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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
A P&O ferry berthed at Larne Port in Co Antrim.
After a year on from the EU-UK trade deal, a more permanent picture of the post-Brexit shift in trade has emerged. Figures from the Central Statistics Office, published Monday, reveal goods imports from Britain fell by more than a fifth…
Further delays at the new Liverpool ferry terminal to serve the Isle of Man Steam Packet
ManxRadio reports that it is two years since start the of construction at Princes Half Tide Dock in Liverpool. It's frustrating that the new ferry terminal in Liverpool is yet to be completed. That's from the enterprise minister ahead of…
Strait of Dover: The UK ferryport welcomes the relaxation of entry requirements into Calais, France
The UK's busiest ferry Port of Dover today issued a statement that welcomed the relaxation of entry requirements into France, including news that passengers will no longer need to provide a reason for travelling. Fewer checks will reduce the current…
First-driverless CMA-CGM container load taken on-board Brittany Ferries ro-ro freigher Contentin.
Brittany Ferries's partnership with container giant CMA CGM was finalised in 2021 to support the French ferry company's post-Covid recovery. It promises complementary English Channel freight transport links, thanks to a ‘fast lane’ solution bringing shorter transit times and increased…
Brittany Ferries to sale Cap Finistère, which a year ago made an Irish debut for the operator on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route as part of the shipping sector's response of demand for freight 'bypass-Brexit' routes to mainland Europe. Above AFLOAT captured Cap Finistère off The Hard, Portsmouth from where since 2010, BF operated initially to Cherbourg/Santander and later added a second service to Spain with Bilbao. The photo taken in 2014 shows the 'Superfast' class ferry with original distintive 'winged' funnel when launched as Superfast V. The wings were subsequently removed along with previous livery as also sported above.
Operator Brittany Ferries has confirmed that it is in the final stages of negotiation for the sale of Cap Finistère to Italian shipping company GNV. The development comes as the Roscoff-based company prepares to welcome its next ship to the…
Manx services: Fully vaccinated people will be able to enter the island without PCR testing in future. Above IOM Steam-Packet ferries both conventional and fast-craft in Douglas Harbour.
People who are fully vaccinated when arriving on the Isle of Man from an international destination will no longer be required to take a Covid-19 PCR test. Those arriving from outside the Common Travel Area (incl. Ireland) from 00:01 GMT…
St. Columba, custom built for British Rail/Sealink on the historic Irish Sea Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route from 1977 until replaced by the Stena (HSS) service in 1996, has finally gone to the shipbreakers in Pakistan. For almost 20 years the ferry for many generations was a familiar sight in Dun Laoghaire Harbour (above as Stena Adventurer) with bow-visor partially open when off Carlisle Pier.The ferry was to head to Dover-Calais route, hence renaming but this never materialised. With the closure of the Irish Sea route in 2014, Stena Line were already operating out of Dublin to Holyhead with another Stena Adventurer (built 2003) that continues to serve along with Stena Estrid.
St. Columba, British Rail/Sealink's largest custom-built Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead ferry which served many a generation with fond memories and which left the Irish Sea 25 years ago, has gone for scrapping in Pakistan, writes Jehan Ashmore. The 44 year-old Massarah, originally of…
Silting at Heysham has led to dredging to resolve the issue at the Lancashire port, England. Above AFLOAT adds on the right is the IOMSPCo's ropax Ben-my-Chree berthed at the linkspan that serves ferry traffic of the operator's main route linking Douglas.
The issues surrounding silting in the Irish Sea ferry port of Heysham appear to have been resolved. Last week, the Minister for Infrastructure, Tim Crookall MHK , spoke with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company regarding the problems that…
Same bottles (of spirits) cost up to €34 in supermarkets after minimum alcohol pricing introduced. Above the entrance to a duty-free ferry shop.
Travellers on ferries and planes can expect a litre of vodka to be available for just €13, representing a massive discount on supermarket prices after minimum alcohol pricing laws were introduced. Ports and airports have witnessed a dramatic surge in…
Expanded Dublin-Europe cargo operations at Dublin Port... Trucks' trailers sit parked on the quayside near the European Endeavour (above also captured by AFLOAT) the passenger and ro-ro cargo ship, operated by P&O Ferries at Dublin Port on Friday, March 29, 2019, so writes AFLOAT also adds in that same year the vessel was sold to Baltic Sea operator Eckerö Line and renamed Finbo Cargo. The ship when built as Midnight Merchant is a sister of Ciudad de Mahon (originally Northern Merchant) which ICG acquired for Irish Ferries and is to used on their Dover-Calais service.
In the Revenue’s annual report it confirms a massive increase in red tape now involved in trade with Britain. Revenue say they collected €215m of customs duty on imports from Britain last year, even before the full impact of Brexit…
Manx artists and island-based creatives are being given the chance to have their art work featured in the interior of the Isle of Man Steam Packet fleet newbuild flagship, the Manxman.
Artists on the Isle of Man and island-based creatives are being given the chance to feature their art work in the interior of the newest ferry addition to the operator's Douglas based packet fleet. The Isle of Man Steam Packet…
Travel test requirements end in Ireland and England this week. Above Irish Ferries which uses Dublin Port's ferryport terminal (No.1).
As the more dominant the Omicron variant of the virus has become, paradoxically the more redundant restrictions on the travel sector to halt its spread have looked. Now that the variant is everywhere it’s pointless trying to keep it out…
The past couple of years have been seismic for the port of Holyhead, which Stena Line owns and operates. Above, Afloat adds the freight check-in booths including those for rival operator, Irish Ferries at the north Wales port on Anglesey.
Holyhead as Welsh towns go has had to reckon with more upheaval than most. The largest town on the Isle of Anglesey is home to just over 10,000 people but is also one of the UK's largest commercial and ferry…
Isle of Man Steam Packet had a momentous milestone on Christmas Eve as the keel was laid for Manxman, marking the beginning of the newbuild's formal construction at an Asian shipyard. The keel-laying ceremony, a centuries-old tradition which is said to bring luck to the captain and crew during the life of the ship, took place at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s newbuild flagship ferry, Manxman was given an official ceremony held in South Korea, Asia to mark the beginning of the formal construction. The keel-laying ceremony, which traditionally invites good luck in the construction…
Fleet left to Rust: CalMac operates the largest ferry fleet in the UK, which Afloat adds is owned by the Scottish Government. Among the ageing fleetmates, is the Isle of Arran (above) dating to 1984 and which serves on the Firth of Clyde to Arran, the most southerly 'year-round' route of an extensive ferry network throughout the Inner and Outer Hebrides.
Ferry operator CalMac which is owned by the Scottish Government, has been accused of leaving the fleet to rust, as new figures show the cost of repairs rising by almost a quarter. Since the start of the current CalMac franchise…
The Isle of Man Steam Packet had to bring in extra freight sailing after silt issues forced the ferry Ben-my-Chree to leave Heysham early. The freight ferry Arrow left the Lancashire port at 4am with the freight, including today's newspapers. Above both of the vessels seen at Douglas Harbour.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company had to add an extra freight sailing after silt caused issues for the ferry Ben-my-Chree at Heysham. The ferry operator according to Manx Radio, had to change its sailing times over the last…

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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