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Displaying items by tag: Steam Packet Company

#RoPaxReturns - Ropax Ben-My-Chree, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's Douglas-Heysham route ferry has returned to service with a sailing this morning from the Manx capital, following completion of her scheduled statutory biennial overhaul.

The 12,500 tonne ship, which has served the Island for 18 years, has been in dry dock for three weeks for her scheduled ‘service’. The work has included a technical overhaul as well as refreshing some of the passenger areas, including refurbishments to the seating, general decor and lighting in the Executive, Niarbyl and Premium lounges

During the overhaul MV Arrow has maintained freight services whilst fast craft Manannan has operated scheduled passenger services to Heysham, Liverpool and Belfast.

 

Published in Ferry

#FastFerryRepairs - According to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, the ferry operator is to carry out repairs to the fast-ferry Manannan earlier than originally planned.

The company plan to take the fast-ferry off service on Wednesday 6 August where only one Liverpool service will be lost on that day. Passengers are been contacted and offered an alternative sailing.

This is to further minimise on-going inconvenience to passengers using services provided by the Manannan that includes operating the seasonal-only routes between Douglas and Dublin and also to Belfast. In addition to the fast-ferry, the Ben-My-Chree conventional ferry also serves some sailings on both these routes which remain unaffected.

Manannan has been operating on reduced power since suffering a mechanical issue with one of her four engines, adding approximately 20 minutes to each journey and leading to revised departure schedules.

It was planned to take Manannan out of service for up to three days in mid-September to allow a full repair to be undertaken. However, the Steam Packet Company believes the time out of service can now be reduced.

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: 'When this mechanical failure occurred, we estimated the vessel would be out of service for up to three days to allow us to strip-down the affected engine, remove and replace the damaged parts, and then re-build and re-commission the engine.

'Our engineers have been working with specialists to try and find a way of reducing the repair time so we can get Manannan back to running at full power as soon as possible. We believe we have identified a solution which, by committing and carefully scheduling additional resources, will reduce the time Manannan needs to be out of service and allow us to bring the repairs forward.

He added 'As much of the work as possible will now be carried out while Manannan is in port overnight, and we will therefore only lose one Liverpool service on Wednesday 6 August. This should avoid the need for the vessel to be removed from service in September. If all goes to plan, it is expected to take approximately a further two weeks, working each night when the ship is in port, to re-build and re-commission the damaged engine. Manannan should then be back to full power during the busy Festival of Motorcycling period.'

Because of this earlier completion date for repairs, it will no longer be necessary to take Manannan out of service in September as previously advised. All sailings in September will now proceed as scheduled.

The operator strongly advise that up-to-date contact details are given, both email and mobile telephone numbers, when bookings are made to ensure passengers can be contacted with any details of important changes to the schedules.

To keep up to date of latest sailing times on all of the Steam Packet routes, 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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