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04-09-2017, 20:57   #1
GeneralSherman
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New Irish Ferries ship

So Irish Ferries are building up to announcing the arrival of a new ship to their fleet in October. Anyone heard anything in advance as to which route it will operate on ?
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05-09-2017, 21:59   #2
Atlantic Dawn
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So Irish Ferries are building up to announcing the arrival of a new ship to their fleet in October. Anyone heard anything in advance as to which route it will operate on ?
Mid 2018 seems to be the arrival date. Afloat says it will do Dublin Holyhead next summer and do Ireland to France at weekends, not exactly sure how that will work. Nice modern look to it from the 3D pic...

http://afloat.ie/port-news/ferry-new...ea-cruiseferry
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06-09-2017, 10:10   #3
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Takes over from the ailing and poorly engineered Epsilon. She's only chartered in, AFAIK.
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09-09-2017, 19:37   #4
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They have a website for it here:
https://www.bigshipbigname.com/

Looks nice, says it will be the biggest ferry on the Irish sea, but at 195m long, is that not slightly shorter than the Ulysses? Maybe "biggest" refers to capacity rather than size.

The Epsilon - which it seems it will replace - looks more like a freight ship with limited passenger facilities, is that right? I guess the new ship will be better able to handle winter weather especially on the Ireland<->France route.
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10-09-2017, 23:12   #5
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Hopefully, it will also be capable of taking walk on passengers, the 02:00 sailing to Holyhead would be a LOT more attractive than going on the 20:00 sailing and having to sit there at the station for hours until the first train.

I have to wonder if the arrival of a much larger ship will be the precursor of the end of the fast ferry service, given how unreliable it is during the winter months.
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11-09-2017, 11:00   #6
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I have to wonder if the arrival of a much larger ship will be the precursor of the end of the fast ferry service, given how unreliable it is during the winter months.
I think that when you consider that Stena (IF major competition on this route) have no fast ferry service any more, then surely it's the end of the Jonathan Swift? They might get a good price on chartering her out to the Med or Canaries etc.
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12-09-2017, 06:02   #7
 
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I think that when you consider that Stena (IF major competition on this route) have no fast ferry service any more, then surely it's the end of the Jonathan Swift? They might get a good price on chartering her out to the Med or Canaries etc.
It's like we've gone full circle from the slow old ships of yesteryear up to the fast ferries of the 1990s > peaking with the massive/fast super High Speed HSS ... and now we're slowly going back down to big slow ferries again.

Am I right?
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12-09-2017, 08:06   #8
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It's like we've gone full circle from the slow old ships of yesteryear up to the fast ferries of the 1990s > peaking with the massive/fast super High Speed HSS ... and now we're slowly going back down to big slow ferries again.

Am I right?
Fuel costs, reliability and practicality all being issues I guess. Similar story to Concorde - comes to a point as fares are driven down that running certain services just isn't viable anymore.
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12-09-2017, 14:16   #9
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Stena never openly talked about it, but on some routes, the commercial drivers wouldn't use the fast ferries, as they didn't get a long enough break period, and were having problems with tachograph records as a result. I think Harwich Hook of Holland was the big issue, as the HSS on that route was about 3 hours, compared to 8 hours on the traditional ferries.

Whatever about operating costs, which were significant, I think the other issue was that the HSS family never did achieve the level of certification that the designers promised in terms of wave height, and I know from painful experience that in a 6 Mtr swell, the ride was not comfortable if it was a beam sea, the roll from side to side was not at all comfortable, especially if you were sitting on the outer edges of the vessel, it was comparable to being in a fast lift, and for anyone that was not a good traveller (like my wife) it was a very unpleasant experience. We did eventually discover a few seats at the back of the lower deck beside the main walkway area that were a lot closer to the centre line, so a lot less movement, but even there, on a rough day, which there were plenty of during the winter months, it could still be a challenging trip. That's no fun if you are looking at a 4 or 5 hour road journey on the other side after the crossing.

The modern ships like Ulysses can't even begin to be compared to the old ships that the HSS and the like replaced, the capacity, loading and offloading times, cabins, general passenger services and the ride quality are light years ahead of what was on offer on things like the Hibernia and The Earl WIlliam and similar.

Yes, the faster journey times of the HSS were nice, but the absolute requirement for me is reliability, which the HSS (and the other fast ferries like Lynx and the Jonathan Swift) just could not deliver on the Irish Sea, for whatever reason. Then the combined effect of fuel prices, the loss of duty free sales and the increased competition from low cost flights meant that the ferries lost their appeal for many people.

That said, my (elderly) parents happily come to Ireland from the South West of the UK by rail and ferry on a regular basis, even though it takes close on 12 hours, because the overall experience is a lot less stressful for them than having to cope with airport security and the like, even though it would be a much shorter time to fly over.
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12-09-2017, 14:20   #10
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Fuel costs, reliability and practicality all being issues I guess. Similar story to Concorde - comes to a point as fares are driven down that running certain services just isn't viable anymore.
The unspoken issue that was a huge blow to Concorde on the London New York route was 9-11, while it was never openly talked about at the time, BA lost over 50% of their regular passengers on the Concorde service as a result of that one day.
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12-09-2017, 18:18   #11
 
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Bring back the St Columba I say!

My memory tells me she was truly great. Spacious, fast-ish (for a big ferry) and she had a cinema too!
Which at the time was unheard of in these waters. I am of course looking back through rose tinted spectacles, so maybe she wasn't as good ad I remember? but in 79' I was very impressed as s passenger, who had experienced several of those old buckets that had sailed the Dunleary-Holyhead route before her ........
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12-09-2017, 18:57   #12
neris
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Stena never openly talked about it, but on some routes, the commercial drivers wouldn't use the fast ferries, as they didn't get a long enough break period, and were having problems with tachograph records as a result. I think Harwich Hook of Holland was the big issue, as the HSS on that route was about 3 hours, compared to 8 hours on the tradition
alot of trucks will go on the seatruck or P&O to Liverpool as the drivers get a full rest in and can then drive to in one day and be in France that night
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14-09-2017, 10:42   #13
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The unspoken issue that was a huge blow to Concorde on the London New York route was 9-11, while it was never openly talked about at the time, BA lost over 50% of their regular passengers on the Concorde service as a result of that one day.
Quite regularly spoken about I'd have thought - 911 and not Paris is generally acknowledged as the death blow to Concorde. Aviation market changed overnight yadda yadda...

But I digress...
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07-10-2017, 20:30   #14
 
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Bring back the St Columba I say!

My memory tells me she was truly great. Spacious, fast-ish (for a big ferry) and she had a cinema too!
Which at the time was unheard of in these waters. I am of course looking back through rose tinted spectacles, so maybe she wasn't as good ad I remember? but in 79' I was very impressed as s passenger, who had experienced several of those old buckets that had sailed the Dunleary-Holyhead route before her ........
I used to be a twice yearly sailor on the Columba in the dying days of the old Sealink. Grand aul tub she was too. Combining a pullman ticket on her with a weekend first to Euston wasn't the worst way to go to London and whenever I deal with the black hole of misery that is Dublin Airport the whole sail-rail experience compares well to that.
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08-10-2017, 14:56   #15
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Quite regularly spoken about I'd have thought - 911 and not Paris is generally acknowledged as the death blow to Concorde. Aviation market changed overnight yadda yadda...

But I digress...
The aviation market impacts are spoken about - the unspoken point was that a large amount of the regular, multiple times a week etc, passengers actually died that day.
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