2017 Year in Review

2017 marked Canada’s 150th birthday, and the 9th year of HalifaxShippingNews.ca. For Canada’s 150th Celebration The port saw 2 notable events – the RDV2017 tall ships regatta featuring vessels in Halifax, Dartmouth, and on parade and a visit by the USS Dwight D Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group

We also launched the Port Report updated every 4 hours, it offers the latest arrival, departure and weather information for the Port of Halifax, summarized in one location.

2017 saw a few notable Incidents. Murphy’s on the water tour boat Harbour Queen 1 nearaly ended up on the rocks and needed a tow. awkwardly, later that week the TSB released a report into near miss between another tour boat and a cruise ship.

The former Montreal based self propelled bunker barge Arca 1 grounded off Sydney and the schooner Sorca was lost

Tropical shipping moved to Halifax from Saint John NB in January Though Halifax lost the Monthly Bahari stop to Saint John Later in the year, 2016 saw numerous Container line Acquisitions, which caused alliances to shuffle resulting in several new services running to Halifax including The Alliance’s AL1 Service  and AL 6 service. The final 3 ACL g4 vessels Atlantic Sea, Atlantic Sky and Atlantic Sun came into service. the last of the  g3’s, Atlantic Cartier retired in August.

Largest Ship to call in Canada  put into Vancouver this year – Halifax also set its own record with the largest ship to date, and the first 10000+ TEU vessel.

The Port saw Numerous Upgrades, Including new pilot boats,  Equipment upgrades at Halterm the retirement of 3 of the original cranes at Halterm, and the last original crane at Fairview Cove, and a new pier at the Naval dockyard to support the Arctic offshore Patrol Vessels.

At the Shipyard, the future HMCS Harry Dewolf  was rolled out and assembled with a public open house and tours of the facility – the third mega block was rolled out later in December.

Davie Shipyards also finished and Delivered the NRU Asterisk, which arrived in Halifax in December and Tied up at Pier 20. 4 bids were also finally received for the CSC in late November, though one was bid outside the rules.

In Other Navy news, HMCS Athabaskan, the last of the tribals was decommissioned, and is to be scraped there is an effort to have her preserved as a museum ship, though that is probably unlikely with out corporate support. (ahem Davie)

The retired Halifax Ferry Dartmouth III Headed to Toronto, where she will be used to serve the Toronto Island. Given Lake Ontario is fresh water, she should have a long life if she proves useful.

2017 also brought the beginning of the end of sable offshore gas field, with the rig Noble Regina Allen arriving to begin Capping wells. BP is currently seeking approval to drill 7 test wells, though shell seeming came up dry after drilling 2 last year.

2018 Will bring this blogs 10th Birthday in August. January Should see the arrival of USS Little rock, currently broken in Montreal on her maiden voyage from the shipyard to her home port. probably bigger container ships, and even more TEU then last year.



December catchup

December is always a busy month, and this past December lead to a lack of posting, though a number of notable things happened.

The bow section of the future HMCS Harry Dewolf was rolled out and attached, giving us the first view of what the completed ship will look like. The second vessel is also underway, and steel was cut for the third in Dartmouth.

In other New build navy news the NRU Asterisk arrived in Halifax and tied up at pier 20. I missed her arrival and the seaport was locked when I attempted to go get photos. The NRU prefix stands for Naval Replenishment Unit. She will operate with a civilian crew and military specialists, similar to the Royal Fleet Auxuilery (UK supply ships) or the American Military Sealift Command (USNS vessels)

PCTC Bess tied up at pier 27 to offload some heavy equipment. The general cargo vessel Floringracht offloaded some machinery, and then loaded what appeared to be rebar. with Container traffic up almost 20% over last year, which was also up significantly over the previous year, halterm is expanding its lay out area along marginal road, which will likely block photos like this in the future.

Selfoss put in 2 weeks ago fro Eimskip, and tied up at pier 42. This made for easy photography. On the 28th Aristomenis stopped at pier 42 for Happag Lloyd. The vessel was previously the Hanjin Netherlands, and was presumably sold or re-chartered after Hanjin’s bankruptcy. Hanjin logo is still visible on the funnel, under the Happag Lloyd orange paint, and her old name is still welded to the hull but painted over. The ship was built in 2011


Addtional Announced CSC Bids

Bids for the CSC were due today, and 2 additional bids have been publicly announced. the French/Italian consortium has proposed their FREMM Design, used by France, Italy, morocco and Egypt, and under consideration by Australia. in an interesting twist, the consortium maintains the 15 ships can be built by Irving at the original 30 billion project estimate.

A bid was also received from Alion Canada, offering the Dutch  Provincien Command frigate. this ship went into service with the dutch navy in the early 2000’s so is only somewhat newer then the current Halifax class. I have no record of this ship class visiting Halifax.


A 4th bid has been announced coming from Spanish firm Navanta. The F-105 is a variation of the Spanish Álvaro de Bazán-class frigates and is the basis for the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen class (Pictured above), and the under construction Australian Hobart Class.  The ships use the American Ageis system.


Container Service to Portland Maine

Icelandic carrier Eimskip has announced a short sea feeder shipping service between the Port of Halifax and Portland, Maine. This new service feature will begin today with the arrival of the Selfoss at Halterm.  To deliver a weekly service, Eimskip is adding a third vessel to its Green Line rotation.


Eimskip did this once before in 2015, and of course AFL New England ran a short lived service.


Olympic With Returned Soldiers

During the first world war, The main deep water facilities were located at pier 2, now Jetty NB at the Dockyard, next to the Casino. (there was a land swap with the DND in the 60’s transferring the piers to Navy.) I found the Photo Above in the Cities archives, and it Matches Pretty closely to Arthur Lismer’s Painting.

During the War, she was pressed into Military service by the British admiralty in may 1915, and striped of civilian fittings, and armed as a Troop ship. She was eventually chartered by the Canadian Government for transatlantic troop movements, working in that service in 1916/1917 and receiving a Dazzle paint scheme in 1917.