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Displaying items by tag: Brittany Ferries

#FERRY NEWS – By this weekend three seasonal-only operated routes from the island of Ireland will have resumed service since the recent change of the clocks marking the start of summertime, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Sailings started today on Stena Line's Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead (120 minutes) fast-craft HSS Stena Explorer operated service. The central corridor route closed last September due to cost-saving measures as previously reported. For further details on sailing schedule click HERE.

The reopening of the Welsh route follows yesterday's launch of P&O Ferries fast-craft sailings to Scotland between Larne-Troon (2 hours) served by the 92m Express. She also runs additional sailings on the year-round Larne-Cairnryan route served by a pair of conventional ferry sisters. To read more information on both sailing route schedules click HERE.

The remaining route to re-open is Brittany Ferries Cork-Roscoff (14 hours) service operated by the 2,400 passenger 'flagship' Pont-Aven, which features an indoor swimming pool. Her first sailing for this year is tonight's sailing from the Breton port.

The corresponding Irish sailing departs tomorrow afternoon and the inaugural round trip is due to be completed with an arrival in France on Sunday morning. For sailing times click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY FORTNIGHT – With today's St. Patrick's Day festivities, the national event also coincides with the launch of our nearest neighbour's National Ferry Fortnight (17th-30th March) campaign held in the UK, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Each year around 13m people travelled between the UK and Ireland while more than 10m people took to the skies.

The UK has an extensive ferry network of approximately 50 routes including those serving the islands. Of the 11 shipping operators that are members of the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA), five of them serve on routes to Ireland.

Those participating in the ferry campaign which operate on the Irish market are Brittany Ferries, Irish Ferries, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company,  P&O and Stena Line.

To read more about all the ferry firms participating in the National Ferry Fortnight campaign click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS – St.Patrick's Day coincides with the start of the UK's annual National Ferry Fortnight (17-30 March) campaign which includes the participation of over 50 routes, including those operating on the Irish Sea, writes Jehan Ashmore.

This year's event organised by the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) is to be brought forward two months earlier instead of May. According to the PSA the change of dates was designed to "emphasise the great value of family ferry travel at a time when parents have a watchful eye on budgets".

A new official logo will front the campaign's website www.discoverferries.com which is supported by all ferry line members of the association. The two week showcase aims to heighten consumer and media awareness of the UK's extensive ferry firms route network.

PSA members include Brittany Ferries, Condor Ferries, DFDS Seaways, Hovertravel, Isle Of Man Steam Packet Company, Irish Ferries, LD Lines, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, Stena Line and Wightlink.

The association estimate that around 35 million people, 8 million cars and 140,000 coaches were carried by ferries last year.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS- Established ferry operators on routes to France are gearing –up for market share with the first battle for 2012 targeting the Spring Easter period, with recent T.V. advert campaigns launched by Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Last week Irish Ferries reopened Rosslare-Cherbourg sailings by the cruiseferry Oscar Wilde (1987/31,914grt). The largest ever vessel to serve Irish Ferries French routes will also resume high-season sailings to Roscoff in May. For sailing times of both routes click HERE.

Brittany Ferries will embark their season with Cork-Roscoff sailings on 31st March with 'flagship' Pont-Aven (2004/41,748grt). This route operates a single weekend round-trip schedule, with arrivals and departures to Cork each Saturday, for more on sailings click HERE.

While Celtic Link Ferries, which entered the continental sector in 2005 having taken over from P&O (Irish Sea) introduced a new vessel on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route last October with the chartered ro-pax Celtic Horizon (2006/27,522grt) as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Unlike their rivals, Celtic Link Ferries are the only operator to maintain year-round sailings in this sector, for schedule click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#PORT OF CORK - Port of Cork Company chairman, Mr Dermot O'Mahoney, yesterday announced end of year trade traffic results for the Port of Cork in 2011. He said: "Trade traffic has shown remarkable resilience recording 8.8 million tonnes despite experiencing challenging periods during 2011." These figures are on a par with 2010 figures at the Port of Cork.

A remarkable feature of the figures is the very positive effect on the local economy by the increase in exports from the Port. Total exports at the Port of Cork have remained strong increasing by 9% in comparison to 2010 and by 19% since 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.

Although the growth in export volumes to pre –recession levels reflects the rapid "V" shaped bounce back by the export sector which was achieved despite the depressed international economic environment, import volumes are still 12.9% below 2007 levels. The continued low volume of imports is inevitably putting huge strain on the ports, shipping lines and transport sector servicing the country.

The container business at the Port of Cork has shown an increase of 5% with over 150,000 TEU handled in 2011. Animal feed stuffs, fertiliser and other trades have shown a marginal decrease in 2011. Oil traffic has remained steady despite the lower levels of domestic economic activity; however exports of refined product from Conoco Phillips Whitegate Oil Refinery has remained strong and continues to be a significant part of the Port of Cork business.

Remarking 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 2011 has remained strong with exports increasing by 9% over 2010 volumes. With 98% of all goods imported or exported from Ireland moved by ship, the importance of ports to our economy is of vital strategic importance. The Port of Cork is a key link to the continued economic success of Ireland and in particular the entire Munster region. The challenge now facing the Port of Cork is to continue to develop to meet the needs of the Country as it emerges from this current recession. 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 as is evident by our export sector."

53 cruise vessels visited the Port of Cork during 2011 bringing over 100,000 passengers and crew to the region and the Port is scheduled to accommodate 60 vessels in 2012. According to research carried out by UK Consultants GP Wild, the average in-transit spend per passenger, while visiting an Irish port is between €73- €100 which provides a significant contribution towards the local tourism economy. In 2011 the Port of Cork won 1st place for 'Best Destination Experience (Organised)' in the world and 2nd place for 'Best Port Welcome' in the Dream World Cruise Destinations Awards. This achievement highlighted the outstanding team effort and commitment by the Port of Cork to deliver an excellent service to the visiting cruise lines and their passengers when in Cork. Ireland Inc. also received a Commendation as a "Destination where the Quality and Professionalism of Tour Guides is considered outstanding".

Port officials are pro-actively engaged with tourism interests, County and City Councils and destination attractions to enhance the product on offer to the visiting cruise lines with a view to growing the business further through its dedicated cruise terminal.

Ferry passenger numbers with Brittany Ferries remained steady on its weekly ferry service from Cork to Roscoff and the Port awaits the outcome of the Examinership of Fastnet Lines and the re-commencement of the ferry service linking Cork with Swansea.

The Port of Cork's recreational strategy continues to expand with the aim of improving the marine leisure facilities around Cork Harbour.

Mr O' Mahoney concluded by saying that "the Port of Cork must continue to reinforce its existing strength as the primary deep-water port in the south of Ireland and build on our progress so far by effectively resolving our challenges in an imaginative way and with a strong sense of urgency and determination."

Published in Port of Cork
Brittany Ferries last Cork-Roscoff sailing for this year is scheduled for this weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Passengers intending to travel on the last inward bound sailing from the Breton port which departs tomorrow (Friday) 28th at 21.15hrs (French time). The 41,748grt flagship Pont-Aven is timetabled to arrive at Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal, Cork Harbour the next day at 10.00hrs local time.

Pont-Aven's final end of season sailing will be departing Ringaskiddy on Saturday (29th) at 15.00hrs and she is due to arrive at her homeport of Roscoff at 06.00hrs local time.

To confirm sailing schedule including next season starting March 2012 click HERE and for sailing update click HERE.

The €100m luxurious ferry was built in Germany in 2004 and she entered service that year on the three-route roster linking Ireland on the 14-hour overnight weekend sailings in addition to serving on French-UK and UK-Spainish routes.

Uniquely she is the only ferry operating in Irish waters with a swimming pool which is enclosed on the upper deck. Of the various facilities, services and entertainment, they may vary depending on the date and time of year.

Published in Ferry
Celtic Link Ferries new ro-pax Celtic Horizon made an inaugural appearance as she docked in Rosslare ferryport this morning, having completing her delivery voyage from Sicily, writes Jehan Ashmore.
As the 27,552 gross tonnes Celtic Horizon last night headed towards Irish waters (for previous report click here), her predecessor Norman Voyager was making her final sailing for CLF as she sailed away from the Celtic Sea towards Land's End bound for Cherbourg.

The changeover of vessels coincides with the existing Rosslare-Cherbourg sailing schedule of three round-trips per week, noting there are no sailings from the Wexford port on Mondays. Celtic Horizon is due to be introduced with her maiden 'Irish' voyage on Tuesday night, departing Rosslare at 21.30hrs. On the following Monday she is to be officially launched onto the service.

Celtic Horizon will boost capacity on the French route, offering a wider choice of restaurants, bars and a children's play-room. She can carry 840 passengers, 200 cars and 120 freight vehicles. The 186m ferry is from a ro-pax series (including Norman Voyager) designed and built by Cantiere Navala Visentini based in Portoviro, outside Venice.

During her five-day repositioning route from the Mediterranean, Celtic Horizon made an en-route call to Gibralter, anchoring off the British colony on Thursday. Another of the same Visentini ro-pax class vessels, Cartour Epilson is believed to have taken over Celtic Horizon, formerly named Cartour Beta when she served her last season between Termini Imerese in Sicily to Salerno while on charter to C&T.

CLF will be the only ferry operator running services to France, between 2 January -19 February 2012, as Irish Ferries, which also operates on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route, will be taking off Oscar Wilde for annual dry-docking. For schedules click HERE.

In addition there will be no sailings between Cork-Roscoff, as Brittany Ferries final sailing for this year is 29 October, served by 'flagship' Pont-Aven. The 2012 season starts in late March.

Published in Ferry
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Celtic Link Ferries look forward to the arrival of a new ro-pax ferry Celtic Horizon (photo), which is currently sailing on the shipping lanes off Algeria, having departed from Palermo, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Celtic Horizon is to be officially launched on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route on 24 October. At 27,552 gross tonnes, she is the largest vessel to operate the French route for CLF with space for 840 passengers, for 200 cars and 120 freight vehicles. Passenger facilities will be boosted with a greater choice of restaurants, bars and a play-zone for kids.

CLF are to charter Celtic Horizon for a five-years and the 25-knot capable vessel will takeover the existing thrice-weekly round trip sailing schedule from ro-pax Norman Voyager. Between 2 January -19 February 2012, CLF will be the only continental ferry operator running services as rivals Irish Ferries will be taking their cruiseferry Oscar Wilde for annual dry-docking. To read more click HERE.

In addition there will be no sailings between Cork-Roscoff, as operators Brittany Ferries last sailing for this year is 29 October, served by 'flagship' Pont-Aven. The 2012 season starts in late March.

Celtic Horizon is the first vessel to be named with a 'Celtic' prefix of part of their ferry operations, since the company brought European Diplomat from former route operators P&O (Irish Sea) in 2005. The freight-ferry renamed Diplomat, served Celtic Link Ferries until 2009. Since then she has been on charter in the Caribbean until this summer when she was sold to the breakers in Alang, India. To read more click HERE.

As for Celtic Horizon, she was built in 2006 and spent her last season this year as Cartour Beta while on charter to C&T's routes between Naples and Sicily, to read more click HERE. The 186m ro-pax is believed to be heading for Gibraltar while en-route to Rosslare.

During her Irish service, she will maintain Italian registry of Bari whereas her predecessor Norman Voyager changes flags from the UK to that of the French tricolour. Both vessels are similar as they share a ro-pax design which has proved popular for Italian shipbuilders Cantieri Navali Visentini.

The 2008 built Norman Voyager of 26,904grt is to revert to LD Lines operation and used on their 'Motorways of the Seas' St. Nazaire-Gijon service, though she was to enter on the Marseilles-Tunis route. Her new role on the Franco-Iberian route sees the replacement of Norman Asturias.

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
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 Ferry
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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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