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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Ferry operator Stena Line confirmed that it has chartered a vessel as a temporary replacement ship for the Ireland-France route ropax Stena Horizon during its planned maintenance.
#FerryNews - Ferry operator, Stena Line is still awaiting approval to carry animals for live export on the vessel that is set to replace their Ireland-France route ship Stena Horizon. According to AgriLand which previously reported in recent weeks that…
Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson (third from left) attended the official keel-laying ceremony of new RoPax vessels for the ferry operator at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China. The Ropax vessels are to be deployed to Irish Sea services.
#FerryNews - An official keel-laying ceremony of a new RoPax for Stena Line took place at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China last Friday. The traditional maritime event marks the start of the construction phase of the hull and the…
Belfast routes to Scotland and England are served by seven Stena ships, among them above a freight ferry astern of Stena Lagan which operates to Liverpool (Birkenhead) on Merseyside.
#FerryNews- Services on Stena Line's Belfast-Scotland and England routes in 2017 marked another record trading year for freight and passenger operations. Freight volumes on its Belfast to Cairnryan, Liverpool and Heysham routes exceeded a record 514 000 units, which represents…
ICG to sell their high-speed craft (HSC) Jonathan Swift (above: underway in Dublin Bay) to a Spanish operator. A replacement vessel in the form of another HSC, Westpac Express is to maintain Irish Ferries Dublin-Holyhead fast-ferry operated sailings.
#FerryNews - Irish Continental Group (ICG) announced today they are to sell their high-speed craft 'Jonathan Swift' which has served the Dublin-Holyhead for almost two decades to a Spanish operator. ICG the Dublin based group (parent company of Irish Ferries)…
Irish Sea central: Douglas Harbour, Isle of Man is where Ben-My-Chree a ropax designed ferry is seen from a window of the passenger walkway connecting the ferryport terminal. Currently, the winter schedules sees the ship serve Heysham in Cumbria and at weekends Birkenhead (Liverpool) on Merseyside. During the summer months Ben-My-Chree and fastferry Manannan share seasonal duties on the Belfast and Dublin routes respectively.
#Ferry - Ben-My-Chree, the ropax Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ferry completed 2017 with a reliability record of more than 99%. Operating services throughout the year, Ben-My-Chree chiefly serves Douglas-Heysham crossings and weekend sailings to Birkenhead during the winter…
This morning Isle of Inishmore resumed Rosslare-Pembroke service, following routine annual drydocking at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead on Merseyside. The twin funnelled cruiseferry in 2018, will mark 21 years in operation for the Irish Ferries ship seen underway off the Wexford coast and bound for south Wales.
#FerryNews - Following last week's hull launch of ICG's biggest cruiseferry W.B. Yeats in Germany, Isle of Inishmore completed a routine annual overhaul and departed a drydock in the UK on Monday, writes Jehan Ashmore. Afloat adds the Isle of…
The UK and also Europe's busiest ferryport, Port of Dover. The company stated that the record freight figures (including Irish trade) underline the need for a post-Brexit trade deal that ensures continued traffic fluidity at this crucial export/import gateway.
#FerryNews - The UK's busiest ferryport, Port of Dover handled 2,601,162 lorries in 2017 up on the previous record by almost 10,000 units. According to Multimodal News, this brings the total increase over the last five years to just under…
The €150 million, 54,985 gross tonnes cruise ferry will arrive into Dublin next July when it will enter year-round service on Ireland – France and Dublin – Holyhead routes
The completed hull of the new Irish Ferries cruise ferry W. B. Yeats – ceremonially named by Ms. Rikki Rothwell – was launched into the water earlier today at the shipyard of Flensburger Schiffbau–Gesellschaft in Flensburg, Germany where the vessel…
Artists impression of W.B. Yeats, weather permitting is due to be launched tomorrow from a German shipyard. The €144m cruiseferry is to make a debut in mid-July on the Ireland-France service linking Dublin and Cherbourg.
#FerryNews - Weather permitting, Irish Continental Group (ICG)’s €144m newbuild cruiseferry W.B. Yeats, is due to be launched tomorrow from a German shipyard, writes Jehan Ashmore. The giant 55,500 gross tonnage W.B. Yeats with a capacity for 1,885 passengers and…
An artist's impression of Connemara, a Visentini built ropax ferry that will be chartered-in to operate the new direct Ireland-Spain route between Cork-Santander, the first ever ferry link between the countries. Operations are to start at the end of April based on schedule of two return-sailings a week.
#FerryNews - Today, Brittany Ferries announced a new direct Ireland-Spain route, the first time ever a ferry service has linked the countries. Starting at the end of April, the service between Cork and Santander, will be making two return-sailings a…
The existing ferry terminal at the Liverpool landing stage (Princess Parade), where vehicles await loading of the Isle of Man Steam Packet's fast-craft Manannan that operates on the seasonal link to Douglas.
#FerryNews- Manx Radio reports on a project that has officially begun work that will eventually see a new ferry terminal for passengers. The first phase of the £5 billion Liverpool Waters scheme got under way with a groundbreaking ceremony earlier…
Eugene Garrihy (far right) with shipbuilders on board the vessel in the early stage of the build at the OCEA Shipbuilding plant in La Rochelle, France
Accessing Ireland’s most popular offshore destination, the Aran Islands, and the Cliffs of Moher by sea is to get a lot more comfortable, faster and environmentally friendly thanks to a record investment by one of the best known sea faring…
Ferry operator raises concerns over the poor road network to and from Loch Ryan Port, Cairnryan. The Scottish port handles approximately 45% of NI trade (through Belfast) with the rest of the UK.
#Ferry - Across Northern Ireland businesses continue to be disadvantaged by poor road access to their key markets in the UK. Ferry operator Stena Line has raised concerns with local political and business stakeholders to increase the focus and necessity…
Animal welfare groups raise concerns and have slammed the “disgraceful” calls from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) to increase livestock exports in 2018. A ferry operator engaged in this trade on an Ireland-France route, Stena Line is due next month to refit a ferry. The IFA want to ensure a replacement ship is available for peak export weeks during February and March.
#FerryNews - Animal welfare groups internationally have slammed the “disgraceful” calls from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) to increase the live export of Irish livestock in 2018. As the Green News.ie writes, the comments come in response to calls from…
Exports of live cattle soared 35pc last year to over 196,000 head. Afloat adds that from next month a livestock-only vessel will replace a Rosslare-Cherbourg passenger ferry, Stena Horizon which is to undergo annual refit. During the month long refit, there will be no sailings on the Ireland-France route.
#FerryNews - An alternative livestock export vessel is to replace a Stena Line ferry and is due to be inspected by officials this week. According to the Independent.ie, the announcement will calm farmer fears that the Stena Horizon's temporary removal…
European Causeway bound for Cairnryan while off the Scottish coast.
#FerryNews - The highest volume of freight traffic in six years was carried on P&O Ferries Larne-Cairnryan service during 2017. The ferry and logistics company, which operates between Northern Ireland and Scotland, carried 210,533 lorries and trailers on its ships…

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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