About NIFS

Our Business Address

NI Ferry Site is owned by Linkspan Ltd, a not-for-profit private company which is limited by guarantee and incorporated in England. Our business number is 13214648. Our registered office address is:

27 Old Gloucester Street
London
United Kingdom
WC1N 3AX

Please note that we do not accept callers or non-commercial mail at this address. To send us something in the post, please contact us using the form.

About NI Ferry Site

On this page you can find out more about the NI Ferry Site project, and how it started.

 

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The NIFS story

I have been interested in ferries for as long as I can remember.  My first trip would have been on a rail-connected service either from Larne to Stranraer, or from Belfast to Liverpool.  Unfortunately my parents can’t remember which, and as I was only a baby neither can I!  The first trip I do remember was when I was about 7 from Strangford to Portaferry during a school trip, this would be the first of many (the vessel was MV Strangford).  However, I remember being absolutely obsessed as an almost 5 year old with the unfortunate Herald of Free Enterprise disaster, after seeing the famous pictures of the vessel capsized onto a sandbank near Zeebrugge.  There was something fascinating about seeing one of these huge vessels lying on its side that even to this day I can not explain.

The first trip on a ‘big’ ferry I remember was in 1991 on-board the not long renamed Stena Galloway.  Unfortunately that was a memorable trip for all the wrong reasons!  1992 saw a trip on the ‘new’ Pride of Ailsa and Pride of Rathlin for that years family holiday – the Pride of Rathlin looked far from ‘new’ when she came alongside at Larne despite what P&O’s marketing at the time would have us believe!

The following year a school trip to Belgium cemented my obsession.  The trip involved a return crossing from Dover to Calais on the superb Fiesta and Stena Fantasia, ferries which were a huge contrast in comparison to those I had experienced on the North Channel.  Of course, back in 1993 Ostend itself was a hub of ferry activity with the new Prins Filip crossing to Dover from the port as well as the veteran Princesse Marie-Christine, Prins Albert, Reine Astrid, and of course the twin Boeing Jetfoils Prinses Stephanie and Princesse Clemetine!  There was also a return trip on the Breskens to Vlissingen ferry involved, though unfortunately I can’t remember the 2 specific vessels.  Unfortunately most of those vessels have gone the way of the Ostend ferry service itself, which no longer operates (despite efforts to restore a crossing to Ramsgate).  I get the feeling my teachers and parents were somewhat disappointed (though maybe not shocked) that most of the pictures taken (and postcards purchased) on that trip were of ferries – after all I had just been to 3 of the major English Channel ferry ports!

Fast-forward a couple of decades (and numerous ferry trips via Cairnryan, Liverpool  Heysham, and Brikenhead), and after a number of years when I lost interest, I caught the ferry bug again.  I can’t think of any single incident or trigger, but on learning that there was no website covering ferries in Northern Ireland I was shocked and disappointed to say the least.  I found myself relying on the likes of the now defunct Mersey shipping website and the Ferries of Northern Europe yahoo group for information.  The excellent Larne Ferry Web was also a go-to place but unfortunately it hasn’t been updated for some time and has been offline for a number of years.  The internet has made being a ferry enthusiast much easier – no longer is the only source of information outside your immediate area books, magazines, and whatever your friends might pass on to you.  There are many excellent ferry websites out there, Dover Ferry Photos and the HHV Ferry Page (sadly not updated as much as it used to be) immediately spring to mind.  However, I felt there was a bit of a “gap in the market’ and so at the end of 2013 with the encouragement of a few friends, decided to create a ferry website myself.

Unfortunately my circumstances at the time meant the project was put on hold until the following year, when the lack of coverage on the beaching of the trio of former Fleetwood ferries in February prompted me to finally bite the bullet and cobble together a website using WordPress on some web space I already owned.  A few years later and that cobbled together website with a single post has grown into something much bigger with the milestone of 1000 posts fast approaching, and is hosted on its on webspace account.

Our Contributors

Unless otherwise stated, articles and any writing are my own.  We are lucky to have a number of photographic contributors, including (but not limited to) Scott Mackey, Gary Andrews, Gordon Hislip, Alan Geddes, Andrew Orr, and Ross McDonald.  In addition we also have photographic contributions from further afield, and from the ferry companies themselves.  Stena Line and Seatruck have been particularly supportive in this way.  The site also makes use of work which is “open source” such as that by Albert Bridge.  In October 2020, Angus Duncan joined as a Scottish contributor.

There is a strict policy of protecting the rights of copyright holders on the site, and as a result of the theft of an article and accompanying images from the site at the end of 2016, all images are now watermarked apart from a few exceptions (specifically were the license for image use prohibits modification).

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