Tag Archives: ferries

Bremerton, Washington


The largest city on the Kitsap Peninsula is “Bremerton”, Washington. It has a population of approximately 41,000 residents (2018 Census). It is the current home to the Bemerton Annex of Naval Bases Kitsap and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. It has a straight connection to downtown Seattle via two ferries carrying vehicles and walk-on passengers back and forth for a 60 minute ride, and a 28 minute fast ferry for passengers and limited bicycles being located right across the Sound from each city landing in the heart of downtown Bremerton. The City’s historic center is being revitalized with fancy new buildings replacing the older foundations. Tourism has the Harborside Fountain Park, a boardwalk, a restored 1942 art deco Admiral Theater, breweries, coffee shops, art galleries, restaurants, and multiple naval history Museums attracting visitors from all over. Nestled within Bremerton is the historic town known as Charleston that was built to house and entertain sailors which was annexed in 1927.

In the 1890’s the area now called “Bremerton” was within the historical territory of the Suquamish Tribe, where the land was made available for non-Native settlements by the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. It was designed and planned by the German immigrant Seattle entrepreneur William Bremer in 1891. That same year the Navy Lieutenant Ambrose Barkley Wyckoff bought 190 acres of waterfront land on the Sinclair Inlet which was originally owned by the Bremer family. Disputes over the land occures and three years earlier the U.S. Navy commission determined that Point Turner between the protected waters of the Sinclair and Dyes inlets would be the best site in the Pacific Northwest to create a massive shipyard. Bremer and his brother-in-law Henry Hensel purchased the undeveloped land near Point Turner at the inflated price of $200/acre and in 1891 arranged the sale of 190 acres to the Navy at $50/acre knowing the occupation would bring in jobs, money, and prosperity. In 1900 Bremerton became known as the “Navy Yard of Puget Sound” which spread to the Orient. 1901 saw Bremerton becoming incorporated by the State of Washington with Alvyn Croxton in 1901 becoming the first mayor. Unfortunately the Navy Secretary Charles Darling moved all repair and maintenance work on the ships to the Mare Island Navy Yard in California in 1902 because Bremerton became rife with prostitution, robberies, opium dens, and crime, throwing Bremerton into financial difficulties. By 1904 the city revoked all liquor licenses encouraging Darling to re-establish the Navy Yard as a port of call. The saloons came back two years later. There are two ships dry-docked known as the “Iowa coming up the Sound” and the “Torpedoboat Rowan”. During World War I numerous submarines were constructed at the Navy Yard and a third drydock added 4,000 more employees. In 1918 the city of Manette, east of Bremerton was annexed, then Charleston was absorbed into Bremerton, and growth expanded in the city. In 1942 the Admiral Theater was opened as a cinema then a playhouse / banquet hall by the 1990s. 80,000 more residents moved into the area for World War II production of ships for the Pacific War effort. By the 1950’s and 60’s more stability grew in the area and permanent settling occurred of many Government families, establishing more schools, bridges, and infra-structure. The USS Missouri was assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet in 1955 and stationed here, bringing in tourism and attractions – so that hundreds of thousands of tourists annually could walk the “surrender deck” where the Japanese surrender treaty was signed at the end of WWII. The ship was re-commissioned in 1985 and decommissioned in 1992. The new Trident submarine fleet and the Bangor Ammunition Depot 12 miles northwest moved closer to Silverdale and farther from Bremerton in the 70s. By 1978 most of the downtown area was seen as a blighted area falling into disrepair. The 80s saw unfettered growth with commerce, department stores, retail businesses, and other properties on the increase. By 2010 many buildings became vacant. The decommissioned USS Missouri was voted to stay in Bremerton as a museum ship and tourist attraction, then moved to the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii by 1998. 1992 saw building of the Waterfront Boardwalk and Marina with a downtown revitalization project, the destroyer USS Turnery Joy became part of public tours bringing replaced tourism. In 2000 the waterfront multi-model bus/ferry terminal was constructed and in 2004 a hotel and conference center complex was built. The Norm Dicks Government Center was also built with housing, government offices, and a City Hall. 2007 came a newly expanded Marina, boardwalk extensions from USS Turner Joy to Evergreen Park. The same year the 2.5 acre Harborside Fountain Park was opened, more condos and buildings, a five large copper-ringed fountains, wading pools, and park.

The climate hosts a Mediterranean climate with warm dry summers with wet semi-mild winters, average rainfall at 51.74 inches and snowfall ranging from 0 to 46 inches a year.


Dún Laoghaire, Ireland

Dún Laoghaire
* Ireland *

A suburban sea-side town in Country Dublin that is properly known as Dublin’s Port for it is a central gateway for ferries travelling to Dublin especially since it is only 12 kilometers south of the city centre. Historically it was a major port of entry from Great Britain and therefore from 1821-1921 was called “Kingstown”. The town was named after the 5th century High King of Ireland Lóegaire mac Néill combined with the Irish word for “fort” (Dún) after the fortifications that lined up this coast in the past. The current town dates from 1820 atop an earlier village located around where the Purty Kitchen pub is currently located originally boasting of a coffee shop, a salt mine, and a small cove atop a craggy, rocky pasture overlooking the sea. After the 1807 tragedy of the catastrophic loss of troopships, Prince of Wales, and the Rochdale being driven upon the rocks between here and Blackrock estimating a loss of over 400 lives – a re-vitalization of the area was set into effect making it a new harbour with safer constructs put into place creating the West Pier when it took on the name of Kingstown until Ireland became a free state. By 1844 a “Atmospheric Train” was constructed to connect Kingstown to the Dalkey. A railway later replaced the train connecting Dublin and transforming the area to a seaside resort. After the British 59th Division marched up the road to Dublin to crush the Easter Rising, road changes took place connecting the village to its surrounding area. During World War II, stray German bombs struck the area. Its a popular little village and seaside shopping center frequented by many from Dublin. It is also the main ferry transportation hub from the UK to Dublin directly. Dún Laoghaire was its own borough and was the only town in Ireland to have its own Vocational Educational Committee even though its part of the Greater Dublin region.

Its East Pier is aligned along one of Ireland’s largest harbours and is where the ferry route to the UK is based. The piers are made of granite and is a popular location for people to visit, walk, and contemplate the universe. This was also the setting for the movie “Michael Collins” (1996). This harbour took over 42 years to build. The obelisk at the old ferry port terminal is the monument commemorating this feat.


The Sirena: Ferry Service from Harwich to Esbjerg

MS Dana Sirena
* directferries.co.uk * http://www.directferries.co.uk/dfds_seaways_dana_sirena.htm * http://www.directferries.co.uk/harwich_esbjerg_ferry.htm *

The Dana Sirena, named just like a ship out of folklore, appropriate since my first journey on her was embarking on a voyage from Jorvik to Norway for my first Viking festival. This brilliant RoPax ferry carries over 620 passengers and 435 cars. It is also a freight ferry. Its a pretty comfortable ferry, with all passengers having their own onboard cabins and/or reserved seating. Facilities such as free wifi, restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, and a children’s area are located within. The beds were comfortable, showers were nice, rooms came with bedding, towels, and wardrobe space. As I was on a budget, I packed my own food for the journey, so can’t comment on the restaurant or bar services. I’ve been told there is sufficient variety offered. I didn’t partake of the shopping, and was able to catch some of the entertainment. The entertainment was mediocre, but some of the passengers seemed pleased. Apparently there was a featured “films on demand” service, of which I cannot comment on since I didn’t use it. The ship sails from Harwich, England to Esbjerg, Denmark, and back. The Sirena is built of iron and steel in 2001 originally named the “MS Golfo Dei Delfini” owned by Lloyd Sardegna, acquired by the DFDS Tor Line then DFDS Seaways, then renamed the “Dana Sirena” after 2003. In 2001-2002 its port of registry was Olbia, Sardinia; then in 2002 registered in Esbjerg, Denmark. It was built by Stocznia Szczecinska in 2001. It is 22,382 GT tonnage, with a 654.2 ft length and a 78″3 height. It travels at 23 knots. I quite enjoyed the ferry trip, much better than most ferries I’ve been on. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

The Sirena Ferry, Harwich to Esbjerg

Continue reading The Sirena: Ferry Service from Harwich to Esbjerg


Color line Ferry – Denmark to Norway

Colorline Ferry: Service from Denmark to Norway

One of the fastest methods, albeit an extremely expensive one, to get your car from Denmark to Norway is the “Color Line” ferry. As I was travelling from England to Norway with a friend via Denmark, this is the ferry we took. It is also the largest cruise ferry line operating on routes to and from Norway. The service offers transportation for cargo, vehicles, and passengers as well as a wide range of services while on board including restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and lodging. The ferry’s headquarters are in Oslo, with satellite offices in Stavanger, Kristiansand, Sandefjord, Bergen, Larvik, Kiel, Hirtshals, and Strömstad. I found the ferry however sub-par in comfort, lack of amenities as compared to other ferries I’ve travelled around the world especially in comparison to the expense they charge. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.


Holyhead, Wales

The largest town in Anglesey of North Wales is Holyhead (i/?h?l?h?d/ hol-i-hed; Welsh: Caergybi [k???r???bi]) which means The Town of Cybi. With a population of just over 11,000, this city is most famous for being the major port adjacent to the Irish sea where many ferries come in from Ireland. It was once a Holy Island settlement and is located on “Holy Island”. The surrounding area has a population just over 16,000. The settlement was originally connected to Anglesey by the “Four Mile Bridge” which extended as the name implies, four miles. This was later adapted to become a much larger causeway by Lord Stanley to be known as “The Cob” carrying the A5 as well as the rail way line which runs parallel to the A55 dual carriageway. One of the popular tourist spots in Holyhead is St. Cybi’s Church, Caer Gybi fort, and the roman remains. The town centre is built around the church which is within one of Europe’s few three-walled Roman forts in existence, bordering the sea. Holyhead Mountain, inside Mynydd y Twr, is a prehistoric hillfort that boasts a Roman watchtower. The mountain is covered with remains of circular huts, burial chambers, and standing stones. Europe’s largest ferry company, Stena Line, operates from this port as does Irish Ferries with services to Ireland and Northern Ireland. The region is blessed with a maritime climate of cool summers and mild winters, however plagued by high winds.


Brisbane River CityCat

Brisbane River CityCat

Brisbane River, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

One of Brisbane’s most popular form of public transportation and sightseeing is the Brisbane River CityCat and CityFerry Services. This ferry is very fast, efficient, and inexpensive way to get from point A to point B during one’s explorations of Brisbane and its famous river, parks, recreational boardwalks, playgrounds, picnic sites, trails, restaurants, cafes, markets, pontoons, and fishing facilities. The city now boasts with its 19 CityCats and 9 CityFerries (2012 statistics). The service saw disruptions and damages during the January 2011 flood, but by January 2012 has all of its 24 terminals operating again seven days a week from 5:50 am until 10:30 pm. The October 2011 arrival of the newest CityCat, the “Spirit of Brisbane” was dedicated to Brisbane’s community spirit from the most recent floods. All of the CityCats are equipt with Wifi allowing access to UQConnect and EduRoam as well as the Translink timetable and City Council’s websites. Tickets can be purchased via bus and ferry operators, staffed rail stations, Customer Service Centers, and local newsagencies and convenience stores. Timetables can be found on the TransLink website at http://www.translink.com.au/

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