Friday, 27 November 2020
Sea Pictures from DOVER ....

See the OPEN LETTER from Port of Dover CEO Doug Bannister further below....

Border Force Vigilant seen here returning to the Port in the past few days...we believe the Border Force rib powering alongside contained some migrants as several incursions were reported on the day.

The Disney Magic resting tranquilly at new pier WD4 Port of Dover, the tranquility making a change from all the recent rough weather...while in the foreground the Harbour Patrol Boat meanders along keeping everything safe and secure... In the far distance you can just see the Vasco da Gama cruise ship heading for Portugal.

Below...the Sun Rising through the drizzle on the Dover Straits

Yes the Sun rising through the drizzle... it begins to climb over we look across the ever busy Dover Straits.

This picture taken a few moments before the one above....

November Sky - Dover Seafront

Dover Seafront November:
Striking evening sky as we look along Dover Seafront at sundown.....

The Disney Wonder:
The Disney Wonder pulled away from Dover on the recent saturday heading for Funchal we understand...
.......a rough ol' trip in the prevailing conditions....

Dover Harbour: something of a rare site this...fog shimmering across the surface in this way, as shown above. Picture taken on a recent chilly but dazzlingly bright and sunlit morning.

" smoke on the water, fire in the sky "


The Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic

If you quietly wish upon a star, hoping for even more wondrous magic in Dover,
...well you might just end up with two Disney's....

Fire on Western Heights

Something of a forced picture taken on friday night of the fire on Western Heights here in Dover. It seems a stray rogue firework caused it, setting scrubland alight. Four fire engines were in attendance we understand. The picture is of poor quality taken through the darkness, but it gives the general gist as we look across the rooftops.

Full Moon over Dover....

The 'Blue Moon' over the Port of Dover in recent times.
Look at that rugged terrain...

* *


Dover is the right choice for business and consumers now more than ever

The United Kingdom Major Ports Group (‘UKMPG’) has issued a ‘briefing paper’ intended to encourage businesses to transfer cargo away from the Short Straits, the UK’s most vital link to European markets.

The paper points out that the Short Straits, which includes ferry links between Dover and Calais, as well as the Channel Tunnel, has a 60% market share of ‘British-Continental EU trade’. The Short Straits has achieved this market share because it is the right choice for business. Indeed, the paper acknowledges that the routes businesses use today are the right ones and the reason businesses choose the Short Straits is simple; it offers the most time efficient, cost effective and resilient access to international markets, delivering an estimated £3 billion saving for British businesses and consumers compared to alternative routes.

Our own independent analysis (Oxera 2018) has previously suggested that it would cost around £2.7 billion to take just 20% of our existing traffic in order to pay for new ferries operating on longer and slower routes. Importantly, these new ferries do not exist today and need to be built. With shipyard capacities and construction lead times, delivering such a fleet of new ferries holds significant lead time.

The UKMPG paper suggests that other ports might have capacity to take up to 60% of Short Straits traffic now, but acknowledges that this requires both Government and trader support for this offer of ‘resilience’ to be possible. Exponentially, this suggests that the cost to businesses and ultimately the consumer could be up to around £8 billion.

For Port of Dover, when looking at the overall UK Trade Resilience we take a systemic view – across ports, vessels, capacities, frequencies, operating models and traffic management schemes. To focus only on port capacity is terribly one-dimensional.

The geographic advantage that Port of Dover holds with the UK’s largest trading partner means that a single vessel can complete up to five round voyages in a single day, making our ferries hugely productive assets. Further, our operating model delivers an average inbound dwell time at our port of just five minutes, providing unparalleled port efficiency.

Other operating models, for example containers and unaccompanied trailers may have inbound dwell times from several hours to even several days, adding inefficiency to the system-wide supply chains. For those routes with longer sea voyages, a single vessel may only make a single round voyage in a day – meaning to replicate the capacities and frequencies offered via Port of Dover would require five times as many vessels.

The UKMPG paper admits that a ‘short term’ constraint might be the availability of additional ferries to handle the trucks being encouraged to divert to other routes, whilst also citing wider capacity issues on the southern North Sea corridor.

The report is right to focus on resilience as we approach the end of the Transition Period, but what resilience do you have if you are sending traffic to ports where the ferries do not exist? Neither is that a quick fix. The market dynamic is important here. In fact, rather than investing in new ferries, operators at some of the alternative ports have actually been closing these longer routes with tonnage moving back to the short routes as that is what the market wants – Dover has of course kept going throughout the pandemic. This dynamic applies to the European side too, with the majority of freight vehicles choosing to route through northern France to Calais and Dunkirk as it is simply closest.

All EU-facing UK ports will be under the same rules – there will be a standard process and transaction applied everywhere. We know from examples elsewhere, such as ‘Operation Wellington’ on the Humber, which anticipates using parts of the M62 and M180 as holding areas for HGVs, that if there is disruption it will be everywhere. The report itself admits that there is already a risk of disruption at these alternative ports due to new systems for HGVs. Therefore, on top of this, sending more traffic to ports that do not even have the ferry capacity will make the situation far worse and create far less resilience for UK trade.

In contrast, the traffic management regimes for the Short Straits are tested and proven – in short, we know they work. For example, the recent national security operation that affected all ports with additional screening and searches left around 4,500 lorries in Operation Stack. When the security operation ended, Dover had cleared all queuing traffic and was back to normal operations within just 12 hours. Nowhere else could do that. It would take weeks with the current vessel capacities and frequencies available elsewhere. For UK trade resilience, supply chains must have the confidence in managing periods of disruption, and crucially recovery and restoration of normal flows as swiftly as possible – both areas in which Port of Dover has excellent credentials.

As we all navigate the massive economic difficulties caused by COVID, and the uncertainties as we approach the End of Transition, it is right to showcase the incredible efforts of the maritime sector, and the excellent ports that we have across the nation towards ensuring supply chains are robust and functioning well.

Come what may, we will keep working to keep the nation supplied with the essential goods people need at this difficult time and give all businesses wherever they are the benefits of Dover’s unrivalled service. This is what we do all day, every day.

Indeed, as the Maritime Minister said on a panel discussion with us only the other day regarding the national trade network; ‘you have to have goods and people moving around freely. So if you are to have parts moving quickly and efficiently across the Channel, and through Dover, and through the country, you have a much easier opportunity for companies that might exist in the Midlands or in the North to get involved in whatever that industry is.’

The report says that the UK has not always been reliant on the Short Straits, harking back to pre-Single Market days. Equally, the UK has not always been reliant on the internet and same day/next day/just-in-time deliveries, but it is now.

A vision that takes the UK backwards is not the vision of the future we want to see. We need one that backs consumers and businesses everywhere for the challenges and opportunities ahead of us. We feel that we should celebrate our impressive, modern and efficient supply chains across all ports and modes throughout the nation.

For Dover, we fully appreciate the essential role that we conduct for the nation, and will continue to take our responsibility with all of the due care and attention the British people would expect of us, which is why Dover will remain the clear market choice.

Doug Bannister, CEO Port of Dover.


Sea Pictures from DOVER ....

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Post 113
  PaulB, Dover (
Thanks for the reminder Kevin. Will certainly watch out for the final trip of the Saga Ruby and hope to get a decent picture or two.
Thats a smashin' pic you added there in the post below.
The other legend..the Carnival Legend, is in today. A great supership. There wont be many visits left now this year for the giants so always worth a look. At the moment as I write it is shrouded in mist and un-photographable.

The Port of Dover has appointed Ben Greenwood as Business Development Manager (Marine) as the Port looks to build even better relationships and develop stronger products with and for its cruise customers.

Ben, who originates from Australia, previously worked as Specialist Sales and Partnership Manager for Carnival Australia, part of Carnival Corporation PLC which represents the world's most popular cruise brands, comprising of approximately 80 per cent of the global cruise market.

Tim Waggott, pictured above..the Chief Executive, Port of Dover, said: “The appointment of Ben comes at an exciting time when we are working hard with our cruise business partners to deliver the very best customer service and explore new opportunities. Ben’s experience will be instrumental in taking our relationships and services to the next level.”

Ben takes over from Clare Newman, former Port of Dover Business Delivery Manager, who is moving to London sightseeing firm City Cruises as Head of Sales and Marketing. Ben will be reporting to Barbara Buczek, Head of Business Development and Corporate Affairs, who has overall responsibility for business development at the Port of Dover, including cruise.

The new-look cruise team is at Seatrade Europe 2013 in Hamburg this week, Europe’s meeting point for the cruise industry. What better place to start work than at a gathering of over 260 cruise line executives! The Port of Dover will be at stand 405.

Mr Waggott added: “Our warmest wishes to Clare as she leaves this most famous stretch of sea for the most historic of rivers. We are sure that the experience gained and commitment she has shown working for the best port in the world will help her to be a fabulous success as she moves to the finest capital city in the world.”


* *
Yesterday we had a visit from the Messina Strait and here she is making her way through the gloom to the sound of rampant foghorns in the background, helped as you can see by our regular tugs Doughty and Dauntless. She is doing the full 180 degree turn in the pic.

The very odd shape baffled us all in the beginning. Along with her equally unusual twin, the Magellan Strait, they are both new and it seems regular visitors here now at the cargo terminal. It was just in from Vlisengen ( I think that's how you spell it ! ) Smiley

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 - 06:53
Post 112
  Kevin Charles, Dover
Just a reminder that this Thursday (26 September) will be the last opportunity to see the classic Saga Ruby as she makes her final visit to Dover. She is being retired by Saga in December following a final cruise from Southampton.

She will be in Dover for the last time on Thursday alongside the Saga Sapphire. Saga Ruby is the last cruise ship to be built in Britain by Swan Hunter in 1973.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013 - 21:41
Post 111
  PaulB, Dover (
The scene across the harbour this morning tuesday.

Yes its certainly a bit foggy this morning and no mistake, but for a short while earlier the sun peaked through the gloom so I got the above picture. But with autumn mists surrounding us it might just be the right time to start thinking about hitting those fantastic ski slopes in the months ahead. See the following just in from our newest ferry company...


With the ski season just around the corner, ski lovers can save money and avoid mounting airline charges for their extra baggage and ski equipment by travelling by car with MyFerryLink, the Dover-Calais ferry operator.

Any duration car crossings start from just £30 each way, for up to nine people with skis and all of their luggage. There are plenty of fantastic ski resorts all within a day’s drive of Calais and even taking into account petrol costs and road tolls, driving to the slopes this year could save a family of four nearly £500!

For those looking for the ultimate winter escape on a budget, travelling by car offers the perfect solution. Holidaymakers have the freedom to travel with all their home comforts, ski boots and equipment, luggage and even food for the drive, without worrying about any hidden costs.

Additionally, opting to drive gives the whole family a chance to take in the sights and enjoy the scenic countryside, all the while avoiding the inconveniences of modern flying. To find out how much a family of four could save skiing this winter, check out MyFerryLink’s ski calculator table below. ( ah..I wasnt able to reproduce the table but it points out the price penalties of trying to get ski equipment onto a plane )

MyFerryLink operates 16 daily crossings on the Dover-Calais route. Fares for a car and up to nine passengers start from £30 each way any duration and from £30 for a day return. To find the best fares, visit or call 0844 2482 100

The Rodin at Calais 5.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013 - 08:24
Post 110
  Mike J., Dover
Howard -

Tugs often last considerably longer than ‘regular’ merchant ships due to their much more robust construction & a life of 20 or 30 years or more is not unusual, although they tend to change hands many times.

Sometimes they are completely stripped & rebuilt with a completely different appearance, with only the hull remaining to show their age.
Often steam tugs were re-engined with diesel engines & continued in service for many years. Some undoubtedly still exist.

The KINGSTON is a little unusual that despite many modifications she essentially retains her 1960s appearance.
She is still using her original Mirlees diesel engine.

For her specs & history see -

[You’ll need to insert ‘http//:’ to get the links to work].

Monday, 23 September 2013 - 22:15
Post 109
  howard mcsweeney, dover
more fascinating photos, the one of the "kingston" caught my eye due to its age.

i am wondering how much it cost to build over half a century ago and how much money it has earned in that time i would think it must have paid for itself many times over.

what is the lifespan of a tug normally?

Monday, 23 September 2013 - 18:12
Post 108
  PaulB, Dover (
Sunday was a grey ol day as we know but much of the colour was once again supplied by the local population. Here we are with that somewhat amusing and enjoyably colourful sunday morning ritual....The March to the Sea
or to be more accurate on this occasion...march through the sea in search of deeper water Smiley ! I blame that darn moon again. I think we did have a similar picture previously but this is yesterdays interpretation of the ritual.
Still plenty of swimmers turning out and up and down the harbour they go, presumably for long distance training and the like. The water must be pretty cold now but I guess expending all that energy keeps them warm..ish.

Below we have yesterdays departure of the Star First reefer which I believe was carrying fruit to Antwerp. Both tugs..tugged and pulled her into position for swift departure through the eastern entrance or indeed exit in this case. The black exhaust smoke is from the tugboat not the ship.

Some guys are watching from the breakwater there.

Good pix below Mike and good story.. glad you liked the channel rowers Howard..this time I didnt spot the thread mentioned. Probably because I returned to the idea later in the day when I saw the rowers coming back. Good spot Kevin.

Monday, 23 September 2013 - 10:16
Post 107
  Mike J., Dover
Thanks for the welcome !

Last Friday a 51 year old tug sailed from Dover after sheltering for a few days whilst towing the disabled fishing vessel VANQUISH from Newlyn to Den Helder [NL].

The KINGSTON was built in 1962 as the SUN XXIV at the now-closed Pollocks Shipyard at Faversham.
She is now operated by Griffin Towage of Poole & although extensively upgraded over the years still looks like a classic 1960s tug.

She looks a little rusty & the wheelhouse looks a little old-fashioned but she’s a hard-working little ship & has just returned from a long trip to Morocco from northern Europe towing a floating pipeline.

The VANQUISH [with the KINGSTON invisible behind her] can be seen in the old Jetfoil terminal in Howard’s 18/9 photo from St.Martin’s Battery.

Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 23:55
Post 105
  howard mcsweeney, dover
i thought they were quite interesting paul, each to their own i suppose.

you must have missed kevin's "cross channel rowing attempt" thread on the main forum.

Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 21:35
Post 104
  PaulB, Dover (
BY any stretch of the imagination these pictures are pretty dull so I debated with myself as to whether it was worthwhile putting them up at all. But I opted to do it as it marks another rowing attempt on the channel. I was reminded to do it as less than half an hour ago, at about 2.40pm, they returned to harbour..presumably they have been over there to the French coast and back having left the smooth safety of Dover Harbour this morning about 8am.

There is very little publicity for these things nowadays as so many people do it or have done it..even one or two celebs have given this one a go previously. I was notified to the notion that something was taking place by the sound of whistle blowing ( no - not that kind of whistle blowing Smiley ! )

And now for my close up Mr De with just one boat plus support vessel.

No pictures of them returning you will be pleased to hear. But a well done to the rowers. Thanks arty farty image shot to pieces with these ones...lolSmiley

Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 15:27
Post 103
  howard mcsweeney, dover
welcome indeed mike good to see you putting up a photo straight away, very little gets missed with some very knowledgeable posters on this thread.

Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 10:34
Post 102
  Ed Connell, Dover
Great stuff, Paul. Getting very arty-farty now, expect you will be wearing a beret and smock next!

And a BIG BIG welcome to Mike J. Look forward to some of your great photos and informed comment, Mike.

Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 09:00
Post 101
  PaulB, Dover (
A bit of extra Port News below.. but first a couple of dramatic pictures of the Port for you to enjoy from the last two days.
Above we have a ghostly moon over a blazing and still hugely busy Port ...although we still enjoy the remnants of summer travel, busy ferries, busy hotels etc, etc...I can nevertheless report a dropping off in the level of camper vans waiting on the seafrontSmiley !
Just snatched at this picture when the moment presented itself with a simple point and shoot camera. It shows a grim weather system moving in from the East mid morning. Light and shade, summer and winter, heaven and hell...

Ed got some great close ups of the Lyrika below.Smiley
Here is another one of her from further away, arriving with the help of the two tugs. I had earlier bumped into one of the LIVE Export demonstrators complete with loudhailer who said there was another LIVE departure scheduled friday night and he was on his way to give them hell. I thought for one moment when I saw the vessel approaching from some way off that they had upgraded from the Joline but no..

* *

Europe recognises Port’s commitment to community through heritageSmiley

For the second consecutive year, the Port of Dover has been shortlisted for the European Sea Ports Organisation’s (ESPO) prestigious Societal Integration of Ports award. Furthermore, it is also the second year in a row that Dover has been the only UK port to make it through to the shortlist of five European ports.

Each year the award has a theme and last year it recognised contributions to working with young people in the community, the Port of Dover being shortlisted for its Youth Engagement Scheme (YES), which has increased this year through its Port apprenticeships programme. The 2013 award focuses on ‘heritage’ and specifically on the contemporary use and access to port heritage assets.

The Port of Dover’s ‘Making Port Heritage Work’ project is all about making the Port’s historic assets and heritage work for a number of local audiences, operationally and culturally, and bringing the community closer to the Port in different ways.

Tim Waggott, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, explained: “The project looks to bring these strands together and to make them work as one coherent heritage offer that unites the Port and town and their common histories as a way of nurturing current and future integration. It also balances the need to preserve the Port’s heritage assets whilst at the same time enabling them to play a role in the modern day-to-day life of the Port.”

ESPO, representing port authorities, administrations and associations from across Europe, announced that Dover had been shortlisted this week for the award. John Richardson, Chairman of the panel, said: “Many European ports value and cultivate their heritage. Our job was to choose the most exciting projects among a very varied selection of them. Several stood out as particularly creative and visionary.”

Mr Waggott added: “In a week that has seen the Port working with archaeologists to successfully float a replica of Dover’s famous 3,500 year old Bronze Age boat in Dover harbour, such recognition is a great boost to the Port and should also be seen as a fantastic motivator to the positive discussions that are now getting underway between the Port and the local community on its heritage priorities as part of our new Port and Community Forum.”

The winner of the award will be announced on 6th November during a special ceremony at Brussels Town Hall. End.

* *

Smiley Great stuff on all those posts below lads..great pictures to enjoy. Welcome Mike. Good to see wildlife ace Phil joining in. Smiley

Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 06:36
Post 100
  Mike J., Dover
G’day. I’m a refugee from the sadly-missed Dover Ferry forum where I posted as ‘Marconista’

I keep an eye on the local shipping scene & thought to put up a few photos here, although it’d be very hard to match PaulB’s cruise ship coverage.

Here’s an experimental post, just to see if I can post pix OK here - another take on Ed’s recent view of the MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN.


Mike J.

Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 00:21
Post 99
  howard mcsweeney, dover
just received this one of the "seabourne sojourn" taken by phil smith earlier this month who normally supplies us with great wildlife photos.

Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 15:00
Post 98
  Tom Austin, London,Sun soaked and heat-hogging...
Fools rush in...and all that.

I am ever so, and rightly so, pleased to get a butchers at 'em thruster Jonnies [this language 'difficulty' often comes on shortly after reading PaulB's stuff, funny that?]
Leaving to one side the circled 'X' markings and their being 'underwater'.
Back to the fuel saving issue, some considerable drag must come from those grilled-portals, little wonder then that such efforts are made to keep the props trim.
I watched an old Stan Laurel short yesterday, 'West of Hot Dog', and the baddies horse must have had rear thrusters on both sides, judging by the markings. :)

Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 12:31
Post 97
  Ed Connell, Dover
Small coaster Lyrika alongside the Eastern Arm today:

Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 10:53
Post 96
  John Mavin, Dover
Yes, that's their normal berth when they are in the harbour.

Friday, 20 September 2013 - 22:45
Post 94
  howard mcsweeney, Dover
i must go around with my eyes shut john i have never noticed a group like that before.

are they always moored next to each other?

Friday, 20 September 2013 - 20:09
Post 93
  JanT, Dover
Well guys you certainly have been busy with those camera's, its always good to see what is happening down and around our lovely seafront.SmileySmiley

Friday, 20 September 2013 - 16:57
Post 92
  John Mavin, Dover
Howard, they are the range safety craft for the Hythe Ranges and they've been based here for years. Currently I think we have the Smit Romney, Smit Rother and Smit Stour. Although privately operated, the overall responsibility is with the MOD. I'll see if I can dig out some pictures.

Friday, 20 September 2013 - 15:40
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