Displaying items by tag: Brittany Ferries
The Cap Finistere has a 790 passenger / 500 vehicle capacity and the vessel will operate two round trips weekly with each crossing taking 24 hours. Interestingly an additional en-route call to Roscoff is scheduled on Sunday sailings bound for Bilbao which will take 33-hours. This is to facilitate a crew change, as the Cap Finistere does not operate on any of the company routes from France.
In 2009 the P&O service carried 180,000 passengers and 193,000 in 2008 but closed due to "unsustainable losses". There were 800 redundancies but some 150 staff jobs were secured through transfer. Click here for a previous posting. The company were in direct competition with Brittany Ferries existing two routes between Plymouth and Poole to Santander.
The Bilbao route brings the Brittany Ferries operations to five sailings weekly between the UK to Spain, two from Portsmouth to Santander and a single round-trip to Plymouth.
The Pride of Bilbao was sold late last year by ICG to the Baltic Sea based St. Peter Line at a profit of €9.4m. The vessel underwent refurbishment and was renamed Princess Anastasia and next month starts a new St. Petersburg-Stockholm service, with Russian bound sailings calling en route to
the Estonian capital of Tallinn. Click here for more details.
Pride of Bilbao's return to the Baltic is nearly full-circle as the 2,553 passenger / 600 vehicles vessel, built in 1986 as Olympia for Viking Line's also operated out of Stockholm to Helsinki, and at the time was one of the largest overnight passenger capacity ferries in the world.
In addition to services running out of Rosslare operated by Celtic Link Ferries and Irish Ferries and the alternative option of landbridge connections to Europe via the UK.
In the meantime, the Port of Cork will continue to be in dialogue with potential operators and investor's, however in the current climate it is proving more challenging to establish the service. Yet both the port authorities in Cork and Gijon remain committed in establishing the first direct Irish-Iberia passenger ferry route, with an update on the Spanish service due in early June.
Since 2008 the port authorities of Cork and Gijón, through the Promotion of Short Sea Shipping and Co-Operation with Small Medium Enterprise's (Proppose) an EU Inter-Reg project, have conducted feasibility studies into the service.
Interest in the service to date, has shown interest from Brittany Ferries, P&O Ferries and Transfennica, a Scandinavian based operator. It was envisaged that a ro-pax type of vessel would operate the 24-hour route to Gijón in Asturias, the region which forms part of Spain's northern 'Green' coast.
The route across the Bay of Biscay would be an attraction to freight hauliers, saving mileage and reduced fuel costs in addition avoiding a weekend ban to trucks travelling through France.
Last summer the ro-pax Norman Bridge started a new route between Nantes / St. Nazaire (Montoir-de-Bretagne) and Gijón, operated by GLD Atlantique. This route received support through the EU 'Motorways of the Seas' (MOS) programme to divert vehicle traffic from congested road-infrastructure and transferred to designated shipping routes, using larger and faster ro-pax vessels.
The route's opening was marked with a declaration signed by Dominique Bussereau, the French Minister of State responsible for Transport and his Spanish counterpart Magdalena Alvarez of the first of two Franco-Spanish MOS concept routes, starting with the 14-hour GLD Atlantique service.
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While all sectors at the Port of Cork experienced a challenging period during 2010, the end of year total trade traffic shows an increase. Total trade in 2010 through the Port of Cork amounted to 8.8 million tonnes, an increase of 8.6% compared to 2009.
One area of increase which has a very positive effect on the local economy is the increase in exports from the Port. Total exports at the Port of Cork have remained strong increasing by 10% to date, in comparison to 2009. Exports are a key driver in the successful recovery of the Irish Economy and the Port of Cork is committed to continuous support in the growth of international trade for both current and future economic prospects.
The container business at the Port of Cork has remained constant with over 150,000 TEU handled in 2010. Animal feed stuffs, fertiliser and other trades have shown a significant increase in 2010. Oil traffic has shown a slight increase of 3.5% as a consequence of lower levels of economic activity; however it continues to be a significant part of the Port of Cork business.
Commenting on the end of year trade traffic results, Mr Dermot O'Mahoney Chairman of the Port of Cork said: "The Port of Cork is pleased to announce that total trade traffic in 2010 has shown an 8.6 % increase on 2009 traffic. With 98% of all goods imported or exported from Ireland moved by ship, the importance of ports to our economy is vital. The Port of Cork is a key link to the continued economic success of the entire Munster region and the challenges now for the Port of Cork, is to continue to develop. This requires that we be visionary and seize opportunities presented by emerging trends and logistic supply changes."
He continued: "While the next four to five years will be challenging for us all, we need to continue to promote the fact that Ireland is an excellent investment location and is well placed to capitalise on growing global markets."
52 cruise liners visited the Port of Cork during 2010 bringing over 100,000 passengers and crew to the region. According to research carried out by UK consultants GP Wild, the average in-transit spend per passenger, while visiting an Irish port is €73. This is a significant contribution towards the local tourism economy.
Ferry passenger numbers though the port also increased mainly due to the welcomed re-commencement of the ferry service linking Cork with Swansea. The weekly ferry service from Cork to Roscoff with Brittany Ferries also had a successful year.
In 2010, the Port of Cork developed a recreational strategy to improve the marine leisure facilities around Cork Harbour. The first project carried out was the construction of a 100m marina on South Custom House Quay. This long term investment for the city of Cork has already proven to be very popular among local boats and visiting boats. The Port of Cork expects 2011 to be even busier.
For the last 17 years the Pride of Bilbao has operated between Portsmouth and Bilbao under charter to P&O. Built in 1986, she was launched as Olympia for Viking Line between Stockholm and Helsinki, then the Baltic Sea ferry was one of the largest overnight passenger capacity ferries in the world. At 177 metres long the vessel can accommodate 2552-passengers, 600-vehicles and space for 77-trucks. She has a sister, the Mariella, which currently operates on Viking Line's Stockholm-Mariehamn–Helsinki service.
In 1993 the vessel was renamed Pride of Bilbao and launched a new service on the Bay of Biscay, under charter from her Scandinavian owners. The following year ICG purchased the Pride of Bilbao from Viking Line and she was re-registered to the Bahamas. The vessel was subsequently entered into a British bare-boat charter arrangement between P&O Ferries and ICG. Due to unsustainable losses the route closed on 28 September this year but rivals Brittany Ferries soon shortly announced they would reopen the route in Spring 2011.
Throughout the Pride of Bilbao's career under ICG (parent company of Irish Ferries), the cruiseferry has only once visited Ireland. In between Spanish sailings, she was sub-chartered for a three-day Christmas mini-cruise from Portsmouth to Dublin in 2004, where the Pride of Bilbao berthed at the ferryport close to the ICG headquarters.
Direct continental ferry services between Ireland and France will be reduced as of this weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Brittany Ferries last sailing for this year on the Cork-Roscoff route ends today. The 11-hour route is normally served by 'flagship' Pont-Aven but this weekend's final round-trip will be operated by the Bretagne. The former flagship, built in 1989 had served on the Irish route for several years but now operates St.Malo-Portsmouth sailings. Cork-Roscoff sailings resume in 2011 with the first crossing from the Breton port on 1 April 2011 and the corresponding departure from Ireland on 2 April.
In the interim period, alternative routes to France are maintained by Irish Ferries and Celtic Link Ferries. On the Rosslare-Cherbourg route, operated by Irish Ferries, sailings are scheduled to run to 31 December but there will be no sailings throughout January 2011 and up to mid-February. This is to allow the routes cruiseferry Oscar Wilde to undergo annual dry-docking before re-opening the route on 16 February. In addition Irish Ferries operate the seasonal Rosslare-Roscoff route which starts on 13 May.
Celtic Link Ferries also operate on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route. During January 2011, the company will be the only ferry operator providing services between Ireland and France.
Celtic Link Ferries ro-pax Norman Voyager
The 17-hour route to Cherbourg is served by the 2008-built ro-pax Norman Voyager, the newest vessel on the continental routes. Norman Voyager accommodates 800 passengers, 200 cars and up to 120 freight vehicles. There are 110 cabins and facilities for passengers include a bar, restaurant, lounges, cinema and a shop.