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Displaying items by tag: Irish Ferries

#FerryNews - Operator Irish Ferries has said all sailings on the Ulysses vessel which serves the Dublin to Holyhead route have been cancelled for the next week.

As the The Irish Times reports, the ferry operator said the ship has been taken out of service due to a “technical issue” and to allow repairs be completed.

A spokeswoman for Irish Ferries said there is a problem with a propeller shaft necessitating the ship going to dry dock for a number of days and it is expected the Ulysses will return to normal service by the middle of next week.

In a statement (for updates click here) the company said all passengers affected are currently being advised and will be accommodated on an alternative ship or sailing.

For more on this story, click here.

Afloat adds the flagship departed Dublin Port this evening and is bound for Harland & Wolff, Belfast to undergo repairs. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews -Irish Ferries last September announced that work had started in a German shipyard on a €144 million ship that would be the pride of its fleet. It said that, in accordance with tradition, a specially commissioned ceremonial coin would be placed in the keel during construction to “bring good luck and calm seas for the vessel”.

As The Irish Times writes, the coin has not done its job.

The “WB Yeats”– as the new boat was named following a public competition that attracted tens of thousands of submissions – has been dogged by bad luck, and its failure to arrive in Ireland on schedule ahead of a busy season of summer crossings has done untold damage to the reputation of Irish Ferries and left the holiday plans of tens of thousands of Irish passengers all at sea.

News that things were going awry with the luxury ferry – which has space for 1,885 passengers and crew, 440 cabins including suites with private balconies, and 3km of car deck space – first reached The Irish Times on April 20th. “There are rumours that Irish Ferries new €144m ship, which is scheduled to take passengers from Dublin to Cherbourg from July, is delayed by a few weeks,” a mail from a reader and would-be passenger started.

“The rumour is they are going to take the existing bookings and tell everyone they are going to be accommodated on the boat from Rosslare instead,” it continued.

To read more on the story click here.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - The National Transport Authority (NTA) which regulates sea travel to and from Ireland has said it is examining whether thousands of passengers impacted by Irish Ferries cancelling its summer sailings on the WB Yeats are entitled to compensation.

As The Irish Times writes, the NTA said it was “extremely disappointed” by the cancellations which will see all crossings from July 30th to September 17th scrapped .

All told approximately 19,000 passengers in addition to 10,000 passengers already affected by a previous wave of cancellations in April have had holiday planes thrown into disarray.

An NTA spokesman said those affected were entitled to full refund or an alternative sailing “at the earliest opportunity, under comparable conditions and at no additional cost”.

He said they may also “be entitled to claim compensation depending on length of delay in arrival at [THE]final destination and depending on the cause of that delay”.

The NTA is the national enforcement body for maritime passenger rights under EU Regulations and the spokesman told The Irish Times that it was “considering in light of this development how [EU RULES ]will apply to ensure that passengers impacted by this announcement receive the protections provided for”.

Passengers have expressed anger at frustration at the difficulties they have encountered in trying to make contact with the company since the cancellations were announced.

To read more on a flood of calls from customers, click here. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - A bill of up to €7 million faces Irish Ferries for cancelling scheduled French services following delays by a German shipbuilder in finishing a new craft for the company.

The ferry operator writes The Irish Times, was forced to cancel sailings of its new ship, the WB Yeats, from Dublin to France, beginning on July 30th, because its builder, Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG), had told the Irish firm that the craft would not be ready on time.

Industry analysts at stockbrokers Goodbody and Investec calculated that the cancellations, along with the resulting compensation and rebooking of passengers on alternative services, could cost €4.5 million.

Eamon Rothwell, chief executive of the ferry company’s parent, Irish Continental Group, recently estimated that earlier cancellations, also resulting from FSG’s failure to finish the WB Yeats on schedule, would cost €2.5 million.

As a result, the delay in finishing the WB Yeats leaves the shipping group facing extra costs of €7 million at its busiest time of year.

To read more on this story, click here. 

As previously covered on Afloat the newbuild cruiseferry had originally been scheduled to launch sailings earlier on July 12th, click related report here. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Ulysses, Irish Ferries cruiseferry on the Dublin-Holyhead route has sailings cancelled today (2 May) and up to Friday (4 May). 

According to the operator's website this is due to technical reasons. All of the cruiseferry's operated sailings in both directions on the Ireland-Wales route are cancelled. 

Passengers instead can be accommodated on the route's fastferry, HSC Dublin Swift and the ropax ferry Epsilon.

For updated sailing information click the link here and also for contact details.

The 50,938 gross registered tonnes flagship Ulysses is the largest ro-ro ferry operating on the Irish Sea. Since introduction in 2001, the cruiseferry has held a strong reliable track record of service maintaining the core short-sea route. 

The cruiseferry is no longer docked at Dublin Ferryport Terminal 1 having proceeded upriver to berth in Alexandra Basin.

 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Irish Ferries former first fastferry, Jonathan Swift departed Dublin Port today under new name Cecilia Payne for Spain, a day after a larger replacement craft Dublin Swift took over Dublin-Holyhead sailings, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In January Irish Continental Group (ICG) parent company of Irish Ferries announced that it was to sell the high-speed craft (HSC) to Balearia Eurolineas Maritimas S.A. for an agreed consideration of €15.5 million. 

Jonathan Swift is an Austal-Auto Express 86m catamaran which spent a career spanning almost two decades on the core Ireland-Wales route when launched into service in 1999. The 800 passenger/200 car catamaran built by Austal Ships Pty, Australia, became the first fast-ferry ordered by ICG.  

At a ceremony in 1999 held at Dublin Ferryport Terminal 1, the high-speed craft (HSC) Jonathan Swift was christened by Cecilia Larkin, then the partner of then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

During the past 18 years, the craft marketed as the 'Dublin Swift' operated crossings in just 1 hour 49 minutes. When introduced, the HSC operated alongside cruiseferry Isle of Inishmore which was replaced in 2001 by larger conventional tonnage in the form of Ulysses. In more recent years the flagship was joined by the chartered-in ropax Epsilon.  

Departures today of both HSC took place in the afternoon and around ten minutes appart from the capital. This involved Dublin Swift (ICG acquired in 2016 and subsequently chartered overseas), first to pass the Kish Bank Lighthouse and bound for Wales. Astern, Cecilia Payne likewise set a similar course until rounding the lighthouse and then headed for the Bay of Biscay. The next port call is La Coruña in Galicia, northern Spain and eventually the Mediterranean where new owners Balearia await delivery.

When Cecilia Payne debuts in the Mediterranean on 1 June, it is thanks to the 35 knot capable catamaran that reduced sailings times will be made available on two routes: The Dénia (mainland)-Ibiza route and Ibiza-Palma, each taking only 2 hours to complete.

The craft's name of Cecilia Payne has been chosen by Balearia in recognition of the famous Anglo-American astronomer and astrophysicist. She was honoured for her work on the stars and as the first woman to teach at the famed Harvard University.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Completing a maiden high-speed craft (HSC) crossing on Irish Ferries Dublin-Holyhead route this morning is Dublin Swift, replacing a smaller craft that has served for almost two decades, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Dublin Swift docked in Holyhead this morning just after 11.00. 

The newcomer takes over from HSC Jonathan Swift which has operated since 1999 on the core Irish Sea route. The car-carrying catamaran becomes the largest fast-ferry on the Irish Sea and has entered service in the shoulder season in advance of the busy high-season months on the Ireland-Wales link. 

Dublin Swift operates at 35 knots to maintain the same frequency of sailings with twice daily return crossings likewise to the replaced Jonathan Swift. ICG sold the fastferry to Spanish operators to serve a career in the Meditteranean linking the Balearics. 

Prior to introduction, Dublin Swift underwent a refurbishment programme in Belfast following a charter overseas, so to bring the HSC up to Irish Ferries standards for 820 passengers and space for 200 vehicles. Onboard facilities are located on one deck, compared to the double deck arrangment on Jonathan Swift. 

The facilities of Dublin Swift include a dedicated TV Snug, cafeteria, self-service restaurant and games area.

Passengers have a selection of spacious seating accommodation in the standard cabin, or plush reclining seats with views to sea, in-seat recharging points and complementary refreshments in the Club Class Lounge. This area of the fastferry is positioned at the bow. Free Wi-Fi is offered throughout.

The HSC brings increased capacity on the core Irish Sea route also operated by flagship Ulysses and ropax Epsilon.  

The 8,403 gross tonnage Dublin Swift, (formerly Westpac Express) was in 2016 acquired by ICG, parent company of Irish Ferries for $13.25 million. Built in 2001 by Austal Ships Pty to their in-house 101m Auto-Express design. The yard in Fremantle, western Australia is also where Jonathan Swift was custom built for ICG. 

Dublin Swift is also the only fast ferry operating between Ireland and Britain, though the Isle of Man is served by the Steam-Packet's fastferry Manannan on seasonal routes including the Dublin link.  

 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Operator Irish Ferries has confirmed that in the region of 5,000-10,000 customers will be affected by cancelled bookings on a new ferry, the delivery of which has been delayed.

The company writes The Irish Times, continued to make contact with booked passengers on Sunday, said it did not have an exact figure for numbers impacted at this stage.

A spokesman for Irish Ferries said that less than 10,000 passengers are impacted by the cancellations. “It is under 10,000, somewhere in the 5,000-10,000 segment,” he told The Irish Times on Sunday.

In a statement, the company said it cancelled a number of sailings from July 12th-29th as the German shipyard building the new vessel, the WB Yeats, informed Irish Ferries her delivery “is likely to be delayed”.

The company emailed affected passengers late on Friday evening stating that while the delay had yet to be “fully confirmed by the shipyard we have, in the interests of minimising the level of potential disruption to you, taken the decision to cancel your sailing”.

To read more including refunds for affected customers, click here. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Holiday plans of thousands of families travelling to France this summer have been thrown into disarray after Irish Ferries cancelled bookings on its new WB Yeats ferry scheduled to depart in July, writes The Irish Times. 

In emails sent to affected passengers late on Friday evening, the company’s managing direct Andrew Sheen said it had “just been informed by the German shipyard building the WB Yeats, the ship on which you are currently booked, that her delivery to Irish Ferries is likely to be delayed.”

He said while the delay has yet to be “fully confirmed by the shipyard we have, in the interests of minimising the level of potential disruption to you, taken the decision to cancel your sailing. We will contact you and offer you a space we have held for you on the MV Oscar Wilde close to your booked sailing date.”

The email correspondence said that n the absence of an acceptable alternative passengers will be entitled to a full refund.

To read more on the delays of the €150m newbuild cruiseferry, click here. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Irish Ferries soon to be introduced high-speed-craft Dublin Swift which since January has been in Belfast for a major refurbishment arrived in Dublin Port last night, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Afloat monitored Dublin Swift when offshore of Co. Down late yesterday afternoon and at time of writing, the HSC catamaran is docked in Dublin Port at the ferryport's berth 51A. This berth is where the current HSC, Jonathan Swift maintains operations on the core Dublin-Holyhead route until as previously reported is to be disposed later this month. 

A year ago this month Irish Continental Group (ICG) parent company of Irish Ferries acquired the HSC for $13.25 million. The HSC was placed on an external-charter by ICG for use by the US Military Sealift Command.

On completion of the charter, the HSC arrived to Belfast this day three months ago and would later receive conversion works in Harland & Wolff's Belfast Dry Dock. This was followed by a refurbishment programme to bring the craft up to Irish Ferries standards. The works also took place at H&W's Ship Repair Quay adjacent to the dry-dock. 

In 2001, Westpac Express was built by Austal Ships Pty, Fremantle, western Australia, to their in-house 101m Auto-Express design. The HSC has a gross tonnage of 8,403, passenger capacity for 900 and vehicle space for 182.

Dublin Swift will bring increased capacity on the core Ireland-Wales route in partnership with flagship cruiseferry Ulysses. Likewise of the flagship, the Cypriot flagged HSC will join operations on the core Ireland-Wales link with the chartered-in ropax Epsilon providing more freight-orientated capacity.

For almost two decades Jonathan Swift has served the route. The HSC was custom-built for ICG and marketed by Irish Ferries as the 'Dublin Swift' (see: related story). On introduction of this 'second' Swift, this will led to a delivery voyage of the older HSC to Spanish operators to begin a career in the Mediterranean. This is understood to involve a Spain-Belearic service. 

Returning to Belfast is where a recent arrival to the Ship Repair Quay, Azamara Pursuit is in port for a major multi-million pound refurbishment. The cruiseship which operates for Azamara Club Cruises, a brand of Royal Caribbean International, contracted Newry-based fitout specialists MJM Group for the project.

The 30,000 tonnes cruiseship had served a career with P&O Cruises with calls to Irish ports among them Cobh and followed by a short-lived service in Cuban waters.

Published in Ferry
Page 3 of 17

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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