Displaying items by tag: P&O Ferries
#FERRY NEWS – St.Patrick's Day coincides with the start of the UK's annual National Ferry Fortnight (17-30 March) campaign which includes the participation of over 50 routes, including those operating on the Irish Sea, writes Jehan Ashmore.
This year's event organised by the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) is to be brought forward two months earlier instead of May. According to the PSA the change of dates was designed to "emphasise the great value of family ferry travel at a time when parents have a watchful eye on budgets".
A new official logo will front the campaign's website www.discoverferries.com which is supported by all ferry line members of the association. The two week showcase aims to heighten consumer and media awareness of the UK's extensive ferry firms route network.
PSA members include Brittany Ferries, Condor Ferries, DFDS Seaways, Hovertravel, Isle Of Man Steam Packet Company, Irish Ferries, LD Lines, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, Stena Line and Wightlink.
The association estimate that around 35 million people, 8 million cars and 140,000 coaches were carried by ferries last year.
#FERRIES - As the adverse weather continues, ferry services across the Irish Sea remain affected, with several crossings cancelled, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Irish Ferries 08.05hrs sailing this morning from Dublin to Holyhead operated by Isle of Inishmore, departed over three hours later than her scheduled time.
Last night she had just been deployed on the route so to cover sailings usually operated by Ulysses, which went off-service for annual dry-docking at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, as previously reported on Afloat.ie
In addition the fast-ferry craft sailing at 08.45hrs from Dublin Port served by the Jonathan Swift were cancelled and the following sailings are also cancelled:
Dublin -Holyhead 14.30hrs
Holyhead-Dublin 12.00hrs AND 17.15hrs
Passengers booked on the Jonathan Swift instead will be accommodated on the Isle of Inishmore. For further information on Dublin-Holyhead sailing updates click HERE.
On the Rosslare-Pembroke Dock service, sailings were too cancelled with last night's sailing from Wales, which are currently served by Oscar Wilde. She sailed as scheduled with this morning's 08.45hrs sailing to Pembroke Dock.
To keep updated on Rosslare-Pembroke Dock sailings click HERE.
For further information, Irish Ferries Central Reservations contact: 0818 300 400 and for Irish Ferries, Rosslare Harbour contact: 00353 53 9133158
For information on sailing schedules and updates from the company's Ferrycheck facility click HERE.
To contact Stena Line call: 003531 204 77 99 when travelling to Britain or 0044 (0) 8705 755 755 when travelling to Ireland or Scotland
Dublin to Liverpool sailing at 1500hrs is cancelled and passengers will be accommodated on either 2130hrs tonight or 0900hrs on Friday 6th January.
For other sailings and on the Larne-Cairnryan click HERE and to contact +44 (0) 871 66 44 777 if calling from UK
OR (01) 407 34 34 if calling from ROI. In addition to latest sailing infomation on +44 (0)845 832 8888
FOR OTHER FERRY OPERATORS
Please click this LINK and choose the relevant highlighted ferry route for further information.
#FERRY NEWS – With travel disruption to some Irish Sea ferry services due to the severe weather conditions battering across the country, the following ferry operator's website links below provide the latest sailing schedules and contact details.
It is also advisable to contact the ferry operator to inquire about the port check-in time prior to setting off. For further information click over each of the route as highlighted below.
Central Reservations Tel: 0818 300 400 OR
Rosslare Tel: (053) 9133158
Rosslare-Cherbourg: Sailings have been temporarily suspended due to annual dry-docking of the cruiseferry Oscar Wilde. Sailings resume with the first departure in 2012 from Rosslare on 19th February and the corresponding return sailing from Cherbourg is scheduled for 21st February. For timetable click HERE.
Tel: (01) 204 77 99 when travelling to Britain OR
Tel: 00 44 (0) 8705 755 755 when travelling to Ireland or Scotland.
Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead Note: the high-speed (HSS) route remains suspended until April or May 2012.
Tel: 00 353 (0)1 407 3434
Larne-Troon. Note: the 'Express' fast-ferry craft operated route is due to re-open in March 2012.
Tel: 00 44 1586 555 895
Note: FOOT-PASSENGER ONLY fast-RIB craft service which is currently operating to a winter service (October 2011-April 2012) which runs only on Friday's and Monday's.
CELTIC LINK FERRIES
Tel: (053) 916 2688
Tel: (021) 437 8892 OR UK 00 44 (0) 844 576 8831
Note: The Celtic Sea route is due to re-open on 6th April 2012 with a sailing from Swansea.
#FERRY NEWS- In the space of two days, Stena Line opened a new ferry route between Belfast-Cairnryan today following yesterday's closure of services between Belfast-Stranraer, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Sisters Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII inaugurated sailings on the 2 hour 15 minute with 12 crossings daily, and in which will use a new £80m ferry terminal at Loch Ryan Port, Cairnryan and the VT4 terminal in Belfast. The relocation of Scottish ports and terminal investment cost £200m.
The newcomers have a capacity for 1,200 passenger /660 vehicles or 110 freight units. They received a refit and upgrade in Poland where new luxurious facilities such as a Nordic Spa, interactive lounge zone with the latest in technology and free Wi-Fi access throughout the vessel and VIP lounges were installed. To read more click HERE.
At 204m and over 30,000 tonnes each the German built pair are easily the largest ever ferries to operate in the North Channel and will compete with rivals P&O Larne-Cairnryan route served by the 20,000 tonnes sisters European Causeway and European Highlander both built in Japan.
The introduction of the former Scandinavian serving sisters directly replaced Stena Caledonia and HSS Stena Voyager from the Belfast-Stranraer route which only started in 1995. Prior to then Stena Line had operated a service from Larne, which could trace ferry services for the last 123 years.
The Swedish ferry company decided to abandon the route in favour of Belfast. This development also saw the introduction of the second revolutionary HSS 1500 series catamaran ferry HSS Stena Voyager in tandem with various conventional tonnage used over the last sixteen years. The final sailings at the weekend marked the closure of nearly 140 years of several ferry operators running between Stranraer at the end of Loch Ryan and Belfast.
With the withdrawal of HSS Stena Voyager and Stena Caledonia yesterday, she joins former fleetmate Stena Navigator in Belfast, which stood down from Stranraer service last week as previously reported, to read click HERE.
Apart from the novelty factor of this on board feature the 30,285grt vessels will also the largest ever deployed on any North Channel route. In addition the region will see the opening of the new £80m ferryport of Loch Ryan Port, located close to rivals, P&O (Irish Sea) at their terminal in Cairnryan.
Stena's decision to relocate to Loch Ryan Port which is only eight miles away from its existing Scottish terminal in Stranraer on the shores of Loch Ryan is to reduce passage times, fuel costs and road travel times. The closure of this port will also see the end of HSS fast-craft sailings served by HSS Stena Voyager and conventional vessels Stena Caledonia and Stena Navigator.
The Superfast sisters are on charter for two-years, where they will operated the new 2 hour 15 minute route which is due to be launched on 21 November. They will make 12 crossings per day and each of the ten-deck ships can carry up to 1200 passengers, 660 cars or 110 freight units.
Originally the pair, built in 2001 at the Howaldtswerde Deutsche Werft AG, Kiel for Attica Enterprises, were used by Superfast Ferries on their German (Rostock-Hanko) Finnish route. In 2006 they were sold to Tallink, where they operated on other Scandinavian services.
As for the remaining winter-serving fast-ferries they are Stena Line's HSS Stena Voyager (1996/ 19,638grt) between Belfast-Stranraer, in tandem with conventional ferries. Next month this route will close as the Scottish terminal relocates to a new ferryport nearby at (Loch Ryan Port) Cairnryan.
In addition two sister-ferries, which are undergoing modifications and an upgrade for their two-year charter on the North Channel, will directly replace the two-hour passage times it takes for the HSS fast-ferry and the ferries Stena Caledonia and Stena Navigator which take 2hrs 50 minutes.
With the introduction of the new tonnage to the Belfast-Cairnryan route, sailings times will be reduced to 2hrs 15mins. Ironically the new ferries which albeit will be the largest to serve on any North Channel route will actually be some 15 minutes slower on the newer-shorter distance route compared to the HSS fast-ferry operated Belfast-Stranraer sailings.
The second fast-ferry service is operated on Irish Ferries Dublin-Holyhead route using Jonathan Swift (1999/5,989grt) which is marketed as the Dublin 'Swift'. She runs year-round in addition to the cruiseferry Ulysses.
Also operating fast-ferry craft is the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's Manannan (1998/5,029grt) but this is on the none cross-channel route between Douglas and Liverpool.
The third service between Belfast-Stranraer is in the hands of rivals Stena Line which maintain the HSS Stena Voyager (1996/19,638 grt) on sailings but only to around mid-November. She will be replaced by conventional sister-ships which will be introduced on the North Channel's newest port when services switch from Stranraer to a new terminal close to Cairnryan.
Finally the fourth fast-ferry is Irish Ferries marketed 'Dublin Swift' service which runs on the Dublin-Holyhead route served by Jonathan Swift (1999/5,989 grt). The craft built by Austal in Fremantle, operates alongside the conventional cruise-ferry Ulysses.
Stena Line's decision to terminate HSS Stena Explorer sailings between Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead this day last week follows fast-ferry Stena Lynx III's end-of-season Rosslare-Fishguard sailings earlier this month.
From next year, Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead sailings are to be seasonal-only and according to Stena Line they hope to resume fast-ferry sailings in April or May though no exact date has been set. Unlike the central corridor route which was entirely dependent on HSS operations, the Rosslare-Fishguard route remains operating year-round with the conventional ferry Stena Europe.
As a result of the discontinued fast-ferries, the HSS Stena Explorer is now spending a lay-up period in the Welsh port for the winter. The smaller Stena Lynx III is also 'wintering' but in on the opposite side of the Irish Sea in Dun Laoghaire, where the vessel has done so in previous years.
The lay-up of both fast-ferries in Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead is ironic considering that neither ports' are connected by the very craft that used to share sailing rosters in recent years. In addition the wintering of these catamaran craft is the first time that this has occurred since the pioneering Stena Sea Lynx fast-ferry launched such sailings in 1993.
This first 'Lynx' provided seasonal sailings on the route with conventional car-ferry Stena Hibernia, the former St. Columba, custom-built in 1977 for Sealink /British Rail. She was given a second name under Stena ownership, the Stena Adventurer and remained on the 57 nautical-mile route until replaced in 1996 by the year-round operated HSS Stena Explorer.
Apart from cross-channel fast-ferry services, the Isle of Man is served by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. Ltd's routes linking the islands capital Douglas with Belfast, Dublin, Heysham and Liverpool (Birkenhead) in the winter. These routes include seasonal services which are operated by a combination of conventional tonnage using Ben-My-Chree and fast-ferry Manannan (1998/5,089grt), a former US Navy vessel, to read more click HERE. For sailing schedules, vessel type deployed on route and for fares click HERE.
- Dublin Port
- Irish Ferries
- Dun Laoghaire
- Stena Europe
- P&O Ferries
- Belfast Harbour
- Stena Line
- Ports and Shipping News
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- Stena Explorer
- Stena Express
- Isle of Man Steam Packet Co.
- Stena Voyager
- Belast Port
- Isle of Man ferry services
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- Stena 'Lynx'
- Dublin Swift
- Stena Sea Lynx
The German built 41,700grt vessel stays at the port for an 8 -hour turn-around before making the seasons inaugural outbound sailing to France at 16.00hrs.
Pont-Aven can arguably claim to be the most luxurious 'cruiseferry' operating to Ireland as the vessel has a small number of luxury cabins incorporating balconies and uniquely to feature a swimming pool.
The swimming pool and leisure area can be covered over by a retractable roof. The option of the 'open-air' swimming pool may prove more popular with her 2,400 passengers as the cruiseferry also operates on a triangular route roster between Roscoff-Plymouth and Plymouth-Santander
Pont-Aven also operates a second Spanish route, Santander-Portsmouth in tandem with Cap Finistère. The 32,728grt cruiseferry last week opened a new route for Brittany Ferries also from Portsmouth to Bilbao, for details click here.
The Bibao route had closed in September when P&O Ferries withdrew from the service which since 1993 has been run by Pride of Bilbao. The 37,583grt was on charter from the Irish Continental Group (ICG) the parent company of Irish Ferries until its sale late last year to a Baltic Sea ferry operator between Helsinki-(Tallinn)-St.Petersburg, for more information click here.
The Cap Finistere has a 790 passenger / 500 vehicle capacity and the vessel will operate two round trips weekly with each crossing taking 24 hours. Interestingly an additional en-route call to Roscoff is scheduled on Sunday sailings bound for Bilbao which will take 33-hours. This is to facilitate a crew change, as the Cap Finistere does not operate on any of the company routes from France.
In 2009 the P&O service carried 180,000 passengers and 193,000 in 2008 but closed due to "unsustainable losses". There were 800 redundancies but some 150 staff jobs were secured through transfer. Click here for a previous posting. The company were in direct competition with Brittany Ferries existing two routes between Plymouth and Poole to Santander.
The Bilbao route brings the Brittany Ferries operations to five sailings weekly between the UK to Spain, two from Portsmouth to Santander and a single round-trip to Plymouth.
The Pride of Bilbao was sold late last year by ICG to the Baltic Sea based St. Peter Line at a profit of €9.4m. The vessel underwent refurbishment and was renamed Princess Anastasia and next month starts a new St. Petersburg-Stockholm service, with Russian bound sailings calling en route to
the Estonian capital of Tallinn. Click here for more details.
Pride of Bilbao's return to the Baltic is nearly full-circle as the 2,553 passenger / 600 vehicles vessel, built in 1986 as Olympia for Viking Line's also operated out of Stockholm to Helsinki, and at the time was one of the largest overnight passenger capacity ferries in the world.
The Irish Continental Group (ICG) which is the parent company of Irish Ferries, has warned of 'uncertainty' in 2011 due to higher fuel costs and the effects of the austerity measures in both the Irish and UK economies.
ICG secured a 61% increase in pretax profits in 2010 following an increase in passenger numbers and the sale of their MV Pride of Bilbao to St. Peter Line (click here) after a long-term charter to P&O Ferries. The 37,583 gross tonnes cruiseferry is to open a new second route for the Baltic Sea operator between St. Petersburg and Stockholm, starting next month.
To read more about ICG's end of year results, click the report in today's Irish Times.