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The News Board / Re: Grimaldi Cork-ANtwerp
« on: October 19, 2021, 11:19:12 pm »

Big boost for Port of Cork as Euro ferry group looks to double 'Brexit Buster' sailings
From January, a four-times a week service will link Cork direct to Belgium and Holland

By Joe O'Shea Editor
12:08, 11 OCT 2021 UPDATED 09:28, 12 OCT 2021
visual image:
Photo caption: Eurocargo Barri has been a big success since it started calling twice a week to Cork earlier this year

One of the world's biggest cargo and passenger ferry operators has identified Cork as a 'best option' for connecting southern Ireland to Europe as Brexit continues to change international trade.

Grimaldi Lines started a new twice-weekly Ro-Ro (container lorry) service on the Eurocargo Barri from Cork to Antwerp/Zeebrugge in the summer.

Now the giant ferry group plans to launch another new service in January - adding a second ship and doubling the sailings between Cork, Antwerp in Belgium and Zeebrugge in Holland to four a week.

It's a major vote of confidence in the Port of Cork and a sign of how 'Brexit Busting' routes, which avoid the 'landbridge' across the UK, are bringing new trade and new, direct, connectivity between our southern ports of Cork and Rosslare and the continent.

It's also a further sign of Cork's growing connectivity by sea and air - both Ryanair and KLM have just announced new services out of Cork Airport - with Ryanair planning twice-weekly flights to Venice and KLM today announcing the doubling of daily flights to Amsterdam.

Antonio Raimo, Line Manager of Grimaldi Group, has said the success of the Cork-Zeebruggee route, which only opened at the start of this summer, has convinced them that Port of Cork has great potential.

“We have really put Cork on the map as the third Irish Brexit bypass port,” said Raimo.

The Grimaldi Group man said Rosslare and Cork are - in many ways - the best options for trade between the continent and Ireland.

“Dublin is too expensive and too saturated with all the Brexit troubles," he told a group of logistics and ferry journalists at the weekend.

"Our line focuses primarily on trailers and only to a limited extent on containers. And the volumes are growing weekly. Especially after the summer it started to go fast.

"We therefore want to deploy a second ship from January 2022 and double the frequency to four sailings per week between Zeebrugge and Cork, with two calls in Antwerp," said Raimo.

"“With our new service, the aim is not to disrupt the market, but rather to ride the wave of growth in trailer traffic that no longer wishes to use the UK landbridge."

The Eurocargo Bari, one of the biggest ro-ro ships connecting the continent with Ireland, left Ringaskiddy this morning.

It now looks likely that she will have a second, Grimaldi Lines sister ship sailing out of Cork from the new year.

Port of Cork has been greatly expanding operations - while readying a major new container port at Ringaskiddy.

Recent new routes include the only direct deep-sea regular cargo connection between Ireland and the US (east coast) - with the weekly Cork to Chester, Pennsylvania service that carries everything from chilled Pharma and Foodstuffs to chemicals, auto parts, paper and packaging products.

As with the new lines to Europe, and a regular service that also links Cork with the Med and Africa, these services are opening up new opportunities for Cork and Ireland to connect to and trade with the world.

There is growing confidence in the Irish export sector. To mark International Markets Week, Enterprise Ireland has just surveyed the over 700 Irish companies.

The survey detailed the strong performance of Irish exporters thus far in 2021 despite the challenges of our new trading relationship with the UK and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some 56% of businesses indicated that they have seen an increase in exports in 2021 compared to 2020 with only 11% reporting a decrease. 91% of companies expect sales to increase again in 2022.

The key growth markets identified by client companies are North America, Europe and the UK.


The News Board / Re: Fishguard Rosslare service history
« on: August 05, 2021, 04:27:21 pm »
Up until the late 1960's there had been a direct Cork to Fishguard ferry service which used operated from Penrose Quay in the City of Cork in the days prior to the Port of Cork's more modern Tivoli Ferry Terminal coming into operation further down the river Lee. Incidentally Tivoli did not handle passenger/car ferries for all that long as Ringaskiddy Ferry Port had replaced Tivoli by the early 1980's. The reason why Cork Fishguard service closed was because British Rail gave notice of termination of agreement that allowed Cork ships use Fishguard. As a result, B+I Line proposed a new ferry service to Swansea from Cork which ran until 1979 when a Cork to Pembroke Dock service replaced the previous service. The end of B+I Line passenger car ferry services in Cork came at the end of Summer season in 1983. Around 1987 a new firm Swansea Cork Ferries began to revive a popular link from Cork to Swansea on the southern corridor for a number of years.

Rosslare is unique among the commercial ports in Ireland as it operates outside of the Irish Harbours Acts 1996–2009. The port is owned by the Fishguard and Rosslare Railways and Harbour Company which owes its origins to the Fishguard Bay Railway and Pier Act 1893, as amended by the Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Act, 31 July 1894, both acts of the UK Parliament, still valid in Ireland. The constituent ports (Rosslare and Fishguard) of the company are nowadays the operational and financial responsibility of Iarnród Éireann and Stena Line Ports Ltd respectively.

The News Board / Re: Grimaldi Cork-ANtwerp
« on: August 05, 2021, 01:05:01 pm »

Zeebrugge added to Port of Cork's Antwerp service

It's now operating two departures a week from Zeebrugge and one from Antwerp to Cork and vice versa
Photo caption:
The Eurocargo Bari vessel departing Cork on the twice-weekly freight service operated by the Grimaldi Group. Picture: David Creedon

TUE, 03 AUG, 2021 - 12:43
Another destination has been added for Irish exporters to the Continent, with the announcement of a new Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) service connection from Cork to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

The service has just been introduced by the Grimaldi Group as part of its service between Cork and Antwerp. It will now include Zeebrugge on that run.

It's now operating two departures a week from that port and one from Antwerp to Cork and vice versa.

In the port of Zeebrugge, the Grimaldi Group will call at the P&O Ferries terminal, and the cooperation with this shipping company will be extended to commercial activity as well.

Thanks to the new call in Zeebrugge, even more efficient freight flows will be guaranteed, with even more competitive, safe and eco-sustainable connections compared to the UK landbridge.

Conor Mowlds, chief commercial officer with the Port of Cork said the decision by Grimaldi Group to extend their direct services from Cork, this time to the Port of Zeebrugge, is very good news.

Great to see Grimaldi Group is extending their freight services between #Cork & #Belgium just weeks after the successful launch of the direct Cork to #Antwerp route. This offers direct efficient freight flows compared to UK landbridge.

— Port of Cork (@PortofCork) July 27, 2021

“It's particularly welcome considering the Grimaldi Group only recently introduced a direct service from Cork to Antwerp. The new Ro-Ro service to Zeebrugge helps to further strengthen Cork’s direct links with the heart of Europe, as shippers seek direct links to market rather than use the UK landbridge,” Mr Mowlds said.

The vessel deployed on the Zeebrugge-Antwerp-Cork service is the Italian-flagged Eurocargo Bari, which can transport 3,850 linear meters of rolling freight and 200 cars.

The Grimaldi Group have been calling to Cork on a regular basis for almost 25 years for the transport of rolling freight and containers. The Naples-based Group operate a fleet of over 130 Ro-Ro, Con-Ro, Ro-Pax and cruise ferry vessels.


Discussion Board / Re: Investment at the Port of Cork
« on: August 05, 2021, 12:27:16 pm »
WATCH: Impressive Port of Cork cranes move into position at new state of the art facility

Video footage from the Port of Cork below via this YouTube clip below here:

THU, 05 AUG, 2021 - 08:00

THE Port of Cork’s impressive Ship to Shore Gantry Cranes have moved into position at a new state of the art facility.

In 2020 the Port of Cork took ownership of two Ship to Shore (STS) Gantry Cranes for the new state of the art Port facility, Cork Container Terminal in Ringaskiddy.

The cranes were built by Liebherr Container Cranes Ltd in Killarney and were assembled onsite under the supervision of expert Liebherr engineers.

They have an outreach of 45m, a back reach of 15m and a lift height over rail of 32m.
Photo image below here:
Cranes at Cork Container Terminal. Photo: Port of Cork.

A Ship to Shore Gantry Crane is the single most important piece of equipment in any container port, used to lift containers between the ship and land.

The new cranes are fitted with the latest energy-saving Liebherr Liduro drives, safety features and power management systems.

With a safe working load of 54 tonnes in weight, the cranes will ensure that the Port has the lift and reach capacity to cater for even the largest container vessels which will visit Cork Container Terminal.

Once operational, Cork Container Terminal will deliver the fastest, most reliable, and cost-efficient container service available to local businesses as well as Ireland’s international exporters.


The News Board / Re: Belfast - Holyhead route
« on: June 15, 2021, 06:15:52 pm »
I thought problems with the bow doors of the STENA Europe vessel caused the suspension of services to Fishguard ex-Rosslare towards the end of May and I understand that the STENA Europe vessel remains in Belfast awaiting repairs once parts are obtained. If there was a suitable spare vessel to commence new route services to Fishguard I would have thought they would have replaced the STENA Europe on it's Rosslare-Fishguard route first rather than give rival operator, Irish Ferries the business.

Meanwhile, I would be surprised if they would use Dun Laoghaire again for ferry services as STENA ceased all operations from this exit point some years ago when operations transferred to Dublin Port.

When travel restrictions eventually ease in the weeks/months ahead, perhaps there will be an major increase in demand on Ireland to UK routes. With Cork Airport set to shut down from September to November, perhaps a good time for more thinking outside the box as many people may want to travel following vaccination after such long lockdowns on non-essential international travel. Perhaps Port of Cork should explore new passenger ferry services ex-Cork to UK with Cork Airport not operating much commercial traffic and planning to close for runway extension next Autumn. With Duty Free Shopping now resumed it may make it viable for operators to consider running ferry services ex-Cork to a UK port in the coming months? Options may include either a Cork to Swansea, Cork to Pembroke Dock or Cork to Fishguard? Tourism interests in the South-West Cork & Kerry regions would certainly welcome any such move.

The News Board / Re: Grimaldi Cork-Antwerp
« on: May 10, 2021, 04:06:54 pm »
This new Cork to Antwerp Ro-Ro service previously announced in April was due to commence operations from today Monday 10th May using the vessel "Eurocargo Bari".

The twice weekly service is being provided by the Grimaldi Group and will see the RoRo vessel "Eurocargo Bari" operate between the two cities.

The News Board / Re: Brittany Ferries fleet movements
« on: February 02, 2021, 11:33:34 pm »
Two new ferry links to France from Cork from Brittany Ferries to start this weekend
"Hugely positive" news for Cork as Leeside gets a Brexit Bounce on trade

By Joe O'Shea Editor
10:05, 2 FEB 2021 UPDATED10:22, 2 FEB 2021

This is an edited extract...

..."Plans for a new direct freight and passenger service from Cork to Santander in Spain - which were at an advanced stage before the pandemic hit - could also now be revived as trade and traffic between our south coast and France and Spain increases dramatically.

And Brittany Ferries is understood to be still considering new Ro-Pax (freight and passenger) routes out of Cork for the Spring/Summer season, once travel returns to normal.

A Port of Cork spokesperson has welcomed the news - confirmed today - as "hugely positive" for Cork and trade across our region...."

I did not pick up on a possible revival of Cork to Santander in any of the other publicity surrounding route additions and changes. The Cork to Santander ferry link by Brittany Ferries had only ceased operations around 12 months ago and was replaced by Rosslare to Bilbao in the process.

Full article published in (See below web link)

Meanwhile I understand from the Brittany Ferries website that the following sailings, are due to operate to/from Santander instead of Bilbao as per the below dates only for some reason.

Rosslare to Santander on 12/02/2021 (instead of Rosslare to Bilbao)
Santander to Rosslare on 14/02/2021 (instead of Bilbao to Rosslare)


All bets are off regarding route options in this rapidly evolving post Brexit trade situation not to mention the ongoing COVID-19 non-essential travel restrictions scenario. There was also speculation from some quarters in recent weeks/months of a possible link between Ireland & Le Havre in France.

Irish Continental Group (ICG) used have Rosslare to Le Havre services from around 1973 to 1997 and there was also an annual summer seasonal link between Cork to Le Havre & Cherbourg for many years until Irish Ferries took both the St.Killian II and St. Patrick II vessels out of service following the introduction of the MV Normandy from the 1998 season onwards.

Source Ref:,said%20a%20company%20spokesman%20yesterday.

Discussion Board / Re: Rosslare to Le Havre shipping route to open soon?
« on: January 14, 2021, 04:51:08 pm »
Below is latest speculation regarding a potential Rosslare - Le Havre route with Brittany Ferries... 

A second line for Brittany Ferries departing from the port of Le Havre?
In the midst of the Brexit context, the company is working on the subject, and is considering turning to Ireland.
Brittany Ferries is considering the possibility of opening a line between Ireland and Le Havre. (? MC Nouvellon / 76actu)

By MC Nouvellon
Published on 14 Jan 21 at 8:14
"We are in discussions with the commercial services of the Grand Maritime Port of Le Havre" , confirmed Jean-Marc Roue. Asked about the development possibilities towards Ireland l ors of its recent passage through the ocean city , the president of Brittany Ferries explained that the company plancied on the hypothesis of the creation of a second line from Le Havre, already connected to Portsmouth, England.

This time around, it would be a matter of turning "probably to Rosslare" during the year 2021. All with "one ship affected, so probably more than one rotation" per week.

A track opened by Brexit
This would be the third line that Brittany Ferries would charter to Ireland. A long-term reflection, consequence of Brexit, whose border reestablishment has cut off the route of goods that previously passed between France and Ireland via the United Kingdom.

Faced with the changes announced on this "long bridge" circuit which "risked being a little compromised, or put in difficulty", details Jean-Marc Roue, the company had already announced the establishment of a weekly link between Rosslare and Cherbourg. The Le Havre trail is therefore now under study.


The News Board / Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements
« on: December 17, 2020, 11:40:24 pm »
I understand the below situation and I quote:

"the European Parliament issued a three-day ultimatum to negotiators to strike a trade deal if it's to be in a position to ratify an agreement this year. European lawmakers said they will need to have the terms of any deal in front of them by late Sunday if they are to organize a special gathering before the end of the year.

If a deal comes later, it could only be ratified in 2021, as the parliament wouldn?t have enough time to debate the agreement before that."

Above quotes contained in an article sourced from the Associated Press (AP) PUBLISHED 4:10 PM ET DEC. 17, 2020 (USA)

I would not be at all surprised if ICG's Irish Ferries have deliberately chosen to hold off from making public announcements until they know what will be happening from 1st January going forward. Not sure if this is the right strategy given that competitors like Stena Line, DFDS and Brittany Ferries have all revealed their intentions with regards to direct services between Ireland and European continent despite all operators being in the same predicament of not knowing how things will pan out once the Brexit transition period ends at 23:00hrs UK/IRL local time on 31st December 2020.

Could we see Irish Ferries operating any direct crossings in 2021 to/from the Continent
(1) ex-Rosslare - (I.F. had ceased Rosslare/France services not very long ago) or;
(2) Introduce additional capacity ex-Dublin Port or;
(3) Run new services out of the Port of Cork given it's a useful European gateway and may not suffer as much congestion & delays as anticipated at Dublin Port.

Other sources:

The News Board / Re: Stena Line fleet movements
« on: December 10, 2020, 05:16:15 pm »
The Irish Times is now after publishing an article confirming the increase in capacity from January

"Stena doubling Rosslare-Cherbourg sailings due to post-Brexit demand"

Second ferry added to direct service to France amid concerns over delays on UK landbridge

Ferry operator Stena Line is doubling weekly sailings on its Rosslare-Cherbourg route to meet demand for direct routes to mainland Europe to bypass post-Brexit checks at UK borders.

In a further signal of changes to trade driven by the UK?s impending departure from EU economic rules, the Swedish company is adding another vessel to the direct route to France.

Fears about traffic snarl-ups at UK and EU ports on the Irish Sea and English Channel has led to an increase in the direct ferries to continental Europe, and a new direct service to France.

The number of services on Stena?s ferry route from the south-eastern port to France will increase from three to six, as a result of an additional ferry being assigned.

The increased service follows the decision of Danish ferry operator DFDS last month to re-enter the Irish market with a new, six times a week service between Rosslare and Dunkirk..."

"Stena is adding a freight-only vessel, Stena Foreteller, providing an additional 3,000 lane metres of freight capacity per trip with facilities for up to 12 driver-accompanied units..."

Full article via below web link courtesy of The Irish Times


Listening to Verona Murphy Independent TD on "The Tonight Show" with Matt Cooper on Virgin Media One tv tonight, she seemed to suggest that there may be further announcements of Other new services ex-Rosslare to the continent.
I wonder what other options could emerge for Rosslare Europort?

Next season you'll have the following:

To Continental Europe:

Rosslare to Cherbourg - Stena Line
Rosslare to Cherbourg - Brittany Ferries (new seasonal service to launch as from March)
Rosslare to Bilbao - Brittany Ferries
Rosslare to Dunkirk - DFDS (initially a Freight only service starting in January X 6 times a week)
Rosslare to Portbury And/Or Rosslare to Santander - Neptune Lines (Freight only service)
Rosslare to ____ - Which operator?
Rosslare to ____ - Which operator?

To South Wales, UK:

Rosslare to Pembroke Dock - Irish Ferries (ICG)
Rosslare to Fishguard - Stena Line

Discussion Board / Re: ICG new ships
« on: December 04, 2020, 04:10:09 pm »
I noted the retraction regarding the P&O vessels NOT sold to ICG via the website:

That said, maybe exploratory enquiries had previously been made and perhaps discussions are at a sensitive stage with prospective buyers which may or may not include operators such as ICG and other firms like DFDS etc; Obviously, the sale has NOT taken place so; P&O could not let such rumours go unchallenged. It will be interesting if the vessels in question are eventually sold and in this event to whom after P&O was forced to categorically deny such rumours. Rumours happen all the time although; I wonder what caused this particular rumour to gain such traction? Are ICG interested in acquiring these vessels but only if the price is right or was it ever even a runner?

True, I read that DFDS are initially focusing it's new Rosslare to Dunkirk route on freight although; they may expand it further by promoting it as a tourist option at a later stage if demand is there. While I appreciate that Brittany Ferries new Rosslare to Cherbourg seasonal service will permit passengers much like it's existing Rosslare to Bilbao service (and previously Cork to Santander) I think it's unlikely to be hugely popular with passengers given the vessel used (i.e.) "Connemara". All of these services are primarily aimed at the freight business sector unlike say Brittany Ferries Cork to Roscoff service on it's flagship vessel, "Pont Aven" on Saturdays ex-Cork - in fact, I almost forgot with all the announcements in recent months that Brittany Ferries is also providing a additional Cork to Roscoff sailing option using cruise ferry "Armorique" on Wednesday afternoons next season.


I recall that Brittany Ferries had also announced in recent months of it's intentions to begin a new Rosslare to Cherbourg service as from 22nd March, 2021 until late October as a seasonal service.

I wonder if today's announcement by DFDS to commence it's new Rosslare to Dunkirk route X 6 days a week starting on 2nd January will impact on Brittany Ferries plans in this regard?


Meanwhile, another ferry provider CLdN has announced it will run a second service from Cork to Zeebrugge in Belgium to cope with extra demand.

The addition of a second call customers customers will have a quicker turnaround, as well as bypassing the UK land bridge and avoiding unnecessary border checks, ensuring cargo flows more effectively and in a cost-efficient manor from Ireland direct to the continent.

Conor Mowlds, Port of Cork Chief Commercial Officer said: "In these extraordinary times a second direct Ro-Con freight link with Europe from Cork, Ireland?s primary southern gateway reinforces our commitment to supporting businesses in the region and preparing for any eventuality Brexit may bring."

Source: Irish Examiner

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