Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
The €150 million, 54,985 gross tonnes cruise ferry will arrive into Dublin next July when it will enter year-round service on Ireland – France and Dublin – Holyhead routes
The completed hull of the new Irish Ferries cruise ferry W. B. Yeats – ceremonially named by Ms. Rikki Rothwell – was launched into the water earlier today at the shipyard of Flensburger Schiffbau–Gesellschaft in Flensburg, Germany where the vessel…
Artists impression of W.B. Yeats, weather permitting is due to be launched tomorrow from a German shipyard. The €144m cruiseferry is to make a debut in mid-July on the Ireland-France service linking Dublin and Cherbourg.
#FerryNews - Weather permitting, Irish Continental Group (ICG)’s €144m newbuild cruiseferry W.B. Yeats, is due to be launched tomorrow from a German shipyard, writes Jehan Ashmore. The giant 55,500 gross tonnage W.B. Yeats with a capacity for 1,885 passengers and…
An artist's impression of Connemara, a Visentini built ropax ferry that will be chartered-in to operate the new direct Ireland-Spain route between Cork-Santander, the first ever ferry link between the countries. Operations are to start at the end of April based on schedule of two return-sailings a week.
#FerryNews - Today, Brittany Ferries announced a new direct Ireland-Spain route, the first time ever a ferry service has linked the countries. Starting at the end of April, the service between Cork and Santander, will be making two return-sailings a…
The existing ferry terminal at the Liverpool landing stage (Princess Parade), where vehicles await loading of the Isle of Man Steam Packet's fast-craft Manannan that operates on the seasonal link to Douglas.
#FerryNews- Manx Radio reports on a project that has officially begun work that will eventually see a new ferry terminal for passengers. The first phase of the £5 billion Liverpool Waters scheme got under way with a groundbreaking ceremony earlier…
Eugene Garrihy (far right) with shipbuilders on board the vessel in the early stage of the build at the OCEA Shipbuilding plant in La Rochelle, France
Accessing Ireland’s most popular offshore destination, the Aran Islands, and the Cliffs of Moher by sea is to get a lot more comfortable, faster and environmentally friendly thanks to a record investment by one of the best known sea faring…
Ferry operator raises concerns over the poor road network to and from Loch Ryan Port, Cairnryan. The Scottish port handles approximately 45% of NI trade (through Belfast) with the rest of the UK.
#Ferry - Across Northern Ireland businesses continue to be disadvantaged by poor road access to their key markets in the UK. Ferry operator Stena Line has raised concerns with local political and business stakeholders to increase the focus and necessity…
Animal welfare groups raise concerns and have slammed the “disgraceful” calls from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) to increase livestock exports in 2018. A ferry operator engaged in this trade on an Ireland-France route, Stena Line is due next month to refit a ferry. The IFA want to ensure a replacement ship is available for peak export weeks during February and March.
#FerryNews - Animal welfare groups internationally have slammed the “disgraceful” calls from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) to increase the live export of Irish livestock in 2018. As the Green News.ie writes, the comments come in response to calls from…
Exports of live cattle soared 35pc last year to over 196,000 head. Afloat adds that from next month a livestock-only vessel will replace a Rosslare-Cherbourg passenger ferry, Stena Horizon which is to undergo annual refit. During the month long refit, there will be no sailings on the Ireland-France route.
#FerryNews - An alternative livestock export vessel is to replace a Stena Line ferry and is due to be inspected by officials this week. According to the Independent.ie, the announcement will calm farmer fears that the Stena Horizon's temporary removal…
European Causeway bound for Cairnryan while off the Scottish coast.
#FerryNews - The highest volume of freight traffic in six years was carried on P&O Ferries Larne-Cairnryan service during 2017. The ferry and logistics company, which operates between Northern Ireland and Scotland, carried 210,533 lorries and trailers on its ships…
P&O Ferries “always looking for new opportunities” of a Scotland-Scandinavian service. Above the operators Pride of Bruges which serves the England-Belgium route of Hull-Zeebrugge. Currently the only ferry route linking Scotland and Europe (Afloat adds that is run by DFDS) is Rosyth-Zeebrugge but the service became freight-only in 2010.
#FerryNews - According to the Edinburgh News, a ferry company has said it is willing to enter talks with the Scottish Government about a new ferry route between Scotland and Scandinavia. P&O Ferries said it was “always looking for new…
ICG parent company of Irish Ferries, invest in a €165.2m cruiseferry for the Dublin-Holyhead route, which Afloat adds at around 67,300 gross tonnage will easily be the largest ever to serve on the Irish Sea. Upon completion at the FSG shipyard, the vessel will also be the largest cruise ferry in the world in terms of vehicle capacity. The same German shipbuilder is currently building the W.B. Yeats (image as above) which is around 55,000 gross tonnage. Combined the newbuilds total a €315m investment by the Dublin based shipping, transport and leisure group.
#FerryNews - Irish Continental Group (ICG) parent company of Irish Ferries, is to invest in a €165.2m cruise ferry that will be the world's largest in terms of vehicle capacity when completed by German shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft (FSG). The cruise…
Norbank (above in Dublin Port) sister Norbay along with European Endeavour operate a P&O Ferries route to Liverpool. The sisters built in the early 1990's were originally commissioned for North Sea Ferries hence their 'Nor' prefix names. The North Sea operations are part of P&O Ferries services connecting Europe based out Hull (UK City of Culture 2017) linking Rotterdam, The Netherlands and Zeebrugge in Belgium.
#P&[email protected] – Before another year sails by, it should be highlighted P&O's 180th anniversary took place during this year, with celebrations marking the world famous shipping company that was founded in 1837, writes Jehan Ashmore. Operating 20 ferries and employing…
Ben-My-Chree the conventional ferry of the Isle of Man Steam Packet approaching Douglas Harbour. The design of the ferry is a smaller version of the UK-Channel Islands serving Commodore Clipper, see Ferry News report dated 18 October.
#ferrynews - Manx Ministers are drawing up possible plans to buy the Isle of Man Steam Packet, iomtoday has learned. The move comes as negotiations continue with the ferry operator over a revised strategic sea services deal - and as…
Oscar Wilde yesterday completed French sailings this year. The cruiseferry departed Rosslare Harbour (above) earlier today to provide additional capacity over the Christmas season as an influx of passengers use the busy Holyhead-Dublin route.
#FerryFestive - An Irish Ferries cruiseferry on the French route based out of Rosslare returned yesterday prior to making a repositioning voyage to Dublin Port this morning in preparation of the busy festive season, writes Jehan Ashmore. Cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde…
Earlier this month Doyle Shipping won an injunction allowing it to continue to provide services to Stena Line ferries docking in Dublin Port
#Dispute - A Dublin Port stevedore, Doyle Shipping, whose case against Stena Line was back in court recently, where a ruling on costs was reserved. Earlier this month as The Irish Times reported, Doyle won an injunction allowing it to…
Afloat has researched into one of Commodore Shipping previous freight ro-ro vessels, the Pride of Portsmouth which entered service in 1990, a year that saw the long established Channel Islands operator switch from Lo-Lo operations to Ro-Ro. In 1991 the freight ferry was renamed Norman Commodore to reflect the ship's charter-owners. The 1972 built ferry launched as Anu for Finnish owners, had among its career prior to Commodore carried out several charters on the Irish Sea which included B+I Line between Dublin-Holyhead in 1981 when the ship was renamed Lady Catherine.
#Condor70th - A UK-Channel Islands freight operator, Commodore Shipping reached a major milestone this year as the company celebrated seven decades of providing lifeline freight services from the mainland. Now known as Condor Freight, Commodore first appeared on the horizon…

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!

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

DBSC
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

corkweek sidebutton
tokyo sidebutton
roundireland sidebutton
wave regatta
sovscup sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating