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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Industry leader said (ferry) ships 'days away' from being laid up in ports. ABOVE Stena Estrid departing the Port of Holyhead and bound for Dublin Port
Laid up ferries, reports NorthWalesLive, could be in port and Irish Sea routes suspended unless the UK Government steps in to help, industry sources say. Ferry firms are lobbying the UK and Irish governments for support as passenger numbers between…
The RMT union says it is a 'kick in the teeth' for members but Stena says coronavirus has changed situation. Afloat adds above is the new Stena Estrid berthed at the Port of Holyhead, north Wales from where the ropax ferry operates the core Irish Sea route to Dublin Port.
Operator Stena Line and the Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT) union have engaged in a war of words after the ferry giant withdrew its previous pay offer due to the coronavirus crisis. The ferry firm had offered staff a…
Leadship of the new E-Flexer ropax class AFLOAT adds is Stena Estrid in Dublin Port from where the ferry operates on the Holyhead route as part of keeping Irish & UK supply lines stay open across the Irish Sea. Afloat also adds as for the Ireland-north Wales service is also operated by Stena Adventurer.
Ferry operator Stena Line in response to the impact of the Coronavirus as it tightens its grip on everyday life across Europe, has moved to reassure freight and travel customers. The operator is taking every precaution possible to help ensure…
Unaccompanied freight trailer units in this AFLOAT photo seen on board P&O Ferries freight ropax Norbay (see sister Norbank also in the Irish capital in yesterday's 'Dublin Port' news) along with Clipper Pennant on charter from Seatruck, operate on the central Irish Sea route to Liverpool, England. P&O also operate on the North Channel between Larne-Cairnryan in Scotland
Operator P&O Ferries has announced “a significant strategic shift to reprioritise its efforts on its freight operations and maintain the flow of goods, including medical supplies, between the UK and Europe”. The moves involve the ferry company “furloughing” 1,100 staff…
Brittany Ferries have been forced to 'cease' all services for the time being, across their route network including Ireland-France/Spain due to Covid-19 advise from governments among them Ireland. Above flagship Pont-Aven which otherwise operates the seasonal Cork-Roscoff route is seen last year arriving in Cork Harbour where on the left is Cobh Cruise Terminal (see blue pontoon) on to the right is the Irish Naval Service Base on Haulbowline Island.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and following advice given by governments in all countries in which Brittany Ferries operate the company have been forced to temporarily suspend passenger services connecting the UK, Ireland, France and Spain. All passenger sailings between…
The Rail and Maritime Transport (RMT) union called the move by Stena Line during the coronavirus outbreak "outrageous". Above AFLOAT adds is the new Stena Estrid on its maiden sailing (in January) departing the Port of Holyhead and when bound for Dublin Port.
On the Irish Sea ferry company Stena Line has told staff they won't be paid their normal sick pay during the Covid-19 pandemic, a union has said. The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMT) said the ferry giant has removed its…
Ferrying Freight: Trucks on board a ferry NOTE AFLOAT adds for up to date travel incl FAQ on Covid-19 and information for passengers in general is listed below from ferry operators websites and Irish & UK government travel & health advise.
A call from Irish hauliers to ferry operators to shut all bars and restaurants at sea and to provide room service to individual drivers in their own cabins to keep them shielded from Covid-19, reported The Freight Transport Association…
Due to COVID-19 there is further widespread travel disruption and cancellations with changes to Brittany Ferries schedules on Ireland-France and Ireland-Spain routes and notably that the new Rosslare-Roscoff route will not open on 23 March, which Irish Ferries withdrew the seasonal service last year. AFLOAT also adds the ropax ferry Kerry berthed at Rosslare Europort for the first time (as when seen last month) prior to its maiden voyage to Spain and from the ferry returned this afternoon to the Wexford port with the last 'passengers' to use the service before it becomes freight-only.
There is further suspension of Brittany Ferries passenger services as a consequence of the on-going Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis which Afloat adds the French ferry operator has posted on its website, so click for updates.  According to Brittany Ferries this is in…
COVID-19 has led to immediate changes for Brittany Ferries Ireland services to France and Spain as detailed below. Above the ropax ferry Kerry berthed on first day of arrival in Rosslare Europort from where the chartered ferry last month made its maiden voyage to Bilbao, northern Spain..
Ferry operator Brittany Ferries has outlined a series of immediate changes to its schedules, in response to the on-going Coronavirus crisis. On 12 March, the French government announced steps to protect its citizens. According to the company employing all-French crew,…
Heavy seas as waves hit Roonagh Pier, Co. Mayo
Clare Island residents and also those on Inishturk, off the west Mayo coastline, are calling on the Irish government for urgent help. In the past two months 52% (see: January story) of their scheduled ferries have been disrupted due to…
The newest ferry on the Irish Sea AFLOAT adds is the Stena Edda which recently made its maiden voyage from Birkenhead on the Wirral (as above) to Belfast. The E-Flexer class ferry faces opposite of Liverpool, when swinging off the newly upgraded Twelve Quays Ferry Terminal on Merseyside. Afloat also adds on the right is the Museum of Liverpool.
Due to the design of Stena Line ferries as well as the length and nature of crossings, the ferry operator has issued a statement regards them always operating to a shared cabin policy for freight drivers. Stena added, as we…
The Irish Road Hauliers’ Association has sought clarity from the Dept. of Transport on whether (freight) drivers can get single cabins on ferries or be allowed to sleep in their trucks. AFLOAT's photo of unaccompanied trailers on the upper deck of Seatruck Pace, a P' class ro-ro freight ferry with a 110 freight-unit /2,930 lane metres capacity and which operates Dublin-Liverpool. In addition Afloat adds limited space for passengers (only with vehicles) were also carried, but due to COVID-19, Seatruck has now stopped carrying HGV drivers along with motorist passengers.
Freight (Truck) drivers, writes The Irish Times, have complained that they cannot get clear directions about Covid-19 safety rules from the Government on how they can be protected on the road in order to safeguard Irish supply chains. The Irish…
Busiest ferry in Scotland: The ferry AFLOAT adds is the domestic island serving ferry Caledonian Isles berthed at Brodick, Isle of Arran yesterday. According to The Herald, Ardrossan-Brodick route is CalMac’s busiest route, carrying 841,000 of its 5.25m passengers last year.
The busiest ferry crossing in Scotland, reports The Herald, has ground to a halt for safety reasons in a move that could lead to six weeks of disruption over a busy school holiday period. Fifteen sailings between Brodick on the…
Senior Master Kris Gadomski of the Stena Line Edda vessel before it's maiden voyage
The next generation of ferry travel went into service yesterday evening as Stena Line reaffirmed its commitment to operations on the Irish Sea and providing the ‘very best freight and travel experience for customers’. As Afloat reported previously, Stena Edda,…
ICG's Irish Ferries newbuild cruiseferry W.B. Yeats came into operation last year and as AFLOAT adds is seen berthed at Dublin Port's Terminal No.1
Irish Continental Group, parent company of Irish Ferries has reported higher revenues and earnings for the year to the end of December, as its new ferry, the W.B.Yeats, came into service. As according to RTE News, ICG's revenue for the year…
Howth Peninsula forms the backdrop as Stena Superfast X enters Dublin Port for the first time in 2015 having sailed from Holyhead, Wales and in that same year the UK periodical, 'Ships Monthly' (November issue) published the photo of the ferry to introduce their 'Ship of the Month' feature. The former Greek ferry launched as Superfast X followed in the wake of sisterships, (Stena) Superfast VII & VIII albeit they have served on the North Channel route of Belfast-Cairnryan since 2011 and continue to do so on services to Scotland.
The last sailing operated by Stena Superfast X took place on Tuesday from Cairnryan, Scotland to Belfast Harbour from where the ferry departed for the final time last night bound for Greece, writes Jehan Ashmore. It was the turn of…

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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