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Irish Ferries Fleet movements

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HSS

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Hooray, Swift sailed today  ;D

PaddyL

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Latest fleet rumour is for Inishmore to replace Swift and Epsilon.  Epsilon to Rosslare - Pembroke.

Rumours they are looking new vessel for Dublin - Cherbourg which would replace Epsilon and Oscar Wilde.

Anyone else heard anything?

TC

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Epsilon would struggle to cope with the passenger numbers during the summer. Her passenger capacity is way too low, and she isn't very passenger friendly.

Not sure about other tonnage, but I'm sure Irish Ferries will find something.

The current set up on Holyhead - Dublin is hardly ideal. Its a bit like chalk and cheese. Ulysses with oodles of facilities vs Epsilion with very little.

Steven

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Inishmore to Dublin would certainly make a lot of sense, and also allow costs to be slashed.  While swift is great for marketing and carries a lot of passenger trade, she is a fast-craft with fast-craft operating costs (though by no means on the scale of an HSS).  I did hear rumours that another operator was sniffing around her as well, though I should stress it was rumour. 

I do wonder how Epsilon would cope with the peak periods at Rosslare though.  Could a seasonal second ship be the answer (Swift?  After all she is paid for and it would cost a lot less to run her half of the year?  If only running in summer she should also be a lot less liable to cancellation, and also less affected by Southern Corridor weather).  A new ship for Ireland to France would make a lot of sense too, though where any such tonnage would come from is anyones guess.  I'd imagine she'd be less of a cruise ferry than Oscar as well.
Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 06:23:17 AM by Steven
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

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ferryfan

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Isle of Inishmore taking up Ulysses rota from the 02.40 tomorrow morning with OW going back south and Ulysses off for a bit of TLC.
 I really do not believe that there is any need for a ship the size Inishmore to partner Ulysses on the Dublin route at present. The Swift will be around for some time to come, numbers are always good on her and I don't think she is as thirsty as some seem to think.
Epsilon is due to be returned to her owners, Cartour, in October, Cartour and TTT Lines have joined forces to form New TTT Lines, two of their ships MV Partenope (Napoles) and the MV Trinacria (Sicilia) are due to be returned to Sten Ro Ro so it would make sense for them to get their own ship back rather than charter another.

hhvferry

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I would expect IF would want to keep hold of the Epsilon for her low running costs and sheer usefulness -  but it does depend on other factors ; New TTT Lines have been chartering from Grimaldi to provide their third ship alongside the 'Delta' and 'Gamma' (the Stena RoRo pair went on charter to Balearia last year) and the return of the Epsilon would, on the face of it, make sense for them unless the IF income is significantly greater than the costs and hassle of chartering in, which it may be.

The Epsilon definitely couldn't cope with Rosslare peak season (Christmas and summer) passenger loads which average more than her capacity. But on the face of it you could probably put together a workable solution and make the Swift seasonal with the Inishmore switching south and the Epsilon north during those peaks with the Swift in turn coming out of lay up. Not sure how you would sort the Dublin-Cherbourg route though.

DublinPeter

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From as close to the horses mouth as it gets it looks like Epsilon is to be returned when it's charter ends later this year.  She may be replaced by another charter ship in the relatively short term while a more permanent Ro/Pax solution is found. 

There are no plans to stop Fast Ferry operations by IF - Swift (even with its cancellations in Winter!) is a profitable product for IF which they have no intention of sacrificing.  There has been ongoing talk of getting a younger, larger fastcraft but from the engineering side at least, there is no appetite for this given how mechanically reliable she is. 

Both operators on the corridor are concerned about the impact that a potential 3rd operator might have so are very anxious to have/hold for now.

Pete

giftgrub

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As the Ulysses heads to Falmouth tomorrow for its drydocking, here is a link to the Falmouth webcam, might be possible to catch it going into the drydock using marine traffic to confirm its location.

http://www.nmmc.co.uk/index.php?/justvisiting/webcams/falmouth_harbour_from_the_tower_out_to_sea

TC

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From as close to the horses mouth as it gets it looks like Epsilon is to be returned when it's charter ends later this year.  She may be replaced by another charter ship in the relatively short term while a more permanent Ro/Pax solution is found. 

There are no plans to stop Fast Ferry operations by IF - Swift (even with its cancellations in Winter!) is a profitable product for IF which they have no intention of sacrificing.  There has been ongoing talk of getting a younger, larger fastcraft but from the engineering side at least, there is no appetite for this given how mechanically reliable she is. 

Both operators on the corridor are concerned about the impact that a potential 3rd operator might have so are very anxious to have/hold for now.

We already have a third operator - P&O Ferries, who have beefed up the Liverpool to Dublin service with the deployment of European Endeavour, as the third ship. P&O have three vessels which total 6200 lane metres per day from each port. All three vessels are operating to capacity, so I wouldn't be surprised if P&O doesn't turn out to be the next operator to deploy another vessel. It would be an ideal opportunity for them to make up lot ground, considering the situation at Larne.

If numbers kept falling at Larne, they could always move European Highlander / European Causeway to Dublin. Install a few extra cabins, possibly through lengthening the vessel using the additional space on the car-deck for more trailers, and on the additional space on the passenger decks for cabins.

Irish Ferries have options as-well. They could swing a deal with a Greek / Mediterranean operator and get something a bit more passenger friendly for the Dublin to Holyhead run in lieu of Epsilon.   


giftgrub

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Isle of Inishmore taking up Ulysses rota from the 02.40 tomorrow morning with OW going back south and Ulysses off for a bit of TLC.
 I really do not believe that there is any need for a ship the size Inishmore to partner Ulysses on the Dublin route at present. The Swift will be around for some time to come, numbers are always good on her and I don't think she is as thirsty as some seem to think.
Epsilon is due to be returned to her owners, Cartour, in October, Cartour and TTT Lines have joined forces to form New TTT Lines, two of their ships MV Partenope (Napoles) and the MV Trinacria (Sicilia) are due to be returned to Sten Ro Ro so it would make sense for them to get their own ship back rather than charter another.

Sicilia and Napoles were returned to Stena RoRo already and have been rechartered to Baleria.



https://www.balearia.com/wps/portal/balearia/abordo/viajandoEnBarco/flotaAcomodacion

ferryfan

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IF website reporting the 20:45 OW sailing from Rosslare has been diverted to Holyhead due to "exceptioonal seas" at Milford Haven? Also cancelling all sailings for tomorrow "due to forecasted weather conditions.
AIS showing OW still in Rosslare at 22:40.
All Stena crossings are on schedule, it seems to be that OW is not managing the poor weather conditions very well given the number of Dublin crossings she missed over the last few weeks while the other three conventional vessels were not as badly affected.

HSS

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That is very strange with IOI already heading to Holyhead, OW was poor on the D-H route, well beaten by Superfast X.

DublinPeter

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From as close to the horses mouth as it gets it looks like Epsilon is to be returned when it's charter ends later this year.  She may be replaced by another charter ship in the relatively short term while a more permanent Ro/Pax solution is found. 

There are no plans to stop Fast Ferry operations by IF - Swift (even with its cancellations in Winter!) is a profitable product for IF which they have no intention of sacrificing.  There has been ongoing talk of getting a younger, larger fastcraft but from the engineering side at least, there is no appetite for this given how mechanically reliable she is. 

Both operators on the corridor are concerned about the impact that a potential 3rd operator might have so are very anxious to have/hold for now.

We already have a third operator - P&O Ferries, who have beefed up the Liverpool to Dublin service with the deployment of European Endeavour, as the third ship. P&O have three vessels which total 6200 lane metres per day from each port. All three vessels are operating to capacity, so I wouldn't be surprised if P&O doesn't turn out to be the next operator to deploy another vessel. It would be an ideal opportunity for them to make up lot ground, considering the situation at Larne.

If numbers kept falling at Larne, they could always move European Highlander / European Causeway to Dublin. Install a few extra cabins, possibly through lengthening the vessel using the additional space on the car-deck for more trailers, and on the additional space on the passenger decks for cabins.

Irish Ferries have options as-well. They could swing a deal with a Greek / Mediterranean operator and get something a bit more passenger friendly for the Dublin to Holyhead run in lieu of Epsilon.

Fair point TC! I should of course have said on the route rather than on the corridor! It's an open secret that Epsilon arrived on the scene at Holyhead as a blocking tactic on a third operator as much as for providing extra capacity at the time.  The concerns about other operators also does the Swift's longevity no harm either!

There has been much talk recently about a ro-pax competitor heading to Dublin - Liverpool with a daily service but lack of spare berths at Dublin Port and difficulty securing hard standage at the alternative port (coupled with that port company getting itself stuck between a rock and a hard place!) has put those plans on hold although apparently their appearance hastened the arrival of P&O ship 3!  Interesting times indeed.

Pete


TC

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Its interesting alright. I would never rule out a P&O Ferries - Irish Ferries merger. I don't know what the competition authorities would do, probably block it. However it would give both operators access to routes in both in the North and South, and through 'landbridge' Irish Ferries would have access to P&O North Sea, and P&O Short Sea. Additionally P&O would have access to Irish Ferries Ireland to France operations. - It would be an interesting alliance, certainly strengthen both companies. As in the airline industry you have Skyteam, and Oneworld. Could this model be employed in the ferry sector?

P&O however are doing very nicely on the central corridor, as are Irish Ferries. P&O's crewing costs aren't as much as the competition, the ships are very fuel efficient, and operate to capacity. The only negative is the longer journey time = more fuel burn. Still the route has become very popular with hauliers, and the general public. P&O's reliability is also pretty impressive.

   

dan1985

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Not the most ideal scenario but with the current available fleet Irish Ferries in my opinion made the correct decision this Christmas. The reason Oscar went to Holyhead is to keep the  Inishmore South for the busy christmas and new year period as past couple years its been Inishmore on central corridor but last year Oscar left the South in chaos literally closing the route over the busy Christmas period. On Holyhead the Ulysees ensures reliability plus Epsillon sailed additionally on a few of the days.

Merger Depends if P&O has ambition for growth. Irish Ferries dont see selling other way round Irish Sea or a joint operation. Personally I really like Irish Ferries brand and product plus the ships have character.