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Displaying items by tag: Irish Ferries

#irishferries – Irish Continental Group (ICG) has appointed Andrew Sheen to the position of Managing Director of its Irish Ferries division.

Andrew will assume his new role with effect from the beginning of April, reporting to ICG's CEO, Eamonn Rothwell.

Operations Director since 2012, Andrew has been involved in shipping for over twenty-six years, ten of them with Irish Ferries - first as a sea-going Chief Engineer and, since 2010, in shore-based operations roles.

A Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineers, he holds a BEng (Hons) degree in Mechanical and Marine Engineering and an MSc in Marine and Offshore Engineering.

Previous appointments include roles in marine consultancy and Engineer Surveyor and Technical Performance Manager positions with the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency.

Wishing Andrew every success in his future role, Mr. Rothwell said "Andrew has impressed us all with his strong skills in the ship operational area along with his undoubted drive and enthusiasm in developing Irish Ferries."

Published in Ferry
Tagged under

#CarTrading – Irish Ferries chartered ro-pax Epsilon, a year in service as previously reported, resumed Dublin-Holyhead service this afternoon, following cancellations last night due to the ship making interim 'freight-only' sailings to France, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Epsilon had completed the Rosslare-Cherbourg freight round-trip yesterday and this was understood to have involved carrying trade-cars, in which she also carried a year ago and on the same route.

These latest sailings to and from Rosslare by Epsilon, followed her additional routine duties on the Dublin-Cherbourg route over the weekend. The continental route's sailing schedule normally includes a return arrival to the Irish capital on Monday morning's, however since last week and that of yesterday, her inward bound sailings from France have instead docked in Rosslare.

According to Irish Ferries, sailings from France will continue to call to Rosslare, until the operator's cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde, resumes Rosslare-Cherbourg sailings next month and in May to Roscoff.

It was on that first Monday last week, that the 500 passenger and crew capacity, Epsilon, had disembarked her low-season winter traffic of motorist-passengers and freight-vehicles in Rosslare. She does not take any 'foot' passengers on any of her Welsh and French route sailings.

Having discharged, Epsilon continued that same day by sailing in ballast to Dublin Port in readiness for the following day's sailing to Holyhead. The ro-pax ferry operates a Tuesday's to Friday's roster, while Ulysses, recently returned from an annual overhaul, serves sailings all week.

Ulysses main route partner, the high-speed craft HSC Jonathan Swift, is undergoing maintenance but is due to re-enter service this Friday's (30 January) morning sailing of 08.45 departing Dublin Port.

As for Epsilon's second inbound call to Rosslare yesterday, (to recap in a freight-mode) she did not continue on the same day the final leg to Dublin Port but remained in Rosslare. This led to the cancellation of today's early morning sailing to Holyhead and corresponding return sailing.

Epsilon would otherwise have taken lay-over time in Dublin Port, occasionally at a berth close to the East-Link Bridge but instead she was alongside Rosslare's inner pier.

Berthed adjacent was Stena Line's ro-pax Stena Horizon, also built by the same Italian yard Visentini. The coincidences continue, as she was on a routine Monday layover in between sailings that also serve to and from Cherbourg.

Published in Ferry

#EpsilonYear1 - Irish Ferries Dublin-Cherbourg route launched a year ago by ro-pax Cartour Epsilon as previously reported on Afloat.ie, made an en-route to Rosslare Europort last Monday having sailed from France, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The chartered Italian flagged ferry Epsilon (since renamed without her prefix) began the new year-round operated service in January 2014. The service is marketed as an economy class alternative to the operators Rosslare-France routes.

During last week's call to the Co. Wexford port both motorist-passengers and freight vehicles disembarked.

Such calls to the south-east ferryport will remain in place until the operator's cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde resumes routine Rosslare-Cherbourg sailings that reopens this day next month (25 February). 

Last year as the then Cartour Epsilon, she had also covered 'Oscar's continental crossings to and from Rosslare (see report). This involved her standing in for Isle of Inishmore while on the Pembroke route.

The 2011 built Epsilon is scheduled to dock in Rosslare tomorrow morning. Again all traffic from the French route will be unloaded in addition to what is understood to be a contract to carry trade vehicles.

Having completed these duties, the 26,375 tonnes vessel will continue the final leg of the triangular route with a passage in ballast to Dublin Port but not arrival until 22.00. 

Following this, Epsilon settles back on her weekday Dublin-Holyhead sailing roster (except on Mondays), hence her late arrival tomorrow night to the port.

Her role on the Welsh route had preceded the French service as she was first introduced on the Irish Sea route last December.

Since her double route debut, Epsilon has boosted capacity resulting in improved trading figures for Irish Ferries whose parent company is Irish Continental Group.

Published in Ferry

#UlyssesOverhaul – Ulysses, Irish Ferries main Dublin-Holyhead route cruiseferry since entering service in 2001, is understood to be heading tonight for Birkenhead on Merseyside for annual overhaul, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Taking her sailing roster is Isle of Inishmore which last month was transferred from Rosslare-Pembroke duties and entered service on the Dublin Port route to provide additional capacity over Christmas and early New Year periods.

At this quieter time of year, the winter dry-docking of Ulysses and majority of fleetmates are to take place at Cammell Laird, the shipyard and engineering repair providers. In addition to Isle of Inishmore, the Dublin-Holyhead route will be maintained by regular vessels, fast-ferry Jonathan Swift and ro-pax Epsilon.

As Stena Line decided to cancel Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead sailings over the festive period, the route last operated by HSS Stena Explorer until the main summer season ceased in September, leaves Jonathan Swift as the sole fast-ferry running on a year-round Irish Sea service.

On completion of overhauling Ulysses which will be carried out in dry-dock No. 5, Isle of Inishmore and Jonathan Swift are also scheduled to visit the dry-dock facility later this month.

Published in Ferry

#FerryAward – At the Irish Travel Trade Awards, now in its 23rd year, Irish Ferries was voted 'Ireland's Best Ferry Company 2014' during a ceremony held last week.

The award category saw the ferry company winning in the face of competition from operators not just on Ireland – UK routes but those also serving on Ireland – France services.

Organised and sponsored by the Irish Travel Trade News magazine, the ITTN awards saw the ferry operator win the acclaimed award for the eighth year in succession and the 17th time overall. Each of the award categories are based on independent votes of travel trade professionals working in agencies throughout the island of Ireland.

The ferry award is said to have reflected the travel industry's response to the continuing investment being made by Irish Ferries.

In the past year, this has been seen particularly in the introduction of the passenger and freight ferry or 'ro-pax', Epsilon which has boosted capacity on the Dublin – Holyhead route and a new once-weekly return service on the new Dublin – Cherbourg route.

 

Published in Ferry

#Overhauls - Winter overhauls of the majority of Irish Ferries fleet in early 2015 are understood to be heading to Birkenhead at Cammell Laird shipbuilder and repairs, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Ulysses has been scheduled to go first for annual maintenance with the overhaul starting on 6 January, following the 02.40hrs sailing from Holyhead.

On completion of her overhaul, her Dublin-Holyhead running mates, fast-ferry Jonathan Swift and Isle of Inishmore are scheduled to visit the dry-dock facility on Merseyside.

So far the yard for Oscar Wilde's overhaul is unknown, though a time for her dry-docking has been scheduled for early February.

Last year she was the odd one out as unlike her fleetmates which visited Birkenhead she instead went to A&P Falmouth.

 

Published in Ferry

#ChristmasSailings– A boost to sailing capacity over Christmas on Irish Ferries Dublin-Holyhead service as previously reported will see cruiseferry Isle of Inishmore transferred to the route on Saturday 20 December, departing the capital with the 08.00hrs sailing, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Isle of Inishmore will add additional sailings by joining the route's regular ships, flagship Ulysses, fast-ferry Jonathan Swift and ro-pax Epsilon which also operates on the Welsh route. The ro-pax also makes a French connection on the Dublin-Cherbourg route by running at weekends on the year-round operated service.

In place of Isle of Inishmore which usually serves Rosslare-Pembroke Dock sailings, her fleetmate also running from the Wexford 'Europort' will be that of continental cruiseferry Oscar Wilde. Her switch to the Pembrokeshire route will see her stand down from this year's sailings on the route to Cherbourg.

Oscar Wilde is to enter the south Wales route by taking the 20.45hrs sailing departing Rosslare on Friday 19 December.

For more information on sailing times, visit: www.irishferries.com

 

Published in Ferry

#EpsilonEconomics – Irish Ferries introduction of ro-pax Epsilon almost a year ago has led to a rise in overall fuel costs as previously reported on Afloat.ie, however in general she has been financially rewarding, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to Ships Monthly, the chartered Italian-flagged ro-pax has contributed to a positive recovery in Irish Ferries core ro-ro and car markets as indicated for results for the first half of the 2014-15 financial year, to 23 August. There has been a 20% rise in the ro-ro freight sector and 8% was achieved in passenger cars.

Epsilon's ro-pax design enables a large freight capacity to be handled while still carrying passengers. The 26,375 tonnes vessel was launched in 20011 from the yard of Visentini, a shipyard close to Venice. She offers an economy service and limited facilities.

The ro-pax was first pressed into Irish Sea service providing additional capacity on the Dublin-Holyhead route during weekdays.

In addition to Welsh route duties, she launched in January this year a new direct Ireland-France service where at weekends she makes a round trip to the continent linking the Irish capital and Cherbourg in Normandy.

To read more about Epsilon's two-route role click the following link of Afloat.ie interview with her master and accompanying photographs including the ferry during a passage on the Dublin-Cherbourg route.

In another interview published in Ships Monthly (January 2015) the Epsilon is depicted in a photo of the ro-pax following an overnight sailing from Dublin when arriving within the harbour of Cherbourg.

Published in Ferry

#CapacityBoost - Irish Ferries have announced that they are to transfer Isle of Inishmore from the southern Irish Sea to the Holyhead-Dublin route to ensure there is plenty of capacity to and from Ireland this Christmas.

Afloat.ie adds that this will be the second successive festive season that the Pembrokeshire port serving ferry is to be repositioned onto the busy core central Irish Sea route between Wales and the Irish capital.

"Up to six million people living in Britain have Irish grandparents or even closer connections, so it's no wonder that Christmas is our busiest time of year," says the carrier's head of passenger sales Dermot Merrigan.

The operator's flagship Ulysses at 50,938 tonnes the largest ferry on the Irish Sea, operates the last sailing from Holyhead to Dublin on Christmas Eve at 14.10hrs.

On the last sailing from Pembroke to Rosslare, the Oscar Wilde's departure at 08.45 is on Wednesday 24 December.

There are no sailings on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, and the first UK-bound ferry is the 08.05 sailing from Dublin on Saturday 27 December, followed by five more sailings during the course of the day.

 

Published in Ferry

#ICGresultsQ3- A revenue rise of 10.3% for Irish Continental Group (parent company of Irish Ferries) was achieved in the three months to the end of September, while operating profit increased to €23.8 million on the back of increased passenger numbers.

An interim management statement from the firm showed revenue rose to €93.4 million, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) rose to €28.1 million, compared with €26.9 million in the same quarter in 2013.

Fuel costs in the quarter were €14.3 million, up from €12.7 million during the same period in 2013, due to the additional sailings of the ro-pax Epsilon.

For further details see yesterday's Irish Times report by clicking here.

 

Published in Ferry
Page 7 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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