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Displaying items by tag: Irish Ferries

With the recent closure of Stena Line fast-ferry services from Dun Laoghaire and Rosslare, this leaves just four such services operating this winter between Ireland and Britain. By November only half of these services will be running on routes out of Dublin and Larne, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Currently three of these four services are employed on North Channel routes. P&O Ferries operate their fast-craft Express (1998/5,902 grt) on the one-hour route to Cairnryan which is also served by conventional ferry sisters that take two-hours. Since March the fast-ferry also joined the freight-ferry on the Troon route for the start of seasonal summer sailings which are to end on 3rd October.

The third service between Belfast-Stranraer is in the hands of rivals Stena Line which maintain the HSS Stena Voyager (1996/19,638 grt) on sailings but only to around mid-November. She will be replaced by conventional sister-ships which will be introduced on the North Channel's newest port when services switch from Stranraer to a new terminal close to Cairnryan.

Finally the fourth fast-ferry is Irish Ferries marketed 'Dublin Swift' service which runs on the Dublin-Holyhead route served by Jonathan Swift (1999/5,989 grt). The craft built by Austal in Fremantle, operates alongside the conventional cruise-ferry Ulysses.

Stena Line's decision to terminate HSS Stena Explorer sailings between Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead this day last week follows fast-ferry Stena Lynx III's end-of-season Rosslare-Fishguard sailings earlier this month.

From next year, Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead sailings are to be seasonal-only and according to Stena Line they hope to resume fast-ferry sailings in April or May though no exact date has been set. Unlike the central corridor route which was entirely dependent on HSS operations, the Rosslare-Fishguard route remains operating year-round with the conventional ferry Stena Europe.

As a result of the discontinued fast-ferries, the HSS Stena Explorer is now spending a lay-up period in the Welsh port for the winter. The smaller Stena Lynx III is also 'wintering' but in on the opposite side of the Irish Sea in Dun Laoghaire, where the vessel has done so in previous years.

The lay-up of both fast-ferries in Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead is ironic considering that neither ports' are connected by the very craft that used to share sailing rosters in recent years. In addition the wintering of these catamaran craft is the first time that this has occurred since the pioneering Stena Sea Lynx fast-ferry launched such sailings in 1993.

This first 'Lynx' provided seasonal sailings on the route with conventional car-ferry Stena Hibernia, the former St. Columba, custom-built in 1977 for Sealink /British Rail. She was given a second name under Stena ownership, the Stena Adventurer and remained on the 57 nautical-mile route until replaced in 1996 by the year-round operated HSS Stena Explorer.

Apart from cross-channel fast-ferry services, the Isle of Man is served by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. Ltd's routes linking the islands capital Douglas with Belfast, Dublin, Heysham and Liverpool (Birkenhead) in the winter. These routes include seasonal services which are operated by a combination of conventional tonnage using Ben-My-Chree and fast-ferry Manannan (1998/5,089grt), a former US Navy vessel, to read more click HERE. For sailing schedules, vessel type deployed on route and for fares click HERE.

Published in Ferry
Celtic Link Ferries have named their new vessel Celtic Horizon, a 27,552 tonnes ro-pax ferry which is to enter the Rosslare-Cherbourg port route in October, writes Jehan Ashmore.
A competition to name the vessel (see photo) drew a wide response from the public with thousands of entries received. Celtic Horizon will operate the year-round route on a five-year contract. She will also be the newest and fastest vessel sailing on routes between Rosslare and France.

With an increased capacity of nearly 1,000 passengers accommodated in 428 cabin berths, the vessel will offer a wider choice of bars, restaurents and childrens' play area compared to the current route ro-pax Norman Voyager, which like her successor was built by Italian shipbuilders  Visentini. The 25-knot replacement ship will have 2,285 lane metre space for 800 cars or 150 freight vehicles.

Celtic Horizon becomes the first vessel to incorporate the companies name since foundation in 2005 when the freight-ferry Diplomat started operations. In recent years the company has secured the contract to import new trade vehicles from French manufacturers.

Before the newcomer makes her Autumnal debut, the 2006 built vessel is currently operating as Cartour Beta while on charter to Caronte and Tourist's (C&T) Salerno-Messina service in Sicily. To read more click here.

As for the Norman Voyager, she first entered as a newbuild in 2008 for LD Lines weekend operated Rosslare-Le Havre route, subsequently transferred to Cherbourg. LD Lines first foray into the Irish market was short-lived as the ro-pax was sub-chartered to Celtic Link Ferries the following year, though the French company are to transfer the vessel to their Marseilles-Tunis route in November.

Published in Ferry

Dublin Port Company has welcomed RMR Shipping's new increased frequency of its service to West Africa, from a monthly to fortnightly service starting next month, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The direct service which began in 2009 using a single vessel from the capital to Nigeria, Ghana with calls to Lagos and Takoradi, is set to gain a second ship as demand for the service rises.

Two 157-trailer capacity ro-ro sisters are to be deployed on the route, they are the 23,000 gross tonnes sisters Celandine and Celestine. The Belgium-flagged pair both built in 2000 will take 18-days to transit between Dublin and Ghana.

The next sailing to Dublin is due on 5 July when the Celandine (PHOTO) is to dock at berth 51a, which is one of three berths located in the ports multi-user ferryport Terminal 1, shared by Irish Ferries, Stena Line and seasonal services of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Commenting on the development, Eamonn O'Reilly, Chief Executive Dublin Port Company said: "We are delighted with this development. Anything which increases the link between Ireland and emerging economies beyond Europe has got to be good for exports.

He added, "The service to Takoradi complements our involvement with Irish Aid from 2008 to 2010 in delivering an international training programme for ports in emerging countries including Ghana. The TrainForTrade programme was delivered with UNCTAD and we are hopeful of being able to announce a follow-up to the first programme in the coming months.

The development of RMR Shipping on the direct sea freight link was also welcomed by the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) whose chief executive John Whelan commented that exports to Nigeria last year exceeded €200m, the second largest market for Irish goods into Africa.

Published in Dublin Port

This weekend sees the start of the National Ferry Fortnight (14-28 May) an initiative to heighten consumer awareness of the extensive ferry network operating to and from the UK, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The ferry fortnight which is now in its third year, is to provide a platform for ferry operators and passengers alike to "seas the opportunity" to both promote and experience the ease, value and versatility of ferry travel.

Central to the National Ferry Fortnight campaign will be a series of promotional offers on ferry routes listed on www.discoverferries.com. The campaign logo will be featured on ferry members' own advertising and website campaigns to highlight the UK's broad network of over 50 routes.

For the first time, ferry passengers will be encouraged to blog and twitter their family and friends when crossing the seas.

Investment in recent years of more modern and versatile fleets has seen an increase in people travelling by ferry, with some 35 million passengers, eight million cars and over 140,000 coaches carried in 2010.

The event is organised by the UK-based Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) and members include Irish owned-ferry operators: Fastnet Line (Cork-Swansea), Celtic Link Ferries (Rosslare-Cherbourg) and Irish Ferries which operate on routes to Wales and France.

In addition the following PSA members (operating between them on Irish Sea, English Channel and North Sea services) are to participate: Brittany Ferries, Condor Ferries, DFDS Seaways, Hovertravel, Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. (IOMSPCo), LD Lines, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, SeaFrance, Stena Line and Wightlink.

Published in Ferry
Seasonal sailings on Irish Ferries Rosslare-Roscoff port route start tomorrow, this brings an increase in the number of services to France from three to four, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 16-hour route is served by the 31,000 tonnes cruiseferry Oscar Wilde which can take 1,500 passengers and nearly 600 vehicles. Irish Ferries also sail from Rosslare to Cherbourg on the year-round route which takes around 17.5 hours. The company have a May Break offer based on 2 adults and a car, for one-way from €99.

Also operating on the same route to Normandy are Celtic Link Ferries which run the modern sleek Italian built 800 passenger /200 vehicle ro-pax ferry Norman Voyager. Short wine breaks are from €200 return for a car, driver and a two-berth outside cabin. Additional passengers can travel for €10 each way and subject to sailing schedules passengers can stay in Cherbourg for up to five hours.

A third operator to France is Brittany Ferries which sails on the Cork-Roscoff route and which is served by their 'flagship' Pont-Aven. The €100m ferry has a swimming pool and this is unique to any route operating out of Ireland. The company are offering one-way fares from €70 per person based on a car with four adults in an inside cabin.

Sailings depart Saturday's from Cork and arrive in the Breton port 14 hours later, making the route the shortest and fastest of the four continental services.

Published in Ferry
Ferry companies operating throughout Britain and Ireland are gearing-up for the third annual National Ferry Fortnight which is to run between 14-28 May, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The fortnight is to highlight the advantages of sea, rather than air travel and is to create a greater consumer awareness of the UK's extensive ferry services of over 50 routes.

Investment in recent years of more modern and versatile fleets has seen an increase in people travelling by ferry, with some 35 million passengers, eight million cars and over 140,000 coaches carried in 2010.

Central to the campaign will be a series of promotional offers from individual ferry operators which will be announced nearer the dates and also are to be promoted on the www.discoverferries.com website.

National Ferry Fortnight is organised by the UK-based Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) and members include Irish owned-ferry operators: Celtic Link Ferries (Rosslare-Cherbourg) and Irish Ferries (on routes to Wales and direct Irish-France routes).

In addition the following PSA members (operating between them on the Irish Sea, English Channel and the North Sea) are to participate: Brittany Ferries, Condor Ferries, DFDS Seaways, Hovertravel, Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. (IOMSPCo), LD Lines, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, SeaFrance, Stena Line and Wightlink.

Published in Ferry
The flagship of the Irish Ferries fleet Ulysses celebrates her 10th anniversary on the Dublin-Holyhead port route, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At 50,938 gross tonnes, the cruiseferry which has space for 1,875 passengers and 1,342 vehicles, remains the largest ferry operating on the Irish Sea. Over the decade she has made approximately 14,000 crossings which equates to 826,000 nautical miles on the route linking the Irish capital and Anglesey, north Wales.

In January 2000 the keel of the worlds largest car ferry was laid at the Aker Finnyards in Rauma, Finland. The following year the €100m cruiseferry giant departed the shipyard on a four-day delivery voyage to Dublin Port. Upon Ulysses's arrival on 4th March she was presented with a traditional welcoming escort of saluting water-firing tugs.

The Ulysses was named at a ceremony in the port on 21st March by the 'golden godmother' Mairead Berry, Ireland's 25-year old Paralympic Games gold medallist. Four days later Ulysses made her commercial maiden voyage to Holyhead on 25th March.

Wih 12 decks the vessel has an extensive range of facilities and they are named with themes derived from James Joyce's famous novel 'Ulysses'. There is seating available for up to 1,938 passengers and there are 117 twin or single-cabins, accommodating up to 228 passengers.

Only two months into service the Ulysses won the prestigious 'Most Significant New Build - Ferry' category award in the Cruise & Ferry magazine 2001 Awards competition. Her Finnish builders are not only builders of large cruise-ferries for Baltic Sea operators and beyond but also are also renowned for the construction of very large cruiseships for international clients.

Ulysses was designed specifically to serve the central corridor route with a schedule of two round trips daily. She directly replaced the 1997 Dutch built 34,031 grt ro-pax Isle of Inishmore, which transferred to Rosslare-Pembroke Dock service.

In 2006 the Ulysses alongside her fleetmates were transferred from the Irish flag to the Cypriot flag in addition to a change of Irish crew with those outsourced from citizens mostly from the Baltic and Eastern European countries.

Due to the sheer size of the Ulysses, which has a length of 209m, a beam of nearly 32m and a 6.4m draught, she has not missed a single crossing due to bad weather conditions. The vessel has a 22 knot / 41kph service -speed on the 60-mile route which translates to a distance of over 182,000 kms a year.

To celebrate Ulysses 10th year in service, Irish Ferries has enhanced the Club Class option to passengers which includes free-Wifi, which enables a constant connection and an array of other benefits during the 3-hour 15 minute crossing.

For a virtual tour of the Ulysses with views taken from the top deck as the cruiseferry departs Holyhead and the mountains of Snowdonia setting as a backdrop plus interior tours of the vessel click here.

Published in Ferry
Brittany Ferries seasonal service between Cork (Ringaskiddy) and Roscoff starts this Saturday, writes Jehan Ashmore.
As usual the £100m 'flagship' Pont-Aven re-opens the 11-hour route with the first inbound sailing from the Breton port arriving at Ringaskiddy ferry terminal at 10.00hrs.

The German built 41,700grt vessel stays at the port for an 8 -hour turn-around before making the seasons inaugural outbound sailing to France at 16.00hrs.

Pont-Aven can arguably claim to be the most luxurious 'cruiseferry' operating to Ireland as the vessel has a small number of luxury cabins  incorporating balconies and uniquely to feature a swimming pool.

The swimming pool and leisure area can be covered over by a retractable roof. The option of the 'open-air' swimming pool may prove more popular with her 2,400 passengers as the cruiseferry also operates on a triangular route roster between Roscoff-Plymouth and Plymouth-Santander

Pont-Aven also operates a second Spanish route, Santander-Portsmouth in tandem with Cap Finistère. The 32,728grt cruiseferry last week opened a new route for Brittany Ferries also from Portsmouth to Bilbao, for details click here.

The Bibao route had closed in September when P&O Ferries withdrew from the service which since 1993 has been run by Pride of Bilbao. The 37,583grt was on charter from the Irish Continental Group (ICG) the parent company of Irish Ferries until its sale late last year to a Baltic Sea ferry operator between Helsinki-(Tallinn)-St.Petersburg, for more information click here.

Published in Brittany Ferries
In the same week that Irish Continental Line (ICG) Group released end of year figures for 2010, their subdidiary Irish Ferries recorded a near 8% rise in passenger volumes and an announcement of a 10 year deal to continue operating on their south Welsh route, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Irish Ferries will maintain running the Rosslare route to Pembroke Dock for the next decade in an agreement signed with the Milford Haven Port Authority. The Pembrokeshire port provides docking and terminal facilities and the decade long contract secures the employment of 60 terminal staff.

The St. Georges channel crossing carries over 300,000 passengers and 80,000 freight annually and is served by the 34,031grt Isle of Inishmore. The ro-pax can handle 2,200 passengers, 802 cars / 152 freight trailers and is scheduled to two daily round trips, on a route that take nearly five hours.

The 1997 Dutch built vessel was first launched onto the central corridor route between Dublin-Holyhead but was transferred to the southern service after the introduction of Ulysses in 2001.

Rosslare-Pembroke Dock sailings only began in 1980, firstly operated by the B+I Line which competed with rival operators Sealink / British Rail (now Stena Line) on services running out of Fishguard.

This route was well established having started operations in 1906 and in an era when the railway companies (in this case the Great Western Railway) developed and owned the ports plus the operation of shipping services on the Irish Sea.

Published in Ferry

The Irish Continental Group (ICG) which is the parent company of Irish Ferries, has warned of 'uncertainty' in 2011 due to higher fuel costs and the effects of the austerity measures in both the Irish and UK economies.

ICG secured a 61% increase in pretax profits in 2010 following an increase in passenger numbers and the sale of  their MV Pride of Bilbao to St. Peter Line (click here) after a long-term charter to P&O Ferries. The 37,583 gross tonnes cruiseferry is to open a new second route for the Baltic Sea operator between St. Petersburg and Stockholm, starting next month.

To read more about ICG's end of year results, click the report in today's Irish Times.

Published in Ferry
Page 17 of 18

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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