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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Heavy seas as waves hit Roonagh Pier, Co. Mayo
Clare Island residents and also those on Inishturk, off the west Mayo coastline, are calling on the Irish government for urgent help. In the past two months 52% (see: January story) of their scheduled ferries have been disrupted due to…
The newest ferry on the Irish Sea AFLOAT adds is the Stena Edda which recently made its maiden voyage from Birkenhead on the Wirral (as above) to Belfast. The E-Flexer class ferry faces opposite of Liverpool, when swinging off the newly upgraded Twelve Quays Ferry Terminal on Merseyside. Afloat also adds on the right is the Museum of Liverpool.
Due to the design of Stena Line ferries as well as the length and nature of crossings, the ferry operator has issued a statement regards them always operating to a shared cabin policy for freight drivers. Stena added, as we…
The Irish Road Hauliers’ Association has sought clarity from the Dept. of Transport on whether (freight) drivers can get single cabins on ferries or be allowed to sleep in their trucks. AFLOAT's photo of unaccompanied trailers on the upper deck of Seatruck Pace, a P' class ro-ro freight ferry with a 110 freight-unit /2,930 lane metres capacity and which operates Dublin-Liverpool. In addition Afloat adds limited space for passengers (only with vehicles) were also carried, but due to COVID-19, Seatruck has now stopped carrying HGV drivers along with motorist passengers.
Freight (Truck) drivers, writes The Irish Times, have complained that they cannot get clear directions about Covid-19 safety rules from the Government on how they can be protected on the road in order to safeguard Irish supply chains. The Irish…
Busiest ferry in Scotland: The ferry AFLOAT adds is the domestic island serving ferry Caledonian Isles berthed at Brodick, Isle of Arran yesterday. According to The Herald, Ardrossan-Brodick route is CalMac’s busiest route, carrying 841,000 of its 5.25m passengers last year.
The busiest ferry crossing in Scotland, reports The Herald, has ground to a halt for safety reasons in a move that could lead to six weeks of disruption over a busy school holiday period. Fifteen sailings between Brodick on the…
Senior Master Kris Gadomski of the Stena Line Edda vessel before it's maiden voyage
The next generation of ferry travel went into service yesterday evening as Stena Line reaffirmed its commitment to operations on the Irish Sea and providing the ‘very best freight and travel experience for customers’. As Afloat reported previously, Stena Edda,…
ICG's Irish Ferries newbuild cruiseferry W.B. Yeats came into operation last year and as AFLOAT adds is seen berthed at Dublin Port's Terminal No.1
Irish Continental Group, parent company of Irish Ferries has reported higher revenues and earnings for the year to the end of December, as its new ferry, the W.B.Yeats, came into service. As according to RTE News, ICG's revenue for the year…
Howth Peninsula forms the backdrop as Stena Superfast X enters Dublin Port for the first time in 2015 having sailed from Holyhead, Wales and in that same year the UK periodical, 'Ships Monthly' (November issue) published the photo of the ferry to introduce their 'Ship of the Month' feature. The former Greek ferry launched as Superfast X followed in the wake of sisterships, (Stena) Superfast VII & VIII albeit they have served on the North Channel route of Belfast-Cairnryan since 2011 and continue to do so on services to Scotland.
The last sailing operated by Stena Superfast X took place on Tuesday from Cairnryan, Scotland to Belfast Harbour from where the ferry departed for the final time last night bound for Greece, writes Jehan Ashmore. It was the turn of…
Brittany Ferries Group Freight Director, Simon Wagstaff; Glenn Carr, General Manager, Rosslare Europort; and Minister Paul Kehoe TD pictured this morning at the Co. Wexford ferryport. AFLOAT adds the ropax ferry Kerry berthed at the harbour's outer pier prior to departing today on the new Ireland-Spain route's ship's maiden sailing bound for Bilbao, northern Spain.
Brittany Ferries ropax ferry Kerry which completed a repositioning voyage to Rosslare Europort earlier today has since departed having embarked on an inaugural direct sailing to Bilbao in northern Spain. First Rosslare to Bilbao sailing today, Friday, 28th February First…
The new multi-million pound Stena Edda built in China sailed into Belfast Lough for the first time and to the port where the ropax has undergone checks for coronavirus.
The newest Stena Line roll-on/roll-off passenger ferry which arrived in Belfast Harbour from China (as Afloat reported) ahead of being put into service on the Irish Sea next month, has undergone rigorous checks for coronavirus. The Stena Edda, which has…
Brittany Ferries chartered ropax Kerry is tomorrow (Friday 28 Feb). due to make a revised maiden crossing departure time as Storm Jorge dictates sailing schedules on the new Ireland-Spain route between Rosslare Europort and Bilbao.
Bad weather has brought forward the departure time of Brittany Ferries maiden commercial crossing tomorrow on the new Rosslare-Bilbao, Spain route, writes Jehan Ashmore. The looming weather system of Storm Jorge as named by the Spanish met office, has forced…
Stena Edda berths in Belfast
The next generation of ferry travel proudly sailed into Belfast Harbour on Wednesday, with Stena Edda undertaking important final trials before it welcomes passengers on the Belfast Lough to Liverpool route in the coming weeks. As Afloat reported earlier, the…
Brand new ferry Stena Edda completed a maiden delivery voyage from China having arrived in Belfast Harbour this morning (as seen above) and docked at the VT2 Terminal from where it will operate to Birkenhead (Liverpool). On the left is Stena Lagan, one of a pair of existing tonnage which together will be replaced when a second new sister, Stena Embla debuts.
The brand new 'next generation' ropax ferry Stena Edda for the first time arrived into Belfast Harbour this morning following a 10,500 mile delivery voyage from China, writes Jehan Ashmore. Afloat also tracked the Chinese built Stena Line E-Flexer ropax class…
Stena Estrid berthed at the Port of Holyhead which operates to Dublin Port
Operator Stena Line says it has reassured workers that its decision to sail its new ferry under a Cypriot flag will not hit their rights but a Welsh Assembly Member (AM) fears "serious implications" after contacting tax chiefs. The £160m…
Aran Island Ferries travels to India as part of major sales mission
West coast operator, Aran Island Ferries travelled to India last week as part of Tourism Ireland’s sales mission in the country. The delegation, writes GalwayDaily, of Irish tourism companies, which included hoteliers and visitor attractions, met hundreds of tour operators and…
File photo: Departing Dublin Port is the Stena Adventurer which this morning is bound for Falmouth, UK for annual dry-docking while new ferry Stena Estrid has directly taken over the sailing roster on the route to Holyhead, north Wales. Also maintaining a two-ship service is the Stena Superfast X which returns to the Ireland-Wales route while dry-docking takes place.
The longest serving Dublin-Holyhead ferry operated by Stena Line departed the Irish capital this morning bound for Falmouth in the UK to undergo annual dry-docking, writes Jehan Ashmore. Stena Adventurer built in South Korea was launched onto the Irish Sea…
CGI image of how P&O Ferries new generation super-ferries will look like on the Dover-Calais route linking the UK and mainland Europe. The new tonnage will feature a double-ended design and two bridges, meaning that there is no need for the ferry to turn around when within ports.
Official images have been released of P&O Ferries €260 million new generation of super-ferries which will see the new tonnage transform the experience of travelling between Britain and mainland Europe. The newbuilds will be the largest ferries ever to sail…

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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