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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland

#ferry - Ferry crossings by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company reports EnergyFM, are being forced to change sailing times to Heysham, this week because of increased silting in the north-west English port. 

The company says the sailing time changes are necessary to work around the water depths available and to allow sailing crews to maintain work and rest patterns.

Fastferry craft Manannan will operate two sailings tomorrow, in place of conventional ferry Ben-my-Chree.

The revised schedule is as follows, by consulting directly the ferry operator's website. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Thousands of Manx residents have already responded to a consultation on the future of the Island's sea services.

Manx Radio reports that the Department of Infrastructure is seeking the views of the public as it prepares to update its User Agreement with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Less than a week into the consultation, the Department revealed it has received over 2,500 responses to its survey.

Questions are posed including where ferries should sail in the future, what sort of craft should be invested in, and whether ticket prices are fair.

The full details of the consultation and how to respond can be found on the Government's website - submissions can be made until 7 October.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Residents on the Isle of Man are being asked for their opinions on the future of Manx ferry services.

The Department of Infrastructure according to Manx Radio, will hold a two-week consultation as it prepares to develop a new Sea Services Agreement.

Tynwald, the island's parliament has called for a new user agreement to be put in place between the DoI and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company following the Government's purchase of the ferry operator earlier this year.

Feedback is being sought from individual passengers, freight customers and the tourism sector.

A survey will launch on the Government's website on Monday (today 24 Sept), and will remain open for two weeks.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - A new ferry terminal for Isle of Man services, BBC News reports could cost up to £30m and open in Liverpool in 2021, the Manx government said.

It will be built half a mile (800m) from the current Pier Head facility at Princes Half-Tide Dock.

Subject to Tynwald approval, the Manx government will sign a long-term leasehold agreement with Peel Land and Property Limited for the site.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: "It will cement our strong links with the Isle of Man. I'm delighted."

The existing Pier Head facility is set for a major redevelopment as a cruise liner berth as part of the £5bn Liverpool's Waterfront scheme.

More on the story click here.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Views of the Manx public and businesses are being sought by the Department of Infrastructure, as it looks at potential changes to the Island's sea services.

A new document reports Manx Radio, to replace the existing 'User Agreement' is going to be drawn up, following the government's purchase of the Isle of Man Steam Packet earlier this year.

On the radio station, Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer (click for audio) said similar gauging of people's opinions has been done before.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Isle of Man Steam Packet has confirmed it will be ready for new laws designed to clean up shipping.

Under new laws, writes IOMToday, fuel will have to be cleaner and more efficient under a global directive to reduce sulphur emissions.

A report on the new laws state: ’The current global limit for sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil is 3.50% m/m (mass by mass). The new global limit will be 0.50% m/m will apply on and after January 1, 2020.’

For more on the story click here. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Manx Radio reports that tenders are now in, to build the road that would take passengers to and from the new vessel berth in Liverpool's Princes Half Tide Dock.

An Infrastructure Department is considering specifying the use of liquified natural gas and/or low sulphur diesel, in any replacement Isle of Man Steam Packet vessels.

These details are given in a series of Tynwald written answers (see related coverage). 

There is the indication in these answers of the Manx Government's arms length approach to running the ferry company which means there are some areas where the Infrastructure Department doesnt know specific details.

For example the detailed contractual agreement between the Steam Packet and the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company. 

Click here for more on this ferry berth development. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - There have been concerns raised that the new Liverpool landing stage for the Isle of Man ferry will not be ready in time.

As IOMToday reports passenger watchdog TravelWatch has released a statement in which it states its ’concern’ at the tight timescale available to ensure the new Princes Half-Tide Dock is operational when the current landing stage deal expires at the end of next year.

The watchdog’s concerns stem from a lack of information regarding contingencies for any delays to the planning application process and what could happen if there are objections to the plans, given the need for the new terminal to be completed by spring 2020.

For more on this ferry development, click here.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews- The Manx Treasury chief has put pen to paper to seal multi-million pound takeover.

IOM Today reports that the Government has completed a deal to purchase the Steam Packet Company.

Tynwald members overwhelmingly supported the £124m of what Chief Minister Howard Quayle described as a 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity'.

Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan has now signed the formal agreement which will see control of the Island's sea services shifted to Government.

Mr Cannan says the move is aimed at providing long-term stability to the ownership of the Island's lifeline ferry operations.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - The Manx public should have the chance to share in the fortunes of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company in the years to come.

That's the view of Ramsey Member of the House of Keys (MHK) Lawrie Hooper, following Tynwald's approval of government's proposal to purchase the ferry operator last Tuesday (15 May).

Mr Hooper speaking on Manx Radio said the public should be given the chance to invest in the company.

To listen to the MHK click here to the radio's audio link.

Published in Ferry
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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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