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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford (right) has held a bilateral meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney amid Holyhead port fears. Afloat adds the north Wales port since Brexit has experienced a decline in freight traffic on services linking Dublin provided by two ferry operators which has led Irish Ferries to redeploy months in advance W.B. Yeats on the Dublin-Cherbourg route which recently was added by a new service by Stena Line on the direct Ireland-mainland Europe link.
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford has held a bilateral meeting with the Irish Foreign Minister amid reports that Brexit is damaging the ferry port of Holyhead. As Nation.Cymru reports, Drakeford discussed the port with Simon Coveney, who has said…
Trucks drive on board the newest ferry on the Irish Sea, Stena Embla which made a maiden crossing on the Belfast-Liverpool service last night, boosting both passenger and freight capacity. The newbuild joined Stena Edda and this brings to three E-Flexer Ro-Pax class ferries on service including Stena Estrid on the Dublin-Holyhead route. As AFLOAT highlighted yesterday, this E-Flexer was scheduled to return to the Irish capital (this morning) following a first round trip of Stena’s new route to continental mainland Europe via Cherbourg, France and during weekdays the ‘leadship E-Flexer’ serves on the route to Wales.
The newest Stena Line ferry on the Irish Sea made its inaugural crossing on the Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) service last night and as Afloat adds this follows a debut albeit temporarily on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route to enable extra capacity. Stena Embla joined…
A new Dublin-Cherbourg service sold out on its first commercial sailing operated by the one year old Stena Estrid. The leadship of the E-Flexer ro-pax class ferry is to complete its first round trip on the Ireland-France route with a scheduled arrival AFLOAT adds tomorrow, Monday morning.
Ferry operator Stena says its new Dublin-Cherbourg service sold out on its first day, with 175 trucks booked to sail. However, hauliers say direct routes to Europe cannot take the place of the British landbridge because of the lack of…
Ferries from the UK berthed at Dublin Port
Differences in policy between north and south on travellers arriving at ferryports and airports have been discussed by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and his Northern Ireland counterpart Robin Swann. The different strategies, reports RTE, mean there are gaps in…
New Legislation Provides for National Regulatory Regime for Smaller Passenger Vessels
The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport draws attention to the Merchant Shipping (Passenger Ship) Rules 2020 which were made law by Statutory Instrument on 15 December. This new legislation provides a national regulatory regime for passenger ships…
Brittany Ferries is to open a second route out of Rosslare to Cherbourg but by two months ahead of schedule to meet driving freight demand between Ireland and mainland Europe. The service is to be operated by Cap Finistère, at 204m long and of 33,000 gross registered tonnes. The ferry first entered service with the French operator in 2010, on long-haul routes connecting Portsmouth (UK) and Santander and Bilbao (Northern Spain). The ‘Superfast’ class ferry has plenty of space for drivers and passengers, with 265 en-suite cabins. The garage decks offer nearly 2km of space for freight vehicles, and the ferry is the fastest in the fleet with a top cruising speed of 28 knots.
Hot on the heals of Stena Line's new Dublin-Cherbourg route announced today, Brittany Ferries has also acted quickly to support the freight sector and meet the needs of an industry battling Brexit by confirming a new weekly Rosslare-Cherbourg service. As…
The Stena Estrid will operate on the new weekend Dublin-Cherbourg route. AFLOAT adds the ferry firm will compete with Irish Ferries, to become the second operator serving on the Irish capital-mainland continental Europe route.
Stena Line is to further increase its freight-ferry capacity direct from Ireland to continental Europe in response to increased post-Brexit demand by adding a new weekend sailing from Dublin to Cherbourg. The new service, reports RTE News, will start next…
Additional costs entailed in policing imports from Britain into the all-island EU single market will inevitably drive up prices. Above: A lorry boards P&O Ferries ropax European Causeway at Larne Port which Afloat adds connects Cairnryan in Scotland.
"Red tape" from Brexit and delays at (ferry)ports will drive up prices of Irish goods in the coming months, Bank of Ireland group chief economist, Loretta O'Sullivan has warned. Ms O'Sullivan said that the bank's business customers had signalled that…
Stena Line has cancelled several Irish Sea sailings again this weekend as the post-Brexit trade slump continues at Holyhead (above) while in south Wales, the Fishguard night time sailing has been pulled until at least Monday, January 25.
Ferry operator Stena Line has cancelled several Irish Sea sailings again this weekend as the post-Brexit trade slump continues at Holyhead and Fishguard, writes NorthWalesLive. The operator is still reporting a 70% drop in freight trade on routes between Wales…
Irish Freight Transport Association (IFTA) says full impact of Brexit has still to be felt. IFTA also warned of disappearing supply chains, empty supermarket shelves and rising unemployment, and calls for a six month adjustment period.
A letter from the Irish Freight Transport Association to the Taoiseach warns of huge disruption in the coming weeks as the impact of Brexit fully takes hold of trade between Ireland, the UK and Europe. The letter, seen by RTÉ…
The British PM made the claims during a recent Liaison Committee meeting held in Lisbon, Portugal. Above a display sign at the North Wales Port of Holyhead which has two competing ferry operators (Irish Ferries and Stena Line) connecting Dubin Port.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told how (ferry) truckers bypassing north Wales is a sign of Brexit success. Speaking (yesterday) at a Liaison Committee with senior MP’s, Mr Johnson was asked about the Brexit related delays at the border.…
New (DFDS) ferry service ‘bumping’ lorries for vital imports of medicines and medical supplies. AFLOAT adds Rosslare Europort (above) on occasion of first arrival of 'Destination Gotland's' ferry Visby, operating in a freight-only mode while on charter for DFDS new route to Dunkirk, France, an alternative to post-Brexit  UK 'Landbridge' customs delays. Berthed alongside is ropax Stena Horizon and freight ro-ro Stena Foreteller (beyond) which made a debut in December on the Cherbourg route, however as Afloat reported today, a third ship, the brand new Stena Embla is to enter Stena Line service tonight to assist addressing capacity issues from hauliers on Ireland-mainland Europe routes. Afloat tracked the new 'E-Flexer' ropax arrival to the Wexford port this morning from Belfast from where it was originally to serve the Birkenhead (Liverpool) route.
Ferry capacity issues are building up on direct Ireland-mainland Europe routes as lorries avoiding Brexit checks through Britain are “bumped” to make way for vital imports of medicines and medical equipment. As The Irish Times writes, hauliers booked onto the…
Retail Northern Ireland said there are some issues around supply. Above in this AFLOAT file photo of lorries parked alongside a ferry berthed in Belfast Harbour having sailed across the North Channel route from Cairnryan, Scotland. The port (among 5 in N.I) has additional ro-ro freight /ferry routes linking Britain through the English ports of Heysham and (Birkenhead) Liverpool.
Northern Ireland retailers, RTE reports, are urging shoppers not to stockpile after problems with supplies left many shelves empty. Smaller retailers say they fear months of disruption because of confusion about arrangements for importing food products (into Northern Ports see…
Stena Embla on her berth in Belfast in early January
Stena Line’s newest addition to its fleet, the brand-new Stena Embla ferry will make its Irish Sea debut on the Rosslare-Cherbourg service. Originally scheduled for service on the Belfast-Liverpool route, due to the current Brexit related shift for direct routes…
Imports still delayed despite Revenue’s relaxation of customs rule to get goods moving (to supermarkets where there have been empty shelves). Above in this file scene of a Stena 'Superfast' ferry from Cairnryan, Scotland at Belfast Harbour. Note the partially open shell doors at the bow of the ferry.
Ferry lorry drivers are bringing imports into the State from Britain through Northern Ireland to avoid the Brexit customs and regulatory procedures at Dublin Port that have delayed shipments. Businesses moving goods from Britain have struggled to complete the necessary…
W.B. Yeats brings a boost in freight capacity as the giant ferry entered months earlier than scheduled on the Dublin Port -Cherbourg route .
W.B. Yeats, the largest ferry operating out of Dublin Port has switched from the Holyhead route to Dublin-Cherbourg due to the continued surge in freight demand on direct routes to France, writes Jehan Ashmore. The 165 freight accompanied unit capacity…

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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