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Merseyside: Twelve Quays construction work in progress at the ferry terminal located in Birkenhead
On the Irish Sea a major £17m port modernisation project on Merseyside will help grow the region’s import and export capabilities significantly. Work is been carried out by Peel Ports and Stena Line at the Twelve Quays terminal in Birkenhead. The…
Brittany Ferries chartered-in ropax Connemara in Cork Harbour during its first season last year. Today's sailing on the Cork-Santander route has been cancelled due to technical problem which has also affected the following sailing for northern Spain scheduled for next Monday, 16th September
Some 300 passengers and their travel plans have been disrupted this weekend, reports the Irish Examiner, following the last-minute cancellation of Brittany Ferries sailings between Cork and Santander. Passengers received texts (yesterday) morning advising that tonight's 10.30pm ferry from Ringaskiddy,…
The 215-metre long hull of Galicia was majestically floated in China at the AVIC Weihai shipyard in Shandong.
Operator Brittany Ferries has marked two key milestones in its €550 million fleet renewal programme which includes a pair of E-Flexer newbuilds destined for UK-Spain routes.  At the AVIC Weihai shipyard in Shandong, eastern China, shipyard workers and Brittany Ferries teams…
The breakwater at the Port of Holyhead, north Wales, has been eroding and if action is not taken, it could have devastating impact Afloat adds on the UK's second busiest ferryport.
The Port of Holyhead could become unusable if action is not taken to repair its breakwater. The structure, reports NorthWalesLive, which is 1.7 mile long and took 28 years to build, is gradually eroding. But if it is not repaired,…
Town councillors in Holyhead, Wales fear the impact of Brexit with a no-deal exit from Europe on the town and its port.
In north Wales, town councillors in Holyhead, have urged the government to think again about letting Britain crash out of Europe with no deal. Fearing the impact of a clean break from the European Union, NorthWalesLive writes, that members of…
Starboard side profile of W.B. Yeats while underway off the Dublin coastline and when bound for Cherbourg, France
Maritime transport operator, Irish Continental Group has reported revenue 6% higher for the half year, following the introduction of the WB Yeats cruise ferry on schedule services with Irish Ferries in January. Earnings per share, reports RTE News, however, were…
A previous (freight-only) service from Rosyth, Scotland AFLOAT adds to Zeebrugge in Belgium which ended last year was operated by DFDS ro-ro Finlandia Seaways
A shipping company based in Scotland is planning to start a daily ferry service linking Rosyth with the Netherlands. Operations according to BBC News Scotland, would start around the time that Brexit is scheduled by the Westminster government. That could…
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove during his recent visit to the  Port of Holyhead, north Wales to discuss Brexit preparations.
The ferry giant Stena Line says a no-deal Brexit remains the "worst possible scenario" and a lack of clarity has made it "almost impossible" to plan for. The company writes NorthWalesLive, warned no-deal brought the "high potential for significant delays…
PORT OPERATIONS TOWER: On a recent tour of the Port of Dover AFLOAT adds is pictured the UK Government's Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, Home Secretary, Priti Patel and the Chancellor, Michael Gove. The three cabinet ministers talked of the importance of keeping traffic moving freely across borders in addition to meeting representatives from the haulage, freight and port industries so to discuss plans to ensure the UK is ready to leave the EU on 31 October.
The UK and Europe's busiest ferryport the Port of Dover has recently appointed a chief operations officer.  On an annual basis the English Channel port according to the Port of Dover handles 18,000 vessels in a 24/7 operation enabling to…
Freight trucks at Rosslare Europort in Co Wexford which in addition to linking UK ports serve directly to mainland Europe (i.e. AFLOAT adds above Stena Horizon sails to Cherbourg, France). Industry groups warn delays at English Channel ports could hit the transport of fresh food and time-sensitive produce.
Increasing pressure, writes The Irish Times, is building on the Government to advance plans for alternative shipping routes bypassing Britain to avoid severe delays at English Channel ports stemming from a possible no-deal Brexit. Potential risks to the key “landbridge”…
No indication where new vessel will be built according to Manx Radio which would replace the current IOM Steam-Packet flagship Ben-My-Chree seen above swinging off the berth in Douglas Harbour
Operator Isle of Man Steam Packet says it's looking for a Senior Master to help oversee a planned new company vessel. As Manx Radio reports, the current flagship, Ben-my-Chree was launched in 1998. It's envisaged the ropax ferry may become…
Condor Ferries sole conventional ferry, Clipper Commodore having arrived from St. Peter Port, Guernsey is seen berthed (above) in St. Helier, Jersey, prior to making an overnight crossing to Portsmouth, UK. The file photo was taken several years ago for an Afloat.ie excursion to the Channel Islands.
Operator Brittany Ferries have formally submitted an offer to buy Condor, the French ferry company’s president has said, reports Jersey Evening Post.  Speaking to French newspaper Ouest-France, Jean-Marc Roué confirmed the news but said he thought that other businesses would…
The ropax Stena Horizon berthed at the inner pier, Rosslare Europort where AFLOAT adds alongside is Mersey Spirit supplying bunkers. Arriving at the Wexford port is the general cargoship Ayress.
The WexfordPeople writes, following his visit to Wexford to officially open the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy bypass, pictures were circulated of a smiling Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meeting with representatives at Rosslare Europort. Having shed his tie after a long day,…
The ferry giant. Stena Line was commenting after UK Government unveiled plans for 10 free ports across the UK after Brexit among them Afloat adds is the Port of Holyhead, Wales where the Stena Superfast X is berthed above.
The port authority in Holyhead, Stena Line says free port status for the town could bring "immediate opportunities" but also had a message for UK Government. The ferry giant according to NorthWalesLive, was commenting after Boris Johnson's Government unveiled plans…
New Guidelines For Accessible Maritime Passenger Transport
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) recently published new accessibility guidelines designed as a support to all those involved in providing maritime passenger transport services. This includes passenger vessel owners and operators, port operators and local authorities, as…
As a company founded by farmers, Brittany Ferries is committed to sustainable development across all aspects of ferry operations, from building new ships to reducing single-use plastics on board. To help the French operator move forward with this, they have appointed their first eco-responsibility manager, Claire Artagnan. AFLOAT adds also pictured above is Armorique which earlier this year operated several sailings on the Cork-Roscoff route while routine flagship Pont-Aven was dry-docked.
Kerry has been announced as the name of Brittany Ferries ropax vessel that Afloat.ie previously reported is to be introduced in November 2019.  The ship Afloat adds is a Visentini-class designed ropax likewise to the existing Ireland-Spain serving Connemara. Kerry…

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!

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