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Displaying items by tag: WB Yeats

W.B. Yeats has completed a first high-season on the year-round operated Dublin-Cherbourg route and the €144m cruiseferry built in 2018 made its inaugural dry-docking in France this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Afloat tracked W.B. Yeats to Dunkerque (East) and taking its place on the direct Ireland-France route sailings is the ropax Epsilon. The 194m long W.B. Yeats was assisted by a pair of tugs, Aventereux and CB Cyclone into a dry-dock at the northern French port.

The considerably larger capacity of W.B. Yeats connecting the Irish capital and mainland continental Europe is a massive boost for Irish Ferries when compared to then Cartour Epsilon which launched the route in 2014. Since then the scenario of 'Brexit' highlights the direct route's strategic trade importance for Irish hauliers (albeit at the expense of Rosslare-France) in avoiding the UK 'land-bridge' via the Port of Dover. 

At 54,975 gross tonnage, W.B. Yeats is easily the largest ever custom built ferry ordered by ICG, owners of Irish Ferries, however the completion of the newbuild was much delayed at a German shipyard. The cruiseferry was expected to make a debut during the Spring of last year.

The 1,850 passenger W.B. Yeats which also has a capacity for 1,216 cars and 165 lorries, actually made its maiden commercial sailing firstly on the Dublin-Holyhead in January of this year. Since its introduction the newbuild has received recognition having been awarded prestigious shipping industry awards among them 'Ferry of the Year 2019'.

Welsh duties ended in March, when W.B. Yeats finally entered service on the direct Ireland-France route linking Dublin-Cherbourg over the St. Patrick's Bank Holiday weekend. Recently, the cruiseferry made a brief return on the Irish Sea by sailing to Holyhead in tandem with Ulysses, however a scheduled round trip by W.B. Yeats last Saturday did not take place nor sailings by the Epsilon which was had already taken up duties on the French route.

In not operating the round trip to north Wales, this enabled W.B. Yeats instead make a repositioning coastal run from Dublin Port to Rosslare Europort. The Wexford port became the new ship's first Irish port of call as part of the delivery voyage last year, during December from the FSG shipyard in Flensberg, Germany. W.B. Yeats then however headed first for Holyhead prior to the newbuild's debut at its Irish homeport in Dublin.

Afloat also tracked W.B. Yeats depart Rosslare on Saturday evening as the cruiseferry made a leisurely overnight non commercial sailing to Pembroke Dock. This was to facilitate routine ferry Isle of Inishmore complete a scheduled sailing in advance.

The south Wales port thus became the final ferryport of the Irish Ferries route network not so far visited by W.B. Yeats. The call to the Pembrokeshire port was for the purposes of conducting berthing trials which took place on Sunday morning following the Isle of Inishmore's departure at 06.46hrs.

W.B. Yeats call to the Pembroke Dock Ferry Terminal, operated by the Milford Haven Port Authority was confirmed to Afloat.ie. The MHPA added the trials was with a view to cover future dry docks of the Isle of Inishmore.

Published in Ferry

Cruiseferry W.B. Yeats has returned on the Holyhead to Dublin route, writes NorthWalesLive. 

Irish Ferries' €150m vessel - dubbed the "largest and most luxurious ferry" to sail on the Irish Sea - initially arrived at the port at the end of 2018 (however Afloat.adds its maiden voyage took place on the Welsh route rather than the French service as originally planned). 

But since March it has been placed on the route between Dublin and Cherbourg.

Now it will sail the Irish Sea between Anglesey and Ireland, supporting the schedule of the Ulysses on the busiest crossing between the UK and Ireland.

The fast ferry, the Dublin Swift, has come off the route.

WB Yeats will take a short break to dry dock later this month with the Epsilon taking over for a week.

For more click this link. 

Published in Ferry

Maritime transport operator, Irish Continental Group has reported revenue 6% higher for the half year, following the introduction of the WB Yeats cruise ferry on schedule services with Irish Ferries in January.

Earnings per share, reports RTE News, however, were down 16% to 12.8 cent. ICG reported its interim dividend increased by 5% to 4.42 cent.

The company is concerned about the impact of Brexit but says it can pursue other opportunities, and remains confident for continued revenue growth.

ICG sold the Oscar Wilde ferry in April for €28.9 million, following the sale, a year earlier, of the Jonathan Swift for €15.5 million.

Fuel costs increased by €3.1 million to €25.5 million in the six month period.

Click here for more on this story. 

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#ferries - The newest cruise ferry serving in Irish waters, W.B. Yeats has received the ‘Ferry of the Year 2019’ award at the annual Ferry Shipping Summit.

The cruise ferry operated by Irish Ferries was recognised for its “striking exterior and timeless interior design,” is currently sailing between Dublin and Cherbourg up to four times per week.

Andrew Sheen, Irish Ferries Managing Director, said, “Irish Ferries are enormously proud and delighted that the W.B. Yeats has been named Ferry of the Year for 2019. The award is recognition for a cruise-ferry that has established a new design standard with maximum flexibility in mind to serve both the Irish Sea and Ireland-France route.”

The newbuild which can transport up to 300 cars and 165 trucks was also recognised for its dynamic design and class-leading technologies, while also providing its 1,800 passengers with luxurious comfort and style defining sophistication.

Along with the Shippax Ferry Concept and Shippax Interior Architecture Awards as previously reported, the ‘Ferry of the Year 2019’ award marks a hattrick of wins for the W.B. Yeats

Published in Ferry

#ferries - Its been a momentous week for W.B. Yeats as the new €144m cruiseferry won prestigious international shipping awards ahead of completing a first round trip voyage to France having arrived back in Dublin Port this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The operator of the 1,800 passenger, 300 car and 165 truck capacity cruiseferry, Irish Ferries choose the return leg, Cherbourg to Dublin to be the 'official' maiden voyage so to enable marking the start of the St. Patrick's Day weekend in France. To celebrate the occasion, the port in Normandy was lit-up in the emerald green of Ireland, much to the delight of passengers and crew.

In fact the impressive 51,388 gross tonnage W.B. Yeats, the largest ever to serve on any Ireland-France route and the largest custom-built ferry for the operator, had actually carried out its inaugural commercial crossing on the route's outbound sailing. This involved a departure from Dublin on Thursday afternoon and with an arrival yesterday in the French port.

The WB Yeats though first began service for Irish Ferries on the Dublin-Holyhead route in mid-January, but now concentrates by operating between Dublin and Cherbourg. This will see a 20% greater passenger capacity and up to 4 days per week.

Passengers have the luxury of space, free WiFi, a choice of cinema screen movies and shopping, many bars and restaurants on-board in addition to outside decks to take in the views. A notable feature among the ship's green credentials is a 'scrubber' technology to meet the EU Sulphur Directive and so reduce harmful emissions into the environment.  

The debut of W.B. Yeats is expected to provide a major boost to trade and tourism between France and Ireland, though it follows a much delayed entry into service due for last summer leading to cancellations. As widely reported last year, W.B. Yeats was beset with delays during construction at the German shipyard of Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG), Flensburg. This was due to third party contractors unable to meet FSG's timeframe in keeping to a schedule to deliver the ship on time on the Dublin-France route. See related compensation story, here. 

It was at the French port yesterday where the importance of the route for both tourism and trade was highlighted by Herve Morin, President of Ports de Normandie who said, “With bilateral trade between France and Ireland accounting for almost €20 billion and with French people taking over 500,000 trips to Ireland annually, the Cherbourg to Dublin crossing plays an immensely important role in supporting tourism and trade links between both nations. Ports de Normandie is delighted to celebrate the maiden voyage of the W.B. Yeats from Cherbourg, knowing that it will further strengthen the long and enduring ties of friendship, family, and culture between France and Ireland.”

This afternoon W.B. Yeats is scheduled to depart Dublin on its second sailing outbound to mainland continental Europe, though Irish Ferries have still yet to confirm whether they are to resume seasonal services out of Rosslare Europort to France. As Afloat previously reported in December Irish Ferries announced that they are unlikely to operate a service between Rosslare and France in 2019 and the operator added they would continue to keep this situation under review.

The uncertainty over the Rosslare based routes to Cherbourg and Roscoff, Brittany, is set against the backdrop of the forthcoming Easter Bank Holiday. In addition the implications of tourism and trade in the south-east region given the potential impacts of whatever Brexit scenario arises. 

 

Published in Ferry

#ferries - At a major international shipping awards ceremony, Irish Ferries has triumphed by taking home both the Ferry Concept Award and the Interior Architecture Award for their recently launched cruise-ferry, the W.B. Yeats.

The annual Shippax Industry Awards ceremony, which was last night held aboard the MS Silja Serenade in Stockholm, recognises newly-delivered ferries and cruise vessels that demonstrate creativity and design innovation.

Ahead of its 'maiden' voyage from Cherbourg to Dublin tomorrow, the W.B. Yeats (first actual sailing Afloat adds takes place today and from Dublin) received the Shippax Interior Architecture Award for a contemporary design that employs understated elegance and natural tones throughout. Relaxing cabins and luxury suites, as well as attractive public areas such as the ‘Innisfree’ Club Class Lounge and the ‘Maud Gonne’ lounge and bar, were acclaimed. Unique style elements, including the use of energy efficient LED lighting systems, also received high praise.

With the flexibility to cover both short sea (Irish Sea) and long sea (Dublin-France) routes, the ship’s state-of-the-art design and configuration was also recognised by the jury who awarded the W.B. Yeats with the Shippax Ferry Concept Award.

Measuring 195m in length and capable of transporting 300 cars, 165 trucks and 1,800 passengers, the W.B. Yeats is dynamic in design and modern in technology, meeting both tourism and freight customer needs. Its separate 295-car deck is located directly beneath the accommodation decks, guaranteeing easy access for passengers. While the separation of commercial vehicles improves safety and allows for an optimised 2,800-lanemetre cargo intake.

Andrew Sheen, Managing Director of Irish Ferries said, “The Shippax Awards are among the most prestigious accolades within the cruise-ferry industry, so we are incredibly proud that the W.B. Yeats has been recognised both for its stunning interior and innovative design. The ship is a game changer not just in terms of cruise-ferry travel between France and Ireland, but also in the context of setting a new benchmark for cruise-ferry travel world-wide.”

The sailing is the first of up to four departures per week from France to Dublin and is expected provide a major boost to trade and tourism between France and Ireland.

Published in Ferry

#ferries - In another statement issued by Brittany Ferries, the operator has announced it is aware of press reports regarding financial setbacks at FSG, the German shipyard where its next ship, Honfleur is under construction.

The statement continued, FSG has made clear that these setbacks are a consequence of financial penalties imposed for late delivery of Irish Ferries newest ship, W.B. Yeats.

Regrettably, it is now clear that Brittany Ferries Honfleur, (which features the innovative LPG power plant), will not be delivered in time for the 2019 summer season, as scheduled. Everyone is disappointed by this news.

Brittany Ferries awaits a concrete proposal from FSG to secure the contract to deliver Honfleur. The company hopes this will come in the very near future and will communicate in more detail at that time.

Passengers who have booked travel on Honfleur from 9 July, will automatically be transferred to Brittany Ferries Normandie. The company apologises for any inconvenience and disappointment that this change will cause.

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#ferries - Irish Ferries have expressed its disappointment with the issuing of notices by the National Transport Authority (NTA) yesterday in respect of cancellations that arose following the delayed arrival of the new W.B. Yeats ship.

These cancellations were due to extraordinary circumstances which were completely outside of the company’s control. Since the delay was due to unforeseen delays by the shipbuilder FSG, and was notified to passengers months ahead of planned sailings, Irish Ferries does not agree that the company infringed the relevant EU Regulation. In dealing with its customers Irish Ferries believes it took every reasonable action to provide passengers with alternative travel options, from a no-quibble immediate refund to allow them to make alternative travel plans, as well as alternative sailings on the Oscar Wilde out of Rosslare Europort and Land-Bridge alternatives via the UK.

Irish Ferries would like to state again that it sincerely regrets the disruption to its passengers and once again conveys its apologies to all of those who were affected last year. A goodwill gesture of €150 discount for a sailing to France this year has already been provided to all customers impacted by the cancellations.

Ongoing discussions with the NTA on the interpretation of EU regulation has been a critical factor in regretfully concluding that we are unlikely to operate the Oscar Wilde to France out of Rosslare in 2019 – a service which has been in operation continuously for 45 years, providing the South East of the country with an important tourism and freight link directly to the European market. The NTA’s approach to the Regulation has contributed to making the route commercially unviable into the future. Furthermore, the NTA interpretation of the EU Regulation specifically regarding land bridge (i.e. travel between Ireland to France through Britain), significantly penalises regional ports due to their lower frequency of back up ferry services from Ireland to the UK in the event of a cancellation of a direct Continental service.

Irish Ferries has, on numerous occasions, attempted to engage with the NTA by offering to enter into a mediation process without any preconditions. The NTA have not taken up this offer. Irish Ferries will appeal the NTA’s decision in the courts (including, if needed, the European Court of Justice).

Irish Ferries firmly believe that consumer protection should be reasonable, proportionate and in full compliance with the law. We also believe it is essential to protect the viability of direct links to the Continent which is now all the more critical against the backdrop of Brexit.

Published in Ferry
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#ferries - The National Transport Authority has announced its decision concerning cancellation of WB Yeats sailings by Irish Ferries last summer and which has led the NTA today to serve notices on the operator that has two months to comply regarding maritime regulations. 

The NTA a statutory non-commercial body, which operates under the aegis of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS), issued information below on the cancelled sailings. In addition related documentation (pdf) downloads available from links on the NTA's website (see bottom of page). 

The National Transport Authority (the “Authority”) is designated pursuant to a 2012 Statutory Instrument as the National Enforcement Body for the enforcement of EU Regulation 1177/2010 concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 (the “Maritime Regulation”).

The objective of the Maritime Regulation is to ensure a high level of protection to passengers using waterborne transport anywhere in the European Union.

Under the European Union (Rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway) Regulations 2012 (SI No. 394 of 2012) (the “2012 Statutory Instrument”), the Authority, either on its own initiative or following a complaint to it by a passenger, being of the opinion that a provider is failing to comply with or is infringing the Maritime Regulation is required to cause to be served on the provider a notice specifying the failure or infringement concerned and requiring the provider to take such measures as are specified in the notice, within such period as may be specified, for the purposes of complying with the notice.

A provider on whom a notice is served may, within 21 days of the service of the notice, make representations to the Authority.  The Authority is required to consider any such representations and shall by notice, confirm, modify or withdraw the notice.

On 21st April, 2018, Irish Ferries made a public announcement that they had been informed by the German Shipyard, FSG (which was building the new ferry, ‘WB Yeats’, for Irish Ferries) that its delivery to Irish Ferries was likely to be delayed.  Irish Ferries stated that, while this delay was not yet fully confirmed by the shipyard, they had, in the interest of minimising the level of potential disruption to its customers, taken the decision to cancel a number of affected sailings in July, from the 12th to 29th of July inclusive from Dublin to Cherbourg and Cherbourg to Dublin.

Subsequently, on the 12th of June 2018, Irish Ferries further announced that “due to extraordinary circumstances beyond its control, the delivery of the WB Yeats has been further delayed by FSG” and advised that it had no option but to cancel all the planned sailings to France for ‘WB Yeats’ for the Summer.

The National Transport Authority received correspondence from passengers relating to the cancellations.

As the National Enforcement Body, the Authority investigated into the circumstances giving rise to the cancellations that occurred and their consequences to ascertain whether there was compliance with the provisions of the Maritime Regulation, in particular Article 18 and Article 19.  The Authority engaged extensively with Irish Ferries in this regard. 

Article 18 of the Maritime Regulation relates to what is to be offered by the carrier to impacted passengers in the event of cancelled or delayed departures, namely, the choice between:-

(a) re-routing to the final destination, under comparable conditions, as set out in the transport contract, at the earliest opportunity and at no additional cost,

(b) reimbursement.

Article 19 of the Maritime Regulation relates to the payment of compensation if requested by passengers in the event of delay in arrival at the final destination as set out in the transport contract.  This is based on a % of the ticket price.  Article 19 of the Maritime Regulation sets out that, without losing the right to transport, passengers may request compensation from the carrier if they are facing a delay in arrival at the final destination as set out in the transport contract.  Compensation is 25% or 50% of the ticket price depending on the scheduled duration of the journey and extent of the delay experienced.

Article 20(4) of the Regulation provides an exemption to Article 19 for carriers in the event that the carrier proves that the cancellation or delay is caused by weather conditions endangering the safe operation of the ship or by “extraordinary circumstances” hindering the performance of passenger services and which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

The Authority was not satisfied that the unavailability of ‘WB Yeats’ is an extraordinary circumstance hindering the performance of the cancelled passenger services which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

The Board of the Authority formed the opinions that Irish Ferries failed or is failing to comply with and has infringed or is infringing Article 18 and Article 19 of the Maritime Regulation on the 19th of October 2018 and authorised the serving of notices on Irish Ferries. 

Two separate Notices (an Article 18 Notice and an Article 19 Notice) were served on Irish Ferries on the 22nd of October 2018 specifying the failures/infringements in relation to Article 18 and Article 19 of the Maritime Regulation and requiring Irish Ferries to take the measure(s) specified in the Notices, namely to

-          pay compensation to impacted passengers who have already requested compensation from Irish Ferries for the delay in arrival at the final destination as set out in the transport contract, where such delay falls within the criteria set out in Article 19(1)(a) – (d) of the Maritime Regulation, in accordance with the provisions of Article 19 of the Maritime Regulation, and

-          in relation to passengers impacted by the cancelled sailings, where such impacted passengers had to travel to and from Rosslare (rather than Dublin) and/or to and from Roscoff (rather than Cherbourg), Irish Ferries is to reimburse any additional costs incurred by the impacted passengers in travelling to and from Rosslare rather than Dublin and to and from Roscoff rather than Cherbourg.

Irish Ferries submitted representations to the Authority in response to the Article 18 Notice and Article 19 Notice pursuant to the 2012 Statutory Instrument.  These representations were reviewed and discussed by the Board of the Authority. 

The Board of the Authority at its Board Meeting on the 25th January 2019 decided to confirm the Article 18 Notice and the Article 19 Notice and notices pursuant to Regulation 4(2) of the 2012 Statutory Instrument were served on Irish Ferries on 28th January 2019. 

Irish Ferries have a period of 2 months to comply with the Notices.

Published in Ferry

#ferries - Once again W.B. Yeats first scheduled sailing albeit freight-only on the Dublin-Holyhead route has been deferred, it was meant to begin today with a morning sailing bound for the Welsh port, writes Jehan Ashmore

The Irish Ferries freight website lists the W.B. Yeats instead with a departure from Dublin Port next week, Monday, (21 January) on the 20.55 crossing to Holyhead, with an arrival in Anglesey on the Tuesday, just after midnight at 00.10hrs.

As highlighted before, W.B. Yeats first sailing originally timetabled was to have taken place almost a week ago on 13 January. Currently maintaining services is Oscar Wilde and Epsilon. 

If the new €147m cruiseferry does carry out this first maiden commercial sailing on Monday, it would be held in the same week when sailings are to accommodate 'passengers'. As Irish Ferries previously confirmed to Afloat.ie, W.B. Yeats inaugural passenger and freight service is scheduled for next Friday (25 January) departing Dublin in the early hours at 02.00.

 

Published in Ferry
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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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