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Displaying items by tag: IOMSPCo

Shipbuilders in Asia are to custom-build a ferry for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company at a facility in South Korea with the newbuild due to enter Irish Sea service in 2023.

The agreement was officially confirmed yesterday by the Manx operator's Board of Directors, having signed a contract with one of the world’s major shipbuilders, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD), based in Ulsan.

It follows a week-long visit to Korea by senior personnel from the IOMSPCo, during which they visited the shipyard where the vessel will be built, viewed a recently completed ship to assess the standard of work and discussed technical and commercial considerations with HMD executives.

Work on physically constructing a replacement for the conventional ferry, Ben-my-Chree, is now due to start in mid-2021 after detailed plans are finalised and agreed between builder and buyer.

The process began last autumn when the Company commissioned a tender exercise, during which a large number of shipyards around the world expressed an interest in building the bespoke vessel.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘For some time we have been conducting detailed analysis as we develop plans for major investment in our fleet. ‘I am delighted to confirm that, following lengthy discussions with a leading shipyard in South Korea, we have confirmed specifications for the vessel and today signed a contract with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

‘This truly is an exciting time in our history and, in the year we marked our 190th anniversary, the new vessel will take the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company forward to our 200th anniversary and beyond.’

The new vessel, expected to commence service in Spring 2023, will be an important part of the Company’s future plans, bringing high levels of on-board facilities and enhanced freight capability.

The Company is also committed to maintaining a third back-up vessel, intended to be the Ben-my-Chree when the new vessel arrives, to enhance security of both passenger and freight links and also help increase capacity during the TT and Classic TT.

Mr Woodward continued: ‘The final specification and build programme is still in development but it is expected the new vessel will be slightly larger than the Ben-my-Chree in most respects but with considerably more passenger space. It is also intended to be more environmentally efficient and manoeuvrable in poor conditions.

‘Factoring in various technical and logistical considerations for a new vessel, and taking into account the recent public consultation exercise where possible, our aim for when we introduce the new addition is to ensure we provide an even higher level of service to the Island community and our customers.’

Published in Ferry

#MANX FERRY- In preparation for the busy festive season, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. (IOMSPCo) are to deploy Ben-My-Chree to operate two round-trip Douglas-Dublin Port crossings, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The ro-pax (90-freight trailer/630 passenger) ferry is scheduled to depart Douglas on Saturday 22 December at 19.30hrs with an arrival in Dublin Port at 00.15hrs on the morning of Sunday 23 December. The return sailing departs the Irish capital at 01.00hrs.

On the following weekend, Ben-My-Chree heads for the 4 hour 45 minute Irish route again on Saturday 29 December, departing Douglas at 19.30hrs and arriving in Dublin just after mid-night at 00.15hrs. The return crossing on Sunday 30 December to the Manx capital departs 01.00hrs.

For updates on sailing schedules to include Manx-UK routes between Douglas-Heysham and the winter only operated Douglas-Liverpool (Birkenhead) route visit: www.steam-packet.com/en/LatestSailings

Published in Ferry

#MANX FERRY – The IOM Today reports that the Manx Government is drawing up plans to ensure that any wind-farms built within the waters off the island would not affect ferry routes.

Work on the Isle of Man Marine Plan is under way and the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture's director of environment Martin Hall said it was important it was completed in a 'timely manner'.

One of the plan's objectives would be to identify current activities in Manx waters and safeguard their ongoing use. Mapping the location of navigation corridors, important natural areas and pipelines/cables will enable the island to identify potential wind farm sites that will not adversely affect current uses of the Manx marine environment, including ferry routes and fishing.

The comments come following criticism from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company over Centrica's plans for a wind farm in the Irish Sea, outside Manx waters. The Steam Packet says that Centrica plans to develop in the path of two routes: Douglas-Liverpool and Douglas-Heysham, in spite of complaints from the ferry operator. For much more on this story click HERE.

Published in Ferry
A former US Navy vessel USS Joint Venture (HSV-XI) is set to return for a second season operating Douglas-Dublin Port sailings this Friday, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The first sailing of the year from the Isle of Man sees the use of the fast-ferry catamaran craft now renamed Manannan running on the 2-hour 55 minute crossing to the capital.

Manannan's chequered career included a five year charter initially to the United States Navy but transferred to the United States Army Forces between 2001-2006. The 5,029grt craft (see photo) was used for various trials and demonstrations and in which saw service in the Persian Gulf in support of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' and in 2003 'Operation Enduring Freedom' in the Horn of Africa.

An engine plant of 4 x Caterpillars diesel generates a speed of over 40 knots / 46 mph which provided logistical solutions by the High-Speed Vessel (HSV) to transport troops and supplies covering long distances in support of the Combined Joint Task Force.

Other tasks required by the force included the roles of operating as a mobile command centre which entailed working closely inshore and operating as a helicopter carrier. Helicopters landed at the craft's stern positioned helicopter landing deck.

The military role of the craft is in stark contrast compared to when the 96m ferry was launched in 1998 for civilian purposes as the Incat 050, the number representing the number of pioneering wave-piercing craft built by InCat in Hobart, Tasmania.

Asides her military days the 800-passenger / 200 vehicle fast-ferry has served the Hobart-Melbourne route, between New Zealand's north and south island and in European waters in the Mediterrean and to the Canary Islands.

Manannan (see photo) entered service last May after the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPco) purchased the vessel which was laid-up in Hobart. She made the long delivery to the northern hemisphere and was re-converted for ferry usesage during a refit in Portsmouth.

The 181 year-old company is the only sea-based passenger operator to the island on services linking Dublin, Belfast, Heysham, Liverpool and (Birkenhead) in the winter months.

There are rival companies such as the Ramsey Steamship Company but they are freight-only operators mostly running to Belfast and Liverpool using short-sea coastal traders and to other small Irish Sea ports.

An annual round island cruise is held and like last year the Manannan will be serving the cruise on Sunday 1 May departing Douglas at 11am for a journey of around 2 hours. The route closely circumnavigates the spectacular Manx coastline. For information on the island cruise and fares 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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