Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
CLdN announced an expansion of ro-ro freight capacity on its Spain-Ireland and Ireland-UK routes which is to take place next year in January. The Luxembourg based shipping company which also acquired Irish Sea operator Seatruck in the Autumn, has since been reflected with CLdN's funnel livery applied to the Seatruck Performance.
Compagnie Luxembourgouise de Navigation (CLdN) which acquired Irish Sea freight-only specialist Seatruck Ferries in recent months, has announced further improvements to be introduced early in 2023 with capacity to be expanded on its Spain-Ireland-UK routes of Santander-Dublin and Dublin-Liverpool. In…
The frozen waters of the Gulf of Botnia where the Finland-Sweden ferry Aurora Botnia, which in its first year in service has been able to cut total CO2 emissions by 51,8 percent. The 3hr 15 min. route operated by Wasaline, is the northernmost Scandinavian shipping company transporting passengers and cargo, between Vaasa, Finland and Umeå, Sweden. Aurora Botnia is also the most environmentally friendly passenger ferry in the world operating in temperatures for example, Umeå tonight is forecast for -6° (feeling like -10°) and Vaasa is -3°. With temperatures in Ireland plummeting, is forecasting tonight a similar range of -5° to -1°. Afloat will have more on the route's connections with Ireland.
Following coverage of an Irish managed cargoship in the Gulf of Botnia port of Kokkola, Afloat continues with Scandinavian news where the most northernmost passenger ferry, operating between Finland and Sweden, has cut CO2 emissions in half. Operator Wasaline which links…
EU / RoRo Stability: The agreement will make travelling by car ferries safer in Europe. This is good news for the many EU citizens who commute to work or go on holiday. The new law guarantees these vessels will have to fulfil strengthened stability requirements - said Martin Kupka, Czech minister of transport.
The European Parliament and Council have reached a provisional political agreement on amending the current legislation in order to improve stability requirements for roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) passenger ships. The amended directive will play an important part in ensuring the safety of…
The P&O sacking of seafarers earlier this year had sparked widespread public anger on both sides of the Irish Sea when it fired almost 800 personnel without notice in March.
The boss of a UK trade union has said it is “beyond belief” that a ferry firm which “unlawfully sacked 800 workers and has employed cheap agency labour to maximise profits is winning travel awards”. P&O Ferries which earlier this…
Stena Vision will increase frequency on the Ireland-France ferry route to six departure days a week
Irish tourists looking to holiday in France next year received a welcome boost today as Ireland’s leading ferry company Stena Line announced it was introducing a second cruise ferry on its Rosslare to Cherbourg service. Providing best-in-class comfort and choice…
Brittany Ferries is to mark 50 years since their first-ever ferry crossing on the English Channel took place in January 1973 with the ro-ro freightferry Kerisnel linking Roscoff and Plymouth. The anniversary of the France-UK route is to be celebrated next year, in early January when the company’s flagship Pont-Aven, which has been specially re-routed for a celebratory voyage from the Breton port to Cornwall. Afloat adds the operator five years later opened their first France-Ireland route of Roscoff-Cork which earlier this month ended the seasonal service but will resume in March, 2023 with sailings operated by Armorique and Pont-Aven.
In January 2023, Brittany Ferries will mark 50 years since the first-ever ferry crossing on the English Channel took place by the operator when linking the French region and Cornwall. A converted Israeli tank-carrier, Kerisnel departed Roscoff in Brittany, bound…
Irish Ferries which is owned by ICG said its group revenues soared to €500.5m, up 78.9% compared with last year and a 62.1% increase on 2019. Above Isle of Innisfree, one of three ferries operating their service on the Dover-Calais route.
Irish Ferries parent company Irish Continental Group (ICG), has reported a big jump in revenues as travel restrictions from Covid eased compared to the same time last year. ICG said its group revenues in the trading period 10 months prior…
The Stena owned port of Holyhead is among five ports in Wales in a bid for freeport status Above Afloat adds is the port's Salt Island ferry terminal with on the right, linkspans used by the operator and Irish Ferries. In the centre is the former Anglesey Aluminium jetty and the pier on the left is a former ferry berth.
Jobs in their thousands could be created in north Wales by making the port of Holyhead into a freeport, its owners have claimed. The Swedish owned ferry company Stena Line which operates to Dublin Port, said it was working with…
File image of Belfast Harbour Police
BBC News reports that the body of a man who went missing from a ferry in Belfast Lough late last month has been found. Claims that a man had fallen overboard from a ferry on the night of Saturday 29…
A Greener ferry future among them, Salamanca the first Liquified Powered Gas (LNG) powered passenger ferry to operate between Ireland and mainland Europe. The Brittany Ferries cruiseferry promising lower emissions, this month entered service on the Rosslare-Bilbao route providing a more luxurious travel experience on the Ireland-Spain route.
Ferry industry body in the UK, Discover Ferries announces that the British passenger ferry industry will introduce fuel-efficient, hybrid-powered ferries to reduce carbon emissions and improve the passenger experience. In the past two years, six new ships have already entered…
Police patrol ports along western Scotland due to increasing abuse and threats to ferry staff of operator CalMac as disruption to lifeline Island services has been caused chiefly to an ageing ferry fleet. Above the much delayed Clyde built newbuild Glen Sannox was to enter the Isle of Arran service in 2018 but is not expected to make a debut until next year.
Police along the west coast of Scotland are having to patrol ports during bank holidays as ferry staff are being faced with abuse from frustrated travellers. As The Herald reports, the threats include to running over workers from customers due…
Artwork strongly feature on the new cruise-ferry Salamanca named after the stunning 'heritage' city in Castilla y Léon in Spain, which was officially launched in Rosslare Europort this morning. Among the luxurious facilities is the central Plaza Mayor bar, designed to evoke Salamanca city’s spectacular main square and the new 'greener' LNG powered ferry which connects Bilbao, boasts more than 200 artworks by local Spanish artists.
Brittany Ferries brings a taste of Spain to Ireland in the form of the new cruise-ferry Salamanca which officially was launched at Rosslare Europort this morning. Salamanca, named after the stunning heritage city in Castilla y Léon in Spain, replaces…
Loch Ryan: Campaigners including Stena and politicians have put the case to improve two major roads in Dumfries and Galloway with the Scottish Parliament. Above: The ferry operator's Stena Superfast VIII berthed at their Loch Ryan Port terminal which neighbours P&O Ferries operations at Cairnryan.
In south-west Scotland, campaigners from Dumfries and Galloway have gone to the Scottish Parliament, to push the case for improvements of two of the region’s trunk roads, the A75 and A77 out of Loch Ryan. The campaigners at Holyrood were…
Serious concerns' have been raised by the ferry operator about potential windfarms in the Irish Sea as image shows areas marked in orange of the proposed windfarm project.
'Serious concerns' have been raised by the Isle of Man Steam Packet in regards to the effect of growing windfarms in the Irish Sea. As 3FM reports, the ferry operator has concerns following proposals for the windfarm of 'Morecambe and…
Strong financial figures for the French ferry company as their Armorique made the final end of season sailing on the Cork-Roscoff route yesterday. On the same day, the new Salamanca sailed on a maiden crossing from Rosslare to Bilbao, a year-round operated service linking Ireland and Spain.
Brittany Ferries has today published figures showing strong performance for passenger services on UK-Spain/France and France-Ireland routes however there was a fall in traffic on English Channel operations. The figures outlined relate to the ferry firm's full financial year (November…
Questions raised in the House of Keys concerned the availability of the freight-ship Arrow, a reserve vessel on the Isle of Man's main Douglas-Heysham route served by ferry Ben-My-Chree.
Dr Alex Allinson, the Isle of Man's Treasury Minister says he doesn’t know how often the ro-ro freight ferry Arrow is leased out, but he has no concerns over it being available when the Steam Packet needs it. The Isle…

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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