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Displaying items by tag: Celtic Link Ferries

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

This weekend sees the start of the National Ferry Fortnight (14-28 May) an initiative to heighten consumer awareness of the extensive ferry network operating to and from the UK, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The ferry fortnight which is now in its third year, is to provide a platform for ferry operators and passengers alike to "seas the opportunity" to both promote and experience the ease, value and versatility of ferry travel.

Central to the National Ferry Fortnight campaign will be a series of promotional offers on ferry routes listed on www.discoverferries.com. The campaign logo will be featured on ferry members' own advertising and website campaigns to highlight the UK's broad network of over 50 routes.

For the first time, ferry passengers will be encouraged to blog and twitter their family and friends when crossing the seas.

Investment in recent years of more modern and versatile fleets has seen an increase in people travelling by ferry, with some 35 million passengers, eight million cars and over 140,000 coaches carried in 2010.

The event is organised by the UK-based Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) and members include Irish owned-ferry operators: Fastnet Line (Cork-Swansea), Celtic Link Ferries (Rosslare-Cherbourg) and Irish Ferries which operate on routes to Wales and France.

In addition the following PSA members (operating between them on Irish Sea, English Channel and North Sea services) are to participate: Brittany Ferries, Condor Ferries, DFDS Seaways, Hovertravel, Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. (IOMSPCo), LD Lines, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, SeaFrance, Stena Line and Wightlink.

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
Ferry companies operating throughout Britain and Ireland are gearing-up for the third annual National Ferry Fortnight which is to run between 14-28 May, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The fortnight is to highlight the advantages of sea, rather than air travel and is to create a greater consumer awareness of the UK's extensive ferry services of over 50 routes.

Investment in recent years of more modern and versatile fleets has seen an increase in people travelling by ferry, with some 35 million passengers, eight million cars and over 140,000 coaches carried in 2010.

Central to the campaign will be a series of promotional offers from individual ferry operators which will be announced nearer the dates and also are to be promoted on the www.discoverferries.com website.

National Ferry Fortnight is organised by the UK-based Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) and members include Irish owned-ferry operators: Celtic Link Ferries (Rosslare-Cherbourg) and Irish Ferries (on routes to Wales and direct Irish-France routes).

In addition the following PSA members (operating between them on the Irish Sea, English Channel and the North Sea) are to participate: Brittany Ferries, Condor Ferries, DFDS Seaways, Hovertravel, Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. (IOMSPCo), LD Lines, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, SeaFrance, Stena Line and Wightlink.

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
17th February 2011

Celtic's French Ferry Figures

Single-route ferry operator, Celtic Link Ferries transported 60,000 passengers, despite last year's challenging economic conditions, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Of that figure, some 48,000 were tourist passengers and the balance of 12,000 accounted for freight accompanied truck-drivers on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route. The thrice weekly service also handled over 50,000 vehicles between tourist and freight lorries.

Operating the route is the 2008 built ro-pax Norman Voyager, at 26,500grt, the vessel has a larger passenger capacity for 800 and additional facilities compared to the previous vessel, Diplomat. In addition the newer Italian built vessel has space for 200 cars and 120 trucks. The ro-pax has a service speed of 22.9 knots is claimed to be the fastest ship serving on the direct routes to France, taking 18-hours.

In 2005 the Wexford based company took over the route from P&O (Irish Sea) and continued to offer what was primarily a freight-only service served by the existing route vessel, the 16,776grt European Diplomat. The vessel was also sold to Celtic Link and renamed Diplomat and could only provide a limited passenger certificate for 74, which was mostly taken up by truck-drivers.

With the introduction in December 2009 of the chartered Norman Voyager from Meridian Marine Management, the Diplomat was laid-up in Waterford (click here). The 1978 built vessel was then chartered by Celtic Link to trade in the Caribbean Sea.

Published in Ferry
The Port of Cork Company has announced that it is unlikely that the proposed new ferry service to Spain will commence in March, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The port authority has advised those waiting to book their holidays on the planned Cork-Gijón route, instead go ahead and make a booking with other ferry operators. 
Existing Cork based ferry services are provided by Fastnet Line to Swansea, with the first outward bound sailing from Cork on 5 March. The port also serves the continent with a Brittany Ferries outbound seasonal sailing on the Roscoff route resuming on 2 April.  

In addition to services running out of Rosslare operated by Celtic Link Ferries and Irish Ferries and the alternative option of landbridge connections to Europe via the UK.

In the meantime, the Port of Cork will continue to be in dialogue with potential operators and investor's, however in the current climate it is proving more challenging to establish the service. Yet both the port authorities in Cork and Gijon remain committed in establishing the first direct Irish-Iberia passenger ferry route, with an update on the Spanish service due in early June.

Since 2008 the port authorities of Cork and Gijón, through the Promotion of Short Sea Shipping and Co-Operation with Small Medium Enterprise's (Proppose) an EU Inter-Reg project, have conducted feasibility studies into the service.

Interest in the service to date, has shown interest from Brittany Ferries, P&O Ferries and Transfennica, a Scandinavian based operator. It was envisaged that a ro-pax type of vessel would operate the 24-hour route to Gijón in Asturias, the region which forms part of Spain's northern 'Green' coast.

The route across the Bay of Biscay would be an attraction to freight hauliers, saving mileage and reduced fuel costs in addition avoiding a weekend ban to trucks travelling through France.

Last summer the ro-pax Norman Bridge started a new route between Nantes / St. Nazaire (Montoir-de-Bretagne) and Gijón, operated by GLD Atlantique. This route received support through the EU 'Motorways of the Seas' (MOS) programme to divert vehicle traffic from congested road-infrastructure and transferred to designated shipping routes, using larger and faster ro-pax vessels.

The route's opening was marked with a declaration signed by Dominique Bussereau, the French Minister of State responsible for Transport and his Spanish counterpart Magdalena Alvarez of the first of two Franco-Spanish MOS concept routes, starting with the 14-hour GLD Atlantique service.

Published in Ferry
The Holiday World Show in association with The Sunday Times, opened its doors today at the RDS Simmonscourt Complex in Dublin. The three-day show, which runs tomorrow and Sunday, will have numerous exhibitors with worldwide destinations and all types of holidays on offer.
As part of the show, visitors can attend a series of free talks held each day. One of the talks will be about "Cruise Holidays" –All You Need To Know, presented by cruise travel specialist, John Galligan of (John Galligan Travel) which starts at 3pm on Saturday. For a full list of the other speakers click HERE

The following ferry and  cruise operators are exhibiting at the show: Azamara Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Celtic Link Ferries, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cruise Holidays, Travel.ie, Hurtigruten, John Galligan Travel, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruise Lines, Pullmantur Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Saga, Silversea Cruises, Thomas Cook and Voyages To Antiquity.

Also exhibiting is Emerald Star for those interested in taking a cabin-cruiser holiday on the Shannon.

For opening times of Holiday World Show (incorporating the Caravan & Motor Home Show) see below

Friday 28 January 1.00 pm - 8.00 pm 

Saturday 29 January 11.00 am - 5.30 pm

Sunday 30 January 11.00 am - 5.30 pm

For a full listing of exhibitors, ticket prices and further information about the show logon to www.holidayworldshow.com

Published in Cruise Liners

Direct continental ferry services between Ireland and France will be reduced as of this weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Brittany Ferries last sailing for this year on the Cork-Roscoff route ends today. The 11-hour route is normally served by 'flagship' Pont-Aven but this weekend's final round-trip will be operated by the Bretagne. The former flagship, built in 1989 had served on the Irish route for several years but now operates St.Malo-Portsmouth sailings. Cork-Roscoff sailings resume in 2011 with the first crossing from the Breton port on 1 April 2011 and the corresponding departure from Ireland on 2 April.

In the interim period, alternative routes to France are maintained by Irish Ferries and Celtic Link Ferries. On the Rosslare-Cherbourg route, operated by Irish Ferries, sailings are scheduled to run to 31 December but there will be no sailings throughout January 2011 and up to mid-February. This is to allow the routes cruiseferry Oscar Wilde to undergo annual dry-docking before re-opening the route on 16 February. In addition Irish Ferries operate the seasonal Rosslare-Roscoff route which starts on 13 May.

Celtic Link Ferries also operate on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route. During January 2011, the company will be the only ferry operator providing services between Ireland and France.

At_sea_3

Celtic Link Ferries ro-pax Norman Voyager

The 17-hour route to Cherbourg is served by the 2008-built ro-pax Norman Voyager, the newest vessel on the continental routes. Norman Voyager accommodates 800 passengers, 200 cars and up to 120 freight vehicles. There are 110 cabins and facilities for passengers include a bar, restaurant, lounges, cinema and a shop.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Page 5 of 6

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