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The first sailing of this year on the Cork-Roscoff seasonal route began last Monday. The Ireland-France route is served by the chartered-in ropax Connemara though Afloat adds cruiseferry Pont-Aven will return also to service next Saturday (30 March). Above: Armorique which operates on the English Channel is seen in recent years docking in Portsmouth (from St. Malo), though the cruiseferry normally operates Roscoff-Plymouth which began service on 2 January 1973, the day after the UK joined the Common Market (forerunner to the EU).
#ferries - Brittany Ferries resumed service on the Cork-Roscoff seasonal route last week and has recently revealed passenger, freight and financial results for 2018. According to figures revealed by Brittany Ferries, passengers using the Ireland-France route totalled 86,388 (2016-217) and 97,174…
The deal would see a refurbishment of the high-speed Manannan catamaran which Afloat adds operates seasonal routes including Douglas-Dublin
#ferries- Terms of a new Isle of Man sea services deal which could see foot passenger fares frozen and a ferry replaced has been approved by Tynwald the Manx Parliament. As BBC News reports, the proposed 25-year deal with the…
The 2.4km /1.7mile breakwater (longest in the UK) has protected the north-west Welsh port and town of Holyhead since 1873.
#ferries - BBC News writes that action is needed to repair damaged Victorian sea defences protecting a Welsh port, experts have warned. Anglesey council has been told the 1.7 mile (2.4km) breakwater at Holyhead - the longest in Britain -…
A view taken from the top deck of W.B. Yeats when berthed bow-on in Cherbourg, France yesterday at the port's No.4 linkspan. To celebrate the 'maiden' crossing and to mark the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the port in Normandy was lit-up in the emerald green of Ireland, much to the delight of passengers and crew.
#ferries - Its been a momentous week for W.B. Yeats as the new €144m cruiseferry won prestigious international shipping awards ahead of completing a first round trip voyage to France having arrived back in Dublin Port this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore. The…
Irish Ferries owned W.B. Yeats cruise-ferry recognised for Innovative Flexible Design and Interior Architecture & Design at the Shippax Industry Awards. Above AFLOAT took this photo of a 'Premium' Suite that is among the various cabin accommodation categories available on the 18 hour overnight continental service linking Dublin directly with France through the Port of Cherbourg.
#ferries - At a major international shipping awards ceremony, Irish Ferries has triumphed by taking home both the Ferry Concept Award and the Interior Architecture Award for their recently launched cruise-ferry, the W.B. Yeats. The annual Shippax Industry Awards ceremony,…
Linnea Berg, 2nd officer of the Stena Scandinavica which operates in Scandinavia between Sweden and Germany on the Göteborg-Kiel route.
#ferries - On International Women’s Day yesterday, Stena Line launched a new sustainability focus area – Equality and Inclusion. This is part of the company’s increased commitment to creating a sustainable working environment and an important step on the journey…
The Manx government bought the ferry firm for £124m in May 2018
#ferries - Ferry fares at cheaper rates could, reports BBC News, be introduced if a new sea services agreement is approved, the Manx government said. A new 25-year deal between the government and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company…
The delivery of Irish Ferries' WB Yeats ferry was delayed last year
#ferries - The Irish Continental Group has reported lower revenues and profits for 2018 on the back of disruption to its ferry schedules and higher fuel costs, writes RTE News. Revenues at ICG, which owns Irish Ferries, slipped by 1.5%…
Nation Transport Authority issued Irish Ferries with two notices over cancellations of sailings to France. Afloats adds above on the horizon of Dublin Bay is W.B. Yeats which since January has operated the Dublin-Holyhead, however the €144m newbuild cruiseferry is due to enter service next week on the direct continental route linking the capital and Cherbourg.
#ferries - Operator Irish Ferries has brought a High Court challenge over a finding it must pay compensation to thousands of passengers affected by the cancellation of sailings between Ireland and France last summer. As The Irish Times reports, the…
Caspar Berry, a world leading authority on the topic of ‘uncertainty’, a subject under much scrutiny given the backdrop of Brexit. The guest speaker was at the NI Logistics & Transport Gala Dinner held in Titanic Belfast.
#ferries - Casper Berry, a world leading authority on the topic of 'uncertainty' was guest speaker at this year’s Northern Ireland Logistics and Transport Annual Gala Dinner, hosted by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT). Stena Line was…
Unlike Seaborne, Eurotunnel had actually run a cross-Channel ferry service MyFerryLink, which closed in 2015.
#ferries - The UK government the BBC reports, will pay £33m to Eurotunnel in an agreement to settle a lawsuit over extra ferry services in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In December, the Department for Transport (DfT) contracted three…
Ringaskiddy, in lower Cork Harbour where stowaways were found in a container off a ferry from Spain. adds the ferry terminal (which opened in 1982) which also serves services to France, is located next to the development site of a new state-of-the-art container terminal due to be opened in 2020.
#ferries - Stowaways were found hiding in a container at the Port of Cork’s Ringaskiddy ferry terminal moments after it arrived off a ship from Spain. The eight, according to the Irish Examiner, were all Albanian nationals under the age…
Ben-My-Chree in Douglas Harbour, is the main Isle of Man ferry which serves year-round services.
#ferries -  Ben-My-Chree, the only year-round ferry operating Isle of Man services has achieved a reliability record of more than 97% over the past 13 months. According to the Isle of Man Steam Packet, during 2018 and up to January…
80%	of goods between Republic of Ireland and Wales pass through Welsh Ports and where in Holyhead, Jeremy Miles visited the ferryport.
#ferries - There have been calls for the UK Prime Minister to remove the threat of a no-deal Brexit have been repeated by the Counsel General and Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles, following a visit to Holyhead Port. As ITV News…
The new £10m freight-ferry Red Kestral after the float-off today in Birkenhead on Merseyside. The 74m vessel is seen moved to the adjacent wet basin and will enter into service for Isle of Wight operator, Red Funnel in May.
#ferries - At the UK shipbuilder Cammell Laird on Merseyside, the 'float-off' for a new £10 million ferry took place today for Isle of Wight operator Red Funnel. The Red Kestrel, a new freight-only RoRo vessel, will operate between Southampton…
UK Prime Minister has once again backed the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling (above) over the contract to Seaborne Freight
#ferries - The UK Prime Minister, reports Channel 4 News, has once again backed the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling as he faced further criticism in parliament over the awarding of a contract to provide ferries in the event of a…

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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