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2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor(Read 68118 times)
Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #15 on: March 12, 2014, 08:10:10 pm
If Irish Ferries keep the Swift, they will have something different to offer. It is very popular with a lot of people and perfect if you need to do a quick trip over & back, weather permitting of course!



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #16 on: March 12, 2014, 08:22:07 pm
not really for this thread but does anyone know why Celtic Horizon docked alongside berth 3?





Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #17 on: March 14, 2014, 09:30:33 am
Great thread, great to see so much discussion about possible ferries moving routes in the next 12 months.

It's great to see that Stena are moving the departure of Adventurer to an earlier time (even if it is only 25 minutes earlier than Ulysses). I've always thought the times of the ferries to/from Dublin are to close together. I think it would be better for Adventurer to leave at 2030 and then Ulysses at 2130 or 2200? I think ferry passengers need better sailing times. Also the current 2100ish sailing times are not suitable for a foot passenger who wants to travel overnight. Ulysses and Adventurer currently arrive in Holyhead just after Midnight and then 'footies' have a 5 hour wait until the next train out of the port. (An awful wait). I think the ferry and train companies need to discuss some sort of deal to have one last train leave at 0100 (as they did until 2010).

I also think Stena need to change the 0855 departure of Nordica from Holyhead, to allow foot passengers time to arrive at the port for the early morning sailing. As a foot passenger who uses Sail Rail, the current times don't allow me time to meet the 0855 departure, as the first train to Holyhead only arrives at 08:30 and we have to check-in by 0825 (I've had confirmation of this by Stena themselves). I think they need to move the departure time to 0910, just to allow us that extra time to meet the ferry and check-in.

With regards to the Swift, I would hate to see her move to a seasonal service or even be axed all together. She is a great vessel and I've always loved travelling on her since my first time in 2005, but her poor handling of the sea does go against her. Is there any chance they could 'fix' that problem? (I wouldn't know if they could or not).

Also I believe Irish Ferries should allow foot passengers to use Epsilon. Her current sailing schedule better suits me as a foot passenger. Plus I've always wanted to travel from Ireland to France on the ferry. It would be a hassle travelling from Liverpool to Dublin then onto Rosslare to travel on board Oscar Wilde.

I hope that makes sense to people (it's my first-ever post).

Liam

Hello and welcome to the forum!

Im a bit baffled as to why IF won't allow footies on Epsilon.  Its just a matter of using a minibus like Stena do on their Visentinis.

Welcome to the forum Liam.

The reason I think why IF don't take foots on the Epsilon or change the ferry time to meet a train, is because margins on foot passenger tickets are very small & even less on sail & rail tickets. Think of the expanse to IF or any operator to get foots on their ferry.

Buy one/two mini buses.
Pay for a driver for the mini bus in each port.
Need a baggage van or two.
Need someone to load/unload the baggage van in each port.
Have public transport in place to take foot passengers to/from the ferry port. Which would need to be subsidized public transportation by the ferry company as the route would not pay for it self with the small number of foots using it.

As well the Epsilon only has a passenger capacity of 500 (taken from IF press release 07.11.13) which is not a lot. You would have to reduce the number of car passengers & freight drivers that the company would have better margins on to take foot passengers, as well as the extra cost of taken foot passengers over vehicle passengers. It would not make business sense.

There was a train leaving Holyhead at 01.55hrs to London up to Dec 2009 I think, but there was not enough passengers using it between IF or Stena so the train company cancelled the train & now it leaves at 04.30hrs.

AFAIK the sailing times from Dublin around 9pm are for freight trucks heading down south which make the ferry companies money.
Stena adventurer new sailing time from the end of March will be 20.30hrs could end up sending business to IF. As freight would need to be checked in & loaded onto the ferry by 20.00/20.15hrs for the ferry to sail at 20.30hrs. They might get some of the early traffic that IF would have, but they would miss even more of the traffic the arrives after 20.15hrs. It would make sense now for IF to push the 20.55hrs sailing to 21.30hrs as they still will be behind the adventure getting into Holyhead, but they could pick up more late running traffic.

Makes sense I suppose, particularly if Epsilon IS a temporary arrangement.  Mind you a minibus could always be hired and Im sure someone in each port has a driving licence!  As you say though, the numbers probably don't justify the effort.  After all its a service that wasn't until a few months ago, and most booking probably wouldn't know about the extra sailing times given that they wouldn't appear when they try to book as a foot passenger anyway.
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #18 on: March 15, 2014, 11:50:10 pm
Maybe in the future we could have an IF ferry to Holyhead on a Sunday afternoon?



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #19 on: March 15, 2014, 11:59:22 pm
?



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #20 on: March 16, 2014, 01:21:34 am
I'm also inclined to suggest the above (was also going to start this thread as well bit call it the rumour and speculation thread!!), though I'm not convinced about Oscar Wilde continuing if a suitable vessel where to become available either for France or Pembroke with Epsilon serving the other.

I doubt Swift is making much money given her zero freight capacity.  Its no secret onboard services don't make much money and that passengers these days are just space fillers for what really pays the bills - freight.  Ships geared towards passengers have had their day and the passenger orientated ferry (and fast ferry) will soon be extinct in this part of the world, except in cases where the operator has other sources of income such as from the French government/regions  like duty free (in the case of certain Norwegian services)
When/if Dieppe Seaways comes to Dublin its a no brainer to move Isle of Inishmore up to go head to head with Stena as you can guarantee Stena will market the "new" service to death, unless IF have some other tonnage in their sights.  In the shorter term at least (especially if IF where to order new) IoI is the obvious option.  Of course both Stena and IF's marketing departments will go into overdrive about the cruise experience and how's its better than rushing across on the airlines, etc.  Im pretty sure Nordica will become the designated refit cover vessel for Stena on the Irish sea given the flexibility she has to operate on almost all their services.  P&O will continue to do well to Liverpool with Freight as hauliers continue to look to reduce road miles and optimise driver hours.

Down at Rosslare a decision will be made whether to run Nordica or Horizon to France and they will be refitted accordingly.  Stena Lagan and Mersey had a lot of their refits done whilst still on charter (though the deal was close to being announced at the time), or alternatively Stena could come to an agreement to purchase early (so releasing cash for the owners in exchange for a depreciating asset) or agree to make modifications subject to returning her to her original condition if she is returned to the owners, so its quite possible IMO horizon could be refurbished quite substantially.  I too believe roro will buy her outright at the end of her charter as its too good an opportunity to miss.  I'm also with giftgrub on the stern loading not being an issue due to the turn around times allowed - I doubt their is any great desire to increase frequency (and costs) on the part of either operator either.

We will probably continue to see more talk of routes from Cork to Wales and Spain, but no operator will take the risk - at least for a passenger service unless some sort of subsidy can be secured which is deemed significant enough to take the risk.  I think the barriers of entry to a new startup are still too great for us to see any new operation outside of the current groups (for instance where will they get a suitable ship and necessary finance from).  In fact I can perhaps see LD pulling out if Stena and Irish Ferries go to war on the France routes.  Seatruck will continue to shuffle their fleet to match the whims of the charter market.

Having given it some more thought, this is what I see happening on the Irish Sea over the next year or two


Stena Line

Dublin - Holyhead
Stena Adventurer partnered with the current Dieppe Seaways after she has had an extensive refit, probably at Remontowa and to a similar standard as Superfast VII and Superfast VIII.  While I would also like to see the 4th Superfast sister join the fleet, I think Stena will keep Adventurer in place for her larger freight capacity.  Adventurer also perhaps refurbished in similar style as Superfasts.

Dun Laoghaire - Holyhead (HSS)
Closure.  HSS Explorer sent to join Voyager.

Rosslare - Fishguard
Stena Nordica moved here with her passenger certificate extended during refurbishment.  Nordica becomes the refit ship for the Irish Sea fleet, and is replaced either by chartered tonnage or service suspended temporarily to cover refits elsewhere.  Stena Europe quietly moved on to one of Stena's ventures outside of Northern Europe.

Rosslare - Cherbourg
Celtic Horizon refurbished to greatest extent possible under her current charter agreement.  Route aggressively marketed by Stena once they take full control.  Continues to be a year round service with Nordica filling in when Horizon off service.

Belfast - Cairnryan
Superfast VII and Superfast VIII continue on their current service but Stena continue to look for ways to reduce costs.


Belfast - Liverpool
Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey continue to operate on their current roster.  If Stena Hibernia's sailings prove to be popular she could possibly be replaced with a larger ship with some passenger capacity (maybe an alternative destination for Nordica - this would also allow her to provide extra capacity to Cairnryan during peaks?).  Again, Nordica provides cover when and if required.

Irish Ferries
Dublin - Holyhead
Ulysses joined by Isle of Inishmore to counter the threat from Stena's improved offering to Holyhead.

Dublin - Holyhead (Swift)
Swift either withdrawn or relegated to a seasonal operation due to "economic reasons".  Withdrawal of HSS cited as evidence of this.  Allows more resources to be transferred to the conventional services.

Rosslare - Pembroke
Oscar Wilde moved here while company looks for better tonnage for Pembroke (How about Calais Seaways if she becomes available??).  Epsilon covers when she is not in use to France allowing Oscar Wilde to be laid up to reduce costs.

Ireland - France
Epsilon moved to the French service due to being much more economical to run than Oscar Wilde due to increased competition on the Ireland - France route, all of which use similar vessels with low operating costs.  Alternatively IF try to corner the passenger market using Oscar with their "superior cruise ferry experience to France".


LD Lines
Rosslare - Saint Nazaire/Gijon continues to operate, with further sailings added if demand is there.  Partially insulated from Stena challenge due to operating into St Nazaire rather than the North Coast of France.  Partnership with DFDS on the channel starts to fall apart a bit with DFDS pulling out of Calais and wanting to abandon Le Havre.

P&O
Dublin - Liverpool
Route marketed to passengers better as an alternative to fast craft.  Sail overnight the night before instead of rushing across that morning.  3 ship service continues.

Larne - Cairnryan
Japanese sisters continue to operate link with Express providing extra capacity during the summer period.  Main selling point for route is the shorter crossing time vs the Stena services.

Larne - Troon
Service closed in order to concentrate on Cairnryan.

Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #21 on: March 17, 2014, 02:31:15 pm
Ideally the 20.55 Ulysses and 21.15 Stena Adventurer ex Dublin would have onward rail connections from Holyhead at around 01.30. It must be around five years since the 02.15 train was withdrawn.

Eurolines/Bus Eireann and Megabus provide coach links from the port to London, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds http://www.buseireann.ie/inner.php?id=250 http://uk.megabus.com/

The use of shuttle buses for foot passengers in ports is more down to port design rather than absolute necessity. Loch Ryan Port, Cairnryan (opened November 2011 when Stranraer closed) is an example of a port whose design reconciles the three main traffic types viz. freight, motorist and foot passengers. The port has an airport style walkway from terminal to ship for foot passengers - in the long term the use of shuttle buses is a false economy.



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #22 on: March 18, 2014, 03:21:12 am

The use of shuttle buses for foot passengers in ports is more down to port design rather than absolute necessity. Loch Ryan Port, Cairnryan (opened November 2011 when Stranraer closed) is an example of a port whose design reconciles the three main traffic types viz. freight, motorist and foot passengers. The port has an airport style walkway from terminal to ship for foot passengers - in the long term the use of shuttle buses is a false economy.

The cost of a passenger walkway though is far more than that of a minibus, especially considering that its not on a public road and so doesn't need all the legal stuff which goes with it (though I expect to possibly be corrected on this), so any old scrapper will do (have you seen the state of some of them!) it doesn't need to be fresh from the show room.  Then there is the problem that if you change the ship the walkway possibly won't fit, or if there is a fault with the hydraulics your screwed anyways.  I do agree that a walkway looks much more professional from a passenger stand point though.  Besides, us car drivers get to play "follow the minibus" when boarding lol!



Just a thought, but given this thread is about speculation rather than what has actually happened or happening would it not be better moved to the discussion board rather than news??
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 03:23:26 am by Steven »
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #23 on: March 18, 2014, 02:45:30 pm
Does anybody believe that P&O will begin to allow foot passengers on their sailings to/from Dublin in the future? When DFDS closed their Birkenhead-Dublin service in 2011, P&O should have capitalized on the closure and allowed all passengers to use their services. Liverpool really is missing a Dublin passenger service, it really does need to return.



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #24 on: March 18, 2014, 11:10:41 pm
While in initial outlay terms a bus is far cheaper than a walkway, over time and on a total cumulative costs basis I don't believe it represents a saving. Indeed many of the buses used do absolutely nothing to further the image of ferry or bus travel.

P & O's Dublin terminal is just across the road from The Point terminus of the LUAS red line (tram) - handy if they ever decided to take foot passengers. I believe the P & O terminal will ultimately be relocated when the Dublin Cruise Terminal is constructed.

Back to speculation (didn't mean to go off topic) could LD Lines service resume in June with a somewhat different timetable.
I also think there will be another one or two "bolt out of the blue" developments of a positive nature (have no insider knowledge as to what/where).






Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #25 on: March 19, 2014, 03:53:38 pm
I doubt P&O will close Larne - Troon. I am surprised they don't modernise things a bit and move the European Seaway or Pride of Burgundy onto the route, to operate in tandem with the Express. The port is close to close to Glasgow, and could be considered P&O's secret weapon to Stena's developments.

Ideally P&O would acquire the Rodin and Berlioz and move the Pride of Kent and Pride of Canterbury onto Cairnryan to Larne. High passenger certificate, slightly higher freight capacity, and better quality of service to Highlander and Causeway. Keep lower fares, perhaps bit of Norfolkline style pricing and P&O could easily turn the heat up for Stena, who pretty much own the Irish Sea.

European Highlander and European Causeway, with additional cabins, refurbishment, and perhaps lengthening, could replace Norbank and Norbay, and run alongside European Endeavour. Dublin to Liverpool is growing, and bringing in a lot of revenue for P&O.

If P&O Ferries (Irish Sea) merged with Irish Ferries, the network would certainly help both operators. Exactly how P&O and ICG are going to deal with the Stena treat is debatable. With Stena now on Rosslare to Cherbourg, I would suspect they are getting too close for comfort.   



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #26 on: March 19, 2014, 06:13:22 pm
I doubt P&O will close Larne - Troon. I am surprised they don't modernise things a bit and move the European Seaway or Pride of Burgundy onto the route, to operate in tandem with the Express. The port is close to close to Glasgow, and could be considered P&O's secret weapon to Stena's developments.

Ideally P&O would acquire the Rodin and Berlioz and move the Pride of Kent and Pride of Canterbury onto Cairnryan to Larne. High passenger certificate, slightly higher freight capacity, and better quality of service to Highlander and Causeway. Keep lower fares, perhaps bit of Norfolkline style pricing and P&O could easily turn the heat up for Stena, who pretty much own the Irish Sea.

European Highlander and European Causeway, with additional cabins, refurbishment, and perhaps lengthening, could replace Norbank and Norbay, and run alongside European Endeavour. Dublin to Liverpool is growing, and bringing in a lot of revenue for P&O.

If P&O Ferries (Irish Sea) merged with Irish Ferries, the network would certainly help both operators. Exactly how P&O and ICG are going to deal with the Stena treat is debatable. With Stena now on Rosslare to Cherbourg, I would suspect they are getting too close for comfort.   

According to the Port of Troon website they can only handle a vessel of Max 160m which would put Seaway and Burgandy out of the picture.  IIRC they did run European Causeway to Troon before but pulled the plug.  I would imagine low cost airlines have killed of a lot of the passenger and weekend break traffic bound for Glasgow as well.  Certainly anyone I know who studies in Scotland uses the airlines during term time (with the ferries reserved for the moving of stuff at the start/end of uni and when there is no airline space left) whereas before the airlines got competitive the ferries would have taken this traffic (via cheap rail and foot passenger fares).

Speaking of Burgandy, she mightn't be a bad fit on Dublin - Liverpool if her passenger accommodation was reduced (in exchange for cabins?).
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #27 on: March 19, 2014, 08:25:01 pm
Burgundy, would be an interesting addition to Dub to Liverpool, or even the Seaway. I think the Seaway would fit in quite well, and she has cabins from he Dover - Zeebrugge days. A lot of people are disappointed that their is no 3:00 pm from Liverpool and no 3:00 am Dublin sailing. Perhaps the European Seaway that is currently sitting in Tilbury (probably awaiting the same fate as Pride of Calais and Dover) could run alongside the Endeavour.   

The only thing I would wonder about with the Seaway or Burgundy is the spirit class bow which is more for short sea, while the Dublin to Liverpool is 7 hours, and given the weather Norbank and Norbay come up against, that may lead to a uncomfortable 7 hours (hehe).

To be honest 'Burgundy' wouldn't be too bad for Stena at Rosslare. With a few more cabins as you said she would make a good replacement for the Europe, or for aging vessels in Stena Scandlines. Though P&O would probably rather send her to scrap before her time than sell to Stena.   

In general a good lot of P&O's fleet needs replacing in the next five to ten years. Pride of York & Bruges (handy on Dub to Liverpool, but given age, won't happen), Norbank & Norbay, Pride of Burgundy, European Seaway. I think they have three options

1. Order new vessels (similar philosophy to Stena Adventurer class & P&O's Ambassador class).
2. Sell to more routes to Stena Line (i.e. Hull or Liverpool operations).
3. Charter or buy second hand vessels.



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #28 on: March 19, 2014, 11:13:29 pm
Burgundy, would be an interesting addition to Dub to Liverpool, or even the Seaway. I think the Seaway would fit in quite well, and she has cabins from he Dover - Zeebrugge days. A lot of people are disappointed that their is no 3:00 pm from Liverpool and no 3:00 am Dublin sailing. Perhaps the European Seaway that is currently sitting in Tilbury (probably awaiting the same fate as Pride of Calais and Dover) could run alongside the Endeavour.   

The only thing I would wonder about with the Seaway or Burgundy is the spirit class bow which is more for short sea, while the Dublin to Liverpool is 7 hours, and given the weather Norbank and Norbay come up against, that may lead to a uncomfortable 7 hours (hehe).

To be honest 'Burgundy' wouldn't be too bad for Stena at Rosslare. With a few more cabins as you said she would make a good replacement for the Europe, or for aging vessels in Stena Scandlines. Though P&O would probably rather send her to scrap before her time than sell to Stena.   

In general a good lot of P&O's fleet needs replacing in the next five to ten years. Pride of York & Bruges (handy on Dub to Liverpool, but given age, won't happen), Norbank & Norbay, Pride of Burgundy, European Seaway. I think they have three options

1. Order new vessels (similar philosophy to Stena Adventurer class & P&O's Ambassador class).
2. Sell to more routes to Stena Line (i.e. Hull or Liverpool operations).
3. Charter or buy second hand vessels.
Is Seaway still intact though?  The longer she sits in Tilbury (costing money) the more likely she is to have an unpleasant future ahead.  Wouldn't surprise me if bits have gone missing to keep her 3 (sort of) sisters running.  Would I be right in saying the European class freighters where built without ramps (i.e. they rely totally on shoreside facilities for access)?  If so they are pretty much useless anywhere else but Dover, the same curse that Pride of Dover and Calais suffered from.  Personally I think Norbay and Norbank have a few years left yet (legislation permitting), 20 isn't that old for a roro freighter - Ibex was deemed too good for scrap and refurbished just last year for example (though still awaits a buyer AFAIK), and she was built in 79!  Even Canterbury and Kent could have a while left given the extent of their rebuilds.  However, now they are over 25 York and Bruges must have limited time left.  Regarding the European Class' bows, Seaway coped with the North Sea OK (though obviously not in passenger service), and Stena Caledonia had a bulbous bow retrofitted in 2000 (aged 18) so if the bulbs on the Europeans aren't suitable it isn't beyond the realms of possibility they could be modified - if its justifiable economically.  Did European Endeavour ever get fin stabilisers or does she still just have the original flume tanks?
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #29 on: March 19, 2014, 11:49:31 pm
Did the 'Endeavour' get fins. I'm not 100% sure, its possible she did get them when she received the twin deck loading set up for Dover to Calais, back in 2008. She is going in for 20+ days for refit shortly, not sure what she is having done, probably a repaint, but internally she might be getting some work to bring her more in line with P&O Ferries fleet. Perhaps she is getting Wifi, International Food Court (Highlander and Causeway got one last year), and maybe a Club Lounge (upper lounge, just below bridge would be ideal and given the 7 hours would be popular).

Norbank and Norbay could do with a major refit. Clean and comfortable they are, but they are still very much North Sea Ferries, and now they are 20, and feel a little dated. I think its time they had their mid-life internal refit. Perhaps along the lines of Stena Mersey or Cotentin. Certainly would do the route, and ships justice.   

I think your right about the 'Seaway' being pulled apart, given P&O have all three sisters under their flag, and their 20+ and clocked up nearly as many miles as the 'Chunnel Beaters', it would be a good idea if they scrapped her for parts to keep the sisters going.