Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
 Ben-my-Chree arrived back in Douglas Harbour last week
The main Isle of Man ferry (has returned) to service after delays during its annual overhaul (at a Merseyside shipyard). As BBC News reported, the Ben-my-Chree had been due to resume crossings in mid-May but was delayed after inspections found its…
UK police forces have chartered in Scandinavian/Baltic Sea cruise ferry giant, Silja Europa for next week's G7 Summit when world leaders meet in Carbis Bay on the English Channel. This will see 1,000 officers accommodated on board the cruiseferry, just shy of 60,000 tons, which AFLOAT adds is due to arrive tomorrow (Saturday, 5 June), having been suspended from 22 hour cruises between Tallinn-Helsinki, linking the capitals of Estonia and Sweden. AFLOAT noted replacement Silja Serenade (see below 'Irish Ferries' related story) will take over the capitals cruise by offering overnight operations without passenger guests disembarking.
A Baltic Sea cruise ferry from Estonia bound for Falmouth in the UK, which is to house extra police officers for next week's G7 summit, is to be targeted by environmental action group Ocean Rebellion. Devon and Cornwall Police have…
Named Saoirse na Farraige (freedom of the sea), the 400-seat passenger ferry was built in Hong Kong for Aran Island Ferries, the company run by the O’Brien family of An Cheathrú Rua, Co Galway.
Weather permitting, a flotilla of wooden-built Galway hookers will escort an aluminium-built passenger ferry out on the first leg of its maiden voyage between Galway city and the Aran islands this morning. Several gleoiteogs with Galway Hooker Sailing Club aim…
CalMac's biggest ferry MV Loch Seaforth finally returns after seven weeks of ferry chaos on the Scottish Western Isles 2 hours 45 minute route linking Ullapool and Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides. AFLOAT adds the German built Loch Seaforth, carried out sea trials in 2014 which surprisngly involved the Irish Sea off Wicklow Head, before the 700 passenger/143 car/20 truck capacity newbuild entered the Outer Hebrides service the following year.
The biggest Scottish Western Isles ferry was due back in service (yesterday) after nearly seven weeks of for repairs on the Clyde as Afloat reported in April. As the Herald writes, MV Loch Seaforth was taken off the Ullapool-Stornoway (Isle of…
Bikes on a ferry crossing to Clare Island off Co. Mayo, where the island community are pleading the government to provide a fair ferry service to ensure their survival. Afloat adds the mountainous island on the west coast of the Irish Atlantic, is famous as the home of the 15th century pirate queen Gráinne (Granuaile) Ní Mháille.
An island community off Co. Mayo are pleading with the government to provide a fair ferry service to ensure their survival. A tender has been advertised for the ferry contract for Clare Island for 2021 to 2026. The closing date…
CalMac's Ardrossan-Campbeltown ferry to stop at Arran on peak days in timetable shake-up. Above Afloat's starboard side scene of Isle of Arran departing Brodick, Arran when bound for the Mull of Kintyre
Scotland's most southerly domestic ferry route, Ardrossan-Campbeltown (Mull of Kintyre), is to be broken up by a stop on Arran to accommodate travellers to the island on peak days. The new timetable, which CalMac announced, will see extra journeys from…
Stena Europe approaching Rosslare Harbour from Fishguard, where saiings on the St. Georges Channel link to south Wales continue to be suspended
Sailings between Rosslare and Fishguard in south Wales continue to be suspended as the Stena Europe's stay in dry dock is extended to June 4. As Afloat previously reported, the Irish Sea crossing was temporarily cancelled, initially until May 22.…
International travel will be considered for those deemed eligible under the new EU Digital Covid Certificate system.
The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said Ireland is "not in a position" to restore the Common Travel Area (see Ferry News) just yet because the advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team is that there are "real concerns" about the prevalence…
The Candela P-30 is an electric ferry that builds on Candela's technology developed for the leisure boats model C-7
Candela P-30 is an electric ferry that builds on Candela's technology developed for the leisure boats model C-7. “Moto Ondoso” - wake damage - from thousands of motorboats is slowly eroding the iconic buildings of Venice. A Swedish-designed electric boat…
Stena Line E Flexer launched in China
Despite the ongoing pandemic, ferry company Stena Line has achieved another important milestone in its major new fleet investment programme with the ‘launching’ ceremony of the first new extended E-Flexer vessel in Weihai, China. The vessel was ordered in 2018…
Chief executive of the Port of Dover, Doug Bannister says he is 'delighted to welcome Irish Ferries' and it would 'complement the resilient services currently provided'. Above AFLOAT' file photo Isle of Inishmore which is to start a new 'freight' service on the premier Dover-Calais route next month. The cruiseferry is seen with trucks on the linkspan at Rosslare Europort, from where a replacement ferry Blue Star 1 currently operates to Pembroke in south Wales.
UK and French unions claim the firm, Irish Ferries, which already operates Ireland-UK and Ireland-France routes, is aggressively low-cost and will seriously damage existing services and result in a lowering of standards. Cross-Channel (Strait of Dover) ferry firms are hoping…
DFDS and rivals P&O Ferries have today entered into a mutual space charter agreement on the key UK-EU short sea route of Dover-Calais, so to enable in reducing freight customers’ waiting times. The development AFLOAT adds comes in advance of Strait of Dover newcomer, Irish Ferries which next month begins its first (intially freight-only) service to compliment their Irish Sea routes, thus providing hauliers a complete UK landbridge service, post-Brexit.
Ferry rivals, DFDS & P&O have today entered into a mutual space charter agreement on the Dover-Calais route to shorten freight customers’ waiting times. The new agreement according to DFDS on the premier short-sea route will also improve the flow…
Irish exporters selling into the key British market may be weathering the disruption caused by the new Brexit border on the Irish Sea, even as imports from Britain are down sharply, new CSO figures suggest.
Exporters from Ireland selling into the key UK market may be weathering the disruption caused by the new Brexit border on the Irish Sea, even as imports from Britain are down sharply, new CSO figures suggest. At €3bn, goods exports…
New appointments of two directors of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. will take place in July. Above Afloat adds is the main Manx ferry Ben-My-Chree while swinging within Douglas Harbour.
New appointments at the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company have been confirmed by the ferry operator. Brian Thomson has become the new Managing Director. A maritime leader with a wealth of experience and knowledge, he will officially begin in…
Stena Estrid will provide two daily return crossings each way between Holyhead and Dublin
With the expectation that travel restrictions between Ireland and Britain will be removed soon, ferry company Stena Line is bringing its new vessel Stena Estrid back to its key Holyhead – Dublin route. It will replace the Stena Horizon, which…
Sailings on the Rosslare-Fishguard route to resume on Saturday ahead of the lifting of travel restrictions to the Republic. Above Afloat adds is the route's ferry, Stena Europe (currently under repair) as previously seen at the Co. Wexford ferryport.
Operator, Stena Line, has stopped sailings on its Rosslare-Fishguard route for five days because of repair work in Belfast on its ferry the Stena Europe. The ferry, writes The Irish Times, usually makes one trip per day in each direction,…

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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