Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Ferry
Sarah Scowcroft a Stena Line cabin assistant, on board hospital ship Africa Mercy in Guinea, has vowed to raise funds for Mercy Ships for the rest of her life after experiencing first-hand the life-saving work carried out on by the charity.  The ferry operator is a supporter of the charity and up to 27 November, customers on all Stena Line vessels will be encouraged to 'Round Up for Charity' with their on board purchases and make a donation to Mercy Ships.
#Ferry - Sarah Scowcroft a kind-hearted Stena Line cabin assistant, has vowed to raise funds for Mercy Ships for the rest of her life, after experiencing first-hand life-saving work carried out on board hospital ship Africa Mercy in Guinea. Last…
80% of Irish freight trucks that head to Europe pass through Welsh ports
#Ferry- Ferries from Ireland, BBC News reports, could bypass Welsh ports and the UK entirely if it leaves the EU without a deal, a body representing Ireland's trucking industry has said. Verona Murphy, the President of Irish Road Haulage Association,…
Bretagne, berthed at its homeport of St. Malo, Brittany, is a former flagship of the operator's Cork-Roscoff service, which was redeployed to cover the final Ireland-France seasonal crossing last weekend as route flagship Pont-Aven carried out race start duties at the Route du Rhum off St. Malo. The race held every four years saw the stylish Bretagne back in Cork in 2014 and on the previous occasion in 2010, it was recalled when visiting the port the cruiseferry sported a more dynamic livery scheme involving zig-zags emblazoned on the hull.
#FerryNews - Brittany Ferries final Ireland-France seasonal sailing saw a former flagship cover for routine route flagship Pont-Aven, which otherwise was engaged in Route du Rhum duties, writes Jehan Ashmore.  This year, Cork-Roscoff which achieved the best performing service of the…
Ferry operator sets aside space on €144 million ‘WB Yeats’ as an “contingency” plan with duty-free space as the only design change ICG sought for the WB Yeats which is due to enter on the core Irish Sea Dublin-Holyhead route.  AFLOAT adds the giant cruiseferry is seen above at the pier of the German shipyard of FSG, Flensburg from where last week the newbuilld began sea trials in the Baltic Sea.
#FerryNews - Ferry and container shipping company, Irish Continental Group (ICG) has set aside space for a post-Brexit duty-free shop on its new passenger ferry, the WB Yeats (see sea trials). As The Irish Times reports, Brussels ended duty-free shopping for…
Manannan, the Isle of Man Steam Packet's fast ferry craft currently in Douglas Harbour is to winter in the Manx capital until resuming seasonal services in Spring 2019. In the meantime, Douglas-Birkenhead (Liverpool) route served by a conventional ferry is set to resume service this coming weekend.
#FerryNews - Isle of Man Steam Packet's final fast-ferry craft seasonal sailing scheduled for this year ended last Sunday, the operator having confirmed the Manannan will again remain in Manx waters this winter. The Manannan is currently docked in Douglas…
Oscar Wilde approaching Dublin Port following a sailing from Holyhead last month, having repositioned from Rosslare based routes to France, is currently serving out of Dublin Port on the Cherbourg route up to 16th December.
#FerryNews - On the October Bank Holiday Monday, almost all Irish Ferries ships docked in Dublin Port from where one of the ferries earlier in the month had also been kept busy in between changing routes, writes Jehan Ashmore. The…
Stena Line closed its fast-ferry service in Dun Laoghaire Harbour during 2014. AFLOAT adds the final HSS Stena Explorer crossing took place with a sailing to Holyhead in mid-September that year. Above the custom-built terminal for the HSS and where the proposed Harbour Innovation Campus be located.
#FerryNews - There have been calls to bring a ferry service back to Dun Laoghaire Harbour after plans to turn the area into a digital technology hub fell through. As DublinLive reports, developer Philip Gannon scrapped the deal after it…
Artists impression of the new Half Tide Dock ferry terminal in Liverpool to be used for Isle of Man services operated by the IOM Steam-Packet
#FerryNews- The new ferry terminal planned for Liverpool the IOMToday reports have included images that have been unveiled. The pictures have been released ahead of a public display in Liverpool this week. A planning application is due to be submitted…
W.B. Yeats at the FSG Pier, Flensburg in Germany from where the much delayed €150m newbuild cruiseferry departed last night to begin sea trials off Bornholm, a Danish inhabited island located off the Swedidh coast in the Baltic Sea. AFLOAT has tracked the cruiseferry which is scheduled to reach Bornholm tonight.
#FerryNews - While Irish Ferries flagship Ulysses is currently out of service, Afloat also reports on the much delayed €150m cruiseferry W.B. Yeats which is finally to begin sea-trials in the Baltic Sea, writes Jehan Ashmore. W.B. Yeats last night…
Ulysses is currently out of service on the Dublin-Holyhead route. Above is a view taken earlier this year from a coach about to board the flagship on (26 July) the day the cruiseferry returned to service following major work carried out on propulsion systems that took place during the high-season.  On the right connecting the ferry is the double tier vehicle linkspan.
#FerryNews - Ulysses, flagship of Irish Ferries which was forced out of service for over a month during the peak season is once again not operating on the Holyhead route having docked in Dublin Port last night, writes Jehan Ashmore.…
Stena Jutlandica has completed its first month of operation as a battery hybrid vessel on the Gothenburg-Frederikshavn route.
#FerryNews - A Scandinavian ferry operating between Sweden and Denmark, the Stena Jutlandica has now completed its first month of operation as a battery hybrid vessel and the positive experiences from the first weeks of service have exceeded expectations. “It's…
CalMac's Firth of Clyde short-sea route Brodick-(Isle of Arran) had the highest number of passengers with 844,198 travelling in 2017. AFLOAT adds the route chiefly operated by Caledonian Isles (above at Brodick) on the mainland in south-west Scotland is the nearest 'year-round' operated route to Northern Ireland.
#FerryNews - A Scottish ferry company has been named 'Ferry Operator of the Year 2018' at an awards ceremony which was also open to entries from those serving ports in Ireland and the UK, writes Jehan Ashmore. The winner, Calmac,…
The chartered Connemara contributed to boosting Brittany Ferries Cork-Roscoff (Ireland-France) route as the operators strongest performing of the company's network of 12 routes that collectively also links those between the UK, France and Spain. AFLOAT adds the Cypriot flagged Connemara arriving to Cork (Ringaskiddy). In the background the stern of a Cunard Line 'Vista' class cruiseship that called to Cobh.
#FerryNews- Cork-Roscoff route was the strongest performing Brittany Ferries service of the French company's network, linking the UK, France and Spain, however concerns over Brexit loom on the horizon, writes Jehan Ashmore. Figures released by Brittany Ferries for passenger and…
Ferry Hits Yachts, Runs Aground In Foggy Cowes Harbour
#Ferry - A passenger ferry has been involved in a collision with a number of yachts amid foggy conditions in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, as RTÉ News reports. The UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency has confirmed that no…
Global ferry company Stena is warning that UK ports are not ready for Brexit. AFLOAT adds one of two ferries the company operate on the core Irish Sea route of Holyhead-Dublin (above) is Stena Superfast X seen arriving in the Irish capital port
#FerryNews - Food supplies could be affected reports BBC News by a no-deal Brexit and and see traders bypass Great Britain, the ferry firm Stena Line has warned. There is "very little readiness" at ports and "anxiety is high", said…
Ferry operator Stena Line says ‘Ni Hao’ (Hello) in welcoming rising number of Chinese customers on its Irish Sea services
#FerryNews - Operator, Stena Line welcomed over 70,000 Chinese visitors on its Irish Sea vessels this year having become the first passenger ferry company in Europe to achieve the Chinese Tourist Welcome (CTW) Certification. The CTW is officially recognised by…

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!

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating