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Ferry
Dublin Route Reduced to Single-Ship Service
#FERRIES – Stena Line's two-ship operated Dublin-Holyhead route is to be reduced to a single vessel service as from tomorrow, due to annual dry-docking requirements, writes Jehan Ashmore. Stena Nordica (2000/24,206grt) is to go off the route for a refit…
Ferry Go-Round

Ferry Go-Round

4th January 2012 Ferry
# FERRY NEWS - Irish Ferries French routes cruiseferry Oscar Wilde (1987/31,914grt) took over Rosslare-Pembroke Dock sailings with this morning's sailing, instead of the usual route vessel that operates on the southern corridor route, writes Jehan Ashmore. Currently there are…
Severe Weather Disrupts Ferry Services
#FERRY NEWS – With travel disruption to some Irish Sea ferry services due to the severe weather conditions battering across the country, the following ferry operator's website links below provide the latest sailing schedules and contact details. It is also…
Seatruck Newbuild Making Progress On Irish Sea
#FERRY NEWS -Seatruck Ferries newbuild freight-only ferry, Seatruck Progress carried out berthing trials in Dublin Port yesterday in preparation to her debut on the Liverpool route over the festive period, writes Jehan Ashmore. This was the inaugural call to the…
First Fruits of Cross-Border Project as Scotland Gets Funding for Hybrid Ferry
#FERRY NEWS - A cross-border project to develop ferry services for island and remote communities of the Irish and Scottish coastlines has received funding in the sixth round of the European Regional Development Fund (EDRF). A grant of £450,000 (€540,000)…
Former B+I Line Freight-Ferry Bound for Turkish Breakers
#FERRY NEWS-P&O Irish Sea's Larne-Troon freight-ferry Norcape (14,087grt) departed the Co. Antrim port last week to be broken-up at ship-breakers in Aliaga, Turkey. She originally served B+I Line as the Tipperary, but her last sailings took place on the North…
High Court Extends Protection for Cork-Swansea Ferry Operators
#FERRY NEWS-A High Court judge has agreed to continue court protection for the companies operating the Cork-Swansea ferry service to allow for finalisation of a survival scheme, reports The Irish Times. Mr Justice Peter Kelly said yesterday he was satisfied…
Ferry Changes on Dublin-Isle of Man Route
#FERRY NEWS- This weekend's round-trip Douglas-Dublin sailings are to be served by fast-ferry Manannan (1998/5,743grt) instead of conventional ferry, writes Jehan Ashmore. Usually these winter sailings are operated by Ben-My-Chree (1998/12,504grt), as the Dutch built ro-pax is in dry-dock at…
Scottish Ferry Sailings Suffer Storm Disruption
#FERRY NEWS - With winds of up to 100mph, Scottish ferry sailings on the North Channel routes from Northern Ireland, have been affected with two cancellations on Stena's Belfast-Cairnryan services, according to Channel 4 News. P&O had no reported cancellations…
Seatruck Newbuild Makes a Fleeting Appearance
#FERRY NEWS-Seatruck Progress (5,300 dwt) the new freight-only ro-ro, due to enter Seatruck Ferries Dublin-Liverpool service this month, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, sailed past Dublin Bay on Tuesday. She continued her overnight delivery voyage to arrive in Liverpool yesterday,…
Seatruck's New Freight-Ferry on Delivery Voyage
#FERRY NEWS-Seatruck Progress (photo), the first of two 18,900 gross tonnes ro-ro newbuilds due to enter  on Seatruck Ferries Dublin-Liverpool route, is en -route in the English Channel today from  German builders, FGS Flensburg, writes Jehan Ashmore. Her sister Seatruck…
Irish Ferries Win Best Ferry Company
#FERRY NEWS- Irish Ferries has won the 'Best Ferry Company' award at the Irish Travel Agents Association travel industry awards held last night in the Mansion House, Dublin. This was the thirteenth time that the award has gone to Irish…
Stena Sale Ferry to Spanish Operator
#FERRY NEWS- Stena Navigator which served on the former Belfast-Stranraer route, has been sold to overseas buyers. She was one of three ferries made redundant following the switch pf ports to a new ferry terminal  in Cairnryan and introduction of…
Stena Line Opens New Port
#FERRY–Stena Line's new £80 million Loch Ryan Port and terminal facility in Cairnryan was officially opened today by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Stena Line Chairman Dan Sten Olsson. The new 27 acre port is one of the most…
New Belfast-Cairnryan Route Celebrates First Sailings
#FERRY NEWS - Demotix reports that the first ferries have sailed to Northern Ireland from the new £200m Stena Line port facility at Cairnryan in western Scotland. http://www.afloat.ie/port-news/ferry-news http://www.demotix.com/news/935842/stena-line-opens-new-200-facility-cairnryan-scotland The company's final sailings from Stranraer took place at the weekend…
Historic Days on North Channel Ferry Routes
#FERRY NEWS- In the space of two days, Stena Line opened a new ferry route between Belfast-Cairnryan today following yesterday's closure of services between Belfast-Stranraer, writes Jehan Ashmore. Sisters Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII inaugurated sailings on 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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