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Bars and Restaurants on Ferries Should Be Shut & Put Passengers in Individual Cabins - Hauliers

18th March 2020
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. 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. Photo: Dublin Port -facebook

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 Independent.ie

The Freight Transport Association of Ireland (FTAI) issued its appeal as Brittany Ferries which Afloat also reported on Monday, became the first operator to suspend some of its sea links with the island.

FTAI general manager Aidan Flynn said truck drivers were critical for ensuring that agri-food and other essential supplies travel uninterrupted between Ireland, Britain and Europe.

Mr Flynn said ferry firms should “prioritise the safety and welfare of commercial drivers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their safety should take precedence to ensure our supply chain is protected at all costs.”

The association wants ferries to provide all passengers - but particularly lorry drivers - their own individual cabins and to deliver meals and drinks directly to those cabins. It says all bars and restaurants should be shut to reduce potential virus transmission.

For more on this story which refers to other ferry operators, click here and whenever the newspaper (homepage) has more and in addition to their 'Travel News' here.

Afloat has listed the ferry operators websites below with an important range of travel advice and information with FAQ relating to Covid-19.

Irish Ferries and for sailing updates by clicking here

Stena Line and for sailing updates click here

Brittany Ferries for sailing updates here 

It is strongly advised to consult these operators frequently for updates.

In addition to consulting the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFA) website HERE for the latest advice on travelling overseas and from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) HERE (re: Ireland) and also HERE.

According to today's TheJournal.ie as of midnight tonight, Ryanair flight schedules will be cut by over 80%. The airline says that almost all of its flights (“if not all”) will be grounded next week, from midnight of Tuesday, 24 March. 

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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