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Displaying items by tag: RoPax

6th April 2012

Ferry For Falmouth

#FERRY NEWSEuropean Endeavour (2000/ 24,046grt), the largest of three ferries running for P&O's Dublin-Liverpool route departed from the capital's port this afternoon bound for A&P Groups dry-dock facility in Falmouth, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The former Dover-Calais serving ferry started working on the Irish Sea on a full-time basis last year as previously reported. Her fleetmates are the 17,000 tonnes sisters Norbank and Norbay.

The trio of ro-pax ferries are to a design where freight is predominately the main cargo and passenger capacity is reduced considerably compared to most conventional ferries. European Endeavour can handle 130 lorries and accommodate 210 passengers whereas her fleetmates are the reverse with greater freight capacity for 150 freight units and a reduced capacity for 114 passengers.

P&O are the only ferry firm on the route providing passenger and car ferry service though they do not cater for 'foot' passengers. Their rivals Seatruck Ferries offer the only dedicated freight-operation on a network of routes on the north Irish Sea including the Liffey-Mersey link, where in recent months new tonnage has entered service.

Published in Ferry
Celtic Link Ferries newest ferry Celtic Horizon was officially launched onto the Irish-French service with a reception held on board the 27,522 tonnes vessel at her homeport of Rosslare Europort on Monday, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin T.D. launched the 840-passenger capacity vessel onto the Rosslare-Cherbourg route and welcomed the newcomer as part of an "important driver of the economy ".

She replaces the Norman Voyager which too was built by Visentini. The 186m ro-pax vessel last week arrived from the Mediterranean (to read more click HERE) and will be chartered to CLF for a five-year term contract. Overall she has a larger passenger deck compared to her predecessor, with a restaurant, two bars, pull-man lounges, a cinema, children's play-area, game-zone and kiosk-shop.

In addition to her 130 cabins she has five vehicle decks for 200 cars and a total 2,500 lane freight metres equating to around 110-trucks. An unusual feature is an escalator that whisks passengers from the car-decks up to the passenger deck.

Prior to the event, Celtic Horizon had arrived into the Wexford port. She had completed her maiden 'Irish' round-trip commercial voyage over the weekend from Cherbourg during stormy seas under the command of Captain Richard Collins.

Last year CLF handled 60,000 passengers and 50,000 vehicles between tourist vehicles and freight business. This year they are expecting an increase of passenger traffic of around 30%. The company are the only ferry operator running year-round sailings on the Irish –French routes.

CLF took over the Rosslare-Cherbourg route from P&O in 2005. With the Celtic Horizon they will continue providing three-round trips per week on the route which transports passengers, tourist cars, camper-vans, freight trucks including livestock and the importation of French manufactured new trade-cars.

Published in Ferry
Dublin Port-Douglas sailings in the winter months are operated by Ben-My-Chree, a conventional ferry that only calls to the Irish capital on a handful of sailings during this period, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPCo) ferry docked just after midnight at the multi-user ferryport (terminal 1) and departed at around 02.30hrs. She returns to Dublin on the 22 October,17 December and the final sailing for this year is 26 December.

Following this mornings Irish route sailing, she resumed on her regular Douglas-Heysham route and she also serves Douglas-Birkenhead (Liverpool) during the winter months.

During the summer Dublin-Douglas sailings are served by fast-ferry catamaran Manannan (1998/5,743grt). The 96m InCAT built in Hobart,Tasmania had also operated Douglas-Belfast high-season crossings. Her roster is now confined to a Douglas-Liverpool sailing schedule.

Ben-My-Chree (photo) is Manx for 'Girl of my heart' and her island owners commissioned the 12,504grt ro-pax from Dutch shipbuilders Van de Giessen-de Noord. The 125m ferry was launched in 1998 and she can accommodate 630 passengers,275 vehicles and 1,235 freight lane-metres.

This particular ro-pax design has also been built for Channel Islands operator Commodore Ferries with their Commodore Clipper and a Scandinavian ferry operator. In addition another Dutch shipbuilder, Merwede built a multi-support vessel (MRV) derived from the design of Ben-My-Chree for the Royal New Zealand Navy when they commissioned HMNZS Canterbury (L421). Click for similar port-side photo view to compare differences.

Incidentally the Manannan prior to entering service last year for the IOMSPCo. was for five years chartered initially to the United States Navy but transferred to the United States Army Forces. To read more click HERE.

Published in Ferry
Celtic Link Ferries have named their new vessel Celtic Horizon, a 27,552 tonnes ro-pax ferry which is to enter the Rosslare-Cherbourg port route in October, writes Jehan Ashmore.
A competition to name the vessel (see photo) drew a wide response from the public with thousands of entries received. Celtic Horizon will operate the year-round route on a five-year contract. She will also be the newest and fastest vessel sailing on routes between Rosslare and France.

With an increased capacity of nearly 1,000 passengers accommodated in 428 cabin berths, the vessel will offer a wider choice of bars, restaurents and childrens' play area compared to the current route ro-pax Norman Voyager, which like her successor was built by Italian shipbuilders  Visentini. The 25-knot replacement ship will have 2,285 lane metre space for 800 cars or 150 freight vehicles.

Celtic Horizon becomes the first vessel to incorporate the companies name since foundation in 2005 when the freight-ferry Diplomat started operations. In recent years the company has secured the contract to import new trade vehicles from French manufacturers.

Before the newcomer makes her Autumnal debut, the 2006 built vessel is currently operating as Cartour Beta while on charter to Caronte and Tourist's (C&T) Salerno-Messina service in Sicily. To read more click here.

As for the Norman Voyager, she first entered as a newbuild in 2008 for LD Lines weekend operated Rosslare-Le Havre route, subsequently transferred to Cherbourg. LD Lines first foray into the Irish market was short-lived as the ro-pax was sub-chartered to Celtic Link Ferries the following year, though the French company are to transfer the vessel to their Marseilles-Tunis route in November.

Published in Ferry
With less than a week in service on the Larne-Troon port route, the ro-ro freight ferry Norcape has replaced the European Mariner which is reportedly sold to Turkish ship-breakers, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Norcape (1979/14,087grt) entered service on 17 July and she brings an increased freight boost capacity of 125 trailer units compared to European Mariner's (1977/5,897grt) 53 trailer units. She departed Larne for the final time five days earlier, on her delivery voyage to Izmir in the eastern Mediterranean.

Prior to her arrival on the North Channel, Norcape had been laid-up in Liverpool since February 2010 after the former B+I Line vessel (MV Tipperary) was replaced by European Endeavour on the central corridor route to Dublin. As of this week the ro-pax freight vessel which has been running in a freight-only mode will now carry motorists likewise to her route fleetmates Norbank and Norbay.

With the departure of European Mariner from the Irish Sea, she follows a trio of former Stena Line freight-ferry sisters which were made redundant since the closure of the Belfast-Heysham route late last year. It is believed the sisters Stena Seafarer, Stena Leader and Stena Pioneer have been sold to Russian interests to serve in the Black Sea in connection to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The sisters were renamed, Stena Pioneer became Ant 1, Stena Seafarer is the Ant 2 and Stena Leader is the Anna Marine. They departed Belfast Lough in mid-June to Sevastopol in the Ukraine under the Moldovan flag and with a port of registry in Giurgiulesti.

Published in Ferry
Diplomat, the original ferry that started operations for Celtic Link Ferries in 2005 has been sold to Indian ship-breakers after serving a spell on charter in the Caribbean, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Since leaving the Rosslare-Cherbourg port route in late 2009, the Diplomat has run between Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and San Juan (Peurto Rico) for Marine Express. For more click HERE. The freight-ferry was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea in 1978 and she was the final 'Searunner' class of 11 ordered by the Stena Rederi.

Launched as the Stena Tranporter, the career of the 16,000 tonnes has spanned over three decades in which the 151m vessel changed through several owners and subsequent vessel renamings.

It was when she served under the name Baltic Ferry, that her most notable career took place in 1982 during her wartime deployment as part of the
Falklands Islands Task Force. The 151m vessel was requisitioned by the British Ministry of Defence which saw the ship engaged in military operations when RAF Harrier Jump-Jet aircraft transferred store supplies from the deck of the ship as part of the war-effort in the South Atlantic Ocean.

In 2001 the vessel undertook ferry operations to Ireland as the European Diplomat on the Dublin-Liverpool route for the P&O (Irish Sea) route network. The following year she was transferred on the direct route to France until P&O pulled the plug on the continental service in December 2004, leaving Irish Ferries as the sole operator.

It was not until February 2005 that the route resumed service but this time under new owners Celtic Link Ferries. The O'Flaherty brothers, owners of a large fishing fleet in Kilmore Quay purchased the vessel and renamed her Diplomat. See PHOTO.

For the next four years she built up a steady customer loyalty between freight-hauliers drivers and car-only accompanying passengers who were accommodated in the ship which had a limited passenger certificate for 114 passengers. In addition she had a license to transport livestock.

Currently Celtic Link Ferries operate the ferry Norman Voyager but the 800-passenger / 200-car ro-pax vessel will only remain on the route until an October debut of a larger sistership the Cartour Beta.

The vessel is running this season between Italy and Sicily and with an added deck the 27,552 tonnes vessel has an increased capacity for passengers, cars and enhanced range of facilities. Recently the company had run a competition to name the new vessel which is to begin a five-year charter on the service between Wexford and Normandy.

Published in Ferry
Celtic Link Ferries are to introduce a new ship in October and the company are running a competition to name the vessel on the Rosslare-Cherbourg port route, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The multi-million euro new vessel will offer a more extensive range of passenger facilities with a greater choice of bars, restaurants and a play areas on the direct continental service to France.

With the entry of the new ferry, the Wexford based company are asking the public to come up with a name that is relevant to both the French and Irish market.

Competition entrants will be in a chance to win a prize, for you and your family to sail at the time of your choice (subject to availability) on the ferry you have named. The prize includes cabins both ways and your vehicle. For further details on how to enter the competition go to www.celticlinkferries.com

To read more about the new 27,500 tonnes vessel which is slightly larger to the current route vessel Norman Voyager click here. The new ship has a speed of 25 knots, an increased passenger capacity of nearly 1,000 passengers, 800 cars or 150 freight vehicles.

Published in Ferry
Seasonal sailings on Irish Ferries Rosslare-Roscoff port route start tomorrow, this brings an increase in the number of services to France from three to four, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 16-hour route is served by the 31,000 tonnes cruiseferry Oscar Wilde which can take 1,500 passengers and nearly 600 vehicles. Irish Ferries also sail from Rosslare to Cherbourg on the year-round route which takes around 17.5 hours. The company have a May Break offer based on 2 adults and a car, for one-way from €99.

Also operating on the same route to Normandy are Celtic Link Ferries which run the modern sleek Italian built 800 passenger /200 vehicle ro-pax ferry Norman Voyager. Short wine breaks are from €200 return for a car, driver and a two-berth outside cabin. Additional passengers can travel for €10 each way and subject to sailing schedules passengers can stay in Cherbourg for up to five hours.

A third operator to France is Brittany Ferries which sails on the Cork-Roscoff route and which is served by their 'flagship' Pont-Aven. The €100m ferry has a swimming pool and this is unique to any route operating out of Ireland. The company are offering one-way fares from €70 per person based on a car with four adults in an inside cabin.

Sailings depart Saturday's from Cork and arrive in the Breton port 14 hours later, making the route the shortest and fastest of the four continental services.

Published in Ferry

Celtic Link Ferries are to introduce a replacement ferry on their Rosslare-Cherbourg port route later this year, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The current ship serving the route to France is a modern 26,500 tonnes ro-pax ferry Norman Voyager which entered service for Celtic Link Ferries less than two years ago. The ferry (photo) has a service speed of 22.9 knots and takes 18-hours to travel on the direct route between Ireland and France.  

A spokesperson for the company claimed that bookings for the thrice-weekly round-trip sailings for this season are faster in uptake compared to this time last year. The Norman Voyager can take 800-passengers and 200 vehicles and facilities include 110 cabins, bar, restaurant, lounges, cinema and a shop.

The charter of Norman Voyager ceases in October and this will see the introduction of the acquired vessel on the year-round operated service. A competition is to be run and open to the public so to establish a new name for the vessel.

The new vessel the Cartour Beta (photo) is slightly larger at 27,552 tonnes and will be able to offer facilities with a wider choice of bars, restaurents and play areas. She has a speed of 25 knots, an increased passenger capacity of nearly 1,000 passengers, 800 cars or 150 freight vehicles.

Cartour Beta in the meantime operates on an Italian ferry service run by Caronte and Tourist (C&T) on two routes between Salerno to Messina and Termini Imerese in Sicily.  

Externally in appearance the vessels are very similar except that the Cartour Beta has a continues superstructure that extends to surround the funnel whereas on the Norman Voyager this area is occupied by an open upper vehicle deck.

In fact the replacement vessel is more alike to Stena Line Irish Sea Ferries Belfast-Birkenhead route-ship sisters Lagan Viking and Mersey Viking. Like the Norman Voyager all these vessels are derived from a popular series built by Visentini, an Italian shipyard in Donada near Venice.  

Since Celtic Link Ferries took over the route from P&O Irish Sea in 2005, the company has kept to a keenly priced policy with competition from other operators on the continental routes that also run out of Rosslare Harbour and from Cork.

For other Ferry News click here
Published in Ferry
The flagship of the Irish Ferries fleet Ulysses celebrates her 10th anniversary on the Dublin-Holyhead port route, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At 50,938 gross tonnes, the cruiseferry which has space for 1,875 passengers and 1,342 vehicles, remains the largest ferry operating on the Irish Sea. Over the decade she has made approximately 14,000 crossings which equates to 826,000 nautical miles on the route linking the Irish capital and Anglesey, north Wales.

In January 2000 the keel of the worlds largest car ferry was laid at the Aker Finnyards in Rauma, Finland. The following year the €100m cruiseferry giant departed the shipyard on a four-day delivery voyage to Dublin Port. Upon Ulysses's arrival on 4th March she was presented with a traditional welcoming escort of saluting water-firing tugs.

The Ulysses was named at a ceremony in the port on 21st March by the 'golden godmother' Mairead Berry, Ireland's 25-year old Paralympic Games gold medallist. Four days later Ulysses made her commercial maiden voyage to Holyhead on 25th March.

Wih 12 decks the vessel has an extensive range of facilities and they are named with themes derived from James Joyce's famous novel 'Ulysses'. There is seating available for up to 1,938 passengers and there are 117 twin or single-cabins, accommodating up to 228 passengers.

Only two months into service the Ulysses won the prestigious 'Most Significant New Build - Ferry' category award in the Cruise & Ferry magazine 2001 Awards competition. Her Finnish builders are not only builders of large cruise-ferries for Baltic Sea operators and beyond but also are also renowned for the construction of very large cruiseships for international clients.

Ulysses was designed specifically to serve the central corridor route with a schedule of two round trips daily. She directly replaced the 1997 Dutch built 34,031 grt ro-pax Isle of Inishmore, which transferred to Rosslare-Pembroke Dock service.

In 2006 the Ulysses alongside her fleetmates were transferred from the Irish flag to the Cypriot flag in addition to a change of Irish crew with those outsourced from citizens mostly from the Baltic and Eastern European countries.

Due to the sheer size of the Ulysses, which has a length of 209m, a beam of nearly 32m and a 6.4m draught, she has not missed a single crossing due to bad weather conditions. The vessel has a 22 knot / 41kph service -speed on the 60-mile route which translates to a distance of over 182,000 kms a year.

To celebrate Ulysses 10th year in service, Irish Ferries has enhanced the Club Class option to passengers which includes free-Wifi, which enables a constant connection and an array of other benefits during the 3-hour 15 minute crossing.

For a virtual tour of the Ulysses with views taken from the top deck as the cruiseferry departs Holyhead and the mountains of Snowdonia setting as a backdrop plus interior tours of the vessel click here.

Published in Ferry
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