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Displaying items by tag: Stena Scotia

#FerryBackUp – Freight ferry Stena Scotia (1996/13,017grt) docked in Dublin Port yesterday for 'berthing trials' and is to provide extra capacity for freight customers next week, writes Jehan Ashmore.

She is a replacement to the damaged chartered ferry Finnarrow, which as previously reported has since reached Scotland, with a tug berthing in Greenock.

The Dutch flagged Stena Scotia (capacity: 114 trailer units) will start freight-sailings next Monday (25 February) to Holyhead, where the 12-driver-accompanied vessel had called en-route yesterday also for berthing trials, having made an overnight passage from Belfast.

It was at the Anglesey port last weekend, where an incident involved the Finnarrow's stabilisers that led to cancelled sailings.

Stena Scotia will run in tandem with ro-pax Stena Adventurer (which takes passengers) on the Dublin route. There will also be additional passenger back-up with fastcraft HSS Stena Explorer sailings on the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route.

All passengers are advised to call Stena Line ferrycheck number 08705 755 755, for the most up-to-date information on sailings for 'foot' and those that are 'vehicle-only' by clicking this LINK.

The other regular Dublin route serving ro-pax Stena Nordica is as previously reported on refit cover on the North Channel and is expected to return to service on 19 March.

Stena Scotia (and sister 'Hibernia') had been lying idle in Belfast since September, having been replaced by larger chartered tonnage in the form of newbuild sisters, Stena Performance and Stena Precision.

The pair (from a quartet of newbuilds built last year) operate Stena's Belfast-Heysham freight service, following a short career starting off on the Irish Sea for operators Seatruck.

She has seen a succession of name changes in recent years, as Scotia Seaways under the navy blue colours of DFDS Seaways during a brief entry into the Irish Sea market in 2010.
Before that, she sported the pale blue livery scheme under Maersk / Norfolkline North Sea service as the Maersk Exporter completed in 1996.

 

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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