Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Additional capacity from Stena Line is to see an increase of sailings on their North Channel service between Belfast Harbour (as above) and Cairnryan on the N.I.- Scotland link, while P&O's route out of Larne remains suspended for almost a week.
Operator Stena Line which has a ferry route on the North Channel, has said it will put on extra services between Northern Ireland and Scotland from Tuesday, reports the Belfast Telegraph.  The UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the news in…
Labour Party in the UK parliament is to force an emergency vote on ferry workers rights. The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union claim replacement crews on P&O Ferries are being paid less than the minimum wage. Above one of the ferry firm's cruiseferries, Pride of Hull (as photographed by Afloat) had operated from its namesake north of England cityport to Rotterdam Europoort in the Netherlands.
In the House of Commons, Labour will force an emergency vote to demand the government takes action to outlaw so-called fire and rehire of ferry crew after 800 plus P&O workers (incl. Irish personnel) were sacked on the spot. The party…
Supply-chain concerns for supermarkets. Above sacked P&O workers are joined at Larne by seafarers from Stena Line, who came to show solidarity at a protest held at the Co. Antrim port where the European Causeway is berthed.
Supermarkets and retailers expect to be hit with major supply problems with the suspension of P&O’s Larne-Cairnryan ferry service. A well-placed industry source has told Sunday Life that getting a new crew in place to re-start the service is not…
IOM Steam-Packet's fastcraft ferry Manannan at Liverpool Landing stage is to resume Manx-Merseyside in advance of Easter in April. In addition the craft will also continue operating summer sailings including Douglas-Belfast/Dublin routes.
Fastcraft ferry Manannan of the Isle of Man Steam Packet will resume seasonal sailings between Douglas Harbour and Liverpool (2hrs 45mins) on Friday 1 April, reports Manx Radio. The 865 passenger/200 vehicle InCat 96m craft will undertake crossings to Belfast…
It's a 'Oui' as operator Brittany Ferries ships return to full service across the French firm's route network, among them Irish services, notably the 'seasonal' Cork-Roscoff service starts this month. The Ireland-France route will resume routinely with the flagship cruise-ferry Pont-Aven which Afloat adds also operates on France-UK-Spain services.
Following two years of Covid, Brittany Ferries looks forward to a full complement of ships and a re-opening of routes this summer across its network linking the UK and Ireland with France and Spain. In addition Afloat adds, the year…
A maritime union has urged the UK Government to revoke P&O Ferries' licence in British waters following reopening of the Liverpool-Dublin route yesterday. Above file image P&O Ferries ropax Norbank departing the operator's Irish terminal at Dublin Port's North Wall extension when underway for Liverpool.
In the UK, a maritime union has urged the Transport Secretary to revoke P&O Ferries' licences in British waters as the operator resumed services on one of its routes to Ireland. P&O has said its services between Liverpool and Dublin…
Irish Sea: The Dublin-Liverpool service was routinely operated by a pair of P&O passenger and freight ferries ships (ro-pax), the Bermuda-flagged Norbay and the Dutch-flagged Norbank as Afloat captured above entering Dublin Port in recent years. Currently, only the Norbank has resumed service as of yesterday (Saturday 19 March), whereas Afloat adds the Norbay remains in layover mode in Liverpool's Gladstone Branch Dock No.2 following suspension of sailings on St. Patrick's Day.
Up to 60 employees,The Irish Times writes, who lost their jobs when P&O Ferries sacked them on Thursday are from Ireland, their trade union has stated. Maritime union, Nautilus International, official Mickey Smyth said he estimated that 25 workers from the…
Scottish ferry operator CalMac encourages P&O workers to apply for vacancies in their fleet serving the western isles and on the Clyde. Above Afloat captured the Caledonian Isles which serves between Arran and Ardrossan Harbour in Ayrshire.
Workers of P&O Ferries left jobless by their employer have been urged to apply for positions with Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac).  CalMac's managing director Robbie Drummond said in a statement he was "shocked" by the news 800 seafarers had been thrown…
The Isle of Man Steam Packet reported big losses during the first year of the Covid19 pandemic. Above the operator's main ferry, the ropax Ben-My-Chree entering Douglas Harbour.
The Manx state-owned ferry operator, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company lost tens of millions of pounds in revenue in the first year of the Covid pandemic. Significant losses to both passenger and freight revenues are outlined in the…
Protesters will march on the Tory spring conference in Blackpool, to register their outrage at the sudden announcement. At the nearby port of Liverpool above, Afloat adds is from where P&O Ferries operated a link from Merseyside to Dublin Port and also on the Irish Sea, Cairnryan connecting Larne. The firm also has routes between the UK to mainland Europe with the Hull-Rotterdam and Dover-Calais services.
Operator P&O Ferries and its parent company DP World should be "in no doubt" that the British government is considering its links with them following the mass sacking of 800 seafarers, Tory chairman Oliver Dowden has said. Protesters will march…
P&O Ferries workers were told via video that it was their "final day of employment". Above AFLOAT adds ferries following suspension of services on the Dover-Calais route take up 'western' layover berths at the UK's biggest ferryport, where ferries would otherwise routinely use berths located in the 'east' of the Kent port.
Ferry firm P&O face a growing backlash against the company after it sacked 800 staff without giving them any notice. The UK government said it would review its contracts with P&O Ferries after it fired its employees, planning to replace them…
Security and severance personnel board P&O Ferries ropax European Causeway in Larne Port, Co Antrim. P&O have two routes from Ireland, Larne-Cairnryan and Dublin-Liverpool. Both services serving Scotland and England are suspended after P&O said it was ceasing operating temporarily which also includes their UK routes from Hull and Dover to mainland Europe.
The Irish Government has contacted P&O Ferries seeking details of the impact on its Irish Sea operations of the decision by the UK-based company to suddenly suspend all services and sack its 800 seafaring crew. P&O currently operates two routes…
P&O Ferries’ RoPax vessel Norbay which operated between Liverpool and Dublin Port
P&O Ferries has confirmed that 800 employees were issued “immediate severance notices” with its sudden cancellation of services today (Thursday 17 March). As reported earlier on, the ferry company — which operates Dublin-Liverpool and Larne-Cairnryan services — said it…
P&O Ferries are currently suspended. Above file image of a P&O ferry berthed at Larne Port which connects Cairnryan in Scotland.
Operator, P&O Ferries has paused its services "in preparation for a company announcement" later on Thursday. The ferry operator said it was not going into liquidation but all ferries had been instructed to stay in port. Union RMT urged the…
Irish Ferries MV W.B. Yeats sustained 'Minor Damage' in heavier weather than expected in the Irish Sea last Sunday. See video below.
The Irish Ferries W.B. Yeats ran into heavy weather on its Dublin to Cherbourg route last Sunday morning (13th March) resulting in damage to its upper car deck as the video below shows. The 200-metre long ferry was forced to turn around…
ICG said the number of cars it carried on its division, Irish ferries last year jumped by 48.5%. Above Afloat adds W.B. Yeats berthed at Dublin Port loading vehicles bound for Holyhead
Irish Ferries owner Irish Continental Group has reported higher revenues and earnings for 2021 after what it called another challenging year for the group, with a continuation of travel restrictions due to Covid-19. ICG said its revenues for the year…

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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