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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Manx Fast-Ferry Sailings Operate On Reduced Engines
#FastFerryRepairs - Following the planned withdrawal of Manx fast-ferry Manannan from Liverpool-Douglas service last Wednesday afternoon (6 Aug) as previously reported, it has emerged that it will take longer than anticipated to complete repairs to a damaged engine of the…
Ferry Captain Interview: Irish Ferries Ro-Pax Epsilon on the Dublin-Wales Route and France Service
#FerryCaptainInterview – Captain Paul Sellers, master of Irish Ferries chartered ro-pax ferry Epsilon, talks about his seafaring career to Jehan Ashmore, and the vessel which serves the core Dublin-Holyhead route in addition the new direct link to France, between the…
Plans for Wind Farms Withdrawn Welcomed by Manx Ferry Operator
#FerryWindFarm - A decision to withdraw plans to develop wind farms in the Irish Sea which could allegedly have threatened the Isle of Man's vital maritime transport links has been welcomed by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. According…
Isle of Man Fast-Ferry To Undergo Repairs
#FastFerryRepairs - According to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, the ferry operator is to carry out repairs to the fast-ferry Manannan earlier than originally planned. The company plan to take the fast-ferry off service on Wednesday 6 August…
Travel Back in Time to 'Tynwald' the World's Oldest Parliament Established by the Vikings
#TimeTravelTynwald: - Following the recent Round Island Sunset Cruise, the Isle of Man Steam Packet is operating an overnight Douglas-Dublin round trip this weekend in advance of Tynwald Day, writes Jehan Ashmore. The ro-pax Ben-My-Chree, the company's largest vessel which…
Annual Mid-Summer Round Isle of Man Sunset Cruise
#IsleofManCruise- The annual Round the Island Sunset Cruise is to take place next Saturday (28 June) and operated by the Isle of Man Steam Packet's ro-pax Ben-my-Chree. The main ship of the Manx ferry company, Ben-My-Chree which was featured in…
LD Lines Finally Resumes Ireland-Spain Service via France
#IrelandSpainFerry –Tonight, LD Lines finally resume their Ireland-Spain route via western France served by ro-pax Norman Atlantic, writes Jehan Ashmore As previously reported, LD Lines announcement of the route returning to service follows an absence of more than three months due…
Ferry Traffic Statistics Reveal Busiest TT Races Since 2007 Centenary
#TTracesFerryFigures – Following the TT2014 races, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. passenger figures showed a significant increase of 7.5% in the number of motorcycles that visited the island, making it the busiest festival since the Centenary TT in…
Ferry Captain Interview: Seatruck Ferries ‘P’ Class Dublin-Heysham Freight-Ferry
#FerryCaptainInterview - Starting from last weekend is our new series of interviews with Irish Sea ferry captains. Jehan Ashmore talks to Captain Phil Ankers, master of Seatruck Ferries 'P' class ferry freight, Seatruck Pace which in late April entered service…
French Ferry Operator Plays it Part on D-Day 70th Anniversary and Not Just 'APP' Service
#FrenchD-DayFerries- As the eyes of the world will be focused on Quistreham, as previously reported, the French ferryport in northern France will be where the largest 'international' ceremonial event to commemorate the 70th D-Day Anniversary takes place this afternoon, writes…
Ferry Captain Interview: Isle of Man Steam Packet's Ben-My-Chree
#FerryCaptainInterview - In our first of a series of interviews with Irish Sea ferry captains, Jehan Ashmore talks to Captain Allan Albiston, master of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's ro-pax ferry Ben-My-Chree, the Manx for 'Girl of My…
New Spain-UK-Belgium Ro-Ro Freight Service
#NewSpainUKfreight -Transfennica, the Dutch based freight operator, have recently started a new twice-weekly freight service from northern Spain to include a call to UK before an onward arrival in Belgium. The new 'triangular' starts from Bilbao via Portsmouth, giving customers…
Isle of Man Steam Packet Experience 41% Increase on Bookings for TT Races
#TTracesFerry- The UK Bank Holiday last Monday, was the first day that the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company accepted bookings for the TT Races (in 2015) and where a substantial increase in traffic was booked compared with last year.…
ICG Chief Calls on Tourism Ireland to Push Harder on UK Tourist Market
#FerryNews –CEO of Irish Continental Group has said that Tourism Ireland should take advantage of the "benign" economy in Britain to push for greater numbers of British tourists to visit, writes The Irish Times. Eamonn Rothwell said he did not…
Irish Ferries ‘Epsilon’ Operated Sailings Resume Service on Welsh and French Routes
#FerryResolved – Irish Ferries ro-pax Epsilon re-entered service today, following technical issues that started on Friday, leading to cancellation of the weekend Dublin-Cherbourg round trip and those to Holyhead, where today's 14.15hrs sailing departed from the capital to Wales, writes…
LD Lines to Resume Rosslare Route Services to France and Spain
#IrelandSpainFerry –Good news for those intending to travel between Ireland and Spain as LD Lines are to resume Rosslare route services starting on 20 June to St.Nazaire, France and onward to Gijón in northern Spain, writes Jehan Ashmore. The first…

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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