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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
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…
The Isle of Man Steam Packet is to host an Open Careers Day in Douglas on Thursday, 24th November at the company's headquarters, Imperial Buildings, as above illuminated last month to focus attention to the Manx Breast Cancer Support Group's Pink Day.
Ferry operator the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is to host a Careers Open Day in Douglas on Thursday, 24th November between 11am and 3pm. The careers venue will be the Imperial Buildings, the head offices of the Steam…
New era in 'greener' ferry travel as Brittany Ferries’ Salamanca, the first LNG powered passenger ferry to operate from Ireland, departed Rosslare Europort this morning on its maiden voyage to Bilbao, Spain. AFLOAT adds the new E-Flexer class cruiseferry departed almost two hours late, having previously arrived overnight from Cherbourg, replacing chartered in Connemara on the French route also served by the new cruiseferry. Note the LNG ventilation mast near the funnel. Also today, the same operator's Cork-Roscoff 'seasonal' route ends this afternoon as Armorique returns to the Breton port from where sailings resume in March, 2023.
Brittany Ferries’ Salamanca is the first LNG (liquefied natural gas) powered passenger ferry to operate from Ireland as the E-Flexer class cruiseferry departed from Rosslare Europort this morning on its maiden voyage to Bilbao, Spain. Following significant passenger growth on its…
File image of the shore of Belfast Lough west of Bangor
RTÉ News reports that searches are ongoing in Belfast Lough today (Sunday 30 October) after claims that a man fell overboard from a docked ferry on Saturday night. The PSNI has asked the public to avoid the area as a…
The ferry firm came under fire after sacking nearly 800 members of staff without notice in March which led to disruption across the Irish Sea, Strait of Dover and on the North Sea.
Following the P&O Ferries scandal which took place earlier this year, a move in the UK is to ensure that minimum wage for all seafarers has taken a step closer to becoming law. As ITV News reports, reforms aim to…
New Passenger Terminal: Stena Line's Trade Director Paul Grant and Belfast Harbour Port Director Michael Robinson at the facility located at Victoria Terminal 2 (VT2) which handles traffic on the Birkenhead (Liverpool) route.
The largest ferry operator in Northern Ireland Stena Line has opened the doors of its new passenger terminal in Belfast Harbour at Victoria Terminal 2 (VT2). The new-look passenger terminal has been expanded and refurbished to provide new facilities to cater for…
DFDS has won a five -year contract to continue operating the UK-France route of Newhaven-Dieppe (which Afloat adds is marketed under the 'Transmanche Ferries' brand). The English Channel route served by Seven Sisters (above) and Côte d'Albâtre, is run under contract as a 'public service' obligation route on behalf of SMPAT. DFDS also operate on the Strait of Dover and the Rosslare Europort-Dunkirk that began as a 'bypass Brexit' service and this season taking motorist based passengers on a trial basis up to 22 December.
Ferry and logistics operator DFDS this week has won a new five-year contract to continue operating the UK-France route of Newhaven-Dieppe with the latest contract coming into effect on the English Channel next year. The new contract will begin on…
Admirers of the classic passenger/cargoship ferry the Scillonian III had travelled from beyond  Cornwall this day last week to Penzance, to take a rare tour of the Isles of Scilly ferry which included secondary school children. The tour included areas opened up among them with special access to the wheelhouse, crew quarters and the engine-room.
In a rare opportunity, the public had a chance to take a tour of the Isles of Scilly passenger/cargoship ferry as part of Maritime UK Week events held to promote a career in the shipping sector, writes Jehan Ashmore Afloat…
Operator, Stena says that there are no plans to stop running the Fishguard-Rosslare route which connects Pembrokeshire, south Wales and the busy ferryport in Wexford.
On social media, recent rumours that Stena Line is to stop operating the ferry service out of Fishguard to Rosslare Europort has been quashed by the company. As the Western Telegraph writes, a Pembroke Dock social media group this weekend warned…
The French Connection: Since Brexit, links between France and Ireland have been getting stronger, with trade increasing by 18% in 2021. To cement relationships further, a new Irish consular post in Brittany, is part of push to increase trade and other partnerships between the nations. The position is to be taken up by Jean-Marc Roué, president of Brittany Ferries seen at the launch reception earlier this year of newbuild cruiseferry Salamanca which AFLOAT reported recently is to enter in November on their Spain-Ireland service and (also Rosslare-Cherbourg) routes, noting the Cork-Roscoff 'seasonal' service is to end early next month.
To strengthen closer post-Brexit links between Brittany and Ireland, the president of ferry operator Brittany Ferries, has become an honorary Irish consul for the north-west region of France, reports The Connexion. In addition, Ireland has also opened a new consulate…
Ferry disruption as the Island's main passenger ferry, ropax Ben-My-Chree is to undergo repairs
Sailings to and from the Isle of Man will be disrupted at the end of the month as the ferry Ben-my-Chree undergoes repairs. The ferry operator, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company said the (fastferry) Manannan would undertake daytime…
The Spirit of Doolin ferry at Cape Clear in West Cork
Having sold two of its vessels - the fast Ferry Dún na Séad II and the Dún Aengus, Cape Clear Ferries in West Cork is buying the Spirit of Doolin from O’Brien’s Ferry Company in Clare. This will replace the…
Irish Ferries cruiseferry Isle of Inishmore Afloat adds berthed at the Port of Dover along with rivals from P&O Ferries and DFDS. Combined the three operators on the Short Strait routes to Calais and Dunkirk generated 1.7m passengers this summer.
The UK ferryport of Dover has welcomed more than 1.7 million passengers between mid-July and the start of September 2022, which equates to over half of the total number of people it hosted throughout 2021. According to the port, these figures…
Among events of Maritime UK Week (10-16 October) includes a rare chance for hundreds of people to board the Isle of Scilly Steamship's passenger/cargoship Scillonian III while docked in Penzance, Cornwall on a non-sailing day. The ferry which also carries cars are handled  by a crane onto the ship that has served for more than four decades on the UK domestic waters service to the archipelago off Land's End, England.
School children and sea cadets will have a unique opportunity to have a behind-the-scenes tour of the Isles of Scilly Steamship ferry with the event held tomorrow, as part of Maritime UK Week (10-16 October), writes Jehan Ashmore. The veteran…
Ferry giant DFDS based in Copenhagen, Denmark has completed the acquisition of Dublin-based Lucey Transport Logistics which will connect to DFDS expansive network of 21 countries in Europe and Turkey. In addition to freight, Regina Seaways operating on their Ireland-France route of Rosslare-Dunkirk this season opened on a trial basis a passenger service which AFLOAT has been extended to 22 December.
As Afloat reported in July, the ferry giant DFDS had entered an agreement with Lucey Transport Logistics, Ltd to acquire the company, strengthening DFDS’ logistics offerings in Ireland. On 30 September, the companies completed the acquisition. “We are excited about the…

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!