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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
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…
Isle of Man serving fastcraft ferry Manannan departing Douglas Harbour, however this year's 'season' services by the craft have been delayed due to Covid 19's impact leading to the continued closure of Manx borders.
Ferry 'season' services by fastcraft to and and from the Isle of Man are delayed due to the continued closure of Manx borders (see info to non-island residents, etc). The delays announced earlier this month by the Isle of Man Steam Packet…
Pelagos, a ropax which ran in the Mediterranean, is to start service for DFDS Rosslare-Dunkirk route next week. The former Liverpool Seaways was owned by the Danish company which had a brief spell operating on the Irish Sea until ending in January, 2011 (as seen in photo) of the ro pax's final arrival to Dublin Port, following DFDS passenger operated sailing from Birkenhead (Liverpool). At adjacent berth, Anglia Seaways, a DFDS freighter which too that day ended service, though note still sporting the pale blue livery of the previous operator Maersk/Norfolkline.
Following Irish Ferries two-month charter in February of a Meditteranean ferry, DFDS, operator of the new Rosslare Europort-Dunkirk freight route is to introduce a ferry from Marseille next week, writes Jehan Ashmore. Pelagos, will become the fifth ferry so far involved…
The Breton based ferry operator, has experienced some of the most disappointing figures in its history, since its inaugural sailing in 1973 between France and the UK. Above Armorique, Afloat adds the cruiseferry (operating in freight-mode) is to sail from St.Malo and due to arrive to Cork Harbour tomorrow afternoon.
Operator, Brittany Ferries has published some of the most disappointing figures in its history, following its AGM in St. Pol de Leon, France today. In a year dominated by the Covid crisis and amid on-going Brexit concerns, 2020 passenger numbers…
File image of Stena Edda in Liverpool
A child has been airlifted to hospital in Liverpool from a ferry in the Irish Sea after what’s been described as a “serious medical emergency”. The Irish Mirror reports on the incident in the early hours of yesterday (Wednesday 17…
Brexit and the deal struck by the UK Government means physical checks are required on certain goods entering the UK from the EU. Above freight-check in kiosks (Irish Ferries and Stena Line) at the Port of Holyhead.
The ferry port of Holyhead has been confirmed by the Welsh Government for the site of a planned new Border Control Post (BCP). Physical checks are required on certain goods entering the UK from the EU due to Brexit and the…
A Holyhead-Northern Ireland direct ferry route? AFLOAT adds that under Sealink/British Rail era, Holyhead served both Belfast and Dublin (albeit based on Lo-Lo container routes).  Above rival operators Irish Ferries cruiseferry Ulysses and Stena Line's also Dublin serving Stena Adventurer seen departing the north Wales port.
Direct Holyhead-Northern Ireland ferry route and an investment in the A55 are under consideration in the UK-wide transport infrastructure review. North Wales Live reported on rail links in north Wales with England being on the initial Union Connectivity Review priority…
Stena Horizon maintains both Dublin-Holyhead (where as seen) and at weekends the Dublin-Cherbourg route. While larger E-Flexer class Stena Estrid serves Rosslare-Cherbourg along with a freight-only ferry on Bypass-Brexit Ireland direct services to mainland Europe.
Afloat has noted Stena Line's new Dublin-Cherbourg route launched in January, has not been operating on a regular basis by the inaugural 'E-Flexer' class ferry, in particular to sailings last month, writes Jehan Ashmore. The operator's first route connecting the…
Irish Ferries' car carryings during 2020 were down by 65.8% to 137,100 cars. Above Ulysses on Dublin Bay, AFLOAT adds during its delivery voyage /maiden arrival to Dublin Port on 4th March 2001. This month also marks its 20th year operating on the core Irish Sea route of Dublin-Holyhead. The custom Finnish built cruiseferry, has recently returned to service following a routine overhaul dry-docking at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead on Merseyside. Taking its place was W.B.Yeats which has since resumed Dublin-Cherbourg duties.
Irish Ferries, owned by the Irish Continental Group, has reported lower revenues and earnings for 2020 due to Covid-19 travel restrictions on its passenger business. Irish Continental Group said its revenues for the year fell by 22.5% to €277.1m from…
Ro-Ro freight-ferry cargo operator, CLdN responds to market demand post-Brexit with additional sailing capacity on its Irish routes to mainland Europe. Above Laureline, when introduced in 2019 became the second largest such ship following fleetmates Celine and Delphine (dubbed the Brexit-Busters) introduced the previous year on Dublin-Belgium/ Netherlands routes.
Operator CLdN having overcome the challenges of the first two months of this year in the post-Brexit era, has increased shipping capacity by the introduction of additional sailings on its Irish and UK routes. Getting a vessel back from charter…
Women in Maritime: The ferry operator Stena aims to o become the most diverse shipping company in the world doubling female management by 2022.
Ferry operator, Stena Line has increased the number of female managers it employs by an impressive 42% in only 5 years and has the ambitious target of ensuring they account for 30% of all management by the end of next…
MV Armorique of Brittany Ferries at Rosslare Europort last month
The Department of Transport confirmed today (Friday 5 March) that the French Government will no longer require proof of a negative COVID test result from hauliers travelling on direct maritime routes from Ireland to France. French legislation has been amended…
The W.B Yeats cruise-ferry. Irish Ferries contends that a decision by the National Transport Authority requiring it to pay compensation to many of the 20,000-plus passengers who had to change their travel plans is invalid.
Operator, Irish Ferries has suffered a setback in its legal challenge to avoid paying compensation to thousands of passengers whose trips were cancelled on sailings between Ireland and France in the summer of 2018. The ferry company contends that a…
A fourth ferry DFDS is to introduce on Rosslare Europort-Dunkirk route, bringing to 36 in total direct freight services every week, (by all operators) on Wexford-continental Europe links. The Ark Dania is to enter service on 1 April. Note Afloat adds the DFDS name on the funnel while a fleetmate alongside retains the former 'Maltese' cross company symbol.
A fourth freight-ferry DFDS is to be added to the Rosslare Europort-Dunkirk route on 1st April, the direct Ireland-mainland Europe service via France, that avoids the UK had only began just after Brexit, on 2nd January. The Danish operator DFDS…
A convoy of caravans lined up to board a ferry at Rosslare Europort recently
In the south-east ferryport of Rosslare, serious questions have been asked over the numbers of passengers arriving and departing and the amount of screening being undertaken to prevent any further spread of Covid-19. Last week images, writes Wexford People, were…
Transporting products across the UK landbridge is going to get rougher before it gets smoother. Above Afloat adds is the UK's busiest ferryport, the Port of Dover where Irish hauliers have increasingly avoided by taking the alternative 'Bypass-Brexit' routes to France (etc) though according to The Journal there could be choppy waters ahead.
Hauliers from Ireland have welcomed the dozens of new ferry routes that go directly from Ireland to the European continent, but have warned that the easing of Covid restrictions and potential extreme weather events mean that the landbridge needs 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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