Friday, 25 November 2011

Stena Superfast Launch

A series of photographs from the press launch of the new Stena Superfast ferries between Cairnryan and Belfast and of the opening of the new Cairnryan ferry port on 25 November 2011.

The Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII passing off Cairnryan

 Inside the new terminal at Cairnryan:

Onboard Stena Superfast VII:

 The Taste restaurant:

The Barista Lounge:

 The News Room:

The 55 Degrees Lounge:

The Truckdrivers' Area:

The Pod Lounge:

 The Stena Plus Lounge:

Passing Stena Superfast VIII:

The magnificent funnel:

The opening ceremony for the new Cairnryan terminal featuring (left-to-right) Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP, Northern Ireland's Regional Development Minister, Danny Kennedy MLA, and the Chairman of Stena AB, Dan Sten Olsson:

Richard Nilsson of Figura, the architect of the Stena Superfast interiors, with Lord Bannside (the Rev. Ian Paisley), formerly Northern Ireland's First Minister:

 Jane Olsson Thorburn, an understandably very happy Dan Sten Olsson, me and Jonathan Guest of MJM, whose firm, based in Newry, constructed the Stena Superfast interiors:

 The new terminal at Cairnryan:

Bravo, Stena!

Soon, you will be able to read all about the Stena Superfast project in Cruise & Ferry Info (see

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A visit to the Hebrides

A five-day trip to visit Scotland's scenic west coast for maritime photography purposes. We begin at Wemyss Bay, where Caledonian MacBrayne's Rothesay ferry MV Argyle is waiting at the splendid Edwardian steamer pier. To the east, the chimney at Inverkip Power Station sticks up through a bank of fog:

En route to rothesay, we pass the Coruisk, usually the Mallaig-Armadale ferry in summer, but deputising on the Clyde during the winter season:

 On the way round Bute to Rhubodach, where the ferry to Colintraive is to be caught:

A scenic drive around the Kyles of Bute in evening light to reach Portavadie and ferry number three:

 The MV Loch Tarbert arrives at Portavadie for her last sailing of the evening across loch Fyne to Tarbert:

 The next morning, an early rise in the dark and a short drive bring us to the mouth of Loch Tarbert where the Islay ferry MV Hebridean Isles is passing outbound for Port Askaig:

 Next, the other Islay ferry, the new MV Finlaggan, approaches from Port Askaig:

 While I returned to my bed and breakfast for my porridge, Finlaggan unloaded and loaded again before heading back down Loch Tarbert for Islay:

Then Hebridean Isles returned mid-moring in glorious sunlight. I was looking forward to my trip on her:

Onboard Hebridean Isles:

 Off Port Askaig:

 Time for a wee snifter in the Port Askaig Bar:

Onboard Finlaggan for the return trip to Kennacraig:

 Caledonian MacBaryne curry for dinner - this was very tasty:

Early the next moring, Oban was reached, where the small cruise ship Hebridean Princess was berthed. This was formerly Caledonian MacBrayne's ferry Columba:

The MV Isle of Mull arrives from Craignure:

Home-made lamb stew for luncheon on the Isle of Mull - absolutely delicious:

On the way to Craignure:


The MV Eigg heads for Lismore:

MV Clansman inbound at Oban:

 An afternoon drive to Mallaig:

 Day three and an early morning crossing from Mallaig to Armadale on Skye onboard the MV Loch Nevis:

Skye's scenic splendour:

The ferry at Sconser, MV Loch Striven:

Dramatic Uig Bay:

MV Hebrides arrives at Uig:

In the evening, Ullapool is reached:

Early in the morning, the MV Isle of Lewis enters Loch Broom at the end of her crossing from Stornoway to Ullapool:

Isle of lewis at her Ullapool berth:

Some scenery on the way home:

The Cairngorms at Loch Morlich:

A friendly duck enquiring after food: