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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

Discussion Board / Re: Investment at Rosslare Europort
« on: November 27, 2020, 04:20:49 pm »
Rumour was subsequently confirmed...

Businesses can show 'Dunkirk spirit' by taking new direct ferry to France

Danish shipping line to run daily service to French port from Rosslare

Danish shipping line DFDS announced on Friday that a new daily service between Rosslare Europort and Dunkirk that will bypass Britain and serve as another transit route to Europe for Irish importers and exporters.

It will alow them to avoid expected Brexit-related border delays on the UK 'landbridge' route and shave hours off the journey for lorries landing at Cherbourg destined for important export markets for Irish companies in the Benelux countries, Germany and beyond.

Certainty of travel
The direct ferry, taking between 22 and 24 hours, will not be quicker than the landbridge, which can take 13 hours, but the certainty of travel will help traders plan the transport of time-sensitive goods and avoid unpredictable delays due to the need for EU-UK border checks from January 1st.

Arriving directly from Ireland into Dunkirk, which is some 15km from the Belgian border, the service will give Irish traders and transport companies access to major European motorway networks.

The Danish shipping company announced the new roll-on, roll-off service for road freight and passengers this morning in a statement to the Copenhagen stock exchange.

The company said that the new ferry route, bypassing the UK after Brexit, would offer trucks and their drivers 'direct and paperless transport between EU countries.'

The company said that the port of Dunkirk 'is a gateway to Ireland's top export markets - France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands - and a host of secondary markets.'

Additional capacity has been chartered to deploy three freight and passenger ferries on the route that will be 'a cost-efficient alternative to driving through the UK,' DFDS said.

Source: The Irish Times

27.11.2020 11:43
CLdN Freight Compound at Ringaskiddy, Port of Cork

Port of Cork welcomes second weekly cargo ship to Belgium

by Roisin Burke
A second weekly call from Cork to Zeebrugge, Belgium has been welcomed by the Port of Cork.

The additional CLdN voyage has been added to meet increased demand.

Adding a second call is thought to offer CLdN customers 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 manner from Ireland direct to the continent.

The Cork to Zeebrugge Ro-Con service which started in May has been very popular with Port of Cork customers.

Port of Cork Chief Commercial Officer Conor Mowlds said: ?This is very exciting news for Cork and indeed importers and exporters utilising the current service. Added frequency offers flexibility and with more and more cargo looking to avoid the UK land bridge, this second Cork to Zeebrugge service is another step forward in ensuring supply chains are maintained."

He continued: "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."

A spokesperson from CLdN stated: "As we have shown and continue to deliver, we will deploy larger vessels or add more frequency to match demand to and from Ireland and will react immediately the market signals a requirement, as we see the Irish market as a core route in our portfolio."



The News Board / Re: Irish Ferries 2021 schedule delay?
« on: November 19, 2020, 11:13:44 pm »
[PR] Dear Summer. We missed you! ? Irish Ferries launches Summer '21 schedule to France with FREE Flexibility on all bookings

Press ReleaseNovember 19, 2020Last Updated: November 19, 2020 1 minute read


Discussion Board / Stena Line defends free travel home for Christmas...
« on: November 17, 2020, 11:36:17 pm »

Stena Line defends free travel home for Christmas promotion aimed at Irish students in the UK

by Luke Byrne 
November 17 2020 10:39 PM

FERRY company Stena Line is defending a promotion allowing students to travel home for free at the beginning of December - saying it is a means to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Under the promotional heading ?students sail home for free this Christmas with Stena Line?, the company is offering free passage across the Irish Sea on its economy or flexi motorist ticket, when travelling with another adult.

It comes despite a call from T?nasite Leo Varadkar to Irish people abroad not to book trips home for Christmas yet, to prevent Covid-19 cases being brought back into the country.

The British government?s handling of the pandemic has been criticised after the number of virus cases there soared to more than 20,000 a day in recent weeks.

?We?re not in the position at this point to advise people that it?s safe to come home for Christmas,? Mr Varadkar told the D?il last Thursday.

?I know that?s a tough message to hear but that is the case at the moment,? he said.

A spokesman for Stena Line told the dates of travel for its promotion, from December 3-9 only, coincide with the UK?s university evacuation plan.

?They?ve identified that week as when they are going to evacuate all the universities. It?s to stop the spread of Covid.

?The goal is to get students home before Christmas, not at Christmas.

?If you go to halls of residence, you usually pay for the term. They?re returning to their home residences so it?s essential travel,? the spokesman said.

?In the UK they?ve identified a week when they are gong to evacuate all the universities.?

He said both the UK and Ireland are scheduled to be out of lockdown by December 3, after which the traffic light system for travel is in operation.

The company?s promotion said ?now more than ever people are looking forward to Christmas and spending time with family and friends after months apart due to the global pandemic?.

It said ?travel windows? were being introduced by the UK to help students make it home.

?Family members can travel across the Irish Sea to pick up students and help take them home whilst availing of this offer.?

The company said it has continued to invest in various safety measures aimed at ?ensuring ferry travel is the safest form of transport?.

Online Editors

Source: Irish Independent online edition

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