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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Guests Stranded On Private Island As Ferry Operator Suspends Service
#FerryNews - Guests and staff were stranded for two hours last night (27 September) in a dispute between a Waterford private island resort and its ferry operator, as RTÉ News reports. The operator of the ferry to Waterford Castle Island…
Stena Line to Axe Jobs in Port of Holyhead
#StenaHOLYHEAD – Stena Line which operates the Port of Holyhead, are to axe 21 jobs as part of a majorshake-up. The ferry firm announced a review across the company's Europe-wide operations in April with up to 50 jobs under threat…
Seatruck Ferries Voted Irish Sea Shipping Line of the Year
#SeatruckAWARD – This year's Irish Sea Shipping Line of the Year is Seatruck Ferries, the award was presented at the Export & Freight Transport & Logistics Awards held in Belfast. The much coveted award, sponsored by DSV was presented at…
Seatruck Ferries Gain MLC Compliance Certification
#SeatruckFerries – Irish Sea freight-only ro-ro operator Seatruck Ferries, whose ship management team have had a busy summer as an important new part of marine law has been rolled out. The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 or MLC, 2006 is an…
Special €1 France-Ireland Sailing for St. Patrick’s Day 2014
#Sailfor€1 – As previously reported on, Celtic Link Ferries are re-launching a special single sailing fare of just €1 on 16 March 2014 between France-Ireland in advance of St. Patrick's Day. Celtic Link Ferries are offering passengers this unique…
Final Fortnight of CalMac’s New Pilot Campbeltown-Ardrossan Ferry Service
#NewFerryRoute – Caledonian MacBrayne's first season running the new route linking Campbeltown (Mull of Kintyre) and Ardrossan (Firth of Clyde) is to end sailings within a fortnight, writes Jehan Ashmore. As previously reported the Campeltown-Ardrossan route began operating in May. …
Summer Draws to a Close on Continental Seasonal-Only Routes
#SeasonalServices- As the summer holiday season draws to a close on Irish-French routes, a seasonal-only service closes next week while another competitor stretches sailings to early November.  Irish Ferries Rosslare-Roscoff route's last sailing from the Irish port is next Thursday,19…
Last Chance to Book Brittany Ferries Autumn Getaway
#BrittanyFerries – Brittany Ferries this year celebrate 35 years of Cork-Roscoff service currently served by flagship Pont-Aven, which every weekend makes a round-trip up to early November, writes Jehan Ashmore. Pont-Aven arrives every Saturday morning and departs in the afternoon…
Revamped Chartered Irish Ferry Returns to New Zealand Service
#InterIslander- The flagship Interislander ferry Kaitaki has returned to Nez Zealand waters following a $4.5 million face-lift, writes the Dominion Post. As previously reported on, the charter of the Irish Continental Group 1,650 passenger car ferry Kaitaki had departed…
Seasonal-Only HSS Service Cease Sailings
#StenaHSS – Stena Line's HSS fastcraft operated Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route ceased sailings last Tuesday on the seasonal-only service, writes Jehan Ashmore. The central Irish Sea corridor route had been running since Easter and operated by the Stena Explorer, the last…
Irish Ferries Extend Length of Time Ashore for French Mini-Cruise Passengers
#MiniCruises – Since our report earlier this week regarding Irish Ferries French mini-cruises from Rosslare to Cherbourg and Roscoff, the ferry operator has announced that the length of time ashore for passengers has been extended to almost a week. Under…
ICG Chartered Ferry Faces Delayed Refit Return to 'Interislander'
#Interislander – Irish Continental Group's Kaitaki which is on charter to New Zealand operator Interislander service is expected to be at least two weeks late.  The delay in re-entering of Kaitaki on the Cook Strait route follows unforeseen problems with…
Irish Ferries French Mini Cruises to Set Sail
#MiniCruises – Irish Ferries mini cruises to Cherbourg or Roscoff resume on Thursday 29 August and they provide an opportunity for a relaxing break away and to stock up on value wines and beers. Mini cruises are of two nights…
Galway Bay Fast Ferry Returns For Two-Week Trial
#GalwayBay - The Ballyvaughan Bay Hop fast ferry service between Galway and Clare will return for a two-week trial this September, as the Galway Independent reports. Last year the ferry link across Galway Bay from Ballyvaughan in Co Clare to…
Irish Owned New Zealand Ferry Gets Makeover in Australia
#Interislander – Owned by the Irish Continental Group (ICG), the Interislander flagship Kaitaki set sail for Brisbane, Australia late last month for a 6 week dry dock. As previously reported the New Zealand route based ship (formerly Irish Ferries Isle…
Large Public Interest Prompts Isle of Man Ferry Meeting
#ProposedManxFerry –There is "very high interest" in plans for a new ferry service on the Isle of Man which has prompted shipping operators to hold a public meeting. The Ellan Vannin Line, owned by Manx company Sea Alliance aims to…

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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