Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Irish Ferries throws a lifeline as it signed a 10 year contract to continue using the south Wales ferryport of Pembroke Dock which links Rosslare Harbour. AFLOAT also adds is the operator's Isle of Inishmore, off the jetty of the Pembrokewhire port. In neighbouring Fishguard Harbour (owned by Stena) which also competes with their route also linking with the Wexford port.
Ferryport of Pembroke Dock is where fears that the south Wales port could become a casualty of Brexit have proved unfounded, with Irish Ferries signing a 10-year deal with the Port of Milford Haven. The company has signed the deal…
'Med' ferry: Mega Express Four has been operating in very wintry weather on the Dublin-Holyhead link and last weekend the Irish capital-Cherbourg connection to mainland Europe from where the ferry normally operates France-Corsica. Afloat understands this is the first time the Corsican operator has chartered a ferry to Irish operators. In 1980 the former B+I Line chartered Expresso Olbia,  registered in Cagliari, Sardina, but two years later renamed for operator Corsica Ferries as Sardinia Nova. The above scene shows Mega Express Four and a 'Rickmers' 1970's built fleetmate in the Mediterranean Sea where a sister serves for rivals as Moby Vincent. The former Sealink British Ferries St. Brendan/ Sealink British Rail chartered in Stena Normandica served Fishguard-Rosslare (see 'Europort' call for a single Pembrokeshire ferryport) 'Ferry News' 3rd Feb.
Afloat tracked Mega Express Four, which normally serves in the Mediterranean Sea is currently on charter to Irish Ferries, however strong gale force winds required towage assistance prior to a debut Ireland-France crossing, writes Jehan Ashmore. The towage scene last Saturday…
Operator, Brittany Ferries postpones the seasonal Cork-Roscoff flagship route due to current Covid-19 travel restrictions, however they hope to resume services in May. Above the custom built Pont-Aven which Afloat adds has been on the Ireland-France route since introduction in 2004.
Brittany Ferries has announced that due to the current Covid-19 travel restrictions, its flagship passenger route out of Cork Harbour to Roscoff,France will not now resume at the end of March. The operator which in 1978 began the route, will…
Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu
Brittany Ferries has called for a “re-think on travel corridors” between the UK and mainland Europe as figures suggest a high take-up of COVID vaccines by the lucrative summer months. As reported by Marine Industry News this week, the chief…
According to NorthWalesLive, operator of the Rosslare-Fishguard route Stena said "So far this year passenger volumes are down -80% and freight volumes are down -50% year-on-year." The route's ferry, Stena Europe (above) is to transfer to Dublin-Holyhead albeit on a temporary basis to cover annual overhaul dry-dock of fleetmates.  AFLOAT adds the absence of sailings for a week sees only Irish Ferries operate Isle of Inishmore (left) on the Rosslare-Pembroke link with Milford Haven, south Wales.
Operator Stena Line will cancel all sailings for a week from one Welsh port as a ferry moves to the Holyhead-Dublin route for a temporary period. The routes between Wales and Ireland have been hit by reduced demand due to…
Armorique on a repositioning voyage when approaching Rosslare Europort with Wexford Bay, where the ferry this afternoon completed Brittany Ferries a new four freight route rotation on Ireland-France links.
Brittany Ferries this afternoon marked its first completion of operating the new four 'freight' route network of Ireland-France links that began running from Rosslare Europort on this day last week, writes Jehan Ashmore. The Armorique which launched the 'Brexit-bypass' routes…
ICG, operator of Irish Ferries,has chartered in a Mediteranean based ferry, Mega Express Four (ex Superfast II) to cover sailings on the Dublin-Holyhead route while Ulysses heads for dry-docking. Above the distinctive yellow hulled ferry seen is seen in sunnier climes as AFLOAT took, when approaching Nice following a crossing from Corsica. At that stage, 2010, the ferry was only four years in service for the Corsican operator that also has services among them to Sardinia.
Irish Continental Group has chartered a ship from Corsica Ferries, to provide routine annual overhaul cover over the winter season for their division Irish Ferries, writes Jehan Ashmore. Mega Express Four during its Mediterranean Sea career had been normally on…
Calls to consolidate Pembrokeshire's two ports into one have been met with fierce opposition. Above AFLOAT adds in this file photo, a relief ferry, Stena Nordica berthed at Fishguard and which also used to operate on the company's Dublin-Holyhead service but returned to Sweden where the ferry giant is based.
A Welsh Affairs Committee last Thursday heard that it would make logistic and economic sense for Pembrokeshire to operate one ferry port, possibly being served by two companies, with back-to-back sailings to Rosslare. "A lot of the ferry company customers…
Irish hauliers have been bypassing ports in Wales because of Brexit, say industry leader. Above the Fishguard-Rosslare route serving Stena Europe, AFLOAT adds the ferry's name given post-Brexit is somewhat ironic. The ferry is seen arriving this morning to the 'Europort' in Co. Wexford from where a rapid rise in ro-ro direct routes/services to the continental mainland have arisen in recent months.
The head of Rosslare Europort, said Wales should focus on having one ferry port in Pembrokeshire instead of two to run alongside the main Holyhead port, it has been claimed. As BBC News reports, Glenn Carr, general manager at Rosslare Europort…
Armorique arriving in Cork Harbour when operating in recent years, has today arrived from St. Malo on a new Brexit bypass 'freight' only route to Cork as part of a network of routes linking Ireland and France, enabling trucks to directly access mainland continental Europe.
Brittany Ferries Armorique arrived into Cork Harbour this afternoon after the cruiseferry completed an inaugural new Brexit-bypass France-Ireland 'freight' only route from St.Malo, writes Jehan Ashmore Afloat tracked Armorique's arrival some ten minutes earlier than the 15:00hrs scheduled time when…
MV Armorique of Brittany Ferries which made a first ever arrival to Rosslare Eurport this afternoon approaching the linkspan. AFLOAT also adds Armorique made the repositioning voyage from Caen in Normandy. The 2009 custom built ferry is to launch (today at 8pm/2000hrs) a new 'freight' ferry route to St. Malo, a first to link Wexford and Brittany and which will serve as yet another 'Brexit-bypass' alternative.
Once again another 'Brexit bypass' ferry but by Brittany Ferries begins operating this evening (8pm/2000hrs) on a new 'freight' route of Ireland-France through St. Malo, which is a first to connect Wexford and the French region, writes Jehan Ashmore. As…
Stena Line aims to launch a fully battery powered vessel before 2030. Stena Elektra is a lightweight battery powered vessel with capacity to run approximately 50 nautical miles on batteries only, i.e. between Gothenburg or Fredrikshaven
Ferry company Stena Line plans to start operating two fossil-free battery-powered vessels on the route between Gothenburg and Frederikshavn in Denmark no later than 2030. This was announced by Stena Lines CEO Niclas Mårtensson during a press conference about the…
A new ferry for the Irish Sea, Manxman will be powered by what the Guinness World Records described as the ‘world’s most efficient four-stroke diesel engine’. The newbuild ro-pax is for the Isle of Man Steam Packet and the flagship is due to enter service in 2023.
A new ferry to serve on the Irish Sea will be powered by what the Guinness World Records describes as the ‘world’s most efficient four-stroke diesel engine’. The ferry to be named the Manxman as Afloat previously reported will be the…
Expansion by Brittany Ferries is to see new routes and sailings to France (starting this week AFLOAT adds by Armorique above), bringing more freight options for hauliers connecting to mainland Europe. Freight volumes through the port were up almost 500% in January 2021 compared to last year. The news follows the French operators announcement to also boost operations with a new route and crossings out of Cork.
The Government's Operational Update review on trade a month after the post-Brexit transition ended, Afloat adds narrowly missed inclusion as yet another ferry development arose today, as Brittany Ferries announced new 'freight' routes increasing capacity directly to mainland Europe. Glenn…
NEW Bypass Brexit 'Freight' Links sees Brittany Ferries respond to the demand with the introduction of three new weekly freight only sailings on Ireland-France links. The move AFLOAT highlights new 'freight' routes: Cork-St.Malo /Rosslare-St.Malo including resumption of the Rosslare-Roscoff (also a 'passengers' route that closed last year). In addition to new  'freight' sailings added on the Cork-Roscoff route. Above Armorique AFLOAT also adds will be introduced on operating these 4 routes that link these Irish and French ports of the two EU member-state countries.
Operator Brittany Ferries has announced that it is introducing three new weekly 'freight' only sailings between Ireland and France as the company previously alluded. The sailings will begin this Thursday, 4th February on a (new route) linking Rosslare Europort and…
Record Freight Figures at Rosslare Europort as above AFLOAT adds is on the occasion in January when DFDS launched ro-pax Optima Seaways onto a new ro-ro freight route to Dunkirk, France.  As RTE adds the new regime requiring hauliers leaving for France to have evidence of a negative Covid-19 test is reported to be going relatively smoothly.
Ferry services running out of Rosslare Europort has reported a 45% jump in freight traffic during January compared to the same period last year. UK traffic is down 49% for the month, but European freight is up by 446% year-on-year,…

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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