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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…
Second Stena ‘Superfast’ Ferry is Underway from Poland
#FERRY NEWS- The second of Stena Line's 'Superfast' new ferries Stena Superfast VIII, is en-route fresh from refurbishment in Gdansk, in advance of the new Belfast-Cairnryan route which is to open next Monday, writes Jehan Ashmore. The new route to…
Seatruck’s New Freight-Ferry to Make December Debut
# FERRY NEWS- Next month, Seatruck Ferries will introduce Seatruck Progress, the first of four new 5,300dwt 'Heysham' max freight-only vessels on the Dublin-Liverpool service, according to a report in LloydsList.com Seatruck Progress was launched in August from the FGS…
# FERRY NEWS- Next month, Seatruck Ferries will introduce Seatruck Progress, the first of four new 5,300dwt 'Heysham'-max freight-only ferries, on the Dublin-Liverpool service, according to a report in LloydsList.com Seatruck Progress was launched in August from the FGS Flenberg…
Stena Superfast VII Departs Poland for New Belfast-Cairnryan Route
#FERRY NEWS-Stena Superfast VII the first of two ferries to make a new career on the North Channel departed Poland yesterday after completion of an extensive upgrade in Gdansk. The work included the installation of a Nordic spa containing a…
Dublin Port Outlines Plans for First Dedicated Cruise Terminal
# CRUISE SHIPS - Dublin Port's 'draft' masterplan which was unveiled to the public today, includes a proposal to develop the first dedicated cruise terminal in the capital port. A site at North Wall Quay Extension has been chosen to…
Restructured Fastnet Line Reduce Year Round Service to Seasonal Schedule
#FERRY – Following yesterdays High Court appointment of an interim examiner to the Fastnet Line Group, the ferry operator has issued two statements (click here) and an apology to passengers with the immediate closure of sailings, writes Jehan Ashmore. As…
High Court Appoint Examiner to Cork-Swansea Operator
#Ferry – The High Court has appointed an interim examiner to the Fastnet Line group of companies, which operates the M.V. Julia (1981/22,161grt) on the Cork-Swansea ferry service, according to report on RTE.ie The 154m German built ferry which can…
Seatruck Ferries Second Ro-Ro Newbuild Launched
#FERRY Two months after the launch of Seatruck Progress, the first of four ro-ro newbuilds for Seatruck Ferries, a second vessel was launched for the Irish Sea freight-ferry only operator, according to Heavy-Lift. Seatruck Power joins her sister as part…
Brittany Ferries End of Season Sailings
Brittany Ferries last Cork-Roscoff sailing for this year is scheduled for this weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore. Passengers intending to travel on the last inward bound sailing from the Breton port which departs tomorrow (Friday) 28th at 21.15hrs (French time). The…
Award Winning Stena Line Look Forward to New Northern Route
Stena Line has been voted 'Best Ferry Company' at the annual Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards which was hosted by TV personality Eamonn Homes. The accolade comes in advance to next month's opening of the company's new Belfast-Cairnryan ferry…

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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