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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Port Relocation? Operating the Firth of Clyde service is Calmac who 'want' to relocate to Troon during upgrade works at Ardrossan (above) where passengers board Caledonian Isles, the routine Arran ferry.
#FerryNews - Scottish ferry operator, Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) wants the Ardrossan to Brodick,Arran service to relocate to Troon during harbour upgrades, the Herald can exclusively reveal. But stakeholders on the Ardrossan Harbour Taskforce are keen to see the ferry stay…
The main Isle of Man-UK ferry, Ben-My-Chree has begun a regulatory overhaul for three weeks. Replacement services are operating including those serving on the Belfast-Douglas route today and is to be repeated on April 25.
#FerryNews - The main Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ferry, Ben-my-Chree departed Douglas for Merseyside where yesterday the ropax entered dry-dock in Birkenhead for its regulatory overhaul. According to the operator, the ferry will undergo a scheduled three-week dry-docking…
National Ferry Fortnight is underway and continues to 28 April. Among participating ferry operators is the Isle of Man Steam Packet whose ropax Ben-My-Chree is seen with a spectacular sunset over the island.
#FerryNews - Among ferry operators serving the UK, is the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company which is encouraging more people to rediscover the joy of travelling by sea. The ferry operator has teamed up with Manx National Heritage to…
The former Westpac Express (as above) a high-speed craft since renamed 'Dublin Swift' for Irish Ferries is to be introduced on the Dublin-Holyhead route in advance of the high season
#FerryNews - Irish Ferries soon to be introduced high-speed-craft Dublin Swift which since January has been in Belfast for a major refurbishment arrived in Dublin Port last night, writes Jehan Ashmore. Afloat monitored Dublin Swift when offshore of Co. Down…
 MV Bremenholm is capable of up to 20–knots speed and is intended initially for the Schull to Cape route in West Cork
Cape Clear Island has a new fast ferry. The MV Bremenholm has been brought from Norway by the Cape Clear Ferry Company. Announcing its arrival the company said that it is capable of up to 20–knots speed and is intended initially…
Afloat adds the scene above shows the Isle of Man Steam Packet fleet docked in Douglas including ro-ro freight ferry Arrow. The operator resumed seasonal sailings at Easter to Dublin and Belfast while maintaining routine Manx-England services.
#FerryNews-  The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has reported an upturn in visitor numbers last year. Booking data reports Manx Radio from the ferry operator shows an increase of 3.4% in ferry passengers compared to 2016. It comes in…
Carferry Isle of Arran, Afloat adds is the oldest large ferry of the 30 strong CalMac fleet. The 1984 built ferry operates on relief duties in addition to operating two Firth of Clyde routes, one to Arran (above berthed in Brodick at the older linkspan) and on the seasonal service linking the Mull of Kintyre from Ardrossan.
#FerryNews - Passengers may face delays and disruption this summer as Scottish operator, CalMac struggles to keep ageing ferries running. As The National reports, the operator is preparing for what it believes will be its busiest tourist season on record.…
Fastferry craft, Manannan underway on Isle of Man seasonal routes
#FerryNews- Visitors numbers to the Isle of Man have sharply declined and this should act as a wake-up call to tourism chiefs, a Manx member of parliament is claiming. Chris Robertshaw, Member of the House of Keys (MHK) on Manx Radio said…
It's 1978!... pages from a Brittany Ferries brochure in the year Cork-Roscoff service began with flagship Armorique. Also illustrated are fleetmates, Penn-ar-Bed and (centre) Cornouailles, the Breton name for the French region which is cognate with Cornwall in neighbouring UK. The origins of the ferry company began in 1973 when Breton vegetable farmers from Léon west of the region, needed to find new markets. A farming co-operative led to formation of Bretagne-Angleterre-Irlande (B.A.I) otherwise better known as Brittany Ferries which launched their first service, Roscoff-Plymouth.
#FerryNews - Brittany Ferries resumed seasonal Cork-Roscoff service this Easter Bank Holiday, the sailings also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the route, writes Jehan Ashmore. The 41,700 gross tonnage flagship, Pont-Aven launched the Ireland-France season having arrived in Roscoff yesterday…
Seasonal services from Dublin and Belfast began this week to Isle of Man where above in Douglas fastferry Manannan is seen with the backdrop of the famous waterfront promenade.
#FerryNews - This morning the first Dublin-Isle of Man sailing for season 2018 began with fastferry Manannan departing on time at 10.45 in advance of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore. The fast ferry service taking 2hrs 55mins…
Stena Europe having just docked at Fishguard, Wales. Afloat adds the ferry has operated on the Rosslare route since introduction in 2002.
#FerryNews - Of all the stories that have come out of Brexit and Wales, the impact or otherwise on the country's port links with Ireland has been one of the biggest. Wales so writes BBC News, has three ports that…
Norbay in Dublin Port, is one of trio of P&O Ferries ropax vessels operating Dublin-Liverpool from where subsidiary P&O Ferrymasters have opened a first warehouse in the UK.
#FerryNews - A first for P&O Ferrymasters as the logistics supplies-chain operator opened a warehouse facility in the UK located in the Port of Liverpool. According to MultiModal, P&O Ferrymasters has further expanded its supply chain network by opening the…
Heysham Port's newly installed £10m ro-ro ramp linkspan (berth No.2) in use by Seatruck Ferries Clipper Pennant. At the adjacent ramp berth No.3 is the Seatruck owned Stena Performer which is on charter to Stena Line.
#FerryNews - Heysham Port in recent weeks has had a new ro-ro ramp linkspan installed bringing to three berthing facilities serving the growing Irish Sea trade through the Lancashire port, writes Jehan Ashmore. The £10m investment by the Peel Ports…
The brand new ferry terminal in Brodick, Arran on the Firth of Clyde, opened to passengers this week when Calmac's ferry, Caledonian Isles berthed at the upgraded facility. The short 55-minute crossing linking Ardrossan on the mainland is kept busy in the summer with the relative proximity of the 'central belt' between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
#FerryNews - The first passengers to use Scottish operator CalMac’s brand new ferry terminal on Isle of Arran, Firth of Clyde, became a reality on Tuesday with sailings operating to and from Ardrossan, writes Jehan Ashmore. Ferry, Caledonian Isles made…
Farewell Raasay: Gordon Law and Stuart Craig of the Clyde River Steamer Club joined CalMac's small vessel technical superintendent, Jonathan Davies (centre) for a last look around the former Inner Hebrides serving carferry. A sister, Canna Afloat adds was replaced by newbuild Spirit of Rathlin made a delivery voyage to its island namesake off Antrim, Northern Ireland for the first time a year ago today. The new carferry after trials entered service in June and this led to Rathlin Island Ferry Co return the chartered Canna to Scottish owners CMAL.
#FerryNews – One of the longest serving car ferries of Scottish operator, CalMac, is retiring from west coast service, though a number of sisters remain in Irish waters, writes Jehan Ashmore.  The MV Raasay built to a landing craft design,…
Douglas Harbour, Isle of Man
#FerryNews- An £80m planned redevelopment of Douglas Harbour, Isle of Man has nothing to do with a possible shake-up of ferry services, the Chief Minister has insisted. Construction of an £11m cruise berth reports IOM Today, on the outer side…

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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