World’s largest short sea Ro-Ro vessel MV Celine christened at Dublin Port
MV Celine, the world’s largest short sea Ro-Ro ship, will today be christened in a ceremony at Dublin Port with guest of honour, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, Godmother to the new ship, Geraldine O’Reilly, and the port’s chaplains. The formal ceremony is a long-held tradition intended to bring good fortune to the ship and involves breaking a champagne bottle against the hull as the ship is christened.
To mark today’s occasion, new Irish music commissioned by Dublin Port and performed by John Sheahan of the Dubliners and Colm Mac Con Iomaire of the Frames will premiere at the ceremony, heralding the ship’s naming in front of invited guests representing her Luxembourg-based owner CLdN and the wider European shipping industry.
With a capacity of 8,000 lane-meters, MV Celine represents the next generation of super ferries servicing Dublin Port. Significantly, her arrival marks a new milestone in the multi-million-euro ABR Project to futureproof Dublin Port. Such is her size, MV Celine would not have been able to call into Dublin Port had development works on three kilometres of berths not already commenced.
The 235m long ship was constructed in South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Shipyard before being deployed to her homeports of Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. In October 2017, MV Celine made her maiden call into Dublin, providing additional capacity for customers trading with Continental Europe via the ports of Zeebrugge and Rotterdam.
Cargo volumes at Dublin Port reached a new record in 2017 as 36.4 million tonnes passed through the port including one million Ro-Ro units. CLdN’s direct freight services to Continental Europe is providing the capacity for this increasing demand with importers and exporters seeking alternatives for the efficient movement of goods, particularly with the reality of Brexit looming.
New figures show that cargo volumes at Dublin Port grew by 3.4% in Q1 2018 to exceed nine million gross tonnes for the quarter.
Imports for the first three months of the year rose by 4.3% while exports increased by 2.1%. Most of the port’s cargo is comprised of freight trailers and containers and both sectors showed continued strong growth, with Ro-Ro up by 2.5% and Lo-Lo container volumes ahead by 5.3%.
On the passenger and vehicle side of the business, imports of trade vehicles in the first three months jumped by 14.2%, while passenger volumes climbed by 8.6%. Similarly, the number of tourist vehicles grew by 6.4%. Furthermore, Dublin Port’s cruise business will see 154 cruise ship arrivals, bringing a record-breaking 275,000 visitors to the city this year, including 10 maiden calls and five full turnaround cruises.
Dublin Port has also confirmed that it will pay a dividend to the State of €12.2m in 2018, bringing the aggregate dividend payment since 2007 to €113.4m. The dividend follows a strong financial performance in 2017, during which turnover grew by 4.7% to €85.5m and Profit after tax increased by 3.9% to €40.6m.
MV Celine is the newest vessel to join CLdN’s network, which specialises in short sea Ro-Ro cargo, and a second 8,000 lane-metre vessel, MV Delphine, has been delivered in January 2018 as the company further expands its fleet and operations in Europe.
CLdN currently operates 25 Ro-Ro vessels, offering more than 135 weekly sailings between the ports of Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, London, Killingholme, Dublin, Gothenburg, Esbjerg, Hirtshals, Santander, Porto, Flushing and Dagenham.