The latest Shippax traffic statistics for May, which have been seen by NIFS, indicate that EUROPEAN SEAWAY proved a success story as a relief vessel at Larne.
Freight traffic actually increased year on year, whereas when the NORBAY covered a year on year loss was always recorded. Some had predicted that there would be a drop as in previous overhaul cover periods. In the past Stena Line's Belfast to Loch Ryan Port route gained from the Larne overhaul period, but any hopes for this didn't materialise.
Whilst there was a small drop in P&O passenger numbers in May, Stena Line's Belfast route dropped by a larger margin showing that actually the Larne route out-performed the market.
While many (including myself) were sceptical of Dover based EUROPEAN SEAWAY's suitability for the route, it appears that P&O Ferries really did do their research and that the decision to use the Dover based vessel on the Larne - Cairnryan route has been justified.
Title image: EUROPEAN SEAWAY approaches Larne on her first full day of service, Saturday 6th May 2017. Copyright © Scott Mackey.