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Displaying items by tag: Irish Ferries

The UK ferryport of Dover has welcomed more than 1.7 million passengers between mid-July and the start of September 2022, which equates to over half of the total number of people it hosted throughout 2021.

According to the port, these figures indicate that it is making “major progress” towards recapturing its pre-pandemic tourist business. Before the pandemic, Dover typically handled two million cars and 11 million passengers per year, making it the busiest international ferry port in the UK.

“Dover has always been a key holiday gateway for British families, and we are very pleased with the strength of the recovery we have seen in tourist traffic,” said Doug Bannister, CEO of the Port of Dover. “Whilst post-pandemic numbers were expected to show a significant increase on last year, these latest figures are very encouraging, and it has been a pleasure to see so many leisure travellers choosing the Straits of Dover once again.”

Ferry&Cruise has more on the port's performance here which Afloat adds includes operator Irish Ferries.

The Dublin based company entered onto the Dover-Calais route last summer in direct competition with P&O Ferries and DFDS.  

Published in Ferry

Irish Continental Group which owns Irish Ferries, has reported a surge in revenues and profits for the six month to the end of June as it saw a gradual return towards pre-Covid travel patterns after the disruption of the last two years.

ICG said its revenues for the first half of 2022 jumped by 85.8% to €263.1m from €141.6m the same time last year.

It also reported a profit before tax of €15.4m compared to a loss before tax of €12.2m in the first half of 2021.

ICG said it carried 214,200 cars on its ferries in the first six months of the year - an increase of 618.8% on the same time last year.

Total passenger carryings came to 894,400, an increase of 573.5% on 2021, which it said reflected a gradual return to normal travel patterns compared to a full six-month period of travel restrictions the same time last year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The increase also reflects the impact of six full months of trading on the Dover-Calais route, which started on June 29, 2021, it added.

RTE News reports more here on the group's half-year results. 

Published in Irish Ferries

The Irish Ferries W.B. Yeats ran into heavy weather on its Dublin to Cherbourg route last Sunday morning (13th March) resulting in damage to its upper car deck as the video below shows.

The 200-metre long ferry was forced to turn around and return to Dublin Port in the strong winds and big seas as her track of the day below shows. 

Irish Ferries W.B. YeatsIrish Ferries W.B. Yeats

In a statement, Irish Ferries confirmed that Sunday’s "W.B. Yeats sailing from Dublin to Cherbourg was impacted by heavier weather than forecast which caused some minor damage on the upper car deck. The ship returned to Dublin, which is the normal protocol when these events happen. Irish Ferries rerouted passengers impacted, and apologise for the weather-related disruption.”

MV W.B. Yeats is a RORO passenger and freight vessel. She arrived in Dublin for the first time on 20 December 2018 and entered service in January 2019.

Afloat sources say the ship offloaded its cargo on return to Dublin and headed to the repair dock on Belfast Lough.

Published in Irish Ferries
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At the French channel port of Calais yesterday, a €863 million major infrastructure extension was inaugurated that aims to significantly facilitate the transit of freight and passenger ferry traffic.

The port extension, which has taken six years to complete, sees the creation of three ferry stations with “floating gangways” allowing passenger and heavy goods vehicles to be loaded and unloaded on four lanes simultaneously compared with two previously, offering a time saving of 30% per stopover.

A 3-kilometre sea wall has been built, 65 hectares of land has been landscaped, including 45 hectares reclaimed from the sea, and 39 buildings for the operation and reception of port customers have been built too.

LloydsLoadingList has more on the ports UK counterpart at the Port of Dover, which also welcomed newcomer Irish Ferries onto the premier short-sea route in June. 

Published in Ferry

P&O Ferries restored a fifth ship service on the Dover-Calais route, with the recent arrival of Pride of Burgundy at the Port of Dover, this follows new competition from Irish Ferries which last week launched UK-France sailings.

As MultiModal reports, the return of P&O's 28,000-ton Pride of Burgundy, with its first sailing in over a year, brings additional capacity to carry 120 lorries in freight-only mode, making two return journeys each day. The addition of a fifth ship comes in response to growing demand from British and European customers and will expand options for those requiring rapid and reliable transportation of goods between pivotal markets.

First announced in April, the Pride of Burgundy’s return, follows P&O Ferries’ ground-breaking space sharing agreement (with operator DFDS) on the Dover-Calais route, and the introduction of a second lift-on lift-off (LOLO) ship to double capacity between Hull-Zeebrugge.

Peter Hebblethwaite, Managing Director of P&O Ferries, said: “I am delighted to see the restoration of our Dover-Calais fleet to its pre-pandemic strength of five, with the resulting increase in departures and frequency enabling us to take back market leadership on the English Channel and further improve our customer service. Pride of Burgundy will reinforce our cost-effective freight service by increasing capacity and flexibility on the route – a vital artery of trade upon which thousands of businesses and consumers rely.

“With the support of our parent company, DP World, the world’s leading provider of smart logistics solutions, we are committed to bolstering our offering to customers and ensuring optimal efficiency in the flow of goods between the UK and Europe. With international trade at the heart of economic recovery, continual investment in our Dover-Calais route will encourage supply chain resilience by connecting people, businesses and nations.”

Published in Ferry

Ferry rivals, DFDS & P&O have today entered into a mutual space charter agreement on the Dover-Calais route to shorten freight customers’ waiting times.

The new agreement according to DFDS on the premier short-sea route will also improve the flow of freight traffic across this vital arterial trade link between the UK and France and the rest of the EU member states. 

Freight drivers will be able to board the next available sailing when they arrive at the Port of Dover or the Port of Calais, regardless of which of the two ferry companies is operating the crossing. This will ensure customers benefit from more flexibility, with a sailing every 36 minutes. It will reduce the amount of waiting time at the port saving our freight customers up to 30 minutes on their overall journey time.

Whilst the agreement means that capacity is shared, all commercial activities remain entirely under the control of each operator. 

The new agreement is for freight vehicles only and does not apply to sailings on the Dover-Dunkirk route, which is solely operated by DFDS and will continue to provide a convenient alternative from Dover, with regular sailings and easy access to the Northern European road network.

Filip Hermann, Vice-President and Head of Channel Routes for DFDS, said: “Our focus is always to improve the ferry offering to freight customers. With this new space charter agreement in Dover-Calais we offer faster crossings and flexibility to relieve congestion and keep trade flowing”.

The two ferry companies carry more than 2.5 million lorries across the English Channel every year, making it the busiest trade route between the UK and Europe, maintaining the flow of essential items including food, medicines and other materials into and out of the UK.

As Afloat previously reported, operator, Irish Ferries next month is to launch a brand new service on Dover-Calais route with the transfer of Isle of Inishmore from Rosslare-Pembroke duties.

Initially, sailings on the UK-France link will be based only for freight customers, providing hauliers with an inclusive UK landbridge post-Brexit connection, as this also includes the operators main Irish Sea route of Dublin-Holyhead.  

Published in Ferry

Irish Ferries and Stena Line, the two key players in Ireland’s ferry industry, are today calling for the reopening of the Common Travel Area (CTA) at the earliest opportunity. They also welcome comments made last week by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, when he talked about the possibility of restoring the Common Travel Area (CTA) between Ireland and Britain as an “initial first step” for the travel and tourism sectors.

With virus levels now low in Ireland and the UK, and vaccination programmes progressing in both countries, Irish Ferries and Stena Line are calling on Ministers and industry stakeholders to urgently look at restoring the long-standing CTA agreement for Irish and UK citizens, and permit unrestricted travel between Britain and the island of Ireland.

Paul Grant, Trade Director for the Irish Sea, at Stena Line said: “COVID-19 infections are now at low levels and vaccination levels are increasing significantly in both countries. In the UK for example 66% of adults have now received their first dose and 30% have had both, so there is now a real need to focus on solving some of the economic impacts of the pandemic, and an obvious starting point are the hard-hit tourist, hospitality and travel sectors. With the restoring of travel between the islands of Ireland and Britain, we can start to rebuild these sectors locally in advance of the full resumption of international travel, which may take more time to agree and deliver.”

Andrew Sheen, Managing Director for Irish Ferries commented: “The ferry industry has played a key role in helping to keep vital food and medical supply lines open during the height of the pandemic. With the current UK infection rate of 48 cases per 100,000 population comparable to the lowest in Europe, we need to acknowledge the shared land border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and eliminate the discrepancies and loopholes on travel restrictions on the island. Irish Ferries and Stena Line welcome the Tánaiste’s recent comments on the possibility of restoring the CTA in advance of the full resumption of international travel and would urge the Irish Government to prioritise its implementation.”

The issue with the CTA has arisen due to differing approaches by the Irish and UK governments. The Irish Government requires passengers from Britain to have a negative PCR test and they must also quarantine for 14 days on arrival. The UK Government has never imposed requirements for testing or quarantine for people travelling from anywhere on the island of Ireland to Britain. The Northern Ireland Assembly also has never imposed testing or quarantine on anyone travelling from Britain.

Both companies are also stressing that they need time to prepare for the resumption of travel. Urgent clarity is needed regarding dates so that the ferry companies can ensure they are ready from an operational perspective.

Published in Ferry
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As Irish Ferries is to become a rival to P&O Ferries on the Dover-Calais market, the ferry firm is set to respond on the UK-France route by deploying a fifth vessel.

The DP World-owned company announced its ro-pax Pride of Burgundy vessel would return to the route in June.

It’s a service the vessel operated for the best part of 26 years before P&O Ferries reduced capacity in response to the pandemic and the cessation of cross-Channel passenger traffic.

More from The Loadstar here.

Published in Ferry

Irish Ferries has announced the addition of the RoRo passenger ferry Blue Star 1 to its Rosslare–Pembroke Dock route.

The ship is being chartered from the Attica Group and delivery is expected in early April.

Blue Star 1 was built in 2000 by the Van der Giessen de Noord shipyard in the Netherlands, the same shipyard that in 1997 built Irish Ferries’ Isle of Inishmore which is currently servicing the Rosslare–Pembroke Dock route.

Irish Ferries’ pending addition to the fleet has the capacity to carry up to 1,500 passengers, 100 freight vehicles and up to 700 cars depending on freight volume.

The ship offers a host of quality facilities including 192 cabins for freight drivers/passengers, self-service restaurant, café/bar, Club Class lounge, onboard duty-free shop, children’s play area and spacious outdoor decks.

Irish Ferries says the tripling of cabin numbers will facilitate more single occupancy cabins for freight drivers.

Irish Ferries managing director Andrew Sheen said: “We are very pleased to add a quality ship of the calibre of the versatile Blue Star 1 to the Irish Ferries fleet. This ship will be the fastest RoRo passenger ship operating between Britain and Ireland and this will help ensure schedule integrity.

“The introduction of this ship underlines our commitment to the Rosslare-to-Pembroke route, the primary shipping corridor between Ireland and South Wales.

“It also underlines our commitment to the significant contribution that this route makes in facilitating trade for both exporters and importers as well as facilitating essential passenger movements and future tourists as the country reopens post-COVID-19.”

The news comes just says after Irish Ferries launched a new service on the Dover–Calais route set to begin this June — a first for the market leader for freight and passengers between Britain and the Ireland.

Published in Irish Ferries
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With Irish Ferries to launch a first ever service on a UK-France route next month, the company also announced the addition of a passenger ro-ro ferry Blue Star 1 to its Rosslare to Pembroke Dock route.

The ship (to replace Isle of Inishmore) is being chartered from the Attica Group and delivery is expected in early April 2021.

Blue Star 1 was built in 2000 by the Van der Giessen de Noord shipyard in the Netherlands, the same shipyard that in 1997 built Irish Ferries Isle of Inishmore, currently servicing the Rosslare to Pembroke Dock route.

The Blue Star 1 has the capacity to carry up to 1,500 passengers, 100 freight vehicles and up to 700 cars depending on freight volume.

The ship offers a host of quality facilities including 192 cabins for freight drivers/passengers, self-service restaurant, café/bar, Club Class lounge, onboard duty-free shop, children’s play area and spacious outdoor decks. The tripling of cabin numbers will facilitate more single occupancy cabins for freight drivers, a welcome development for our freight customers.

Andrew Sheen, Irish Ferries Managing Director, said: “We are very pleased to add a quality ship of the calibre of the versatile Blue Star 1 to the Irish Ferries fleet. This ship will be the fastest RoRo Passenger ship operating between Britain and Ireland and this will help ensure schedule integrity. The introduction of this ship underlines our commitment to the Rosslare to Pembroke route, the primary shipping corridor between Ireland and South Wales. It also underlines our commitment to the significant contribution that this route makes in facilitating trade for both exporters and importers as well as facilitating essential passenger movements and future tourists as the country re-opens post COVID-19”.

Published in Irish Ferries
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How to sail, sailing clubs and sailing boats plus news on the wide range of sailing events on Irish waters forms the backbone of Afloat's sailing coverage.

We aim to encompass the widest range of activities undertaken on Irish lakes, rivers and coastal waters. This page describes those sailing activites in more detail and provides links and breakdowns of what you can expect from our sailing pages. We aim to bring jargon free reports separated in to popular categories to promote the sport of sailing in Ireland.

The packed 2013 sailing season sees the usual regular summer leagues and there are regular weekly race reports from Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Howth and Cork Harbour on Afloat.ie. This season and last also featured an array of top class events coming to these shores. Each year there is ICRA's Cruiser Nationals starts and every other year the Round Ireland Yacht Race starts and ends in Wicklow and all this action before July. Crosshaven's Cork Week kicks off on in early July every other year. in 2012 Ireland hosted some big international events too,  the ISAF Youth Worlds in Dun Laoghaire and in August the Tall Ships Race sailed into Dublin on its final leg. In that year the Dragon Gold Cup set sail in Kinsale in too.

2013 is also packed with Kinsale hosting the IFDS diabled world sailing championships in Kinsale and the same port is also hosting the Sovereign's Cup. The action moves to the east coast in July with the staging of the country's biggest regatta, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta from July 11.

Our coverage though is not restricted to the Republic of Ireland but encompasses Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Irish Sea area too. In this section you'll find information on the Irish Sailing Association and Irish sailors. There's sailing reports on regattas, racing, training, cruising, dinghies and keelboat classes, windsurfers, disabled sailing, sailing cruisers, Olympic sailing and Tall Ships sections plus youth sailing, match racing and team racing coverage too.

Sailing Club News

There is a network of over 70 sailing clubs in Ireland and we invite all clubs to submit details of their activities for inclusion in our daily website updates. There are dedicated sections given over to the big Irish clubs such as  the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire; Dublin Bay Sailing Club, the Royal Saint George Yacht Club,  the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the National Yacht Club. In Munster we regularly feature the work of Kinsale Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.  Abroad Irish sailors compete in Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) racing in the UK and this club is covered too. Click here for Afloat's full list of sailing club information. We are keen to increase our coverage on the network of clubs from around the coast so if you would like to send us news and views of a local interest please let us have it by sending an email to [email protected]

Sailing Boats and Classes

Over 20 active dinghy and one design classes race in Irish waters and fleet sizes range from just a dozen or so right up to over 100 boats in the case of some of the biggest classes such as the Laser or Optimist dinghies for national and regional championships. Afloat has dedicated pages for each class: Dragons, Etchells, Fireball, Flying Fifteen, GP14, J24's, J80's, Laser, Sigma 33, RS Sailing, Star, Squibs, TopperMirror, Mermaids, National 18, Optimist, Puppeteers, SB3's, and Wayfarers. For more resources on Irish classes go to our dedicated sailing classes page.

The big boat scene represents up to 60% of the sail boat racing in these waters and Afloat carries updates from the Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA), the body responsible for administering cruiser racing in Ireland and the popular annual ICRA National Championships. In 2010 an Irish team won the RORC Commodore's Cup putting Irish cruiser racing at an all time high. Popular cruiser fleets in Ireland are raced right around the coast but naturally the biggest fleets are in the biggest sailing centres in Cork Harbour and Dublin Bay. Cruisers race from a modest 20 feet or so right up to 50'. Racing is typically divided in to Cruisers Zero, Cruisers One, Cruisers Two, Cruisers Three and Cruisers Four. A current trend over the past few seasons has been the introduction of a White Sail division that is attracting big fleets.

Traditionally sailing in northern Europe and Ireland used to occur only in some months but now thanks to the advent of a network of marinas around the coast (and some would say milder winters) there are a number of popular winter leagues running right over the Christmas and winter periods.

Sailing Events

Punching well above its weight Irish sailing has staged some of the world's top events including the Volvo Ocean Race Galway Stopover, Tall Ships visits as well as dozens of class world and European Championships including the Laser Worlds, the Fireball Worlds in both Dun Laoghaire and Sligo.

Some of these events are no longer pure sailing regattas and have become major public maritime festivals some are the biggest of all public staged events. In the past few seasons Ireland has hosted events such as La Solitaire du Figaro and the ISAF Dublin Bay 2012 Youth Worlds.

There is a lively domestic racing scene for both inshore and offshore sailing. A national sailing calendar of summer fixtures is published annually and it includes old favorites such as Sovereign's Cup, Calves Week, Dun Laoghaire to Dingle, All Ireland Sailing Championships as well as new events with international appeal such as the Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Clipper Round the World Race, both of which have visited Ireland.

The bulk of the work on running events though is carried out by the network of sailing clubs around the coast and this is mostly a voluntary effort by people committed to the sport of sailing. For example Wicklow Sailing Club's Round Ireland yacht race run in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club has been operating for over 30 years. Similarly the international Cork Week regatta has attracted over 500 boats in past editions and has also been running for over 30 years.  In recent years Dublin Bay has revived its own regatta called Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and can claim to be the country's biggest event with over 550 boats entered in 2009.

On the international stage Afloat carries news of Irish and UK interest on Olympics 2012, Sydney to Hobart, Volvo Ocean Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race.

We're always aiming to build on our sailing content. We're keen to build on areas such as online guides on learning to sail in Irish sailing schools, navigation and sailing holidays. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]

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