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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
The launch of a new Ireland-France (Rosslare-Dunkirk) route in January 2021, will according to the Irish Exporters Association prove crucial for both exporters and importers by avoiding the UK landbridge when Brexit takes place. Operator DFDS will provide the ro-ro freight route by offering transit times of 24 hours on the service connecting the northern France port with its closer proximity of the BeNeLux nations and central Europe. AFLOAT also adds this is the first ever service linking these ports, though a previous service (until 2009) with the Wexford ferryport then involved the most easterly located 'French' port of Le Havre from where LD Lines ran a joint passenger and freight link.
In response to news of another Ireland-France ro-ro ferry route, the Irish Exporters Association have welcomed the announcement of the new six-day per week Rosslare Europort-Dunkirk route to be operated by DFDS. The announcement of the new route to northern…
EURO-route: Irish ministers welcomed today announcement of a new direct (ro-ro) service linking Rosslare Europort and Dunkirk, France as the Brexit transition phase comes to an end. The Government has called to Stakeholders to 'Act Now; to prepare for end of Brexit Transition Phase. The new route taking 24hrs to mainland Europe is to launched on 1st January 2021 and operated by EURoRo Seaways and DFDS (above photo with one of their freight-ferries). Afloat adds this service follows demands from hauliers for alternative options of the UK landbridge by opening new routes since May connecting Ireland to ports in Belgium, Spain and Portugal.
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, TD and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton today called again on businesses, freight logistic companies and hauliers to review their contingency preparations for the end of the Brexit transition period on 31st December 2020. In…
EURO-route: The new service brings to 13 the number of direct sailings between Rosslare Europort and the European continent. Afloat adds the Danish based giant operator, DFDS is to launch the new direct ro-ro service on 1st January 2021, offering increased frequency, which will appeal to Irish hauliers to avoid the UK landbridge with new delays, customs clearance and checks of a post-Brexit. Above is ro-ro freightferry Gardenia Seaways which is part of DFDS extensive fleet.
A new ferry route between Rosslare Europort and Dunkirk in northern France offering a six-day weekly service has been announced by logistics giant DFDS. The new direct ro-ro service is aimed at giving hauliers and the wider Irish industry sector…
ICG said its car volumes were down 66.8% to 122,700 in the first ten months of 2020 from 369,700 the same time last year. Above AFLOAT captures this scene within the bridge of Irish Ferries cruiseferry W.B. Yeats which currently operates routine sailings to Holyhead during the winter months while taking its place on the Dublin-Cherbourg route during the low-season is the chartered in freight-orientated ro-ro passenger ferry (ropax) Epsilon to maintain vital direct Ireland-mainland Europe links via the French port.
Ferry company owner Irish Continental Group has reported a 26% drop in revenues for the first 10 months of 2020 as the number of cars it carried on its ferries slumped by 66.8%. In a trading update, ICG which operate…
The new terminal in Liverpool (to serve the link to the Isle of Man) was originally scheduled to be completed this year.
A new ferry terminal along with a promenade both multi-million pound projects funded by the Isle of Man government are facing further delays, reports BBC News. The terminal in Liverpool, which was originally scheduled to be completed in December, is now…
Holyhead carries 1,200 lorries and trailers a day across the Irish Sea. Above freight booths at the north Wales port.
"Mayhem" at Holyhead port is what hauliers have claimed there will be when the Brexit transition period ends. The north Wales ferryport is the second biggest "roll-on roll-off" port in the UK after Dover, carrying 1,200 lorries and trailers a…
Ferry Grounding: Local residents of a Finnish ferryport on the Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea were surprised to see the stricken cruiseferry Viking Grance aground which was later towed to Mariehamn (above), AFLOAT adds the main port and capital on the island archipelago. The vessel is fitted with a 'rotor' sail, making the 2013 built cruiseferry the first-ever global LNG/wind electric propulsion hybrid ship. AFLOAT also adds astern (on left) is a fleetmate, Mariella a sister of Olympia which became the one time Irish Continental Group's Pride of Bilbao which was chartered to P&O Ferries until they closed the Portsmouth-Bilbao route in 2010. The ferry changed owners and renamed Princess Anastasia for Italian/Russian operator Moby SPL.
Ferry passengers of more than 400 people spent the night on board after it ran aground off the Finnish Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea. The Viking Grace became stranded close to the port of Mariehamn on Saturday. The Coastguard…
Dr Iain Percy OBE
In response to the announcement by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson of a ten-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, Dr Iain Percy OBE, CEO, Artemis Technologies said: “The Prime Minister’s blueprint for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ is a welcome…
Stena Line celebrates today the 25th anniversary of its ferry operations of the Dublin Port-Holyhead service which has seen in excess of 12m passengers, almost 3m cars and 3.5m freight units on the route.  Earlier this year the E-Flexer newbuild Stena Estrid entered service as the first of three ‘next generation’ ferries commissioned for Irish Sea services..
Ferry operator Stena Line celebrates today the 25th anniversary of its Dublin Port-Holyhead service – a quarter of a century that has seen the company carry in excess of 12 million passengers, almost 3 million cars and 3.5 million freight…
RoPax ferry Stena Horizon has been stuck off the north Wales coast while at anchor off Moelfre on Anglesea for several days due to a Covid19 outbreak. Afloat adds Stena Horizon normally operates Rosslare-Cherbourg duties, however according to NorthWalesLive the ropax is to return to Wexford on Thursday (for more see below). Above AFLOAT's file photo of the ropax repositioning from Rosslare to Dublin Port, noting on the horizon the Kish Bank Lighthouse.
At anchor off Anglesey, Wales is a Stena Line ferry which has been at sea for days after a Covid-19 outbreak, however the ropax ship could set sail this week after crew all tested negative for a second time. Stena…
An exterior rendering of the New Zealand 'Interislander' ferries whose operator Kiwirail has chosen to flag the pair of newbuilds under the Manx flag and added to the Isle of Man Registry which is a Category One member of Red Ensign Group and International Registry. Each newbuild will be capable of 1,900 passengers,3,600 lane metres and 40 sixty-foot rail wagons. As AFLOAT reported previously among the KiwiRail fleet is Kaitaki intially chartered in from Irish Continental Group. The former Isle of Innisfree was ICG's first custom-built cruiseferry for Irish Ferries service in 1995 on the Irish Sea but replaced by larger tonnage. This led to a succesion of charter spells, before KiwiRail finally acquired the ferry in 2017 for €45m.
A pair of rail-enabled RoPax ferries for a New Zealand operator have chosen the Isle of Man Ship Registry as the flag state to oversee construction of the newbuilds that will connect the south Pacific Ocean nation's north and south…
Return of Duty Free Shopping on the Irish Sea ferry in 2021?  Operator, Stena Line said there would be 'significant savings' on alcohol and cigarettes under new prices. Above AFLOAT's photo of the Duty-Free Shop sign on board ropax Commodore Clipper operated by Condor Ferries (UK-Channel Islands) and onward connection to mainland Europe via St. Malo, France. They are the only English Channel operator offering Duty-Free shopping, where passengers over the age of 17 are entitled to use their personal allowance to buy items for personal use without paying UK tax or Duty. This is because the Channel Islands are already outside of the EU. Conder's website also state to bear in mind local legislation at the port of arrival may differ regarding permissible ages to purchase or consume alcohol or tobacco products.
Ferry operator Stena Line is "preparing for the return of duty free" - which could even revive the Holyhead booze cruise after Brexit, reports NorthWalesLive. Recent weeks and months has seen major concern over the impact of Brexit on trade…
Dublin Port remains the main Irish port for passengers, accounting for 96.6% of all journeys in the second quarter of 2020. Above at the port Afloat adds are rival operators at adjoining ferry terminals.
Ferry passenger numbers travelling through Irish ports fell by 88.3% during the height of the Covid-19 lockdown earlier this year. According to the Central Statistics Office's Statistics of Port Traffic published yesterday, 88,000 people travelled through Irish ports in the…
EU-UK border checks from January mean that transport companies and hauliers face delays at British ports on the Irish Sea (ferry above) and English Channel, potentially disrupting the fastest and cheapest transit route currently between Ireland and mainland Europe.
Companies in the shipping industry, reports The Irish Times, will respond to “unanswered demand” for more direct ferry services to mainland Europe if Brexit congests the key UK “landbridge” route, the State’s maritime development agency said. Hauliers have said the…
The MV SVENJA arrived from Hong Kong, Singapore, Durban, Belem and then Galway on Thursday morning with the new Aran ferry
A new fast ferry for the Aran islands was unloaded in an operation lasting several hours in Galway Bay on Friday. The new 40m (131ft) vessel, costing several million euro, was built in Hong Kong. It will be operated by…
Port of Cork - showing the Pont Aven ferry to France (left) and Independent Quest cargo ship (right) safely docked after passage from USA
The Minister for Transport has today announced the publication of an important report by the Irish Maritime Development’s Office (IMDO) which reassesses Ireland’s Maritime Connectivity and concludes that there is sufficient capacity on existing continental services to accommodate displaced landbridge…

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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