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LD Lines to Resume Rosslare Route Services to France and Spain

20th May 2014
LD Lines Norman Atlantic
LD Lines ro-pax Norman Atlantic which is to resume Ireland-Spain (via France) services next month.
LD Lines to Resume Rosslare Route Services to France and Spain

#IrelandSpainFerry –Good news for those intending to travel between Ireland and Spain as LD Lines are to resume Rosslare route services starting on 20 June to St.Nazaire, France and onward to Gijón in northern Spain, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The first ever Irish-Spain route (landbridge via western France) was originally launched in January, however a period of dry-docking in March was also followed by an extended absence of service from the continental routes.  However, LD Lines return of the first inbound sailing by ro-pax Norman Atlantic departs Gijón on 17 June followed by St. Nazaire on 18 June and arriving to Rosslare 19 June.

The corresponding first southbound sailing from Ireland departs Rosslare on the next day of Friday 20 June departing 21.00 and arriving St. Nazaire on Saturday at 1900hrs before reaching the final destination of Gijón in the Asturias region of Spain on Sundays at 1300hrs.

Northbound the vessel departs Gijón on Tuesdays at 2200 and St. Nazaire at 2359 on Wednesdays before arriving in Rosslare at 21.45 on Thursdays.

Gary Andrews of LD Lines stated; "We are delighted to confirm the resumption of our service, offering Irish hauliers the easiest routes to Western France and Spain. Beating the French driving ban by arriving in Spain on Sunday evenings, freight is placed ready for Monday morning deliveries across Spain, Portugal, France and further afield."

The routes are operated by the 550-passenger Norman Atlantic which as well as catering for tourist traffic can accommodate both regular freight types and most abnormal loads.

As previously reported, LD Lines also operate routes from Poole to Santander, Poole to Gijon and the direct Saint Nazaire – Gijón service.

 

Published in Ferry
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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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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