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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: New IrelandSpain service

Bad weather has brought forward the departure time of Brittany Ferries maiden commercial crossing tomorrow on the new Rosslare-Bilbao, Spain route, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The looming weather system of Storm Jorge as named by the Spanish met office, has forced in the re-scheduling of the inaugural Brittany Ferries sailing on the new Ireland-Spain service. The launch of the Iberian service will be a first for the French operator to provide a passenger ferry service using Rosslare Europort.

Afloat has consulted the Brittany Ferries website (sailing updates) which cites due to poor weather, (the sailing from Rosslare at 23.30) will now instead depart at the earlier time of 11.00 (tomorrow morning), Friday, 28 February.

An expected arrival into Bilbao is at 08:00 on Saturday, 1 March and the operator added their apologies for the inconvenience caused. For the latest sailing information click here in addition to the operators Reservations Team on (021) 427 7801 (Mon - Fri: 09:00 - 17:30).

The new twice weekly Ireland-Spain route to be operated by ropax Kerry, replaced the Cork-Santander service which ceased recently after a two-year trial period when launched by ropax Connemara. The route received enouraging passengers numbers however Brittany Ferries added the closure arose from freight figures that were not robust and hauliers expressed better road connections and shorter driving distances.

In addition to the relocation of both Irish and Spanish ports, the Kerry will also serve Brittany Ferries which is to launch another new Rosslare to Roscoff route on a weekly return basis starting next month on Monday, 23 March.

This route in addition to Rosslare-Cherbourg was not revived in 2019 as Irish Ferries abandoned these French routes based out of the 'Europort' following the introduction of newbuild W.B. Yeats serving Cherbourg but out of Dublin Port from where the cruiseferry currently operates on the Irish Sea during the winter months to Holyhead. The company however on the St. Georges Channel continue to operate through the Wexford port to Pembroke Dock in Wales.

Likewise of the former Britanny Ferries Cork based route to Spain, Kerry will continue to provide an économie service ship to compliment the weekly seasonal offering from Cork to Roscoff, operated by flagship cruiseferry Pont-Aven.

Afloat this morning tracked Kerry having departed Santander for the final time last night as the ropax makes a repositioning crossing across the Bay of Biscay bound for Rosslare Europort.

The Cypriot flagged ropax is due to arrive in the Co. Wexford ferryport tomorrow morning around 07.30 and remain until the revised morning departure sailing to Spain.

Also tracked by Afloat is Pont-Aven which recently had a new engine installed while in dry-dock at the Remontowa Yard, Gdansk, Poland, following last year's fire on board as previously reported.

The incident caused damage to one of the ferry's port-side MAK 12VM43 engine units resulting in the cruiseferry running on the three remaining engines during 2019 which caused disruption and cancelled sailings. Also berthed nearby at the Polish shipyard is Irish Ferries cruiseferry Ulysses. Afloat will have more to report.

As for the resumption of Brittany Ferries Cork-Roscoff seasonal service, this is scheduled to start with the first inward sailing from France departing on Friday, 20 March. The corresponding outward sailing from Ringaskiddy in lower Cork Harbour is to take place the next day, Saturday, 21 March.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Europe Day aptly coincided with Brittany Ferries albeit delayed start of the first ever direct Ireland-Spain ferry service when Connemara departed Cork at lunchhour today bound for Santander, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Almost berthed adjacently to Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal where ropax Connemara welcomed passengers and loaded vehicles for today's historic maiden voyage to Spain, was docked Portuguese flagged cruiseship Astoria. The veteran vessel had arrived earlier this morning. 

As for the ferry, Connemara had also arrived this morning from France (see below) before launching the new historic continental route directly connecting Ireland and Spain for the first time. A scheduled departure at 11.00 did not take place however the ropax finally was underway two hours later. Connemara then past Roches Point Lighthouse at the mouth of Cork Harbour and out into the open sea. 

Connemara, formerly Asterion is on a two-year charter to Brittany Ferries which are to operate the 2007 Italian built Cypriot flagged ropax across the Bay of Biscay service on a trial basis. The 500 passenger /120 cabin ferry is modelled on a économie 'no-frills' service that is scheduled to run two return sailings weekly between Cork and northern Spain. 

Crossing times on the 27,000 gross tonnage Connemara connecting Cork and the Cantrabrian port is around 26 hours. Facilites available of the no-frills operated ferry include a self-service restaurant, café/bar, small shop / boutique and seating lounge. In addition to en-suite cabins for passengers that are exclusively motorist-based. The ropax can handle a mix of around 100-freight trailers units and between 80 and 100 tourist vehicles.

Traveling direct to Spain now offers exciting benefits for Irish tourists to explore the lesser known regions of northern Spain compared to air-dependent destinations to the countries Costa's lining the Meditteranean. It is from these well-trodden resorts where around 2 million Irish holiday-makers annually visit the coast but rarely travel to the interior. Now there's northern Spain, where Santander itself is a culinary destination, Bilbao beckons (for Leinster rugby fans on board) as does the Basque Country and regions heading west to Galicia neighbouring Portugal.

The new Irish-continental link will further forge in strengthening travel and cultural ties with Spain but throughout the Iberian peninsula. In addition to assisting existing and developing new freight trade opportunities.

According to the Port of Cork, which has been trying to open an Ireland-Spain link since 2004, the service will remove 1,200kms off road journey distances for many hauliers currently opting for a land-bridge via the UK. The new Spanish service is a also a game-changer given a post-Brexit UK and its relationship between Ireland and with the rest of the EU.

Prior to today's historic maiden voyage on the Ireland-Spain route, Connemara's debut for Brittany Ferries was completed following a sailing to France yesterday. This morning, Connemara returned to Ringaskiddy to complete the round trip. Due to operational reasons, the 186m Connemara docked in Brest rather than the routine port of call at Roscoff.

The Ireland-France route which this year celebrates a 40th anniversary, is served by flagship cruiseferry Pont-Aven at the weekends. Introduction also of Connemara during the week boosts capacity and likewise of the Spanish service is based on an économie no-frills service, except foot-passengers are catered for on the 14 hour Iink to Roscoff.  

Published in Ferry

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.

© Afloat 2020