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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
P&O sackings: DP World, which is ultimately owned by the Dubai royal family, said in March that firing 786 P&O seafarers and replacing them with much cheaper agency workers was the only way to ensure the 'future viability' of the historic ferry business.
A Dubai-based owner of P&O Ferries has reported record-breaking profits just months after sacking 800 of its UK-based workers without notice. DP World, which is ultimately owned by the Dubai royal family, said in March that firing 786 P&O seafarers and…
Developer Liverpool Waters says the bridge will be ready for the opening of the new Isle of Man terminal expected to open in June 2023
A new bridge will be part-funded by Liverpool City Council which will spend £200,000 on the project to connect Princes Dock to the new Isle of Man ferry terminal. The Isle of Man Government says this will provide a more…
Sailing disruptions of the Isle of Man Steam Packet will take place over the next few days, as work continues to resolve mechanical issues affecting one of the linkspans at Douglas Harbour.
Sailing disruptions of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company have been confirmed by the ferry operator with schedules over the next few days, as work is completed to resolve mechanical issues affecting one of the linkspans at Douglas Harbour.…
Live Local experience: Brittany Ferries launches website site to match holiday makers with local hosts who offer bespoke and authentic experiences in their destination
Brittany Ferries, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has launched a website called with its partner 321 Founded. The site promises to match holidaymakers with local hosts who offer bespoke and authentic experiences in their destination. The move…
First look - On the bridge: Adam Kelso (left) has been promoted master of ropax Ben-my-Chree, which is seen berthed at Douglas Harbour. To mark the occasion alongside King Edward VII pier is the IOMSPC Managing Director Brian Thomson
The Isle of Man Steam Packet has promoted Adam Kelso to the rank of Master of the ropax ferry Ben-my-Chree, which has 1,235 freight lane metres and a passenger capacity of 630 passengers. Adam, born and raised on the Isle…
Ageing Isles fleet: MV Hebrides, one of CalMac’s oldest ferries was taken out of service for a third time last week, which led residents on some Scottish western isles being restricted to just one carton of milk and one loaf of bread
On several Scottish western islands, shops have been forced to ration essential items due to widespread ferry cancellations due to a broken-down vessel, reports The National. Residents have complained of food shortages imposed by local shops with islanders restricted to…
A boom in car-cations traveling with Stena Line has seen an increase in the number of motorists and notably the most striking rise is found on the Irish Sea
Stena Line has seen their business bounce back in Ireland and Britain in 2022 as figures for the first half of the year show passenger numbers are back to pre-pandemic levels, while car numbers in particular are far higher than…
Dublin Bay Cruises’ St Bridget
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has launched a public consultation on developing a policy for passenger vessel licensing at Howth Fishery Harbour Centre. The number of licences issued by the department has remained unchanged for many years.…
Cost of Scottish Operator CalMac's Annual Ferry Repairs Tripled in A Decade Costs to repairing the Scottish operator CalMac fleet of ferries on an annual basis has tripled in a decade, reaching more than £28 million last year. A Freedom…
Former Gaeltacht Minister Eamon Ó Cuív T.D. calls for increased ferry subsidied service for residents of the Aran Islands. Above, AFLOAT adds is the Saoirse Na Farraige berthed at Kilronan Harbour on Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands off the Galway coast. Kilronan has routes linking Ros a’Mhíl (Connemara), Galway City and Doolin in neighbouring Co. Clare and inter-island services. Aran Islands Ferries-twitter
Residents on islands off the Galway coast should be afforded an increased subsidised service on ferries to and from the mainland – as existing transport costs to individual passengers are proving prohibitive. That’s according to former Gaeltacht Minister Eamon Ó…
New UK bill on seafarers regularly calling to ports, among them P&O Ferries
Ships which regularly come into UK ports along with seafarers will now be paid the minimum wage. The government has introduced a new bill to stop firms using legal loopholes to pay low wages, following the P&O Ferries mass sackings.…
Coach & Sail Is Back!... as for the first time since the pandemic, Bus Éireann announced the reopening of Expressway Eurolines  Dublin-London service yesterday, having departed Dublin's Busáras (above) to board Irish Ferries sailing to Holyhead with onward travel to the UK capital. The same Eurolines service (871) also goes through Dublin Port's ferryport with connections to Birmingham.
Irish public transport operator, Bus Éireann announced the return of the Expressway Eurolines coach and Irish Ferries service linking Dublin with Birmingham and London when the first service reopened yesterday. According to Expressway-facebook, fares for the combined coach and ferry…
Some of the 400 classic cars seen boarding Brittany Ferries in Portsmouth to take the ferry to Caen, Normandy, from where last week the beautiful vehicles headed for the Le Mans Classic Festival. Afloat adds on right is the moored former 1970's Royal Navy destroyer HMS Bristol which became a Harbour Training Ship in the Hampshire port until decommissioned in 2020
Brittany Ferries carried hundreds of classic cars and of considerable value when the beautiful vehicles last week headed across the English Channel to France for the Le Mans Classic Festival. The classic cars belonged to Brits and other nationals attending…
A ferry approaching the Port of Holyhead, Anglesey in north Wales. 'The disregard for Welsh (ferry) ports during and since Brexit is part and parcel of Wales’ wider marginalisation and peripheralization within the political economy of the United Kingdom'-LSE British Politics and Policy.
The approach by the UK Government to Brexit trade policy and negotiations protocol is causing “potentially irreparable damage” to Wales’ (ferry) ports, researchers have said. Colin Murray of Newcastle University and Jonathan Evershed of University College Dublin warned (see LSE) that…
The service to the Aran Islands has been operated by the Garrihy family for more than 20 years and the deal includes the Star of Doolin. AFLOAT adds this 121 tonnes custom-built 24m ferry built in 2018 is the newest of the fleet sold. The ferry has a capacity for 200 passengers.
The family-owned business, the Liscannor Ferry Company that operates a service between the Co Clare mainland and the Aran Islands, has been sold to a rival. The firm, which trades as Doolin2Aran Ferries and is owned by the Garrihy family,…
New terminal in Liverpool to open in 2023 is 'still realistic'. AFLOAT adds the development on Merseyside is being built by the UK arm of John Sisk & Co, the Irish building contractor which is a family owned business dating to 1859.
The Isle of Man Minister for Infrastructure doesn't think the ferry terminal project will cost more than already requested. The minister doesn't believe work to the Liverpool Ferry Terminal project will cost more than has already been requested by his…

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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