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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
The (detained) P&O Ferries vessel Spirit of Britain (right) moored at the Port of Dover today following its two day MCA reinspection. Afloat adds astern is moored Pride of Canterbury while nearby 'Darwin' class twin Pride of Kent remains detained. The North Channel route to Cairnryan, AFLOAT highlights that European Causeway, previously detained, has returned to service since Sunday 10th April for both freight and tourist customers, though according to P&O a full service is not currently operational.
Ferry operator P&O had originally been due to resume its sailings tomorrow (Thursday, 14 April) but it remains unclear as to whether this plan will materialise. Another P&O Ferries vessel has been detained, casting doubt on whether the firm will…
Starting from Good Friday, April 15th, Aran Island Ferries, will cruise from Galway City to Inis Mór and the Cliffs of Moher daily at 9.30 am.
A seasonal gift from the Easter Bunny is for visitors to Galway this year, as Aran Island Ferries recommences its award winning cruise to Inis Mór and the Cliffs of Moher. Last year saw the ferry company (added a new ferry)…
Artemis Technologies CEO Dr Iain Percy OBE, left, is joined by Elwyn Dop, Operations Director, Condor Ferries as he welcomes the operator to the Belfast Maritime Consortium
Condor Ferries has joined the Belfast Maritime Consortium and will operate the world’s most advanced zero-emission commuter ferry service between Belfast and Bangor. The ferry service to commence in 2024 will act as a pilot scheme for the revolutionary fast…
A P&O ferry at Larne port, the ropax European Causeway.
In Scotland, a union has warned ferry operator P&O, that it will block ports to disrupt sailings after the company sacked almost 800 workers. According to Belfast Telegraph, the company plans to restart passenger services between Larne and Cairnryan later…
Passengers face lack of clarity over sailings with P&O Ferries. Above European Causeway at Larne Port
Passengers hoping to travel on P&O Ferries' Larne-Cairnryan service this week have been expressing frustration at a lack of clarity over sailings. The European Causeway was held in Larne by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency last month over safety concerns,…
Ireland-Iberian Boost: Brittany Ferries to introduce a more tourism-oriented ship "Galicia" on the Rosslare-Bilbao route from November of this year. The huge cruise-ferry will operate the Ireland-Spain route, is one of the newest additions to the fleet having been launched in December 2020. Above AFLOAT adds the built in China newbuild 'E-Flexer' class cruiseferry arriving in UK (Solent) waters with an escort tug-water display salute, before launched originally on Portsmouth-Spain services.
It has been confirmed by Brittany Ferries that a more tourism-oriented ship "Galicia" is to be introduced on to their Rosslare - Bilbao route from November of this year. The huge cruise-ferry (E-Flexer class) is one of the newest additions…
 The P&O Ferries ropax European Causeway, held in the Port of Larne,
The operator P&O Ferries has announced it is preparing to restart sailings “from this weekend” on routes suspended since it sacked nearly 800 seafarers. As Independent.ie writes, the firm revealed plans to resume operations for four of its ships. It…
All aboard: Jean-Marc Roué, President of Brittany Ferries and Honorary Council of Ireland in Brittany; Cllr Susan McCarthy, Deputy Mayou of The County of Cork; Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer, Port of Cork Company; Christophe Mathieu, Chief Executive Officer of Brittany Ferries, and Paula Cogan, President, Cork Chamber, pictured to celebrate the addition of a second weekly Brittany Ferries sailing between Cork and Roscoff.
Brittany Ferries is doubling its service from Cork to France. In addition to the regular Saturday sailing to Roscoff there will be an additional midweek service overnight on Wednesdays as part of a three-year deal signed today between the French…
Brittany Ferries is operating a midweek sailing from Cork for Roscoff, with Armorque sailing to the Breton port in north-west France. The usual weekend sailings, by flagship Pont-Aven, depart from the Irish port when they resume this Saturday.
Operator Brittany Ferries confirmed its recently launched midweek (Armorique) ferry on the Cork-Roscoff route will become a permanent feature of the company’s France sailing schedule. Although this Wednesday sailing connection is part of a new three-year deal signed by the…
Salamanca departed Portsmouth on its inaugural voyage on 27 March, however AFLOAT adds the first LNG-powered ferry operating in UK waters, broke down in Bilbao, Spain.
Asides delays to Stait of Dover ferry operators as Afloat reported, Brittany Ferries UK crossings to Spain and France are set to be disrupted after a new liquefied gas-powered (LNG) ship broke down days after its inaugural voyage. Brittany Ferries…
Sailing mecca of Cowes, Isle of Wight: Floating Bridge No. 6 appeared to hit the sea wall and damage two windows. Afloat adds the 37m chain-ferry operates Cowes-East Cowes service on the busy River Medina. The car ferry was built in south Wales at a boatyard in Pembroke Dock.
The Isle of Wight's problem-plagued chain ferry has crashed while returning from a safety inspection. As BBC News which has more on the Floating Bridge No. 6, has been out of action since 7 March for its five-yearly check by…
Stena Europe has been transferred to the Dublin to Holyhead route
Ferry company Stena Line has been forced to suspend sailings between Rosslare and Fishguard until 12 April, to plug gap left by P&O Ferries between Larne and Cairnryan. As ITV news reports, P&O’s two ships – the European Causeway and…
Delays to Eurotunnels' freight and passenger services at the Eurotunnel in Folkestone because of an earlier broken down train. In addition delays face ferry passengers at the Port of Dover on the link to Calais, operated by DFDS and Irish Ferries. AFLOAT adds while P&O Ferries services remain suspended following the sacking of seafarers last month.
The UK-France fixed link operator, Eurotunnel had delays to its services which have increased from three to four hours after a train broke down, reports KentOnline. The disruption in Folkestone comes as lorries continue to queue on the M20 and…
Cancelled sailings as the ferry, Shannon Dolphin became stuck at Tarbert Pier, Co. Kerry.  AFLOAT adds the Limerick registered carferry has a larger half-sister, Shannon Breeeze operating the 20 minute crossing between counties Clare and Kerry.
Estuary operator, Shannon Ferries have been forced to cancel sailings due to a stranded passenger ferry operating from Tarbert to Killimer. An incident at Tarbert Pier saw the ferry, Shannon Dolphin become stuck at low tide on Sunday afternoon (3…
Dursey Island cable car
Farming representatives have shared their dismay at the failure to provide a ferry service to replace the suspended cable car to Dursey Island. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, funding for a temporary ferry service was agreed by the Department of…
Isle of Man fast-ferry catamaran Manannan made a recent call to Dublin Port to facilitate a safety inspection carried out by the Irish Maritime Administration prior to resuming services throughout the Irish Sea leading up to and during the summer months.
Manannan the fast-ferry catamaran of the Isle of Man Steam Packet, called to Dublin Port for the first time this year, but firstly to undergo an examination of the 96m craft prior to entering service, writes Jehan Ashmore. The 43-knot fast-ferry…

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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