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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Ferries from rival operators, Irish Ferries and Stena Line AFLOAT adds berthed at the Port of Holyhead in north Wales
On the Irish Sea the biggest ferry operator in this market area has confirmed that there will be checks, inspections and some new infrastructure for trade, and it wants to know what the UK government will pay for. The plans,…
Stena Line has taken decision to re-flag the Stena Estrid under the Cypriot flag. AFLOAT adds the newly introduced E-Flexer leadship is seen above on its maiden commercial crossing from Holyhead when arriving at Dublin Port last month.
A UK union and a Welsh Assembly Member (AM) have voiced concerns over the potential impact on workers after Stena Line re-flagged its new super ferry. The £160m Stena Estrid went into service on the Holyhead to Dublin route last…
The Glen Sannox (Afloat adds seen at an earlier stage of the duel-fuel ferry's construction) at the Ferguson Marine shipyard located at Port Glasgow on the Clyde, Scotland
A pair of botched CalMac ferries should be scrapped or radically redesigned to cut costs, ferry experts told MSPs this week. The call came according to The Scotsman, as it emerged Ferguson Marine's bid for the vessels was the highest…
Kerry the ropax which currently serves on the Ireland-Spain route Cork-Santander is to cease as announced by French operator Brittany Ferries however a new service starting next month will be maintained between the countries but running between Rosslare Europort and Bilbao
In an announcement Brittany Ferries is to move its Ireland/Spain sailings from Cork to Rosslare Europort, with the first sailing due to take place on 28 February. The new Spanish arrival port from Rosslare will be Bilbao as Afloat also…
Brittany Ferries ferry Kerry passes Roches Point at the entrance to Cork Harbour
The Port of Cork have been informed by Brittany Ferries that the weekly Ro-Pax ferry service from Cork to Santander which includes a midweek Roscoff sailing is to cease operating. In a statement, the Port said: 'This surprising decision by…
More than 800,000 vehicles and 1.75 million passengers a year travel on the Cairnryan-Northern Ireland routes.
A re-opened rail line and new dual carriageways to improve links to Scotland’s flagging ferry gateway to Northern Ireland are to be considered by ministers. As The Scotsman reports, Cairnryan area ferry operators Stena Line and P&O said there was…
It's believed Brittany Ferries are looking at moving the Cork-Santander route (to Rosslare) as two year trial period comes to an end. MV Connemara AFLOAT adds had launched the Ireland-Spain route in 2018, however this year is served by the larger ropax Kerry (above) as previously reported on Ferry News. Afloat also adds that in November due to stormy weather sailings were cancelled which led to berthing temporarily (as seen) at Marino Point, Cork Harbour, upriver of Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal.
Ferry services into the future on the Cork-Santander route is in doubt as Brittany Ferries is believed to be looking at moving the operation to Rosslare Harbour. The route has only been in operation since May 2018 and was initially…
European Causeway underway on the North Channel having departed from Larne. AFLOAT adds the ropax ferry is seen approaching Loch Ryan on the Scottish coast where the ferryport at Cairnryan prepared for a truck incident that took place on board in December 2018
Drivers of trucks who remain in their cabs on the vehicle deck when a ferry is at sea put themselves and other passengers at risk, reports LloydsLoadingList.  The renewed warning from the UK chief inspector of marine accidents follows a…
Stena Superfast X has ended a career on the Irish Sea having served on the Dublin-Holyhead route since 2015 and recently albeit briefly out of Belfast serving Cairnryan, Scotland. AFLOAT adds today the 'Superfast' set a southerly course to Rosslare Europort to cover a dry-docking period of the Ireland-France (Rosslare-Cherbourg) route routine ropax ferry Stena Horizon.
The recent introduction of Stena Estrid, the brand new ferry on Stena Line's Dublin-Holyhead led to the direct replacement of a ferry that from today will temporary serve on the operator's Ireland-France route, writes Jehan Ashmore. Stena Superfast X with…
Heysham Port in Lancashire, England which has a ferry link to the Isle of Man
The Manx Minister for Infrastructure said it was 'exciting times' for the Isle of Man Steam Packet. In addition to the new ferry landing stage being built in Liverpool for the Steam Packet, Heysham is also due a refurbishment over…
The main Isle of Arran ferry on the Forth of Clyde service linking Ardrossan and Brodick AFLOAT adds has the name of the vessel displayed in both English and Gaelic. The ferry Caledonian Isles (Eileanan Chaledonia) is one of the largest in the 33 strong fleet operating in Scotland's Western Isles.
The largest UK ferry and harbour operator is adding to its support for Gaelic speakers by offering a bi-lingual English and Gaelic customer care service. As a pilot project over the summer the Scottish ferry operator, Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) created…
Leadship of the new E-Flexer class ropax, Stena Estrid AFLOAT adds is seen on arrival in Dublin Port yesterday following a maiden crossing from Holyhead, north Wales. In the foreground of the 'next-generation' ferry is a Dublin Port tug Shackleton which presented a traditional maritime water cannon salute.
Not even Storm Brendan as Afloat reported, could prevent Stena Line’s newest ferry Stena Estrid making its maiden voyage yesterday on the Holyhead to Dublin route. After more than six years’ in planning and construction, Estrid braved the challenging sea conditions…
Stena Estrid AFLOAT adds departing this morning from Holyhead on the Irish Sea route to Dublin Port. The new leadship E-Flexer class ferry this afternoon is to complete a maiden round trip voyage to its north Wales homeport, albeit delayed due to Storm Brendan.
The newest Stena Line ferry is expected to begin sailing the Dublin to Holyhead route on the Irish Sea today. The 215m (705ft) Stena Estrid, writes Independent.ie, is described as "one of the most advanced vessels in operation", with space to…
The new Joe Magee ferry on Lough Erne
The traditional Lough Erne Cot is a vessel unique to Upper and Lower Lough Erne and used there for possibly 2000 years. It was popular for transporting goods, people and cattle around the islands in the lakes in County Fermanagh…
Roonagh Pier, Louisburgh which was posted on Facebook by the Co. Mayo ferry operator.
A ferry operator in Co. Mayo has issued a call for break-water and new pier facilities at Roonagh, Louisburgh. According to The Connaught Telegraph, the Clare Island Ferry Co. (O'Grady) posted a photograph on ts Facebook page of Roonagh (yesterday)…
The 'next generation' ferry, Stena Estrid will sail between Holyhead and Dublin
A new ferry to be introduced by Stena Line is expected to enter commercial service next week but the hunt is on for a ‘god parent’ after the Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar turned down the invitation. According to NorthWalesLive, the Stena…

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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