Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Ferry
Fastcraft Manannan has returned to Dublin Port this morning to resume seasonal service on the route to Douglas. The Isle of Man Steam Packet's fastcraft is seen earlier this month in the port to conduct berthing trials at the Stena Line (Terminal 2) linkspan which is adjacent to the ferry's routine berth at Terminal 1.
#ferrries - The Manx Parliament is to receive proposals ahead of the summer recess. The future finances of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company reports Manx Radio are expected to be considered by the parliament (Tynwald) ahead of the…
The veteran ferry of the Irish Sea, the 1981 built Stena Europe of the Rosslare-Fishguard route is currently undergoing a significant three-month refit visit in Turkey as AFLOAT previously reported. The Gemak Shipyard in Tuzla is located outside Europe on the Asian side the of the nation. A replacement ferry on the St. Georges Channel route is Stena Nordica which can carry hazardous cargo capacity that requires an 'open deck' (otherwise not normally available) on this service.
#ferries - The Rosslare-Fishguard ferry Stena Europe is off service and is currently undergoing a significant three-month refit visit at a shipyard located outside Europe. Last month Afloat monitored the Ireland-Wales ferry having left familiar waters when off Spain and…
Stena Line has achieved another major milestone in its fleet investment program with the ‘float out’ ceremony today of Stena Edda, the second vessel of its next generation E-Flexer series. The name Stena Edda follows the Scandinavian heritage decided for the five new vessels that are being constructed at the Avic Weihai Shipyard in China.  Stena Edda is scheduled to enter service on the Belfast-Liverpool route in spring 2020. This is the second of three new E-Flexer vessels bound for the Irish Sea during 2020 and 2021
#ferries -  Operator Stena Line has achieved another major milestone in its fleet investment program with the ‘float out’ ceremony of the second vessel in its next generation E-Flexer series. The second vessel will be named Stena Edda* and follows…
Shipbuilding returns on Merseyside: Cammell Laird of Birkenhead, built the ro-ro freight-ferry Red Kestral which this month carried out sea trials. AFLOAT adds the 265 freight deck lane metre capacity vessel is seen while off Liverpool's more modern cityscape where previously shipping related activity dominated these quays.
#ferries - In the UK at the Merseyside shipbuilder Cammell Laird which has completed building its 1393rd vessel, the previously reported £10m freight-ferry Red Kestrel for Isle of Wight ferry operator Red Funnel. The Red Kestrel, a new ro-ro freight-only…
Oscar Wilde AFLOAT adds when operating on the Rosslare Europort (above) based routes to France to the ports of Cherbourg and Roscoff. Since Autumn last year the cruiseferry however operated Dublin-Cherbourg prior to to eventual debut of newbuild W.B. Yeats last month. As recently reported on Afloat, Oscar Wilde had undergone dry-docking in H&W Belfast.
#ferries - Irish Ferries cruiseferry Oscar Wilde which operated Rosslare based routes to France until last year has according to owners Irish Continental Group to be disposed following an agreement to sell the 1987 built ship to a new owner.…
From the Land to the Sea: Jean-Marc Roué, a Breton farmer and boss of Brittany Ferries has concerns over Brexit.
#ferries - A Breton farmer and boss of Brittany Ferries Jean-Marc Roué has recently been re-elected president of Armateurs de France, the French equivalent of the UK Chamber of Shipping, writes Jehan Ashmore. This afternoon the UK Prime Minister, Theresa…
As AFLOAT reported last week the Isle of Man Steam Packet's fastcraft Manannan conducted berthing trials in Dublin Port which included approaching the above linkspan used by Stena Line. This berth is for their Holyhead service which requires the double-tier linkspan (upper tier seen on top of photo). The fastcraft ferry last month resumed seasonal service on the Liverpool link to Douglas and from the Manx capital last Sunday to Belfast. Manannan will return to Dublin next week to begin the Douglas seasonal service on 18 April in advance of the Easter Bank Holiday.
#ferries - Manx Radio reports of a political party that says the Island's public could buy shares in the Isle of Man Steam Packet to benefit from government's nationalisation of the company. The idea has been floated by LibVan as…
Cars on the uppermost vehicle deck of Brittany Ferries Armorique while approaching a linkspan at the busy UK port of Portsmouth where routes connect France and Spain. In addition AFLOAT adds the domestic services to the Isle of Wight.
#ferries - Only 10% has been put up by the Government of the cost of contingency plans being set up to avoid major disruption at one of the UK’s main cross-Channel ports in the case of a no-deal Brexit. As…
Rosslare port is the closest, geographically speaking, to mainland Europe. AFLOAT adds the busy scene of the south-east ferryport taken in January features: Stena Europe (on left) currently undergoing extensive refit work in a dry-dock in Turkey. Taking its place on the Fishguard route is Stena Nordica (on right) having stood in previously on the Cherbourg route while Stena Horizon (not in photo) was away also providing winter dry-dock relief of fleetmates on north Irish Sea routes. In the centre is freight-only ferry Stena Forerunner redeployed from Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) to undertake a 'once-off' round trip on the French service.
#ferries - As RTE reports here's something you don't hear everyday, especially from someone involved in the Irish transport industry. "Brexit, we believe, will bring opportunities." The man uttering these words is Glenn Carr, the general manager of Rosslare Europort. It…
On Dublin Bay: Irish Ferries Ulysses heads for Holyhead while in-bound is the Isle of Man Steam Packet's 96m fastcraft Manannan which yesterday conducted berthing trials including intriguingly at the 'Brexit-Busters' (freight-only) berth linkspan in Dublin Port. Otherwise the car-carrying catamaran craft normally uses the port's busiest passenger ferry facility at Terminal 1.
#ferries - The Isle of Man Steam Packet's fastcraft Manannan arrived to Dublin Port yesterday to carry out berthing trials against the backdrop of port capacity restrictions and challenges posed by Brexit, writes Jehan Ashmore. Prior to entering the port…
Carrigaloe of the River Lee car-ferry service AFLOAT adds trades as Cross River Ferries connecting Glenbrook and Carrigaloe (near Cobh on Great Island). The pair of former Scottish serving Isle of Skye ferries became redundant following the completion of a fixed link with the building of a road-bridge and since 1993 the ferries have run on the Irish service involving a short 4-minute hop across the Lee.
#ferries - Owners of the River Lee car ferry service in Cork harbour, the Irish Examiner reports, have told Cork County Council they don't believe it's economically viable to put on a second ferry at peak evening times. Doyle Shipping…
The P&O European Causeway passenger ferry where a fire broke out while in Larne Port yesterday. Above AFLOAT adds the Japanese built ferry is seen in recent years off the Scottish coastline bound for Cairnryan.
#ferries - On board a passenger ferry a fire broke out when berthed in Larne Port yesterday, just months after lorries toppled over on the same P&O ship. As The Irish News reports, emergency services were tasked to a blaze…
Pont-Aven's Wärtsilä's EnergoProfin system has led to fuel consumption and emissions cut by around 2% on every crossing. AFLOAT adds this afternoon the cruise-ferry returned to the Cork-Roscoff  seasonal service which resumed last weekend when fleetmate ropax Connemara operated the Ireland-France connection. Connemara also serves the year-round operated Cork to Santander service linking Spain.
#ferries - Brittany Ferries Cork-Roscoff cruise-ferry Pont-Aven began today its first sailing in 2019 on the seasonal route and will save energy and reduce fuel consumption thanks to the installation of two innovative devices on the ship's propellers. Wärtsilä‘s EnergoProfin…
The catamaran, Manannan will also begin routes to Belfast and Dublin in April.
#ferries - Fast craft sailings of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's catamaran resumed daily sailings (yesterday) to Liverpool for the summer. As BBC News writes the catamaran Manannan will also begin routes to Belfast and Dublin in April.…
The Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, UK Afloat adds forms the central backdrop to a CGI of Brittany Ferries new chartered Stena E-Flexer design cruise ferry seen underway having departed the English south-coast port from where two sisters will be serving routes to Spain by 2022. A third sister has been chartered and is also to enter on long-haul routes in 2023.
#ferries - In an announcement today Brittany Ferries has said it is to charter a third brand new cruise-ferry to serve its long-haul routes.  The newbuild to be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), will be built at the AVIC…
Ben-My-Chree swings within Douglas Harbour
#ferries - The Isle of Man infrastructure minister reports Manx Radio, has pledged to make the findings of the Steam Packet consultation available to the public - in full. Ray Harmer recently appeared on the radio station's Perspective programme to…

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!

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating