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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Ian Davies of Stena Line responds to freight truck paperwork issues through Holyhead on the 1st day of post-Brexit. The ferry firm also operates the port in north Wales (second busiest ferryport in the UK) and Fishguard in south Wales. In addition to running Loch Ryan Port at Cairnryan in Scotland. AFLOAT adds from this port according to a Stena retweet, the Stena Superfast VIII entered Belfast Lough at lunchtime today, thus becoming the first (ferry) ship to enter Northern Ireland via the new Irish Sea trade border.
Following widespread coverage in the media of freight trucks turned away on New Year's Day morning in the Port of Holyhead, Wales, as previously reported on Afloat, the ferry operator Stena Line this afternoon responded with a statement. Ian Davies,…
Stena Line appealed to freight operators to ensure they had their PBNs ready ahead of check-in, Afloat adds at Holyhead Port in the UK from where above off the north Wales port is Stena Adventurer following a crossing from Dublin Port.
It has been confirmed by Revenue that its new Customs Roll on-Roll off Service is operational, as administrative procedures for ferry freight kick in following the end of the Brexit transition period. The service enables transport companies to get a…
Dublin Port will be ground zero for checks on goods from Britain, but a lot remains uncertain. Above Afloat adds is Irish Ferries ro-ro passenger ferry Ulysses arriving to the port from Holyhead in the UK.
On New Year’s Day a handful of lorries will roll off the Irish Ferries ship Ulysses after it arrives into Dublin Port at 05.30 following a three-hour crossing from Holyhead in Wales. On previous Fridays, lorries would have driven clear…
An IT system set up by the French authorities will not be able to distinguish between British and Irish lorry drivers transporting food consignments through the UK “landbridge”.
Border authorities in France have been asked to waive a pre-notification requirement for Irish hauliers exporting food through French ferry ports from Britain. Irish companies say the paperwork will delay deliveries from January 1st. As The Irish Times reports, transport…
Rosslare Europort and hauliers alike welcomed the first arrival of the DFDS owned Optima Seaways this morning so to enable berthing trials prior to the launch of a new direct ro-ro freight-only route to Dunkirk, France on mainland continental Europe. This new 'Brexit-buster' service will avoid the UK Land-Bridge. AFLOAT also adds the direct Ireland-France route will be the first ever ro-ro route to transit straight through the entire English Channel as the French port is located on the North Sea and is east of Calais from where DFDS operate an existing service to Dover along with Dunkirk-Dover.
Rosslare Europort welcomed the first of three ro-ro freight-ferries, that DFDS will operate on the eagerly awaited new direct route to Dunkirk (Dunkerque) in northern France thus avoiding the UK's Brexit Land-bridge, writes Jehan Ashmore. Afloat tracked the Italian 'Visentini'…
DUTY-FREE SHOPPING: The ferry firm, Stena said they had built new retail areas and expanded their offering on the Irish Sea (as above) Afloat adds is a ferry having departed Holyhead Port off Anglesey, north Wales
A return to Duty free on Irish Sea ferry routes, as Afloat previously reported, between Wales and Ireland is set for the first time in more than 20 years on Friday. The end of the Brexit transition period will see…
Holyhead Port in north Wales is the second busiest ro-ro port in the UK, behind only Dover in Kent. Around 600 lorries and trailers leave the port on ferries bound for Dublin Port every day. Above AFLOAT adds traffic conjestion on the main road (A55) linking Holyhead.
On a major road leading to Holyhead Port, (ferry) traffic measures have been introduced as the UK prepares to enter its new trading relationship with the EU. As BBC News writes, the Welsh Government has said the plans are aimed…
A number of Irish listed companies, including Irish Ferries owner, Irish Continental Group (ICG), were expected to get a lift when the stock market opens today.
Stock markets in Ireland and the UK are expected to jump this morning on the first day of trading since the Christmas Eve post-Brexit trade deal was secured. They will also get a boost after US President Donald Trump finally…
Most people will not be able to travel from Holyhead to Dublin this year. Above ferries inbound from the north Wales port approach the Irish capital.
Ferry and air travel from the UK to Ireland will be banned for most people until the end of the year. The Irish cabinet, reports NorthWalesLive, has agreed that the current travel restrictions between Ireland and Britain will remain in place…
Some freight has begun to move at the Port of Dover in south-east England
The UK has warned it may take a "few days" to clear the backlog of around 4,000 lorries waiting to cross the English Channel. A mass testing programme, reports RTE News , for lorry drivers is to get under way…
Hauliers say French travel ban exposes lack of capacity on direct ferries to mainland EU. Above adds Afloat is Brittany Ferries ro-ro freight-orientated passenger ferry (ropax) Connamara which is berthed today in Rosslare Europort operating albeit the routine service to Spain via Bilbao.
Governments from Ireland and France have made contact with Brittany Ferries about running a ferry from France to repatriate Irish lorry drivers stranded in Europe by France’s Covid travel ban on Britain should the need arise. As The Irish Times…
Arrangements are underway to give 'exceptional' access to ferry services to Irish residents stranded in Britain. Above AFLOAT's scene of evening rush-hour ferries arriving in Dublin Port.
Cabinet ministers will this morning review the 48-hour (ferries and flights) travel ban from Britain imposed to safeguard against the appearance of a more contagious form of coronavirus in southeast England. As RTE News reports, the ban is due to expire at…
The freight-only Stena Foreteller will join the Stena Horizon which already operates on the Rosslare - Cherbourg route
The Stena Foreteller is to be redeployed on the direct route to the Continent following border closures between the UK and France. As Afloat reported earlier, in light of recent international border closures which have seriously impacted freight flows, Stena…
The repatriation will be targeted at those Irish residents coming home, as well as those transiting through the UK.  Above Passenger Terminal 1, the main ferry facility in Dublin Port.
Ferries and flights are likely to be involved in the repatriation of hundreds of Irish residents hoping to return to Ireland from Britain. A meeting according to RTE News, is taking place this afternoon between Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon…
Shipping line Stena brings forward Brexit plans to double capacity on Rosslare-Cherbourg route. Above the ro-ro freight-only ferry Stena Foreteller seen carrying out recent berthing trials at the Wexford ferryport
Two Stena ferries will sail on Tuesday to alleviate the pressure on Irish transport companies and add capacity to direct routes to mainland Europe. Shipping operator Stena Line is adding a second ferry on its direct route between Ireland and…
Passenger travel restrictions due to Covid-19 has been imposed by the Irish Government. Above: an inbound sailing of Stena Estrid as the new ropax enters Dublin Port from Holyhead in the UK.
Ferry operator Stena Line has issued an important update for passengers intending to travel on services to the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands. Due to new measures imposed by the Irish Government and the Government of the Netherlands, there…

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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