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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Increased sailings by Stena Europe on the St. Georges Channel route of Fishguard-Rosslare
Ferry company Stena Line has boosted the frequency of its sailings between Fishguard – Rosslare from 14 sailings to 24 every week. The increase in frequency began yesterday and is good news for the company’s Welsh port of Fishguard, which…
Great Blasket Island off Co Kerry
One of the ferry companies that services the Blasket Islands is up for sale, as RTÉ Nuacht reports. Bádóirí an Bhlascaoid Teo operates a 48-passenger ferry between the island of Great Blasket and Dunquin in Co Kerry and is the longest…
Stena Line aims to launch a fully battery powered vessel before 2030. Stena Elektra is a lightweight battery powered vessel with capacity to run approximately 50 nautical miles on batteries only, i.e. between Gothenburg or Fredrikshaven
In 2020, ferry company Stena Line continued to reduce its total CO2 emissions and is ten years ahead of the IMO international shipping emission reduction targets. Nevertheless, the Swedish shipping company is now accelerating the transition towards fossil-free shipping and…
Opening today, Brittany Ferries has begun making available reservations for the 2022 season. Above AFLOAT adds the cruiseferry Armorique sailing last week from Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour.
As from today, Brittany Ferries has opened its books for 2022 reservations in a move that comes three months earlier than normal and is partly designed to meet customer demand for holidays next year. But as the French ferry operator highlights,…
CLdN strenghtens its Iberian service linking Liverpool and Dublin which is served by the 'Kawasaki' series built in Japan, among them Victorine seen in Liverpool Bay
Freight-ferry operator, CLdN Ro Ro having announced additional sailings on UK and Irish routes out of Zeebrugge, Belgium, is in a next step to increase capacity and frequency on its Iberian service. The RoRo operator announced the bi-weekly service calling…
Before Blue Star 1 enters Rosslare Europort-Pembroke Dock route while on charter to Irish Ferries, a precedessor on the Ireland-Wales route (until 1996) Isle of Inishmore/Inishturk, for the past 24 years served in Canadian east coast icy waters as Madeleine, (above) has been withdrawn serving a French speaking region and is to be dismantled. The ferry, originally B&I Line's 'last' Leinster built 1981 at Verolme Cork Dockyard (VCD) along with elder sister Connacht, which after Brittany Ferries service as Duchesse Anne, remains as Dubrovnik serving in the Adriatic. Another former Brittany Ferries ship, Duc de Normandie, made a ('once-off) Roscoff-Cork round trip in 1992 as Afloat previously reflected, in January went for scrapping.
B&I Line's 'last' Leinster, the fourth and final passenger ship to carry the famous Irish 'province' themed name, and the last ever Irish built cross-channel car ferry, has ended a career in Canada's east coast, writes Jehan Ashmore. For almost…
Due to problems currently at Douglas Harbour, the Isle of Man Steam Packet's fast-craft ferry Manannan (above) is to step in for ropax Ben-my-Chree on the Heyham route during a period up to Saturday, 3rd April. For a revised sailing timetable click the operator's link below for latest updates.
Due to ongoing problems in Douglas Harbour, the Isle of Man Steam Packet's sailing timetables for its ferry services have been revised. The fast-craft Manannan will run two daytime sailings (today, 31 March) instead of the ro-pax Ben-my-Chree, departing at 9:30am…
Cancelled sailings is blamed to silt build up Douglas Harbour.
Ferry sailings of the Isle of Man Steam Packet were called off for the ro-pax Ben-my-Chree. Sailings to and from the Island, reports Manx Radio, have been cancelled due to silt build up in Douglas Harbour. The Steam Packet Company…
Blue Star 1 in previous ‘superfast’ livery while servicing routes in the Greek islands
Irish Ferries has announced the addition of the RoRo passenger ferry Blue Star 1 to its Rosslare–Pembroke Dock route. The ship is being chartered from the Attica Group and delivery is expected in early April. Blue Star 1 was built…
Two senior figures of the Isle of Man Steam-Packet are to retire from their positions as CEO and Commercial Director, from July. Above Douglas, the Manx capital, AFLOAT adds is seen from the ro-pax Ben-My-Chree's uppermost vehicle 'weather' deck during a routine crossing on the main year-round operated route to Heysham, England.
Senior figures in the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co.,who between them have amassed more than half a century of dedicated service to the Manx ferry company are to retire later this year. Chief Executive Officer Mark Woodward and Commercial…
The latest 'Brexit Bypass' freight-ferry to enter DFDS's Rosslare Europort-Dunkirk, the chartered Pelagos is today making a first round trip on the direct route to continental mainland Europe. The smart livery of the Marseille based owners La Méridionale is seen as the 'Visentini' shipyard series ro-pax approaches Rosslare during its maiden inbound crossing on Thursday from Dunkirk. The second ferry from the 'Med', Mega Express Four operates for Irish Ferries Dublin-Cherbourg route (at weekends) in addition W.B. Yests, to provide much in demand freight-capacity. The Corsica Ferries vessel arrived in Cherbourg at lunchtime (Irish time) today, whereas Pelagos continues on the English Channel and is yet to transit the Strait of Dover (see: Irish Ferries to launch new service) before reaching Dunkirk.
Two chartered ferries from the 'Med' for 'Brexit-bypass' roles serving rival operators, where relatively close to each other offshore of Rosslare Europort last night when bound for French ports, writes Jehan Ashmore. Irish Ferries chartered ro-ro Mega Express Four of…
A Welsh government plan reveals a 50% relative decline in year-to-year volumes at Holyhead port where above Afloat identified at the Salt Island ferry terminal, Irish Ferries Ulysses and Stena Line with their Stena Adventurer.
Ferry ports in Wales is where the nation's government has warned that post-Brexit trading patterns threaten the viability of the country's Irish Sea ports. Trade flows from Ireland to Welsh ports have collapsed since January. Irish hauliers are avoiding the…
A newer and faster passenger ro-ro ferry from Greece, Blue Star 1 is to enter Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route. The chartered ferry from the Mediterranean, is to replace Ireland-Wales route's Isle of Inishmore which opens a new service for ICG, notably on the Dover-Calais service. As for the 'blue' hulled livery for Blue Star 1, this is existing, though for the charter, the Irish Ferries name and funnel colours, Afloat adds in reality have already been applied at Piraeus yard. The last and only time a 'blue' hull appeared for Irish Ferries was their former 'Rosslare'-based France routes cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde.
With Irish Ferries to launch a first ever service on a UK-France route next month, the company also announced the addition of a passenger ro-ro ferry Blue Star 1 to its Rosslare to Pembroke Dock route. The ship (to replace…
In a significant first for Irish Ferries, a subsidiary of Irish Continental Group (ICG), which is to launch a new service on the Dover – Calais route. The Strait of Dover service is planned to start in June 2021, with the transfer of the Isle of Inishmore to the UK-France route. ICG add further capacity will be added in the coming months. Replacing 'Inishmore' on the Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route will be another Mediterranean ferry (see: Ferry News 11th Feb) with the latest charter of ro-ro ferry Blue Star 1 from Greek based Attica Group, (Afloat adds operator of Superfast Ferries) for more on 'Superfast' sisters, see same story from last month.
A first for Irish Ferries, as the subsidiary of Irish Continental Group plc (ICG) has announced a new service on the Dover – Calais route. The service is planned to start in June 2021, with the transfer of Isle of…
File image of a ship docked at Dublin Port
The Department of Transport has confirmed limited exemptions for maritime crews from mandatory hotel quarantine for those entering the State from high-risk countries, which comes into effect from tomorrow, Friday 26 March. As detailed in Marine Notice No 16 of…
Covid19 Travel Restrictions: The new quarantine rules come into affect from 4am this Friday (26 March). Small teams of Defence Forces to be placed at all locations, ports, airports and at the hotels.
There have been 26 bookings as of (yesterday) evening under the new mandatory hotel quarantine system. Six of the bookings are for check-in in March, 15 are for April and five are for May. The mandatory quarantine system is for…

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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