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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
AFLOAT adds the former Irish west coast islands passenger only-ferry, Queen of Aran, originally built for Inis Mor Ferries, later Aran Islands Ferries was sold again to Scottish operator, Argyll Ferries in 2011. Also above is the Isle of Arran-Brodick ferry, Caledonian Isles of operator CalMac, but is seen underway off Gourock Pier, on the Clyde.
#ferry - The Scottish ferryroute Gourock to Dunoon on the Clyde will transfer to CalMac when the current contract ends next month, becoming part of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services network. As InverclydeNow writes, from 21 January, CalMac will…
Cruiseferry W.B. Yeats which Irish Ferries was forced to cancel thousands of bookings last summer over delays of the 195m newbuild which will offer up to four sailings a week directly from Dublin to Cherbourg, France.
#ferry -Cruiseferry WB Yeats, which was originally scheduled to begin Dublin-France operations almost five months ago, is expected to dock in the capital next week, Irish Ferries has said. As The Irish Times writes, the shipping company cancelled 6,000 bookings…
A new linkspan installed at Heysham Port forms part of a £10m project which won an award at the port owners, Peel Ports Group in the UK. Occupying the linkspans are RoRo freight only vessels from Seatruck and Stena Line.
#ferry -The Irish Sea port of Heysham on the UK west coast has won the Project of the Year Award. The Award which was announced at the Peel Ports Group annual conference, reflected the work managed by the port teams…
Connemara's maiden arrival (earlier this year) by going astern to berth in Santander, Spain where AFLOAT adds freight trucks and cars used the ropax's stern only vehicle ramp to disembark in the Cantabrian port.
#ferry - The Ireland-Spain ferry route from Cork is to be expanded to a year-round service, the Evening Echo writes, to give hauliers for export and import options due to fears over Brexit. Building on the launch of its new…
MV Glen Sannox prior to the launch (just over a year ago) at the Scottish shipyard in Port Glasgow on the Clyde by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
#ferry- In a row between a Scottish shipyard and operator over claims that "significant design changes" to CalMac's delayed new Arran ferry today (Friday, 7 Dec.) has escalated to legal action, reports The Scotsman.  Port Glasgow shipbuilders Ferguson Marine Engineering…
Irish Ferries’ flagship Ulysses will not be sailing this afternoon or tonight due to the warning for gale-force winds on the Irish Sea
Irish Ferries has cancelled all further sailings to and from Dublin and Holyhead today (Friday 7 December) on the foot of a Status Orange gale warning for Irish coastal waters and the Irish Sea. The warning from Met Éireann issued…
Afloat adds above is the IOM Steam-Packet's Ben-My-Chree which in addition to operating the island's main year-round service Douglas-Heysham, also provides winter sailings on the link to Birkenhead (Liverpool).
#Ferry - In response to an Isle of Man services survey of ferry operations this was the largest the department has seen. That's according to the Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer, reports Manx Radio The results of the survey are set…
Customers of Stena Line and staff raised an impressive €20,000 for the charity organisation Mercy Ships during their 'Round Up for Charity' campaign. The funds will enable Mercy Ship to help 133 people to get their sight back on board the hospital ship Africa Mercy.
#ferry - During a month-long, fleet-wide donation campaign, Round Up for Charity, Stena Line and its customers raised an impressive €20,000 for the charity organisation Mercy Ships. The funds will enable Mercy Ship to help 133 people to get their…
Epsilon docked in Cherbourg, France, from where the chartered in ropax for Irish Ferries began the sailing bound for Dublin, but during Storm Imogen in February 2016.
#ferry - Commanders who took a decision of an Irish Ferries ship to “run ahead of” a Status Orange storm writes The Journal.ie led to multiple injuries and extensive damage to freight cargo, a report has found. Ten passengers and…
On schedule as Stena Line reach an important milestone in its major new fleet investment programme with steel cutting of a third E-Flexer ship to be deployed on its Irish Sea routes. They are all planned to enter service during 2020 and 2021, now under construction at the Avic Weihai Shipyard in China where first of the new vessels (pictured) is to commence operation on Dublin-Holyhead route in early 2020. The remaining pair will serve Belfast-Liverpool in 2020 and 2021. The trio of E-Flexers will be bigger than today’s Irish Sea standard RoPax vessels, at 215m long with 1,000 passengers, 120 cars and a freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters.
#Ferry - Ferry operator Stena Line has reached an important milestone in its major new fleet investment programme with steel-cutting of a third E-Flexer RoPax ship to be deployed on its Irish Sea routes. This means that all three of…
The WB Yeats, which is due to be delivered to ICG in early December, AFLOAT adds is seen earlier this month (7 November) approaching the FSG shipyard, Germany (where built) after completing a first sea trial that took place in the Baltic Sea off the Danish island of Bornholm.
#Ferry - Irish Continental Group (ICG) revenue fell 1.3 per cent in the first 10 months of the year writes The Irish Times as a result of sailing disruptions and schedule changes, the company said on Thursday. Group revenue dropped…
The UK flagged Stena Britannica in July having departed Harwich, England (on horizon) heads eastbound for Europe's largest port of Rotterdam (ferry terminal at Hoek van Holland) The Netherlands. Even if the EU approves the Brexit withdrawal deal this morning in Brussels in neighbouring Belgium, it won't be plain sailing on the return of Prime Minister Theresa May to the UK, as the terms of Brexit still has to be passed by Parliament, with many MPs having stated their opposition. So what will be the eventual outcome? given the constantly changing political scene that envelops Westminster.
#BrexitFerry - Against the backdrop of the UK Prime Minister's Brexit withdrawal deal at a special EU Council Summit this morning, Afloat focuses on one of the major 'land-bridge' links used by Irish hauliers to mainland Europe, writes Jehan Ashmore.…
Brexit, Borders... and Breakwater at the Welsh port town of Holyhead, Anglesea which voted to Leave the EU. Were locals ‘led like lambs to the slaughter’? asks The Irish Times that sought comments from locals, the business community and representatives from Holyhead which is the second-busiest roll-on, roll-off ferryport in the UK.
#Ferry- In the Welsh port town of Holyhead, The Irish Times reports, even Santa voted to leave the European Union. Santa’s other name is Richard Burnell. He’s 78 with a long white beard and he formerly worked in local government.…
The new fresh look with added splashs of colour across Brittany Ferries fleet has begun and where Pont-Aven (above) Afloat adds is how the flagship will look like when it returns in 2019 on the seasonal Cork-Roscoff service beginning in March. The design, more truly reflects the fullness of the ferry operator's experience serving holiday destinations across regions in western Europe: Ireland, UK, France and Spain.
#ferry - A fresh new look involving a splash of colour across the Brittany Ferries fleet sees a bright new logo in striking shades of blue, orange and green! The new design, which comes with a more modern, warm and…
Dun Laoghaire Harbour - could a new ferry service be in the offing?
Is a new ferry route coming to Dun Laoghaire Harbour? After an absence of three years or more there is more than the usual level of a rumour circulating at the south Dublin Port that a regular passenger service could be…
Sarah Scowcroft a Stena Line cabin assistant, on board hospital ship Africa Mercy in Guinea, has vowed to raise funds for Mercy Ships for the rest of her life after experiencing first-hand the life-saving work carried out on by the charity.  The ferry operator is a supporter of the charity and up to 27 November, customers on all Stena Line vessels will be encouraged to 'Round Up for Charity' with their on board purchases and make a donation to Mercy Ships.
#Ferry - Sarah Scowcroft a kind-hearted Stena Line cabin assistant, has vowed to raise funds for Mercy Ships for the rest of her life, after experiencing first-hand life-saving work carried out on board hospital ship Africa Mercy in Guinea. Last…

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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