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Displaying items by tag: Enters Service JAN 2019

#FerryNews - According to the Irish Ferries website, online bookings for W.B. Yeats, indicate that the brand new €144m luxury cruiseferry is to enter service a month after Christmas Day, but firstly on the Dublin-Holyhead route, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Afloat has identified that the maiden commercial crossing of W.B. Yeats, the 1,800 passenger/1,200 vehicles, is to take place between Ireland and Wales next year, with a sailing scheduled on 25 January.

The timing for the maiden crossing, was echoed on the ferry's facebook page in regards to a query, if the new ship will be open to the public in advance of service, however Irish Ferries responded that there will be no public open days but that sailings on the Dublin-Holyhead route from January will be available. 

The 54,000 gross tonnage newbuild currently docked next to Dublin's East-Link bridge, was to have orginally entered on the route to Wales in September, following the debut of the W.B. Yeats on the Dublin-Cherbourg route this summer. As well documentated at this stage, delays caused by contractors supplying the German shipyard prevented such plans. 

Irish Ferries recenty revealed a revised date to launch W.B. Yeats on the Dublin-Cherbourg route that is to begin in mid-March, though the operator this week accounced Rosslare-based routes to French ports of Cherbourg and Roscoff are unlikely to resume in 2019.

The decision to withdrew the direct routes to mainland Europe, drew widespread critism from the public, the haulage sector and policitians alike. Irish Ferries however stated that they will continue to keep this situation under review.

In the meantime in the run up to the busy festive period, Irish Ferries have both Ulysses and Oscar Wilde maintaining services on the Dublin-Holyhead route.

The chartered in ropax Epsilon, will continue operating on the year-round operated Dublin-Cherbourg route. It is still possible to sail from Rosslare-Cherbourg before the year ends, given Wexford based sailings to France ceased in recent months. For example Afloat has also identified a sailing from Rosslare to Cherbourg on 29 December.

On the Rosslare-Pembroke route, Isle of Inishmore will operate too up to the festive period on the route linking south Wales.

As usual there will be no sailings operated during Christmas Day and St. Stephen's Day.

Also according to the operator's booking site, Ulysses is to take a final crossing from Dublin to Holyhead on 6 January, this would suggest an off-service period for routine dry-docking. 

During the months of January and February, been the quietest time, it is routine for ferry operators to dry-dock ferries for annual dry-docking maintenance. 

For the latest information on all routes, sailings and updates, it is advisable to consult the operator's website 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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