As replacements for the 2824TEU, chartered Cap vessels, Hamburg-Sud has transferred four of its own larger 3630TEU Bahia-class ships to its Trident service this year.
Over the coming weeks the container terminal will be visited by an interesting line-up of vessels entering the New Zealand trade. Of the eleven ships scheduled to call, only two have been seen here before.
Icebreakers are a type of vessel that we do not see here often. The last to call was the South Korean Araon, built in 2009. It had been at Lyttelton during the February 22 earthquake, and came to Dunedin from there three days later.
In regard to 12 ships named after Sydney that I referred to last week, there were also a further two that carried the name Union Sydney. Both were chartered roll on/roll off vessels employed in the transtasman trade and seen here over the period 1974-86.
Sydney has been a popular source for naming all kinds of vessels. I recall 12 visitors to this harbour in the last 65 years, having multiple names linking them to the port city. But by way of a change, a container ship on charter to Mediterranean Shipping, and named Sydney, is scheduled to call here next Friday.
After being absent from the port for four years, it was announced last week that CMA CGM vessels would be calling here again. A new Anzex service that will eventually be weekly and employ seven vessels operating from the hub port of Port Kelang will begin with the sailing of Anglia.
The arrival of the Chinese-built, German-owned Palembang at Dunedin this week, is bound to attract attention. This vessel, which comes direct from Xingang with wind turbine components, is also the first of its design to call here.
Yesterday, 40 years of containerisation was celebrated at Port Chalmers with the arrival of the Hamburg-Sud group's Bahia. Its Columbus New Zealand introduced this cargo-handling concept to the port, when it berthed on its maiden voyage on June 26, 1971.
Next Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of the arrival of Columbus New Zealand, the first container ship to visit Port Chalmers.
It is just over 27 years ago since the 2169gt, Wellington-registered Tarihiko made its first visit to Dunedin on June 2, 1984, to deliver the second shipment of cargo to the new lpg terminal. The first shipment arrived in the tanks of Coral Gas on February 12, 1984.
On its visit to Port Chalmers last week, the log ship Chitral became the first Pakistan-owned and registered vessel to enter this harbour.
Three chartered container ships calling here for the first time this week are Buxlink for Mediterranean Shipping, Maersk Norwich (Maersk) and Hansa Meersburg.
Commencing on Saturday and continuing until later this week, an interesting run of bulk/lumber carriers will have visited both the fertiliser and Beach St berths. Several of these vessels have been here before under different names.
Over the past few weeks there has been an influx of container ships calling here for the first time, namely Buxlink, Hansa Meersburg, Maersks Izmir and Norwich, Marianne Schulte, Rena and Sydney.
It is interesting to note that while 18 cruise ships that have called here since October 1994 have come from Italian shipyards, vessels flying the Italian flag are seldom seen here.
Since last Saturday week another four vessels, tanker Challenge Procyon and container ships E.R Malmo, Antonia Schulte and MSC Nora, have added their names to the list of vessels visiting the port for the first time.
Sea Princess, which started the cruise season off when it called for the first time 11 days ago, returned to Port Chalmers last Friday. The 77,449gt purpose-built cruise ship was completed at Monfalcone in November, 1998. It perpetuates the name of an earlier unit of the fleet that has been afloat for more than 46 years.
It all started on June 9, 1971, when Claus-Peter Offen bought the small 1932gt, 12-year-old, Norwegian-built Annie Hugo Stinnes at an auction at Hamburg's District Court.
Almost 50 years have passed since overseas cruise ships started calling here with the arrival of Seven Seas at Dunedin on December 23, 1961.
Since the second week of last month, the port has hosted visits by nine container ships calling for the first time, with five appearing over the last eight days. Latest to arrive, yesterday, was Hamburg-Sud's Bahia Castillo.