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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Sailing Champion Tiffany Brien Launches P&O Ferries Wi-Fi Connection
#FerryWiFi - Former Miss Northern Ireland and sailing champion Tiffany Brien helped P&O Ferries launch 'Wi-Fi that Works' - a new service giving ferry passengers access to a high quality, dependable Wi-Fi connection sailing between Larne and Cairnryan. Otherwise known…
Winter Launch of New Continental Routes to Heat-Up Competition
#FerryFrance – It may only be the first month of 2014, yet two new direct Ireland-France ferry routes are launched. Irish Ferries Dublin-Cherbourg route which opens today and LD Lines Rosslare-St. Nazaire-Gijon (Spain) services which began last weekend, writes Jehan…
Irish Ferries 'Epsilon' Commences Weekly Dublin to Cherbourg Service on Saturday
#ferry – This weekend (Saturday, 18th January 2014), Irish Ferries will inaugurate its new direct weekend car ferry service between Dublin and the French port of Cherbourg. As previously reported, the new 19-hours service will be operated by the passenger…
As Ulysses Returns Dublin ‘Swift’ Fast-Ferry to Go Off-Service
#DublinSwift- Ulysses departed Birkenhead fresh from annual maintenance today in readiness to resume a sailing from Holyhead in the early hours of tomorrow to Dublin Port, writes Jehan Ashmore. During the dry-docking at Cammell Laird shipyard, the operators Rosslare-Pembroke Dock…
Epsilon’s Return to Dublin Port Marks Irish Ferries Launch Countdown of New French Service
#DublinCherbourg - Irish Ferries ro-pax Cartour Epsilon, returned to Dublin-Holyhead route duties today and this weekend she launches a new direct route from the capital to France, writes Jehan Ashmore. Starting this Saturday, the once-weekly, year-round Dublin-Cherbourg operated route will…
Continental Rosslare Routes Ro-Pax Rivals Meet for First Time
#IrelandFranceSpain – Newcomer LD Lines ro-pax Scintu, to be renamed Norman Atlantic, met one of her rivals operating on continental routes when Irish Ferries Cartour Epsilon docked in Rosslare Europort yesterday, writes Jehan Ashmore. As previously reported, LD Lines inaugural…
LD Lines New Ireland-France-Spain Maiden Voyage Heads for Rosslare Europort
#IrelandSpain – LD Lines new Ireland-France-Spain routes service ferry Scintu is tonight making her maiden inbound voyage to Rosslare Europort with an arrival expected just after 21.00hrs, writes Jehan Ashmore. As reported last night on Afloat.ie, the Scintu departed St.Nazaire…
LD Lines Launch First Ever Ireland-France-Spain Ferry Service
#IrelandSpain – As previously reported on Afloat.ie, LD Lines launches a new passenger and freight ferry service linking Rosslare Europort in Ireland, the France west coast port of St.Nazaire and the northern Spanish port of Gijón. Click for LD lines…
Celtic Link Ferries to Launch Improved Sailing Schedule for 2014
#ImprovedSchedule - Celtic Link Ferries Rosslare-Cherbourg route vessel, Celtic Horizon is to launch an improved sailing schedule in 2014, following a period of maintenance at Swansea Drydocks, writes Jehan Ashmore. Currently the 27,522 tonnes ro-pax ferry is docked at the…
New Year Storms Cause Cancelled Ferry Sailings
#CancelledSailings – Only days into the New Year sees the return of bad weather as storm force winds and gales batter the coast, forcing fast-ferry operated sailings to be cancelled today.  On the Dublin Port-Holyhead route, Irish Ferries fast-ferry Jonathan…
Ferry Refit Brings Added Passenger Capacity and Facilities
#FerryRefit- Stena Adventurer, one of two Stena Line ferries operating the Dublin Port-Holyhead route has completed an extensive refurbishment which includes increased passenger capacity. The refit, which sees enhanced and additional passenger facilities, has enabled the Stena Adventurer to increase…
Severe Weather Disrupts Sailings and for Christmas Eve
#CancelledSailings - As storms force winds and gales continue to disrupt Christmas travel plans, some Irish Sea ferry sailings are cancelled today and on Christmas Eve. To confirm the latest sailing updates it is advisable to visit the following ferry…
Bad Weather Continues to Disrupt Christmas Sailings
#CancelledSailings - As storms force winds and gales continue to batter the coast, some ferry sailings have been cancelled on the Irish Sea. Travellers are advised to check for updates on the latest sailing information from operator websites, in addition…
Epsilon Enters Irish Ferries Service
#EnterEpsilon – Irish Ferries chartered ro-pax ferry Cartour Epsilon completed her commercial maiden voyage this morning, sailing between Holyhead and Dublin Port, writes Jehan Ashmore. As previously reported, the delays of the Italian flagged ferry on entering Irish Sea service…
High Seas and Cancelled Ferry Sailings
#CancelledSailings - Due to adverse weather conditions, some ferry sailings across the Irish Sea have been cancelled today and some crossings tomorrow remain in doubt. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Irish Ferries new chartered ro-pax ferry 'Epsilon' which was due…
Catch the Last Ferry to France and Return Home for Christmas
#ChristmasFerry - Celtic Link Ferries are operating the last sailing between Ireland and France before Christmas with a sailing on Saturday 21 December departing at 18:00. The low-fares ferry company sail directly between Rosslare and Cherbourg. So to catch this…

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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