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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Irish Ferries which is owned by ICG said its group revenues soared to €500.5m, up 78.9% compared with last year and a 62.1% increase on 2019. Above Isle of Innisfree, one of three ferries operating their service on the Dover-Calais route.
Irish Ferries parent company Irish Continental Group (ICG), has reported a big jump in revenues as travel restrictions from Covid eased compared to the same time last year. ICG said its group revenues in the trading period 10 months prior…
The Stena owned port of Holyhead is among five ports in Wales in a bid for freeport status Above Afloat adds is the port's Salt Island ferry terminal with on the right, linkspans used by the operator and Irish Ferries. In the centre is the former Anglesey Aluminium jetty and the pier on the left is a former ferry berth.
Jobs in their thousands could be created in north Wales by making the port of Holyhead into a freeport, its owners have claimed. The Swedish owned ferry company Stena Line which operates to Dublin Port, said it was working with…
File image of Belfast Harbour Police
BBC News reports that the body of a man who went missing from a ferry in Belfast Lough late last month has been found. Claims that a man had fallen overboard from a ferry on the night of Saturday 29…
A Greener ferry future among them, Salamanca the first Liquified Powered Gas (LNG) powered passenger ferry to operate between Ireland and mainland Europe. The Brittany Ferries cruiseferry promising lower emissions, this month entered service on the Rosslare-Bilbao route providing a more luxurious travel experience on the Ireland-Spain route.
Ferry industry body in the UK, Discover Ferries announces that the British passenger ferry industry will introduce fuel-efficient, hybrid-powered ferries to reduce carbon emissions and improve the passenger experience. In the past two years, six new ships have already entered…
Police patrol ports along western Scotland due to increasing abuse and threats to ferry staff of operator CalMac as disruption to lifeline Island services has been caused chiefly to an ageing ferry fleet. Above the much delayed Clyde built newbuild Glen Sannox was to enter the Isle of Arran service in 2018 but is not expected to make a debut until next year.
Police along the west coast of Scotland are having to patrol ports during bank holidays as ferry staff are being faced with abuse from frustrated travellers. As The Herald reports, the threats include to running over workers from customers due…
Artwork strongly feature on the new cruise-ferry Salamanca named after the stunning 'heritage' city in Castilla y Léon in Spain, which was officially launched in Rosslare Europort this morning. Among the luxurious facilities is the central Plaza Mayor bar, designed to evoke Salamanca city’s spectacular main square and the new 'greener' LNG powered ferry which connects Bilbao, boasts more than 200 artworks by local Spanish artists.
Brittany Ferries brings a taste of Spain to Ireland in the form of the new cruise-ferry Salamanca which officially was launched at Rosslare Europort this morning. Salamanca, named after the stunning heritage city in Castilla y Léon in Spain, replaces…
Loch Ryan: Campaigners including Stena and politicians have put the case to improve two major roads in Dumfries and Galloway with the Scottish Parliament. Above: The ferry operator's Stena Superfast VIII berthed at their Loch Ryan Port terminal which neighbours P&O Ferries operations at Cairnryan.
In south-west Scotland, campaigners from Dumfries and Galloway have gone to the Scottish Parliament, to push the case for improvements of two of the region’s trunk roads, the A75 and A77 out of Loch Ryan. The campaigners at Holyrood were…
Serious concerns' have been raised by the ferry operator about potential windfarms in the Irish Sea as image shows areas marked in orange of the proposed windfarm project.
'Serious concerns' have been raised by the Isle of Man Steam Packet in regards to the effect of growing windfarms in the Irish Sea. As 3FM reports, the ferry operator has concerns following proposals for the windfarm of 'Morecambe and…
Strong financial figures for the French ferry company as their Armorique made the final end of season sailing on the Cork-Roscoff route yesterday. On the same day, the new Salamanca sailed on a maiden crossing from Rosslare to Bilbao, a year-round operated service linking Ireland and Spain.
Brittany Ferries has today published figures showing strong performance for passenger services on UK-Spain/France and France-Ireland routes however there was a fall in traffic on English Channel operations. The figures outlined relate to the ferry firm's full financial year (November…
Questions raised in the House of Keys concerned the availability of the freight-ship Arrow, a reserve vessel on the Isle of Man's main Douglas-Heysham route served by ferry Ben-My-Chree.
Dr Alex Allinson, the Isle of Man's Treasury Minister says he doesn’t know how often the ro-ro freight ferry Arrow is leased out, but he has no concerns over it being available when the Steam Packet needs it. The Isle…
The Isle of Man Steam Packet is to host an Open Careers Day in Douglas on Thursday, 24th November at the company's headquarters, Imperial Buildings, as above illuminated last month to focus attention to the Manx Breast Cancer Support Group's Pink Day.
Ferry operator the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is to host a Careers Open Day in Douglas on Thursday, 24th November between 11am and 3pm. The careers venue will be the Imperial Buildings, the head offices of the Steam…
New era in 'greener' ferry travel as Brittany Ferries’ Salamanca, the first LNG powered passenger ferry to operate from Ireland, departed Rosslare Europort this morning on its maiden voyage to Bilbao, Spain. AFLOAT adds the new E-Flexer class cruiseferry departed almost two hours late, having previously arrived overnight from Cherbourg, replacing chartered in Connemara on the French route also served by the new cruiseferry. Note the LNG ventilation mast near the funnel. Also today, the same operator's Cork-Roscoff 'seasonal' route ends this afternoon as Armorique returns to the Breton port from where sailings resume in March, 2023.
Brittany Ferries’ Salamanca is the first LNG (liquefied natural gas) powered passenger ferry to operate from Ireland as the E-Flexer class cruiseferry departed from Rosslare Europort this morning on its maiden voyage to Bilbao, Spain. Following significant passenger growth on its…
File image of the shore of Belfast Lough west of Bangor
RTÉ News reports that searches are ongoing in Belfast Lough today (Sunday 30 October) after claims that a man fell overboard from a docked ferry on Saturday night. The PSNI has asked the public to avoid the area as a…
The ferry firm came under fire after sacking nearly 800 members of staff without notice in March which led to disruption across the Irish Sea, Strait of Dover and on the North Sea.
Following the P&O Ferries scandal which took place earlier this year, a move in the UK is to ensure that minimum wage for all seafarers has taken a step closer to becoming law. As ITV News reports, reforms aim to…
New Passenger Terminal: Stena Line's Trade Director Paul Grant and Belfast Harbour Port Director Michael Robinson at the facility located at Victoria Terminal 2 (VT2) which handles traffic on the Birkenhead (Liverpool) route.
The largest ferry operator in Northern Ireland Stena Line has opened the doors of its new passenger terminal in Belfast Harbour at Victoria Terminal 2 (VT2). The new-look passenger terminal has been expanded and refurbished to provide new facilities to cater for…
DFDS has won a five -year contract to continue operating the UK-France route of Newhaven-Dieppe (which Afloat adds is marketed under the 'Transmanche Ferries' brand). The English Channel route served by Seven Sisters (above) and Côte d'Albâtre, is run under contract as a 'public service' obligation route on behalf of SMPAT. DFDS also operate on the Strait of Dover and the Rosslare Europort-Dunkirk that began as a 'bypass Brexit' service and this season taking motorist based passengers on a trial basis up to 22 December.
Ferry and logistics operator DFDS this week has won a new five-year contract to continue operating the UK-France route of Newhaven-Dieppe with the latest contract coming into effect on the English Channel next year. The new contract will begin 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!

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