Irish Ferries Enthusiasts | Forum

X

New Forums - if you experience any problems, please e-mail [email protected]


Irish Ferries Fleet movements(Read 516259 times)
Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #690 on: July 11, 2015, 12:34:49 PM
The idea of a ferry service between Florida and Cuba is inspiring

Pehaps it could be a new route for Oscar wilde.



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #691 on: July 11, 2015, 12:59:51 PM
Gotland wouldn't be quite the Oscar Wilde, but I would have thought operating them at around 18 - 20 knots they would be fairly efficient, not quite in lets say P&O's Norbay or Norbank's league, but reasonable enough.

I agree capacity might be a bit tight, with only 1 deck for lounges, restaurants, and a gift shop / cinema. But if ICG did a Stena Superfast style conversion, and were careful how they utilised the space, I say it could work. The current layout would definitely have to be revised. I agree the cabin capacity could be a bit of a problem, unless they attached an extra deck of cabins, just forward of the funnel, though this could effect the vessels deadweight.

Regarding Epsilon, she could be relocated to Rosslare, perhaps if additional capacity was required on the Pembroke run, or run a no frills service with the Visby or Gotland on the French run. Or option B, return her to her owners, though where this would leave Dublin - Cherbourg, I'm not sure.

Anyone any thought on Blue Star 1 & Blue Star 2? Built by Van der Giessen de Noord, famous for quality ferries, eg Isle of Inishmore, Isle of Inishfree, Norbank, Norbay, Mont St Michele...

Blue Star are also Greek, and have recently splashed out on small new builds (for another route), both ships were built in 2001, so still have plenty of life left in them. I understand they previously operated the Zeebrugge - Rosyth some years ago.   




Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #692 on: July 11, 2015, 01:39:59 PM
I believe several of these ferries were looked at.

Blue Star 1 and Blue Star 2 would certainly work on Pembroke - Rosslare without much work,

They have plenty of capacity but no open deck space for hazardous goods unlike the superfast twins.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 02:53:10 PM by IFPete »



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #693 on: July 11, 2015, 04:19:48 PM
ICG could always do a freighter conversion, like P&O did with the Pride of Canterbury and Pride of Kent. The latter were quite battered looking, after 10 - 11 years on the Dover - Zeebrugge route, but after a major rebuild at Lloyd Werft, you wouldn't recognise them, and in terms of interior quality, design ect, they were spot on in all fairness. I recall the first time I went on Pride of Canterbury in 2007, and their was a real 'wow' factor. Still today, despite the occasional rust streaks, they give the competition a run for their money, and in many respects P&O had the luxury of starting with a blank canvas.

http://www.hhvferry.com/darwinsgen2.html

I think this model could work for Irish Ferries, but getting a suitable vessel might prove difficult, but as you indicated IFPete, some of the stern could be left open for hazardous freight. A vessel like Finnreel could be converted in a similar way as P&O's 'Darwins' were back in 2003.

http://www.ferry-site.dk/ferry.php?id=9198721&lang=en     



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #694 on: July 11, 2015, 06:56:17 PM
Hmm yes I can see that happening, providing that ICG were fully committed to investing in such a rebuild.  Maybe ICG have a few other things up their sleeve. I personally think they'll just extend the Epsilon's charters by another year or so, giving them more time. 
Martin



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #695 on: July 13, 2015, 12:52:46 PM
IF have something in progress, hopefully they will announce something when they release their half year results at the end of August.

Expansion of Ireland - France and Dublin - Holyhead are on the agenda.



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #696 on: July 13, 2015, 02:44:17 PM
IF have something in progress, hopefully they will announce something when they release their half year results at the end of August.

Expansion of Ireland - France and Dublin - Holyhead are on the agenda.

Will Oscar Wilde stay?



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #697 on: July 13, 2015, 06:15:13 PM
Oscar Wilde has its own nitch in the market with 1358 cabin berths not easily replaced.

IF need additional vessel or vessels that can take passengers comfortably and can take a lot of freight.
Superfast XI, XII or Blue Star 1 , 2 could fill that gap although Blue Star vessels have no weatherdecks and less cabins.

IF has lost a lot of business to Corbelfret and to landbridge through UK due to lack of capacity in the summer months when Oscar Wilde is full of Holiday makers,

They also need to replace IOI on Rosslare Pembroke if it moves to Dublin as part of an increased frequency Dublin - Holyhead service.

A set of twins with comfortable passenger capacity above 1200 and freight capacity for 140 trailers would be ideal.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 06:50:26 PM by IFPete »



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #698 on: July 13, 2015, 10:24:26 PM
What would happen to Epsilon? Would she be returned to her owners with Isle of Inishmore taking her place. I agree its important for Irish Ferries to get new tonnage. Personally I don't think Epsilon is really ideal for Holyhead, she's not bad, but Inishmore would be a better competitor for Stena Superfast X.



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #699 on: July 14, 2015, 08:54:20 AM
Epsilon is prety basic with no passenger comfort features escpecially for kids.

She was leased to test the freight market and to provide some degree of back up for swift cancellations.

IOI was originally built for Dublin - Holyhead and has more passenger capacity than Ulysses so it is the
Ideal ship for this route.

If Isle of innisfree had been available she would have been ideal for Pembroke - Rosslare but this adds to the excitement due to her no availability before 2017 and the likelyhood that she will stay in New Zealand.

Since Epsilon is not suitable for Pembroke i would only envisage that Irish Ferries would retain her if they were to launch a new freight service to spain or for a freight service to Cherbourg running opposite Oscar Wilde. This would be a good market test but not as ideal as a Superfast or Blue Star type of operation.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 08:58:04 AM by IFPete »



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #700 on: July 19, 2015, 01:00:54 AM
I take it ICG can't afford a new build then....
They'd need to wait up to 4 years for it to materialise for a start!  The cost of a new build would also be astronomical compared to acquiring something newish second hand, certainly if ordered from a European yard or one of the more respected (in terms of passenger ships) Asian yards.


Dont rule out the Superfast twins yet.

The greeks have no money and would take a reasonable offer if it was on the table.

Irish Ferries do not need to replace Tonnage before November in any case.

All Greeks are not equal.  With the upcoming changes to taxation in Greece, and a licence to operate what has the potential to be a VERY lucrative service where the economy is not under the same pressures as it is in Greece,  I wouldn't be at all surprised if they moved XI and XII to the new service.  Certainly they would seem the closest vessels capacity wise to the figures which have been quoted regarding the tonnage already in the group which has been earmarked for the Cuba service.  I'd hazard a guess that fuel costs for example will be pretty reasonable out there as well compared to Europe.  Attica have the opportunity to get into what is a new market early, just as their traditional market appears to be getting weaker by the day (in some respects).

Regarding ICG's interest, I'm sure they will also take into consideration that the Superfast types are not exactly cheap to run.  Multiply that cost up over the distance between Ireland and France (even with Stena's efficiency modifications, VII, VIII, and X are much thirstier than say, a Visentini, like Epsilon), or the Pembroke route with its lower load factors than Holyhead, and I'm sure there are other more suitable options for ICG.  There are plenty of ro-pax types and freighters about, which with a little foresight could be converted into efficient and capable passenger vessels.  Stena Feronia, Stena Allegra, Highlanders, and Blue Puttees all spring to mind, and even the old Pride of Suffolk and Pride of Flanders did a job. Would ICG have the appetite for such a conversion?  Personally, I have no idea, though I suspect they'd be happier with something more "off the shelf".

I'd have thought the Gotland vessels would be far too small for ICG's needs.  Some of the other vessels mentioned on this thread would be nothing short of a short-term stopgap IMO (why bring in tonnage which is the best part of 30 years old or more?).  As I've said before, Oscar Wilde is not getting any younger.  In IoI, ICG have a ready made replacement for Epsilon should they choose to replace her.  However, IoI is not as efficient a vessel to operate in a year round basis as Epsilon.  It will be interesting to see how it all pans out of course.
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

NI Ferry Site

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #701 on: July 19, 2015, 10:09:29 PM
ICG wanted a new build (and have more than enough finance in place to build something impressive) there was a rumor that yard space in Finland may come available due to a cancelled order but I have heard very little about this option , from an accounting point of view with ICG's corporate structure a newbuild suits them far better than second-hand tonnage no matter how much better the second-hand is as a newbuild can have its full value depreciated over the vessels service life and increases the company's overall book value (very important when your shares are publicly traded).
There is strong speculation that something will be purchased very soon.



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #702 on: July 20, 2015, 11:58:12 AM
I suspect the newbuild being talked about is for Dublin - Holyhead,

IOI could fill the gap until the newbuild went into service, however a suitable vessel for rosslare - pembroke
would be required if IOI moves to Dublin until the new build arrived.

Ireland - France route could not justify a new build, so it still looks like IF need two vessels in the short to medium term. One for Pembroke and one for Cherbourg assuming Epsilon returns to her owners in November.



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #703 on: July 20, 2015, 04:35:49 PM
ICG wanted a new build (and have more than enough finance in place to build something impressive) there was a rumor that yard space in Finland may come available due to a cancelled order but I have heard very little about this option , from an accounting point of view with ICG's corporate structure a newbuild suits them far better than second-hand tonnage no matter how much better the second-hand is as a newbuild can have its full value depreciated over the vessels service life and increases the company's overall book value (very important when your shares are publicly traded).
There is strong speculation that something will be purchased very soon.
While there is some sense in what you say, the fact remains that the last 2 acquisitions for the ferry division (Oscar Wilde and Epsilon) have been second hand tonnage, with the latter on charter.  Prior to that, the Normandy was also second (third) hand.  Neither the Pembroke or France route are (in my view, as well as others) lucrative enough to justify the outlay for new tonnage, and in the case of Dublin, there is a ship (Isle of Inishmore) which is purpose built for the route already in the group, and which is too big for her current route.  The logical next step would be to replace Epsilon with something more passenger orientated to see if the demand is there, before investing in any new build.

History points to everything new going to Dublin (Isle of Innisfree, Isle of Inishmore, Ulysses), and its hard to see that changing.  Theres bound to be something suitable for Pembroke out there, the problem is age, not to mention availability.  Perhaps the situation in Greece will throw something up, or perhaps let a ship become available to replace something suitable for ICG's needs.  Not every Greek ferry operator can move their ships to Cuba after all ;).
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

NI Ferry Site

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements Reply #704 on: July 20, 2015, 05:58:47 PM
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.  If Irish Ferries were in a better position to expand their services to Britain, France and maybe Spain 5-10 years ago, then I think they would've held on to the Isle of Innisfree and Pride of Bilbao, or at least kept them in European waters.
As it is I think we'll just wait and see. I know I've said it before but I won't be surprised if the status quo continues until next year, with the Epsilon's charter extended. 
Martin