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Displaying items by tag: Ferry returns

A ferry operated by P&O which spent hours adrift in the Irish Sea on Tuesday is back in service after passing an inspection.

The European Causeway lost power off the County Antrim coast while sailing from Scotland to Northern Ireland.

The Maritime And Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the ferry would have to remain in dock until it was reviewed.

An MCA spokeswoman said: "Our surveyors have carried out a full inspection of the European Causeway and are satisfied that it is safe to sail again."

P&O has experienced difficulties in the last few months, having sacked 800 of its workers across the UK without notice and replacing them with cheaper agency workers paid below the minimum wage.

BBC News has more including UK government call on P&O to repay £11m in furlough money it received during the coronavirus pandemic.

Published in Ferry

On the Irish Sea is where one of the two P&O Ferries vessels which was being held for inspection has been cleared to sail, as the company attempts to resume normal operations.

The UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the Norbay has been cleared while the European Highlander is still under inspection.

The ships were being inspected while the company attempts to resume normal operations after sacking nearly 800 workers.

A spokesperson for the MCA said a vessel called the Spirit of Britain is now also under reinspection (since cleared according to KentOnline). 

"Our surveyors have completed the inspection of the Norbay and it has been cleared to sail. "The inspection of the European Highlander which began yesterday is ongoing," the spokesperson said.

More on this developement, RTE News reports.

Afloat tracked the Norbay to Dublin Port yesterday afternoon having completed its first crossing from Liverpool from where the ropax has been tied up following suspension of services which began on 17th March. 

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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