Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
The new Isle of Man Ferry Terminal in Liverpool Docks will cost Manx taxpayers more than £50m as Infrastructure Minister prepares to ask Tynwald for an extra £13.8m towards the project.  Above construction work AFLOAT adds at the Princes Half Tide Dock.
Newly appointed Isle of Man Steam Packet MD says securing the Liverpool ferry route is vital. As Manx Radio reports, the excessive cost of the new ferry terminal in Liverpool is worrying but will be worth it to secure the…
European Commission has proposed the UK should agree to follow EU food standards. Afloat adds above freight vehicles on board a ferry on the North Channel when bound for Belfast Harbour.
Today the British government will set out a series of major changes it wants made to the Northern Ireland Protocol, the element of the Brexit trade agreement intended to avoid the return to a hard border on the island of…
Extra funds made available to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. following a £10.5m loss. Above AFLOAT adds the aft-deck of ropax Ben-My-Chree while astern is Douglas Harbour.
Ferry firm the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is to have an extra £5m made available after the operator lost more than £10.5m last year. As Manx Radio reports, the Isle of Man Government says the equity investment is…
Ferry routes out of Dublin, Rosslare and Cork, see travel restrictions eased with passengers resuming non-essential overseas trips once more. Above: Afloat adds a road sign showing the various ferry operators in Dublin Port linking the Isle of Man, the UK and France in continental Europe.
Ferryports, airports and the tourism industry are preparing for an uptick in business from this morning as travel restrictions into and out of the country are eased. From today, Ireland joins the rest of the EU in implementing the Digital…
Catamaran fastcraft ferry Manannan built by InCat, underway off the quayside of Dublin Port's main ferry terminal following opening of the seasonal route to Douglas. The service normally resumes in March but was delayed due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Due to the pandemic Manx ferry sailings not seen since September 2019, finally resumed on the Dublin-Douglas seasonal service with crossings carried out by a catamaran fastcraft, writes Jehan Ashmore. The catamaran, Manannan operated by Isle of Man Steam Packet…
Brittany Ferries flagship cruise ferry, Pont-Aven which operates their main passenger service in­ Ireland from Cork to Roscoff.
With non-essential international travel set to reopen for Ireland from 19th July, Brittany Ferries is today urging holidaymakers to factor in the many good reasons why ferry travel is the best option for travelling abroad this summer. Early Irish bookings…
File image of the Stena Superfast VIII in Cairnryan
A multi-agency response was launched last night (Monday 12 July) to battle a fire on board a Stena Line ferry in Belfast Lough. As BBC News reports, the fire broke out in the engine room of the Superfast VIII around…
Lorries queue on the A20 near Dover in Kent last year after a police operation in the port resulted in traffic congestion on nearby roads and the deployment of Operation Stack.
British holidaymakers heading for European summer breaks, could face the return to trade disruption, the head of Britain's biggest ferry port said, calling on the UK government to urgently reconsider funding to redevelop Dover to prevent long-term damage. The Port…
The Manx ferry company loses £10.5m for last year.
The cancellation of TT and Covid restrictions have been blamed for the deficit. As Manx Radio reports, the government-owned ferry operator lost more than £10.5 million last year. The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's accounts have been published ahead…
The Stena Fuel Pilot started as a pilot study on Stena Scandinavica on the Gothenburg-Kiel route back in 2018 with the task to investigate and explore how artificial intelligence can be used to support the captains and crews onboard to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions
During the last month, the AI assistant Stena Fuel Pilot has been successfully introduced on two more Stena Line vessels, Stena Flavia and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In total, 7 Stena Line vessels now operate with AI assistance, with the aim to reduce…
Master of the new Aran island ferry Shane McCole
Porpoises, dolphins, fin whales, puffins and guillemots near the Cliffs of Moher...master of the new Aran island ferry Shane McCole promises much marine life on the new direct run between Galway city and Inis Mór. The 40-metre vessel Saoirse na…
The Stena Europe is back on the Fishguard-Rosslare (as above) route after six weeks in dry dock. Afloat adds the veteran vessel, finally returned to the south Wales port last Wednesday.
A Stena Line ferry is back on the Fishguard to Rosslare run after six weeks in dry dock for ‘complex repairs’ that were discovered to be necessary during a routine inspection. The ferry Stena Europe was initially taken off the…
Competition Heats Up: The Port of Dover has welcomed the return of P&O Ferries Pride of Burgundy (freight-mode) on the Dover-Calais crossing fleet to full capacity, providing customers with a greater choice of departures. The premier UK-France short sea route is also operated by DFDS and newcomer Irish Ferries which made a debut only last week on the UK-mainland Europe connection.
P&O Ferries restored a fifth ship service on the Dover-Calais route, with the recent arrival of Pride of Burgundy at the Port of Dover, this follows new competition from Irish Ferries which last week launched UK-France sailings. As MultiModal reports, the…
Almost 17,000 passengers have booked to travel on the fast-ferry craft Manannan in July with the vessel seen berthed at the Manx capital.
Ferry sailings linking Douglas, Isle of Man and Liverpool have resumed for the first time this year following the easing of the island's border restrictions. As BBC News writes, limited passenger demand had seen the Ben-my-Chree operate only Heysham services.…
A contract for a subsidised ferry service to Clare Island has been agreed
An official confirmation of a new five-year contract for the provision of a subsidised ferry service to Clare Island off Co. Mayo has been welcomed by Deputy Michael Ring. The €1 million contract has been agreed between the Department of…
Scottish operator, CalMac charter of the catamaran ferry, Pentalina, for the Isle of Arran route on the Firth of Clyde, has been scrapped after the RMT raised safety concerns.
Scottish ferries union RMT has welcomed the news that CalMac's chartered catamaran Pentalina has been scrapped after raising safety concerns. As The Herald (also reported) last week, the Pentalina had been taken out of commercial service after the union called for…

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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