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Stena RoRo Charter of 'Carrier' Ends On P&O Ferries Liverpool Route

24th April 2018

#FerryNews - Stena RoRo's charter of a vessel to P&O Ferries Dublin-Liverpool route ended at the weekend following the return of European Endeavour fresh from annual refit, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The charter of Stena Carrier to rivals, P&O was expected to terminate tomorrow, however the ro-ro freight ferry Stena Carrier completed duties earlier with a passage from Liverpool to Dublin on Sunday morning. Following discharging of vehicles, the ship proceeded to anchor in Dublin Bay also that morning (and remains so off Dun Laoghaire Harbour). Afloat awaits the next charter possibly on the North Channel? 

Also on Sunday, as alluded P&O's European Endeavour, the largest of three ferries on the Liverpool route, arrived into Dublin Bay fresh from overhaul carried out at A&P Falmouth, Cornwall.

Upon arrival in Dublin Port, European Endeavour, remained in port for a scheduled Sunday layover. A first post-refit sailing departed yesterday albeit some two hours late. The returning sailing from Liverpool in comparison arrived on time to Dublin this morning. Several hours later at 15.00 the ferry departed on schedule with an arrival on Merseyside tonight at around 23.00.

Afloat will have more on the 24,046 gross tonnage, European Endeavour, in the meantime, the focus remains on Stena Carrier which in February provided a replacement vessel out of Rosslare. On that occasion, Stena Line required the services of the charter company, part of the Stena Sphere of companies, that is based in Gothenburg. The west Swedish city is where ferry company is also located.

Some principle characteristics of Stena Carrier (below) of the '4runner' class built. Among them, leadship Stena Forerunner which operates the ferry division's North Sea route: Harwich-Rotterdam (where CLdN's ro-ro recently christened Celine calls to as part of an Ireland-Belgium-UK-Netherlands route diagram).

Stena Carrier

Flag: Denmark
Port of Registry: Frederikshavn
Built: 2004
Gross Tonnage: 21,171
Deadweight: 11,783
Drivers: 12
Lane meters: 2,715
Length Overall: 182.77m
Breath Extreme: 25.50m
Draught: 6.10m

As alluded above the stint on Stena Line's Rosslare-Cherbourg service saw Stena Carrier continue in a freight-only mode (notably with livestock, estimated to be 35,000 cattle) while ropax Stena Horizon was routinely drydocked.

At that stage no passenger services were operating between the countries, except for Irish Ferries ropax Epsilon on the Dublin-Cherbourg route.

There is much anticipation of newbuild cruiseferry, W.B. Yeats onto the capital-continental connection. The 55,000 gross tonnage cruiseferry is encountering delays at the German yard of FSG, Flensburg and is not expected to enter service until late July as widely reported in the media.

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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