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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
RAIL&SAIL: Port of Larne where the ferry terminal is integrated with the railway station that serves passengers on the service connecting Belfast. The funnel is of P&O Ferries ropax European Causeway named after the famous Antrim coast landmark the Giant’s Causeway. Also visible are the twin chimney stacks of the older electricity power station at Ballylumford located on far side of the ferryport.
Ferry
#RailSail – The Port of Larne has the only integrated railway and ferry terminal on the island of Ireland, unlike Irish Rail's operated Rosslare Europort, writes Jehan Ashmore. In more recent times the Rosslare Harbour railway platform was relocated away…
The new £6.2m Strangford Lough carferry, Strangford II on its first official journey to Portaferry. The 28 vehicle newbuild replaces reserve ferry Strangford, an ageing Cork (Rusbrooke) built ferry.
Ferry
#Old&New – Fresh from annual dry-docking is Isle of Inishmore of Irish Ferries, that recently resumed Rosslare-Pembroke duties, writes Jehan Ashmore. The 34,000 gross tonnage cruiseferry had undergone routine maintenance work at A&P Falmouth, Cornwall. This year marks 20 years…
UNIQUE PORT: Irish Rail operates Rosslare Europort from where is seen Welsh routes rivals ferries: Isle of Inishmore of Irish Ferries and berthed nearby Stena Europe at the outer pier. Both companies also have continental connections to France.
Ferry
#Rail&Sail – Rosslare Europort is a unique Irish port as the Co. Wexford harbour is operated by state-owned Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) which today celebrates its 30th anniversary, writes Jehan Ashmore. Irish Rail was established on 2 February 1987 and…
Minister of Transport, Shane Ross at the Doolin Ferry Co. stand at the Holiday World Show, Dublin. The Clare based company is to introduce a 200-passenger ferry and operate the fastest ever crossing time on an Aran Islands route from April.
Island News
#FastestCrossing – A newly acquired passenger-only ferry is to offer the fastest ever crossing time to the Aran Islands, when Doolin Ferry introduce a highspeed craft just one month after the seasonal service resumes, writes Jehan Ashmore. Speaking to Afloat…
Trucks using the Port of Dover's internal roads network which handled record freight volumes in 2016, showing the continuing importance of efficient UK-European trade flows: The port handles up to £119bn of trade or 17% of the UK’s trade in goods.
Ferry
#DoverRecord – Record freight for Belfast Harbour user Stena Line on routes to Scotland and England for the year 2016 has also been achieved by other ferry operators based in the Port of Dover, writes Jehan Ashmore. Dover, Europe’s busiest…
Record freight volumes for Stena Line's Belfast Harbour routes to Scotland (Cairnryan) and England (Heysham and Liverpool). Above: Stena Superfast VIII berthed at Belfast having sailed from Scotland.
Ferry
#RecordFreight - It has been a record year for Stena Line freight traffic volumes on the operator's Belfast Harbour routes in 2016. For the first time in its history, the ferry company has carried over 500,000 freight units through the…
Irish Ferries has won in the ITAA's Best Ferry Company award. Their flagship Ulysses is seen berthed at Dublin Port's Terminal 1 while an inbound cruiseship Delphin arrives.
Ferry
#TravelAwards – At the Irish Travel Industry Awards held recently in Dublin, the winners in the Ferry and Cruise categories were presented in the historic surroundings of the Mansion House. The annual awards are an initiative of the Irish Travel…
Stena Europe recently returned to Rosslare-Fishguard duties is the operators first ferry on the Irish Sea to receive the new corporate strapline during a refit at H&W, Belfast
Ferry
#ShipStrapline - Stena Europe may be the oldest ferry in the operator’s Irish Sea fleet of seven ships, but the 1981 built vessel has emerged fresh from dry-docking as the first to sport a new livery strapline, writes Jehan Ashmore.…
In 1964, the Secretary of State for Scotland ordered a trio of nuclear ships to be built for senior UK Government officials and members of the Royal Family. Among the ships was Columba (currently cruiseship Hebridean Princess seen above in Dublin). They were chartered to Macbrayne Ltd where they operated as ordinary car ferries but they had extraordinary features making it possible for them to act as 'floating nuclear bunkers'.
News Update
#FerryNuclear - In the event of a nuclear war between the West and Soviet Union, The Herald writes senior British Government officials would have survived on ships specially built by Caledonian MacBrayne as 'floating nuclear bunkers'. Afloat adds that among…
P&O Ferries European Causeway off the Scottish coast heading for Cairnryan
Ferry
#FreightVolumes - Operator P&O Ferries has announced that it handled the highest volume of freight in five years on its Larne-Cairnryan service in 2016. The ferry and logistics company's route on the North Channel linking Northern Ireland and Scotland handled…
Departing Arklow the newbuild Spirit of Rathlin, a 6 vehicle /140 passenger capacity ferry is to enter Rathlin Island ferry service once a new £1m harbour works project is completed to accommodate the new 28m vessel.
Ferry
#FerryCompleted - Spirit of Rathlin the new £2.8m car and passenger ferry is to be operated under a new ten year contract awarded to Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd, writes Jehan Ashmore. The newbuild built by Arklow Marine Services undertook sea…
For almost two decades the high-speed craft HSC Jonathan Swift (underway in Dublin Bay) has loyaly served the Dublin-Holyhead since 1999. The fastferry annually clocks up an impressive 162,000kms.
Ferry
#Overhauls- Ulysses flagship of Irish Ferries departed today fresh from annual overhaul having dry-docked at Cammel Laird, Birkenhead on Merseyside, writes Jehan Ashmore. From Birkenhead the 50,000 gross tonnage Ulysses the 1,875 passenger/ 1,342 car capacity giant proceeded in the…
Hurtigruten's 'Milleninnium' class Norwegian coastal voyages cruiseship Trollfjord that can also take cars. The 2002 built vessel made a promotional call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour early in her career.
News Update
#Awards&Shows – The Irish Travel Industry Awards ceremony is to take place in Dublin on 26 January in the historic surroundings of the Round Room of the Mansion House. The annual awards are an initiative of the Irish Travel Agents…
Camac, a Dublin Port pilot cutter launch with a containership underway in Dublin Bay
Ports & Shipping
#ShippingReview - Jehan Ashmore reviews the shipping scene from among the following stories of recent weeks. ‘Safe and sustainable’ marine transport and ‘delivery of emergency management services’ have been made a high level goal in the Department of Transport’s Statement…
File Photo: Stena Horizon which this afternoon docked in Rosslare. In the shadow of the ferry is alongside the 'bunker' tanker Mersey Spirit (see today's report). Also seen is the arrival of timber trader cargoship Ayress. The Irish Rail operated port has waived fees for cruiseships visiting from this year's season and up to 2019.
Ports & Shipping
#Dredging - In recent weeks at Rosslare Europort a dredging programme was conducted within the harbour to remove spoil offshore, writes Jehan Ashmore. Dredging operations were carried out by Sospan Dau and assistance from tug Trojan. The resultant spoil was…
Over the years Afloat has featured the hard-working 'bunker' (fuel) tanker Mersey Spirit which is a regular caller to Irish east coast ports where all types of vessels are served. Among them Holland America Line (HAL) cruiseship Rotterdam seen last summer on a visit to Dublin Port's Alexandra Basin. This part of the port is where the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment ABR project is to take place to accommodate some of the world's largest cruiseships as well as increasing sized general cargoships.
Ports & Shipping
#BusyBunkering – Short-sea coastal ‘bunker’ tanker, Mersey Spirit now in its 21st year, has in recent days kept busy serving several ships and has almost completed a full-circle itinerary by returning to her homeport of Liverpool today, writes Jehan Ashmore.…

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