Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Irish Ferries added freight capacity this weekend noting new competition from Stena Line on the Dublin-Cherbourg. The Irish ferry operator introduced Epsilon as the 'second-ship' joining cruiseferry W.B. Yeats. Both the 'Visentini' ro-pax Epsilon and 'E-Flexer' ro pax Stena Estrid addresses demand more directly from the Irish capital to mainland Europe following the recent rapid rise of new route/services based through the south-east port of Rosslare Europort. The Epsilon returned to Dublin Port (today at noon) and in the file scene is likwise of the current grey skies!
Irish Ferries have further responded to demands from hauliers and new competition from Stena by boosting freight capacity with a second ferry added onto the Dublin-Cherbourg service this weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore. Afloat ascertained this development having observed the chartered…
Brexit Reality: As ferry company, Stena has placed them (dockers) on the UK Government wage scheme as they wait for demand to return (to the Port of Holyhead). As NorthWalesLive also highlighted a move that has also sparked fears arise, as the operator next week is to replace Stena Estrid (last Saturday deployed to Dublin-Cherbourg duties) with the smaller Ireland-France route's routine 'Visentini' class ro pax Stena Horizon pictured above by AFLOAT on a previous relief stint on the Irish Sea route.
Ferry operator Stena Line has placed a quarter if its dock workers at Holyhead on furlough as Covid and Brexit hit demand for services. The ferry giant, reports NorthWalesLive, has seen a slump in trade since January 1 due to…
Operator of the new Rosslare Europort-Dunkirk freight-ferry route, DFDS have chartered the Drotten, a sister ropax from Scandinavian operator 'Destination Gotland'. The near 30,000 gross tonnage vessel replaces Optima Seaways, so to increase freight capacity between Ireland and mainland Europe. As above the ship is seen stern first making an inaugural arriving at the Wexford's port outer pier to undertake berthing trials in advance of commencing operations
Ferry changes yet again took place at Rosslare Europort as the ropax Drotten made a first arrival from Dunkirk, France, the bypass Brexit route that DFDS only launched this month, writes Jehan Ashmore. Afloat first became aware of the Drotten…
Another By-Pass Brexit Route? Operator, Brittany Ferries, is considering its options as plans are in progress for a further Ireland-France freight route connecting with the Breton ports of Roscoff and St Malo using the ro-pax cruiseferry Armorique. Could both Cork and Rosslare be the benefactors? As for Armorique, AFLOAT has tracked to Le Havre where it is laid-up along with Bretagne, the first 'cruiseferry' to operate the Cork-Roscoff route in 1989.
With fallout of post-Brexit, demand from hauliers for direct ro-ro freight routes has led to 20 interventions by shipping companies notably between Ireland-France and another new route may be added to the fast-changing ferry scene, writes Jehan Ashmore. According to…
Isle of Man new ferry: Despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic, plans for the newbuild Manxman, due to replace Ben-my-Chree in 2023, are progressing well. AFLOAT adds the 'Ben' has operated on the Irish Sea since 1998 and occasional served Dublin Port during peak-times and on the mainly summer service linking Douglas.
As Afloat previously reported plans for a newbuild ferry to be named Manxman and due for delivery in 2023 replacing Ben-my-Chree, are progressing well according to the Isle of Man Steam Packet. The detailed design of both the external and internal features…
Hauliers departing from Ireland on routes to France will need evidence of a negative Covid-19 test from Thursday following a French government decision. Above:  AFLOAT adds berthed at Rosslare Europort is the DFDS operated Optima Seaways which opened a new route to Dunkirk in early January and Brittany Ferries which only last week also began a new service to Cherbourg, initially launched by Cap Finistère (with Connemara due to take over next month) which serves Spain too from the Irish port to Bilbao. In addition providing a service is Stena Line on the route to Cherbourg.
Hauliers travelling to France from Ireland will have to have evidence of a negative Covid-19 test from Thursday. The development follows a decision of the French government. As a result, the Irish Government says the testing protocol will apply to…
The Stena Superfast ferry
Belfast Coastguard Rescue team was contacted this week by the Stena Superfast ferry inbound to Belfast in the shipping channel near Holywood. On Monday, January 25th the ferry had encountered a lone paddleboarder dangerously close to the vessel. Holywood is…
The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford (right) has held a bilateral meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney amid Holyhead port fears. Afloat adds the north Wales port since Brexit has experienced a decline in freight traffic on services linking Dublin provided by two ferry operators which has led Irish Ferries to redeploy months in advance W.B. Yeats on the Dublin-Cherbourg route which recently was added by a new service by Stena Line on the direct Ireland-mainland Europe link.
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford has held a bilateral meeting with the Irish Foreign Minister amid reports that Brexit is damaging the ferry port of Holyhead. As Nation.Cymru reports, Drakeford discussed the port with Simon Coveney, who has said…
Trucks drive on board the newest ferry on the Irish Sea, Stena Embla which made a maiden crossing on the Belfast-Liverpool service last night, boosting both passenger and freight capacity. The newbuild joined Stena Edda and this brings to three E-Flexer Ro-Pax class ferries on service including Stena Estrid on the Dublin-Holyhead route. As AFLOAT highlighted yesterday, this E-Flexer was scheduled to return to the Irish capital (this morning) following a first round trip of Stena’s new route to continental mainland Europe via Cherbourg, France and during weekdays the ‘leadship E-Flexer’ serves on the route to Wales.
The newest Stena Line ferry on the Irish Sea made its inaugural crossing on the Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) service last night and as Afloat adds this follows a debut albeit temporarily on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route to enable extra capacity. Stena Embla joined…
A new Dublin-Cherbourg service sold out on its first commercial sailing operated by the one year old Stena Estrid. The leadship of the E-Flexer ro-pax class ferry is to complete its first round trip on the Ireland-France route with a scheduled arrival AFLOAT adds tomorrow, Monday morning.
Ferry operator Stena says its new Dublin-Cherbourg service sold out on its first day, with 175 trucks booked to sail. However, hauliers say direct routes to Europe cannot take the place of the British landbridge because of the lack of…
Ferries from the UK berthed at Dublin Port
Differences in policy between north and south on travellers arriving at ferryports and airports have been discussed by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and his Northern Ireland counterpart Robin Swann. The different strategies, reports RTE, mean there are gaps in…
New Legislation Provides for National Regulatory Regime for Smaller Passenger Vessels
The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport draws attention to the Merchant Shipping (Passenger Ship) Rules 2020 which were made law by Statutory Instrument on 15 December. This new legislation provides a national regulatory regime for passenger ships…
Brittany Ferries is to open a second route out of Rosslare to Cherbourg but by two months ahead of schedule to meet driving freight demand between Ireland and mainland Europe. The service is to be operated by Cap Finistère, at 204m long and of 33,000 gross registered tonnes. The ferry first entered service with the French operator in 2010, on long-haul routes connecting Portsmouth (UK) and Santander and Bilbao (Northern Spain). The ‘Superfast’ class ferry has plenty of space for drivers and passengers, with 265 en-suite cabins. The garage decks offer nearly 2km of space for freight vehicles, and the ferry is the fastest in the fleet with a top cruising speed of 28 knots.
Hot on the heals of Stena Line's new Dublin-Cherbourg route announced today, Brittany Ferries has also acted quickly to support the freight sector and meet the needs of an industry battling Brexit by confirming a new weekly Rosslare-Cherbourg service. As…
The Stena Estrid will operate on the new weekend Dublin-Cherbourg route. AFLOAT adds the ferry firm will compete with Irish Ferries, to become the second operator serving on the Irish capital-mainland continental Europe route.
Stena Line is to further increase its freight-ferry capacity direct from Ireland to continental Europe in response to increased post-Brexit demand by adding a new weekend sailing from Dublin to Cherbourg. The new service, reports RTE News, will start next…
Additional costs entailed in policing imports from Britain into the all-island EU single market will inevitably drive up prices. Above: A lorry boards P&O Ferries ropax European Causeway at Larne Port which Afloat adds connects Cairnryan in Scotland.
"Red tape" from Brexit and delays at (ferry)ports will drive up prices of Irish goods in the coming months, Bank of Ireland group chief economist, Loretta O'Sullivan has warned. Ms O'Sullivan said that the bank's business customers had signalled that…
Stena Line has cancelled several Irish Sea sailings again this weekend as the post-Brexit trade slump continues at Holyhead (above) while in south Wales, the Fishguard night time sailing has been pulled until at least Monday, January 25.
Ferry operator Stena Line has cancelled several Irish Sea sailings again this weekend as the post-Brexit trade slump continues at Holyhead and Fishguard, writes NorthWalesLive. The operator is still reporting a 70% drop in freight trade on routes between Wales…

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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