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Displaying items by tag: Brittany Ferries

Ferry company Brittany Ferries has announced its 2024 sailing schedules from Ireland to France, allowing travellers in Ireland to plan and book trips to Brittany and Normandy from now until November 2024.

The operator says it will offer a wider-than-ever choice of routes and departure times from Ireland to France, with sailings year-round from Cork to Roscoff and between Rosslare and Cherbourg.

In a first for the city of Cork, the Ringaskiddy–Roscoff sailings will operate over the winter months 2023/24.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Armorique cruise-ferry will offer sailings to Brittany every weekend during November and December 2023, departing Cork on Saturday afternoons and returning from Roscoff on Fridays overnight. Following a winter refit during the first six weeks of 2024, Armorique will then reopen the Cork–Roscoff earlier than before, returning on 9 February 2024.

Then on 22 March 2024, Brittany Ferries’ 650-cabin flagship cruise-ferry Pont-Aven will rejoin Armorique on the Cork–Roscoff route, giving a total of two weekly departures in each direction throughout the summer and autumn right up until November 2024.

Brittany Ferries, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, first opened the Cork–Roscoff service back in 1978, but up until now it had always been a seasonal service, generally running from mid-March to mid-November.

Brittany Ferries will continue to operate year-round to Normandy from Rosslare, with weekly sailings from Rosslare Europort to Cherbourg operated by the company’s latest vessels Salamanca, Galicia and Santoña.

Additionally, freight-orientated vessel Cotentin will offer a sailing in both directions every weekend on the Rosslare–Cherbourg route, replacing the service that had previously operated from Rosslare to Le Havre.

Hugh Bruton, Brittany Ferries’ general manager for Ireland said: “We’re delighted to make our 2024 sailings from Ireland to France available, with more choice than we’ve ever offered before, allowing our customers to put their French holiday plans in place for this winter, next spring, summer and beyond. And by booking now, they’ll also enjoy the very best choice of sailings, fares and cabins.”

Bruton added": “Last year we doubled our sailing frequency from Cork to Roscoff with the arrival of cruise- ferry Armorique on the route. These sailings have proven immensely popular with Irish holidaymakers, so much so that they’re back for 2024, and for the first time in our 50-year history, we’ll keep the Cork to Roscoff link running this winter with sailings in November and December 2023, and in February and March 2024.”

Altogether in 2024, Brittany Ferries will offer up to eight sailings a week between Ireland and France, as well as four linking Ireland and Spain. The new Ireland–France timetables are available now at brittany-ferries.ie.

Published in Brittany Ferries
Tagged under

Brittany Ferries is doubling its service from Cork to France.

In addition to the regular Saturday sailing to Roscoff there will be an additional midweek service overnight on Wednesdays as part of a three-year deal signed today between the French ferry operator and the Port of Cork company.

Cork Port CEO Eoin McGettigan said the deal marks a 45-year connection and, after a challenging two-year pandemic, is a welcome return to tourism and ferry travel.

Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons predicted a €4m. boost to local tourism and stressed the importance of ferry services to an island nation. Absolutely critical for Ireland, he said. In 2019, the last major tourism year before the pandemic there had been 557,000 visitors from France to Ireland.

Brittany Ferries President, Jean-Marc Roué, said tourist traffic was 55 to 45 per cent in favour of French holidaying in Ireland. Early bookings are up over 35 per cent on 2019, the last year of ‘normal’ operations due to Covid.

The new deal was announced aboard the MV Arorique at Ringaskiddy. It will sail the midweek service, with the Pont Aven, the company’s flagship again operating on Saturdays.

Sailings will operate from this month until October.

Published in Ferry

French media are reporting that operator CMA CGM is offering €81m ($92m) for a controlling 89% stake in 'La Provence', a daily published in Marseille,the French liner giant’s home city, so writes Tradewinds.

CMA CGM’s bid is said to easily exceed the only rival offer submitted by NJJ Presse Sud, a holding controlled by French media entrepreneur Xavier Niel.

On top of the outright acquisition price, CMA CGM chief executive Rodolphe Saade also pledged to invest an additional €35m in order to spruce up the newspaper.

The 89% stake in La Provence, a title with a circulation of about 80,000 copies in 2020 according to Wikipedia, is sold via court proceedings after the death last year of its former owner Bernard Tapie — a controversial French media mogul.

CMA CGM did not immediately respond to a request for comment or to clarify whether the bid comes from the company or personally from Saade, who has been open about wanting to invest in the newspaper.

When quizzed in an interview with French daily Le Monde earlier this month about the reasons for his interest, Saade was quoted as saying: “Don’t look for any complex reasons: I read the paper and I like it. La Provence is on sale, so I went for it.”

An investment in La Province would help safeguard hundreds of jobs at the newspaper. In line with booming profits during the coronavirus pandemic (see graph), big liner companies like CMA CGM have been eager to display more social responsibility amid calls for windfall taxes to be imposed on them.

In a similarly motivated move, CMA CGM invested $30m in ailing compatriot Brittany Ferries last year, to help the shortsea operator recover from its loss of passenger traffic during the Covid-19 pandemic.

For further reading on the French containership giant and European rival, Meditterranean Shipping Company (incl. Irish operations) that also is looking into making substantial investments.

Published in Ports & Shipping

On Saturday, 13 November, it was a record day at Rosslare Europort, says Glenn Carr.

Over the course of the day, almost 1,000 units of freight travelled through the ferry hub, according to the port’s general manager, making it one of the busiest days in the history of the Wexford port.

This level of activity is something that Carr and his team have had to get used to in 2021.

So far this year, the volume of cargo travelling through the Wexford port has ballooned by 55%, according to Carr. Because of an increase in direct trade with Europe, continental freight volumes — which have skyrocketed by 378%, Carr says — are driving the overall numbers.

Once upon a time not long ago, Stena Line’s Fishguard and Irish Ferries’ Pembroke services, both in Wales, accounted for most of Rosslare’s business.

Much more the Journal.ie has to report on the dramatic fortunes of the ferryport.

The record in trade volumes preceded as Afloat adds, Brittany Ferries recently announced new route, Rosslare-Le Havre which began operations from the French port on Friday, 12 November. This involved the freight-only ro-ro Contentin to arrive at Rosslare Europort the next day.

Contentin is the French operator's custom-built freighter which can be seen above berthed at the Irish port upon completion of that inaugural crossing from Le Havre, Normandy.  

Published in Rosslare Europort

As from today, Brittany Ferries has opened its books for 2022 reservations in a move that comes three months earlier than normal and is partly designed to meet customer demand for holidays next year.

But as the French ferry operator highlights, this is also aimed to deliver reassurance to those who hold 2021 reservations, should a return to international travel be delayed.

“We share the prime minister’s optimism that international travel will be back on the menu by May 17,” said Paul Acheson, sales and marketing director Brittany Ferries. “But we also know that many travellers may be concerned about the situation in the countries we serve. Opening early means we cover all bases. We can serve those wishing to book ahead, offering the best choice for 2022 sailings. We can also bring flexibility and reassurance for those with a 2021 booking who may wish to amend their reservation at some point in the weeks ahead.”

The launch will come in two phases, starting today. In phase one, most Brittany Ferries routes to France and Spain will open, covering services extending to November 2022. The list includes ferries linking Portsmouth with Caen and St Malo, Portsmouth & Plymouth with Santander, and Cork with Roscoff. Other routes will be open for sale too, but for now these will be limited to services operating into March next year.

For more details visit this link here.

Published in Brittany Ferries

Operator, Brittany Ferries has published some of the most disappointing figures in its history, following its AGM in St. Pol de Leon, France today.

In a year dominated by the Covid crisis and amid on-going Brexit concerns, 2020 passenger numbers fell to less than a third of normal levels. Freight fared slightly better, with figures down by 20 per cent. Company turnover halved, as lockdown measures and restrictions on travel in all markets forced passengers to stay at home.

Despite a dreadful 2020, the company is already plotting a course towards a brighter future. It has embarked on a robust five-year recovery plan to bridge the immediate crisis and prepare for a return to normal service.

It has also commissioned an independent analysis of the passenger market by London-based consultancy LEK. Their findings suggest that passenger volumes are expected to have recovered to 2019 levels by 2022. Freight volumes are also expected to improve. Thanks to its five-year recovery plan - and with ongoing support from banks and the French government - Brittany Ferries says it can therefore look beyond the current storm with optimism.

“In the last few years Brittany Ferries faced a double strike, firstly as a consequence of Brexit challenges and then as a result of Covid,” said Jean-Marc Roué, company president. “On Brexit, the unfavourable Sterling-Euro exchange rate hit our bottom line. The value of Sterling plummeted directly after the 2016 vote and, since then, the company lost €115 million in potential income as the majority of revenue is generated in Sterling and costs come in Euros.

Brexit concerns also affected demand. Three potential dates for the UK’s departure from the EU in 2019 created uncertainty and anxiety in the marketplace and passenger numbers fell by 5%. Despite these challenges, we remained profitable.

However, last year, the Covid crisis brought our company to its knees. It struck a blow for the regions we serve and enrich, and the French seafarers we are proud to employ. Despite this, we are determined to remain part of the fabric of life in the north west of France as well as in the UK, Ireland and Spain and we must thank the regions of Normandy and Brittany, the banks and French state for their on-going support throughout this dark period. With a collective will to return stronger, I believe Brittany Ferries will overcome the greatest challenge in its history.”

Passenger numbers:
Passenger numbers:  Last year, Brittany Ferries carried 752,102 passengers. That was less than a third of the total it would carry in a normal year. By comparison, in 2019 it carried 2,498,354 passengers across all routesPassenger numbers: Last year, Brittany Ferries carried 752,102 passengers. That was less than a third of the total it would carry in a normal year. By comparison, in 2019 it carried 2,498,354 passengers across all routes

Around 85 percent of passengers are British. In 2019, the uncertainty of three potential Brexit deadlines created concern among passengers which hit demand for travel. Total passenger traffic fell by 5 percent in 2019 to 2,498,354. However, this dip was dwarfed by the 70% crash in passenger volumes last year, caused by government restrictions that prohibited international travel.

Around 80 percent of company income is generated through passenger traffic: the effect that travel restrictions had on turnover was therefore devastating. In 2020 the company turned €202.4 million, compared with €469m in 2019, a 57% decline.

Freight figures:

Brittany Ferries largely returned to its roots as a freight-only operation towards the end of last year. in total it carried 160,377 units in 2020, down around 20 percent on the previous year’s tally of 201,554. Market distortions were caused by stockpiling at the end of the Brexit transition period and amid concerns about new border controls and import/export processes. The Covid crisis also impacted freight volumes, albeit not as significantly as it did for passenger traffic.

Freight figures:  Brittany Ferries largely returned to its roots as a freight-only operation towards the end of last year. in total it carried 160,377 units in 2020, down around 20 percent on the previous year’s tally of 201,554. Market distortions were caused by stockpiling at the end of the Brexit transition period and amid concerns about new border controls and import/export processes. The Covid crisis also impacted freight volumes, albeit not as significantly as it did for passenger trafficFreight figures In total Brittany Ferries carried 160,377 units in 2020, down around 20 percent on the previous year’s tally of 201,554. Market distortions were caused by stockpiling at the end of the Brexit transition period and amid concerns about new border controls and import/export processes. The Covid crisis also impacted freight volumes, albeit not as significantly as it did for passenger traffic

Highlights in 2020:

In an otherwise miserable year, there were some notable highlights for Brittany Ferries.

It won the third in a series of Brexit-related ferry contracts with the UK government (Department for Transport, DfT). This guaranteed DfT space aboard vessels to ensure the supply of essential goods like medicines in the event of potential chaos at short-sea ports on the Channel. As well as supporting routes like Le Havre to Portsmouth, these contracts reinforced the strategic significance of Brittany Ferries’ route network to national governments, as well as to local regions.

Thanks to the flexibility of its fleet the company was also able to meet demand from Irish and French hauliers to open direct routes connecting Ireland with France, thus avoiding the need to transport goods via the UK land-bridge.

The “ferroutage” multimodal project also progressed, reflecting a wider trend in the ferry sector to link ferry services with European rail routes. Work began on the SNCF rail network which will allow freight to be carried by train between Bayonne and Cherbourg. Freighter MV Cotentin made a welcome return to the fleet, in preparation for the project launch in 2022. She adds capacity to the route network and started operations by supporting DfT contracts in early 2021.­

In December 2020, the company welcomed its new ship Galicia to the fleet. This greener super-ferry, part of investment made before the Covid crisis struck, operates two weekly rotations between the UK and Spain and one from Cherbourg to Portsmouth. Like the ferroutage project, Galicia’s launch illustrates the company’s commitment to more environmentally friendly modes of transport and a drive towards energy transition.

Recovery plan

Energy transition is one of the four pillars of an internal recovery plan that will deliver Brittany Ferries from the current crisis. The five-year plan spans the period in which the company is expected to pay back loans that have helped carry it through the bleakest summer and winter in decades.

Greener vessels are essential for the company’s future, both from the perspective of anticipated regulatory requirements and the expectations of its customers. Two further E-Flexer class vessels will join sister-ship Galicia in 2022 and 2023. Salamanca and Santoña will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the infrastructure to support LNG bunkering will begin construction in Bilbao this year in preparation for their arrival.

As well as energy transition, Brittany Ferries had reaffirmed its commitment to the French flag and French seafarers. It salutes all its employees for their support, understanding and hard work during an unprecedented period of disruption - and has called for all French seafarers to be recognised as essential workers.

The third pillar of Brittany Ferries’ recovery plan is the support it receives from farming cooperatives and its shareholders. The commitment and determination of Brittany Ferries’ founders, and the French farmers who continues to support it today, is reflected in a will to continue the journey taken by the company since 1972. Enriching regions, linking people and facilitating trade between nations is in the company’s DNA.

The final pillar of the plan re-states the imperative of profitability. This is essential if recovery is to be sustained. The pillar goes hand-in-hand with on-going support from the regions, banks and government for which the company is grateful. 

Difficult decisions to limit costs have already been taken, for example delaying the opening of routes the company had planned to re-start in March 2021. However, the goal is always the long-term viability of Brittany Ferries and there is good news on the road ahead. Independent analysis has confirmed that, following short term shock, passenger demand is likely to return quickly to support a strong and sustained recovery.

Independent analysis

As part of recovery planning Brittany Ferries commissioned an independent review of the passenger market by London-based consultancy LEK. In a wide-ranging study, they looked at external evidence such as projections for the UK economic recovery and internal factos such as customer profiles. Its conclusions were encouraging both in relation to challenges posed by both Covid and by Brexit. A rapid and full recovery in passenger volumes is forecast within the next few years.

On Covid, LEK predict a return to 2019 volumes by 2022:

“The relative stability of Brittany Ferries’ passenger volumes over the last 12 years demonstrates resilience. It has an advantaged catchment area with customers who show high loyalty and repeat rates; 70% of bookings come from repeat clients, 27% from those who made more than nine reservations in the last three years.”

On Brexit, LEK suggest that concerns should be short-lived, noting that changes to the pet travel scheme are the only significant change for passengers. Pet travel accounts for around 6% of the company’s business. However, even this year, all pet-friendly cabins have already been booked for summer 2021 on UK-Spain routes.

“While some consumers are currently concerned about Brexit’s impact on travel, these concerns should reduce as they become aware that actual restrictions are likely to have limited impact in practice,” LEK concluded.

Commenting on the year ahead and the conclusions of the LEK study, Brittany Ferries’ chief executive officer Christophe Mathieu added, “There is no doubt 2021 will be another tough year for our company. However, we will continue on the path to recovery, taking tough decisions if necessary but encouraged by the findings of this independent report which show the market is ready to bounce back.

 We will always place the long-term interest of Brittany Ferries at heart and as long as we continue to be supported by our staff, shareholders, the banks, as well as by regional and national governments, I believe we can navigate a path through the storm. The future for Brittany Ferries can be as bright as the rich history which precedes it.”

Published in Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries has announced that due to the current Covid-19 travel restrictions, its flagship passenger route out of Cork Harbour to Roscoff,France will not now resume at the end of March.

The operator which in 1978 began the route, will be kept under review and it is anticipated that services will recommence in mid-May. 'Freight' only Brexit-Bypass sailings out of both Cork and Rosslare to France will continue as scheduled. In addition Afloat adds, 'freight' routes of Rosslare-Cherbourg and to Bilbao, Spain.

The move follows the continued stringent travel restrictions for passengers with only essential travel. The decision by Brittany Ferries (re-think) also sees the continuing suspension of a number of their other passenger services between the UK, France and Spain.

In the coming days, Brittany Ferries will contact customers who hold bookings on affected sailings, to offer alternative travel or a refund.

“Naturally we very much regret any inconvenience that these changes will cause our customers,” said Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries’ CEO. “We had hoped for a return to service for all our routes in mid-March, but the reality is that most people are simply unable to travel at this time. Booking levels are extremely low and we are relying on loans to carry us through this difficult period. It is therefore simply not viable to run loss-making routes at this time.

“But we continue to monitor the health and travel situation in all our markets – UK, Ireland, France and Spain. As soon as our customers can travel again, we will be there for them. We are also pushing governments to set out a pragmatic, co-ordinated and clear roadmap to safely re-open travel as soon as the health situation permits. We believe that the ramp-up of vaccines means that this re-opening could be considered sooner rather than later.”

Brittany Ferries says it will remain a predominantly freight-only service for now. However, while it thanks all freight customers and drivers for their support during the crisis, only 20 per cent of its annual turnover comes from freight traffic. Around 80 per cent of annual income is generated by holidaymakers.

Published in Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries has called for a “re-think on travel corridors” between the UK and mainland Europe as figures suggest a high take-up of COVID vaccines by the lucrative summer months.

As reported by Marine Industry News this week, the chief executive of the ferry and shipping company — which now operates four ‘Brexit bypass’ freight-only routes between Ireland and France — predicts that by late spring “there will be a clear case for the adoption of vaccination-led travel corridors that allow holidays to go ahead this summer and for hope to return”.

Christophe Mathieu adds: “Now is the time for optimism, not a shutdown on the summer getaway.”

Marine Industry News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Ferry
Tagged under

Brittany Ferries Armorique arrived into Cork Harbour this afternoon after the cruiseferry completed an inaugural new Brexit-bypass France-Ireland 'freight' only route from St.Malo, writes Jehan Ashmore

Afloat tracked Armorique's arrival some ten minutes earlier than the 15:00hrs scheduled time when berthing at the Port of Cork's Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal.

The maritime milestone marked the second leg of Brittany Ferries four-route network of Brexit-bypass freight-only services: Rosslare-St. Malo, St. Malo-Cork, Cork-Roscoff and Roscoff-Rosslare, thus forming Armorique's rotational routes roster.

Due to the impacts of Brexit coupled with Covid-19, the cruiseferry Armorique otherwise would be operating crossings on the western English Channel route of Roscoff-Plymouth. In addition to providing annual winter cover for fleetmates undergoing dry-docking maintenance etc.

This afternoon's occasion in Cork Harbour followed the launch of the first route leg when Armorique departed Rosslare Europort on Thursday bound for St.Malo. This was another first, as the freight ro-ro route links the region of Brittany and Co. Wexford.

The St. Malo-Cork route it should be noted Brittany Ferries previously operated as a passenger service too in 1993 when the Ireland-France seasonal route including to Roscoff were both operated by Duchesse Anne. The ex. Connacht of B&I Line built in 1979 at the former Verolme Cork Dockyard, made its maiden sailing from Cork to Swansea on 7th February (42 years ago!).

The four freight routes response by Brittany Ferries to providing Irish hauliers an alternative to the UK landbridge and related customs, is easily the most comprehensive compared to rival operators using Rosslare Europort, Stena Line to Cherbourg, and newcomer DFDS to Dunkirk. This been in terms of running four routes though with operating services with just a single ship. 

While Irish Ferries recently redeployed ropax Epsilon on the Dublin-Cherbourg link with a weekend round trip boosting capacity to last months introduced cruiseferry W.B. Yeats, therefore with considerably more cabins for Covid related driver accompanied traffic.

Before Covid, normal 'seasonal' sailings were to resume by W.B. Yeats but much later in May, marking the start of shoulder season and into summer holidays on the year round operated route.

In relation to seasonality, Brittany Ferries began entering the Irish marketplace with the establishment of the Cork-Roscoff route in Spring, 1978 and by the 'original' Armorique. This for the first time benefited holidaymakers on the new link between the southern city and mainland continental Europe.

According to Cork Beo, the new freight-only routes will operate until the end of March, when scheduled freight and passenger services will resume between Cork and Roscoff (two months earlier than planned). Frequency on the route will double for 2021 with two weekly sailings in each direction.

Prior to the pandemic, plans by Brittany Ferries were at an advanced stage for a new direct freight and passenger service from Cork to Santander in Spain. If the plan is reaslised it could revive trade between the south coast and France and Spain as traffic increases dramatically.

The revival, Afloat adds refers to the French operator that previously inaugurated the first ever direct Ireland-Spain route launched only in 2018. This however was shortlived as the ferry company only last year switched to a new Rosslare-Bilbao route following demands by hauliers to suit their operations. (See also new Cherbourg service below).

In addition, Cork Beo added, Brittany Ferries is understood to be still considering new ro-pax (freight and passenger) routes out of Cork for the Spring/Summer season, once travel returns to normal.

The rival of Rosslare-Roscoff, Afloat adds followed Irish Ferries closure in recent years, however the Breton company's service was shortlived as further calls from hauliers dictated the ferry scene. This led to the service dropped as Cherbourg is deemed more of a transport hub. As alluded above, Brittany Ferries opened a new Rosslare-Cherbourg service last month on the route in competition with Stena Line which also recently added a new freight only route to Dublin.

As for Armorique, a next departure looms (18:00hrs) on the third leg of Cork-Roscoff route, which by then will be the half-way stage of six in total of the combined four routes.

A lay-over period however awaits Armorique back in its Breton homeport tomorrow before the ferry returns to Cork on Tuesday, then its back again to Roscoff arriving Wednesday. The next sailing from Brittany is to Rosslare Europort with an arrival on Thursday to complete the circuit.

The new freight routes follow ferry freight only operator, CLdN's decision in recent months to add a second weekly con-ro (container/vehicle) service on the Cork-Zeebrugge route that was launched last May. 

Afloat will have more on a previous operator(s)? among them Cork-St. Malo Ferries using a former DFDS freighter with limited passenger capacity.

Published in West Cork

The Government's Operational Update review on trade a month after the post-Brexit transition ended, Afloat adds narrowly missed inclusion as yet another ferry development arose today, as Brittany Ferries announced new 'freight' routes increasing capacity directly to mainland Europe.

Glenn Carr, General Manager of Rosslare Europort welcomed the announcement by Brittany Ferries of a further weekly service each between the Co. Wexford port and St Malo and Roscoff, in Brittany, France.

As also reported today, the revived Roscoff route resumes service this Thursday, 4th February (this follows, Afloat adds the route's debut last year albeit also available for passengers).

The new services combined bring to 32 – sixteen in each direction – the number of weekly direct services across all shipping operators between Rosslare Europort and the European continent, establishing Rosslare as Ireland’s number one port for direct European services.

The first month of trading in 2021 has seen sensational results at Rosslare Europort. Despite the challenges of Covid 19 and the current difficulties with the UK post Brexit, overall Freight traffic at the port is 45% ahead when compared to the same period last year.

While UK traffic is down 49% for January, European Freight is up an incredible 446% year on year with unprecedented demand for the new direct services operating from Rosslare Europort to mainland Europe.

Commenting on the first month of trading for 2021, General Manager, Glenn Carr stated “We are absolutely delighted with how the market has reacted and supported our direct services from Rosslare to Europe, and welcome Brittany Ferries further commitment to the needs of Irish industry with this new service announced today.

The demand has been phenomenal for the new and expanded services from all of our operators, and these results prove the strategic importance and potential of the port to our customers, industry and our economy. Through the significant challenges with Covid and Brexit, great credit must go to all colleagues working at the port and our shipping lines who have provided exceptional frequency and capacity on the now 32 services a week between Rosslare and Europe. We will continue to work with shipping lines and Irish industry in identifying further opportunities to meet market demand, and ensure that we build on the work to-date at the port to maximise the role of Rosslare Europort for both the South-East and wider economy of Ireland.

These are very exciting times at Rosslare Europort with the increase in business, commencement of our €35 million Masterplan and our recent proposal to Government for the port to be further developed as the Off-Shore Wind Energy Hub for the country and I look forward to working with all stakeholders in achieving this.”

The new Brittany Ferries service is the latest boost in 2021 to direct services between Rosslare Europort and the Continent.

So far, we have seen:

  • New six-times weekly DFDS Rosslare Europort to Dunkirk service commence
  • Expansion of Stena Line Rosslare Europort to Cherbourg services from three services each way weekly to six services each way weekly
  • Stena Line capacity further increased, with the new Stena Embla redeployed to the Rosslare to Cherbourg route since Thursday 14th January
  • Brittany Ferries began its weekly each way service between Rosslare Europort and Cherbourg two months ahead of schedule, in addition to the operators ongoing twice weekly each way service between Rosslare and Bilbao.
  • In addition as Afloat earlier reported, Brittany Ferries is to start a new weekly Rosslare to St Malo route 
Published in Brittany Ferries
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Port of Cork Information

The Port of Cork is the key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of only two Irish ports which service the requirements of all six shipping modes i.e., Lift-on Lift-off, Roll-on Roll-off, Liquid Bulk, Dry Bulk, Break Bulk and Cruise. Due to its favourable location on the south coast of Ireland and its modern deep-water facilities, the Port of Cork is ideally positioned for additional European trading as well as for yet unexploited direct deep-sea shipping services.

The Port of Cork is investing €80 million in a container terminal development in Ringaskiddy. The Cork Container Terminal will initially offer a 360-metre quay with 13-metre depth alongside and will enable larger ships to berth in the port. The development also includes the construction of a 13.5-hectare terminal and associated buildings as well as two ship to shore gantry cranes and container handling equipment.

The development of new container handling facilities at Ringaskiddy was identified in the Port of Cork’s Strategic Development Plan in 2010. It will accommodate current and future container shipping which can be serviced by modern and efficient cargo handling equipment with innovative terminal operating and vehicle booking systems. The Port of Cork anticipates that Cork Container Terminal will be operational in 2020.

The Port of Cork is the key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of just two Irish ports which service the requirements of all shipping modes.

The Port of Cork also controls Bantry Bay Port Company and employs 150 people across all locations.

A European Designated Core Port and a Tier 1 Port of National Significance, Port of Cork’s reputation for quality service, including prompt and efficient vessel turnaround as well as the company’s investment in future growth, ensures its position as a vital link in the global supply chain.

The port has made impressive strides in recent decades, most recently with the construction of the new €80m Cork Container Terminal in Ringaskiddy which will facilitate the natural progression of the move from a river port to a deepwater port in order to future proof the Port
of Cork. This state-of-the-art terminal which will open in 2020 will be capable of berthing the largest container ships currently calling to Ireland.

The Port of Cork Company is a commercial semi-state company responsible for the commercial running of the harbour as well as responsibility for navigation and berthage in the port.  The Port is the main port serving the South of Ireland, County Cork and Cork City. 

Types of Shipping Using Port of Cork

The Port offers all six shipping modes from Lift-on Lift-off, Roll-on Roll-off, Liquid Bulk, Dry Bulk, Break Bulk and Cruise liner traffic.

Port of Cork Growth

The port has made impressive strides in recent decades. Since 2000, the Port of Cork has invested €72 million in improving Port infrastructure and facilities. Due to its favourable location and its modern deepwater facilities, the Port is ideally positioned for additional European trading as well as for yet unexploited direct deep-sea shipping services. A well-developed road infrastructure eases the flow of traffic from and to the port. The Port of Cork’s growing reputation for quality service, including prompt and efficient vessel turnaround, ensures its position as a vital link in the global supply chain. The Port of Cork Company turnover in 2018 amounted to €35.4 million, an increase of €3.9 million from €31.5 million in 2017. The combined traffic of both the Ports of Cork and Bantry increased to 10.66 million tonnes in 2018 up from 10.3 million tonnes in 2017.

History of Port of Cork

Famous at the last port of call of the Titanic, these medieval navigation and port facilities of the city and harbour were historically managed by the Cork Harbour Commissioners. Founded in 1814, the Cork Harbour Commissioners moved to the Custom House in 1904.  Following the implementation of the 1996 Harbours Act, by March 1997 all assets of the Commissioners were transferred to the Port of Cork Company.

Commercial Traffic at Port of Cork

Vessels up to 90,000 tonnes deadweight (DWT) are capable of coming through entrance to Cork Harbour. As the shipping channels get shallower the farther inland one travels, access becomes constricted, and only vessels up to 60,000 DWT can sail above Cobh. The Port of Cork provides pilotage and towage facilities for vessels entering Cork Harbour. All vessels accessing the quays in Cork City must be piloted and all vessels exceeding 130 metres in length must be piloted once they pass within 2.5 nautical miles (4.6 km) of the harbour entrance.

Berthing Facilities in Cork Harbour

The Port of Cork has berthing facilities at Cork City, Tivoli, Cobh and Ringaskiddy. The facilities in Cork City are primarily used for grain and oil transport. Tivoli provides container handling, facilities for oil, livestock and ore and a roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) ramp. Prior to the opening of Ringaskiddy Ferry Port, car ferries sailed from here; now, the Ro-Ro ramp is used by companies importing cars into Ireland. In addition to the ferry terminal, Ringaskiddy has a deep water port.

Port of Cork Development Plans

2020 will be a significant year for the Port of Cork as it prepares to complete and open the €86 million Cork Container Terminal development in Ringaskiddy.

Once operational the new terminal will enable the port to handle up to 450,000 TEU per annum. Port of Cork already possess significant natural depth in Cork harbour, and the work in Ringaskiddy Port will enable the Port of Cork to accommodate vessels of 5500 to 6000 TEU, which will provide a great deal of additional potential for increasing container traffic.

It follows a previous plan hatched in 2006 as the port operated at full capacity the Port drew up plans for a new container facility at Ringaskiddy. This was the subject of major objections and after an Oral Planning Hearing was held in 2008 the Irish planning board Bord Pleanala rejected the plan due to inadequate rail and road links at the location.  

Further notable sustainability projects also include:

  • The Port of Cork have invested in 2 x STS cranes – Type single lift, Model P (148) L, (WS) Super. These cranes contain the most modern and energy-efficient control and monitoring systems currently available on the market and include an LED floodlight system equipped with software to facilitate remote diagnostics, a Crane Management System (CMS) and an energy chain supply on both cranes replacing the previous preferred festoon cabling installation.
  • The Port of Cork has installed High Mast Lighting Voltage Control Units at its two main cargo handling locations – Tivoli Industrial & Dock Estate and Ringaskiddy Deep-water & Ferry Terminals. This investment has led to more efficient energy use and reduced risk of light pollution. The lights can also be controlled remotely.
  • The Port of Cork’s largest electrical consumer at Tivoli Container Terminal is the handling and storage of refrigerated containers. Local data loggers were used to assess energy consumption. This provided timely intervention regarding Power Factor Correction Bank efficiency on our STS (Ship to Shore) Cranes and Substations, allowing for reduced mains demand and reducing wattless energy losses along with excess charges. The information gathered has helped us to design and build a reefer storage facility with energy management and remote monitoring included.

Bantry Port

In 2017 Bantry Bay Port Company completed a significant investment of €8.5 million in the Bantry Inner Harbour development. The development consisted of a leisure marina, widening of the town pier, dredging of the inner harbour and creation of a foreshore amenity space.

Port of Cork Cruise Liner Traffic

2019 was a record cruise season for the Port of Cork with 100 cruise liners visiting. In total over 243,000 passengers and crew visited the region with many passengers visiting Cork for the first time.

Also in 2019, the Port of Cork's Cruise line berth in Cobh was recognised as one of the best cruise destinations in the world, winning in the Top-Rated British Isles & Western Europe Cruise Destination category. 

There has been an increase in cruise ship visits to Cork Harbour in the early 21st century, with 53 such ships visiting the port in 2011, increasing to approximately 100 cruise ship visits by 2019.

These cruise ships berth at the Port of Cork's deepwater quay in Cobh, which is Ireland's only dedicated berth for cruise ships.

Passenger Ferries

Operating since the late 1970s, Brittany Ferries runs a ferry service to Roscoff in France. This operates between April and November from the Ro-Ro facilities at Ringaskiddy. Previous ferry services ran to Swansea in Wales and Santander in Spain. The former, the Swansea Cork ferry, ran initially between 1987 and 2006 and also briefly between 2010 and 2012.

The latter, a Brittany Ferries Cork–Santander service, started in 2018 but was cancelled in early 2020.

Marine Leisure

The Port of Cork has a strategy that aims to promote the harbour also as a leisure amenity. Cork’s superb natural harbour is a great place to enjoy all types of marine leisure pursuits. With lots of sailing and rowing clubs dotted throughout the harbour, excellent fishing and picturesque harbour-side paths for walking, running or cycling, there is something for everyone to enjoy in and around Cork harbour. The Port is actively involved with the promotion of Cork Harbour's annual Festival. The oldest sailing club in the world, founded in 1720, is the Royal Cork Yacht Club is located at Crosshaven in the harbour, proof positive, says the Port, that the people of Cork, and its visitors, have been enjoying this vast natural leisure resource for centuries. 

Port of Cork Executives

  • Chairman: John Mullins
  • Chief Executive: Brendan Keating
  • Secretary/Chief Finance Officer: Donal Crowley
  • Harbour Master and Chief Operations Officer: Capt. Paul O'Regan
  • Port Engineering Manager: Henry Kingston
  • Chief Commercial Officer: Conor Mowlds
  • Head of Human Resources: Peter O'Shaughnessy