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Displaying items by tag: DublinDouglas

Due to the pandemic Manx ferry sailings not seen since September 2019, finally resumed on the Dublin-Douglas seasonal service with crossings carried out by a catamaran fastcraft, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The catamaran, Manannan operated by Isle of Man Steam Packet made the outward crossing from the Manx capital to Dublin on the summer service which takes approximately 2 hours 55 minutes. 

Resumption of the seasonal operated Irish Sea route follows the Manx Government's easing of Covid-19 border travel restrictions that became effective from 28th June. 

Manannan also operates other seasonal based routes linking the Isle of Man and the UK, mainly running the Douglas-Liverpool link, where today the craft has been kept busy. 

In addition the 96m vehicle carrying catamaran built in 1998 by InCat, Tasmania, also serves Douglas-Belfast with the next scheduled sailing to the Ulster city on Sunday. A crossing time of 2 hours 45 minutes is advertised, though some sailings run by the conventional ferry, Ben-My-Chree involves a more leisurely passage of almost five hours.

As for the Manannan's next return to Dublin, this is to take place on Tuesday, 20th July, with a departure from Douglas of 07.00hrs. A corresponding departure from Dublin by the fastcraft is at 10.45hrs with an arrival in Douglas during lunch-hour.

While Manannan's roster sees the fastcraft running on several routes, the Ben-My-Chree is mostly concentrated on the year round Douglas route to Heysham in north-west England.

The ageing ferry last month returned to service following longer delays due to unforeseen issues while dry-docking on Merseyside.  

As Afloat previously reported, around 31,600 passengers have booked to travel on Steam Packet vessels during July, 16,955 of which are due to sail on board the Manannan.

Manannan was introduced in 2009, whereas Ben-My-Chree dating to 1998, is however to be replaced by a larger custom-built ro-pax due to enter service in 2023. The newbuild is to be named Manxman. 

Published in Ferry

#ISLE OF MAN FERRY – This weekend will see the final round-trip of seasonal Douglas-Dublin sailings operated by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

The ro-pax ferry Ben-My-Chree is scheduled to depart Douglas tomorrow evening at 19.30hrs with an arrival in Dublin Port on (Sunday30 December) just after midnight at 00.15hrs.

The ferry will make her return departure to the Isle of Man, departing Dublin Ferryport at 01.00hrs with an arrival at the Manx capital scheduled for 05.45hrs.

For sailing schedules including Manx-UK routes, click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#ISLE OF MAN FERRY – This Easter bank holiday weekend marks the start of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co.'s seasonal-only Dublin-Douglas ferry service, with a sailing scheduled to depart this evening, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The wave-piercing catamaran fastcraft Manannan had departed the Manx capital this afternoon to form the inaugural outbound sailing, which takes nearly three hours to complete. The 96m fastcraft is the largest of her type in the Irish Sea and she was built by InCAT in Hobart, Tasmania. She also maintains sailings on the Douglas to Belfast and Liverpool routes.

For sailing timetables across the network of routes to the Isle of Man click HERE and for a guide about  the fastcraft and conventional ferry Ben-My-Chree click this LINK.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS- This weekend's round-trip Douglas-Dublin sailings are to be served by fast-ferry Manannan (1998/5,743grt) instead of conventional ferry, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Usually these winter sailings are operated by Ben-My-Chree (1998/12,504grt), as the Dutch built ro-pax is in dry-dock at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead for repairs to her bow-thruster.

The InCAT built Manannan will cover these sailings with an arrival in Dublin Port this evening at 22.00hrs. She spends a short-around in port lasting only 45 minutes, before returning to the Manx capital.

Published in Ferry
Dublin Port-Douglas sailings in the winter months are operated by Ben-My-Chree, a conventional ferry that only calls to the Irish capital on a handful of sailings during this period, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPCo) ferry docked just after midnight at the multi-user ferryport (terminal 1) and departed at around 02.30hrs. She returns to Dublin on the 22 October,17 December and the final sailing for this year is 26 December.

Following this mornings Irish route sailing, she resumed on her regular Douglas-Heysham route and she also serves Douglas-Birkenhead (Liverpool) during the winter months.

During the summer Dublin-Douglas sailings are served by fast-ferry catamaran Manannan (1998/5,743grt). The 96m InCAT built in Hobart,Tasmania had also operated Douglas-Belfast high-season crossings. Her roster is now confined to a Douglas-Liverpool sailing schedule.

Ben-My-Chree (photo) is Manx for 'Girl of my heart' and her island owners commissioned the 12,504grt ro-pax from Dutch shipbuilders Van de Giessen-de Noord. The 125m ferry was launched in 1998 and she can accommodate 630 passengers,275 vehicles and 1,235 freight lane-metres.

This particular ro-pax design has also been built for Channel Islands operator Commodore Ferries with their Commodore Clipper and a Scandinavian ferry operator. In addition another Dutch shipbuilder, Merwede built a multi-support vessel (MRV) derived from the design of Ben-My-Chree for the Royal New Zealand Navy when they commissioned HMNZS Canterbury (L421). Click for similar port-side photo view to compare differences.

Incidentally the Manannan prior to entering service last year for the IOMSPCo. was for five years chartered initially to the United States Navy but transferred to the United States Army Forces. To read more 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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