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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Freight operator Seatruck Ferries whose ro-ro ferry Clipper Point is seen in this file photo when departing off the Baily Lighthouse on Dublin Bay. Incidentally the 'P'-class vessel also departed the Irish capital this afternoon onto the Irish Sea bound for Heysham, England
Irish Exporters Association (IEA) have today welcomed news that Irish and EU officials have developed a draft proposal that would give Irish food exports access to "green lanes" when they come off ferries traveling from British to continental ports. The…
Stena Europe AFLOAT adds under the iconic Harland & Wolff shipyard gantry cranes in Belfast. The ferry seen in the Building Dry Dock, otherwise operates the Rosslare-Fishguard route while ropax Stena Nordica is currently covering crossings on the St. Georges Channel's southern corridor service between Ireland and Wales.
Six ferries of Stena Line's Irish Sea fleet will dry-dock at Harland and Wolff’s famous Belfast shipyard this summer for a range of repairs and upgrades. Currently the Stena Europe (see related relief ferry), which operates on the Rosslare-Fishguard service,…
Last government committed at start of April to provide up to €15m of PSO subventions. ABOVE AFLOAT's photo of Eamonn Rothwell, chief executive of ICG, (parent company of Irish Ferries) on board the W.B. Yeats during the reception to officially introduce the newbuild cruiseferry in early 2019. Then the cruiseferry was operating the Dublin-Holyhead route over the winter months prior to making a debut on the Dublin-Cherbourg route for the summer (likewise of this season).
Chief executive of ferry operator Irish Continental Group (ICG) has warned that any move by the new Government to extend a subsidy scheme to keep certain sea routes going during the Covid-19 pandemic would be a “waste of taxpayers’ money” and…
The world’s oldest continually-operating passenger shipping company, Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. celebrates its 190th anniversary tomorrow. AFLOAT adds among the ferry fleet (on left) the chartered-in ro-ro freighter Arrow which as reported last week went aground in Aberdeen Harbour, Scotland.
Ferry operator the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company will officially mark its 190th anniversary on Tuesday (tomorrow). It's the world’s oldest continually-operating passenger shipping company and has served the Island since 30 June 1830. The Steam Packet, reports Manx…
MV Arrow aground at Aberdeen Harbour, Scotland. The ro-ro freight-ferry is on sub-charter to Serco-Northlink (Ferries) which AFLOAT adds operate a network of routes serving Orkney and Shetland Islands.
The Isle of Man Steam Packets' chartered in MV Arrow, which is used by the Manx ferry operator to cover freight traffic, ran aground in Aberdeen Harbour, Scotland (yesterday). The (ro-ro freightferry),reports Manx Radio, is on a sub-charter to Serco-Northlink…
Restrictions on travelling abroad will be eased from (Thursday) July 9th. Above AFLOAT's photo of the ferry operators using Dublin Port serving routes to Britain (England, Wales), the Isle of Man in addition to France. Seatruck provide freight routes albeit with a limited capacity for private 'motorist' based passengers.
Restrictions on foreign travel will be eased from (Thursday) July 9th with travellers permitted to move between countries with similar levels of coronavirus infection. As The Irish Times writes, a green list will be compiled before that date detailing which…
Belfast to Build Zero Emissions Ferries Following £60m Funding Boost
A Belfast Lough Maritime Consortium led by Artemis Technologies has won a £33 million UK Government innovation grant to develop zero emissions ferries in the city, that will revolutionise the future of maritime transport. With further investment from consortium partners,…
The Cork-Roscoff route is very popular with holidaymakers. AFLOAT adds Brittany Ferries other Irish services based out of Rosslare will also begin next week on the routes to Roscoff, France and Bilbao, Spain. Above seen last season is flagship Pont-Aven departing the Port of Cork with Cobh in the background.
Operator Brittany Ferries have confirmed that passengers will be able to travel to France from Cork via the high seas from (next) Monday, 29 June. The ferry service, writes CorkBeo.ie, will be running a limited service of five ships over the…
CGI image: The constract for Brittany Ferries newbuild LNG powered cruiseferry Honfleur has been confirmed as cancelled with the same German shipyard that ICG (owners of Irish Ferries) recently cancelled an order from for a second newbuild ferry based on the design of W.B. Yeats.
Operator Brittany Ferries and Somanor confirm the termination of the Honfleur shipbuilding contract. The ferry company and Somanor confirmed the termination, on 17th June 2020, of the shipbuilding contract for Honfleur, a ferry powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Somanor…
New measures introduced to deliver enhanced safety for passengers and crew on-board Irish Ferries. Above: cruiseferry W.B. Yeats captured in this AFLOAT photo having departed Dublin Port and when bound for Cherbourg, France.
Ferry Travel: The prospect of a 2020 holiday abroad seemed all but lost a few weeks ago, but as thoughts turn to the reopening of our country and European destinations begin to lift restrictions, Irish Ferries is delighted to announce…
Ship 'Sample' (Part 1 of 2) Stena Nordica seen shifting berths following a layover in Dublin Port more than a decade ago when serving on the Holyhead route. The ro-pax ferry continues to play an important role for the ship's owners as a relief ferry on the Irish Sea. As since last night the 'Nordica' carried out final sailings on the Wales route until today's resumption finally by the route's newbuild ropax Stena Estrid after engine-trouble in May. Also pictured is former Arklow Racer berthed at DeepWaterQuay (See: Shipping Snippets 'Ports & Shipping' news 5th June) one of the 'R' series of dry-cargo/ container ships which formed part of the backbone of Arklow Shipping's fleet for almost 20 years, but these oldest in the fleet are been disposed as ASL continue a newbuild programme. Afloat will feature in Ship Sample (2 of 2) on some of the 'R' class cargoships which have been sold, while looking into newbuild Irish flagged traders. As for the photo, this may be familar with reader/collectors of 'Ships Monthly' (Feb) 2010 issue as part of their Ships Pictorial centrespread.
Stena Nordica continues in nomadic mode as Afloat tracked the ropax ferry on a repositioning passage to Fishguard, having relieved duties of former engine troubled newbuild Stena Estrid which returned to the Holyhead-Dublin route today, writes Jehan Ashmore. The leadship…
Set of safety measures announced by Stena Line with potential easing of lock-down and travel restrictions on non essential travel is aimed to ensure those taking a ferry is the safest form of public transport
A set of safety measures announced by Stena Line, given the potential easing of lockdown restrictions and the re-emergence of non-essential travel, is aimed at ensuring ferry travel is the safest form of public transport. Social distancing, fog machines, fresh…
David Puttnam (the UK film-maker and West Cork resident) noted more people are likely to want to travel by ferry. Bosses from the industry have said there are no plans to increase the number of ferry services between Ireland and France in post-lockdown
Bosses of the ferry industry, have ruled out increasing their services between Ireland and France in the coming months and have even indicated that passenger numbers on their routes could be reduced to facilitate social distancing. There had been speculation that…
British Ports Assocation welcome news that the UK Government will postpone its post-transition plans to introduce full border checks on traffic arriving from the EU for six months from January 2020. Did you know that the UK Maritime Sector facilitates 95% of all UK trade, and is larger than both the automotive and aerospace transport industries? Above the Red Duster flies at the stern of a North Channel ferry.
In the UK the British Ports Association has welcomed news that government will postpone its plans to introduce full border checks on traffic arriving from the EU for six months from January 2021. This will be done for imports into…
Car ferry Frazer Aisling Gabrielle is to offer rare 'walk-on' Lighthouse themed cruises (Saturday, 20 June) from Greenore, Carlingford Lough out to the impressive Haulbowline Lighthouse. In these times of Covid-19, Frazer Ferries cross-border service is suspended. AFLOAT on Wednesday observed the domestic ferry offshore of Dublin make a coastal passage to home waters following annual routine dry-docking at New Ross Boatyard. The call to the south-east also enabled the ferry to cover in for Frazer Tintern on the Passage East-Ballyhack route on the Waterford estuary. Above is another ferry from the operator's Lough Foyle service, in which over the years their ferry fleet are redeployed on routes.
In an effort to restore even a hint of tourism activity while the Covid-19 restrictions are gradually eased across Ireland, Carlingford Lough Ferry is launching special 'Lighthouse' cruises out to entrance of the scenic lough, writes Jehan Ashmore The car-ferry…
ICG (owners of Irish Ferries) chief Eamonn Rothwell says passenger quarantine rule will put Common Travel Area at risk post-Brexit. Above AFLOAT's photo of Irish Ferries Ulysses at Dublin Port ferryport terminal No.1. from where the cruiseferry operates on the core Irish Sea route linking Holyhead along with ropax Epsilon.
Passengers coming from Britain to the Republic and subjected to a two-week quarantine, at a time when Boris Johnson’s government has exempted Irish citizens from its own restrictions, puts the entire Common Travel Area at risk post-Brexit, according to the…

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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