Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
While lorries entering UK from Ireland will not face checks until July of next year, the same checks will be introduced from January 1 on traffic travelling from UK into Ireland. Above AFLOAT adds un-accompanied truck-trailers towed during disembarkation at the south Wales ferry port of Pembroke in Milford Haven. Note the two-tier linkspan serving Irish Ferries 122 freight unit capacity cruiseferry Isle of Inishmore operating on the Rosslare route.
In Welsh ferry-ports where there is a lack of investment is likely to result in largescale hold-ups for vehicles crossing from Britain. Hundreds of trucks crossing from Britain to Ireland every day could face major traffic hold-ups from January 1st…
The new chair of Interferry is Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries CEO. AFLOAT adds this afternoon (16.00hrs) the operator's flagship cruiseferry Pont-Aven (above off Cobh, Cork Harbour) is to make a final end of 'season' sailing of the Ireland -France route of Cork-Roscoff, however their year-round Ireland-Spain service of Rosslare-Bilbao continues.
The trade association representing the worldwide ferry industry, Interferry has announced Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu as the new chair of its board of directors. According to LloydsLoadingList, he was elected at the association’s annual general meeting earlier this week…
TD Verona Murphy said she has been approached by drivers who have made the claims.
Ferry operators are denying claims truck drivers have to share cabins with people they do not know. Wexford TD Verona Murphy, former president of the Irish Road Haulage Association, said she has been approached by drivers who have made the claims.…
The affected crew member is from the ropax Stena Horizon AFLOAT adds is serving as a relief ferry on the Dublin-Holyhead (above off the Welsh port's breakwater).  All 'close contacts' have also been advised to self-isolate and get a Covid-19 test.
An Irish Sea ferry crew member from Stena Line is self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus. Company bosses said the worker had no symptoms when they left the Stena Horizon on Wednesday, but later tested positive for Covid-19. The ropax…
IMDO has published its Shipping Report for period Q2 of 2020 which outlines trends within Ireland’s shipping industry and how its refleccts the wider economy. The most impacted shipping sector caused by Covid-19 has been the Ferry Sector. Above Rosslare Europort, the nearest Irish port to continental mainland Europe.
The Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) has published its iShips Index of its Quarterly Shipping Report for the period Q2 of 2020 which covers and outlines trends within Ireland’s shipping industry, and as a result, the wider economy. Below Afloat…
Afloat tracked Scottish west isles operator CalMac's largest ferry Loch Seaforth into the Irish Sea to Cammell Laird, Birkenhead on Merseyside having arrived last week to undergo annual dry-dock maintenance. Loch Seaforth (built by the same German shipyard of Irish Ferries W.B. Yeats), carried out sea trials from Scotland in 2014 when the 8,478 tonnes ferry went as far south off Wicklow Head. Above the port side of the 116m Scottish ferry.
Scottish Government-owned ferries will undergo a £29m maintenance contract which been given to Mersey-based Cammell Laird over Dales Marine, which operates in the Garvel Dry Dock in Greenock on the Clyde. The decision has sparked concern over the impact on…
Pride of Hull departed its UK namesake port city (above on Humberside) on the North Sea bound for Rotterdam when an engine room fire took place. AFLOAT's photo of the giant cruiseferry is one of the largest in Europe has a capacity for 1,360 passengers,  250 cars and 400 freight vehicles. Among facilities is a traditional Irish Pub Bar. P&O's operations on the Irish Sea comprise of the Dublin-Liverpool service and the North Channel link of Larne-Cairnryan.
P&O Ferries operator on the Irish Sea in addition to a North Sea 'landbridge' link to mainland Europe served by Pride of Hull was stranded with almost 300 passengers on board after an engine room fire. The fire took place…
Stena Embla at CMI Jinling Weihai Shipyard
Ferry company Stena Line has announced that Stena Embla, the last of its three new ferries destined for the Irish Sea, has successfully completed its sea trials in China’s Yellow Sea. Stena Embla is the latest new Stena Line next…
Shipping line CLdN says it has ‘contingencies’ for UK ‘landbridge’ delays in a hard Brexit. Above AFLOAT's photo taken in 2018 on the day of the naming ceremony of CLdN's ro-ro freight ferry MV Celine, the world's largest short-sea ro-ro of its type which runs out of Dublin Port. On the occasion Afloat took a visit to the bridge from where the following information was sourced in terms of capacity.  In total there is 7,972 lane freight metres, cars (all decks) 3,795 and a capacity for 503 trucks. Parked on Ocean Pier is a 'staged' truck trailer.
CLdN Ro Ro S.A. which is the largest shipping line connecting Ireland and continental Europe says it can “dramatically” increase its services if there is a hard Brexit. The Luxembourg-based shipping line, The Irish Times reports, operates direct ferries seven…
Foreign Affairs Minster Simon Coveney addressed an IEA's Brexit webinar to update on EU-UK negotiations, Brexit readiness and what exporters/importers can expect from 1 January 2021. Above Afloat's photo of ro-ro freight-ferries in close proximity on the Dublin Bay horizon.
Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney TD addressed members of the Irish Exports Association (IEA) during a webiner to give an update on EU-UK negotiations, Brexit readiness and what exporters and importers can expect from 1 January 2021.…
UK Ferry Contracts: Additional capacity will be on quieter ferry mainland Europe-UK routes to ports among them Felixstowe (above) on the North Sea. AFLOAT's photo of DFDS ro-ro freightferry Gardenia Seaways. Opposite of the Suffolk port is Harwich in Essex where another reciprient of the Post-Brexit contract, Stena Line serve Hook van Holland, Netherlands.
Ferry firms involving four operators have landed UK government contracts worth a total of £77.6m to provide post-Brexit freight capacity. Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O Ferries and Stena Line, according to BBC News, will have the job of ensuring medical supplies…
A computer-aided-design (CAD) image of the ferry newbuild for Isle of Man which is due to enter service in 2023. The ropax will be flagged with the Isle of Man Ship Registry.
A ferry newbuild for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company which is to be a Diesel Electric Hybrid powered ship, will be flagged with the Isle of Man Ship Registry, extending a longstanding relationship between the two Manx organisations.…
As from last week, Luxembourg based CLdN Ro Ro S.A. added 25% extra capacity on both Rotterdam-London and Rotterdam-Humberside routes, where above AFLOAT's photo at the North Sea port (Killingholme) is berthed 'Brexit-Buster' Delphine which occasionally serves Dublin-mainland Europe routes to Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. Alongside is a fleetmate Yasmine which too operates at times on the Irish routes.
CLdN which operates Ireland-mainland Europe routes served by freightferry ro-ro 'Brexit-Busters' tonnage, is to step up preparations for the end of the Brexit transitional phase on 31st December 2020 by introducing additional capacity on its UK routes. (See: Brexit 'Freeports story). …
 Afloat adds the ropax Connemara is to return to Irish waters when Brittany Ferries launches a new route, Rosslare Europort-Cherbourg in March 2021. This is due to to increased demand from Irish hauliers for an alternative of a Brexit-bypass of the UK, with freight traffic connecting mainland Europe. The operator is also to launch this December but on a UK-Spain service the newbuild Galicia from Stena Ro Ro's E-Flexer series and which is on charter to Brittany Ferries.  In addition the new ferry will also operate a weekly rotation between Portsmouth and Cherbourg.
Operator Brittany Ferries says it may have been a season to forget passenger traffic but that freight demand has been kept rolling throughout the year. The ferry company which serves France, Spain, Ireland and the UK had a steady 2020…
The body of a man was found on the shore near Ynys Y Fydlyn in Anglesey on Wednesday. Above a UK Coastguard helicopter involved in the search off north Wales.
In the search for a missing Irish Ferries crew member a body of a man has been discovered. North Wales Police have confirmed that the discovery was made on the shore near Ynys Y Fydlyn in Anglesey on Wednesday morning.…
The 44-year-old man went missing during a voyage from Dublin to Holyhead. The search in the Irish Sea has now been called off (with this scene in Welsh waters).
On the Irish Sea a major air and sea search for a missing ferry crew member who disappeared during a voyage has been called off. Aircraft and boats, reports NorthWalesLive, have been involved in a major overnight operation to try…

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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