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Displaying items by tag: Celtic Link Ferries

#FarewellCelticLink - Celtic Link Ferries final farewell sailing arrived into Rosslare this morning from Cherbourg, marking an end of the era as the Wexford based company are been acquired by Stena Line with effect today, writes Jehan Ashmore, who travelled on board the ro-pax Celtic Horizon.

The last crossing was in command of Captain Richard Collins and his crew of 50 that operate services on board the 27,522 tonnes Visentini shipyard-built ro-pax. The 17-hour continental route will continue to maintain a sailing schedule of three return-crossings weekly when Stena Line rename the vessel for their first sailing tomorrow.

As Celtic Horizon bade farewell to Cherbourg yesterday afternoon, she cast her moorings alongside the former trans-Atlantic liner terminal, now the maritime and undersea exploration visitor attraction 'La Cité de la Mer'.

On board Celtic Horizon where excited French teenage students that occupied the uppermost deck drenched in 18-degrees sunlight and to the sound of the ship's horn marking her final departure.

Asides the countless coach based students that have travelled since Celtic Link began reinstating the service in 2005, after P&O Ferries abandoned the route the previous year, the company has catered for a diverse market that includes passengers on foot and in cars, camper-vans and motorcyclists.

In respect to freight, this involved un-accompanied freight-units and trucks notably carrying livestock trade, in which 18 such large trucks were conveyed on yesterday's sailing to Cherbourg during the busy calve season. Over the years there have been contracts to import French manufactured trade vehicles.

Of primary importance is fish exports to French, Spain, Italy and beyond, this was one of the major reasons why the owners of Celtic Link, the O'Flaherty brothers (and local investors) who operate a fish processing plant in Kilmore Quay and fleet of more a dozen trawlers purchased P&O's service.

Celtic dep Cherbourg

Celtic Ferries departs Cherbourg Photo Jehan Ashmore

The deal had involved the route's existing freight-vessel European Diplomat, which incidentally formed part of the Falklands Task Force in 1982, however as Celtic Link's 'Diplomat' she served a limited passenger service for Celtic Link. She was displaced by ro-pax Norman Voyager which last week started new Brittany Ferries Économie services.

In 2011 Celtic Horizon which is the same ro-pax design of Norman Voyager, entered service on a five-year charter from the Italian shipyard owners to Celtic Link.

Celtic Horizon became the first and only vessel during the last nine years of the ferry company to be given a name reflecting her trading route and her owner's brand name displayed on her funnel.

Watch this space... with further reports from Afloat.ie's dedicated Ferry News section.

Published in Ferry

#FreePetTravel - Celtic Link Ferries are transporting pets free-of-charge between Ireland and France.

The Irish owned ferry company operating on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route is giving passengers a choice of bringing their pets which can be kept in kennels supplied on board or in the passenger's vehicle.

Passengers will be able to visit their pets in kennels throughout the sailing and for those pets kept in their vehicle, they must visit under crew supervision. For further details visit their Link.

The route's ro-pax vessel Celtic Horizon sails from Rosslare to Cherbourg every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and sails from Cherbourg to Rosslare every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Published in Ferry

#StPatricksSailing – Following Ireland's rugby triumph of the Six Nation's Championship yesterday in France, Celtic Link Ferries final promotional €1 crossing for St. Patrick's Day, has set sail this afternoon from Cherbourg to Rosslare, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported, Stena Line in February announced that they were to acquire Celtic Link, the Wexford based single-ferry operator, which only introduced the chartered Italian built and flagged ro-pax ferry Celtic Horizon in 2011. The 1,000 passenger, 200-car, 120 freight-unit vessel will continue serving the 17-hour Ireland-France link, a first for Stena Line which are to acquire the company's business on the route, with effect from 31 March.

In the meantime, there will be no doubt be a celebratory mode on board Celtic Horizon, on foot of the sporting success in the Stade de France venue outside Paris, combined with the Irish national day.

Among the passenger facilities on the overnight ferry are the Cherbourg Café, Tuskar Rock Bar and Lounge, a restaurant, cinema lounge and souvenir kiosk shop and accommodation in 2,4 and 6 berths cabins plus luxury suites.

To gain a further insight into the day to day running of the Celtic Horizon, built by Cantiere Navala Visentini shipyard in Portoviro, you can read an interview about one of her masters, Captain Richard Collins, by clicking this 'link' to a feature published in Ships Monthly.

Celtic Horizon is the only vessel of the company to have been clearly given a name directly associated with her owners trading route.

Her predecessors were Norman Voyager, another Visentini ro-pax of the same design and recently renamed Etretat for Brittany Ferries 'Economie' services and freight-ferry Diplomat which was scrapped in recent years.

She was the first vessel to launch operations for Celtic Link in 2005 following P&O Ferries withdrawal on the continental route the previous year.

 

Published in Ferry

#HalfPriceCabins – Celtic Link Ferries are currently running a half-price cabin sale between Rosslare and Cherbourg served by the ro-pax, Celtic Horizon, writes Jehan Ashmore.

"It's just our way of making travelling to France easier" said a company spokesperson.

Celtic Horizon provides passengers a choice of 2-berth, 4-berth, 6-berth and luxurious suite cabins. These three suites are situated overlooking the bow. Cabins in all categories come with en-suite facilities and the beds in each cabin are full-sized.

The half-price cabin sale is subject to terms and conditions, noting only applies to new bookings and are not applicable to bookings taken in June, July or August.

The company claim, Celtic Horizon operates more crossings between Ireland and France than any other ferry by sailing to a thrice weekly return sailing schedule.

She sails Rosslare-Cherbourg every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and returns from Normandy by departing Cherbourg on every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday respectively.

For further information visit: celticlinkferries.com/category/offers

 

Published in Ferry

#StenaBuyCeltic- Stena Line has acquired the Irish-owned Celtic Link Ferries service which operates the Rosslare-Cherbourg route.

Celtic Link currently provides a three times weekly service between Ireland and France with the MV Celtic Horizon, which can accommodate 1 000 passengers, 200 cars and 120 freight units.

Ian Davies, Stena Line's Route Manager (Irish Sea South) said: "The acquisition of the Rosslare-Cherbourg route is a key strategic investment for Stena Line and one which will help stimulate and strengthen new and existing opportunities for trade and tourism between Ireland, France and beyond. With confidence in the Irish economy strengthening, we see positive long term growth in tourist and freight traffic from the Continent as a real opportunity to help strengthen this economic growth further. The Celtic Horizon will continue to operate a year- round service and we look forward to introducing the Stena Line experience to the vessel for our customers to enjoy."

Michael McGrath, Stena Line's Chief Operating Officer commented: "This exciting investment represents an important milestone for Stena Line as for the first time in our history we will be able to offer a direct ferry link between the Republic of Ireland and the Continent. We believe we can bring significant added value to the route with our wealth of industry experience and award winning customer service standards which we are confident will help to stimulate increased traffic volumes in the future."

The all year round service currently operates three weekly sailings from Rosslare at 21.30 on Tuesday and Thursday with a Saturday sailing at 16.00. From Cherbourg the schedule is 21.00 on Wednesday and Friday with a Sunday sailing at 16.00 with a journey time of approx 17 hrs.

Final details are currently being concluded around the acquisition and Stena Line hopes to be in a position to take over the running of the service with effect from Monday 31st March 2014.

Published in Ferry

#SailStPatrick - A month to St. Patrick's Day and Celtic Link Ferries are offering a special €1 France-Ireland deal for the sailing on Sunday 16th March.

Passengers will have the opportunity to travel on board Celtic Horizon between Cherbourg-Rosslare with any tourist vehicle (car, van [up to 6.5m long and 2.5m high], motorhome, motorcycle, caravan, minibus or trailer) for as little as €1.

The promotion also includes everybody that is in the vehicle on the sailing that departs Cherbourg at 16.00hrs and arrives on the morning of St. Patrick's Day at 09.00hrs.

"Its simply an effort to get as many people to come to Ireland for St. Patrick's Day as possible" said a company spokesperson. We have more direct crossings than anybody else and with that we want as many people to use it as possible".

 

 

Published in Ferry

#ImprovedSchedule - Celtic Link Ferries Rosslare-Cherbourg route vessel, Celtic Horizon is to launch an improved sailing schedule in 2014, following a period of maintenance at Swansea Drydocks, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Currently the 27,522 tonnes ro-pax ferry is docked at the South Wales ship repair and recycling facility and is due to return to the Rosslare-Cherbourg route sometime between 11 and 14 January 2014. When the 1,000 passenger capacity vessel resumes service, the revised sailing schedule is to bring a more customer friendly schedule.

Celtic Link Ferries will now arrive and sail earlier on the weekend sailings. The improved sailing times will now provide customers to arrive earlier in port for the onward destination in France or Ireland.

"Celtic Link Ferries wants to give its passengers more opportunity to drive during delight hours at the weekend" said the company's Tourist Passenger Manager, Rory McCall.

"The most commonly issued request from our customers is to arrive and to sail earlier between Ireland and France, now we will do that".

Celtic Horizon will now sail at 21:00 on Friday night (local time) from Cherbourg, at 16:00 from Rosslare on Saturday and at 16:00 (local time) from France on Sunday.

The low-fares Irish owned ferry company will continue to operate more direct sailings between Ireland and France than any other company sailing on the direct services to the continent.

Published in Ferry

#ChristmasFerry - Celtic Link Ferries are operating the last sailing between Ireland and France before Christmas with a sailing on Saturday 21 December departing at 18:00.

The low-fares ferry company sail directly between Rosslare and Cherbourg. So to catch this ferry to France and return back home for Christmas, there will be still plenty of time to spare.

"Celtic Link Ferries want to give passengers as much opportunity to travel as possible" said Tourist Passenger Manager, Rory McCall. "Christmas is a special time where people are eager to get where they need to go".

The ferry 'Celtic Horizon' will return back to Rosslare after leaving Cherbourg on Sunday night at 19:00 (local time). Customers intending on travelling leading up to the festive season are encouraged to book early as cabin availability is limited.

 

Published in Ferry

#NewFerry – Irish Ferries chartered ro-pax Epsilon called to Rosslare Europort from Cherbourg this morning, her arrival to Irish waters follows a repositioning voyage starting almost a week ago from Sicily, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Under the command of Captain Paul Sellers, Epsilon approached the Wexford ferryport from where Irish Ferries Pembroke Dock bound Isle of Inishmore vacated her berth for the newcomer.

Ironically at the adjacent berth to where Cartour Epsilon (2011/26,325grt) berthed was Celtic Horizon (2006/27,522grt) of Celtic Link Ferries which in 2011 entered service on their service to Cherbourg. She is a sister and former fleetmate which as Cartour Beta also served Italian operator Charonte & Tourist.

Epsilon's call to the Wexford port was likewise to Cherbourg to carry out berthing trails when Irish Ferries requires relief cover on southern services.

She is due to make the final leg of her journey to Dublin Port to where the ro-pax ferry is to enter service on the Holyhead route this week and in the New Year launch a new Dublin Port-Cherbourg route.

Also berthed in Rosslare Harbour was Stena Europe, the Fishguard route ferry which was fresh from annual maintenance following dry-docking in Birkenhead.

 

Published in Ferry

#FerryChernobyl - Celtic Link Ferries are delighted to support Chernobyl Ireland Humanitarian Aid as the charity continue to help the children of Grozovo School in Minsk, Belarus.

The ferry operator would like to take the opportunity to wish Chernobyl Ireland continued success in their tireless mission to provide food and water, comfortable living conditions, and other supplies to children who really need it.

If you would like to become a volunteer or host a child through Chernobyl Aid Ireland, contact: 051-858944 or for further information visit: www.chernobylaidireland.ie/

Celtic Link Ferries operate three round-trip sailings weekly between Rosslare and Cherbourg which is run by the ro-pax vessel Celtic Horizon.

 

Published in Ferry
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Ireland's Commercial Fishing 

The Irish Commercial Fishing Industry employs around 11,000 people in fishing, processing and ancillary services such as sales and marketing. The industry is worth about €1.22 billion annually to the Irish economy. Irish fisheries products are exported all over the world as far as Africa, Japan and China.

FAQs

Over 16,000 people are employed directly or indirectly around the coast, working on over 2,000 registered fishing vessels, in over 160 seafood processing businesses and in 278 aquaculture production units, according to the State's sea fisheries development body Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

All activities that are concerned with growing, catching, processing or transporting fish are part of the commercial fishing industry, the development of which is overseen by BIM. Recreational fishing, as in angling at sea or inland, is the responsibility of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The Irish fishing industry is valued at 1.22 billion euro in gross domestic product (GDP), according to 2019 figures issued by BIM. Only 179 of Ireland's 2,000 vessels are over 18 metres in length. Where does Irish commercially caught fish come from? Irish fish and shellfish is caught or cultivated within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but Irish fishing grounds are part of the common EU "blue" pond. Commercial fishing is regulated under the terms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983 and with ten-yearly reviews.

The total value of seafood landed into Irish ports was 424 million euro in 2019, according to BIM. High value landings identified in 2019 were haddock, hake, monkfish and megrim. Irish vessels also land into foreign ports, while non-Irish vessels land into Irish ports, principally Castletownbere, Co Cork, and Killybegs, Co Donegal.

There are a number of different methods for catching fish, with technological advances meaning skippers have detailed real time information at their disposal. Fisheries are classified as inshore, midwater, pelagic or deep water. Inshore targets species close to shore and in depths of up to 200 metres, and may include trawling and gillnetting and long-lining. Trawling is regarded as "active", while "passive" or less environmentally harmful fishing methods include use of gill nets, long lines, traps and pots. Pelagic fisheries focus on species which swim close to the surface and up to depths of 200 metres, including migratory mackerel, and tuna, and methods for catching include pair trawling, purse seining, trolling and longlining. Midwater fisheries target species at depths of around 200 metres, using trawling, longlining and jigging. Deepwater fisheries mainly use trawling for species which are found at depths of over 600 metres.

There are several segments for different catching methods in the registered Irish fleet – the largest segment being polyvalent or multi-purpose vessels using several types of gear which may be active and passive. The polyvalent segment ranges from small inshore vessels engaged in netting and potting to medium and larger vessels targeting whitefish, pelagic (herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting) species and bivalve molluscs. The refrigerated seawater (RSW) pelagic segment is engaged mainly in fishing for herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting only. The beam trawling segment focuses on flatfish such as sole and plaice. The aquaculture segment is exclusively for managing, developing and servicing fish farming areas and can collect spat from wild mussel stocks.

The top 20 species landed by value in 2019 were mackerel (78 million euro); Dublin Bay prawn (59 million euro); horse mackerel (17 million euro); monkfish (17 million euro); brown crab (16 million euro); hake (11 million euro); blue whiting (10 million euro); megrim (10 million euro); haddock (9 million euro); tuna (7 million euro); scallop (6 million euro); whelk (5 million euro); whiting (4 million euro); sprat (3 million euro); herring (3 million euro); lobster (2 million euro); turbot (2 million euro); cod (2 million euro); boarfish (2 million euro).

Ireland has approximately 220 million acres of marine territory, rich in marine biodiversity. A marine biodiversity scheme under Ireland's operational programme, which is co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Government, aims to reduce the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on the marine environment, including avoidance and reduction of unwanted catch.

EU fisheries ministers hold an annual pre-Christmas council in Brussels to decide on total allowable catches and quotas for the following year. This is based on advice from scientific bodies such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. In Ireland's case, the State's Marine Institute publishes an annual "stock book" which provides the most up to date stock status and scientific advice on over 60 fish stocks exploited by the Irish fleet. Total allowable catches are supplemented by various technical measures to control effort, such as the size of net mesh for various species.

The west Cork harbour of Castletownbere is Ireland's biggest whitefish port. Killybegs, Co Donegal is the most important port for pelagic (herring, mackerel, blue whiting) landings. Fish are also landed into Dingle, Co Kerry, Rossaveal, Co Galway, Howth, Co Dublin and Dunmore East, Co Waterford, Union Hall, Co Cork, Greencastle, Co Donegal, and Clogherhead, Co Louth. The busiest Northern Irish ports are Portavogie, Ardglass and Kilkeel, Co Down.

Yes, EU quotas are allocated to other fleets within the Irish EEZ, and Ireland has long been a transhipment point for fish caught by the Spanish whitefish fleet in particular. Dingle, Co Kerry has seen an increase in foreign landings, as has Castletownbere. The west Cork port recorded foreign landings of 36 million euro or 48 per cent in 2019, and has long been nicknamed the "peseta" port, due to the presence of Spanish-owned transhipment plant, Eiranova, on Dinish island.

Most fish and shellfish caught or cultivated in Irish waters is for the export market, and this was hit hard from the early stages of this year's Covid-19 pandemic. The EU, Asia and Britain are the main export markets, while the middle Eastern market is also developing and the African market has seen a fall in value and volume, according to figures for 2019 issued by BIM.

Fish was once a penitential food, eaten for religious reasons every Friday. BIM has worked hard over several decades to develop its appeal. Ireland is not like Spain – our land is too good to transform us into a nation of fish eaters, but the obvious health benefits are seeing a growth in demand. Seafood retail sales rose by one per cent in 2019 to 300 million euro. Salmon and cod remain the most popular species, while BIM reports an increase in sales of haddock, trout and the pangasius or freshwater catfish which is cultivated primarily in Vietnam and Cambodia and imported by supermarkets here.

The EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983, pooled marine resources – with Ireland having some of the richest grounds and one of the largest sea areas at the time, but only receiving four per cent of allocated catch by a quota system. A system known as the "Hague Preferences" did recognise the need to safeguard the particular needs of regions where local populations are especially dependent on fisheries and related activities. The State's Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, based in Clonakilty, Co Cork, works with the Naval Service on administering the EU CFP. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Department of Transport regulate licensing and training requirements, while the Marine Survey Office is responsible for the implementation of all national and international legislation in relation to safety of shipping and the prevention of pollution.

Yes, a range of certificates of competency are required for skippers and crew. Training is the remit of BIM, which runs two national fisheries colleges at Greencastle, Co Donegal and Castletownbere, Co Cork. There have been calls for the colleges to be incorporated into the third-level structure of education, with qualifications recognised as such.

Safety is always an issue, in spite of technological improvements, as fishing is a hazardous occupation and climate change is having its impact on the severity of storms at sea. Fishing skippers and crews are required to hold a number of certificates of competency, including safety and navigation, and wearing of personal flotation devices is a legal requirement. Accidents come under the remit of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board, and the Health and Safety Authority. The MCIB does not find fault or blame, but will make recommendations to the Minister for Transport to avoid a recurrence of incidents.

Fish are part of a marine ecosystem and an integral part of the marine food web. Changing climate is having a negative impact on the health of the oceans, and there have been more frequent reports of warmer water species being caught further and further north in Irish waters.

Brexit, Covid 19, EU policies and safety – Britain is a key market for Irish seafood, and 38 per cent of the Irish catch is taken from the waters around its coast. Ireland's top two species – mackerel and prawns - are 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, dependent on British waters. Also, there are serious fears within the Irish industry about the impact of EU vessels, should they be expelled from British waters, opting to focus even more efforts on Ireland's rich marine resource. Covid-19 has forced closure of international seafood markets, with high value fish sold to restaurants taking a large hit. A temporary tie-up support scheme for whitefish vessels introduced for the summer of 2020 was condemned by industry organisations as "designed to fail".

Sources: Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Marine Institute, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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