Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Dublin Bay Cruises’ St Bridget
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has launched a public consultation on developing a policy for passenger vessel licensing at Howth Fishery Harbour Centre. The number of licences issued by the department has remained unchanged for many years.…
Cost of Scottish Operator CalMac's Annual Ferry Repairs Tripled in A Decade Costs to repairing the Scottish operator CalMac fleet of ferries on an annual basis has tripled in a decade, reaching more than £28 million last year. A Freedom…
Former Gaeltacht Minister Eamon Ó Cuív T.D. calls for increased ferry subsidied service for residents of the Aran Islands. Above, AFLOAT adds is the Saoirse Na Farraige berthed at Kilronan Harbour on Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands off the Galway coast. Kilronan has routes linking Ros a’Mhíl (Connemara), Galway City and Doolin in neighbouring Co. Clare and inter-island services. Aran Islands Ferries-twitter
Residents on islands off the Galway coast should be afforded an increased subsidised service on ferries to and from the mainland – as existing transport costs to individual passengers are proving prohibitive. That’s according to former Gaeltacht Minister Eamon Ó…
New UK bill on seafarers regularly calling to ports, among them P&O Ferries
Ships which regularly come into UK ports along with seafarers will now be paid the minimum wage. The government has introduced a new bill to stop firms using legal loopholes to pay low wages, following the P&O Ferries mass sackings.…
Coach & Sail Is Back!... as for the first time since the pandemic, Bus Éireann announced the reopening of Expressway Eurolines  Dublin-London service yesterday, having departed Dublin's Busáras (above) to board Irish Ferries sailing to Holyhead with onward travel to the UK capital. The same Eurolines service (871) also goes through Dublin Port's ferryport with connections to Birmingham.
Irish public transport operator, Bus Éireann announced the return of the Expressway Eurolines coach and Irish Ferries service linking Dublin with Birmingham and London when the first service reopened yesterday. According to Expressway-facebook, fares for the combined coach and ferry…
Some of the 400 classic cars seen boarding Brittany Ferries in Portsmouth to take the ferry to Caen, Normandy, from where last week the beautiful vehicles headed for the Le Mans Classic Festival. Afloat adds on right is the moored former 1970's Royal Navy destroyer HMS Bristol which became a Harbour Training Ship in the Hampshire port until decommissioned in 2020
Brittany Ferries carried hundreds of classic cars and of considerable value when the beautiful vehicles last week headed across the English Channel to France for the Le Mans Classic Festival. The classic cars belonged to Brits and other nationals attending…
A ferry approaching the Port of Holyhead, Anglesey in north Wales. 'The disregard for Welsh (ferry) ports during and since Brexit is part and parcel of Wales’ wider marginalisation and peripheralization within the political economy of the United Kingdom'-LSE British Politics and Policy.
The approach by the UK Government to Brexit trade policy and negotiations protocol is causing “potentially irreparable damage” to Wales’ (ferry) ports, researchers have said. Colin Murray of Newcastle University and Jonathan Evershed of University College Dublin warned (see LSE) that…
The service to the Aran Islands has been operated by the Garrihy family for more than 20 years and the deal includes the Star of Doolin. AFLOAT adds this 121 tonnes custom-built 24m ferry built in 2018 is the newest of the fleet sold. The ferry has a capacity for 200 passengers.
The family-owned business, the Liscannor Ferry Company that operates a service between the Co Clare mainland and the Aran Islands, has been sold to a rival. The firm, which trades as Doolin2Aran Ferries and is owned by the Garrihy family,…
New terminal in Liverpool to open in 2023 is 'still realistic'. AFLOAT adds the development on Merseyside is being built by the UK arm of John Sisk & Co, the Irish building contractor which is a family owned business dating to 1859.
The Isle of Man Minister for Infrastructure doesn't think the ferry terminal project will cost more than already requested. The minister doesn't believe work to the Liverpool Ferry Terminal project will cost more than has already been requested by his…
Following a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) probe, P&O Ferries and DFDS have offered commitments to address concerns that their capacity (Dover-Calais) sharing agreement could lead to higher prices and fewer sailings.
In the UK the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched in November last year an investigation into an agreement between ferry companies P&O Ferries and DFDS A/S (operating on the Strait of Dover)  The agreement – known as a ‘capacity…
Work on the new Isle of Man ferry terminal in Liverpool initially began in November 2019 and was expected to have been completed by August 2021, but delays have seen the completion date moved back.
Construction on the brand new Isle of Man ferry terminal in Liverpool is continuing to press ahead with new images showing the latest progress achieved on the project. Plans for the new terminal were approved by Liverpool City Council ’s…
Drone-Docking: World first as ferry and logistics operator, DFDS introduce a drone support system as part of equipment on commercial ships. The drone will support captains onboard when docking and sailing in narrow waters. DFDS founded in 1866, provides ferry transport and logistics services in Europe (incl. Rosslare-Dunkirk) and also Turkey.
DFDS and Upteko have after a year-long collaboration resulted in the ferry and logistics giant being the first in the world to introduce a drone system as part of equipment on commercial ships. The contract has been signed with the…
Decision by Dunfries & Galloway to exclude P&O Ferries from proposal cited as major reason behind not pursuing plans. Above a P&O ferry, European Highlander having departed Cairnryan is seen underway in Loch Ryan when bound for the Port of Larne.
In south-west Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway has decided against pursuing a green freeport at Cairnryan, after a vote to exclude P&O Ferries from its proposals. The local authority decided that the beleaguered ferry company (see Larne service) had no place…
Anglesey County Councillors will consider proposals for maintenance work on the 1.7-mile long breakwater structure at the Port of Holyhead. The north Wales port above Afloat adds includes the Salt Island ferry terminal which is served by Irish Ferries and Stena Line on the Irish Sea route to Dublin Port.
In North Wales, plans for the "refurbishment and repair" of the Anglesea ferry port landmark battered by storms and damaged by vandals are set to go before planners. Councillors in Anglesey will consider the proposals for maintenance at Holyhead's historic…
The group boarded the vessel Saoirse na Farraige in Galway docks, where they were welcomed by skipper Aodhán MacDonnacha and crew
A group of 40 Ukrainians who have fled conflict visited the Aran island of Inis Mór on Wednesday as guests of Aran Island Ferries. The group boarded the vessel Saoirse na Farraige in Galway docks, where they were welcomed by…
Former Irish Sea fast-ferry Jonathan Swift continues to operate in the Mediterranean as the Cecilia Payne. This summer the 40-knot high-speed craft (HSC) will serve between Barcelona and the Belearics.
A former Irish Sea fast ferry which operates from Spain, will this summer link Barcelona to Alcudia, Mallorca with Ciutadella, Minorca thanks to Palma-based operator, Baleària. As Majorca Daily Bulletin reports, the ferry company unveiled plans for the route using the Australian-built…

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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