Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
At the moment, the only Dover-Calais passenger services are being provided by Irish Ferries and DFDS. As P&O Ferries services have been suspended for nearly six weeks after 800 workers were sacked without notice.
Ferry company P&O has resumed freight services on its Spirit of Britain ship, but passenger crossings remain suspended. As KentLive reports the vessel left Port of Dover on Tuesday evening (26 April). Spirit of Britain was detained by the Maritime and…
The P&O ferry European Causeway which operates between Larne and Cairnryan - lost power on the way to Northern Ireland on Tuesday afternoon.
Ferry operator P&O has said a full investigation will be carried out after a vessel travelling to Larne was left to drift off the coast of Co Antrim after losing power. The 'European Causeway' - which operates between Larne and…
Union RMT said no P&O ferry should be allowed to set sail after a vessel (European Causeway) ran adrift off the coast of Larne.  The ferry AFLOAT adds had only resumed service last week on the North Channel route to Cairynryan following a crew dispute that began more than a month ago.
A trade union has said that no P&O ferry should be allowed to set sail after a vessel ran adrift off the coast of Larne. Passengers on the firm’s European Causeway were in a state of confusion yesterday after the…
Ferry incident: A P&O ferry, European Causeway (seen in recent years) was adrift off the coast of Northern Ireland has docked at the Port of Larne after regaining power.
A ferry operated by P&O which was sailing from Scotland to Northern Ireland has regained power after spending hours adrift in the Irish Sea. The European Causeway, which can carry up to 410 passengers, has docked at Larne Harbour. It left…
Among the characteristics of Brittany Ferries new 'freight rail-motorway', will benefit UK-France links with Poole, Portsmouth and Rosslare to Cherbourg, where the French port will see a seamless transport of unaccompanied trailers from Ireland and UK to the Iberian Peninsula and vice versa. Plus a reduction of road traffic, congestion and emmissions with the 970km rail journey replacing an alternative 920km road journey.
Brittany Ferries has given the go-ahead to a new rail-freight link connecting the Port of Cherbourg in Normandy and Bayonne in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region in south-western France. The Breton based ferry company first announced the rail project back in…
P&O’s Spirit of Britain ferry will resume sailings on the Dover-Calais route (today, 26 April). It will mark the first commercial crossing on the company’s busiest route since it sacked about 800 people in March.
Operator P&O Ferries has been forced to reverse an attempt to pay its new, cheaper agency workers even less money. It comes after the RMT Union received reports of agency workers at Dover being asked to sign new contracts replacing…
The future's bright and also orange... as the Baltimore newcomer, Carraig Mhór departs for Cape Clear Island bringing tourists out to the scenic west Cork island.
A ferry acquired by Cape Clear Ferries set off on its maiden crossing to the West Cork island yesterday and under the new name of Carraig Mhór, writes Jehan Ashmore.  The Baltimore based operator's latest addition saw Carraig Mhór which…
Full service as P&O Ferries second Larne-Cairynryan route ropax European Highlander began sailing this afternoon.
A ferry of P&O's the European Highlander has returned to service this Sunday afternoon for the first time since the company sacked 800 staff on St Patrick's Day. According to ITV News, the ropax ferry had been prevented from sailing…
The Aran Islands Express Ferry Fleet
Doolin Ferry Company has set sail for the summer season, with their state-of-the-art ferries operating once again from Doolin Pier to the Aran Islands. Passengers can also opt to board a Cliffs of Moher cruise, or the Seafari experience, which…
Bristol Channel link? The idea could see (Hydro-Powered) ferries joining other shipping in the Bristol Channel, though it is not the first time the idea of a ferry service linking Cornwall or Devon to Wales has been put forward (by Severn Link Afloat adds, using former Isle of Wight passenger-only fastcraft). Above Afloat has identified in the Bristol Channel the MSC Joy, a 1,933TEU container ship that of recent months has called to Dublin Port.
A hydro-powered ferry service could start running between south Wales and the south-west of England. The trip writes BBC News, would venture across the Bristol Channel to link Swansea with Cornwall and Devon, is being discussed by councils in the…
Firth of Clyde: The stricken main Arran ferry, MV Caledonian Isles to remain out of service for another ten days until 3 May, following an engine failure at Ardrossan Harbour that occured during the busy Easter holiday weekend.
Scottish-state owned ferry operator, CalMac is now looking at redeploying or chartering other vessels to help meet demand because it has no spare large ferries available. Caledonian Isles is being repaired in Troon (see related story) after suffering an engine…
The ropax ferry Norbay serves the Liverpool-Dublin route, is seen arriving at the capital in recent years during a routine crossing of the Irish Sea route.
On the Irish Sea is where one of the two P&O Ferries vessels which was being held for inspection has been cleared to sail, as the company attempts to resume normal operations. The UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said…
The two Irish Sea ships under inspection, European Highlander which normally operates Larne-Cairnryan while Norbay (above) serves the Dublin-Liverpool route.
A further two ships of the P&O Ferries fleet are being inspected as the company attempts to resume normal operations after sacking nearly 800 workers. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it began assessing European Highlander on Thursday and…
Marine works to upgrade Troon’s East Pier Ferry Terminal have now been completed to support the CalMac ferry service from neighbouring Ardrossan which serves routes to Brodick, Isle of Arran and Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre. The south-west Scottish port AFLOAT adds had been served by P&O Ferries fast-craft seasonal service linking Larne which ceased operations in 2015. The Antrim port, however recently saw partial service resume on P&O Ferries connection to Cairnryan, following a major crewing dispute that erupted in March.
An upgraded ferry terminal at the Scottish port of Troon, operated by Associated British Ports (ABP) has been announced following marine works including new berthing fenders and a suspended concrete deck were completed. The works carried out by civil engineering…
CalMac services to and from Brodick, Arran were cancelled on Tuesday with engineers working to repair MV Caledonian Isles at Ardrossan Harbour, as seen in this file image taken by AFLOAT at the Firth of Clyde's Irish berth. Another ferry, Isle of Aran is currently maintaining sailings. AFLOAT adds that according to CalMac, Caledonian Isles has been withdrawn from service and is required to move (from Ardrossan) to Troon to undergo essential works to the ship's port main engine. No immediate timescales for the repair work are available however a further review will be provided on Friday.
Firth of Clyde ferry crossings to the Isle of Arran were removed from service on Tuesday as engineers tried to fix a broken engine. The cancellations left just one vessel operating on the main route from Ardrossan (to Brodick), with…
In a report it stated there was an inability to safely deploy lifeboats or life rafts was one of 31 failures discovered on P&O Ferries vessel, European Causeway as above berthed at the Port of Larne.
According to a new report, there was an inability to safely deploy lifeboats or life rafts on a P&O Ferries vessel that was one of 31 failures discovered. Inspectors for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) found that the “launching…

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!

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating