Displaying items by tag: P&O Ferries
P&O Ferries said it was “always looking for new opportunities” after SNP backbench MSP Angus MacDonald urged Transport Minister Humza Yousaf to call a summit with ferry operators to explore the potential for a new service between Scotland and Norway, Denmark or Sweden.
Rosyth’s freight-only ferry to Zeebrugge is currently the country’s only sea link to Europe. But a new passenger ferry to Scandinavia is seen as an opportunity to boost exports as well as tourism.
Mr MacDonald said a new ferry link could be “incredibly beneficial” to Scotland and he hoped a meeting with ferry operators could be arranged “ahead of the potential damage to our tourism sector from the impact of Brexit”.
A spokesman for P&O said: “We are always looking for new opportunities and would be happy to sit down with the relevant parties to discuss a route between Scotland and Scandinavia.”
There were more than 15 million visits to the UK from Scandinavia between 2011 and 2016, contributing nearly £8.5 billion to the UK economy. Spending by Danish visitors alone rose by 30 per cent over the five years.
In 2016, Sweden, Denmark and Norway ranked 14th, 15th and 16th for the number of visitors coming to the UK. Mr MacDonald said: “Surely it makes sense to give people another option of how to travel across the North Sea, to ensure our economy continue to benefit from tourists?”
The ferry route between Rosyth and the Belgian port of Zeebrugge opened in 2002, but the passenger service ended in 2010 and it has since been freight-only.
Mr MacDonald said the last ferry link from the UK to Scandinavia ended in 2014 which Afloat previously reported on was DFDS Seaways Harwich-Esbjerg service.
#FerryFestive - An Irish Ferries cruiseferry on the French route based out of Rosslare returned yesterday prior to making a repositioning voyage to Dublin Port this morning in preparation of the busy festive season, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde had completed a Cherbourg-Rosslare crossing. This was followed by the 1,400 passenger/700 car ferry transferring to the Irish capital to begin sailings on the core Irish Sea central coridoor route to Holyhead.
Sailings by Oscar Wilde on the French route have been suspended so to enable firstly the above mentioned capacity increased on the premier UK-Ireland route. In addition the absence of the ferry is to permit annual winter dry-docking of the 1987 built cruiseferry that is scheduled to return to the French service in February 2018.
As of late this morning Oscar Wilde made a first crossing to Holyhead and is due to return to Dublin this afternoon. Also running services to cope with the inward bound influx of seasonal passengers on the Wales-Ireland link are flagship cruiseferry Ulysses, fast-craft Jonathan Swift and ropax ferry Epsilon.
The chartered-in Epsilon, will operate Ireland-France sailings during the absence of Oscar Wilde from Wexford based sailings in 2017, but take heed of the following next scheduled sailings and ports used in both directions.
Afloat can confirm the next outward sailing to the continent is Dublin-Cherbourg and will be after Christmas, on Wednesday 27th December. The next inbound sailing to Ireland will however call instead to Rosslare, arriving on Friday 29th December. For further subsequent sailings details consult Irish Ferries through this link.
Rivals, Stena Line are expected to transport 65,000 passengers over the festive period also on their service between Holyhead-Dublin and on the St. Georges Channel link of Fishguard to Rosslare.
Information on Irish Sea routes, sailing dates, crossing times and more click here for Irish Ferries and for those travelling with Stena Line click here. From this webpage there are also links to their Cherbourg-Rosslare service.
For those travelling on P&O Ferries click this link, noting the weatherline applies to both routes: Liverpool-Dublin and Cairnryan-Larne.
In addition should there be any ferry travel delays, disruptions and cancellations, they are included on the AA’s Roadwatch newsroom here.
Local officials in the French port town report that there were no injuries when P&O’s Pride of Kent grounded on what is likely a sand bank in the harbour when attempting to depart for Dover amid severe weather this afternoon (Sunday 10 December).
The ferry is said to be “stable” and it is hoped that passengers can be transferred to another vessel today.
#ferry - The highest number of lorries and trailers travelling on P&O Ferries between Larne and Cairnryan was reached in the third quarter of the year than it has in any Q3 since 2011.
As the News Letter writes the ferry company carried 53,305 lorries and trailers on its ships in the months of July, August and September - a 3.3 per cent increase on the same quarter last year.
Neal Mernock, P&O Ferries Sector director on the Irish Sea, said: “We are delighted that more and more freight customers are experiencing for themselves the benefits of transporting goods between Northern Ireland and Britain with us.
“Our port at Larne is fast becoming the gateway of choice for anyone exporting to or from Ireland. It has outstanding connections via rail and road, especially after the upgrading of the A8 dual carriageway, and is nine miles closer to Scotland than the port at Belfast.”
P&O Ferries operates seven sailings a day between Larne and Cairnryan using two 21,000 ton sister vessels, European Causeway and European Highlander. The regular daily service, the company notes, provides a bridge for goods being transported between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to Britain, and also on to the continent via its connecting services from Dover, Tilbury, Hull and Teesport.
For more on this story, click here.
#Charter -A Maltese flagged Greek owned vehicle-carrier only vessel is on charter to an Irish Sea ferry operator while its ships take refit dry-docking turns in the UK, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The chartered-in Neptune Aegli can handle 1,800 cars or 1,550 lane metres of truck/trailers has begun a first sailing today for P&O Ferries. This involved an afternoon crossing from Dublin to Liverpool.
Neptune Lines operates a fleet of 16 Pure Car & Truck Vehicle Carriers (PCTC) from which Neptune Aegli joins P&O’s European Endeavour and ropax Norbay. Noting sister, Norbank this morning entered a dry dock at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead. The shipyard and marine engineering facility located on the Wirral Peninsula is opposite to Liverpool Docks.
It is a year ago when Afloat reported on the charter to P&O of Neptune Aegli. On this current charter, the 2002 built PCTC had docked in Dublin yesterday having assisted P&O operations on the North Sea. This saw the ship provide freight support relief duties for Hull-Zeebrugge ferries sisters, Pride of York and Pride of Bruges that underwent multi-million career-extension refits.
The annual refits of the North Sea 32,000 tonnes sisters took place in Gdansk, Poland, where work on the near 900 passenger each cruiseferry involved overhauls of shops, catering experience outlets and cabins and bars will now have hotspot wi-fi. In addition the extensive upgrade was carried out throughout facilities for freight customers on the UK-Belgium route.
Pride of York when launched from Govan Shipbuilders on the Clyde as Norsea in 1986 was the largest ever passenger ship built in the UK since Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth dating to 1969.
The famous trans-Atlantic ocean liner had too been built on the banks of the Clyde but from the John Brown yard.
#FreightVolumes - Operator P&O Ferries has announced that it handled the highest volume of freight in five years on its Larne-Cairnryan service in 2016.
The ferry and logistics company's route on the North Channel linking Northern Ireland and Scotland handled 206,700 freight units on the route during the last 12 months. This figure represents a 7.5 per cent increase on the previous year (192,200 units).
In a further indicator of the reliability of P&O Ferries' service, 2016 was the first ever year in which none of the 4,774 sailings scheduled from the port of Larne was cancelled, with 97 per cent of departures within ten minutes of their published time.
P&O Ferries operates seven sailings a day between Larne and Cairnryan in Scotland, a two hour service which is the shortest crossing of any operator on the North Channel. The regular daily service provides a bridge for goods being transported between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and Britain, and also on to the continent via its connecting services from Dover, Tilbury, Hull and Teesport.
Neal Mernock, P&O Ferries' Director responsible for the Irish Sea, said: "This highly encouraging performance shows that the economy of Northern Ireland is continuing to grow, notwithstanding the uncertainty heralded by the Brexit vote in June. We invested £500,000 last year in our two purpose built ferries on the route, the European Highlander and European Causeway, to upgrade facilities and passenger areas on the ships. This has already paid a dividend in terms of increasing customer satisfaction with our services."
"The frequency of sailings, short crossings, excellent reliability and the fact that the port is now only 30 minutes from Belfast by road via the newly built A2 are increasingly making Larne the gateway of choice for anyone exporting to or from Northern Ireland. We have seen particularly strong volumes of agricultural and dairy produce, household and stores goods, building materials and machinery."
#GreekCharter - The charter of a Greek vessel to P&O Ferries to cover dry-docking of the one of three ropax ships on the Dublin-Liverpool is drawing to a close, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Piraeus based Neptune Lines, a vehicle logistics operator have their Neptune Aegli operating in place of P&O’s European Endeavour which is at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead for annual overhaul.
The Spanish built European Endeavour is scheduled to re-enter service tomorrow with an arrival to Dublin in the morning. It is expected the 366 passenger / 112 lorry ropax will appear with a modified version of the traditional P&O livery scheme already introduced on the route's Dutch built sisters, Norbank and Norbay. The pair are also ropax's having been built originally for North Sea service.
While the ‘European’ is away, the 1,550 freight vehicle lane metre capacity Neptune Aegli presented a sleek looking profile. The ship built in 2002 is not a ropax but is designated a Pure Car & Truck Carries (PCTC) which can transport 1,800 car units. Neptune Lines has operations in 20 countries and more than 30 key ports, focusing on the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
The level of trade on this P&O Dutch route amounts to more than 5,000 extra vehicles being carried on the North Sea route during 2015, contributing to a total of 52,000 HGVs.
The route is operated by the giant 59,925 tonnes sisters Pride of Hull and Pride of Rotterdam, among the largest passenger ferries in Europe providing first class facilities for truck drivers too. They each carry 1,360 passengers, 205 cars and 263 trailers. For more on the P&O story, click here and freight boost on their premier Dover-Calais service.
Afloat adds, that leadship Pride of Hull features an 'Irish Bar' and was built in the same year of Irish Ferries, flagship, Ulysses of 50, 938 tonnes. She is the fifth largest ferry in tonnage terms to operate in UK waters.
As previously reported, Ulysses had gone to A&P Falmouth for annual refit and which has since been completed. The cruiseferry departed the Cornish facility last night and at time of writing is bound for Dublin Port having transitted St. Georges Channel.
#RouteClosure - P&O Ferries has announced the closure of the Larne-Troon route following a comprehensive reviews of its options.
The decision to close its loss-making Northern Ireland-Scotland route is with immediate effect, however the company through this media statement has confirmed it will continue to operate its full Larne-Cairnryan route services throughout 2016 and into the future.
P&O Ferries has proudly operated this additional seasonal route since 2003, but the stark reality is that the company is continuing to make losses. Sadly the income from ticket sales is not sufficient to cover the annual vessel (fast-craft Express not to be chartered in 2016, as previously reported on Afloat) and port operating costs.
In a final attempt to make the route economic the company reduced the service in the off-peak months last year, whilst maintaining the full service in the peak months of July and August. Whilst this measure did significantly reduce the operating costs, the route remained loss-making.
Since the last sailing at the end of September, P&O Ferries has continued to negotiate with a number of suppliers and other organisations, including the search for a lower cost chartered fast-craft to be able to continue, but we have been unable to develop a solution for the company.
There will be no redundancies, with all permanent staff being found alternative roles within the company.
For customers, the company has confirmed that in 2016 the P&O Larne-Cairnryan service will continue to operate up to seven sailings each way every day of the year. These operations are to maintain its reliable service for freight, tourist and domestic customers, on what is still the shortest and most frequent crossing on the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland.
The purpose-built European Highlander and European Causeway vessels will also be undergoing £500,000 of on-board improvements over the next 18 months, and before Easter this year will be adding over 50 seats to each ship. In addition to upgrading or updating a number of the passenger areas and facilities, including the provision of ‘Free Wi-Fi that Works’, and using more locally sourced produce and recipes for the food courts.
The company believes that this decision will enable a more secure future for its employees and for its customers on the Northern Corridor.
#DoverFreightRecord - A record volume of freight has been carried between Dover and Calais by operator P&O Ferries in the third quarter of the year.
According to Lloyds Loading List, the ferry company transported 367,000 units of freight across the Channel between July and September - up 30% on the same period last year and the best single quarter since 2003.
P&O Ferries’ CEO Helen Deeble said: “This quarter has been unprecedented, with the strike by French seamen and the temporary closure of the port of Calais bringing major logistical challenges.”
But she said demand for cross-Channel transport was only going to increase, driven by a rising population and a recovering economy.
“We have increased the number of sailings we make between Dover and Calais to 58 a day and brought a sixth ship back into service on the route in order to make sure that we are best placed to meet that demand."
Freight comprises around two-thirds of P&O Ferries’ business, with tourist traffic accounting for one-third.