the Russian
general cargo ship Fedor Varaksin which made a great photograph.
After our tour of Gent we returned to Terneuzen and photographed some more
passing shipping, before returning to our hotel in Vlissingen.
On Friday, the weather was not too good with heavy rain. In spite of
the rain we spent the morning in Terneuzen (with many coffees in the
Westkant restaurant overlooking the River!). During the afternoon we drove
to Antwerp and boarded the public two and a half hour cruise around the
docks to see what had changed since Wednesday. Despite intermittent rain
we managed to photograph a number of new arrivals in the port including
two large bulk carriers, Cape Cathay and Kohyohsan, the
Chinese Tong Ji Men and the bulk sugar carrier CHL Progressor.
All too quickly, our week came to an end, and on Saturday morning. we
said goodbye to our friends who were making their own way back to the UK
via Eurostar. Our coach took us back to the Hook of Holland via
"the hill" to witness any new shipping at Europoort. Several
large tankers and a nice little general cargo ship, Oluk were
photographed. Our coach then took us to the Stena Line terminal at the
Hook of Holland where we boarded the Stena Discovery for the
journey back to Harwich.
On arrival at Harwich we were lucky enough to be able to photograph two
departing cruise ships, the Athena and Discovery as we made
our way into the port.
Alas, it was time to say goodbye to our friends and the end of the
Continental Tour for another year. A thoroughly enjoyable experience,
despite the changeable weather conditions. A count indicates that about
480 different ships were seen during the week.
With thanks to Paul Mason and Ray Smith for organising what was another
very enjoyable week.
KOTA PELANGI passing our hotel in
MILTIADIS M departing from the Caland
Canal during our Rotterdam port cruise.
SWIFT FLIGHT berthed in Waalhaven,
Rotterdam during our port cruise.
semi-Submersible heavy lift ship KANG SHENG KOU moored in Europoort with
the SSP PIRANEMA on board.
AN BAO JIANG arrived in the Gent Canal
during our visit to Terneuzen.
Tug 80 gave us a demonstration of her
manoeuvrability during the Antwerp port cruise.
ATLANTIC HOLLYHOCK was in Antwerp
during our port cruise.
AMNA S arrived in Antwerp during our
FEDOR VARAKSIN was at Gent during our
SOUTHERN JUICE passing Terneuzen
during one of our visits.
MERCHANT catches the evening sunlight
as she passes the hotel at Vlissingen.
Photographs by Chris Brooks
CALYPSO at 102 berth Western Docks, under repair.
MISTRAL loading yachts in Western Docks, Southampton.
MOL PERFORMANCE was at the container
LACY outward bound in Southampton Water.
ROBERT MAERSK at Fawley.
MISTRAL inbound in the Solent for
D89 EXETER was at Portsmouth Naval
just shipping! The
Coastguard helicopter off Hythe.
departing Southampton at the end of our cruise.
Photographs by Chris Brooks
8th July - Solent Cruise
Sixty members, a "full compliment", enjoyed the popular
Solent Cruise on the 8th July. On a bright and sunny, if a little breezy
Saturday we departed Ocean Village on Blue Funnel's Ashleigh R
for our six hour private cruise.
After casting off at 11:30am we first explored the River Itchen, which
does not see much commercial traffic these days, but there are many tugs
and smaller vessels moored and laid up.
Once we had covered the Itchen we made our way around Dockhead and were
pleasantly surprised by the number of vessels berthed in Southampton
Docks. Four cruise ships, Oceana, Legend of the Seas, Aurora and The
Calypso (under repair after her engine room fire in the Channel) were
keeping the cruise terminals busy.
As well as the cruise ships there was plenty of commercial shipping in
the form of vehicle carriers Alioth Leader, Asian Dynasty,
Grande Scandinavia, L'Audace and Autoline. General cargo ships
were represented by Mike, CEC Mistral (loading yachts for
Palma) and Fjord Pearl (which had arrived with marble chips from
Marina Di Carrara). Finally the container terminal had one large ship
present - the MOL Performance.
On completing the tour of the docks we made our way down Southampton
Water for Fawley, overtaking the nice old tug Kingston Lacy towing
a barge and some workboats.
At Fawley there were four tankers present including the Ligovsky
Prospect and the Robert Maersk.
At this point we headed for Portsmouth Harbour via the North Channel, so,
as there was a lull in shipping activity, lunch was served. We passed the gas carrier Mistral, heading
for Fawley, in the North Channel in excellent photographic conditions -
unfortunately some of our members missed this due to being too interested
in their lunch!
Portsmouth Harbour was busy with ferries as usual. We witnessed the
arrival of the fast ferry Normandie Express as well as the
departure of the conventional ferry Mont St. Michel. The Naval Base
at Portsmouth was a little quiet, but the relatively new carrier Ocean
was a new sighting for many of our members. We also headed up Fareham
Creek as far as the laid up warships there.
Once we have finished our cruise of Portsmouth Harbour we retraced our
steps back via the Solent and Southampton Water hoping to see the
departure of some of the cruise ships which were due to leave at 5pm. We
waited off Hythe for the departure of the cruise ships as the Solent
Coastguard Helicopter put on a bit of a display for us (actually they were
"on a job" looking for something near Hythe - I think).
Unfortunately the Legend of the Seas departure had been delayed,
but we managed to get some good photographs of the Oceana departing
from berth 38/39 and the Aurora was making our way out of the
harbour as we headed back for Ocean Village at 5:30pm.
Yet again a very enjoyable cruise, with thanks going to the crew of the
Ashleigh R for looking after us, as well as the organisers of the trip.
10th August - Thames and Medway
Over 60 TSS members gathered on a grey and blustery morning at
Gravesend for the second Thames and Medway Cruise of the year.
On departure from Gravesend and after a quick call at Tilbury Landing
Stage, where Fred Olsen's Black Prince and the vehicle carrier Morning
Power, were moored, we made our way up the Thames as far as Dartford.
On the way we passed the container carriers Sydney Express and HMS
Rotterdam at Tilbury Container Terminal. Several tankers were also
noted, including Kihuland, Ellen Knutsen and Prince Henri.
Just before we turned downstream we photographed the soon to be replaced
ro-ro Maersk Voyager which is on Cobelfret's Purfleet to Rotterdam
Just off Tilbury, on our way down the Thames we encountered several
ships arriving, which we passed at close quarters. By now, the sun was
even shining a little so many photographs were taken during this busy
period. The RMS Rahm was closely followed by the Aasnes,
which in turn was closely followed by the general cargo ship Go Pride,
complete with a deck cargo of wood, bound for Tilbury Docks. The local
tugs were busy connecting up to the Go Pride so our tug enthusiasts
were well rewarded with some close-up photographs.
Shortly afterwards we also passed the inward bound dredger City of
London and the container carrier Cap Vincent. It was now
time for our lunch before the next ships appeared before us.
At Coryton Number 3 Jetty, the tanker Emerald Star was being
berthed by two of the new tugs Corringham and Castle Point,
and the large tanker Delta Pioneer was also present. Our captain even took
us around the back of the jetty in order to photograph the third of the
three new tugs - Stanford.
In the anchorage, only the small tanker Clipper Bordeaux was
present, so, after photographing her we made our way to the Medway.
Unfortunately the container terminal at Thamesport on the Medway was
devoid of shipping, but Sheerness was quite busy, with the classic reefer Snow
Crystal, the reefer Jorgen Lauritzen, and vehicle carrier Autoprestige
making excellent photographs in a brief period of sunshine
After leaving the Medway we made our way back up the Thames passing
several outbound ships including the container carrier Sydney Express,
the tanker Kihuland, Union Sun, and SC Baltic.
Our cruise finished at Gravesend just as the Black Prince was
departing from Tilbury and the large bulk carrier Heinrich Oldendorff
was preparing to sail from Tilbury Power Station, with tugs in attendance.
Although the weather was changeable with periods of sunshine, showers
and a brisk wind, the cruise was very enjoyable with many ships
photographed underway at close quarters.
With thanks to Mick Axford for organizing the day as well as the crew
of the Princess Pocahontas for their usual hospitality.
The vehicle carrier MORNING POWER was at
Tilbury Landing Stage...
...as was the BLACK PRINCE.
GO PRIDE arriving for Tilbury assisted
by ADSTEAM ANGLIA.
EMERALD STAR at Coryton.
ADSTEAM VICTORY inward bound in the
The classic reefer SNOW CRYSTAL at
SYDNEY EXPRESS departing from the
KIHULAND passed us outward bound at the
end of our cruise.
Photographs by Chris Brooks
Our vessel for the day - Blue Funnel's
9th September 2006 - Solent Cruise
A re-run of the ever popular Solent Cruise on board Blue Funnel's Ashleigh-R.
The cruise will start at Ocean Village, Southampton at noon and cover
Southampton Docks, Fawley, Hamble, the Solent and Portsmouth Harbour.
The cruise vessels Golden Princess, Legend of the Seas and Oriana are
expected in Southampton on this day. We will hopefully witness the sailings
of these ships before the cruise ends at 18:00.
Lunch will be provided.
Unfortunately this cruise is cancelled due to insufficient bookings
11th to 22nd September - Black Sea Cruise
11th September – An early morning start
due to the current extra security measures at Heathrow but all our 22
participants managed to board our BA Boeing 757 on time for our 0750
flight to Milan Malpensa airport. On arrival we were faced with a coach
journey through the Italian countryside to Genoa which lasted just over
two hours. On arrival in Genoa we boarded mid afternoon our home for the
next 11 nights, the MSC Lirica. Delivered in March 2003 from
Chantiers D’Atlantique, St Nazaire the vessel is of 58,600 GRT with a
service speed of 21 knots and capable of carrying upto 2,065 passengers
with approximately 700 crew. The crew on this cruise came from 52
The port of Genoa contained 25 vessels, including a
sister ship MSC Opera berthed at the other side of the quay, with
other vessels including ferries, bunker tankers and roro vessels with an
occasional container ship and coaster. Sailing was scheduled for 1700 and
after clearing the port it was time to finish the unpacking and get ready
for our second sitting dinner at 2100
Naples – 344 miles
12th September – 1030
arrival at Naples after having passed the E
enroute. A good selection of 45 vessels in port dominated by Italian
coastal, inter island and cross Mediterranean ferries. MSC were also
prominent with MSC Selma, MSC Carla and MSC Shirley in port working
cargo or under repair, and in the afternoon the MSC Toronto also
arrived. Various other types of vessels were also noted at the busy repair
yards and the veteran cruise ship Grand Victoria was also in port.
Piraeus 682 miles
13th September – Our first day of
leisure ‘’at sea’’ with only one vessel noted, the roro Jolly Amaranto.
The first Gala Night dinner in the evening, so a chance for the ladies to
wear their best outfits.
14th September – Awake around 0600
and a visit to the balcony saw us the passing near sister ship MSC Armonia
with all lights blazing also inbound for Piraeus, where we arrived at
0700. There were to be six cruise ships in port on the day, the others
being Nautica, Superstar Libra, Costa Marina and Ocean Odyssey.
Around ten of our members took the ferry to Aegina, skirting the anchorage
enroute, while others visited the Corinth Canal or Athens. The anchorage
was quieter than on previous visits, probably due to high freight levels
obtainable in today’s strong market. Over 70 vessels noted on the day
including the usual large collection of Greek ferries and some of the
vessels under repair in the distant shipyards of Perama were identifiable.
Yalta 615 miles
15th September – At sea again with ships
to see this time. At 0700 we were still the Dardanelles so a good chance
to see some passing traffic and around 0800 we entered the Sea of Marmara
which was very busy, and further on we entered the Bosporos Strait at
around 1300. The scenic journey through the Bosporos brought back memories
of previous TSS visits and as usual it proved to be busy with vessels on
the move. We exited the Bosporus around 1515 heading north to Yalta not
knowing what ships we might find there. In total some 76 vessels noted on
the day, including 31 in the Bosporus (excluding the local ferries). In
addition there were probably 40 unidentified vessels in the SW anchorage
and a further dozen or so in the NW anchorage.
16th September – 0800 arrival in Yalta
with not very much to report on the shipping scene. One Russian river
cruise vessel, two local tugs and two fast ferries under repair were the
only vessels to be seen, with the Saga vessel Spirit of Adventure
arriving shortly after us. The only rain of the trip in the afternoon and
another Gala Night dinner in the evening after 1800 departure
Odessa 205 Miles
17th September – Early morning
arrival in Odessa revealed some 19 vessels in port, a mixture of bulkers,
containerships, vessels under repair including the Russian liner Odessa
and local craft. Departure at 1300 gave time to identify a further nine
vessels in the anchorage with a further six unidentified.
Istanbul 330 miles
18th September – Pilot onboard for the
busy southbound Bosporus transit at 0630 and we arrived at the berth at
around 0900, with the cruise ships Grand Princess and AIDAaura
already berthed astern of us. Members headed of in various directions or
on guided tours, but we took the ferry to Kadikoy on the Asian side in
order to photograph the ships at the container terminal and the nearby
berths. Departure at 1700 and a few photos still to taken around the SW
anchorage where estimates of around 80 vessels of all sizes in view,
waiting for their various reasons, but most were unidentifiable in the
distant haze. A total of 96 names went into the notebook on the day, again
excluding the local ferries.
Catania 765 miles
19th September – Another day at sea,
passing through the Greek islands with light winds and a very hot day with
sunbeds at a premium in the afternoon. Some 15 vessels identified on the
day including the OMI tanker Rosetta and Lebanese flagged bulker Alexander
K. The final Gala Night of the trip.
20th September – We arrived at Catania
around 1130 and as expected a very small port with only five vessels noted
including the cruise ship Hebridean Spirit and the French cable
layer Rene Descartes. Another hot day and after a short trip ashore
it was time for some more sunbed therapy before departure at 1900
Capri 213 miles
21st September – Arrival at our
anchorage in Capri Bay was at 0730 with only a few local ferries that
cross to Naples on view. Time for a visit to the famous Blue Grotto, and
some retail therapy before heading back to the ship to start the packing.
The sailing cruise ship Royal Clipper arrived shortly before our
departure at 1300.
–Genoa 332 miles
– We were supposed to vacate our cabins by 0800 so all on deck for the
0900 arrival in Genoa where some 19 vessels were further noted, a large
proportion of them being ferries of the Moby, Tirrenia and Grimaldi Lines
with a few container vessels and tankers also on view. We left the ship
around 1015 to face the return coach journey to Genoa with a few hours
waiting at the airport before our return flight on a full BA Airbus A320
back to Heathrow where goodbyes were made and we headed off in our
Many thanks to our Society Secretary, John James, ably
assisted by his wife Penny, for organising a splendid cruise and I am sure
all those who participated brought home some very happy memories. Thanks
again John and Penny
FAUNO was one of the many ferries
sighted at Naples.
SALERNO EXPRESS in dock at Naples.
KNOSSOS PALACE was at Piraeus.
We passed the MEGA STAR in the Sea of
Passing the OVERSEAS LUXMAR in the
KRYMCHANIN - one of the local tugs at
At Yalta was the Saga cruise ship
SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE.
The ARIAKE REEFER was one of 19
vessels noted in Odessa.
The SPAR LYRA passed us as we headed
down the Bosphorus.
AIDAaura was one of the other cruise
ships at Istanbul.
Our home for the cruise, the MSC
LIRICA berthed at Istanbul during our call there.
We spotted the RADOMYSHL during our
voyage from Istanbul to Catania.
Our group attending the final Gala
Night of the cruise.
A bird's eye view of the MSC LIRICA at
ROYAL CLIPPER arrived at Capri as we
were about to depart.
JOLLY ARANCIONE was at Genoa where our
cruise came to an end...
....as was the NEW ENDEAVOR.
and Report by Paul Mason
HALUNDER JET was spotted on 29th
The Chinese heavy lift DA FU passed
outward on 30th September.
FRANCOP was one of the many feeder
container ships seen.
The geared bulker SPAR GARNET passed
inwards on 30th September.
Newbuilding SULTAN HOUMED L BOKO was
being towed to Rotterdam on 30th September.
TOR BELLONA arriving on 2nd October.
JUTTA B arriving at Cuxhaven Harbour.
Polsteam's MIELEC inward bound in the
All photographs by Roger Hammond
28th September to 2nd October - Relax by the Elbe - Cuxhaven
We undertook a four night trip
to Cuxhaven. Flights by British Airways to Hamburg with coach transfers to
Hotel accommodation was at the Best Western Donners
Hotel for four nights - a stone's throw from the viewing area on the River
Elbe. Shipping bound for Hamburg and the Kiel Canal pass close by the
Although no formally arranged excursions were arranged for
the four days at Cuxhaven, advice was given on the possibility of
travelling further afield by public transport to ports such as Bremerhaven,
Bremen and Hamburg.
The following report is by TSS Member Roger Hammond :
So what was it like?
The BA scheduled flights to Hamburg were very good and comfortable. The
Best Western Donners Hotel was also very good and comfortable. Weather was
generally, acceptable. Slightly showery only one day and a ginormous storm one
This was my first visit to Cuxhaven. It produced something for everyone – tugs, ro-ros, reefers, container ships, bulkers, tankers, cruise ships,
grey funnel etc, etc.
There is an almost perfect viewing platform at the ‘Alte Liebe’ allowing good shots of everything passing, except the very small in the very distance. This was where most of us spent our days. All facilities were within a very short walking distance, Port Control even announcing the names & schedules of the shipping as it
passed (Can you imagine that happening in the UK?).
Four intrepid explorers made their own way to Hamburg for the Hamburg harbour tour which I gather was very good indeed. However, at the end of the
four days of the trip, we had nearly all seen the same ships – albeit in different locations.
I am sure that the eleven of us who went thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Would I recommend it? YES. Would I do it again? YES.
Here’s hoping that the 2007 proposed trip to Rendsburg on the Kiel Canal garners sufficient support to enable the trip to go ahead.
Just think, 4 days sitting beside the Kiel Canal, a full stein in one hand, a camera in the other, a pencil in another
and a notebook in another!
21st - London International Ship Show
We were at Table No 27 at this year's Ship Show
on 21st October at the Royal National Hotel, Bloomsbury, where members of
the committee were on hand to answer questions and have a chat.
For more details about the Ship Show use the following link : Ocean
Lunch Time at the Winter Social. Photo
by Chris Brooks.
D'IVORIAN STAR at Dover on 29th January, taken by Roger Hammond.
Layer PETER FABER at Calais on 28th January, taken by Roger Hammond.
January - Winter Social
Our Winter Social, the first TSS event of the new year was attended by
31 members at the Churchill
Hotel, on the seafront
After some brisk trade at the hotel bar, a three course lunch was
enjoyed by all present.
The meal was followed by an informative slide show given by Mike
Jackson on "Dover Shipping from 1989 onwards". Instead of the
usual ferries the slide show concentrated on the wide variety of other
shipping using the port, from reefers to preserved tugs to North Sea
shuttle tankers! Thanks to Mike for a great slide show.
Some of the members attending the event made a weekend of it, staying
at the hotel and also taking a trip on one of the many ferries over to Calais.
9th April - AGM at
Over sixty TSS members attended the AGM on-board Blue Funnel's Ocean Scene
An enjoyable three course lunch was first served followed
by the AGM.
Following the AGM we had a 3 hour cruise of Southampton
Docks, Southampton Water as far a Fawley Oil Terminal and the River Itchen.
the docks we quite quiet, however, we were fortunate to be able to view
P&O's new liner, Arcadia, which had arrived on it's delivery
voyage a few days previously and was due to be named on Tuesday 12th
We then proceeded up to the container terminal where the NYK
Lodestar was the sole occupant.
Whilst proceeding out of Southampton
docks, we witnessed the arrival of the Malaysian containership Bunga
Raya Dua at dockhead, before making our way down Southampton Water to
view the busy Fawley Oil Terminal.
At Fawley there were four tankers of varying sizes
present including the Young Lady, Freja Atlantic, Rita and Bro
On our way back to Southampton we viewed some of the various
craft in the River Itchen before an enjoyable cruise ended in Ocean
Photographs and report by Chris Brooks.
P&O's new ARCADIA at Mayflower
A close encounter with the ARCADIA.
A stern view of the ARCADIA.
BUNGA RAYA DUA arriving at dockhead.
YOUNG LADY was one of the tankers at
ADSTEAM VICTORY at the tug moorings.
PRIORITY at Tilbury Landing Stage
The new tug CASTLE POINT at Coryton.
HAVTANK departing from the Thames.
|14th May - Thames and Medway
On a cool windy morning 60 TSS stalwarts met onboard the Princess Pocahontas. The bad news was that Sunk pilots were not working & so our expected container ships & tankers would not be coming in.
Priority 83/2113 was at Tilbury landing stage. The recently renamed Adsteam Victory 495/00 was at the tug moorings. Further down river
Yuko 920/86 was inbound followed by Finnwood 11839/73. Coryton produced the new BP tugs
Stanford 381/05 and Castle Point 374/05 plus tanker Ganges
We headed for Southend but regrettably due to the sea conditions Captain Potter had to pull the plug on crossing to the Medway. So we pottered back up river passing
Havtank 1083/69 on her way out.
Not a huge amount of
shipping photographed, but still an enjoyable day out.
With thanks to Roger Hammond for the report and
18th to 25th June - Continental Tour
On the warm sunny morning of Saturday 18th June, 27 members of the TSS
made their way to the four star Delta Hotel on the banks of the river in
Vlaardingen for the start of the 2005 Continental Tour. The main party of
19 members travelled by the Stena HSS to the Hook of Holland whilst some travelled by other means including Eurostar via Brussels.
Early the next morning on a beautifully sunny day, the members
assembled on the PartySchip Diane for our usual 9 hour private cruise of
the port complexes of Rotterdam and Europoort. Europoort was quite busy
with many tankers (including the Chinese Da Ming Hu) and bulk
carriers (including Main Ore and Elbe Ore) present. We
also witnessed the arrival of the impressively large VLCC Ocana at Europoort. From
Europoort we made our way back up to Rotterdam where we viewed many other
interesting vessels in the port of Rotterdam. During the nine hour cruise
we noted and photographed over 100 vessels.
On Monday 20th we checked out of the Delta Hotel and made our way by coach, via our normal viewing area at the Hook of Holland to
the Arion Hotel at Vlissingen, where we stayed for the remainder of our tour. The
Arion Hotel is situated on the seafront at Vlissingen and overlooks the
main channels of the River Schelde. All the shipping for Antwerp, Gent and
Flushing passes this point. One of the shipping channels passes along the seafront
at Vlissingen, making it possible to photograph vessels at close quarters
from your hotel room balcony.
On Tuesday we travelled by coach to Terneuzen, which is one of the best
vantage points from which to photograph vessels in the River Schelde. Although the river was quite quiet shipping wise, we
managed to get some great photographs of the shipping that did pass,
including, Ibn Khaldoun II, Moritz Schulte, Kota Pekarang
and Kopalnia Rydultowy.
Wednesday saw us travelling by coach to Antwerp, via a short stop at
the locks to view an arriving container ship. Our private five hour cruise
of Antwerp yielded approximately 50 ships, from bulk carriers (including Olympic
Merit, Kras and Peach Mountain), to reefers (including Elsebeth,
Glacier, Hansa Lubeck and Cormoros Stream), to tankers
(including Eagle Tacoma, Sichem Padua and Amber) to general
cargo ships (including Leopold Staff, Boris Babochkin, Emmagracht).
On Thursday we repeated our visit to Terneuzen where quite a few ships
were photographed underway in excellent sunny conditions, including, MSC
Korea, Nina, Maersk Rouen, MSC Venice, North Friendship and Atlantic
On Friday we again proceeded to Terneuzen with the added attraction of
a coach trip around Gent docks arranged by our Belgian friend Andre. Gent
was quite quiet, but Terneuzen was busy, with preparations for a
Haven Festival underway. The festival had attracted many preserved tugs including
the magnificent Holland. The finale at Terneuzen was the passing of
nine large ships within 30 minutes, which necessitated many reels of film
being used up!
On Saturday 25th under the first cloudy skies we had seen on the whole
trip, we made our way from Vlissingen to the Hook of Holland for our
return trip on the Stena HSS to Harwich. On arrival at Harwich goodbyes
were said with our minds full of the fantastic past week of sun, sea and
A great trip, with almost 500 different ships (excluding tugs and other
harbour craft) being logged.
Photographs and report by Chris Brooks.
EXPRESS passing our hotel at Vlaardingen whilst leaving Rotterdam.
BIRK outward bound in Rotterdam during our port cruise.
VLCC OCANA arriving at Europoort
during our Diane cruise.
passing Terneuzen on Tuesday 21st, bound for Antwerp.
during our Antwerp Port Cruise
WELS passing our hotel in Vlissingen
BRIANNA passing Terneuzen on Friday 24th bound for Antwerp.
preserved tug HOLLAND was at Terneuzen for the Haven Festival.
Carrier C.S. STAR passing Vlissingen pilot station.
SEA PRINCESS at Eastern Docks,
CMA CGM BERLIOZ inward bound for the
MINERVA LISA approaching Fawley with
tugs THRAX and SILEX.
HMS NEWCASTLE laid up in Portsmouth
Nigerian Frigate ARADU in Portsmouth.
DON CARLOS leaving Southampton.
P&O's OCEANA departing from
|9th July - Solent Cruise
On a grey Saturday morning, 60 TSS members met at Ocean Village to
board the new Blue Funnel vessel Ashleigh R for the annual six hour
Solent Cruise. Luckily the grey skies soon started to break up and by mid
afternoon the weather was pleasant and sunny.
On departure from Ocean Village we made our way up the River Itchen to
view the various small craft moored in the river, including the Itchen
Marine tugs and some laid up MoD craft.
Making our way back down the Itchen we were able to view three vehicle
carriers Don Carlos, Trianon and Hoegh Trooper in the
Eastern Docks, as well as the cruise vessel Sea Princess (ex Adonia).
Condock IV was meanwhile passing us bound for the Western Docks.
In the Western Docks was P&O's cruise ship Oceana. There
were no vessels in the container terminal, so we turned after viewing the Oceana
and made our way out of Southampton, passing two large container ships
inbound for the empty terminal - the MOL Priority and the CMA
Lunch was then served as we made our way up to Fawley Oil Terminal. Two
small tankers were already on Fawley Jetty, but we then passed the inbound
large tanker Minerva Lisa, being assisted by the tugs Thrax
and Silex. Meanwhile the ro-ro Valmont Express passed
inwards closely followed by another ro-ro Le Castellet.
On arrival at Portsmouth we were able to view the Royal Navy warships
including Illustrious, Exeter, Leeds Castle and Marlborough,
but, the highlight for many was the Nigerian frigate Aradu and the
Romanian frigate Regina Maria.
We also viewed the ferries at the ferry port and the arrival of the
fast ferry Normandie Express, followed by the departure of Brittany
Ferries vessel Mont St. Michel.
Completing the tour of Portsmouth Harbour, we viewed the laid up
warships in the harbour, including Fearless, Intrepid, Glasgow,
Newcastle and Rame Head.
We then made our way back to Southampton to be ready to view the
departure of the vehicle carrier Don Carlos and the cruise ship Sea
Princess followed closely by the Oceana, which made a nice
photograph in the early evening sunlight.
Finally we arrived at Ocean Village and the end of another
successful Solent Cruise, with a good range of shipping viewed and
photographed, with many of the vessels being underway.
Photographs and report by Chris Brooks.
4th August - Thames and Medway
On a reasonably warm August morning, 55 TSS members swarmed onto the Princess Pocahontas under the
watchful eye of Cpt John Potter. This was our second Thames and Medway trip for 2005.
As we left Gravesend, the feeder Veritas-H 4048/95 & roro Valentine
22986/99 were inbound. At the tug moorings was Lady Cecilia 314/91
one of Adsteams recent re-allocations. Meanwhile, Tilbury power station was graced by bulker
Spar Vega 38779/95. The small general cargo vessel Schulenburg
2265/81 was inward bound for Tower Wharf. At Coryton was a clutch of tankers, including brand new
Paul E 4500/05. Also on station were the three BP tugs, with the
brand new Corringham
374/05 being the focus of many cameras.
On now to Sheerness where the lone reefer Triton Reefer 8818/90
was unloading. At Thamesport, a single containership Lykes Pathfinder
30526/94 provided the only interest. On now to Kingsnorth power station where
Lord Hinton 14201/86 and Tinnes 6944/83 were unloading coal.
We returned to the Thames just in time to see Cambodian registered Havtank
1083/69 on her way out. Off Canvey Island, we encountered outward bound
CMA CGM Manet 26050/01. We returned via Purfleet, passing tankers
Libelle 8007/99 and Tikhvin
26218/96. Finally, returning to Tilbury, we passed the eldery tug Hazel - E
124/39 at Greenhithe.
A very good day, just a little short of shipping, but the weather & the
company made up for it.
With thanks to Roger Hammond for the report and
new BP tug CORRINGHAM at Coryton.
PAUL E was at Coryton too.
PATHFINDER at Thamesport.
unloading coal at Kingshorth.
CMA CGM Manet outward bound off Canvey
Bulk Carrier BONANZA at Botlek
in Botlek Harbour was the BRITISH EXPERIENCE
was the NORMAND AURORA
HARVEST at Rotterdam Refrigerated Terminal
ZENIMA was at Antwerp
NAREE shortly before leaving Antwerp
one of the many reefers at Antwerp
Conventional cargo ship THEOFANO at
close encounter with Tug 82 at Antwerp
10th to 13th September - Weekend Visit to Holland and
Twenty TSS members were whisked very efficiently by the
Eurostar departure from London Waterloo and Ashford to Brussels. Once we
had found our coach at Brussels Midi station, we proceeded to the four
star Hotel Brabant in Breda which was to be our base for three nights.
Early the next morning, we made our way by coach to
Vlaardingen where we boarded our usual cruise vessel, the Diane,
for our nine hour Rotterdam and Europoort cruise.
After starting the cruise in misty conditions, the sun
started to shine through by the time we arrived at Europoort. However, it
was to be a mixed day of mist, sunny intervals and cloud for our cruise.
Europoort was quite busy with four large bulk carriers in
port - Main Ore, Cecilia, Cape Orchid and China Steel
Responsibility as well as a few large tankers including Safwa,
Minerva Zenia and Iran Abadeh. The container terminal was busy
as usual, with P&O Nedlloyd Heemskerck and LT Cortesia
being the highlights.
Botlek Harbour was also quite busy with a number of bulk
carriers, including Aviona, Bonanza and Saffron in the
Eemshaven and Waalhaven also produced some interesting
vessels including the Italian cable ship Pertinacia and the
conventional freighter Ever Happy.
Undeterred by the changeable weather, over 100 vessels, were logged and
photographed by the members participating in the cruise.
On Monday morning we drove to Antwerp, to board our vessel
the Kempenland for our five hour private cruise of the
enclosed dock area.
Weatherwise, the mist had disappeared and the sun even
shone for a while!
Approximately 50 vessels were photographed in Antwerp,
with the highlights being the conventional freighters Rasha Star, Wealthy
Star and Theofano as well as five reefer vessels - Privilege,
Dole Europa, Colombian Star, Duncan Island and Antarctic Mermaid.
As we returned to our boarding point towards the end of
the cruise we were escorted for part of the way by the Antwerp Port tug
"82", which produced some excellent photographs.
After the cruise we made our way back to Antwerp for our final night at
the hotel before our return journey to London via the Eurostar train from
A very enjoyable long weekend, with good company, and
approximately 150 ships photographed.
and report by Chris Brooks.
16th - London International Ship Show
At this year's Ship Show to be held on Sunday 16th October at the Royal
National Hotel, Bloomsbury, the TSS will be exhibiting at Table No
22. Committee members will be in attendance who look forward to welcoming
both members and non-members old and new.
For more details about the Ship Show use the following link : Ocean
22nd to November 6th, 2005 -
Jewels of the East Tour
40 TSS Members assembled at Heathrow on the afternoon of Saturday 22nd
October for what was going to be a superb 15 night tour of the Far East.
an uneventful flight by China Eastern Airways, we arrived at Shanghai in
the afternoon on Sunday. After a coach transfer we found ourselves checked
into the Peace
Hotel for a five night stay at this famous hotel on "The
Bund" overlooking the Huangpu River.
Monday was a free day to be
spent at leisure in Shanghai, however, a large number of our party
congregated on the Bund for the 2pm public cruise down to the mouth of the
Huangpu River. Those new to Shanghai were amazed by the amount of activity
on the river. Barges, tugs, coasters, large merchant ships, naval craft -
On Tuesday we had our first private eight hour cruise down
to the mouth of the River. Many reels of film were used up!
was a free day again - the early risers were lucky to photograph the SD14 Xin
He Er Hao making her way down river past the Peace Hotel. The daily
routine of the 2pm public cruise down the river enticed many members to
spend their afternoon this way again.
On Thursday our private eight hour
cruise up river took place. We had to get special permission to go up
river as the tourist boats are usually not allowed to cruise up river.
Members were amazed at the amount of activity, including shipyards, and
many general cargo berths. Once the shipping thinned out we turned around
and our boat took us downriver to the mouth of the Huangpu again.
saw a departure in the first rain of the holiday to Shanghai Airport for
the short fight to Bangkok. On arrival in a very humid Bangkok we
transferred to the very impressive Royal
Orchid Sheraton Hotel for a three night stay.
Saturday was our
private six hour cruise down to the mouth of the river. Some members thought that Bangkok
would be a quiet river compared to Shanghai, but we were not disappointed,
with many general cargo vessels being present, some anchored in the middle
of the river unloading into barges, the old fashioned way. The river was very busy
with many vessel movements being witnessed in very warm and sunny weather.
Sunday it was a private day to relax and take in the sights of Bangkok,
some members took a trip to the Bridge on the River Kwai. Others, went off
in search of a SD14 at Ko Sichang and found and photographed the Hermes.
saw a late morning departure to the airport for another short flight by
Singapore Airlines to Singapore, arriving at the Shangri-La
Rasa Sentosa hotel on Sentosa Island late in the afternoon.
Tuesday we had our eight hour private cruise of the Eastern Anchorage at
Singapore followed by the Western Anchorage on a beautifully sunny day.
Many, many ships of all types were photographed.
Wednesday was a free
day, during which some spent exploring Singapore, others relaxed at the
hotel while others photographed yet more ships.
Thursday was another
free day. One group of explorers even ventured across the Straits to
Indonesia to find the laid up SD14 Spring - but this time they
failed to find it.
Friday was the day for our last organised boat trip.
This time we started in the Western Anchorage, then explored the port area
followed by the Eastern Anchorage.
Our final day in Singapore was on
Saturday. It was a free day before an early evening departure to Singapore
airport and then a comfortable flight back with Singapore Airlines to
A wonderful two weeks of sun, ships and the sea, which was
enjoyed by all who participated.
AN 116, a typical Chinese coaster, outward bound in the Huangpu River on
tug DE DA outward bound in the Huangpu River on 24th October.
XIN HE ER HAO passing the Peace Hotel (with the green roof) on 26th
LONG was berthed in the Huangpu, downriver from Shanghai on 26th October.
bridge forward tanker DA QING 42 berthed at Shanghai on 26th October.
LONG 68 inward bound at Shanghai during our upriver cruise on 27th
MANII outward bound from Bangkok on 29th October.
not only traditional cargo vessels at Bangkok! YANTRA BHUM inward bound on
WINTERNGFAR arrives at Bangkok on 29th October.
was one of many small product tankers at Bangkok.
SINGA at Singapore on 1st November.
CHAMPION at Singapore during our private cruise on 1st November
PACIFIC was one of many large tankers photographed at Singapore.
AN HUI was in the Western Anchorage at Singapore all week.
was in the Eastern Anchorage at Singapore.
24th January - Winter Social
Our winter social this year was held aboard the preserved steamship Shieldhall
at Southampton, between 12:00 and 17:00. A three course lunch was
provided followed by a slide show by Ray Smith covering a recent trip to
Piraeus in October 2003.
The Shieldhall had been moved to 110 berth in the Western Docks and
this provided us with excellent photographic opportunities of shipping
using that area of the docks. Three container ship movements were
witnessed by over 30 members. A fine, sunny, January day added to the
Thanks to the staff of the Shieldhall and Ray Smith for the slide show.
KWINTEBANK berthed next to the
OOCL FREEDOM arriving during the
(Photos by Chris Brooks)
|26th to 28th March -
Over 25 members enjoyed a fine sunny weekend in Antwerp and Bruges.
Coach travel was provided from London and Dover, with a ferry crossing to
Calais. The hotel was in the scenic city of Bruges. A five hour private
boat trip around Antwerp docks was the highlight of the weekend. This was
undertaken in excellent weather with over 70 ocean going vessels
ALKMINI A, APMAN II, CHINA STEEL
DEVELOPER, DUNCAN ISLAND and ZULTAN berthed in Antwerp on 27th March 2004.
| On the return journey a coach tour of the port of Dunkirk
was also enjoyed by all participants, before the return ferry crossing
from Calais to Dover.
ILE DE SEIN at Dunkirk
by Chris Brooks)
CARONIA departing Southampton and the
TRADER at Southampton and the BOURGOGNE at Fawley Oil Terminal
by Chris Brooks)
17th April - AGM at Southampton
The Annual General Meeting was held on board the Ocean Scene in Ocean
Village at Southampton. A three course meal was enjoyed by approximately
50 members, followed by the AGM.
A three hour private cruise on the Ocean Scene around Southampton Docks
and Fawley Oil Terminal followed the AGM. The veteran passenger ship Doulos
was in port on the day as was Cunard's Caronia.
At Fawley we were lucky enough to see one of the VLCCs that
occasionally visit the oil terminal - the Bourgogne.
||22nd May - Thames and Medway Cruise
||A repeat of the successful seven hour private cruise on the
Princess Pocahontas on the River Thames and the Medway - with ploughman's
Over 50 members enjoyed the cruise down the Thames and into the Medway.
Southend Anchorage produced four vessels at anchor including the
conventional cargo ship Daniel, and there were several
movements of vessels witnessed in the River Thames including the P&O
Nedlloyd Barossa Valley and the tankers Meriom Pride and
Unfortunately the Medway, including Sheerness and Thamesport was devoid
of shipping so we ventured up to Ridham Dock - which was a first for the
TSS - where there were two vessels berthed.
The cruise was rounded off by sailing back up the Thames as far as
Tilbury and the container terminal where the S.A. Winterberg made a
fine sight in the late afternoon sunshine.
DANIEL anchored off Southend.
TELLUS departing from the Thames.
S.A. WINTERBERG at Tilbury
(Photos by Chris Brooks)
The graceful QE2 at berth 106,
huge QUEEN MARY 2 at berth 38/39, Southampton.
close encounter with the HELLE WONSILD at Fawley!
by Chris Brooks)
|5th June - Solent Cruise
An additional Solent Cruise on Blue Funnel's Ocean
Scene - arranged to coincide with the Queen Mary 2 and Queen
Elizabeth 2 being in port on this day. Also the Sundream was in
port at 101 berth.
Unfortunately the container terminal was empty and the rest of the port
was quite quiet.
The cruise ventured up Southampton Water to Fawley, which had a few small tankers
berthed and we also did a circuit of the departing coastal tanker Helle
Wonsild (with the agreement of the pilot!).
The cruise finished by sailing up the River Itchen to view the various
dredgers and tugs moored in the River.
A very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
||19th to 26th June - Continental Tour
||The week long Continental tour
was enjoyed by 23 members. We stayed in the excellent Arion Hotel in
Vlissingen, which overlooks one of the shipping lanes into Antwerp - it is
possible to take photographs of the passing shipping from your hotel
Travel was via the
Harwich to Hook of Holland route on the Stena Discovery. A local coach met us at the Hook of Holland and
was available to us during the week
Although the weather was changeable we were lucky enough to have good
conditions during our two private harbour cruises.
The ever popular nine hour private cruise of
Rotterdam and Europoort on board the Diane, allowed members to
photograph over 100 ships in the busy port.
The five hour
private cruise of Antwerp on our vessel the Kempenland also yielded many interesting vessels.
Other days were spent with optional coach visits to Terneuzen for photography from the river bank and
a tour of the port of Ghent by coach.
MADDALENA D'AMATO passing Terneuzen for Antwerp
WEICHSELSTERN arriving at Europoort during our
Indian tanker RABINDRANATH TAGORE at Antwerp during
our port cruise
Heavy-lift ship MARIA passing our hotel at Vlissingen
VLCC AL-SALHEIA at Europoort during our Rotterdam
PRINCE OF STREAMS made a fine sight steaming past us
during the Rotterdam cruise
Reefer SUMMER BAY berthed at Antwerp during our private
WEALTHY STAR makes a fine sight passing Terneuzen.
MARATHON arriving at Fawley
INVINCIBLE at Portsmouth
EXPRESS arriving at Portsmouth
close encounter with the EMDEN in Southampton Water
at her berth in Southampton.
by Chris Brooks)
|17th July - Solent Cruise
Over 50 members enjoyed the annual six hour private Solent Cruise.
Although we departed from Southampton in dull, grey conditions, very soon,
we were blessed with sunshine, which stayed with us for the rest
of the day.
We started by cruising up the River Itchen a short way to see the laid
up tugs and dredger traffic. We then headed down to Fawley which was very
busy with an interesting selection of tankers, with the LPG carrier Marathon
arriving at the oil terminal.
Continuing on to Portsmouth we photographed the naval vessels in
harbour, including the aircraft carrier Invincible. For the ferry
enthusiasts, present in port were the Pride of Portsmouth and the Mont
St Michel. We also witnessed the arrival of the fast ferries Max
Mols (trading as the Caen Express) and the Express
(trading as the Cherbourg Express), as well as several of the
regular Isle of Wight ferries.
On our way back to Southampton, in Southampton Water, we encountered
the arriving vehicle carrier Asian Parade and the departing vehicle
carrier Emden, passing at close quarters.
Finally we took a short trip around Southampton Harbour to photograph
the cruise ships QE2 and Oceana, and also witnessed the departing vehicle
carrier G and C Parana, before returning to our berth in Ocean
Village where the cruise ended.
All in all a very successful day with a good variety of shipping, a
number of movements and bright sunny weather.
||5th August - Thames and Medway Cruise
||Nearly 50 members boarded the Princess Pocahontas at
Gravesend on a misty Thursday morning for another trip on the Thames and Medway.
Fortunately the mist soon cleared as we headed down river, enabling us to see the inward bound pallet carrier
Corner Brook and dredger Charlemagne. There were three tankers at Coryton, including
Murmansk. In the anchorages were one dredger and two bulkers Handy
Trader and Elwine Oldendorff.
At Sheerness, reefer Wild Heather was between two small general cargo ships
and moving on to Thamesport, we were able to watch Lykes Navigator leaving with two tugs.
Sailing back up the Thames to Purfleet, we passed Weston at Northfleet
and S A Helderberg just leaving Tilbury Container berth. We returned to Tilbury landing stage just in time to welcome the inward bound
P & O Nedlloyd Juliana.
Another enjoyable day.
(With thanks to Roger Hammond for the report and
CORNER BROOK inbound in the Thames.
Ro-ro CAROLINE RUSS in the Thames off
WILD HEATHER at Sheerness
A new tug in the Thames - Adsteam's
Mini Cruise BM092 was aboard the
ST. ANNASTRAND assists the Braemar at
SETO at Antwerp during the Flandria dock cruise.
MAERSK at Honfleur.
on-board the Braemar.
28th to 31st August - Braemar Mini Cruise BM092
Despite the numbers being reduced to 9 participants, after 4 cancellations for various reasons, a good time was had by
all on this three night cruise from Dover, calling at Honfleur and
Antwerp, before arriving back at Dover.
The weather could have been kinder, especially on the river passage to Antwerp, where there were surprisingly few ships on the move.
Several participants undertook the Flandria public cruise in Antwerp Docks and were rewarded with sightings of over 50 vessels, which quite impressed the 2 members new to TSS trips.
We arrived at Honfleur at the right time as it must have been nearing high tide
- as there was a good selection of passing traffic both up and down river.
The Braemar is still a fine ship, not too big, with a happy and friendly crew from 18 nationalities and no complaints were received as everything went smoothly.
Thanks to Fred Olsen Cruise Lines for a comfortable and relaxing few days that ended far too quickly.
(With thanks to Paul Mason for the report and
||11th September - Thames and Medway Cruise
36 members arrived at Gravesend and Tilbury for the final Thames and
Medway cruise of the year aboard our old friend the Princess Pocohontas. It was a blustery day, but luckily, the sun was
with us for the majority of the time to give some good photographic
Unfortunately the riverside berths in the Thames were very quiet, but
this was compensated for by a good number of movements of ships being
noted and photographed.
After proceeding up river following the inward bound Sigas Champion
as far as the Dart Terminal, we made our way down river, with a diversion via
the inside berth of the grain terminal at Tilbury to photograph the well
laden Georgian flagged coaster Arcus.
We then proceeded down river via the tug berths at Gravesend and past some inbound container feeders.
At Coryton there were three tankers present as well as the inward bound
bulk carrier Dallington.
Is Southend anchorage two ships were photographed - the ro-ro Marabou
and the tanker St Mary.
We then crossed to the Medway where we witnessed the departure of the
container ship Alexandra and the reefer Amer Annapurna. The
large container ship LT Unicorn was at Thamesport and the bulk
carrier Petrel Arrow at Sheerness. On our departure from the Medway
we passed the arriving Tern Arrow, being assisted by the Medway
We then made our way back up the Thames passing the outward bound Louise
Russ at close quarters on the way, until the cruise ended at Tilbury
and Gravesend at 5pm.
Thames tug COBHAM moored at Gravesend.
AMER ANNAPURNA departing from Sheerness.
LT UNICORN at Thamesport.
STENHEIM berthed in the Medway.
LOUISE RUSS outward bound in the
(Photos by Chris
NOUNOU arriving at Istanbul during our Tuzla Cruise.
berthed at Tuzla during our cruise.
START passing one of the many vantage points along the Bosphorus .
in Istanbul Anchorage during our cruise to Ambarli.
UNALDI berthed at Ambarli during our visit to the port.
underway in the Bosphorus, taken from the Tourist Ferry.
(Photos by Chris
|18th to 25th September - Istanbul
36 TSS members enjoyed a week of sunshine and shipping in the
interesting and vibrant city of Istanbul. We stayed at the comfortable
President Hotel in the heart of the city close to the Grand Bazaar and
other attractions such as the Blue Mosque. The hotel had a rooftop
restaurant which gave magnificent views of the anchorages at Istanbul as
well as the entrance to the Bosphorus.
There were four free days, which allowed members to either partake in some
sightseeing or watch the shipping in the busy Bosphorus. The "tourist
ferry" which cruises the Bosphorus up as far as the entrance to the
Black Sea was a popular attraction for many members. This ferry gave close
up views of the shipping transitting the Bosphorus as well as delivering
members to the best vantage points for photographing the passing shipping.
Two seven hour private cruises were arranged for the group. The first
cruise was to the ship construction and repair yards at Tuzla. Tuzla was
an amazing sight with a large number of ships in various stages of repair
and construction crammed into the harbour. On the way to Tuzla there are
several small harbours and anchorages which were also covered. On the way
back to Istanbul we also visited the container terminal and port at Haydarpasa.
The second cruise took us through the busy anchorage at Istanbul to the
port of Ambarli, several miles up the coast from Istanbul. Ambarli is a
compact but busy port and provided us with the opportunity to photograph
several bulk carriers, general cargo ships and coasters. On the way back
to Istanbul we comprehensively photographed the shipping in Istanbul
anchorage before passing close to several ships underway at the entrance
to the Bosphorus.
All too soon the end of the week arrived and the group found themselves
arriving back at Heathrow Airport with memories of the wide variety of
shipping of all types and ages that had been seen in the unforgettable setting of Istanbul and the Bosphorus.
||14th to 17th October - Mini Continental
Starting and finishing in London, we will travel by luxury coach to
Antwerp for a three night stay. Travel via Calais/Dover. Three nights accommodation will be arranged in a three star
hotel in Antwerp city centre.
There will be a
six hour private cruise of Rotterdam including Maasvlakte, Europoort and
Botlek, on our old friend the cruise vessel Diane plus other areas if time allows.
Also included will be a
five hour private and comprehensive cruise of the Antwerp port complex.
time permits there will be a short stop in Dunkirk on the return journey.
This trip has
unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the minimum number of
participants not being achieved.
||17th October - International Ship Show
This year's show will be held at the Royal
National Hotel, Bedford Way, London between 10:00 and 16:00.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have had to cancel the stand at this year's Ship Show
to be held on Sunday 17th October. We hope to be exhibiting again at the Ship Show next year.
||25th January - Winter Social
Our annual Winter Social was held onboard the Shieldhall at
43 members attended in favourable weather conditions for an
enjoyable afternoon consisting of a three course lunch, followed by a
slide show given by Peter Ives on a visit to Ho-Chi-Minh City, in
preparation for the trip to the Far East later in the year.
With thanks to all the volunteer crew of the Shieldhall, Bill
Gambling the catering manager for an enjoyable lunch, and Peter Ives for
his excellent slide show.
Lunch aboard the Shieldhall (Photo by
Shieldhall at Southampton (Photo
by Chris Brooks)
||8th to 23rd March - Far East
We returned to the Far East with a 15 night tour starting from London
Heathrow airport. Five nights in Singapore, staying at our usual Rasa
Sentosa Hotel on Sentosa Island, overlooking the Western Anchorage.
Interocean No 2 at Singapore
Sang Yang anchored in the Saigon River
Tiger Durban at Saigon.
Thereafter three nights were spent at the
Majestic Hotel on the riverbank in Ho-Chi-Minh City followed by five
nights at the Marco Polo Gateway Hotel in Hong Kong close to the Star
Ferry and cruise terminals, before returning to London. Two private full
day harbour cruises were undertaken in both Singapore and Hong Kong,
including lunch, which covered as much shipping as time allowed in two of
the worlds busiest ports.
In addition a six hour cruise was undertaken on the Saigon River taking
in the old and new ports in the city centre and as far downriver to the
anchorages as time allowed. There was also plenty of free time for
shopping / sightseeing etc.
||It was an excellent trip with no major problems. Depending
on how much time was spent shopping or sightseeing instead of 'spotting'
between 700 and 1,000 vessels were noted by our various members. Saigon
seemed to be the highlight of the tour, being a new location for us, and
we found many vessels in the anchorages downriver in the right location
In a 'thank you' letter one of our members commented 'all I can do is
to admire the end result and say 'magnificent''. What more can we say
apart from a big 'thank you' to Silverbird Travel for their usual first
Maria C at Hong Kong
Millennia Tower at Hong Kong
(All photos by Paul Mason)
Black Watch at Southampton
Bunga Raya Satu at Southampton
MOL Advantage arriving at Southampton
(Photos by Chris Brooks)
|12th April - AGM at Southampton
55 members attended the AGM was held onboard the Ocean Scene
at Southampton's Ocean Village after an enjoyable lunch. Then we enjoyed a
cruise covering Southampton docks, Fawley and Hamble.
The AGM went smoothly with all resolutions carried without any issues.
This was followed by the cruise as outlined above which lasted
approximately three and a half hours. the cruise ship Black Watch
was in port on the day.
Fortunately there were quite a few shipping movements on the day,
including the inbound container ship MOL Advantage which
made up for for the lack of tankers at Fawley and Hamble. Thanks to
everyone who attended, especially to Bo Godfrey for organising the days
event and Blue Funnel for their usual excellent arrangements.
25th to 28th April - Mini Continental
21 members took part in a Mini Continental tour staying three nights at the Delta Hotel, Vlaardingen on the riverside near Rotterdam
with our usual private boat trips around Antwerp and Rotterdam. We
travelled via the HSS from Harwich to Hook of Holland.
Some 275 vessels were noted during the trip and the three members new
to our Continental trips enjoyed the experience. Lets hope they return for
more of the same in the future.
Unfortunately it was raining for for much of the time in Antwerp, but
being under shelter did not prevent the taking of photographs, and lunch
was taken when the rain was at its heaviest. There was an average number
of vessels in the enclosed docks during our five hour private cruise.
The nine hour private cruise around Rotterdam and Europoort on our old
friend the Diane, started off cloudy and windy, but brightened up later in
the day, resulting in good photographic conditions with a varied selection
of vessels, especially large bulk carriers.
Annie Sierra berthed at Antwerp
Apostolovo arriving in Botlek Harbour,
Ocean going tug Husky outward bound
Ocean Friend at Rotterdam
(Photos by Chris Brooks)
Harry S Truman in the Solent.
A close encounter with the Alfa
Germania off Terneuzen
APL India leaving the riverside
container terminal at Antwerp.
Puffin Arrow changing pilots off
TSS Members aboard the Braemar.
(Photos by Paul Mason)
|6th to 10th May - Braemar Cruise
The first TSS cruise.
25 members sampled a four night mini cruise on the cruise
ship Braemar. In direct association with Fred.Olsen Cruise
Lines we organised a trip departing from Southampton and calling at St
Malo and Antwerp with an overnight stopover before disembarkation at
It was a most enjoyable four nights on a vessel not too large like some of
the modern cruise ships. A happy smiling crew looked after us very well
and we had arranged group tables for dinner which looked directly out over
One of the highlights was sighting the US aircraft carrier Harry
S Truman anchored in the Solent on her return from the Gulf.
was a most enjoyable place to visit but with very little shipping as
The transit of the River Schelde into Antwerp produced the usual busy
and varied collection of ships.A few members undertook the public harbour
cruise in Antwerp where around 50 ships were noted in the enclosed main
The on return to Dover the cruise ships Norweigan Dream and Black
Prince were also in Dover on the same day.
A highly recommended 'taster' for a proper cruise and we propose to do
a similar trip in August 2004.
||18th to 24th June - Helsingor
Eight members undertook a trip to Helsingor in Demark for watching ship
movements in the Sound - the narrow channel between Denmark and Sweden.
Travel was via the DFDS ferry Dana Sirena - on its maiden
crossing from Harwich to Esbjerg and onwards by train to Helsingor for a
four night stay.
Our base was the Hotel Hamlet which was very comfortable and friendly.
Members made good use of free time by either visiting Copenahgen,
undertaking ferry trips across to Sweden, by visiting the maritime museum
in Helsingor, or watching the shipping passing through the Sound.
A successful and enjoyable trip.
Li Bai negotiating the Sound
Mercandia IV - one of the local
(Photos by John Campbell)
The new cruise ship Crystal Serenity
The new Indian frigate Talwar anchored
Mighty Confidence at anchor in the
Pride of Portsmouth departing from
(Photos by Chris Brooks)
|5th July - Solent Cruise
Our annual six hour private cruise from Southampton on the Ocean Scene
starting at midday. This cruise covered the River Itchen, Southampton
Docks, Fawley and Hamble, plus Portsmouth Harbour.
Despite late notice of a change of departure point all 66 participants
arrived within time. It was really a day of newbuildings with the new
cruise ship Crystal Serenity being in port as expected.
There was the usual collection of roro's and car carriers in and around
Southampton but Fawley was faily quiet. At anchor off Portsmouth was the
newbuilding Indian frigate Talwah.
On to Portsmouth where the aircraft carriers Ark Royal and Invincible
were both in port. We were also to see the simultaneous sailing of the
ferries Pride of Portsmouth and the relatively new Mont St
On the return leg we were treated to a 'surprise' cream tea, and the
gas carrier Northumberland sailing from Fawley. Finally, the Caronia
sailed as expected on our way back to Southampton.
A thoroughly enjoyable day with good weather a good selection of
||17th July - Thames and Medway Cruise
A repeat of last years experimental midweek Princess Pochahontas
seven hour private Thames and Medway cruise including buffet lunch.
Admittedly not one of our better trips - a technical fault delayed our
departure from Tilbury and there were no tankers berthed at Shell Haven or
Coryton. Only one coaster was at Southend anchorage and there were no
vessels at all at Sheerness. In the Medway the only vessels were the Yeoman
Bridge and the laid up Donetsk, while Thamesport was also empty.
En-route back to Gravesend we passed the departing Maersk Constantia
and several bulk carriers, container ships and car carriers were noted at
Tilbury. Despite everyting including the cloudy and windy weather,
everyone seemed quite happy at renewing contacts with old friends.
A close encounter with Dart 2!
Donetsk under arrest in the Medway
Maersk Constantia outbound in the
(Photos by Paul Mason)
The preserved Cap San Diego and the
new Oosterdam at Hamburg
Inna Gusenkova with pilot boat
departing from Cuxhaven
Lydia Oldendorff passing Cuxhaven
Nordjarl departing from Cuxhaven
The busy River Elbe!
(Photos by Chris Brooks)
|27th July to 2nd August - German Tour
German Tour - starting from Harwich and travelling on the DFDS recently
chartered Duchess of Scandinavia and return the same route.
A four night stay at Donners Hotel in Cuxhaven with day trips to
Hamburg, for our usual five hour private harbour cruise, and also to
Another excellent trip with no problems in warm and sunny weather, with
around 260 vessels noted during the trip. Cuxhaven is an ideal location
for photography with an uninterrupted background.
The public cruises around Bremerhaven port and from Bremerhaven to
Bremen were not too crowded, but it was sad to note the decline of Bremen
as a major port with very little shipping to note.
Some members also undertook a public cruise from Cuxhaven to Hamburg
and it was pleasing to do again the journey that DFDS don't do anymore into
the centre of the port.
The hotel was also very good with views over the river, especially from
the sixth floor restaurant, and was just a short walk away from the
||16th August - Thames and Medway Cruise
A repeat of the successful Princess Pocahontas seven hour private
Thames and Medway cruise including buffet lunch.
A day in total contrast with the previous trip this year. Good weather
and numerous ship movements, about 15 in total, plus four vessels anchored
off Southend including the bulk carrier Balticland and the ro-ro Seahawk.
The Medway was especially busy with five movements, including the
container ships Lykes Explorer and HSH Ubin and the bulk
carrier Yeoman Bontrup.
A very good day with probably more activity than we have seen in recent
HSH Ubin and Lykes Explorer
underway in the Medway
Navion Scandia in the Thames
Balticland and Seahawk in Southend
(Photos by Chris Brooks)
Anglian Way at Ipswich (Photo by
A full container port at Felixstowe
(Photo by Chris Brooks)
Members on the Thistle during the
cruise. (Photo by Paul Mason)
|7th September - Orwell Cruise
A new venture - a five hour private cruise on the Thames sailing barge Thistle
departing from Ipswich Docks and covering Harwich and Felixstowe.
Despite the bad weather forecast, all turned up on time and the weather
was fine with no rain and little wind. Ipswich Docks produced some seven
coastal vessels and other local craft.
For the container ship enthusiasts, Felixstowe Container terminal was
more or less full.
In addition there were three ferries and one bulk carrier at Harwich. A
very good day out with thanks to Topsail Charters and our Stephen
Marginson for the organisation.
||27th September - Solent Cruise
Another repeat - this time of the successful six hour private Solent
cruise onboard the Ocean Scene. Departing from Ocean Village at
midday, covering the River Itchen, Southampton Docks, Fawley and Hamble
plus Portsmouth Docks. With a buffet lunch included.
Another good day out although a few members unable to attend through
The weather remained fine throughout but although there were quite a
few vessels in Southmpton and Fawley there was not too much on the move.
Kapitonas Simkus at Southampton.
Mont St Michel departing from
(Photos by Chris Brooks)
||18th October - International Ship Show
As has now become a tradition, the TSS took a table (number 20) at this
year's show at Westminster Central Hall. Several committee members were in
attendance to answer questions and pass the time of day talking ships.
Three new members signed up on the day and a great deal of interest was
shown in the leaflets we produced, hopefully producing some more members
when the leaflets are read in full at home. Some twenty five or so TSS
members came to say 'hello' at the stand.
||December 26th - Queen Mary 2 Arrival at Southampton
In co-operation with our friends on the Shieldhall, we took some
places on their "Welcome to Queen Mary 2" cruise on the liners
first arrival in Southampton, direct from the builders yard in France.
Despite the weather not being too good, the members who attended had an
enjoyable and memorable cruise on the Shieldhall to greet the QM2.
The Queen Mary 2 arriving for the
first time at Southampton
(Photo by Paul Mason)