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Storm Doris Sweeps Across Irish Sea Leading to Ferry Travel Disruption

23rd February 2017
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Storm Doris has caused some ferry cancellations and delays on the Irish Sea today Storm Doris has caused some ferry cancellations and delays on the Irish Sea today

#StormDoris – Travel disruption due to Storm Doris has led to one of the largest ferries on the Irish Sea unable to enter Dublin Port due to the adverse weather conditions.

An attempt however by the 44,000 gross tonnage Stena Adventurer is now estimated to take place around 12.30 this afternoon. Other routes and ferry operators have also been affected with either cancelled sailings and delays arising from the fourth storm of this winter.

Stena Adventurer was scheduled to arrive in Dublin Port at 05.45hrs however high seas have led to a delay of six hours so far. The ferry which can accommodate 1,500 passengers had been circling Dublin Bay but later moved off Bray Head to wait for weather conditions to abate. 

The corresponding return sailing of Stena Adventurer from Dublin of 08.20hrs this morning has been changed to 14.00hrs.

A fleetmate on the Ireland-Wales route, Stena Nordica had cancelled overnight sailings but is scheduled to take up the routine 15.10 sailing this afternoon to Holyhead.

Stena Nordica which used to serve the route had only entered service in recent days to cover the refit dry-docking of Stena Superfast X which is at Harland & Wolff, Belfast.

For the latest information on Stena Line sailing updates and from other routes click here

For Irish Ferries click this link. Noting certain Jonathan Swift fast-craft sailings and those by ropax Epsilon have been cancelled, though the larger flagship Ulysses remains operating as scheduled.

Those intending to travel on P&O’s North Channel route between Larne-Cairnryan click here. For the Dublin-Liverpool route click here.

Met Eireann earlier this morning issued a Marine Weather Warning of Status Orange. The Warning is for gale to storm force west or northwest winds continuing this morning on all coasts of Ireland and on the Irish Sea. For further weather updates click here

Published in Ferry
Jehan Ashmore

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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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