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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Seafaring careers with Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) which operates an extensive ferry network in west Scottish from the Clyde and the Hebridean Islands.
Ferry operator CalMac, which is the largest in the UK with routes in west Scotland, is seeking keen applicants for its industry leading Modern Apprenticeship programme Fancy a career at sea? The search for the finest CalMac Modern Apprenticeship candidates…
Construction of the new Isle of Man ferry terminal in Liverpool: additional funds 'can't be ruled out'.
ManxRadio reports that it is hoped the £70m price tag for the new ferry terminal in Liverpool won't increase further, but it can't be ruled out. That's according to Infrastructure Minister Tim Crookall, after he visited the site for the…
Facing both ways…..the push-me-pull-you Dublin Bay excursion paddle steamer Erin’s King at the Customs House Quay in 1895. For 25 years, she’d been the Mersey Ferry Heather Belle
In recent years we’ve become accustomed to the handsome blue mini-cruise-liner St Bridget plying her day-excursion trade along the coasts around Dublin Bay between Dublin Port, Howth and Dun Laoghaire. She’s now a welcome and integral part of the summer…
A CGI image of the £70m plus project of a new terminal for the Isle of Man ferry route at Liverpool's Princes Half Tide Dock
Isle of Man chief minister has met with the mayor of Liverpool to unveil the road which will lead to the new ferry terminal. As Manx Radio reported, Alfred Cannan joined Joanne Anderson on Triskelion Way (on Friday). They were…
The Swedish firm’s two biggest vessels get extended and upgraded facilities. During the pandemic, more people than ever travelled with their dogs, which has led a brand new option on the North Sea of dog-friendly passenger cabins. Above Afloat's photo of Stena Britannica offshore of Harwich in UK when bound for Hoek van Holland, The Netherlands.
Swedish ferry company Stena Line which operates its largest ferries on the North Sea, the Stena Britannica and Stena Hollandica have completed a €1m refit to provide brand new onboard facilities. The Super Ferries each with a capacity for 1,200 passengers,…
Storm Eunice: An Irish Sea ferry departs during a previous storm with the current weather affecting sailings, some of which have been cancelled including services to mainland continental Europe.
Several ferry crossings and flights have been cancelled as Storm Eunice tracks across Ireland. Gusts of more than 130km/h have been reported in some areas, and thousands of homes and businesses have been left without power. (For more on coverage…
Livestock: Ferry operators cancel Ireland-Cherbourg crossings this week due to storms Dudley and Eunice.
Two ferry companies sailing from Ireland to Cherbourg, France, have confirmed they will not bring livestock lorries on sailings scheduled for this week. Both Irish Ferries and Stena Line have confirmed to that they will not carry livestock for…
P&O Ferries is to offer its freight customers a new digital 'Travel Wallet' aimed at easing some of the border control issues caused by Brexit. The new scheme is now available on their Dover to/from Calais service. Above AFLOATs adds is the Spirit of Britain, one of four ferries on their short-Strait service linking the UK and mainland Europe. P&O also operate other routes among them the Irish Sea services of Dublin-Liverpool and Larne-Cairnryan.
P&O Ferries is to offer freight customers a new purpose-built digital product that aims at easing some cross border issues caused by Brexit, as the next set of requirements for cargo movements from Europe to the UK, was introduced on…
Former Irish Sea route ferry, Stena Nordica today returned to the Dublin-Holyhead service so to provide cover of routine annual dry-dock overhauls on the Irish Sea.  The ropax has been widely used by the operator across its route network to include Baltic Sea service and on charters elsewhere.
On Stena Line's Dublin Port-Holyhead service today, a ropax that served the Ireland-Wales route has returned following a repositioning voyage from Scandinavia so to provide cover on the Irish Sea during routine annual dry-dock overhauls, writes Jehan Ashmore. Stena Nordica…
Brittany Ferries embark with major steps for a greener future when on 27th March, the operators built in China 'E-Flexer' class Salamanca, their first liquified natural gas (LNG) powered passenger ferry to make will a commercial sailing from Portsmouth to Bilbao in Spain. Beforehand, the newbuild is scheduled to make a first Irish port of call to Rosslare Europort to enable berthing trials should the E-Flexer class be introduced on their Irish based routes. Above the new cruiseferry is seen at the French operator's founding 'homeport' of Roscoff, Brittany.
Brittany Ferries will take a major step towards an already stated commitment to a greener future when on 27th March, the operators newbuild Salamanca, their first liquified natural gas (LNG) powered passenger ferry is to start on a commercial sailing from…
New route: Gothenburg based Stena Line opened its first (freight) Sweden-Finland route between Nynäshamn and Hanko. The new Baltic Sea route accommodates an increasing demand from  freight customers for a seamless link with operations starting this month by Urd with sister Stena Gothica (above) joining in May. Afloat adds the Urd, the one time Sealink British Ferries operated Seafreight Highway served Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead albeit briefly in 1988 before the Ireland-Wales route operated by the Finnish-built HSS Stena Explorer fastcraft ferry made its final crossing in 2014.
Swedish owned Stena Line opened its first ever (Afloat adds, albeit freight-only) route to Finland with the first sailing of the Nynäshamn-Hanko route taking place on the 1st February.  The ro-ro Urd (former Seafreight Highway on the Irish Sea) departed…
Irish Continental Group successfully defended itself against a challenge from the accounting watchdog over its decision not to write down the value of its fleet at the height of the Covid-19 crisis. Above Irish Ferries high speed craft (HSC) Dublin Swift which operates a seasonal fast-ferry service on the Dublin-Holyhead route.
Irish Continental Group (ICG) parent company of Irish Ferries, has successfully defended itself against a challenge from the accounting watchdog over its decision not to write down the value of its fleet of ferries at the height of the Covid-19…
The first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered passenger-ferry (Salamanca) to operate from the UK, is to follow (Afloat adds from a shipyard in China via Spain) before arriving in Portsmouth on 25 March. Afloat also adds that the E-Flexer class developed by Stena Ro Ro is on charter to the French operator and in which will be powered by the ship's LNG Wärtsilä engine.
Brittany Ferries is to introduce the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered passenger-ferry to operate from the UK following the newbuild built in China, arrives in Portsmouth (via Spain) on 25 March. Ahead of the (Stena Ro Ro built /chartered…
TOP SHIP: Stena Estrid, leadship of the E-Flexer class with crew seen on the uppermost vehicle deck. The ro-pax ferry which entered service in 2020 to serve Dublin-Holyhead, has since also served temporarily on almost all of the operators Irish Sea routes as well as Rosslare-Cherbourg.
One of Stena Line’s newest ships Stena Estrid, which Afloat adds is their leadship E-Flexer class ferry serving on the Dublin-Holyhead route, has been crowned ‘Top Ship’ by the ferry company’s customers. Not only it is Top Ship on the Irish…
Increased Sailings: Irish Ferries chartered in ropax Epsilon berthed at the Port of Holyhead. It was thought the morning and evening service would not return - but it's now bookable.
Irish Ferries services have been strengthened on a key Irish Sea route with the return of two daily sailings, reports NorthWalesLive. The operator have restored a morning and evening service from Holyhead to Dublin which will be operated by the…
The Stena Europe (at the Co. Wexford ferryport) which covers the Rosslare to Fishguard route. Afloat adds the veteran vessel built in 1982 is the oldest ferry in Stena Line's (Irish Sea) fleet and within the operator's overall fleet of passenger/freight ships.
The ferry operator Stena Line has moved to quash rumours of any downgrading of their service on the Rosslare-Fishguard route. Rumours had been rife on industry websites that the long-serving Stena Europe was to be replaced permanently with the smaller…

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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