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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
The chartered Connemara contributed to boosting Brittany Ferries Cork-Roscoff (Ireland-France) route as the operators strongest performing of the company's network of 12 routes that collectively also links those between the UK, France and Spain. AFLOAT adds the Cypriot flagged Connemara arriving to Cork (Ringaskiddy). In the background the stern of a Cunard Line 'Vista' class cruiseship that called to Cobh.
#FerryNews- Cork-Roscoff route was the strongest performing Brittany Ferries service of the French company's network, linking the UK, France and Spain, however concerns over Brexit loom on the horizon, writes Jehan Ashmore. Figures released by Brittany Ferries for passenger and…
Ferry Hits Yachts, Runs Aground In Foggy Cowes Harbour
#Ferry - A passenger ferry has been involved in a collision with a number of yachts amid foggy conditions in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, as RTÉ News reports. The UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency has confirmed that no…
Model of the City of Dublin Steam Packet's Royal Mail Steamer, RMS Leinster cuts a sleek profile in dlr's flagship LexIcon Library. The timber built model went on display on the day of the 100th anniversary (10 October 1918) of the tragic sinking in WW1.
#rmsLeinster - In advance of last week's RMS Leinster centenary ceremony, Afloat visited Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown (dlr) LexIcon Library, to discover in addition to the 'lego' model of RMS there was another model recently acquired, writes Jehan Ashmore. On arrival to…
Trainee ship TS Pelican of London, berthed at St. Micheals Wharf, Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Tuesday morning just hours before the 70 year old barquentine departed on Stage 1 of a 7  month voyage across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. The next day due to encountering a fishing buoy, the ship had to divert to Rosslare ferryport where divers gave clearance to confirm no damage was caused to the propellers of the cruiser-stern vessel.
#Tallships - During stage 1 of a 7-month voyage of the Atlantic Ocean, a UK trainee tallship diverted off the Irish coast, having picked up a fishing bouy that could of compromised the barquentine's propellers, writes Jehan Ashmore. As Afloat…
Global ferry company Stena is warning that UK ports are not ready for Brexit. AFLOAT adds one of two ferries the company operate on the core Irish Sea route of Holyhead-Dublin (above) is Stena Superfast X seen arriving in the Irish capital port
#FerryNews - Food supplies could be affected reports BBC News by a no-deal Brexit and and see traders bypass Great Britain, the ferry firm Stena Line has warned. There is "very little readiness" at ports and "anxiety is high", said…
Ferry operator Stena Line says ‘Ni Hao’ (Hello) in welcoming rising number of Chinese customers on its Irish Sea services
#FerryNews - Operator, Stena Line welcomed over 70,000 Chinese visitors on its Irish Sea vessels this year having become the first passenger ferry company in Europe to achieve the Chinese Tourist Welcome (CTW) Certification. The CTW is officially recognised by…
Naomh Éanna docked in a Georgian graving dock of Dublin's Grand Canal Dock basin, is seen from the Ringsend Bridge (spanning the River Dodder). The former CIE operated Aran Islands passenger ferry cargoship (in this perspective view) is seemingly swamped by developing property under construction in Dublin's 'Docklands' quarter in the form of offices and apartments. The rare Irish (Dublin) built ship occupies one of two surviving Georgian graving docks as the largest drydock has for many years been infilled.
#HistoricBoats - Afloat has noted work has recently begun in Dublin's Grand Canal Dockyard to transform a former CIÉ Aran Islands passenger /freight ferry as previously covered into a floating 5-star luxury hotel on the Liffey, writes Jehan Ashmore. Commenting to…
The day after First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones visited Dun Laoghaire for the Irish state ceremony to commemorate the sinking of RMS Leinster a century ago, the Minister (above) then visited the Menai Strait, Anglesey, north Wales (with background of Britannia Bridge) to announce the preferred route for the 3rd Menai crossing. This option will improve journey times on the A55 route (to and from Port of Holyhead) and provide safer travel across the Menai Strait.
#NewsUpdate - The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones who visited Dun Laoghaire last week for the RMS Leinster centenary, the following day paid a visit to Anglesey in north Wales to announce the Purple option as the preferred route…
Local people in the port of Holyhead, Wales fear that Brexit could hit port traffic which is an economic lifeline for the town.
#FerryNews - Trucks in their hundreds roll off the docks at Holyhead every day, bringing goods to and from Ireland in an economic lifeline for this deprived corner of Wales, which is now threatened by Brexit, reports France24.  Just 73…
In the event of a hard Brexit Dublin Port would have to handle five times the freight 'overnight'. AFLOAT adds above yesterday at dawn docked in the capital next to the Tom Clarke (East-Link) toll-bridge is Irish Ferries chartered-in ropax Epsilon (primarily a freight ferry with limited passenger capacity) and during its routine 'Monday' layover, having completed a weekend roundtrip to Cherbourg, before commencing sailings (today) for the rest of this week to Holyhead, Wales. Recently the Rosslare based cruiseferry Oscar Wilde has ceased sailing to France for this season, however the ferry has made several continental crossings on the year-round direct Dublin-Cherbourg route in tandem with Epsilon.
#DublinPort - An hour and a half before dawn and several ships are making their way to Dublin Port, reports BBC News. The biggest by far is the Delphine (see Humber story), known locally as a Brexit-buster which Afloat adds…
RMS Leinster: A waterfront walk of remembrance through the harbour town of Dun Laoghaire took place yesterday on the centenary anniversary of the WWI disaster. There was a great turnout for the special day where Afloat adds the procession passed close to the RMS Leinster (anchor) memorial opposite Carlisle Pier, from where the steamer departed but would never return.  Note appropriately those dressed to represent 'RMS' passengers walk ahead of officials prior to arriving at the state ceremony held beside the dlr Lexicon Library.
#rmsLeinster - The First Minister of Wales along with Irish dignitaries, ambassadors among them from the UK and Germany attended in Dun Laoghaire yesterday a state commemoration ceremony on the centenary of the sinking of RMS Leinster, writes Jehan Ashmore.…
On the centenary anniversary of the sinking of RMS Leinster, relatives from the disaster carried out wreath-laying ceremony at the wreck site off the Kish Bank this morning. AFLOAT adds the relatives where on board excursion vessel St. Bridget having departed Dun Laoghaire Harbour and escorted by LE Orla and local RNLI lifeboat Anna Livia. This afternoon a second boat trip will bring more relatives to the scene of the single-worst maritime tragedy on the Irish Sea.
#rmsLeinster - Today, relatives of those who were on RMS Leinster when it was sunk by a German submarine 100 years ago (during WWI) have visited the site of the sinking. The mail boat writes The Irish Times was torpedoed…
RMS Leinster - tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Royal Mail Steamer (RMS) during WWI on 10 October 1918 where the disaster lead to more than 500 lives lost. As part of commemorative events, a ferry the Stena Superfast X is to pay a salute off the Kish Bank during a routine crossing from Holyhead, Wales to Dublin Port.
#rmsLeinster - Originally a Stena Line ferry sailing from Holyhead, Wales was to make a diversion in Dublin Bay involving a sail-past off Dun Laoghaire Harbour to mark tomorrow's centenary anniversary of the sinking of RMS Leinster, writes Jehan Ashmore.…
The ferry was travelling from Belfast to Liverpool
#BelfastLough - An evacuation of passengers according to ITV News from a ferry took place after a report that a “device” had been left on board. The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the Belfast to Liverpool service was held…
Brexit minister Chris Heaton-Harris says barriers to free movement will not be imposed on the UK side. Above freight vehicle booths at Holyhead Port, north Wales.
#FerryNews - According to a UK Government minister, there will be no extra customs and security checks at Holyhead port - even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The Welsh port writes the Daily Post has lived with the…
The Manx public have one week left (Sun. 7th Oct.) in responding on consultation of future Island ferry services. Above: Afloat adds is the IOM Steam-Packet's fastferry Manannan docked in Douglas Harbour.
#FerryNews - Thousands of Manx residents have already responded to a consultation on the future of the Island's sea services. Manx Radio reports that the Department of Infrastructure is seeking the views of the public as it prepares to update…

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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