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Stena Line Appoints New CEO
#FERRY NEWS –Stena Line has appointed Carl-Johan Hagman as the new CEO, replacing Gunnar Blomdahl, who has been serving in this role for more than a decade of the Swedish owned ferry giant which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.…
Sail to Ireland with Celtic Link for Next to Nothing!
#FERRY NEWS - Celtic Link Ferries have announced their best ever ferry deal between France and Ireland to coincide with The Gathering 2013. On Friday 15 March 2013 - in time for the St Patrick's Weekend festivities - all vehicles…
French Ferry Sailings Set to Resume Service
#FERRY TO RESUME – Services on Celtic Link Ferries Rosslare-Cherbourg route as previously reported on Afloat.ie are scheduled to resume with tomorrow (20 November) night's sailing departing 21.30hrs. According to the ferry operator, the ro-pax ferry Celtic Horizon will be…
No Ferry Sailing due to Mooring Issue in Cherbourg
#NO FERRY SAILING – Due to a mooring issue that took place in Cherbourg, there will be no sailing today (18 November) on Celtic Link Ferries 19.00hr departure from Cherbourg to Rosslare. According to the operator's website, yesterday's outward sailing…
Stena Line Wins Scottish Passenger Association Award
#FERRY AWARD – Stena Line's first anniversary of the Belfast-Cairnryan route was celebrated with an award for Best Ferry Operator, reports Carrick Today. The Scottish service is one of five routes the ferry operator runs on the Irish Sea and…
End of Season Sailing for Brittany Ferries
#FERRY NEWS- The final Brittany Ferries sailing for 2012 departs on the return leg of the Cork-Roscoff route next Saturday 3 November, writes Jehan Ashmore. Those intending to book on the 14-hour route, only operated on weekends, should consult the…
Ferries in Collision at Rosslare Harbour
#FERRY NEWS - A Stena Line ferry was unable to dock in Rosslare last night after a collision with an Irish Ferries passenger craft in heavy winds. TheJournal.ie reports that the Stena Europe ferry was attempting to dock at Rosslare…
A Year on the Horizon for Celtic Link's Ro-Pax Ferry
#CELTIC LINK - The Celtic Horizon, the 27,522 tonnes ro-pax ferry this week celebrates her first year in service on Celtic Link Ferries Rosslare-Cherbourg route, writes Jehan Ashmore. According to the Celtic Link they have had a 'resoundingly successful inaugural…
Passenger Rights to Extend to Ferry Sector
#PASSENGER RIGHTS - Ferry passengers taking routes running from Ireland will now enjoy the same rights as those who travel by air or rail, according to Breaking News. Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar T.D. has announced that from 18 December,…
Irish Sea Central Corridor Ferry Operators Prepare For Seasonal Boost
#FERRY NEWS – Over the busy festive season and during the early New Year periods, Irish Sea 'central corridor' route ferry operators are preparing for an influx of passengers, writes Jehan Ashmore. Stena Line's HSS Fastcraft will return on the…
Irish Ferries to Boost Dublin Route Capacity Over Festive Season
#FERRY NEWS – In an unprecedented move Irish Ferries are to operate three vessels on the Dublin-Holyhead route in the run-up to the busy festive and New Year periods, writes Jehan Ashmore. Irish Ferries will transfer the cruiseferry Isle of…
What’s In a Name: Sten A. Ferry- 50 Years in Service
#STENA 50 YEARS- This year marks the 50th anniversary of Stena Line, the household name of the Swedish owned ferry giant. The company took the trading name from founder Sten A. Ollsen who began originally in 1939 with a small…
Stena Line Freight Wins Award
#LOGISTIC AWARDS – Stena Line Freight collected the Irish Sea Shipping Line of the Year Award at the Export & Freight Transport & Logistics Awards 2012. The award was presented to Stena Line's Irish Sea freight commercial manager Frank Nieuwenhuys,…
Take the Famous Mersey Ferry and Spot that ‘Liverbird’
#'BIRD' FERRY- The famous Mersey ferry is to run 'Liverbird' Bird Watching & Wildlife Cruise this coming Saturday 13th October. Mersey Ferries have teamed up once again this year with the RSPB and National Museums Liverpool to get you closer…
Brittany Ferries Sailings Resume Service
#FERRY NEWS- Brittany Ferries are to resume sailings today, following the end of an industrial dispute as previously reported on Afloat.ie, which was carried out by employees that led to services halted between UK, France, Ireland and Spain. The Breton…
Irish Ferries wins 'Best Ferry Operator' at UK Awards Ceremony
#FERRY AWARD – Irish Ferries has won the 'Best Ferry Operator' award at a ceremony held recently in Birmingham. The award was presented to the ferry operator by Group Leisure, a leading British travel trade publication. Irish Ferries won in…

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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