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Irish Ferries Enthusiasts => The News Board => Topic started by: giftgrub on March 10, 2014, 12:24:52 AM

Title: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: giftgrub on March 10, 2014, 12:24:52 AM
Ok as this topic has spread to other threads in the forum and could get out of control, here is what I believe will happen in 2014/ 2015 on the Irish Sea for the Central and Southern Corridors:


Central Corridor:

Stena Line - HSS Stena Explorer and Stena Nordica removed from service on their respective routes, Dun Laoghaire port finished as a Stena service at the end of HSS in September.

Dublin - Holyhead - route served by Stena Adventurer and Stena Superfast X (currently Dieppe Seaways)


Irish Ferries - Jonathan Swift and Epsilion removed from their respective routes.

Once HSS service ends, IF could take the opportunity to discontinue the Swift service using the uneconomical argument as evidenced by Stena cancelling the HSS service.

Dublin - Holyhead  - Route served by Ulysses and Isle of Inishmore

Dublin - France - to be ended with traffic transferred to Rosslare - France on the Oscar Wilde all year round.

Southern Corridor:

Stena Line -  Stena Europe removed from service, Stena Nordica to replace the Stena Europe in tandem with the the Celtic Horizon !

I think Stena could play cute and if bookings on the new service reach a level where the Nordica is Sold Out well in advance (wishful thinking given the current figures but you never know)  then transfer the Horizon over to cover a certain amount of sailings  - peak travel time from Rosslare - Fishguard is unlikely to be the same as Rosslare - France, major bank holiday weekends etc

The Nordica has already sailed on the French routes in its former life with P&O and this is not as impossible as it sounds, the Nordica will still offer plenty of freight capacity and adequate passenger numbers.

The Celtic Horizon will remain with Stena Line on charter and will probably be purchased at the end of the charter if the track record of Stena RoRo is anything to go by, this will possibly allow Stena to "pimp" the Horizon in a similar way to the Lagan and Mersey.

Irish Ferries  - Epsilon to replace the Isle of Inishmore

Quite a simple swap, slashing passenger capacity while maintaining freight capacity in Rosslare and allowing IF to compete head on with the Superfast introduction in Dublin and cover for the removal of the Swift.

Oscar Wilde to keep the French service running all year round.

The stern loading on the Horizon and Epsilon is not going to be a significant hassle given the more relaxed turn around times on the routes from Rosslare and the additional speed the two ferries can run at.

The only definite in all the above is the introduction of the former Superfast X the rest could be complete rubbish - but you never know ?

Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on March 10, 2014, 03:51:38 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.

Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: bfm003 on March 10, 2014, 08:08:43 AM
The Swift isn't going anywhere, she will be around for a good while yet.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Davy Jones on March 10, 2014, 10:22:02 AM
Purely a thought:

When Stena Explorer leaves the route and J. Swift has no competition (not that she's really got much anyway, she operates a faster service and double trips already) she could adjust her times and really set herself up for the tourist/day tripper market. Possibly only operate seasonally as well to optimise her costs.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: mrwtho07 on March 10, 2014, 11:58:36 AM
That was just what I was thinking. I don't think IF will get rid of the Swift, as she does capture a niche market on the central corridor and she has been doing so for the past 15 years. Although I do think a seasonal service is likely, especially now they have put a second car ferry on the route (either the Epsilon or Isle of Inishmore).
In an ideal world Irish Ferries would still have the Innisfree and she'd operate the Dublin-Holyhead route again, while the Epsilon would cover the Dublin-Cherbourg route (and maybe an Irish-Spain service). However, IF have been preparing for this for a while and they could've taken back the Kaitaki/Innisfree last summer, but chose not to. So obviously they didn't want her back. You could say the same for the Bilbao/Anastasia, but of course that was when they were recovering from the poor losses of 2009 and needed the money.

Does anyone know of any ro-pax ships on the market, especially Viscentini vessels? I certainly think the long term aim of IF will be to move the Inishmore back to Holyhead, along side the Ulysses, but I don't think they'll do that just yet. I think they'll give the Epsilon at least a year to see how she does on both the Dublin-Holyhead and Dublin-Cherbourg routes before they do any major fleet movements.
Since speculation is allowed on this thread, what about a combined premier-economy service between Pembroke, Rosslare, Roscoff and Cherbourg, operated by the Oscar Wilde and Epsilon.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Davy Jones on March 10, 2014, 09:29:33 PM
Perhaps that's just it! when Kaitaki's charter was renewed they might not have had this all sorted out which then led to bringing in the Epsilon. Perhaps the Epsilon is only with IF until Kaitaki returns (when is that?).

It would be interesting to know how the revenue from Kaitaki's hire compares with what they are paying out for the Epsilon.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on March 10, 2014, 10:40:44 PM
Heres another option for IF.

They might buy the Stena Jutlandica the Isle of Inismore's sister from Stena.

This ship would be ideal for either Pembroke or Holyhead , however would require some work to make her a true double deck loader.   

Its not as mad as it sounds given the fact that Stena will replace both Stena Jutlandica and Stena Danica at some point in the future.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: ManOverboard on March 10, 2014, 10:54:18 PM
About the HSS, Don't Stena have a contract with Dun Laoghaire until 2015? The Explorer is showing up in the booking engine to sail this Christmas too. Surely it wouldn't look good for Stena to withdraw the HSS within a year of IF introducing new tonnage...
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on March 10, 2014, 11:04:53 PM
Swift future has been in balance for about two years now, the problem is its inability to operate in seas approaching 2.5 metres. In General it gets good loads on morning rotations to and Holyhead, it is the new mailboat. The two hour sailing is very handy for tourist traffic on central corridor which the Epscilon is not really suited for. The Epscilon is attracting freight business on its own and has helped increase IF freight numbers by 16 % since its introduction.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: 20knots on March 11, 2014, 01:21:28 AM
Some thoughts/points:

Southern Corridor:
It is promising to see an apparent commitment to the Southern Corridor routes on the part of both operators. While Rosslare has several ferry routes, both Pembroke Dock and Fishguard only possess their link to Rosslare. The local economies of both communities are intricately reliant on and blended into the ferry operations - in my view this is more pronounced in Fishguard, Goodwick and surrounds. Behind every ferry route and operation are ordinary folk and I believe the Southern Corridor can rise to great things in the years ahead. While Stena Nordica and Epsilon may be best fit vessels for the close future, they may not always be so.

Central corridor:
I was surprised to read that the Jonathan Swift could be a candidate for withdrawal at a future date. In my view she is a workhorse and usually busy/very busy when I've sailed.

Dun Laoghaire: it will be very sad if this route, probably the most historic sea route from Ireland, ceases to exist. It would be great if an alternative much cheaper fuel source could be found for HSS Stena Explorer such that she could return to one or more of: (i) year round operation; (ii) faster operation; (iii) additional crossings. I accept that is probably much more unlikely than likely but not impossible by any means.

It is interesting that yesterday's press release and Facebook promotional material go back to the HSS's roots so to speak with the use of language such as "iconic", "well known for its style and speed", "the concorde of the sea". On a lighter note the vessel was known as "The Loveboat" during its build. Stena Line don't know why (or want to know). As a quick aside there was a tv series, the Love Boat, back in the 80s/90s. Episodes on You Tube.

In terms of the tourist and indeed business traffic it is crucial to remember that the rail journey time from Holyhead to London is significantly faster than the road journey time and the former will very likely reduce further when projects such as High Speed 2 come to pass.

Given their virtually exclusive tourism role and the superior access at Dún Laoghaire for foot passengers (i.e. DART rail services) and more interesting environs/locality for motorists I would like to see the Isle of Man sailings operate to Dun Laoghaire instead of Dublin. A few sailings did operate to Dún Laoghaire back in the 80s/90s.

While a focus on freight is key I feel it is important that companies do not marginalise any element of their customer base be it tourists, foot passengers or otherwise. Nobody knows what is around the corner and there's no point in "burning bridges". The low revenue yielding motorcyclist or foot passenger of today can be the freight company manager of tomorrow - passengers are very quick to pick up "hidden messages" and their experience can result in ten good impressions spread to colleagues/friends or equally ten negative recommendations.

Rosslare - Iberian Peninsula: the new LD Lines route via Saint-Nazaire is a very welcome development. It is unfortunate that the weather in January and February was so atrocious when the service is still establishing itself.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: HSS on March 11, 2014, 07:07:06 PM
What a team that would be, Ulysses & Isle of Inishmore versus Stena Adventurer & Stena Superfast X, happy days!
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: DublinPeter on March 12, 2014, 12:01:42 AM
Good thread this! Really interesting stuff.

Couple of things from talking to a reliable sort today:

1. From the end of March, Stena are moving the night time departure of Adventurer from Dublin Port to the earlier time of 2030, which is 25 minutes ahead of (rather than 20 minutes behind) the departure of Ulysses. 

2. HSS Explorer is confirmed as booked to work until January 5th 2015 at least.  It is not envisaged that The Superfast will be ready until early 2015.

3. Given the gaps that the loss of the HSS (theoretically!) will create, it is thought that Swift will continue on a seasonal basis at least for another couple of years.  There will be stacks of capacity with Ulysses, Epsilon, Adventurer and Superfast on the route but still an issue with timings (Dublin with 2 departures around 2am, 2 at around 8, 2 at around 3 and 2 at around 9pm) but the 8am - 3pm gap is thought to be too long and could result in a loss of the leisure trade (which is valuable in the summertime at least).  As is said above, the problem with Swift is her poor sea handling in even a moderate chop.  That definitely does not go in her long term favour!

That's it for now.  More news and idle speculation as it happens.

Pete
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: LiverpoolIrishLiam on March 12, 2014, 01:15:03 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
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on March 12, 2014, 03:50:29 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.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: FerryMan on March 12, 2014, 10:58:38 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.

Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: HSS 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!
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Oscar Wilde on March 12, 2014, 08:22:07 PM
not really for this thread but does anyone know why Celtic Horizon docked alongside berth 3?


Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven 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.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: HSS on March 15, 2014, 11:50:10 PM
Maybe in the future we could have an IF ferry to Holyhead on a Sunday afternoon?
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: LiverpoolIrishLiam on March 15, 2014, 11:59:22 PM
?
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven 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.

Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: 20knots 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://www.buseireann.ie/inner.php?id=250) http://uk.megabus.com/ (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.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven 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??
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: LiverpoolIrishLiam 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.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: 20knots 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).



Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: TC 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.   
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven 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?).
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: TC 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.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven 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?
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: TC 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. 
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on April 01, 2014, 03:24:50 PM
Did some digging around the net and I'm pretty sure Endeavour never got fins as she was criticised a number of times after her rebuild for not having fin stabilisers.

Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: TC on April 02, 2014, 01:14:57 AM
I'm going Dublin to Liverpool, possibly on the Endeavour. If so i'll check out at Guest Services. Hear it from the horses mouth so to speak. To be honest I'm more towards she didn't get fins, from what I remember, the repaint was carried out in Spain, she sailed Dublin - Liverpool for a while (2007), then had the work for Dover. Cow-catcher ect.

Given she was freight, and how she staggered around Dover in a few photos, and at the time P&O's fondness of speedy refits (more touch ups, priming, and painting over streaks of rust, and flaking chunks of paint - that often would reappear few months down the line!) it wouldn't surprise me if she didn't receive them. I don't think Allegra was ever given them.

I have sailed on the Endeavour a time or two and she is rather clean and pleasant. I heard a review on Direct Ferries where a passenger was impressed greatly with the sea keeping abilities, and seemed fairly pleased with what he defined as a comfortable crossing. I haven't been on her in bad weather, so I'm not an expert, guess it depends on that persons definition of comfortable. One thing you will notice is... the hand rails on the outer decks are quite low (I'm not a great fan of these rails), lower than Norbank and the majority of ferries I have been on.   

I haven't sailed Stena for about three years, P&O all the way, and its been interesting seeing developments, and the routes steady growth, and increasing popularity with freight and the average joe-blog.

Work still needs to be done to bring the vessels more up to Stena's grade, but given P&O's Dublin to Liverpool lower fares, and the included meals, drinks ect. All in all I'll settle without Curious George, the Metropolitan Bar, and endless pictures of Marilyn Monroe, the Beatles ect! I hope...

On a side note its nice to see how Stena Mersey and Lagan are turning heads. Soon Stena Horizon might be!       
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on April 02, 2014, 12:18:57 PM
The free meals and drinks is the one thing I miss from the Norse Merchant days, though given their troubles with catering at times sometimes it wasn't such a good thing!  I'm not usually one to pass up on a free fry!
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: HSS on April 02, 2014, 08:55:27 PM
I'm going Dublin to Liverpool, possibly on the Endeavour. If so i'll check out at Guest Services. Hear it from the horses mouth so to speak. To be honest I'm more towards she didn't get fins, from what I remember, the repaint was carried out in Spain, she sailed Dublin - Liverpool for a while (2007), then had the work for Dover. Cow-catcher ect.

Given she was freight, and how she staggered around Dover in a few photos, and at the time P&O's fondness of speedy refits (more touch ups, priming, and painting over streaks of rust, and flaking chunks of paint - that often would reappear few months down the line!) it wouldn't surprise me if she didn't receive them. I don't think Allegra was ever given them.

I have sailed on the Endeavour a time or two and she is rather clean and pleasant. I heard a review on Direct Ferries where a passenger was impressed greatly with the sea keeping abilities, and seemed fairly pleased with what he defined as a comfortable crossing. I haven't been on her in bad weather, so I'm not an expert, guess it depends on that persons definition of comfortable. One thing you will notice is... the hand rails on the outer decks are quite low (I'm not a great fan of these rails), lower than Norbank and the majority of ferries I have been on.   

I haven't sailed Stena for about three years, P&O all the way, and its been interesting seeing developments, and the routes steady growth, and increasing popularity with freight and the average joe-blog.

Work still needs to be done to bring the vessels more up to Stena's grade, but given P&O's Dublin to Liverpool lower fares, and the included meals, drinks ect. All in all I'll settle without Curious George, the Metropolitan Bar, and endless pictures of Marilyn Monroe, the Beatles ect! I hope...

On a side note its nice to see how Stena Mersey and Lagan are turning heads. Soon Stena Horizon might be!     

P&O Dublin to Liverpool is one route I have not been on yet, I always go Stena/IF Holyhead. Was thinking of taking a trip this year so let us know how you get on!
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: TC on April 03, 2014, 10:45:46 PM
It seems I'll be going out on the Endeavour and coming back on one of the 'van der Giessen de Noord' twins. I'll stick some pics on a thread of the Endeavours interior.

I think its a bit of a shame the Allegra was sent 'down under'. To be honest I was hoping she might make an appearance on the Irish Sea. I would have thought she would be ideal on Rosslare to Cherbourg, or even operating as a third ship from Liverpool to Belfast. Would have been a great sight seeing the Endeavour wearing the P&O navy livery, with the house flag on the funnel, and Allegra supporting the full Stena livery with the 'S' on her funnel. Would have made a nice comparison.     
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: jonno on April 16, 2014, 11:07:15 PM
I think Epsilon is too long for Pembs, It's not advertised but 600ft is their max, MHPA advertise 150mtrs... Also her draft is over their 6.5m maximum.... Mind you Milford are about to spend on their facilities which may include more berth armouring and a dolphin extension...

I wouldn't be surprised if BF try to use Bretagne on an Irish route to alleviate the need for scrubbers, LD service Spain already albeit via St Naz.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on April 17, 2014, 05:44:02 PM
I think Epsilon is too long for Pembs, It's not advertised but 600ft is their max, MHPA advertise 150mtrs... Also her draft is over their 6.5m maximum.... Mind you Milford are about to spend on their facilities which may include more berth armouring and a dolphin extension...

I wouldn't be surprised if BF try to use Bretagne on an Irish route to alleviate the need for scrubbers, LD service Spain already albeit via St Naz.

Epsilon is only 4m longer than Isle of Inishmore, and likewise Oscar Wilde fits Pembroke with a draught of 6.5m which although is less than Epsilon is right on the official limit you posted and 0.5m over what the website says the ferry terminal can handle on the ferry terminal page.  Given parts Did Epsilon not have berthing trials at Pembroke anyway?

I would be more inclined to believe these figures below BTW
http://www.mhpa.co.uk/pembroke-port/?full=1
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: jonno on April 17, 2014, 09:28:43 PM
Steve, if you click on the sub heading for the ferry terminal it states 150m X 6.0... Which again is inaccurate.

When the weather is poor, the port are concerned regarding IOI when she makes her starboard turn around Thorn Island, the currents around Mill Bay and Angle are dicey particularly when coupled with a surge. There isn't much sea room between the buoys... Almost immediately she then has to navigate between the outriggers for Valero and LNG, if these two have tankers moored, it's very narrow. Once at the head of the Cleddau when she manoeuvres to moor, again it's very narrow between the buoys and the bed rises very very quickly.

I think many of the crossings in poor weather are cancelled due to this rather than rough seas, hence the reason we still see the Europe sailing. Realistically IoI is at the top end of permissible length.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on April 19, 2014, 07:57:06 PM
Quote from: jonnsnk=topic=551.msg7235#msg7235 date=1397766523
Steve, if you click on the sub heading for the ferry terminal it states 150m X 6.0... Which again is inaccurate.

When the weather is poor, the port are concerned regarding IOI when she makes her starboard turn around Thorn Island, the currents around Mill Bay and Angle are dicey particularly when coupled with a surge. There isn't much sea room between the buoys... Almost immediately she then has to navigate between the outriggers for Valero and LNG, if these two have tankers moored, it's very narrow. Once at the head of the Cleddau when she manoeuvres to moor, again it's very narrow between the buoys and the bed rises very very quickly.

I think many of the crossings in poor weather are cancelled due to this rather than rough seas, hence the reason we still see the Europe sailing. Realistically IoI is at the top end of permissible length.
I already did look at the info on the ferry subheading but disregarded it as it was so clearly inaccurate hence why I said I was more inclined to believe the figures in the link.  It sounds like a far from ideal approach from your description though.  How do the car carriers cope, is gate 4 significantly better located or anything?  Again like up on the North Channel with Larne it seems the ports (Pembroke/Milford Haven and Swansea) have failed to keep up with ship size.  By the sounds of things IF could loose even more sailings with Epsilon running to Pembroke then.  A Stena Nordica sized ship would probably be ideal for IF!
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: FerryMan on April 20, 2014, 11:27:15 AM
Given parts Did Epsilon not have berthing trials at Pembroke anyway?

AFAIK Epsilon did a berthing trial at Pembroke in February.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: jonno on April 20, 2014, 07:50:22 PM
Quote from: jonnsnk=topic=551.msg7235#msg7235 date=1397766523
Steve, if you click on the sub heading for the ferry terminal it states 150m X 6.0... Which again is inaccurate.

When the weather is poor, the port are concerned regarding IOI when she makes her starboard turn around Thorn Island, the currents around Mill Bay and Angle are dicey particularly when coupled with a surge. There isn't much sea room between the buoys... Almost immediately she then has to navigate between the outriggers for Valero and LNG, if these two have tankers moored, it's very narrow. Once at the head of the Cleddau when she manoeuvres to moor, again it's very narrow between the buoys and the bed rises very very quickly.

I think many of the crossings in poor weather are cancelled due to this rather than rough seas, hence the reason we still see the Europe sailing. Realistically IoI is at the top end of permissible length.
I already did look at the info on the ferry subheading but disregarded it as it was so clearly inaccurate hence why I said I was more inclined to believe the figures in the link.  It sounds like a far from ideal approach from your description though.  How do the car carriers cope, is gate 4 significantly better located or anything?  Again like up on the North Channel with Larne it seems the ports (Pembroke/Milford Haven and Swansea) have failed to keep up with ship size.  By the sounds of things IF could loose even more sailings with Epsilon running to Pembroke then.  A Stena Nordica sized ship would probably be ideal for IF!

If MHPA were to relocate the linkspan to where they want to build their cruise line terminal in Milford they would be able to handle Ropax of any size. Gate four is far closer to the harbour entrance which is naturally deep, similar to Poole... A berth offering similar to what is available at Cherbourg next to their sub and Titanic museum is plausible.

Don't know much about car carriers, Steve, I've never seen one either moored or pass me when I've been standing on LNGs outriggers.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on April 21, 2014, 10:04:47 AM
My mistake, I read Carr as car.  Seems there may be options to inprove access but they would require a lot of investment from the port authority.  Given that they can still handle a pretty large ship in Inishmore (albeit just) there probably isn't much appetite for such investment though. 
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: jonno on April 21, 2014, 02:26:11 PM
My mistake, I read Carr as car.  Seems there may be options to inprove access but they would require a lot of investment from the port authority.  Given that they can still handle a pretty large ship in Inishmore (albeit just) there probably isn't much appetite for such investment though.

There is also a lot of political to-ing and fro-ing. Even though Pembroke Dock is ran by MHPA, it's a separate town on the other bank with different MPs and can only be accessed by paying the toll to cross the Cleddau bridge if travelling from the north. The ferry travels through the Haven to reach what is essentially a separate port... Milford Haven is where the action is and where the investment is planned. On the one hand they want to work together to work toward a possible application for MoS funding in the future, on the other hand they are worlds apart on who should fund the infrastructure. The A477 serves the two towns of Pembroke and Pembroke dock whereas to access Milford Haven you travel along the A40 and must negotiate Haverfordwest. On a map they all look part of the whole but politically and logistically they are quite different.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on April 22, 2014, 03:12:16 PM
My mistake, I read Carr as car.  Seems there may be options to inprove access but they would require a lot of investment from the port authority.  Given that they can still handle a pretty large ship in Inishmore (albeit just) there probably isn't much appetite for such investment though.

There is also a lot of political to-ing and fro-ing. Even though Pembroke Dock is ran by MHPA, it's a separate town on the other bank with different MPs and can only be accessed by paying the toll to cross the Cleddau bridge if travelling from the north. The ferry travels through the Haven to reach what is essentially a separate port... Milford Haven is where the action is and where the investment is planned. On the one hand they want to work together to work toward a possible application for MoS funding in the future, on the other hand they are worlds apart on who should fund the infrastructure. The A477 serves the two towns of Pembroke and Pembroke dock whereas to access Milford Haven you travel along the A40 and must negotiate Haverfordwest. On a map they all look part of the whole but politically and logistically they are quite different.

Bit of a nightmare then!  With Epsilon scheduled to cover Oscar in January we shall see how well she fits the route then.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on April 23, 2014, 11:42:57 AM
Road Access to Milford Haven is through built up area north of the Estuary, Not anything like as easy as Pembroke Dock,

A477 to Pembroke Dock is also in process of bring upgraded with a lot of the curves being removed.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: jonno on May 07, 2014, 08:34:37 PM
Pete, nearly six mile section of A477 bypass has just opened from St Clears. It makes a huge difference.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on August 26, 2014, 11:14:21 PM

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.


Well I definitely got the first bit of this wrong.  We shall see if the channel routes survive intact now or if the plug gets pulled with more competition at Portsmouth (BF) and the Calais situation set to go on forever.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on August 27, 2014, 11:38:52 PM
Copied the following over from the Swift Cancellation Statistics thread as its probably more relevant here
The weekend is looking fairly full too , the nordica  is sold out on the afternoon runs and the explorer I would say will follow suit by then  .The two afternoon sailings from dublin and dun laoghaire , have proven to be two of the most popular sailing times during the summer ,and have very often been both sold out ,that's 1,900 pax capacity with both,                                                       If the explorer is pulled for next year ,stena could loose out on  up too 700 pax  on the afternoon slots as the superfast  has 1,200 capacity, so irish ferries (with  by then ,possibly a bigger ship and a afternoon sailing) could Hoover up all those afternoon passangers, which stena won't have capacity for. I don't think the 2.15am sailing is too popular with the summer holiday motorist crowd ,I would say that will be mainly a freight  run. Anyway interesting times ahead , with trying to Sussex out what stena lines plan is.

The 1200 figure assumes that Superfast X will be converted identical to her sisters, which she almost certainly won't be.  The problem with IF running an afternoon sailing is wether berthing slots are available to do so - if they where then surely Epsilon's sailing times would look very different to what they are now?  Adventurer can carry up to 1500 passengers rather than the 900 stated by Stena on their site. (see http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/stena-line/pressreleases/stena-adventurer-capacity-increased-following-refit-941827).

Assuming the 1200 figure is correct for SF X then that gives Stena a capacity of (1500+1200) 3700 pax, compared to 900 (Adventurer in her reduced capacity/cost saving mode)  + 400 (Nordica) + explorers theoretical 1500.  Funnily enough this adds up to 3800 pax but with one more ship, one more entire port, and one more linkspan!  Basically Stena would have a minimal reduction in overall capacity but much reduced operating costs.  Irish Ferries 2:15 am may not be popular with tourists but I'm betting hauliers feel the opposite - they would be arriving in Dublin just in time to deliver before the shops open for example.  Im sure IF would be keen to appeal to this lucrative year round market rather than the seasonal (and fickle) tourist trade.  Like adventurer the passenger accommodation on SF X is spread over more than 1 deck and so is relatively easy to close off during quiet times to save costs.

If IF did get a bigger ferry perhaps they could have more capacity, but thats a big if.  For a start they will have to find one, and are probably looking at the same options as DFDS potentially could be at Dover.   IoI could move up of course but that would leave Rosslare short during the time of year they may be able to make some money.  Going by current capacity, IF have the big U (2000 pax), Epsilon (500 pax), and the Swift (800).  That gives them a total of 3300 with 3 ships versus the potential Stena figure of 3700 with 2 ships.  With Inishmore this would of course increase by 1700, but is there the traffic to warrant this given the sailing times and what will replace her at Rosslare?  Epsilon is hardly ideal and will give IF the same problem in peak that Stena would of had with Nordica down there.  If there is a suitable ship out there Stena are bound to be sniffing around her as well.  Europe is in the twilight of her career after all.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: DublinPeter on August 27, 2014, 11:50:28 PM
Good call on moving this part of the conversation to the Central Corridor Speculation thread - the pieces of the jigsaw are starting to come together but there are many more pieces still to be slotted in!

Two brief things from my perspective.  First off, it's important not just to consider overall capacity but also where and when that capacity is available.  For example, while the 1030am HSS from Holyhead isn't always that suitable for motorists coming a distance, the 1330 ex DL is very good for the motorists, getting them into Holyhead before 4pm for onward travel.  You can have all the capacity you like, but if your sailing times don't neccesarily suit a section of your client base then you have to think again!

Secondly, and on a related note people on here tend to be very dismissive of the Tourist/Leisure market.  Yep it's seasonal absolutely but when it's there it is also lucrative.  There is a good margin (and I've seen the sums!) on a car + 3 on the Irish sea!  There is a reason that Swift continues (and by all accounts from ICG will continue to run year round into the future) - it's to capture that margin.  Never underestimate too the value of market share (as distinct from pure margin calling) between competing companies.  There is a reason that Stena and IF invest so heavily in marketing every year - it pays back in revenue and crucially for them, in market share.  Don't just think about the value of one journey on one vessel (even if that journey costs the company cash) - think about the overall value in terms of share and the competition.

Pete
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on August 27, 2014, 11:52:43 PM
I just tried to make an imaginary foot passenger booking for 9 pax tomorrow and Nordica is full for her afternoon sailing, however Explorer isn't.  Likewise Nordica's morning sailing ex Holyhead is also showing as sold out.  Its the same story on Friday, Sat, and Sunday ex Dublin.  Some sailings are also being shown as sold out if I try to book a car. How much of Explorer's traffic is due to Nordica being at capacity I wonder, especially given it is the next sailing?
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on August 28, 2014, 12:27:14 AM
Good call on moving this part of the conversation to the Central Corridor Speculation thread - the pieces of the jigsaw are starting to come together but there are many more pieces still to be slotted in!

Two brief things from my perspective.  First off, it's important not just to consider overall capacity but also where and when that capacity is available.  For example, while the 1030am HSS from Holyhead isn't always that suitable for motorists coming a distance, the 1330 ex DL is very good for the motorists, getting them into Holyhead before 4pm for onward travel.  You can have all the capacity you like, but if your sailing times don't neccesarily suit a section of your client base then you have to think again!

Secondly, and on a related note people on here tend to be very dismissive of the Tourist/Leisure market.  Yep it's seasonal absolutely but when it's there it is also lucrative.  There is a good margin (and I've seen the sums!) on a car + 3 on the Irish sea!  There is a reason that Swift continues (and by all accounts from ICG will continue to run year round into the future) - it's to capture that margin.  Never underestimate too the value of market share (as distinct from pure margin calling) between competing companies.  There is a reason that Stena and IF invest so heavily in marketing every year - it pays back in revenue and crucially for them, in market share.  Don't just think about the value of one journey on one vessel (even if that journey costs the company cash) - think about the overall value in terms of share and the competition.

Pete

Margins are exactly why I see this being the nail in the coffin potentially for Explorer - Stena don't have one with her as her costs are so damned high!  Theres a lot of logic in replacing 3 ships with 2 to both reduce costs and increased margin.  Increased margin of course leaves scope to reduce ticket prices which has the knock on effect of generating more sales and increasing overall operating margin (and cannibalising a competitors market share in the process).

Where capacity is available was my point with Epsilon.  If Ulysses is in place at the right time, you have a much smaller (passenger wise) vessel at the other side. Swift can only be in one place at a time (with Ulysses for the morning sailing from what I can see glancing at the time table) so there is a big capacity imbalance. In her defence though, a Visentini can operate at the fraction of the cost of a ship like Superfast X.  Stena appear to have addressed the issue of having all the capacity on one side (apart from freight ironically) putting them in a better place surely to capture the tourist traffic on both sides with the freight traffic having just got off the night boat and en route to its final destination.  I would also argue that Stena are in a better position to maximise the revenue from this traffic with the onboard facilities on both ships (assuming SF X is fitted out to a similar spec to her running mate).  Epsilon is more adequate than luxurious from what I have heard.  I find it slightly ironic that IF refer to her as a cruise ferry running to Holyhead but describe her thus on her own page

Quote
"Epsilon, the most recent addition to the fleet offers an Economy Class Service on both the Dublin to Holyhead and Dublin to Cherbourg routes. Offering free Wifi, a bar/lounge, restaurant and comfortable en-suite 2 and 4 berth cabins all with TV's.

A quick look on the booking engine suggests her pricing to/from Holyhead is the same as Ulysses.  Im sure I'm not the only person who would be disappointed at paying full price for what the company themselves are describing as an economy service!  Stena are upping their game and TBH Irish Ferries need to do so as well.  I don't doubt there will be a marketing onslaught from Stena to back the new tonnage (and remember the Superfast brand is already established on this island), at present IF can only brag about having the largest ferry by vehicle capacity on the irish sea - the same line (more or less) they have been spinning for the past 13 years.  Thats not to take away from a magnificent ship - my point is they can't match her with her running mate, and any big U passenger facility based publicity is going to lead to disappointment when passengers board Epsilon.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Fast Ferry Fan on August 29, 2014, 12:02:31 AM
If Stena had no intention of running the HSS in 2015, they wouldn't have loaded her sailings into their booking engine over 6 months beforehand.  There have been plenty of years when you've had to wait until October or November to be able make next year's booking.  It would be rather disingenuous of them to knowingly offer a service and then pull it and say, "Ah, we've got another ship we'll sure you'll like just as much which we're going to transfer you to, though it admittedly it (i) doesn't go quite as fast (ii) has sailing times you might not like as much and (iii) doesn't go to the same place."

Because they have loaded the HSS sailings into their booking system, they must also have a contract (or at least an option that they can exercise) with DL Harbour, which it's unlikely they would relinquish unless it made very good financial sense to do so.

Replacing the Nordica with the Superfast X allows them to ensure there is sufficient capacity that no one needs to travel on the Epsilon.  I recently travelled as a Rail 'n' Sail passenger on the 8.30pm Nordica sailing.  It was "technically full" which I presume must mean is full for passengers as there was still plenty of spare vehicle capacity. I certainly wasn't mad about the Nordica, due to its small size, but if I wasn't mad about the Nordica, it's a class above the Epsilon that we passed as we came into Dublin Port.

Running both the Superfast X and the Explorer for a year also allows the Superfast to bed down properly and see how it fares trying to tempt Explorer passengers.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on August 29, 2014, 03:12:12 AM
If Stena had no intention of running the HSS in 2015, they wouldn't have loaded her sailings into their booking engine over 6 months beforehand.  There have been plenty of years when you've had to wait until October or November to be able make next year's booking.  It would be rather disingenuous of them to knowingly offer a service and then pull it and say, "Ah, we've got another ship we'll sure you'll like just as much which we're going to transfer you to, though it admittedly it (i) doesn't go quite as fast (ii) has sailing times you might not like as much and (iii) doesn't go to the same place."

Because they have loaded the HSS sailings into their booking system, they must also have a contract (or at least an option that they can exercise) with DL Harbour, which it's unlikely they would relinquish unless it made very good financial sense to do so.

Replacing the Nordica with the Superfast X allows them to ensure there is sufficient capacity that no one needs to travel on the Epsilon.  I recently travelled as a Rail 'n' Sail passenger on the 8.30pm Nordica sailing.  It was "technically full" which I presume must mean is full for passengers as there was still plenty of spare vehicle capacity. I certainly wasn't mad about the Nordica, due to its small size, but if I wasn't mad about the Nordica, it's a class above the Epsilon that we passed as we came into Dublin Port.

Running both the Superfast X and the Explorer for a year also allows the Superfast to bed down properly and see how it fares trying to tempt Explorer passengers.

I refer you to Stena's move from Larne to Belfast.  Wasn't happening, until it happened ;).  It may well be that explorer runs next year, BUT the point is that it is far from certain at present.  It is publicly known now that Explorer needs significant funds spent on her to keep going past this year.  Money which won't be recouped from a vessel with such high operating costs.  Stena also have a contract at DL, however it may be cheaper to pay the penalty and take the hit than patch up Explorer and run her at a loss. In essence Explorer at present takes up the passengers during the peak season that Nordica can not accommodate.  The single round trip she runs is no coincidence - sandwiched between low passenger capacity Nordica's most popular pax sailings and Adventurers departure.  With SF X that problem disappears.  From what I know SF X will cost more to run than Nordica, and that is before taking into account extra passengers to look after.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on August 29, 2014, 12:42:09 PM
Reading between the lines i somehow do not see IF line up changing just yet.

IF are very happy with the 20 % increase in Freight since Epsilon was introduced and passenger traffic has not grown that much.

If anything were to happen they might bring in additional freight carrying capacity to France especially with the departure of LD Lines.

Its possible that in 2017 IOI may return to the irish sea.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Normandy on August 29, 2014, 03:35:18 PM
As regards Isle of Innisfree returning to the Irish sea is she will be 22 years old! unlikely I think, pity as she was an excellent ship which has acted as a Brenchmark for modern ships on the Irish sea.
   
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on August 29, 2014, 03:38:51 PM
Reading between the lines i somehow do not see IF line up changing just yet.

IF are very happy with the 20 % increase in Freight since Epsilon was introduced and passenger traffic has not grown that much.

If anything were to happen they might bring in additional freight carrying capacity to France especially with the departure of LD Lines.

Its possible that in 2017 IOI may return to the irish sea.

Think I am right in saying that Epsilon's charter also ends in 2017 as well, though wether they are at the same time or not I don't know.  I don't have IF figures but I do have Stena's for June and it doesn't look like that increase in freight is being taken from Stena - during that month anyways.

22 years old isn't that old in the grand scheme of things - look at Europe or Stena Caledonia.  Even Explorer is approaching her 20th birthday and she's a fast craft!
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Normandy on August 29, 2014, 04:16:49 PM
I would be very surprised to see the Isle of Innisfree,  she would fit the Rosslare-Pembroke  route very well and in fact I believe she should have stayed there as her size passenger and freight wise seem more in tune with the route except she lacked cabins for the freight drivers, If she did come back I do not see the IOM replacing Epsilon as she would be a freight  capacity reduction.
 
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on August 29, 2014, 06:42:59 PM
I would be very surprised to see the Isle of Innisfree,  she would fit the Rosslare-Pembroke  route very well and in fact I believe she should have stayed there as her size passenger and freight wise seem more in tune with the route except she lacked cabins for the freight drivers, If she did come back I do not see the IOM replacing Epsilon as she would be a freight  capacity reduction.

Nothing much has the freight capacity of Epsilon though.  If as IFPete says Irish Ferries have had a 20% increase in freight then Epsilon is not sailing anywhere near her capacity anyway unless Ulysses is now carrying much less than before.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Stena explorer on August 29, 2014, 10:57:28 PM
Stena Europe  back up and running this evening ,there's life in the old dog yet, and  as dieppe seaways looks set for Dublin ,then the stena Europe  I would say ,will remain in roslare for another while yet, I think nordica pax capacity is too small for summer season in roslare ,and she would be more useful elsewhere. It will be a pity to see Dun laoghaire port become redundant ,with all her ferry history, epically that she has fantastic facilities for passangers  with train station  gangways ,parking,etc,,at least when stena pulled out of larne ,p+o remained. I don't think it's the loss of the HSS that's the main thing ,it's the loss of the ferry connection  that will be the biggest disappointment for the town.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on August 29, 2014, 11:23:07 PM
Stena Europe  back up and running this evening ,there's life in the old dog yet, and  as dieppe seaways looks set for Dublin ,then the stena Europe  I would say ,will remain in roslare for another while yet, I think nordica pax capacity is too small for summer season in roslare ,and she would be more useful elsewhere. It will be a pity to see Dun laoghaire port become redundant ,with all her ferry history, epically that she has fantastic facilities for passangers  with train station  gangways ,parking,etc,,at least when stena pulled out of larne ,p+o remained. I don't think it's the loss of the HSS that's the main thing ,it's the loss of the ferry connection  that will be the biggest disappointment for the town.

Think you hit the jail on the head there.  However last time I was in Larne I would have described the facilities as adequate at best.  Not much has changed up there over the years apart from some of the land now being a retail park.  When the HSS does leave it will be the end of an era, much in the same way as it was when Stena left Stranraer but more significant.  However it may open up other opportunities for both the port and the town.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on August 30, 2014, 11:19:04 AM
Irish Continental Group - Irish Ferries Parent Company Half Year results

Freight
• RoRo volumes up 20% YTD, with Summer volumes up 25%
Very positive market reaction to additional ship on Dublin/Holyhead and Dublin/Cherbourg

Tourism
• Passenger numbers up 4% YTD, with Summer volumes up 9%
• Car numbers +8% YTD, with Summer volumes up 12%
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on August 30, 2014, 07:44:36 PM
Is this all routes though Pete?  If I get broken down figures for IF I will post them of course.  If Epsilon has resulted in 20% overall increase rather than just to Holyhead then obviously that's a bit more significant.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: HSS on August 30, 2014, 10:41:35 PM
Stena Europe  back up and running this evening ,there's life in the old dog yet, and  as dieppe seaways looks set for Dublin ,then the stena Europe  I would say ,will remain in roslare for another while yet, I think nordica pax capacity is too small for summer season in roslare ,and she would be more useful elsewhere. It will be a pity to see Dun laoghaire port become redundant ,with all her ferry history, epically that she has fantastic facilities for passangers  with train station  gangways ,parking,etc,,at least when stena pulled out of larne ,p+o remained. I don't think it's the loss of the HSS that's the main thing ,it's the loss of the ferry connection  that will be the biggest disappointment for the town.

Think you hit the jail on the head there.  However last time I was in Larne I would have described the facilities as adequate at best.  Not much has changed up there over the years apart from some of the land now being a retail park.  When the HSS does leave it will be the end of an era, much in the same way as it was when Stena left Stranraer but more significant.  However it may open up other opportunities for both the port and the town.

Wait, nothing has been confirmed yet about the Explorer so lets wait and see, only the people at Stena HQ know.......... although I am not sure even they know what to do  :-X
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on August 31, 2014, 12:10:50 AM
The IF Figures are overall.

The additional sailings have lead to this overall increase.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on September 01, 2014, 09:08:08 PM
The IF Figures are overall.

The additional sailings have lead to this overall increase.
Came across the report today

Quote
In the first half of 2014 passengers carried were up 0.8% at 683,800 while total cars carried were 150,900, up 5.9% on the same period in the previous year. In RoRo freight, Irish Ferries’ volumes were up 18.5% to 118,100 units, when compared with the first half of 2013 reflecting the additional capacity of the ‘Epsilon’ which represented 92% of the increase, and also a growing freight market.
http://www.icg.ie/documents/half-year-results-2014.pdf

Now for some maths (please feel free to correct if I slip up!) 92% of 18.5% would be 17.02% meaning Epsilon has led to a 17.02% increase in RoRo freight.  By my calculations this means that Epsilon carried 17.02% of 118,100 units meaning Epsilon carried 20100(.62) freight units in the first half of the year on the 2 routes she serves.  That sounds like a lot but bearing in mind Stena carried 14450 trailers on Nordica and Adventurer in June alone it would be interesting to see the full breakdown of how many trailers and when where carried.  Stena's volumes are slightly down (-3%) for June.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on September 01, 2014, 11:00:08 PM
The Night sailings out of Dublin are full and the sailings to and from Cherbourg.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on September 10, 2014, 04:24:10 AM
So that's Explorer's summer season over and done with.  A short finale at Christmas is looking hopeful, but still not certain from what I hear.  Good to see that so many got to enjoy her again anyways just in case she doesn't make it back at Christmas!

I have been told Explorers carryings are significantly DOWN this year on last.  I believe she operated in 500 passenger mode for her last sailing.


Still no more info on Superfast X apart from a short quote in the Swedish press from Stena saying her route had yet to be decided.  I doubt very much that this is true given how specialist a type of ship she is and her considerable running costs - these aren't ships that can be justifiably put just anywhere.  For a start she is over 200m long (which considerably limits options for dry docking as well as just berthing) and wasn't built for economy.  Still much cheaper to run than an HSS at half power though!
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: mrwtho07 on September 10, 2014, 09:26:42 PM
With regards to the HSS sailing figures, I could see for myself that it was REALLY quiet on board, especially when sailing from Holyhead.
My review of last weeks crossing can be found on the Stena Fleet Movements on page 101.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Normandy on September 10, 2014, 09:55:29 PM
Was Giving the Central corridor a good look from stena's point of view, if we look at It without the HSS the departures would be as follows:
Ex Dublin: 0215, 0820, 1510, 2030
Ex Holyhead: 0215, 0855, 1350, 2030
there are quite so gaps, and couple with the fact Stena Nordica is sailing near full and superfast X does not have any extra lane meter capacity would thinking outside the box be a possibility like with the Stena Caladonia before Stena Navigator was brought in. If i was trying to increase capacity without increasing cost substantially i would look at   look at getting the ships to do 2 and a half gaps aday on the route to spread the freight and passengers out over a better time spectrum and close up some of the gaps in the day timetable, I would suggest the following:
Ex Dublin: 0215, 0715, 1145, 1615, 2045
Ex Holyhead: 0215, 0715, 1145, 1645, 2045
I would also suggest each ship missing one sailing per week such as 0215 on a sunday morning to ensure the Stena Adventurer is on the busiest freight loop. Just a thought worth considering it.
Interest would this type of time suit tourist and freight??
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: mrwtho07 on September 10, 2014, 10:10:30 PM
Good idea, but remember the Epsilon does to Cherbourg at weekends, so that might affect things.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Normandy on September 10, 2014, 10:20:54 PM
No sorry it would not effect Stena at all. Thats a situation for Irish Ferries. Stena could captive on their extra capacity at weekends verses Irish Ferries with this set up!!
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on September 11, 2014, 01:52:31 AM
Remember, Freight tends to travel at night whereas passengers tend to travel during the day. Its the night sailings where both operators carry the most freight from what I can gather - hence Explorer's sailing times which as I have said before coincide with Nordica's busiest passenger sailings.  There is an assumption being made that every sailing Nordica makes her vehicle decks are at bursting point.  Unfortunately, whereas Adventurer can handle large numbers of passengers during the day, Nordica can not which is where the logic is of introducing a vessel with similar freight capacity but (we assume) much greater passenger capacity.

As for the weekends, freight tends to be shipped during the week so it makes sense for IF to redeploy the more freight orientated vessel at the weekend in the same way that Stena layup Stena Hibernia over the weekend.  IF can always soak up passenger demand with the Swift.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: mrwtho07 on September 11, 2014, 09:42:01 AM
No sorry it would not effect Stena at all. Thats a situation for Irish Ferries. Stena could captive on their extra capacity at weekends verses Irish Ferries with this set up!!
Sorry yes you are absolutely right, I miss read what you put as I thought you had put both the Irish Ferries and Stena Line up, which unsurprisingly are very similar.

Both of you are right about the freight situation, as I saw that for myself in Holyhead last week.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Normandy on September 11, 2014, 10:18:53 AM
I fully accept that the majority of freight would move at night but what I was thinking was the extra choice offered would free up space as some shippers would choice possibly cheaper crossings, it would also free up drop trailer space on the busier sailings as these can now be spread over 5 sailings instead of 4 and the 0715 sailing could soak up overflow from the 0215 sailings but also be relatively attractive to passenger traffic especially as it arrives off peak for onward journeys. the 0715 from Dublin would arrive at 1030 allowing the same arrival as the JSwift. So interested from a passenger point of view also.
My aim is to see the following from both ports:
0215 Mainly freight with some passenger traffic
0715 A mix of freight and passengers
1145 Mainly passenger with some freight
1615 Mainly passenger and some freight
2030 mainly freight with some passenger traffic 
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Stena explorer on September 11, 2014, 06:49:54 PM
With regards the explorers  passanger   numbers being down on last year,I don't think it is because people don't want to use either Dun laoghaire or the explorer , it all goes down to ticket price.most of the passangers using the ferries these days are bringing their car.   All summer long it has been up to 100 euros more to travel on a return journey of 2 adults + 2kids +car on the explorer (that's a lot of extra cash to have to spend) . I guarantee  that if it was the same price or even a little cheaper to travel on the explorer ,then she would have been a very busy ship all summer,  . I think stena have known they are pulling out of Dun laoghaire , and have been slowly running down the route,(with very high prices and only one sailing daily) I also think the Dun laoghaire harbour board dont really seem too bothered with stena pulling out, they will probably get a pay off from stena for next year as stena  I think still have a year of contract . Also all they(the harbour board) are talking about now is cruise liners , (it must be quite profitable to be in) they are planning to start work on a new 15 million jetty before end of year, which will accommodate ships up to 315 meters long , and dredging to 11 meters , and next year  dunlaoghaire has already got 23 cruise ships confirmed with over 66,000 passangers arriving. Personally I still think there is a market for a seasonal high speed ferry from Dun laoghaire ,all the infrastructure is in place , all one needs is the ship and company , but are there any takers ,I can't see anyone with the money out there to take over the route , stena are the boys in the industry with the cash , I mean they were able to spend 200 million euros developing lough Ryan,I don't think there is many companies out there that could have done that. Interesting times ahead, with all these developments that's for sure 8)
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Normandy on September 11, 2014, 09:35:03 PM
Stena explorer, It is lovely to say all the infrastructure is there but really only for the HSS where it think it would be much slower turn arounds the other fast crafts as the other linkspan is the otherside of the terminal. Sadly it seems fast ferries have had their day, the amount that have disappeared from our shores in the last ten years is unreal !
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on September 12, 2014, 01:27:50 AM
Thing is Stena don't need Dun Laoghaire as they already have a replacement facility in Dublin Port.  Lough Ryan Port was needed as Stranraer just could not accommodate modern vessels - hence the acquisition of Stena Navigator and the significant investment made in her as a stop gap.  Personally I fear for Dun Laoghaire's cruise plans with Dublin Ports plans for a cruise terminal - hopefully there will be enough trade for both!  However, if its a choice of one or the other and they are similarly priced I'm sure the cruise lines will probably opt for Dublin given it is much more famous a name outside these islands.

Regarding Stena's pricing - they could fill Explorer and still loose money.  More passengers create higher costs as well. As I have said before, at present Explorer is nothing more than an overflow valve for Nordica.  Nordica's passenger certificate is the problem on the more passenger orientated sailings. 

The passenger numbers just wouldn't be there to run Explorer over more sailings without loosing a fortune - after all, for most of the year Nordica's tiny capacity is adequate.  This isn't a case of put on the capacity and the passengers will come unfortunately, its a matter of supplying the capacity at times people actually want to travel.  Regarding the infrastructure,  the link span doesn't have many years left anyway.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Fast Ferry Fan on September 12, 2014, 08:14:22 PM
If Stena had no intention of running the HSS in 2015, they wouldn't have loaded her sailings into their booking engine over 6 months beforehand.  There have been plenty of years when you've had to wait until October or November to be able make next year's booking.  It would be rather disingenuous of them to knowingly offer a service and then pull it and say, "Ah, we've got another ship we'll sure you'll like just as much which we're going to transfer you to, though it admittedly it (i) doesn't go quite as fast (ii) has sailing times you might not like as much and (iii) doesn't go to the same place."

Running both the Superfast X and the Explorer for a year also allows the Superfast to bed down properly and see how it fares trying to tempt Explorer passengers.

Oh dear.  I'm no longer so confident that the HSS will run next year.  Whilst the Dun Laoghaire sailings are still in the booking engine, post Christmas, the surcharge that has always existed for travelling on the HSS has been removed, so there is now no difference between the cost of travelling on a 8.55am / 10.30am sailing or a 1.30pm / 3.10pm sailing.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Stena explorer on September 13, 2014, 06:09:16 PM
That's very interesting with the surcharge gone (finally a level playing field) I doubt it though, more likely so they can switch you to dublin port without any hassle of surcharge refunds.  One way or another it would be great if stena line just came out in the near future and told us what their plan for 2015 was.or are they going to keep us guessing into the new year , I know Steven is great at getting bits of info through the pipeline , so hopefully he might have a bit of info soon .
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on September 14, 2014, 07:37:53 AM
That's very interesting with the surcharge gone (finally a level playing field) I doubt it though, more likely so they can switch you to dublin port without any hassle of surcharge refunds.  One way or another it would be great if stena line just came out in the near future and told us what their plan for 2015 was.or are they going to keep us guessing into the new year , I know Steven is great at getting bits of info through the pipeline , so hopefully he might have a bit of info soon .
The problem is nobody knows, not even the crew onboard (the permanent staff will transfer to Nordica anyway when Explorer isn't running).  Stena are still playing stupid over Superfast X as well, and I suspect that both will be made public around the same time (so covering over the bad news with the good news) but that's just my personal hunch.  It's just a case of wait and see I'm afraid.  Regarding the surcharge, it could be intentional or it may be a website glitch.  I wouldn't read into it either way personally.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: HSS on September 16, 2014, 08:54:10 PM
If Stena had no intention of running the HSS in 2015, they wouldn't have loaded her sailings into their booking engine over 6 months beforehand.  There have been plenty of years when you've had to wait until October or November to be able make next year's booking.  It would be rather disingenuous of them to knowingly offer a service and then pull it and say, "Ah, we've got another ship we'll sure you'll like just as much which we're going to transfer you to, though it admittedly it (i) doesn't go quite as fast (ii) has sailing times you might not like as much and (iii) doesn't go to the same place."

Running both the Superfast X and the Explorer for a year also allows the Superfast to bed down properly and see how it fares trying to tempt Explorer passengers.

Oh dear.  I'm no longer so confident that the HSS will run next year.  Whilst the Dun Laoghaire sailings are still in the booking engine, post Christmas, the surcharge that has always existed for travelling on the HSS has been removed, so there is now no difference between the cost of travelling on a 8.55am / 10.30am sailing or a 1.30pm / 3.10pm sailing.

Try April 2015 onwards, a difference in price on the UK site, Holyhead-Dun Laoghaire.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on September 19, 2014, 12:38:11 AM
Also all they(the harbour board) are talking about now is cruise liners , (it must be quite profitable to be in) they are planning to start work on a new 15 million jetty before end of year, which will accommodate ships up to 315 meters long , and dredging to 11 meters , and next year  dunlaoghaire has already got 23 cruise ships confirmed with over 66,000 passangers arriving.
They might want to make that jetty a little longer!  Royal Princess visited Belfast today, she's 330m long and the ship based in Europe next year.  Going forward I don't see cruise ships getting any smaller any time soon.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5575/15282095882_0d8359a45a_c.jpg)
(more at www.flickr.com/tarbyonline)

The August shippax stats came my way today.  Stena Explorer is down -% on passengers and - on cars vs last August.  Stena's Holyhead-Dublin service is up -% on pax and -% on cars but a drop of -% on trailers - however so is every route apart from Birkenhead-Belfast which has bucked the trend and also looks to be the best performing route overall.  The fishy route is up -% on passengers and cars but down on buses.  Freight is the same as last year.  No Irish Ferries stats due to their quarterly reporting.

EDIT: due to the republishing of potentially sensitive information
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Stena explorer on September 19, 2014, 11:06:48 AM
Disappointing numbers for the explorer ,but expected, , I think the 10.30 holyhead to dun laoghaire sailing is the one  that has been pulling the figures down badly, as she was often very busy to near full on the 13.30 dun laoghaire -holyhead sailing , I think those figures might  be the ones that knock her on the head after christmas. With the explorer figures for this year,decreasing stena have a  valid case to pull out of dun laoghaire that will be hard for anyone to argue against now.   Out of dublin  port it looks like the epsilon is eating into  the stena freight a bit, but with the economy picking up both companies look set to gain new business over the next year. Nice to see figures up a bit in roslare. 
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on September 19, 2014, 10:52:05 PM
Disappointing numbers for the explorer ,but expected, , I think the 10.30 holyhead to dun laoghaire sailing is the one  that has been pulling the figures down badly, as she was often very busy to near full on the 13.30 dun laoghaire -holyhead sailing , I think those figures might  be the ones that knock her on the head after christmas. With the explorer figures for this year,decreasing stena have a  valid case to pull out of dun laoghaire that will be hard for anyone to argue against now.   Out of dublin  port it looks like the epsilon is eating into  the stena freight a bit, but with the economy picking up both companies look set to gain new business over the next year. Nice to see figures up a bit in roslare.  Steven is there any chance you could publish those august shippax numbers for the dublin ,dun laoghaire and roslare routes ,( it's always fascinating to see the monthly figures broken down ) much appreciated .

Sorry, but the figures are not meant for public consumption and tbh I may have already published too much!  As my post has now appeared (word for word) on Facebook I probably won't post so much detail (if anything) next time!  Shippax (understandably so) don't want their information widely shared to people who do not subscribe to their service.  I'm not going to jeopardise my access to this information and risk being "blacklisted"  due to this information being shared with the whole world.  For the record I have now edited my original post.  Whilst I accept this is a public forum, I didn't think someone would make this information MORE public.

As for Epsilon eating into Stenas share, it's impossible to say without seeing IF's stats.  For all we know they could be down overall as well.  The entire freight market is down apart from Stenas Birkenhead route whichever I think is telling.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Stena explorer on September 20, 2014, 09:09:35 AM
ICG say their freight volumes in year to date are 20% higher than last year !so with only so much business to go around , it's clear that the epsilon is eating into business from someone ,that's for sure,  with these freight boys  the most important thing is price, so irish ferries maybe are doing well in that field, but we won't know for sure until the year is out , to see the full picture. Also previous post edited.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on September 21, 2014, 11:31:18 PM
ICG say their freight volumes in year to date are 20% higher than last year !so with only so much business to go around , it's clear that the epsilon is eating into business from someone ,that's for sure,  with these freight boys  the most important thing is price, so irish ferries maybe are doing well in that field, but we won't know for sure until the year is out , to see the full picture. Also previous post edited.

The problem is, as of yet we don't know where that freight volume is!  We are not even comparing like for like (Dublin -Cherbourg I hear is doing well, though I am also hearing much of this is at the expense of Rosslare).  Certainly 20% (and thats the headline figure not the actual figure which is 18.5% if you look in the actual report) is not the same as 20% growth (or decline) would be for Stena, who have had only a slight decline during June.  At a guess I would say they have taken some trade from Stena, some from P&O, and some of the growth.  Unfortunately i don't have any Seatruck figures available to hand.  IF carried 118,100 RoRo units in the first half of the year over all routes, compared to 99,700 the year before is all we know.  We also have found out that Epsilon costs €3.6 million to fuel for 6 months.  This part from last years ICG result could be key btw

Quote
The Republic of Ireland's RoRo market returned to growth with a 3% increase in overall market carryings during the first half of the year followed by a 6% increase in the second half, to provide full year growth of 4%. This is a welcome sign of Ireland's return to improved economic health.
 
  ICG also had 15.7% growth in RoRo over the second half of last year - given Epsilon's arrival late in the year she would not have affected these figures much.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Normandy on September 22, 2014, 10:37:02 AM
I think with all the speculation as regards who is winning the freight war Steve's comments are very sound as we are not comparing like with like and the Irish ferries figures from the second half of 2013 cast more doubt and not company is not going to capitise on a good head line for share price and media attention.

I am aware Stena have released the booking for 2015 and indeed so have Irish ferries for Ireland France but I am surprised we are not seeing some interworking of the Rosslare ships on UK/France services.
Also I am surprised at the fact both Stena and Irish Ferries depart Ireland on a Saturday for cherbourg with freight ships as there is an artic ban on the weekends in France meaning the stuff sits till late Sunday night/ early Monday morning and also freight leaving Cherbourg must be in the port by late Friday/ early saturday. It strikes me alot of resourses of road Hauliers is tied up as a result. I would have thought particularly on Stena's part a fast three trips per week monday-friday and a more passenger focused trip[ on the weekends would have made more sence, I know this dates back to the Celtic link days.
Anyone able to shed some light on this? 
 
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: giftgrub on September 22, 2014, 09:06:45 PM
I think with all the speculation as regards who is winning the freight war Steve's comments are very sound as we are not comparing like with like and the Irish ferries figures from the second half of 2013 cast more doubt and not company is not going to capitise on a good head line for share price and media attention.

I am aware Stena have released the booking for 2015 and indeed so have Irish ferries for Ireland France but I am surprised we are not seeing some interworking of the Rosslare ships on UK/France services.
Also I am surprised at the fact both Stena and Irish Ferries depart Ireland on a Saturday for cherbourg with freight ships as there is an artic ban on the weekends in France meaning the stuff sits till late Sunday night/ early Monday morning and also freight leaving Cherbourg must be in the port by late Friday/ early saturday. It strikes me alot of resourses of road Hauliers is tied up as a result. I would have thought particularly on Stena's part a fast three trips per week monday-friday and a more passenger focused trip[ on the weekends would have made more sence, I know this dates back to the Celtic link days.
Anyone able to shed some light on this?

One of the main drivers of the French service at the weekends alongside freight is the self loading freight of passengers in their cars and motorhomes, if you have ever been in Rosslare on a Saturday when both ships are in port together the volume of traffic that comes off the two ferries is very impressive, obviously the major backbone for both operators is freight but don't discount the impact of passenger traffic on the routes. As for interworking the Rosslare and Cherbourg routes for Stena, I would be very surprised to see any crossover between the two ships as they are quite different in terms of linkspans and loading/unloading requirements etc, also crews/fuel consumption/ services provided etc,
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on September 23, 2014, 12:10:28 AM
I think with all the speculation as regards who is winning the freight war Steve's comments are very sound as we are not comparing like with like and the Irish ferries figures from the second half of 2013 cast more doubt and not company is not going to capitise on a good head line for share price and media attention.

I am aware Stena have released the booking for 2015 and indeed so have Irish ferries for Ireland France but I am surprised we are not seeing some interworking of the Rosslare ships on UK/France services.
Also I am surprised at the fact both Stena and Irish Ferries depart Ireland on a Saturday for cherbourg with freight ships as there is an artic ban on the weekends in France meaning the stuff sits till late Sunday night/ early Monday morning and also freight leaving Cherbourg must be in the port by late Friday/ early saturday. It strikes me alot of resourses of road Hauliers is tied up as a result. I would have thought particularly on Stena's part a fast three trips per week monday-friday and a more passenger focused trip[ on the weekends would have made more sence, I know this dates back to the Celtic link days.
Anyone able to shed some light on this?

One of the main drivers of the French service at the weekends alongside freight is the self loading freight of passengers in their cars and motorhomes, if you have ever been in Rosslare on a Saturday when both ships are in port together the volume of traffic that comes off the two ferries is very impressive, obviously the major backbone for both operators is freight but don't discount the impact of passenger traffic on the routes. As for interworking the Rosslare and Cherbourg routes for Stena, I would be very surprised to see any crossover between the two ships as they are quite different in terms of linkspans and loading/unloading requirements etc, also crews/fuel consumption/ services provided etc,

What that man said.

My understanding of the lorry ban is that it is in effect from 22:00 on Saturday to 22:00 Sunday (apart from during public holidays) and so is more of a Sunday ban than a weekend ban.  Given the 18hr crossing time I wonder how much of the freight being carried is accompanied?  The weekend crossing is always going to be a compromise between the interests of passengers and hauliers as well as being dictated by ship availability.  As for interworking, while on the surface it may make some sense in practice it would probably cost a fortune.  As GG says both operators have very different ships on their Rosslare services.  Europe also has much smaller freight capacity vs Horizon - Horizons freight space simply isn't needed to Fishguard, likewise Oscar Wilde has proved her self capable but less than ideal of running the Pembroke link.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: munchkin on September 25, 2014, 12:02:10 PM
hi all, been lurking a while and decided its time to register!

anyhow, regarding the lorry ban.
In most countries,  France included, theres exceptions for live animals and foodstuffs so regardless of a general lorry ban, an awful lot of what arrives in Cherbourg can head up the road straight away for the rest of France/ Germany / continental europe.
A truck laden with the likes of Kerrygold butter or other foodstuffs, could make it to Germany or low countries (breaks taken into consideration) in time for Monday morning by arriving at 10am on the Sunday morning.
If driving a car you can drive through the night 12 or 14 hours long, and at a quicker speed (meaning a late Sunday evening arrival gets you across France to be in Germany/ Holland for Monday morning), but trucks are slower and drivers must have regular breaks and can only do 9 or 10 hours at a time.

Theres a document outlining the situation of truck bans in France and surrounding countries here:
http://www.bison-fute.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/09024-4__EN_Brochure_vehicules_lourds_2014_def_web-2.pdf
and here some info on the EU rules on HGV driver breaks etc
https://www.gov.uk/drivers-hours/eu-rules
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on October 02, 2014, 05:27:34 PM
Here are the traffic figures for Irish Ferries for First half 2014 Versus 2013.

Operational Highlights Six months to 30 June
                     2014                2013    Change % Volumes
                 
Cars            150'000            142'000    +5.9%
Passengers  683'000            678'000    +0.8%
RoRo Freight 118'000            99'000    +18.5%
Container Freight (teu.***)
                   142'700          140'600     +1.5%
Port Lifts        92'700            86'000     +7.3%
***teu.: twenty foot equivalent units


If the 18.5 % increase in Irish Ferries freight traffic continues i could see Epsilon going full time on Ireland - France Route in 2015 running opposite Stena Horizon and IOI moving to Dublin to run opposite Ulysses.

This then raises the question as to what IF will bring on to Pembroke Rosslare service.

I see Oscar Wilde running a seasonal service to Roscoff and Cherbourg and taking over Pembroke during refit periods. 
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on October 13, 2014, 03:54:40 PM
Here are the traffic figures for Irish Ferries for First half 2014 Versus 2013.

Operational Highlights Six months to 30 June
                     2014                2013    Change % Volumes
                 
Cars            150'000            142'000    +5.9%
Passengers  683'000            678'000    +0.8%
RoRo Freight 118'000            99'000    +18.5%
Container Freight (teu.***)
                   142'700          140'600     +1.5%
Port Lifts        92'700            86'000     +7.3%
***teu.: twenty foot equivalent units


If the 18.5 % increase in Irish Ferries freight traffic continues i could see Epsilon going full time on Ireland - France Route in 2015 running opposite Stena Horizon and IOI moving to Dublin to run opposite Ulysses.

This then raises the question as to what IF will bring on to Pembroke Rosslare service.

I see Oscar Wilde running a seasonal service to Roscoff and Cherbourg and taking over Pembroke during refit periods.

Hmmm, it's unfortunate we don't know the breakdown of where the increased traffic is coming from.  There's no guarantee that it's on Ireland-France.  There's bound to have been some uplift in figures on the Holyhead route, especially considering Epsilon only operates Ireland-France at weekends.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: 20knots on October 14, 2014, 10:29:36 PM
In a similar vein from the Dept of Transport website:

Quote
Minister Donohoe welcomes Dublin Port’s strong growth figures in the first nine months of 2014

09 October 2014

Imports and exports up 7.3%, ferry passengers rise 5.5%

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe today (Thursday) welcomed Dublin Port Company’s strong throughput statistics which were published for the third quarter of 2014. The figures for this period show a 7.3% increase in export and import trade, as well as a 5.5% rise in ferry passenger numbers moving through Ireland’s largest and busiest port.

Speaking today Minister Donohoe said: ‘Dublin Port has an important role to play at the heart of the national and local economy, facilitating the effective movement of goods to and from the island. Today’s trading figures show the resilience of the Irish economy and I commend Dublin Port Company on its strong trading performance in the third quarter and year to date. As a barometer of economic growth, the figures point to a very promising year for 2014 with strong increases in both throughput and ferry passenger numbers already evident. This is very welcome news indeed.’

Summary of Q3 Trade Statistics

(Full post at link below; I tried to post the statistics but they were going to be all over the place and not in line):
http://transport.ie/press-releases/2014/minister-donohoe-welcomes-dublin-port%E2%80%99s-strong-growth-figures-first-nine-month-0
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: giftgrub on December 22, 2014, 06:12:21 PM
Posted on Facebook Rosslare maritime enthusiasts today, here is one  reason why the Stena Nordica won't replace the Stena Europe in its current configuration. Not enough space at peak travel time.

https://www.facebook.com/rosslaremaritime.enthusiasts?fref=ts

"Darren Milward Having across from fishguard last night as booked. Chaos started and the 02.45 pembroke sailing was cancelled and some irish ferries passenger were transferred to stena and had a race to get from.pembroke to fishguard. Stena Europe was bumper to bumper with cars last.night on all.decks and.many people were left sitting/lying on the floors as there was not enough seating and.all cabins were in use. Made it even more lovely on a rough crossing that docks at 7.45 this morning instead of the.expected 06.15. Am happy tho as I am in Eire. Merry Christmas all!"
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: HSS on December 22, 2014, 08:28:54 PM
Wow that's interesting, sounds like the MV Connacht on a night sailing to Liverpool many moons ago  ;)
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Davy Jones on December 22, 2014, 10:01:48 PM
Anybody know how Stena are coping on the central corridor without the HSS to help out? I ask as I notice the Adventurer left Dublin slightly early this evening, I assume she was full so able to get underway.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: HSS on December 22, 2014, 11:08:45 PM
Good question, I was wondering the same thing, busy but coping maybe?
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on January 03, 2015, 12:33:47 AM
On the Irish Ferries Fleet Movements topic it has been suggested that Irish Ferries may make a move for Stena Jutlandica.  As we where moving off topic I have suggested the discussion continues here.

Personally I don't see this happening as Stena won't sell to a rival, and if Jutlandica had been available it would have been much cheaper to move her to Dublin than acquire and convert Dieppe Seaways.  Contrary to speculation, Stena DONT need the cash and aren't under pressure to raise revenue.  One of the benefits of not being publicly traded is the ability to take a long term view.

Speaking of used tonnage, it has been suggested elsewhere that SNCM may be open to selling some of their fleet with Brittany Ferries said to be interested.  Whatever happens at Calais may have a direct or indirect bearing on available tonnage as well I guess (I've always said Calais Seaways wouldn't be a bad fit on the Southern Corridor for example), the Dover strait is operating over capacity and so whatever happens tonnage is likely to be displaced. 

Its been a badly kept secret for the best part of a year now that Dieppe Seaways was going to end up at Dublin, so you'd think ICG would have some sort of plan.  Epsilon whilst filling a role is perhaps not the answer in the longer term, or is the plan for the Swift to handle the tourist and passenger traffic on her behalf?
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on January 03, 2015, 01:27:00 PM
Epsilon is a great ship in terms of freight capacity but not an ideal cover in event of bad weather,

The only blessing is that the Swifts early sailings which are normally busy are in tandum with the Ulysses so at least there overflow solution except in high summer,

The afternoon is where the problem is. This is Stena Nordica's busiest sailing.

Lets see how ICG responds after Stena bring in the new ship.

I doubt Calais Seaways would survive a winter on Georges Channel.

 
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on January 03, 2015, 05:14:20 PM
I doubt Calais Seaways would survive a winter on Georges Channel.
Perhaps, though many a smaller and more fragile ship has managed it in the past.  IIRC she isn't the most manoeuvrable ship in the world though, and being designed for the Sover strait conversion could be costly.  There's always the chance she could end up elsewhere and displace something else.  IF DFDS do get their hands on the myferrylink twins she's gonna not only be te weak link but also probably surplus to requirements.

Speaking of Rodin and Berlioz, I wouldn't mind seeing them on the Irish sea at some point though much work word need to be done to make them suitable.  Which reminds me, in terms of purchasing tonnage outright ICG are probably going to be up against Stena in the bidding.  They too have tonnage which needs replaced.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: DublinPeter on January 03, 2015, 06:55:57 PM
Anybody know how Stena are coping on the central corridor without the HSS to help out? I ask as I notice the Adventurer left Dublin slightly early this evening, I assume she was full so able to get underway.

Very busy on the (funnily enough) very busy days ex Holyhead about 20-22 December and from both sides 27-29 Dec and the last few days.  Nordica in particular, given her limited capacity, was sold out on most days and passengers were being offered passage on Adventurer sailings.  Given the fact that Adventurers timings wouldn't suit a lot of people, others would have gone to IF and travelled via IOI or Swift (when she ran).  Obviously the loss of revenue from the passengers who went to IF was considered cheaper than running Explorer.  A mistake in terms of share I reckon, but we never know what's going on at board level where these things are ultimately decided!

Pete
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: giftgrub on January 03, 2015, 09:42:43 PM
Anybody know how Stena are coping on the central corridor without the HSS to help out? I ask as I notice the Adventurer left Dublin slightly early this evening, I assume she was full so able to get underway.

Very busy on the (funnily enough) very busy days ex Holyhead about 20-22 December and from both sides 27-29 Dec and the last few days.  Nordica in particular, given her limited capacity, was sold out on most days and passengers were being offered passage on Adventurer sailings.  Given the fact that Adventurers timings wouldn't suit a lot of people, others would have gone to IF and travelled via IOI or Swift (when she ran).  Obviously the loss of revenue from the passengers who went to IF was considered cheaper than running Explorer.  A mistake in terms of share I reckon, but we never know what's going on at board level where these things are ultimately decided!

Pete

Problem of capacity will be solved once Superfast X arrives to replace Nordica, plenty of passenger space, HSS dry docking will cost many millions, short term loss of passengers,  long term gain for the business profitability.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on January 04, 2015, 01:18:19 AM
Anybody know how Stena are coping on the central corridor without the HSS to help out? I ask as I notice the Adventurer left Dublin slightly early this evening, I assume she was full so able to get underway.

Very busy on the (funnily enough) very busy days ex Holyhead about 20-22 December and from both sides 27-29 Dec and the last few days.  Nordica in particular, given her limited capacity, was sold out on most days and passengers were being offered passage on Adventurer sailings.  Given the fact that Adventurers timings wouldn't suit a lot of people, others would have gone to IF and travelled via IOI or Swift (when she ran).  Obviously the loss of revenue from the passengers who went to IF was considered cheaper than running Explorer.  A mistake in terms of share I reckon, but we never know what's going on at board level where these things are ultimately decided!

Pete

Problem of capacity will be solved once Superfast X arrives to replace Nordica, plenty of passenger space, HSS dry docking will cost many millions, short term loss of passengers,  long term gain for the business profitability.

Yup, it's a case of Stena taking a longer-term view on this one.  I'm sure they won't be too long tempting those passengers back with special offers, etc if required - particularly given the business will not have the drain of the HSS's running costs affecting profitability.  Regarding Stena Superfast X she will be similar to her sisters internally but far from identical I believe.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on January 04, 2015, 03:20:17 PM
Another ship with too many owners and hence in need of a lot of care and attention.

I hope they get to the bottom of all those technical problems that plaged her on  Dover - Calais.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: 20knots on January 04, 2015, 06:46:58 PM
Presumably Stena Superfast X, being true to her appellation, will offer at least some crossings of around 2 h 45 minutes?
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: giftgrub on January 04, 2015, 07:17:42 PM
Another ship with too many owners and hence in need of a lot of care and attention.

I hope they get to the bottom of all those technical problems that plaged her on  Dover - Calais.

We will only find out when it enters service but it is getting a full overhaul including new propellers etc so hopefully all technical areas will be looked at and sorted, as Stena own this vessel now there is no need to skimp on the refurbishment.

http://www.nauta.pl/index.php?stenas-ferry-conversion-at-nauta

Would expect crossing times to be the same as the Adventurer/Nordica at the moment, no point burning fuel unnecessarily.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Fast Ferry Fan on January 04, 2015, 11:47:22 PM
Would expect crossing times to be the same as the Adventurer/Nordica at the moment, no point burning fuel unnecessarily.

Not much point calling her Superfast then either.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on January 05, 2015, 01:24:01 AM
Would expect crossing times to be the same as the Adventurer/Nordica at the moment, no point burning fuel unnecessarily.

Not much point calling her Superfast then either.
Err, its a class of ship.  The pair up here don't run any faster either, and in fact have just been slowed down on the late night crossings.  Given her propellers are being changed for efficiency (like VII and VIII), expect crossing times to be the same. 

Stena are well aware of the technical issues she has had in the past (rumour has it they had a look over her when she was last in dry-dock early last year). She was never really suited to the intensive Dover-Calais route anyway - remember every other ship operating that service was purpose built for Dover.  It'll be interesting to see how the differences in layout versus her sisters work out.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on January 05, 2015, 11:09:35 AM
Have All Three Superfast ships with Stena much Cabins for crew and passengers.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on January 05, 2015, 10:37:30 PM
Have All Three Superfast ships with Stena much Cabins for crew and passengers.

Deck 9 is totally given over to crew accommodation.  There are berths for approximately 70.
On deck 10 there are 6 Superfast suites which adjoin the Nordic Spa.  I believe these suites are very popular with passengers, and can accommodate up to 5.  More info on them here: http://www.stenaline.co.uk/ferries/stena-superfast-vii/superfast-suites

Stena Superfast X will have more in the way of cabins though, due to the longer nature of her crossing.  I am not aware of how many yet.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on January 05, 2015, 10:53:06 PM
Do you think they will keep the nordic spa on the Holyhead run,
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on January 12, 2015, 11:03:20 PM
Do you think they will keep the nordic spa on the Holyhead run,
If they do it will be a big selling point over her rivals.  TBH, I have no idea what condition this area is in as it and the rest of deck 10 was closed off (along with the suites and wraparound open deck) under DFDS and Seafrance.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: KieranR on April 30, 2015, 12:49:20 AM
I can't find again where I read last night about the Stena Europe and its replacement but this would be the correct topic. The suggestion was that a Holland built ship with Stena would be taking over the route - I presume this refers to the Stena Jutlandica. This would be a great development for the route which often seems to have been considered the poor cousin and highlights Stena's commitment to it. It would also be very fitting to have it on the same corridor as the IOI!
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: PaddyL on May 19, 2015, 07:18:59 PM
Last time I used the Rosslare to Wales routes I was thinking that when you looked at the number of cars waiting to board they'd be as well having a joint service.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on May 20, 2015, 01:52:13 PM
Last time I used the Rosslare to Wales routes I was thinking that when you looked at the number of cars waiting to board they'd be as well having a joint service.
It's been the case for years, going as far back as the days when it was a joint service!
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: corkbuoy on May 20, 2015, 03:01:11 PM
Southern Corridor addition:

Cork - Roscoff - May to Oct incl. - Brittany Ferries - Pont Aven.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on May 21, 2015, 02:25:57 PM
Latest official (via Shippax) figures show that Stena have had a strong double digit growth in passengers, cars, and buses on Dublin - Holyhead during April, whilst everyone else is down with the exception of marginal growth in car numbers for Irish Ferries and a downward trend overall.  It appears that the marketing offensive may be working!  No indications on the freight side, as both IF and Stena report quarterly now.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Stena explorer on May 21, 2015, 02:40:24 PM
I wonder do those  big increases  in Stena figures  for April have anything to do with dun laoghaire  not being in the picture  so as Easter was April. Let's say the 30,000 odd who would of used dunlaoghaire basically transferring to Stena  in Dublin port ,  it would be interesting to see what the increase is when  you compare figures for last April. With dunlaoghaire included and this April with only Dublin port. But even it is a bit down to that ,it's good news for Stena as it shows the vast majority of their customers have stayed with them and moved to Dublin port. And not great news for Irish ferries
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on May 21, 2015, 03:28:30 PM
I wonder do those  big increases  in Stena figures  for April have anything to do with dun laoghaire  not being in the picture  so as Easter was April. Let's say the 30,000 odd who would of used dunlaoghaire basically transferring to Stena  in Dublin port ,  it would be interesting to see what the increase is when  you compare figures for last April. With dunlaoghaire included and this April with only Dublin port. But even it is a bit down to that ,it's good news for Stena as it shows the vast majority of their customers have stayed with them and moved to Dublin port. And not great news for Irish ferries
Thats most probably exactly what the figures indicate.  However, it is early days yet.
I forgot to mention that both operators are significantly down on passengers and cars on the southern corridor routes.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Fast Ferry Fan on May 24, 2015, 12:24:40 PM
Latest official (via Shippax) figures show that Stena have had a strong double digit growth in passengers, cars, and buses on Dublin - Holyhead during April, whilst everyone else is down with the exception of marginal growth in car numbers for Irish Ferries.

A "Double digit" increase could be as low as 10%, whereas a "Strong Double digit increase" could be interpreted as meaning 15%+.
On this basis, I would describe the 8% increase in IF car numbers as better than "marginal".

If I was to hazard a guess as to where the Dun Laoghaire traffic will go, I would say:
- 50% will be retained and transferred to Stena's Dublin sailings (as long as DL does not re-open to alternative provider)
- 25% will go to Irish Ferries (mainly Swift)
- 25% will use Fly / Drive
I also assume it will lose as many customers as it generates new customers.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on May 29, 2015, 12:24:49 PM
Latest official (via Shippax) figures show that Stena have had a strong double digit growth in passengers, cars, and buses on Dublin - Holyhead during April, whilst everyone else is down with the exception of marginal growth in car numbers for Irish Ferries.

A "Double digit" increase could be as low as 10%, whereas a "Strong Double digit increase" could be interpreted as meaning 15%+.
On this basis, I would describe the 8% increase in IF car numbers as better than "marginal".

But IF didn't have an 8% increase in cars on Dublin to Holyhead in April........  We are talking very low single digit figures here.  The Stena numbers are towards the top end, with buses being up more than 20%.  Bear in mind I have the numbers in front of me, but cannot publish specifics.

If I was to hazard a guess as to where the Dun Laoghaire traffic will go, I would say:
- 50% will be retained and transferred to Stena's Dublin sailings (as long as DL does not re-open to alternative provider)
- 25% will go to Irish Ferries (mainly Swift)
- 25% will use Fly / Drive
I also assume it will lose as many customers as it generates new customers.
We'll probably never know, especially given that year on year Explorers figures have been significantly down for a while now.

In other news, I am told the HSS ramps are to be removed from all 4 ports shortly.

Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Fast Ferry Fan on October 27, 2015, 12:20:47 AM
According to the Irish Times last Saturday, Dublin port experienced a 6.3% increase in ferry tourism passengers in the first 9 months of the year, to over 1.4m.  That's an increase of about 80,000 passengers.  If you assume all of these were previous HSS passengers, then just over 50% of the traffic has been retained across all the other sailings, rather than the 75% I predicted.  There could, of course, be other factors that I have missed.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: Steven on October 27, 2015, 08:52:19 PM
According to the Irish Times last Saturday, Dublin port experienced a 6.3% increase in ferry tourism passengers in the first 9 months of the year, to over 1.4m.  That's an increase of about 80,000 passengers.  If you assume all of these were previous HSS passengers, then just over 50% of the traffic has been retained across all the other sailings, rather than the 75% I predicted.  There could, of course, be other factors that I have missed.
The HSS would not have been sailing for all of those 9 months though.  I have yet to do the maths on the number of total pax lost versus last year, BUT I will say it is important to remember that Explorer's year-on-year carryings have been falling very sharply over the past number of seasons.  In other words, its pretty much impossible to say if passengers that Stena have "lost" would not have been travelling with them had Explorer stayed (at considerable cost to the business), as hers was a shrinking market.  What I can however say is that significant numbers don't seem to have gone to Irish Ferries from the HSS, given that their figures appear to have grown by much, much less than the numbers Explorer took last year.
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: HSS on October 27, 2015, 09:53:52 PM
According to the Irish Times last Saturday, Dublin port experienced a 6.3% increase in ferry tourism passengers in the first 9 months of the year, to over 1.4m.  That's an increase of about 80,000 passengers.  If you assume all of these were previous HSS passengers, then just over 50% of the traffic has been retained across all the other sailings, rather than the 75% I predicted.  There could, of course, be other factors that I have missed.
The HSS would not have been sailing for all of those 9 months though.  I have yet to do the maths on the number of total pax lost versus last year, BUT I will say it is important to remember that Explorer's year-on-year carryings have been falling very sharply over the past number of seasons.  In other words, its pretty much impossible to say if passengers that Stena have "lost" would not have been travelling with them had Explorer stayed (at considerable cost to the business), as hers was a shrinking market.  What I can however say is that significant numbers don't seem to have gone to Irish Ferries from the HSS, given that their figures appear to have grown by much, much less than the numbers Explorer took last year.

For what it's worth, I would still travel on the Explorer if she was in service... but now I travel on Superfast X, and it's always very busy...just what Stena want!
Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: IFPete on October 27, 2015, 10:18:45 PM
Superfast X had a good complement of freight and 100 cars when i travelled home on her 10 days ago,

Title: Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor
Post by: DublinPeter on October 28, 2015, 12:15:05 AM
Just on the numbers thing, I asked some stat-nerds to comb through figures for me (ICG, Shippax, CSO & Bord Failte) and this is what they came up with.

Every 1% rise in visitor numbers equates to a certain number of airline passengers/ship arrivals (averaged out). 

There was a considerable increase in visitors from the UK (up above 3 million for the first time since 2009).  This increase was reflected to an accurate extent in increased airline passengers but not so much in Ferries.  The stat nerds tell me that passenger traffic at Dublin should have been up by about 160k to match the curve but it fell significantly short of that (up 73k or so). 

In summary, about 50% of the "HSS" patrons appear to have transferred to a Dublin Port operator but 50% didn't transfer (presumably changing to air) and the market growth has been negated by that fall off.  Nerds say that figure is more than enough to make it statistically relevant and comparable.

With a marketing hat on, that points to a soft market which can go one of two ways.  Either it can continue to contract (which would be a surprise given that it has stabilised quite well after the worst of the budget-airline-effect) or that soft market can be stimulated with a decent 150k (lost numbers + percentage of higher visitor numbers averaged) available. 

Need to lie down....

Pete