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Operator Irish Ferries Unveils Safer Way to Get Away for Holidaymakers to Travel Comfortably When It's Time

19th June 2020
New measures introduced to deliver enhanced safety for passengers and crew on-board Irish Ferries. Above: cruiseferry W.B. Yeats captured in this AFLOAT photo having departed Dublin Port and when bound for Cherbourg, France. New measures introduced to deliver enhanced safety for passengers and crew on-board Irish Ferries. Above: cruiseferry W.B. Yeats captured in this AFLOAT photo having departed Dublin Port and when bound for Cherbourg, France. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

Ferry Travel: The prospect of a 2020 holiday abroad seemed all but lost a few weeks ago, but as thoughts turn to the reopening of our country and European destinations begin to lift restrictions, Irish Ferries is delighted to announce new measures to help holidaymakers get away when it’s time.

These additional safety measures will help to ensure customers are guaranteed the safest and most comfortable way to get to their chosen holiday destination in the UK or France when the time comes to travel again.

Many Irish families will have recent or distant memories of holidays in France, and Irish Ferries is delighted to reconnect Irish holidaymakers with the beautiful country. With amazing culture and history, Normandy is ready to be explored. Or hop in the car to Brittany, which has countless beaches to soak up some well-deserved sun, as well as ample destinations to take trips to from La Pointe Saint Mathieu to the iconic Mont Saint-Michel Bay.

With sailings to the UK, families, couples or friends can re-connect with loved ones after many months apart, or simply enjoy a holiday. Haven Holiday Parks are set to open throughout July, perfect for families in Wales. Easy to get to from Holyhead also is the Llŷn Peninsula which features beaches, bays and plenty of walking opportunities along the Llŷn Coastal Path. Looking further afield to the English countryside, the Peak District is awash with natural beauty with plenty of towns and villages to discover too.

Passengers that travel with Irish Ferries know that the holiday begins as soon as they step on board. And while things have been adapted for now, Ireland’s leading ferry operator says that ferry travel provides an already unique experience that is vastly different to air travel and is highlighting several key advantages of taking to the seas when the time is right.

Unlike when flying, passengers can of course avail of the unique benefit of enjoying clean fresh sea air and unbeatable views on outer decks, with ventilation and air conditioning systems on board also using just 100% fresh air.

Irish Ferries has introduced in-car check in, so that passengers can stay in the comfort and safety of their own car during check in. Where passport checks are in operation, passengers are asked to hold up passports from their car for review, limiting contact with staff.

Onboard with Irish Ferries, passengers can sail in space, with plenty of room inside, with clear marking and signage, easily allowing for social distancing. There is ample seating to accommodate passengers and the option of private cabin accommodation on cruise ferry services to both Britain and France.

Irish Ferries has also increased the frequency of onboard cleaning routines. There will be intensified sanitation and disinfection of all common touchpoints throughout ships. Each cabin is cleaned thoroughly after use, with a special device that eliminates viruses and other air and surface contaminants. This device is used in “Clean Room Technology” throughout the pharmaceutical sector and in some hospitals.

To further enhance safety of both passengers and crew, Irish Ferries has amended its food and beverage services on board, in its cafes, restaurants and in-room dining. And there are new protocols in place in public areas with crew and staff that are in direct contact with passengers wearing masks and gloves, and plexiglass at all till points. Hand sanitiser stations are widely available and cinemas, bars, shopping, Club Class lounges and kids soft play areas have been closed for now. However, to keep the family entertained, Video on Demand is available in all cabins on the France service.

Irish Ferries are advising passengers to bring face masks or face covering when travelling and to wear a face covering when moving around public spaces. These are now mandatory by French authorities when travelling to France.

Regardless of where you might like to travel to this summer, be assured, that Irish Ferries offers a safer way to get away, when the time is right and looks forward to welcoming passengers back onboard again soon.

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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