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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Dublin Swift swings off Ferry Terminal (no. 1) at Dublin when bound for Holyhead; such high-speed craft 'seasonal’ services resume next month in tandem with Irish Ferries year-round running cruise-ferries.
Irish Ferries high-speed craft (HSC) Dublin Swift has been tracked by Afloat to Cardiff Docks, south Wales, where the vessel has been wintering, but in a month’s time is to resume seasonal service, writes Jehan Ashmore. According to the Irish…
As part of refurbishment is the Forward Lounge of fast-craft Manannan of the IOM Steam Packet – it is hoped to operate a year round service between Douglas and the ‘new’ ferry terminal in Liverpool. In March, the craft resumed seasonal service to Liverpool and last month to Dublin Port.
Once the new £70m ferry terminal in Liverpool Docks is in operation, it is hoped the Isle of Man Steam Packet can put on a year-round operated service between Douglas and Merseyside. The Steam packet’s fast-ferry Manannan currently does not…
Rathlin Island ferry service - Charles Stewart, Director at Dunaverty Ltd, Dawn Hynes, Managing Director at Dunaverty Ltd and Robert Lynn, Business Manager at Danske
Dunaverty Ltd, the operators of the ferry service to Rathlin Island off the coast of County Antrim, have successfully completed their first year in business. The company has announced that it has increased its team to 18 and transported thousands…
Due to planned maintenance of safety equipment, the former flagship, Ben-my-Chree will operate today’s Manxman's daytime sailings between Douglas-Heysham.
Last week, the Isle of Man Steam Packet announced a change of ferry for day-time crossings on its Douglas-Heysham route. As Manx Radio wrote, those travelling on the IOM-England route on Monday (15 April) will be on board the ropax Ben-my-Chree,…
MV Bore Song began its charter to Stena Line on the Dublin-Liverpool (Birkenhead) route, the Ireland-UK link that the company opened two months ago today. The 195-metre ro-ro vessel is seen berthed at the 12 Quays Terminal, Birkenhead, before it yesterday made its maiden crossing.
Stena Line has introduced a larger (chartered) ro-ro freight ferry, Bore Song, on the Dublin – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route, which will increase capacity on the Ireland-England route by 30%. The Dublin-Liverpool dedicated freight service has been operational since 15th February…
At the Port of Larne, is where former P&O Ferries workers held a protest with union colleagues in March 2022 following firing of 800 personnel in the UK and Ireland. Above at the port is European Causeway, one of two ropax’s that the company operate on the North Channel route linking Cairnryan, Scotland. Last year, their Dublin-Liverpool route closed, but other routes remain with UK-France/Netherlands.
In Larne Port, Co.Antrim, P&O Ferrymasters recorded a pre-tax profit of £11.1 million in results for the year in which its parent company, P&O Ferries, fired 800 workers across the UK and Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph reveals. According to accounts for…
Making its debut into Irish waters, Bore Song, a ro-ro freight ferry that arrived at Dublin Port this afternoon from Germany, is to begin its charter role for Stena Line’s route to Birkenhead (Liverpool) next week. Its introduction on the core Irish Sea route will boost freight capacity by 30% on the unaccompanied Ireland-UK freight route.
Bore Song, the 25,586 gross tonnage ro-ro freight ferry that Stena Line has chartered for Irish Sea service, completed its repositioning voyage from Lübeck, Germany, to Dublin Port this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore. On arrival in Dublin Bay at 1330…
Danish ferry company DFDS reaffirms its commitment to the electrification of English Channel transport after meeting today with the UK Minister for Investment and Regulatory Reform. Above Delft Seaways on the Dover-Dunkirk route. AFLOAT adds that the DFDS-only Ireland-Europe ‘passenger’ route of Rosslare-Dunkirk is currently using an alternative ropax, A F Claudia, on some of their sailings until mid-April. The A-F Claudia was observed last month in Rosslare Europort when on charter from Adria Ferries, operator of Italy-Albania routes.
Ferry operator, DFDS reaffirms commitment to the electrification of English Channel transport after meeting today the UK Minister for Investment and Regulatory Reform, Lord Dominic Johnson. DFDS's long-term goal is to have up to six battery-powered vessels operating on its…
The 'Spirit of Kinsale' cruise vessel operating in Kinsale Harbour
The Spirit of Kinsale, which has operated cruises in Kinsale Harbour for over 20 years, is being sold. Owner and operator Jerome Lordan has decided to retire. A former fisherman with experience in Ireland and overseas, he left that industry…
Strait of Gibraltar: Stena Line has acquired a stake of shares in Morocco based ferry company Africa Morocco Link (AML) linking Spain.
Swedish operator Stena Line has entered into an agreement to acquire 49 percent of the shares in Morocco based ferry company Africa Morocco Link (AML). AML is headquartered in Tangier operating a ferry route between Tanger Med – Algeciras, Spain…
Inis Oírr pier on Friday evening as Storm Kathleen makes her presence felt off the Galway coast
As Storm Kathleen is forecast to sweep up the Atlantic seaboard, Aran Ferries has cancelled a number of sailings to the Aran islands this weekend. The company which runs its ferry service from Ros-a-Mhíl, Co Galway, says there will be…
The boss of CalMac Robbie Drummond is standing down 'with immediate effect' after a leadership review of the Scottish government owned ferry operator with its extensive route network to west coast islands.
Caledonian MacBrayne's (CalMac) chief executive is stepping down as the Scottish state-owned ferry operator faces ongoing challenges with its aging fleet. The ferry company announced on Wednesday (3 April) that Robbie Drummond is stepping down with immediate effect from the…
Isle of Man Steam Packet results from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023, show the ferry company transported the largest number of passengers and vehicles since 2007, the 100th anniversary of the TT.
The ferry operator, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, has confirmed that final 2023 passenger statistics show the highest number of passengers and vehicles carried since 2007, TT’s 100th anniversary. In 2023, the Company transported 623,037 passengers and 196,430…
Originally serving in Italy as the Cartour Beta, the ropax Stena Horizon, which accommodates 1,000 passengers, 200 cars, and 120 freight units, is to resume Rosslare-Cherbourg route service in April, following annual dry-docking at A&P Falmouth, Cornwall. The former Celtic Horizon on this date a decade ago completed its final ever crossing on the Ireland-France connection for Irish operator Celtic Link Ferries, which Stena then acquired. The route is currently operated by the cruise ferry Stena Vision, which entered service less than a year ago, having been transferred following a career exclusively in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea.
Stena Horizon, which recently left Stena Line’s newly opened freight-only Dublin-Liverpool (Birkenhead) route for annual dry-docking, had completed a previous career on this date a decade ago with an Irish ferry company, writes Jehan Ashmore. Operating albeit in freight mode,…
The ferry Ben-My-Chree, which is of a ropax design, has been the back-up vessel for the Isle of Man Steam Packet since the arrival of Manxman in August of last year.
The chairman of the Isle of Man Steam Packet has said a "clear government statement" is needed on whether the firm can sell its current backup ferry. The Steam Packet outlined plans to sell the 26-year-old ropax Ben-My-Chree in its…
Sleek and stylish, the lines of Pont-Aven, Brittany Ferries flagship, now in its 20th year of service operating Cork-Roscoff and on routes across the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay. Above the cruise-ferry, featuring a four-deck atrium, luxury cabins with balconies and a sky-lit indoor swimming pool, is seen underway in Cork Harbour on the established Ireland-France connection dating to 1978.
Pont-Aven Brittany Ferries impressive flagship at the weekend resumed its first Roscoff-Cork round-trip this season, in the 20th anniversary year since its introduction on the Ireland-France route and UK-France/Spain links, writes Jehan Ashmore. During Pont-Aven’s return leg to France on…

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!