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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
A problem with a propeller shaft has forced the cancellation of sailings of Irish Ferries’ Ulysses flagship for the next week. Afloat adds the cruiseferry is this evening bound for Belfast to undergo repairs.
#FerryNews - Operator Irish Ferries has said all sailings on the Ulysses vessel which serves the Dublin to Holyhead route have been cancelled for the next week. As the The Irish Times reports, the ferry operator said the ship has been taken…
Keel-laying of one of the two new Stena Line E-Flexer RoPax ferries bound for the Belfast–(Birkenhead) Liverpool route in 2020
#FerryNews - One of the two new Stena Line E-Flexer RoPax ferries bound for the Belfast–Liverpool route in 2020 has recently marked an important production milestone by celebrating its official keel-laying at the AVIC shipyard in Weihai, China. The new…
Operator Stena Line said it did not now "have a timescale for future developments" at Fishguard. Afloat adds the ferry to Rosslare Stena Europe is seen off the breakwater.
#FerryNews - Operator, Stena Line has dropped plans for a £5m upgrade at its Port of Fishguard terminal in Pembrokeshire, south Wales. The company, BBC News reports was planning to replace the flexible ship-to-shore bridge that allows vehicles and passengers…
Stena RoRo's freight ferry Stena Carrier which had spent a stint earlier this year carrying livestock on the Rosslare-Cherbourg service. The 2,715 freight lane metre ship is seen above at anchor in Dublin Bay after another charter but this took place on the Irish Sea.
#FerryNews - The animal rights Group Compassion in World Farming Ireland is to target key ferry operators in their latest bid to halt live exports. The group writes Independent.ie is to target Niclas Martensson CEO of Stena Line and Eamonn…
The Irish Ferries Webpage on June 13th with an image of the “WB Yeats”. The ferry company tried to rent another vessel of comparable size through international brokers
#FerryNews -Irish Ferries last September announced that work had started in a German shipyard on a €144 million ship that would be the pride of its fleet. It said that, in accordance with tradition, a specially commissioned ceremonial coin would…
Some 29,000 passengers and their crossings are cancelled due to delayed delivery of newbuild cruiseferry W.B. Yeats
#FerryNews - The National Transport Authority (NTA) which regulates sea travel to and from Ireland has said it is examining whether thousands of passengers impacted by Irish Ferries cancelling its summer sailings on the WB Yeats are entitled to compensation.…
Port of Cork chairman John Mullins and Brittany Ferries chief executive Christophe Mathieu at a special ceremony yesterday which Afloat adds that the cake of the flagship 'Pont-Aven' was to celebrate 40 years of the Ireland-France service.
#FerryNews - Trying to help people is Britanny Ferries with those who booked with Irish Ferries WB Yeats, but may not be able to accommodate many because they are nearly full for July and August. As the Irish Examiner writes, Brittany…
At the announcement of the first Stena-E Flexer that is to enter service on the Dublin-Holyhead route, are pictured in the Irish capital, (L-R) Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland and Ian Davies, Stena Line’s Trade Director, Irish Sea South. The news of new tonnage follows the 2018 Best Ferry Company awarded to the ferry operator at the Travel Media Awards held also in the capital this week.
#FerryNews - Stena Line has confirmed that the first of its new E-Flexer RoPax ferries currently under construction in China is planned to enter service on its Dublin - Holyhead route in early 2020. Last year Stena (Stena Line’s parent…
Motor cyclists disembark in Douglas from fastferry Manannan for the famous annual TT Races which took place recently. There has been an increase in initial bookings for the event in 2019.
#FerryNews - Passengers totalling 34,000 according to Isle of Man.com travelled by sea over the TT fortnight. The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company says final figures for this year are 'on a par' with 2017. 13,236 motorbikes were also…
Delays by German shipbuilder has forced Irish Ferries to cancel thousands of bookings for August for the WB Yeats, the company’s brand new luxury vessel.
#FerryNews - A bill of up to €7 million faces Irish Ferries for cancelling scheduled French services following delays by a German shipbuilder in finishing a new craft for the company. The ferry operator writes The Irish Times, was forced…
A visual montage of how Brittany Ferries newbuild of the Stena E-Flexer series will be when introduced on the long-haul UK-Spain routes, among them Portsmouth (above) which will be the hub-port for both sisters with the first due in service in 2021. Afloat also adds directly beyond the newbuild in the background is the current main Portsmouth-Spain cruiseferry, Cap Finistère seen arriving to the ferryport.
#FerryNews - Brittany Ferries has confirmed recently the charter of two brand new cruise-ferries to serve its long-haul UK to Spain routes. Both ships adds Afloat are of the Stena E-Flexer design (see Stena Line Irish Sea debut in 2020)…
In this amidships view of Stena Carrier, the imposing length of the ro-ro freight vessel is clearly demonstrated alongside Carlisle Pier, Dun Laoghaire Harbour. At 182.77m the vessel is the longest of its type to dock in the port as well as been the largest in gross tonnage terms.  In fact the ship is larger than the former fastferry HSS Stena Explorer which carried out its final crossing in September 2014, marking the end of the historic Holyhead route.
#FerryNews - Stena Carrier, the ro-ro freight-only ferry that made a notable call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour at the end of April, finally departed the former Stena HSS ferryport last week for further charter work with P&O, writes Jehan Ashmore.…
Ferry operator Stena has revealed the Irish Sea route, Holyhead-Dublin will be the first to get new type of vessel, the E-Flexer class in early 2020. A further pair of the new series as previously reported on Afloat are planned to be introduced on the Liverpool-Belfast route also in 2020 and 2021.
#FerryNews - Ferry operator, Stena Line is set to bring a new giant vessel on the Holyhead-Dublin route reports Daily Post Wales. Stena Line has confirmed that the first of its new RoPax ferries currently under construction in China is…
The ‘Star of Doolin’ – the fastest and most eco-friendly passenger cruise ship on the western seaboard – sailed in for the first time following its weekend long trip back from La Rochelle, France where it was built. The ship will operate to the Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher under the flag of the Garrihy family’s Doolin2Aran passenger ferry company, which invested €3m in the vessel. Pictured is The Star of Doolin flanked by The Jack B and Doolin Discovery arriving into Doolin Pier Co Clare
The Aran Islands got closer this week as the fastest and most eco-friendly passenger cruise ship to operate on the western seaboard sailed into Doolin for the first time following a €3m investment. The Doolin2Aran operated ‘Star of Doolin’ completed…
Plaid Cymru MPs hit out after it emerges while Brexit Ministers have visited other UK ports they have not visited any in Wales among them Holyhead as above
#FerryNews - UK Brexit ministers in charge of negotiations on behalf of the Government have not visited Welsh ports since the referendum in June 2016. In a House of Commons Parliamentary Question by Arfon Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams it…
Stunning scenery: Calf of Man, off the south-west of the Isle of Man from where the Steam-Packet is to operate from Douglas the popular annual 'Round the Island' cruise on 23 June.
#FerryNews - What about taking a novel excursion this summer as the Isle of Man Steam Packet offer the popular annual 'Round the Island' cruise this month, bringing an opportunity to take in the spectacular Manx coastline. The Steam-Packet which…

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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