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Displaying items by tag: Ferry news

#NewFerry- Irish Continental Group (ICG) has entered into an agreement, with German company Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft & Co.KG (FSG) to build a cruise ferry for ICG at a contract price of €144 million.

Afloat adds that the proposed design of the newbuild strongly resembles that of current flagship Ulysses. 

The new cruise ferry will accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew, with 435 cabins and with capacity for 2,800 lane metres of freight (165 freight vehicles) plus an additional dedicated car deck with capacity for 300 passenger cars.

The Agreement between ICG and FSG provides that the cruise ferry is scheduled for delivery in May 2018. 20% of the contract price will be paid in instalments during the construction period. The balance of 80% will be paid on delivery. ICG intend to utilise a combination of existing cash resources and loan facilities to finance the cruise ferry. The pre-delivery instalment payments to FSG will be protected by means of bank guarantees.

This cruise ferry will be designed and built to the highest standards of cruise shipping, and equipped with efficiency and comfort in mind. Emissions scrubber technology (not included in the above price) and ballast water systems will meet current and known future environmental regulations and will deliver optimal fuel consumption while minimising related costs. The cruise ferry will be powered by four main engines delivering 33,600KW of power which will ensure a high degree of service reliability similar to that already achieved by the existing owned fleet of modern cruise ferries.

The cruise ferry will be designed to best meet the operational seasonality of our business. This flexibility in design includes the ability to service all of Irish Ferries existing routes, and will provide even greater route management options. The cruise ferry will also adhere to Ice Class specification which will allow for a wide geographic area of operation.

Passenger facilities will be spread over 4 decks and will offer a choice of 435 cabins to include suites with their own private external balconies, along with deluxe and standard class accommodation. In addition to a superb choice of bars, restaurants (to include both á la carte and self-service options), special provision has been made for premium Club Class passengers, with a dedicated lounge featuring private access direct from the vehicle decks. A choice of state of the art entertainment options and cinemas, dedicated facilities for freight drivers, as well as retail outlets and onboard facilities for pets, will ensure that all our passengers will be comfortable and engaged throughout their journey.

It is likely that this new cruise ferry will be introduced on routes served by the chartered ship MV Epsilon, (currently year round services Dublin - Holyhead midweek, and Ireland - France on weekends). The cruise ferry will provide additional freight and tourism capacity on both routes and will deliver a much enhanced onboard experience for all customers. In addition to increased capacity, the cruise ferry will deliver significant cost savings to the group and improved route and fleet management efficiencies.

Referring to the announcement Eamonn Rothwell, Chief Executive Officer, commented that; "This investment underpins the confidence the Group has in both the freight and passenger tourism markets between Ireland, Britain and France. The construction of a cruise ferry of this size will offer a premium experience for all our customers, in line with our commitment to deliver the best in service, in reliability and flexibility across all our routes. We also expect to be well positioned to accommodate the changing expectations of our customers, and to benefit from significant operational and financial benefits following the delivery in 2018."

Published in Ferry

#FerryInvestment -The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has set out its vision for the future of services that includes investment of £170m in new vessels, port facilities and increased year-round passenger capacity.

Also as part of plans to improve ferry services are fare reductions, more special offers and a new frequent traveller scheme.

The Steam Packet will invest in two new vessels and will commit to retaining Ben-my-Chree to provide comprehensive passenger and freight back-up to the fleet.

Late last year Isle of Man Government announced it was considering the future of strategic sea services for the Island. The current User Agreement is due to end in 2026 and the Steam Packet Company has now outlined its vision for continuing to provide services beyond that date.

The details were presented to members of Tynwald on Tuesday and released to the public the same day. They are currently available to view online at http://goo.gl/SwDjOw and the Steam Packet Company is arranging for a printed version to be delivered to homes and businesses Island-wide with the Isle of Man Courier in June. Copies will also be available from the Ferry Travel Shop at the Sea Terminal in Douglas.

It is hoped the offer can be taken to July Tynwald for debate as, the earlier a decision is made, the sooner investment can begin and residents, visitors and businesses start to benefit.

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We are not just a company which serves the Isle of Man; we are part of the Manx community. Our management team lives and works here, we employ more than 300 Isle of Man residents and we spend significant sums in the local economy. As part of the Isle of Man, our interests are fully vested in what is best for our Island.

‘Since the start of the User Agreement there has been major private investment in vessels, much lower fares (halved in real terms) with improved offers and availability, and significant marketing each year to promote the Isle of Man.

‘We want to consolidate these benefits and provide a platform for further investment and improvements in service delivery for another generation. If a new Strategic Sea Services Agreement, to guarantee services beyond 2026, can be reached this year we will bring forward our planned investment.’

If an agreement is made this year, the Company is committed to delivering a replacement for Ben-my-Chree by 2019/21 and Manannan by 2022/23. MV Arrow would be retained as freight back-up until Ben-my-Chree is replaced, after which time the Ben would become the Company’s permanent third vessel. This gives the fleet comprehensive passenger and freight back-up, as well as additional capacity and self-sufficiency during the TT and Festival of Motorcycling.

The Company would increase passenger and freight capacity year-round to meet the needs of a growing population and would also guarantee that more special offer seats are available each year. A new frequent traveller scheme would be introduced and is expected to benefit 10 times more passengers than the previous scheme which was discontinued some years ago.

There would also be an agreement for the Company to share extra revenue growth, above an agreed threshold, to fund additional low fare and marketing initiatives. This would mean that a proportion of profits would be ring-fenced and used to target specific potential growth areas of the visitor economy or other initiatives aimed at growing passenger numbers.

The offer also includes the retention of the Manx RPI cap on standard fare increases, a commitment to formal service reviews every three years and a promise to publish Irish Sea fare comparisons every year.

Mr Woodward added: ‘Unlike some ferry firms servicing island communities, the Steam Packet Company does not and will not require any government subsidy. We meet the costs of delivering our services ourselves. We will do this while providing guaranteed standards and levels of service and it is we, not the Government or Manx public, that take all the commercial downside risk of doing this.

‘We look forward to further discussions with the Isle of Man Government and the Manx public about the future of Island sea services.’

To read the proposal visit http://goo.gl/SwDjOw

Published in Ferry

#ValueContested - Stena Line is contesting the £1.25m rateable value set on its ferry port in Cairnryan, claiming it could compromise future site investment.

BBC News writes that an appeal against the Assessor for Dumfries and Galloway will go to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland in July.

The company claimed the new rate was "effectively double" what it paid at its old site in Stranraer.

Assessor Keith Mossop described the hearing as "really just a procedural matter."

Stena Line moved its operations to the site in 2011 after it left its facilities in nearby Stranraer.

It said it had been in "protracted negotiations" in relation to the rates assessment at the new port.

"Stena Line made a significant investment (in excess of £80m) when it opened its new state-of-the art ferry port and terminal at Cairnryan in 2011 to replace its former Stranraer facility," said a statement.

"Despite this investment, designed to provide south west Scotland with a modern freight and tourism gateway, the council has assessed Stena Line for its non-domestic rates for the new port at a rate effectively double that of its former facility.

"Stena Line is concerned that this significant additional running cost may impact upon future investment at Loch Ryan Port."

For more on the south-west Scottish ferryport, click here

Published in Ferry

#ContingencyPort - The Isle of Man Steam Packet reports IOMToday is to consider using Holyhead in Anglesey as a ‘contingency’ destination.

This afternoon (yesterday) it was announced by the operator to conduct a berthing trial at the Welsh port to assess its suitability as a back-up alternative to Heysham and Birkenhead.

Tomorrow night (today) the ropax Ben-my-Chree will sail to the harbour for the trial.

Passengers are not affected as the vessel is not scheduled to operate any services during the period.

Steam Packet Company chief executive Mark Woodward said: ‘This is necessary to ensure maximum flexibility for our services, and robust contingency measures for secure lifeline sea services for the Isle of Man.

To find out more what the chief executive had to say on considering the Angelsey port, click here.

Published in Ferry

#FurtherCancellations – In addition to Brittany Ferries cancelled sailings this weekend on the Cork-Roscoff route, further disruption to passengers heading to and from France has arised as Irish Ferries Dublin-Cherbourg sailings are also not in service.

Technical problems of Brittany Ferries flagship, Pont-Aven as previously reported on Afloat.ie had forced the cancellation of last night’s inward bound sailing to Cork and also today’s outbound crossing returning to Roscoff.

On one of Irish Ferries French routes, the ropax Epsilon is also subject to technical reasons and this has led to the cancellation of this weekend's Dublin-Cherbourg round trip sailings. The disruption follows cancellations by Epsilon that also serves on the Dublin-Holyhead route. Passengers having been transferred onto alternative vessels serving on the Welsh link.

For latest sailing updates for Brittany Ferries click HERE and for those with Irish Ferries click HERE.

Alternative sailings on Ireland-France routes are Irish Ferries other continental services, Rosslare-Cherbourg and Rosslare-Roscoff that began operating this season a fortnight ago in early May.

Also running a continental service and out of the Wexford port is Stena Line’s Rosslare-Cherbourg service, for details click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#TenderAward - One of Europe's leading transport operators, CalMac has welcomed Transport Scotland's decision to award it the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) contract for up to eight years. This sees the services remain in public hands through CalMac's ferry network operations. 

Martin Dorchester, Managing Director of CalMac said: "We are proud to be given the opportunity to transform ferry passengers' experience across the west coast of Scotland and to work closely with our partners to connect towns, cities and communities like never before.

"Our successful bid demonstrates our ability to provide innovative service improvements and value for money for customers. Drawing on our experience in the UK ferry market where we have won a number of awards, our bid delivers industry-leading customer care and high standards of reliability.

"The detail of our bid is confidential until the formal procurement process is concluded, however among the things that people can look forward to seeing are more opportunities for local employment; a refreshed on-board retail offering; investment in on-board facilities; closer, more responsive working with communities and an innovative approach to vessel maintenance to minimise disruption to services especially during the winter refit period.

"Our commitment to safety, support for local economies and businesses and protecting the very special environment in which we operate will not change."

He added: "I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the many people across our network and further afield for their support during this testing time for everyone associated with CalMac and especially our staff ashore and at sea, whose efforts over the last nine years have been acknowledged and rewarded with this contract.

"Now the hard work begins in delivering this contract during challenging economic times."

David McGibbon, Chairman of CalMac, said: "This is great news for the staff, the company and the communities we support up and down the west coast of Scotland.

"A huge amount of time and effort has gone into understanding the aspirations of these communities for these vital services and preparing a bid which reflect these and our own ambitions.

"I am delighted to see this hard work has been rewarded with this prestigious contract."

Published in Ferry

#SGTpepperCalls – Sgt. Pepper was among several workboats that called to Dun Laoghaire Harbour last week to begin short to long term projects. Notably one project involves dismantling and removing the former Stena HSS berth, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Multicat, Sgt. Pepper, a name synonymously associated with the ‘Beatles’ eight-studio album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ was released in the summer of 1967. Only two years previously the first custom built car-ferry was launched onto a summer-only service on the route to Holyhead.

Sgt. Pepper had arrived into Dun Laoghaire last Thursday. The workboat operated by McMullan Marine Services, had sailed from Arklow via Dalkey Sound (see: ‘Maritime’ Dalkey of the Dalkey Community Council newsletter, May 2015) To read more and of the 'Maritime' series dating to July, 2011 click HERE from the downloadable back issues. 

On arrival at the harbour, Sgt. Pepper begin working inspection of the RNLI moorings opposite the lifeboat stationhouse and souvenir shop located between the Royal St. George and the National Yacht Clubs.

The lifeboat station has two craft. They are the RNLB Anna Livia at moorings and the inshore craft RNLB Realt Na Mara that is housed in the old lifeboat station located at the foot of the East Pier.

Two days later, Sgt. Pepper was joined by a barge, SB-5016 that was towed by tug MTS Valour from Stranraer, Scotland (also a former Stena HSS ferryport) down the Irish Sea to Dun Laoghaire. The 10-week long project at this harbour is to remove the HSS ferry berth and related structures at St. Michaels Pier terminal. The works are expected to be completed in August.

Not surprisingly the coverage of the decommissioned Boeing 767 that was towed by barge from the Shannon Estuary to the Sligo coastal town of Enniscrone, centred on the aircraft. Afloat.ie however researched as to the identity of the barge and the tug involved.

It transpires the tug, MTS Statum belongs to the same company, Marine & Towage Service that operates the MTS Valour used for the Stena HSS related project in Dun Laoghaire. As for the barge used during the western seaboard passage that was the Wilcarry 1500 operated by Williams Shipping.

Returning to the eastern seaboard harbour, is where plans to restore the seasonal-only Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead closed by Stena Line in 2014 cannot proceed until the HSS berth is removed.

Operators were sought by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company through an E-tender process that in early 2015 which drew seven potential operators.

As the ferry berth removal project is underway and throughout this summer, this has delayed in restoring a seasonal –service that was originally envisaged to begin at the earliest this year. If a successful operator is secured such a service will not be available until 2017. For more on this story click here.

Also at the harbour berthed next to the Danish barge SB-5016 at St. Michaels Pier terminal was Dublin Bay Cruise excursion boat St. Bridget.

Offshore of the ferry terminal was the largest vessel within the harbour, ILV Granuaile. The lighthouse and aids to navigation tender that is based in the harbour is also where the Commissioners of Irish Lights HQ and adjoining marine depot is located beside the marina.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#CancelledSailings - Plans of thousands of holidaymakers have been thrown into disarray after technical problems forced the cancellation of this weekend’s sailings of Brittany Ferries flagship Pont-Aven vessel between Cork and France.

The Irish Examiner writes that the French ferry and holiday company confirmed last night that the Pont-Aven’s scheduled sailing on Friday from Rosscoff to Cork, and its Saturday sailing from Cork to Rosscoff have both been cancelled.

They are among several Pont-Aven sailings between Ireland and England to France and Spain, which have been cancelled this week after the vessel developed propeller problems.

A Brittany Ferries spokesperson said: “Brittany Ferries is endeavouring to contact all affected passengers as soon as possible with advice and available options.

“Passengers are being asked to be patient as there may be difficulty in contacting Brittany Ferries due to the volume of calls.”

The spokesperson encouraged passengers to check the company website for sailing updates.

“The company apologises to all passengers for the inconvenience this will cause to journeys,” she said.

The Pont-Aven, Brittany Ferries’ flagship vessel, entered service in 2004.

The newspaper which mas more to report here also adds that plans announced two years ago to replace the vessel have been put on hold, it has emerged.

Published in Ferry

#FerryBut2017? – Restoration of the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead ferry service this season faced a setback as facilities in the Irish harbour will not become available until at least 2017, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In responding to questions from Afloat.ie as to the delay, a Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) spokesperson cited that Stena Line (former route operators until 2014) have begun this week to remove HSS berth infrastructure in the harbour as previously reported.

Work is expected to be completed by August this year and DLHC added that the harbour facilities will only become available for use by a potential new ferry operator from 2017.

This will be the second successive season in which there will be no summer ferry sailings on the Holyhead route.

It was in 2015 that Stena Line finally confirmed in the permanent closure of the historic route dating to 1835.

The decision followed recent years of losses incurred on Welsh route. The link was served by highspeed sea-service (HSS) Stena Explorer until the fast-ferry was withdrawn in September 2014.

Less than half a year later, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) through a E-Tendering process received seven expressions of interest from operators to provide a seasonal-only ferry service. Before DLHC had received these responses, the harbour company said that any new potential operator would not be serving the route until at least 2016.

The 1,500 passenger HSS Stena Explorer had begun service in 1996, however from 2011 the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route was reduced to a seasonal-only service running between April and September. The sailing schedule consisted of only a single daily round-trip that was part of a raft of measures to reduce high running costs in a declining market and competition from airlines.

Stena’s departure from the Dun Laoghaire route led directly to the ferry firm consolidating existing operations out of the neighbouring port of Dublin. This was achieved by enhancing services to Holyhead by replacing Stena Nordica, with larger Stena Superfast X to partner Stena Adventurer.

In late 2015 Stena Explorer was sold to Turkish owners and as reported only yesterday on Afloat.ie, the Finnish built catamaran car-carrying craft is now back on the market for £4.5m.

Current owners, Karadeniz Holdings having abandoned plans to convert the craft renamed One World Karadeniz into a floating office in Istanbul.

Published in Ferry

#HSSforSale - Stena Line’s former Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead fast ferry, HSS Stena Explorer is up for sale again for around £4.5m - just months after it was sold as previously reported on Afloat.ie

The Stena Explorer, once one of the world’s fastest large ferries, was sold in October to Turkish firm Karadeniz Holding who were planning to convert it into a high-tech floating office.

It was taken from Holyhead to Turkey last year and as Afloat adds following the withdraw of the HSS craft from the route that closed in September 2014.

But now the ferry - that originally cost £65m and first came on the Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire route in 1996 - is available to buy again.

Its price has fallen somewhat since its unveiling 20 years ago and is now available for $6.5m, around £4.5m.

For more on the story, the Daily Post has a report here. 

In addition to Afloat's report of a project to dismantle the Stena HSS berth in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. 

Published in Ferry
Page 9 of 69

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