Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Same bottles (of spirits) cost up to €34 in supermarkets after minimum alcohol pricing introduced. Above the entrance to a duty-free ferry shop.
Travellers on ferries and planes can expect a litre of vodka to be available for just €13, representing a massive discount on supermarket prices after minimum alcohol pricing laws were introduced. Ports and airports have witnessed a dramatic surge in…
Expanded Dublin-Europe cargo operations at Dublin Port... Trucks' trailers sit parked on the quayside near the European Endeavour (above also captured by AFLOAT) the passenger and ro-ro cargo ship, operated by P&O Ferries at Dublin Port on Friday, March 29, 2019, so writes AFLOAT also adds in that same year the vessel was sold to Baltic Sea operator Eckerö Line and renamed Finbo Cargo. The ship when built as Midnight Merchant is a sister of Ciudad de Mahon (originally Northern Merchant) which ICG acquired for Irish Ferries and is to used on their Dover-Calais service.
In the Revenue’s annual report it confirms a massive increase in red tape now involved in trade with Britain. Revenue say they collected €215m of customs duty on imports from Britain last year, even before the full impact of Brexit…
Manx artists and island-based creatives are being given the chance to have their art work featured in the interior of the Isle of Man Steam Packet fleet newbuild flagship, the Manxman.
Artists on the Isle of Man and island-based creatives are being given the chance to feature their art work in the interior of the newest ferry addition to the operator's Douglas based packet fleet. The Isle of Man Steam Packet…
Travel test requirements end in Ireland and England this week. Above Irish Ferries which uses Dublin Port's ferryport terminal (No.1).
As the more dominant the Omicron variant of the virus has become, paradoxically the more redundant restrictions on the travel sector to halt its spread have looked. Now that the variant is everywhere it’s pointless trying to keep it out…
The past couple of years have been seismic for the port of Holyhead, which Stena Line owns and operates. Above, Afloat adds the freight check-in booths including those for rival operator, Irish Ferries at the north Wales port on Anglesey.
Holyhead as Welsh towns go has had to reckon with more upheaval than most. The largest town on the Isle of Anglesey is home to just over 10,000 people but is also one of the UK's largest commercial and ferry…
Isle of Man Steam Packet had a momentous milestone on Christmas Eve as the keel was laid for Manxman, marking the beginning of the newbuild's formal construction at an Asian shipyard. The keel-laying ceremony, a centuries-old tradition which is said to bring luck to the captain and crew during the life of the ship, took place at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s newbuild flagship ferry, Manxman was given an official ceremony held in South Korea, Asia to mark the beginning of the formal construction. The keel-laying ceremony, which traditionally invites good luck in the construction…
Fleet left to Rust: CalMac operates the largest ferry fleet in the UK, which Afloat adds is owned by the Scottish Government. Among the ageing fleetmates, is the Isle of Arran (above) dating to 1984 and which serves on the Firth of Clyde to Arran, the most southerly 'year-round' route of an extensive ferry network throughout the Inner and Outer Hebrides.
Ferry operator CalMac which is owned by the Scottish Government, has been accused of leaving the fleet to rust, as new figures show the cost of repairs rising by almost a quarter. Since the start of the current CalMac franchise…
The Isle of Man Steam Packet had to bring in extra freight sailing after silt issues forced the ferry Ben-my-Chree to leave Heysham early. The freight ferry Arrow left the Lancashire port at 4am with the freight, including today's newspapers. Above both of the vessels seen at Douglas Harbour.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company had to add an extra freight sailing after silt caused issues for the ferry Ben-my-Chree at Heysham. The ferry operator according to Manx Radio, had to change its sailing times over the last…
Silting at Heysham Port continues to affect ferry sailings to and from the Isle of Man with the above ropax Ben-My-Chree underway in the Irish Sea
At the Irish Sea ferry port of Heysham, ongoing silt issues are continuing to affect the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company sailings. Both tonight's crossings will depart earlier, according to Manx Radio Tonight's (29th December) 7.45pm crossing will now be…
IOM Steam Packet's ropax Ben-My-Chree
Issues of silting at Heysham Port in England, is a regular issue for the Isle of Man ferry the Ben-my-Chree. It's unlikely sailing to Fleetwood rather than Heysham would solve the silt problems the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company…
Using the MV Arrow (above departing Douglas) for freight will free up capacity for passengers on the conventional ferry Ben-my-Chree service to Heysham.
Ro-ro freight ferry MV Arrow has been brought back into service after fog disrupted weekend passenger services, the Isle of Man Steam Packet has said. The move is designed to free up space on the Ben-my-Chree to get passengers "where…
Brexit Booster: In response to change in demand, the larger Stena Foreteller is to be deployed to the popular Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) route adding a much needed additional 13% freight capacity.
Ferry company Stena Line has once again realigned its NI freight services to better reflect market demand created by Brexit related trade distortions. To accommodate this change in demand, the operator has redeployed its larger Stena Foreteller ship to the…
Dover's December Debut:  Afloat this week tracked Isle of Innisfree on the Strait of Dover (above on berthing trials at the Port of Dover). The newest addition to Irish Ferries (ICG) fleet, today entered service on the UK-France route of Dover-Calais. The former RMT Dover-Ostende ferry Prins Filip since 1992 served several short-Strait operators and routes, now joins fleetmate Isle of Inishmore as second ship, doubling sailing frequency between post Brexit Britain and the mainland Europe/ EU member state. Afloat also adds the name of Isle of Innisfree revives a former ropax custom-built for Irish Ferries Dublin-Holyhead route launched in 1995.
Irish Ferries, a subsidiary of the Dublin based Irish Continental Group plc (ICG), have today added further capacity with the introduction of Isle of Innisfree to their existing short-Straits service of Dover-Calais. Since Irish Ferries opened the new service out…
Wind farms proposed in the Irish Sea could 'massively' affect IOM Steam Packet routes linking the English ports of Heysham, (Afloat add the operators main route) and Liverpool (run on a seasonal basis). Above the ferry fleet including the chartered-in ro ro freigher Arrow berthed (on left) at Douglas Harbour.
According to Manx Radio, two huge wind farms proposed for the Irish Sea would have serious implications for ferry operator the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Managing Director, Brian Thomson, says the Mona and Morgan wind farms would cut…
Goods moving across the Irish Sea between the island of Ireland and the UK
The UK's Brexit minister David Frost said today that London would extend a grace period for introducing post-Brexit checks on goods moving from the island of Ireland to Britain beyond January 1 to allow space for negotiations with the European…
Storm Barra: The historic breakwater at the north Wales port has been badly hit by Storm Arwen and Storm Barra. Afloat adds the Holyhead Port Authority is operated by Stena Line Ports.
The Port of Holyhead's breakwater has been closed by Stena after recent storms have left it too unsafe for public access. The historic breakwater - that protects Holyhead port - has been badly hit by Storm Arwen and Storm Barra.…

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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