Thames Ship Society

(T.S.S.)

 
 

          2017 Programme               (Updated 2nd Feb 2017) 

The programme of tours and trips for 2017 is shown below.

Saturday 28th January 2017 - Winter Social at Dover.

Around 38 members met at the Dover Marina Hotel on the last Saturday of January for our regular Winter Social get together.

There were no travel problems reported except for the usual traffic in Dover town centre and even weather was kind with good visibility across the channel giving excellent views of passing shipping and the ferry movements in an out of port. The rain managed to hold off until Sunday afternoon.

The day took on its usual format with pre-lunch drinks, teas and/or coffees, before sitting down in the Chartwell Suite for the lunch, which was up to its normal very high standard.

Following lunch, the tables were cleared back and the chairs re-arranged to enable everyone to enjoy the slide show, which was given by WSS Southampton branch member, Mick Lindsay.

The slides covered several decades and many areas of the world, including the St Lawrence, New York and places closer to home. Mick showed a good selection of vintage cruise ships, cargo liners and tankers, among others. Giving a different perspective on ship photo collections, most of the slides were purchased on e-bay or at car boot sales proving that with a little research you can pick up gems, such as the ‘Andrea Doria’ entering New York on her maiden voyage in 1954.

For those staying over on Saturday night, the reefer ‘Luzon Strait’ was seen entering Dover Harbour at breakfast time on Sunday and the morning dawned clear and sunny for those using AIS in their bedrooms and elsewhere to note the passing traffic.

Once again, our thanks go to Roger Hammond for organising the day, Mick for the slide show and to the staff of the Dover Marina Hotel who looked after us very well once again.

Due to its popularity, the committee has provisionally booked the venue again for Saturday 27th, January, 2018 at which, we will hopefully show photographs taken from our forthcoming trip to the Panama Canal. Members will be informed as soon as the details have been ironed out via a circular due to be issued later this year.

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Ferry COTES DES DUNES at Dover.

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Our members enjoying lunch at the Winter Social...

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Photos by Ian Cochran and Paul Mason.

Report by Ian Cochran.

2nd to 12th March 2017 - A visit to the Panama Canal

We are running a 10-day trip to the Panama Canal staying at a canal side hotel with the possibility of hiring boats to visit the anchorages and ports, plus coaches to the various viewing points along the Canal's bank and locks.

The new large locks are now open at each end of the canal, virtually doubling the size of ships that can be accommodated. The new locks have greatly enhanced the Canal's transit capacity by handling large containerships, bulk carriers, tankers and gas carriers.

Although our emphasis will be on viewing the shipping, there will also be time to explore the tropical forests and other features of Panama, which is rich in animal and bird life, as well as the flora and fauna associated with a tropical rain forest.

The plan is to fly from the UK to Panama City via Amsterdam (Schiphol) with KLM on a Thursday and return 10 days later on a Sunday

Our hotel selected is the Country Inn & Suites Hotel - Panama Canal situated alongside the canal near Balboa (Pacific end) giving superb opportunities for ship photography on this international waterway from the hotel grounds. As well as viewing shipping on the Canal there are also possibilities for trips along the canal by boat, trips to the viewing areas at the locks and the ports at either ends of the canal. See this website for details of Canal Trips.

Trip fully booked.

Saturday 1st April 2017 - AGM and Southampton Cruise.

The Annual General Meeing of the TSS will take place on the Blue Funnel vessel Ocean Scene at Ocean Village, Southampton. The day will commence with a three course meal served on the vessel.

Folowing the meal the AGM will commence, reports will be given by members of the committee followed by an opportunity for members to ask questions or provide their views to the committee.

Upon completion of the AGM, the cruise of Southampton Docks and Southampton Water as far as Fawley Oil Terminal will take place. The cruise will cover Southampton Docks which are served by some of the largest containerships afloat. Other regular visitors include cruise ships, bulk carriers, reefers, vehicle carriers and coasters. Fawley and Hamble should provide excellent opportunities to photograph all types of tankers.

Date confirmed - bookings currently being taken.

Photos from the 2016 AGM & Southampton Cruise.

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OOCL SOUTHAMPTON departing from the Western Docks.

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The large bulk carrier PESSADA in the Western Docks.

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CMA CGM SAMSON inbound for Southampton.

Photos by Chris Brooks.

Photos from the 2016 Thames & Medway Cruise (1).

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MAERSK LAVRAS at London Gateway container terminal.

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POLA PACIFIC in Southend Anchorage.

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BBC NORDLAND outward bound in the Thames Estuary.

Photos by Chris Brooks.

Saturday 13th May 2017 - Thames and Medway Cruise (1)

The first in our popular series of Thames & Medway cruises for 2017 on the MV Princess Pochahontas starting from Gravesend. Demand for places on these cruises is usually very high so the advice is, as ever, to book without delay to avoid disappointment.

As on previous cruises, the exact sequence and extent of the cruise will be subject to the tides, shipping and other circumstances on the day. However, the usual pattern has been to first proceed down river past the new London Gateway container terminal, the tanker berths at London Gateway Coryton and Canvey Island, into the estuary for Southend Anchorage and then into the Medway as far as Sheerness Docks, the LNG discharge terminals at the Isle of Grain, plus the Thamesport Container Terminal. On the return trip, the cruise continues upriver beyond Gravesend past the Tilbury Container and Grain terminals to the Queen Elizabeth II road bridge and the Dartford and Purfleet terminals. The cruise will end at Gravesend by about 18.00.

The cruise should provide excellent photographic opportunities with the prospect of seeing almost any type of vessel. Sightings on past cruises in this series have included tankers, containerships, general cargo ships, bulk carriers, car carriers, reefers and coasters, as well as the local tug fleets and the regular Cobelfret and P&O ro-ro vessels. The London Gateway container terminal is now fully operational and handles some of the largest containerships afloat.

Date confirmed - fully booked with waiting list.

Saturday 10th June 2017 - Solent Cruise (1)

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

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

Date confirmed - bookings currently being taken.

Photos from the 2016 Solent Cruise (1).

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HMS RICHMOND at Portsmouth.

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EMERALD PRINCESS was the first crusie ship to leave Southampton...

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...she was followed by the INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS.

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

Photos by Chris Brooks

Photos from the 2016 Diane Cruise.

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Heavy load carrier TRUSTEE moored in Maasvlakte 2.

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Bulk carrier JOHN WULFF discharging at Europoort.

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SEVEN CRUZEIRO fitting out at the Damen shipyard.

Photos by Chris Brooks.

Sunday 18th June 2017 - Rotterdam and Europoort Cruise on Partyschip Diane.

Our annual cruise around Rotterdam and Europoort on the Partyschip Diane. The cruise will last for 10 hours and will cover the old Rotterdam docks as well as the Europoort port complex and the new Maasvlatke 2 berths. A hot buffet lunch will be included.

During the cruise participants will be able to view numerous vessels from the largest containerships, ore carriers and tankers, to the many coasters and tugs serving the port.

Members will make their own travel arrangements to Rotterdam. Options are by ferry to the Hook of Holland from Harwich or to Europoort from Hull, by air to Rotterdam or Schiphol airports or by Eurostar and train. Most participants make a long weekend of it and stay in the local area or venture further afield in Holland.

Date confirmed - bookings currently being taken.

Thursday 6th July 2017 - Thames and Medway Cruise (2)

The second in our popular series of Thames & Medway cruises for 2017 on the MV Princess Pochahontas starting from Gravesend. Demand for places on these cruises is usually very high so the advice is, as ever, to book without delay to avoid disappointment.

As on previous cruises, the exact sequence and extent of the cruise will be subject to the tides, shipping and other circumstances on the day. However, the usual pattern has been to first proceed down river past the new London Gateway container terminal, the tanker berths at London Gateway Coryton and Canvey Island, into the estuary for Southend Anchorage and then into the Medway as far as Sheerness Docks, the LNG discharge terminals at the Isle of Grain, plus the Thamesport Container Terminal. On the return trip, the cruise continues upriver beyond Gravesend past the Tilbury Container and Grain terminals to the Queen Elizabeth II road bridge and the Dartford and Purfleet terminals. The cruise will end at Gravesend by about 18.00.

The cruise should provide excellent photographic opportunities with the prospect of seeing almost any type of vessel. Sightings on past cruises in this series have included tankers, containerships, general cargo ships, bulk carriers, car carriers, reefers and coasters, as well as the local tug fleets and the regular Cobelfret and P&O ro-ro vessels. The London Gateway container terminal is now fully operational and handles some of the largest containerships afloat.

Date confirmed

Photos from the 2016 Thames & Medway Cruise (2).

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HENRIETTE bound for Tilbury Dock.

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CMA CGM PLATON inbound off Southend.

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Cobelfret's ADELINE outbound off Southend.

Photos by Roger Hammond.

Photos from the 2016 Solent Cruise (2).

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Type 45 destroyer HMS DRAGON at Portsmouth.

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FSL SINGAPORE at the BP Jetty at Hamble.

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EMERALD PRINCESS departing Southampton for Stavanger.

Photos by Chris Brooks.

Saturday 5th August 2017 - Solent Cruise (2)

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

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

Date confirmed

Saturday 2nd September 2017 - Thames and Medway Cruise (3)

The third in our popular series of Thames & Medway cruises for 2017 on the MV Princess Pochahontas starting from Gravesend. Demand for places on these cruises is usually very high so the advice is, as ever, to book without delay to avoid disappointment.

As on previous cruises, the exact sequence and extent of the cruise will be subject to the tides, shipping and other circumstances on the day. However, the usual pattern has been to first proceed down river past the new London Gateway container terminal, the tanker berths at London Gateway Coryton and Canvey Island, into the estuary for Southend Anchorage and then into the Medway as far as Sheerness Docks, the LNG discharge terminals at the Isle of Grain, plus the Thamesport Container Terminal. On the return trip, the cruise continues upriver beyond Gravesend past the Tilbury Container and Grain terminals to the Queen Elizabeth II road bridge and the Dartford and Purfleet terminals. The cruise will end at Gravesend by about 18.00.

The cruise should provide excellent photographic opportunities with the prospect of seeing almost any type of vessel. Sightings on past cruises in this series have included tankers, containerships, general cargo ships, bulk carriers, car carriers, reefers and coasters, as well as the local tug fleets and the regular Cobelfret and P&O ro-ro vessels. The London Gateway container terminal is now fully operational and handles some of the largest containerships afloat.

Date confirmed

Photos from the 2016 Thames & Medway Cruise (3).

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PALATINE inbound for Purfleet from Leixoes.

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SEAMARLIN inbound for the Vopak Terminal.

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Bulk carrier LINTAN in Southend Anchorage.

Photos by Chris Brooks.

September 2017 - Long weekend to Terneuzen and Antwerp.

We are planning a long weekend trip to Terneuzen and Antwerp, travelling by private coach. More information about this trip including dates will be announced once details have been finalised.

 

 

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