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Displaying items by tag: Discover Ferries

#ferries - Nine new passenger ferries are planned to be launched on Ireland and UK routes which shows the industry is “continuing to thrive”, a trade body has claimed.

Irish Ferries, Stena Line and Brittany Ferries the Independent.ie reports are among the operators expanding their fleets.

More than 38 million passenger journeys were made by ferry on UK domestic, Irish and Continental services in 2017, according to industry data.

The new ships include ferries for passengers and vehicles, as well as the largest catamaran to operate in London.

Emma Batchelor, director of UK trade body Discover Ferries, said: “The introduction of these nine new passenger ferries is great news, not only for the shipping sector but also for the millions of holidaymakers who value comfort and space when they travel.

“These ships, which are set to enter service from this year, clearly demonstrate the confidence that the industry has in the future of ferry travel and its popularity.

“This also sends a clear message that ferry travel is continuing to thrive and passengers should book their ferry travel for 2019 with confidence, whether they are sailing across the Irish Sea, around London, the British Isles or into mainland Europe.”

Irish Ferries’ latest cruise ferry W.B. Yeats was launched last month, following months of delays and a controversy over the company's announcement that it is "unlikely" to sail between Rosslare and France (this year), with another (newbuild) due to start sailing between the UK and Ireland in 2020.

For more on other ferry operators and new tonnage click here. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Among ferry operators serving the UK, is the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company which is encouraging more people to rediscover the joy of travelling by sea.

The ferry operator has teamed up with Manx National Heritage to create a special National Ferry Fortnight (14-28 April) offer to give explorers the opportunity to discover the Isle of Man.

This is the 10th year of holding the National Ferry Fortnight which is run by Discover Ferries, the industry body for the ferry sector, to showcase Britain’s extensive ferry routes along with the benefits of travelling by sea.

Island residents can take advantage of the offer to travel to England and Ireland. It is also a great opportunity to encourage friends and family who don’t live on the Isle of Man to visit and discover the island’s unique heritage.

 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - The ferry industry in the UK according to a recent report is gearing up for growth with more than £1 billion pounds worth of new investments planned in the next four years. 

Portsmouth International Port has long realised that investing in new facilities is key to maintaining its position as the UK’s second busiest ferry port which celebrated a 40th anniversary two years ago. The latest multi-million pound transformation will be unveiled next month when a new upgraded linkspan draw bridge is put into position.

The £9 million double decked linkspan is crucial to smooth and efficient ferry operations, used for getting vehicles on and off of vessels. A tightly choreographed operation to install and commission it at Berth 4 will follow a three day sea crossing from Deest in Holland where it was manufactured.

The improvements at Portsmouth's ferryport contribute to unprecedented national investments. New figures from Discover Ferries, the group representing the UK ferry industry, collate an impressive range of new ships and port facilities due to benefit passengers in the near future.

Emma Batchelor, Director of Discover Ferries, which released the investment statistics, said the figures reflected the sustained popularity of ferry travel. “More than 39 million passenger journeys are made by ferry to UK islands, the Isle of Man and Ireland, France, Spain and Holland,” she said “and those sustained numbers are enabling ferry operators to invest with confidence in new ships and new routes.

"Ferry travel today is transformed compared to a decade ago and enjoys a loyal following of travelers who value comfort and space. In the next four years the scale of this investment will see another step change in service for travellers.” added Emma.

In 2019 passengers travelling Portsmouth-Caen will experience the latest generation of ferry as Brittany Ferries introduce a new cruiseferry into service. As previously reported on Afloat, the newbuild to be named Honfluer is been built by FSG in Germany. 

Honfluer represents an investment of £175 million and will deliver a relaxing and comfortable crossing for passengers, on the most environmentally ferry operating in the English Channel. The cruiseferry will be powered by Liquid Natural Gas, significantly reducing pollution.

Published in Ferry

#FerryFortnight - The annual National Ferry Fortnight in the UK launches today, 6 May and continues to the 20 May. Now in its ninth year, National Ferry Fortnight is run by Discover Ferries, the industry body for the ferry industry that showcases the benefits of sea travel.

Afloat adds that among the members of Discover Ferries are operators on the Irish Sea. They are represented from an overall 75-plus ferry routes running between the UK and Ireland and continental Europe. In addition to those serving islands off Britain, chiefly the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and the Scottish Western Isles. 

This 2017 Discover Ferries’ National Ferry Fortnight campaign theme is Ferry Together – encouraging family and friends to spend more time together. Research undertaken by Discover Ferries at the beginning of 2017 highlights how little quality time families are spending together due to the hectic nature of modern life. Results showed that the average family spends just three weeks of real quality time together each year, and just 36 minutes on the average week day. In comparison, adults spend almost four times as long – one hour and 55 minutes per day – watching TV or playing on their gadgets. Children are also staring at a screen of some kind for around two hours and 22 minutes a day.

As a result, two thirds of parents say holidays and trips away from home are the only real time they get together. Going out for meals together was found to be the best way of spending quality time together on holiday, followed by doing activities together, the evening entertainment and the journey there. And almost half of those surveyed said the entire holiday counts as quality time.
Bill Gibbons, Discover Ferries director said: “Our research has shown just how incredibly important every second of holiday time is in our busy lives. Almost half of the people we surveyed said their whole holiday counts as quality time together. Our members do their utmost to make the ferry journey the very start of the family holiday experience. Unlike an airplane where you’re strapped in alongside each other in front of computer screens, a ferry journey gives people time to stretch their legs, eat a meal together or watch wildlife together. National Ferry Fortnight will be a celebration of ways to spend that treasured time together.”

Members of Discover Ferries 

The 11 members of Discover Ferries are Brittany Ferries, Caledonian MacBrayne, DFDS Seaways, Irish Ferries, Isle Of Man Steam Packet Company, Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, NorthLink Ferries, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, Stena Line and Wightlink.

During National Ferry Fortnight 2017 Discover Ferries’ members will be publishing holiday ideas and added-value offers on ferry routes to France, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Ireland, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly and Scottish islands.

To keep in touch with #ferrytogether #NFF2017 please follow @discoverferries on Twitter, like Discover Ferries on Facebook and sign up to our newsletter.

Published in Ferry

#FerryFortnight- It’s that time of year again when National Ferry Fortnight (5-19 March) is launched by Discover Ferries.

The fortnight beginning tomorrow (Saturday) is to highlight the benefits of travelling by sea between Ireland and the UK and also to the European continent.

Discover Ferries represents all the UK's major ferry lines, carrying just over 39 million passengers a year (by car, bicycle or indeed by foot). Whatever method of travel, there are more than 75 routes to choose including services to islands off the UK.

The theme of National Ferry Fortnight for 2016 is “Be a Ferry First-Timer” and there are some great destination ideas to consider for the first time, or indeed to experience again.

There are twelve ferry operator members of Discover Ferries and for further details on great ferry fares during the fortnight visit here.

Published in Ferry

#FerryFigures – Irish Sea ferry passengers totals for last year carried on all three main operators, were marginally down by 1.9% from 4.87m in 2014 to 4.78m in 2015, according to a UK wide industry report.

The operators, Irish Ferries, Stena Irish Sea and P&O Ferries formed part of the annual data of ferry figures released last month by Discover Ferries. The ferry industry body provide comprehensive details of ferry companies and routes operating on domestic and international routes from the UK.

Figures show that the UK’s total ferry operators carried 8.61 million cars in 2015, up 1.3% on the previous year. Overall passenger figures on 75 ferry routes held up at 38.90 million, slipping just 0.6% from last year and still 800,000 up compared to the 38.1 million passengers of 2013.

According to the 2015 Ferrystat* figures also released by Discover Ferries, that despite the much publicised disruption issues on the key Calais-Dover route last summer and the closure from July of MyFerrylink – overall continental ferry passengers were only down by 1%.

On the domestic ferry front, routes forged ahead recording their best passenger figures since 2011, with other sectors like the Western Channel and the Netherlands also recorded strong increases in both car and passenger traffic.

UK domestic ferries best performers in 2015

Ferry routes to domestic destinations such as the Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly, Isle of Man, Channel Isles and Scottish Islands were the top performing sector up 2015, with total cars carried up 4.5% to 3.69m, and passengers up nearly 0.4% to 16m - the best domestic passenger figure since 2011.

Within this sector the Isle of Wight ferry routes carried 1.2% more passengers at 8.74m and 3.4% more cars at 1.78m, and Scottish operator Cal Mac recorded a significant increase of 6.9% in car carryings, to 1.17m, offering both lifeline and visitor services to their multiple western isles destinations.

UK-Continental ferry crossings prove resilient

Total passengers carried by P&O Ferries and DFDS Seaways on the short sea routes to Calais and Dunkirk were still over 13m in 2015 (13.01m), compared with 13.29m in 2014, a drop of 2.2%.

Overall, however, continental passengers were down only 1%, from 18.32m in 2014 to 18.13m in 2015, as some passengers chose alternative ferry routes to the continent, resulting in good growth of 3.4% (2.94m passengers) on the Western channel routes to France principally served by Brittany Ferries, with cars carried up by 5.8% to 990,000 in 2015.

North Sea ferry routes run by Stena, DFDS and P&O Ferries increased by 3.9% the number of cars carried to 445,000 in 2015, carrying the same number of passengers in 2015 as 2014 (2.18m)

“The 2015 figures show the ferry industry is resilient and adaptable” said Discover Ferries’ director Bill Gibbons, “Domestic ferry routes carried nearly 16million passengers -their best year since 2011 and despite the summer issues at Calais last year P&O Ferries’ and DFDS operators adapted their capacity and sailings to great effect, and other continental ferry operators took up any car customers who were able to re-route. In perspective, ferry sailings to the Continent were down 8.5%, but passenger numbers in this sector only fell by 1%.

“Ferries also took other challenges in their stride in 2015, including the Government’s introduction of exit checks and significant investment required by new fuel emissions regulations. With ferry routes to northern Spain; Holland; the western Channel to France**; the Isle Of Wight; and Isles of Scilly all showing healthy passenger gains, it demonstrates the broad reach and appeal of the ferry industry and how operators can work together in challenging times. We expect a further surge in customer interest when the industry comes together again to promote National Ferry Fortnight (March 5-19) with offers to appeal to ferry first timers, and those trying a new ferry route with their car for the first time”

*2015 “Ferrystat” passenger figures compiled by IRN Research

**the western Channel is defined as any sea routes west of Dover from the South Coast of Britain

Published in Ferry

#FERRY FORTNIGHT – With today's St. Patrick's Day festivities, the national event also coincides with the launch of our nearest neighbour's National Ferry Fortnight (17th-30th March) campaign held in the UK, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Each year around 13m people travelled between the UK and Ireland while more than 10m people took to the skies.

The UK has an extensive ferry network of approximately 50 routes including those serving the islands. Of the 11 shipping operators that are members of the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA), five of them serve on routes to Ireland.

Those participating in the ferry campaign which operate on the Irish market are Brittany Ferries, Irish Ferries, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company,  P&O and Stena Line.

To read more about all the ferry firms participating in the National Ferry Fortnight campaign click HERE.

Published in Ferry

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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