Displaying items by tag: Ferry news
FBD Tintern is currently off service as otherwise Afloat adds the 130 passenger/30 vehicle capacity ferry serves the River Suir crossing linking the villages of Ballyhack in Co. Wexford and Passage East in Co. Waterford.
The short passage only takes around 15 minutes and with an average of 120 crossings every day keeps the 236 tonnes FBD Tintern busy, notably during peak commuter times and in the summer.
The present car ferry service began in 1982 when the Dunbrody replaced a small boat ferry service that had been in place for hundreds of years. In January, the ferry business was reported as up for sale.
Publicly owned Calmac is competing with UK ferry firm Serco for the eight-year contract to operate ferries on 26 routes covering the west coast of Scotland. Both firms submitted initial tenders to the Scottish Government in December.
They were the only companies which applied to bid for the contract, despite the government extending the usual six-year deal to eight years.
West coast ferries are currently operated by Calmac but Serco won the contract for sailings to Shetland and Orkney in 2012. The west coast contract will be awarded in May 2016 and take effect in October. To read more, click here.
Afloat adds, CalMac's flagship Loch Seaforth (as pictured above) carried out sea trials in the Irish Sea and as far south off Wicklow Head in 2014.
#LargerVessel – A larger third Seatruck Ferries ro-ro vessel will be added to the Dublin-Liverpool route today.
The current vessel, Clipper Ranger will be replaced by the larger and faster P series vessel, Seatruck Pace which will almost double the freight capacity with space for 110 trailers per sailing.
As reported on Afloat, Clipper Ranger was only added in mid-November 2015 but has already attracted significant flows of new traffic since its introduction.
The deployment of Seatruck Pace, a proven P series vessel as the third vessel to run alongside a pair of larger FSG vessels will ensure Seatruck offer three sailings daily in each direction to cope with continued growth on the central Irish Sea route.
The vessel switch is in direct response to demand and feedback from Seatruck customers and this has led to that tailored sailings schedule to reflect changing needs of the Irish market. Crucially it will add further capacity during the busy midweek period.
The 1,830 lane metre capacity Seatruck Pace will bring speed, schedule reliability, free height and even faster turnaround times in port. Drivers will now have single berth en-suite cabins and comfortable lounge area. In addition the ship benefits from a ramp interface to the lower hold in place of a lift.
Driver shortages are causing operators to reassess their traditional accompanied method. Seatruck Ferries believes in a switch to greater volumes of unaccompanied movements from ports, which reduces road mileage compared with the transit through Wales or Scotland.
As economic conditions improve, this addition is the next stage in Seatruck Ferries’ strategic development plan and complements the operators existing Warrenpoint-Heysham and Dublin-Heysham services.
#RoutesResume - In less than a fortnight, seasonal Douglas-Liverpool sailings begin on 17th March when Isle of Man Steam Packet Company fast craft Manannan returns to service. The resumption will also mark sailings on Dublin and Belfast routes during March.
Once again passengers will be able to sail in and out of the heart of Liverpool every day on Manannan. There are more than 900,000 offer seats available on Steam Packet Company sailings during 2016 including popular Kids Go Free offers this summer.
The city is also a great gateway for any break in the UK, with the motorway network just minutes from the Pier Head landing stage and excellent rail, coach and bus links within walking distance. This location is also convenient for tourists heading to the Isle of Man.
The season of Irish services begins on 23rd March with the first sailing of the year to Dublin, and Belfast services resuming on 25th March.
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Manannan is ready for another busy season as services to Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin resume. We are looking forward to welcoming many passengers on board the fast craft, both Island residents heading across and visitors travelling to discover the wonders of the Isle of Man.’
#FerryFortnight- It’s that time of year again when National Ferry Fortnight (5-19 March) is launched by Discover Ferries.
The fortnight beginning tomorrow (Saturday) is to highlight the benefits of travelling by sea between Ireland and the UK and also to the European continent.
Discover Ferries represents all the UK's major ferry lines, carrying just over 39 million passengers a year (by car, bicycle or indeed by foot). Whatever method of travel, there are more than 75 routes to choose including services to islands off the UK.
The theme of National Ferry Fortnight for 2016 is “Be a Ferry First-Timer” and there are some great destination ideas to consider for the first time, or indeed to experience again.
There are twelve ferry operator members of Discover Ferries and for further details on great ferry fares during the fortnight visit here.
#KeepPublic - The Scotsman writes that an “overwhelming” case for keeping CalMac in public hands has been revealed in a new academic report, according to the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, which commissioned the study.
Private-sector bidder Serco has been motivated to bid for the 26-route west coast ferry network (including Mull of Kintyre) as a “profit-seeking entity”, Glasgow University senior economics lecturer Jeanette Findlay said.
She found “much less evidence” that the firm would champion good working practices and customer service.
For more on the story surrounding the Scottish Government run ferry firm, click here.
#ferryillegal- Five men at Dublin Port who are believed to be illegal immigrants were detained on Monday.
Security officers for the port found the men after they got reports of the men leaving a secure compound from Irish Ferries.
“Five males were seen jumping out of a trailer coming out of the Epsilon, which arrived into Dublin from Cherbourg,” Thomas Kavanagh, security manager at Dublin Port said.
The Journal.ie has more on on the indicent involving the Epsilon, which saw extensive damage to vehicles during Storm Imogen last week.
The island's Infrastructure Minister, Phil Gawne gave an update in the House of Keys over plans for a new landing stage in Liverpool to replace the life-expired facility at Pier Head - and he assured MHKs that any proposals would go to Tynwald for approval.
He said officers from his department have been meeting with Peel Holdings to discuss future plans for suitable long-term facilities for Manx vessels.
Topics covered have included where the new landing stage should be located, what facilities should be provided, access, issues surrounding vessel berthing and the likely heads of terms that would lead to a contract.
For more on the story click here plus a photo of passengers embarking in 1978 the Steam Packet's old ferry, Lady of Mann. The vessel also served on their Irish routes now operated by a fastcraft and on occasions a ropax ferry.
#FerryRefits - The Belfast firm, Harland and Wolff, one of Europe's largest heavy engineering facilities is drydocking a pair of rival ferries for routine annual winter refits, writes Jehan Ashmore.
In recent days, Irish Ferries seasonal French routes cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde entered the facilities Belfast Dry Dock, having covered Rosslare-Pembroke sailings.
At 335 metres in length, the 50.39m wide drydock provides plenty of space for the Rosslare-based 166 metre ferry on a beam of 28 metres. Upon completion of the work, Oscar Wilde launches the year's season with Rosslare-Cherbourg sailings on 24 February and opens the Roscoff service on 6 May.
Rivals Stena Line which began last month a £4.4m contract with Harland & Wolff to refit seven Irish Sea based vessels, among them a Belfast-Cairnryan ferry, the 203 metre Stena Superfast VIII. The ferry is located in the larger Main Dock which measures 556 metres long. Spanning the 93m wide dock are the famous Samson & Goliath gantry cranes that dominate the skyline.
Over the course of the two-month contract, each Stena ferry will visit the shipyard on a carefully sequenced timetable to facilitate a range of specialist works.
Harland & Wolff in a separate yet related contract to Stena Bulk (part of the Stena Group) carried out major refit work that began last year on the ‘Aframax’ ice-class 240m long Stena Arctica.
On that occasion, the 117,000 dwt crude oil tanker that features an ice-breaking bow to cope with polar conditions had also occupied Belfast Dry Dock.
#FerryFigures – Irish Sea ferry passengers totals for last year carried on all three main operators, were marginally down by 1.9% from 4.87m in 2014 to 4.78m in 2015, according to a UK wide industry report.
The operators, Irish Ferries, Stena Irish Sea and P&O Ferries formed part of the annual data of ferry figures released last month by Discover Ferries. The ferry industry body provide comprehensive details of ferry companies and routes operating on domestic and international routes from the UK.
Figures show that the UK’s total ferry operators carried 8.61 million cars in 2015, up 1.3% on the previous year. Overall passenger figures on 75 ferry routes held up at 38.90 million, slipping just 0.6% from last year and still 800,000 up compared to the 38.1 million passengers of 2013.
According to the 2015 Ferrystat* figures also released by Discover Ferries, that despite the much publicised disruption issues on the key Calais-Dover route last summer and the closure from July of MyFerrylink – overall continental ferry passengers were only down by 1%.
On the domestic ferry front, routes forged ahead recording their best passenger figures since 2011, with other sectors like the Western Channel and the Netherlands also recorded strong increases in both car and passenger traffic.
UK domestic ferries best performers in 2015
Ferry routes to domestic destinations such as the Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly, Isle of Man, Channel Isles and Scottish Islands were the top performing sector up 2015, with total cars carried up 4.5% to 3.69m, and passengers up nearly 0.4% to 16m - the best domestic passenger figure since 2011.
Within this sector the Isle of Wight ferry routes carried 1.2% more passengers at 8.74m and 3.4% more cars at 1.78m, and Scottish operator Cal Mac recorded a significant increase of 6.9% in car carryings, to 1.17m, offering both lifeline and visitor services to their multiple western isles destinations.
UK-Continental ferry crossings prove resilient
Total passengers carried by P&O Ferries and DFDS Seaways on the short sea routes to Calais and Dunkirk were still over 13m in 2015 (13.01m), compared with 13.29m in 2014, a drop of 2.2%.
Overall, however, continental passengers were down only 1%, from 18.32m in 2014 to 18.13m in 2015, as some passengers chose alternative ferry routes to the continent, resulting in good growth of 3.4% (2.94m passengers) on the Western channel routes to France principally served by Brittany Ferries, with cars carried up by 5.8% to 990,000 in 2015.
North Sea ferry routes run by Stena, DFDS and P&O Ferries increased by 3.9% the number of cars carried to 445,000 in 2015, carrying the same number of passengers in 2015 as 2014 (2.18m)
“The 2015 figures show the ferry industry is resilient and adaptable” said Discover Ferries’ director Bill Gibbons, “Domestic ferry routes carried nearly 16million passengers -their best year since 2011 and despite the summer issues at Calais last year P&O Ferries’ and DFDS operators adapted their capacity and sailings to great effect, and other continental ferry operators took up any car customers who were able to re-route. In perspective, ferry sailings to the Continent were down 8.5%, but passenger numbers in this sector only fell by 1%.
“Ferries also took other challenges in their stride in 2015, including the Government’s introduction of exit checks and significant investment required by new fuel emissions regulations. With ferry routes to northern Spain; Holland; the western Channel to France**; the Isle Of Wight; and Isles of Scilly all showing healthy passenger gains, it demonstrates the broad reach and appeal of the ferry industry and how operators can work together in challenging times. We expect a further surge in customer interest when the industry comes together again to promote National Ferry Fortnight (March 5-19) with offers to appeal to ferry first timers, and those trying a new ferry route with their car for the first time”
*2015 “Ferrystat” passenger figures compiled by IRN Research
**the western Channel is defined as any sea routes west of Dover from the South Coast of Britain