Quick Strangford ferry update

Northern Ireland's new ferry STRANGFORD II Registered Belfast built at Cammel Lairds was today launched (floated off) Lairds slip at 13:50 moving round to the wet basin dead tow, assisted by Smit Waterloo & Smit Sandon at 14:15. Once built is complete, she will undergo river trials before the official handover later this year. Copyright © Das Boot 160. Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/das_boot_160/

Strangford II floated out at Birkenhead The new Strangford ferry which is currently under construction at Cammell-Laird in Birkenhead passed an important milestone yesterday when she took to the water for the first time having been floated off at around 13:45.  She was then towed by Smit Sandon and Smit Waterloo to the wet basin were further work will be completed. The new ship has been named Strangford II and has Belfast as her port of registry, just like her eventual operating partner (and near sister ship) Portaferry II. Strangford II will replace the existing ‘second ship’ Strangford, which is now over 40 years old and nearing the end of her operational life, later this year. Title image: Northern Ireland’s new ferry STRANGFORD II Registered Belfast built at Cammel Lairds was today launched (floated off) Lairds slip at 13:50 moving round to the wet basin dead tow, assisted by Smit Waterloo & Smit Sandon … Read more

[Press Release] DNV GL Class for new GAS READY Stena RoPax newbuildings

Artists rendering of the new Stena Ro-pax's to be built in China and classified by DNV GL. Credit: DNV GL.

DNV GL announced today at the Posidonia trade fair that it has signed a contract to provide classification services for Stena Line’s new RoPax ferries, to be constructed at AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China. “These ships will be the most fuel efficient ferries in the world and will set a new industry standard when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competitiveness, positioning Stena Line to support its customers in the next decades”, says Carl-Johan Hagman, Managing Director of Stena Line. “During the course of the past 24 months our engineering staff has managed to develop a designthat is not only 50 per cent larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels, but more importantly, incorporates the emission reduction and efficiency initiatives that have been developed throughout the Stena Group during the past years.” “We are very proud to have been selected by Stena Line for this exciting new project,” says … Read more

PR: Irish Ferries orders new RoPax at Flensburger

Artist's impression of Irish Ferries new approx 50,000 gt vessel. © FSG.

31st May 2016 Shipyard Announcement Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG), a subsidiary of Siem Group, has entered into a shipbuilding contract for one Ropax ferry with Irish Continental Group (ICG). ICG operates a number of ferry routes out of Dublin and Rosslare through its subsidiary Irish Ferries. The vessel will have a 194.80 m length overall and 31.6 m beam with a cargo capacity of 2,800 lane meters and an additional dedicated car deck for 300 cars. She will be equipped with 435 passenger cabins and a number of restaurants, bars and lounges on 4 decks, with a total capacity of 1900 passengers and crew, and will deliver optimal fuel consumption, while meeting current and known future environmental regulations. The vessel will have the building number 771 and will be delivered in May 2018. Irish Continental Group plc invests €144 million to build a new cruise ferry Released : 31 May 2016 Company … Read more

Further doubt cast over the future of Larne – Troon ferry service.

Express passing Ballylumford power station, Easter Monday 2015. Copyright © Gary Andrews.

Troon service to be axed totally? Further doubt has been cast over the future of the Larne-Troon ferry service, following the publication of P&O’s Cairnryan sailing schedule up until 2017.  It had been expected by many that one of the current Cairnryan vessels would operate to Troon next year, effectively reducing the sailing frequency of the service from Larne – Cairnryan.  However, the new schedule is unchanged from this years, meaning that both vessels will most likely remain on the Cairnryan service as passenger bookings are already being taken for EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY and EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER. Of course, other options to save the service from the axe remain, including running a freighter to either Troon or Cairnryan.  However, berthing constraints at Larne, Cairnryan and Troon make finding another vessel a difficult task, particularly when factoring in the need for increased vehicle deck height in order to be able to continue to … Read more

New ferry for Rathlin Island service

MV Canna. Photograph Copyright © Gary Andrews

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has announced that the £2.8million contract to build a replacement car ferry for service between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island has been won by Irish based Arklow Marine Services. ~ Friday, 22 May 2015 The new vessel, to replace the existing MV Canna, is expected to be in service from the end of the summer next year. Danny Kennedy said: “Today we see a very significant step forward in delivering a much needed new car ferry for the people of Rathlin Island and indeed for visitors to this unique part of Northern Ireland. “The new ferry which has been specifically designed to operate on the waters between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island will replace the now 40 year old MV Canna. “I congratulate Arklow Marine Services on their successful bid in the open competition which attracted interest from shipyards across Europe. I look forward to following the progress of … Read more

Further doubt cast over the future of the Larne-Troon service.

News has reached NIFS that in the past few days, P&O staff have been told by the company that the charter of HSC Express will NOT be renewed at the end of the current season in October, and is currently being offered for sale by her owners. This confirms previous speculation that Express was indeed up for sale. Officially speaking, P&O are searching for an alternative craft to operate the service from next season onwards, however, it is hard to see where such a craft would be available from given the declining numbers of fast craft in North European waters. The P&O Larne – Troon service is, of course, the last remaining fast craft service linking Northern Ireland and Scotland, with the only other fast craft serving Northern Ireland being the IOMSPCo InCat Manannan Picture credit:  HSC Express. Copyright © Scott Mackey.