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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Fastcraft Manannan has returned to Dublin Port this morning to resume seasonal service on the route to Douglas. The Isle of Man Steam Packet's fastcraft is seen earlier this month in the port to conduct berthing trials at the Stena Line (Terminal 2) linkspan which is adjacent to the ferry's routine berth at Terminal 1.
#ferrries - The Manx Parliament is to receive proposals ahead of the summer recess. The future finances of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company reports Manx Radio are expected to be considered by the parliament (Tynwald) ahead of the…
The veteran ferry of the Irish Sea, the 1981 built Stena Europe of the Rosslare-Fishguard route is currently undergoing a significant three-month refit visit in Turkey as AFLOAT previously reported. The Gemak Shipyard in Tuzla is located outside Europe on the Asian side the of the nation. A replacement ferry on the St. Georges Channel route is Stena Nordica which can carry hazardous cargo capacity that requires an 'open deck' (otherwise not normally available) on this service.
#ferries - The Rosslare-Fishguard ferry Stena Europe is off service and is currently undergoing a significant three-month refit visit at a shipyard located outside Europe. Last month Afloat monitored the Ireland-Wales ferry having left familiar waters when off Spain and…
#ferries -  Operator Stena Line has achieved another major milestone in its fleet investment program with the ‘float out’ ceremony of the second vessel in its next generation E-Flexer series. The second vessel will be named Stena Edda* and follows…
#ferries - In the UK at the Merseyside shipbuilder Cammell Laird which has completed building its 1393rd vessel, the previously reported £10m freight-ferry Red Kestrel for Isle of Wight ferry operator Red Funnel. The Red Kestrel, a new ro-ro freight-only…
#ferries - Irish Ferries cruiseferry Oscar Wilde which operated Rosslare based routes to France until last year has according to owners Irish Continental Group to be disposed following an agreement to sell the 1987 built ship to a new owner.…
From the Land to the Sea: Jean-Marc Roué, a Breton farmer and boss of Brittany Ferries has concerns over Brexit.
#ferries - A Breton farmer and boss of Brittany Ferries Jean-Marc Roué has recently been re-elected president of Armateurs de France, the French equivalent of the UK Chamber of Shipping, writes Jehan Ashmore. This afternoon the UK Prime Minister, Theresa…
As AFLOAT reported last week the Isle of Man Steam Packet's fastcraft Manannan conducted berthing trials in Dublin Port which included approaching the above linkspan used by Stena Line. This berth is for their Holyhead service which requires the double-tier linkspan (upper tier seen on top of photo). The fastcraft ferry last month resumed seasonal service on the Liverpool link to Douglas and from the Manx capital last Sunday to Belfast. Manannan will return to Dublin next week to begin the Douglas seasonal service on 18 April in advance of the Easter Bank Holiday.
#ferries - Manx Radio reports of a political party that says the Island's public could buy shares in the Isle of Man Steam Packet to benefit from government's nationalisation of the company. The idea has been floated by LibVan as…
#ferries - Only 10% has been put up by the Government of the cost of contingency plans being set up to avoid major disruption at one of the UK’s main cross-Channel ports in the case of a no-deal Brexit. As…
Rosslare port is the closest, geographically speaking, to mainland Europe. AFLOAT adds the busy scene of the south-east ferryport taken in January features: Stena Europe (on left) currently undergoing extensive refit work in a dry-dock in Turkey. Taking its place on the Fishguard route is Stena Nordica (on right) having stood in previously on the Cherbourg route while Stena Horizon (not in photo) was away also providing winter dry-dock relief of fleetmates on north Irish Sea routes. In the centre is freight-only ferry Stena Forerunner redeployed from Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) to undertake a 'once-off' round trip on the French service.
#ferries - As RTE reports here's something you don't hear everyday, especially from someone involved in the Irish transport industry. "Brexit, we believe, will bring opportunities." The man uttering these words is Glenn Carr, the general manager of Rosslare Europort. It…
#ferries - The Isle of Man Steam Packet's fastcraft Manannan arrived to Dublin Port yesterday to carry out berthing trials against the backdrop of port capacity restrictions and challenges posed by Brexit, writes Jehan Ashmore. Prior to entering the port…
Carrigaloe of the River Lee car-ferry service AFLOAT adds trades as Cross River Ferries connecting Glenbrook and Carrigaloe (near Cobh on Great Island). The pair of former Scottish serving Isle of Skye ferries became redundant following the completion of a fixed link with the building of a road-bridge and since 1993 the ferries have run on the Irish service involving a short 4-minute hop across the Lee.
#ferries - Owners of the River Lee car ferry service in Cork harbour, the Irish Examiner reports, have told Cork County Council they don't believe it's economically viable to put on a second ferry at peak evening times. Doyle Shipping…
#ferries - On board a passenger ferry a fire broke out when berthed in Larne Port yesterday, just months after lorries toppled over on the same P&O ship. As The Irish News reports, emergency services were tasked to a blaze…
#ferries - Brittany Ferries Cork-Roscoff cruise-ferry Pont-Aven began today its first sailing in 2019 on the seasonal route and will save energy and reduce fuel consumption thanks to the installation of two innovative devices on the ship's propellers. Wärtsilä‘s EnergoProfin…
The catamaran, Manannan will also begin routes to Belfast and Dublin in April.
#ferries - Fast craft sailings of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's catamaran resumed daily sailings (yesterday) to Liverpool for the summer. As BBC News writes the catamaran Manannan will also begin routes to Belfast and Dublin in April.…
#ferries - In an announcement today Brittany Ferries has said it is to charter a third brand new cruise-ferry to serve its long-haul routes.  The newbuild to be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), will be built at the AVIC…
Ben-My-Chree swings within Douglas Harbour
#ferries - The Isle of Man infrastructure minister reports Manx Radio, has pledged to make the findings of the Steam Packet consultation available to the public - in full. Ray Harmer recently appeared on the radio station's Perspective programme to…

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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