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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
The IOM Steam Packet's order for a newbuild, Manxman (due 2023) will according to the Manx Infrastruture Minister, ramp up the cost to construct the new Liverpool ferry terminal. AFLOAT adds above CGI image of the ship's stern showing the vehicle ramp.
The Manx government (Tynwald) could not interfere in the Isle of Man Steam Packet’s decision to buy a bigger newbuild ferry- despite it meaning taxpayers will have to pay more for the Liverpool ferry terminal. Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker told the…
The main Manx ferry, Ben-my-Chree (above) usually operates two daily return sailings between Douglas and Heysham. Isle of Man-England services will be maintained by fastcraft Manannan and freight ferry, Arrow, as Afloat highlights both are berthed at Douglas Harbour.
Facing fresh delays in its return to service, is the main Manx ferry, according to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. As BBC News writes, the ro-pax Ben-my-Chree has been undergoing repairs in a dry-dock since mid-April and had…
ICG's passenger division, Irish Ferries carried 15,900 cars in the months from January to May - a decrease of 62.5% on the previous year. Above Afloat's photo of a van on the linkspan leading to the cruiseferry W.B. Yeats when berthed at Dublin Port.
Irish Continental Group, owner of Irish Ferries said its group revenue for the first four months of 2021 came to €89.3m, an increase of 0.4% compared with last year and a 12.7% decrease on 2019. As RTE News reports, the…
Ferries and cruise boats are sailing out of lockdown around Ireland, among them the restored direct service of the Galway City-Aran Islands (Inis Mór) route. Above in the centre, AFLOAT's adds is the newbuild fast-passenger ferry, Saoirse na Farraige, which will launch the route across Galway Bay on 4 June.
The largest domestic passenger ferry is among the vessels setting sail around the country as restrictions ease. Aran Island Ferries’ 400-seater Saoirse na Farraige will launch with a new Galway (Harbour) City to Inis Mór route on June 4, two…
Skellig Michael - The re-opening in June is “provisional”, but the 15 licensed ferry operators are optimistic that visits will be permitted.
Skellig Michael ferry operators are hoping that the UNESCO world heritage site may re-open to visitors from mid-June. As The Times Ireland edition reports, the sixth-century monastic site off the Kerry coast was closed to all visitors last year due…
CLdN, has chartered two additional RoRo vessels to increase sailings between Ireland and mainland Europe, increasing from eight to ten in each direction, on a weekly basis. An additional chartered vessel and previously announced Cadena 3, have been chartered to cover this expansion. This will prepare the way for the introduction of further newbuilds arriving in Q4 2021, which have the benefit of offering dual fuel propulsion (LNG).
European freight-ferry specialist, CLdN has chartered two additional RoRo vessels to increase sailings between the Continent and Ireland, increasing from eight to ten in each direction, on a weekly basis. As MultiModal.org reports, the additional chartered vessel and previously announced Cadena…
A ferry berthed at VT4, one of Belfast Harbour's terminals.
Ministers in Stormont, BBC News writes, have been urged to change guidance for travel after restrictions were relaxed in England. Twelve international destinations are on a green travel list for people in England, meaning anyone returning will not need to…
Coastal car ferry service on Carlingford Lough is set to recommence next Saturday, 15 May. The ferry, Afloat adds is Aisling Gabrielle which links Greenore, Co Louth (above) and Greencastle, Co Down.
The coastal ferry service across Carlingford Lough is set to recommence next weekend with the easing of lockdown. As The Irish News reports, the service, between Greenore in Co.Louth and Greencastle in Co.Down, has not been operational since last March.…
Government in UK Still 'Identifying' Customs Site at Port of Holyhead for Already Delayed Post-Brexit Checks. Above existing freight booth check-ins for rival operators, Irish Ferries and Stena Line.
The government in the UK says it is “currently identifying” a suitable location for a customs facility near the ferry Port of Holyhead in preparation for already delayed checks on EU traffic. Exports to the EU from Britain have been…
Paul Grant Stena Line's Trade Director for the Irish Sea
Irish Ferries and Stena Line, the two key players in Ireland’s ferry industry, are today calling for the reopening of the Common Travel Area (CTA) at the earliest opportunity. They also welcome comments made last week by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar,…
A CGI image of the new Half Tide Dock ferry terminal in Liverpool to be used by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co.
Isle of Man Infrastructure Minister has provided a recent update on the new ferry terminal in Liverpool.   Tim Baker the Infrastructure Minister told the House of Keys that covid has added five million pounds to the bill for the new…
P&O's Pride of Burgundy departing the Port of Dover
As Irish Ferries is to become a rival to P&O Ferries on the Dover-Calais market, the ferry firm is set to respond on the UK-France route by deploying a fifth vessel. The DP World-owned company announced its ro-pax Pride of…
Following Brexit, 'Duty-Free' sales are permitted onboard ferry routes between the UK and the EU
Swedish ferry company Stena Line’s revenue from its onboard shops for the first quarter of the year has shown a large increase on its routes between the UK and the EU compared to the same period last year. The growth…
Above file photo of Isle of Arran (Eilean Arainn) at its namesake island when berthed at Brodick on the Firth of Clyde. The veteran vessel has been deployed by Scottish ferry operator, CalMac to a Western Isles service albeit on a temporary overnight freight-only basis.
A spare ferry that operates Scotland's most southerly island year round ferry route (peak times) on the Clyde, the MV Isle of Arran, has according to CalMac, since last week temporarily taken over an overnight freight run in the Western Isles.…
Following cancellation of the IOM Classic TT and MGP, the IOM Steam Packet confirms customers booked to travel from 21st Aug – 4th Sept inclusive will be contacted and offered the chance to transfer their booking to next year’s event or receive a refund. Above AFLOAT adds is the seasonal fastcraft ferry Manannan from where motorbikes in recent years, disembarked at Douglas Harbour.
Ferry firm Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has released figures that have again highlighted the continued popularity of world-class motorsport events in the Isle of Man. The company has revealed that 75% of passengers due to travel during this…
Many Irish freight trucks had been bypassing Wales due to the new administration required. Above Port of Holyhead.
On the Irish Sea is where one of the largest ferry operators say freight traffic is on the increase between its ports in Wales and Ireland, following a dip after Brexit. It was down by half for much of 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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