Archive for the ‘Ferries’ Category

Irish Ferries New: W.B.Yeats

October 9, 2017


A new 144 million euro (£112 million) vessel from Irish Ferries is being constructed in Flensburg, Germany and is due to enter service on 1st July, 2018.

The new super-ferry has been named via a public competition “W.B.Yeats”, after Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature.

This new super-ferry will have a cinema, restaurants, shops and premium cabins with balconies. The ship is expected to serve the Dublin to Holyhead in Anglesey route during the week and take passengers from Ireland to France on weekends.

Irish Ferries revealed that the 50,000 tonne ‘Ice Class’ vessel will have capacity to accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew.
Facilities on board, spread over four decks, will include 435 cabins and a choice of bars, restaurants, cinemas and shops.
There will even be dedicated facilities for pets.

For the first time, there will be a dedicated car deck for 300 cars, which will be separate from the parking area for the freight vehicles. There will still be room for 165 freight vehicles with separate facilities for their drivers.

It is also the first time that Irish Ferries are introducing premium accommodation with balconies.

Those staying in these premiums Club rooms will have access to a separate, dedicated lounge with its own dining options.

The new Ice Class ship will be fitted with emissions scrubber technology, which helps to reduce pollution, making it the greenest vessel to date.

Irish Ferries CEO Eamonn Rothwell said that the cruise ferry ‘will offer a premium experience’ for customers.

The new ship will likely replace MV Epsilon on the three-hour journey from Dublin to Holyhead and the 19-hour journey from Ireland to France.

(Irish Ferries)

Ulysses Irish Super Ferry slide-show: HERE


The Isle Of Man

September 20, 2017


The ‘Isle Of Man’ is an island in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Ireland.

I would imaging most Brits have never been there and most will never go there. Well, they are missing out.

The Isle Of Man served by the ‘Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’ velssels, which is the oldest continuously operating passenger shipping company in the world. They celebrated their 180th anniversary in 2010.

In parts of the this charming island, time has stood still. It still has  a vintage steam railway (1875), a vintage electric railway(1900) and horse-drawn trams still serving the two mile promenade.

Ben-My-Chree ferry slide-show: HERE

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

August 30, 2017

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is the oldest continually operating passenger shipping company in the world, having began operations in 1830.

Today they operate regular ferry (and a fast ferry) services which connect the Isle of Man to Heysham, Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin.

Steam packet carries around 600,000 passengers annually and 170,000 cars and motorcycles. This represents an increase in passenger traffic of around 35% and 50% in vehicle traffic since 1996.

If you have never been, the ‘Isle of Man’ is a charming, un-spoilt little island in the Irish sea, steeped in history. I’d recommend it.

Below is a review and slide-show of ‘Ben My Chree’ (Woman of my heart) which is their current all-weather ferry.

Ferry Review: HERE


Other Ferry slide-shows: HERE

Tilbury Gets A New Ferry

July 9, 2017

08/07/17 Tilbury Ferry

A NEW operator took  over the historic Tilbury Ferry service in May 2017.

The river crossing between Tilbury and Gravesend is now operated by Jetstream Tours using the Thames Swift trimaran vessel.

It’s a return to the service after a 15 year absence for Thames Swift, having originally been built in Gravesend by a previous ferry operator – White Horse Ferries – in the 1990s under the name Martin Chuzzlewhit.

The Medway-based company has been awarded a temporary contract to operate the service and is maintaining the same six day timetable as before.

It was  the end of an era for regular users of the service when the previous operator’s boat carried out her final service.

Duchess M, belonging to Captain John Potter’s Lower Thames and Medway Passenger Boat Company, had been working the crossing since 2002. She had originally been a Gosport ferry under the name Vesta.

Curiously the vessel is a trimaran fast-ferry, but given the route is only takes a few minutes to cross, it is unlikely to ever go fast. It has a capacity for 50 passengers.

I must say that even on a very calm day on the Thames, it did rock and roll a bit. It is also easy to bump your once head inside, on the low ceiling.

I fully appreciate that 99.9 per cent of you reading this are not remotely interested, but Tilbury is my local port.


New Tilbury Ferry slide-show: HERE

MV ‘Ulysses’ Super-ferry

November 8, 2016

I know that there are some Ferry enthusiasts out there:

During this summer, I took a short trip to Dublin.

I chose  MV ‘Ulysses’ super-ferry, operated by Irish Ferries, to get there. This was the Holyhead to Dublin route, which is a 3 hour voyage. I’m told that this ferry route has existed since 1850!

When Ulysses entered service in 2001, she was the world’s largest RO PAX ferry, in terms of vehicle capacity.

Standing 12 decks tall, Ulysses can carry up to 2,000 passengers, 1,342 cars, and 240 trucks.

As you board the vessel, she resembles a large modern cruise ship. You very quickly forget that she has five decks of vehicles below you.

Her on board facilities include restaurants, two cinemas, TV lounges, video and electronic games, casino, children’s play area, two large lounge bars, a shop and a club class lounge.

Ulysses also has 228 passenger berths (cabins).

Due to Dublin harbour being relatively shallow, she was designed with a smaller draft and smaller propellers, to prevent her from  getting stuck in the silt.


Another super-ferry, Stena Holandica review: HERE

Seafrance Berlioz Cross Channel Ferry (slide-show): HERE

DFDS Ferries, Dover (slide-show): HERE

What Is The Fastest Ship?

August 31, 2016

I was wondering what the fastest ship is TODAY.

When I say “ship”, I mean “passenger vessel”. Now I don’t doubt that there are some super-charged speed-boats out there, but my criteria is a large vessel that carries paying passengers.

(SS United States Today - source unknown)

(SS United States Today – source unknown)

Ocean Liner fans will know of the SS United States, built in 1952 for the United States Line. She broke the transatlantic speed record on her maiden voyage. She still holds the Blue Riband for being the fastest ocean liner of all time. They say she could achieve 38 knots. (The SS United States was laid-up in 1996 and her fate remains uncertain).

Given the fact that she was a bloody-great Ocean liner carrying 2,000+ passengers, that is a VERY impressive and unparalleled achievement.

The Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 must certainly be one of today’s fastest cruise ships (liner). She can achieve 30 knots, which is faster than most.

(Courtesy Incat)

(Courtesy Incat)

People no longer cruise for speed.  My research tells me that Fast-Ferries (SeaCats etc.) hold the maritime speed records today.

The fastest ferry on the planet is Incat’s ‘Francisco’ (2012). She operates on the Rio de la Plata estuary (River Plate) between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay.

The 99-metre long ‘Wave Piercing Catamaran’ accommodates 1024 passengers and 150 cars. Her water-jet engines can achieve a maximum speed of up to 58.1 knots, or 67 mph.

Interestingly she can be powered by duel fuel, one being LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) which looks set to also be the future choice of cruise ships.


Video of ‘Francisco’ HERE

Malcolm says: The various fast-ferries around the world are very impressive. However their service normally has to be suspended when the seas get rough. Condor currently operate fast-ferries up to a 3.5 meter wave height.  After this they become very uncomfortable for passengers.  In contrast the QM2 is designed to cross the North Atlantic, in winter, whatever the weather.

The SRN4 Hovercraft HERE

Fast Ferry

August 26, 2016

I know a few of my readers have an interest in ferries and fast-ferries.


After all the big car ferries (such as Ulysses) are just like state-of-the-art cruise ships with a car deck or two.

Then we also have the fast-ferry technology: often catamarans (Seacats) propelled by water-jets.

Below is a slide-show of the fast-ferry ‘Condor Rapide’:

Regular readers will also know that I am a big fan of HOVERCRAFT.