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Displaying items by tag: SteamPacket Company

#TT2015sailings – Provisional bookings for motorcycles traveling on the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for TT2015 are according to the ferry operator more than 5% higher than compared for this year's event.

The decision to operate additional sailings and provide additional vehicle deck space on fast craft Manannan has contributed to this increase, helping to ensure more people can experience the action and atmosphere.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Steam Packet in October confirmed it had again chartered P&O Express, which has allowed extra Larne sailings and freed up Manannan to operate more Liverpool services during the 2015 TT.

The charter of MV Arrow, to provide freight support, has been pivotal in ensuring additional passenger vehicle space is available on Ben-my-Chree during the festival.

In July, the ferry firm announced a substantial investment in the fabrication of a mezzanine deck for Manannan. The deck will be in place for both the TT and Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling next year to allow more people to bring motorcycles to the events. There was huge demand when bookings for these additional spaces opened in July, and many peak days have now sold out.

With forward motorcycle bookings already up by 5%, early indications are that the 2015 TT will be even busier than this year's event, which was the busiest for ferry passengers since the Centenary TT in 2007.

There was a 7.5% increase in motorcycles carried, to 12,050, and total passenger numbers rose to 36,800.

The Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling also experienced further growth in 2014, with the Steam Packet Company carrying 11% more motorcycles than in 2013, taking the total to almost 3,697.

Passenger figures rose to 29,460, the highest recorded during the fortnight for more than a decade. With early demand looking healthy, and the provision of additional space for motorcycles thanks to the new Manannan mezzanine deck, it is expected the event's popularity will continue to grow.

 

Published in Ferry

#ISLE OF MAN FERRY – This Easter bank holiday weekend marks the start of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co.'s seasonal-only Dublin-Douglas ferry service, with a sailing scheduled to depart this evening, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The wave-piercing catamaran fastcraft Manannan had departed the Manx capital this afternoon to form the inaugural outbound sailing, which takes nearly three hours to complete. The 96m fastcraft is the largest of her type in the Irish Sea and she was built by InCAT in Hobart, Tasmania. She also maintains sailings on the Douglas to Belfast and Liverpool routes.

For sailing timetables across the network of routes to the Isle of Man click HERE and for a guide about  the fastcraft and conventional ferry Ben-My-Chree click this LINK.

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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