Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Ferry
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…
Disruption Continues on Brittany Ferries Services
#FERRY NEWS - Industrial action by French crews with Brittany Ferries is still disrupting the company's ferry services from Cork to Roscoff. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a series of wildcat strikes by staff protesting against changes to their working…
Strike Action Leads to Cancelled Brittany Ferries Sailings
#SAILINGS CANCELLED – Due to a series of wildcat strikes yesterday by French employees of Brittany Ferries, the company has cancelled sailings on the Cork-Roscoff route until further notice and on its other routes to the UK and Spain. The…
A Celtic Link Voyage to The Gathering 2013
#FERRY NEWS – Celtic Link Ferries are to participant in Ireland's The Gathering 2013, a year-long initiative to celebrate all things Irish, with a unique opportunity to take a car from France on their Cherbourg-Rosslare service for free, writes Jehan…
Mersey Ferry to Celebrate The Beatles
#FERRY MUSIC – The famous 'ferry cross the Mersey' service operated by Mersey Ferries, are to run River Shuffle Cruises in honour of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles last performance aboard the Royal Iris. The special two-hour cruises are…
No Need to Whine as Autumn Shopping Breaks Continue to Cherbourg
#FERRY NEWS – Despite this week's final Irish Ferries seasonal-only sailing on the Rosslare-Roscoff for this year, the operator provides a service to Cherbourg, where Autumn Wine / Shopping Breaks are available to the Norman city that has four wine…
Ferries Great and Small during Cork Harbour Open Weekend
#FERRY NEWS – Coinciding with Cork Harbour Open Weekend, will be the regular departure today of Brittany Ferries 'flagship' Pont-Aven (2004/41,748grt). The cruiseferry which features an indoor swimming pool, is scheduled to depart later this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore. The…

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!

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating