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ropax
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Post by ropax »

In my considerations for IF the plan is to offer generally MORE than Stena. And not just to replace a ferry from IF with Romantika. 

I am little bit wondering about:
Stena has increased very much this year the number of available cabins per week and direction on France-Ireland from 360 to 1885. Nobody here has said that this is nonsense etc. . And also in my opnion it was exactly the right step from Stena, in summer 2022 i have seen some available tickets for WB Yeats for much more than 1500,- for car and cabin one-way Hyper-expensive-prices. Stena-managers has seen this also and sent the big Stena Vision on the route from this year for to get much bigger parts of these super big profits. Because Europe-Ireland is booming this decade than never before. Not Ireland-UK, but tourists FROM Europe are travelling in big masses TO Ireland (mainly from Germany).

But now - if i just play with the idea that IF could use an available ferry with 727 cabins all active users here are saying that this is nonsense ??? So if Stena offers 4 or 5-times so many cabins than before - all is fine. But if Irish Ferries would offer a few hundred more cabins only - than this would be nonsense ?

Just for to explain it again: I have never spoken about that IF shall offer less space for freight in future. 
I - in the place of IF - would offer 2 ships with 7 x weekly departures (Stena offers "only" 6 x weekly) to France.
Then ship A could be a big cabin-ferry "against" Vision and ship B could be any other ferry taking mainly the freight similar as Stena Horizon this is doing for Stena.

So IF would offer per direction in 14 days 7 "mainly-freight-departures" (f.ex. with WB Yeats or Oscar Wilde) against 6 from Stena with Horizon - and in 14 days 7 "only-pax-departures" with Romantika against 6 from Stena with Vision.

Yes - on Romantika is no space for freight if she would get hanging decks for 700 cars - but where is really the problem ?
In totally IF would not offer less freight-space than this year.
This summer they offered in 14 days 6 dep. with Epsilon and 2 with WB Yeats = 8.
With my plan it would be 7 mainly for freight (Ship A) and 7 other especially for much much more Pax (ship B) = 14.
And depending of the freight-volumes Ship A could be the WB Yeats - or the smaller Oscar Wilde f.ex. .

Then they could sell 242 more cabins daily than Stena with the Vision - THIS IS ON THIS ROUTE THE BIGGEST MONEY. Ca. 9 family-/couple-cars with 9 cabins, meals, drinks etc. onboard need the same space onboard than 1 truck with the driver getting all for free onboard. Stena has understand what means more money and sent fast the big Vision to Ireland - but why it should not make sense if Irish Ferries would follow to offer much more cabins also ?

So IF should offer in future so much space for freight to France than what is needed there AND offer so much cabins as possible. But because a ferry similar as f.ex. Moby Fantasy is not available they could use a "cabin-ferry" and a "freight-orientated Ropax" both together on the route for the next couple of years.
And the "expensive" cabin-ferry only charter from May to September.

So "my" system would be, first to plan the ferries and timetable for the route to France, and then to find "new used" other ferries for the Pembroke- and Holyhead-route beside Ulysses and Swift.  
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Post by baypaul »

ropax wrote: 05 Nov 2023 18:23 In my considerations for IF the plan is to offer generally MORE than Stena. And not just to replace a ferry from IF with Romantika. 

I am little bit wondering about:
Stena has increased very much this year the number of available cabins per week and direction on France-Ireland from 360 to 1885. Nobody here has said that this is nonsense etc. . And also in my opnion it was exactly the right step from Stena, in summer 2022 i have seen some available tickets for WB Yeats for much more than 1500,- for car and cabin one-way Hyper-expensive-prices. Stena-managers has seen this also and sent the big Stena Vision on the route from this year for to get much bigger parts of these super big profits. Because Europe-Ireland is booming this decade than never before. Not Ireland-UK, but tourists FROM Europe are travelling in big masses TO Ireland (mainly from Germany).

But now - if i just play with the idea that IF could use an available ferry with 727 cabins all active users here are saying that this is nonsense ??? So if Stena offers 4 or 5-times so many cabins than before - all is fine. But if Irish Ferries would offer a few hundred more cabins only - than this would be nonsense ?

Just for to explain it again: I have never spoken about that IF shall offer less space for freight in future. 
I - in the place of IF - would offer 2 ships with 7 x weekly departures (Stena offers "only" 6 x weekly) to France.
Then ship A could be a big cabin-ferry "against" Vision and ship B could be any other ferry taking mainly the freight similar as Stena Horizon this is doing for Stena.

So IF would offer per direction in 14 days 7 "mainly-freight-departures" (f.ex. with WB Yeats or Oscar Wilde) against 6 from Stena with Horizon - and in 14 days 7 "only-pax-departures" with Romantika against 6 from Stena with Vision.

Yes - on Romantika is no space for freight if she would get hanging decks for 700 cars - but where is really the problem ?
In totally IF would not offer less freight-space than this year.
This summer they offered in 14 days 6 dep. with Epsilon and 2 with WB Yeats = 8.
With my plan it would be 7 mainly for freight (Ship A) and 7 other especially for much much more Pax (ship B) = 14.
And depending of the freight-volumes Ship A could be the WB Yeats - or the smaller Oscar Wilde f.ex. .

Then they could sell 242 more cabins daily than Stena with the Vision - THIS IS ON THIS ROUTE THE BIGGEST MONEY. Ca. 9 family-/couple-cars with 9 cabins, meals, drinks etc. onboard need the same space onboard than 1 truck with the driver getting all for free onboard. Stena has understand what means more money and sent fast the big Vision to Ireland - but why it should not make sense if Irish Ferries would follow to offer much more cabins also ?

So IF should offer in future so much space for freight to France than what is needed there AND offer so much cabins as possible. But because a ferry similar as f.ex. Moby Fantasy is not available they could use a "cabin-ferry" and a "freight-orientated Ropax" both together on the route for the next couple of years.
And the "expensive" cabin-ferry only charter from May to September.

So "my" system would be, first to plan the ferries and timetable for the route to France, and then to find "new used" other ferries for the Pembroke- and Holyhead-route beside Ulysses and Swift.  
Your plan doesn't work, as it fails to offer enough freight (and passenger) departures to Holyhead.  In recent summers WB Yeats typically runs 7 crossings to France every 14 days, and 2 with Epsilon, so you seem to have your figures backwards.  WB Yeats was purpose built for the route, so is a good indication of the ideal capacities wanted.  If you were to suggest doubling her up with a Superfast permanently on the France route (to give a similar mix of pax and freight on both ships for sensible daily departures), having Oscar Wilde running all week to Holyhead, and adding another additional ferry to Pembroke then I think that would be a much more sensible plan, though ambitious.

What I (and I believe most people on here) think is that Stena Vision was a convenient ferry that was available at the right time with low capital cost for Stena to test the market for a daily service.  It has a decent freight capacity, which is why Stena have assigned it to the route.  If they had a spare Visentini type ship they probably would have used that, but they didn't.  The passenger cabin capacity was just a side effect, and I would imagine they don't particularly expect to fill her.  She's getting older, and I would expect her to be replaced in the next few years with a ferry that you will find very disappointing - probably an eFlexer or Visentini.
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Post by CH1 »

@ropax  your plan would never work under existing market circumstances. 

Even in summer, you will never fill 727 cabins. It is a booming market, I agree with you, but certainly not strong enough to fill that much cabins. 
If IF were the only operators on this route, maybe this could succeed. But there is strong competition on this route, and as you are refering everywhere on this forum, "normal people" only look at the money to travel from point A to point B. 
Selling tickets with such high prices as we have seen for the two last summers on the Ireland-France routes cannot be offered with 700+ cabins vessel. It is simply too expensive. 
I have difficulties to follow your thoughts about it : when prices are high, you protest against "galactic prices for rich people" but when they are benefiting to IF, you encourage them to take advantage of that to make huge profits. I don't understand. 

Last but not least, passenger money and traffic is still not what is abonding money for Stena and Irish on these routes, it is the freight flow - I know it does not please you, but the freight yearly-contracts are absolutely essential to both companies to sustain a daily or almost daily crossings. You can see that clearly : IF needs ferries, and choose to charter a freighter with limited pax capacity, and not a cruise-ferry, simply not suited for the route.
Your idea of chartering Romantika or any "big XXL comfortable ferry" with lot of cabins is entirely based on false speculations about an imaginated market you made out your head (which could be good, of course, but simply not there) instead of looking at what companies are actually doing. Please remember that Irish Ferries started their Dublin route with Epsilon, once a week, to Cherbourg. They built a nice route on their own, and are careful, stepping up on pax capacities only according to market and competition. Currently, they are the most expensive operator to get to Ireland from France. 
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Post by Danim »

CH1 wrote: 06 Nov 2023 08:39 Last but not least, passenger money and traffic is still not what is abonding money for Stena and Irish on these routes, it is the freight flow - I know it does not please you, but the freight yearly-contracts are absolutely essential to both companies to sustain a daily or almost daily crossings.
It has been mentioned so many times it has gone beyond the point of mentioning.... You're all wasting your time!
This forum is on a loop, just going around and around and around.
 
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Post by CH1 »

I know @Danim , still got hope ...
 
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Post by CH1 »

On the Cherbourg port RoRo berths occupancy plan, the Oscar Wilde is confirmed starting on the 4th of January ... 2025, on the French run. 

 
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Post by VikingGlory »

Thank you! They chartered Norbay for 6 months so unfortunately we can't really speculate on which ship will do Rosslare-Pembroke then ;). 
If the Cherbourg planning is right that is.. Perhaps a bit unexpected that IF would be willing to downgrade Rosslare-Pembroke this much? Could be a win for Stena Line.
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Post by hhvferry »

If it is Norbay switching to Pembroke then it can only be for a short spell you'd have thought. They could probably get away with it in January (in terms of pure capacity a least).
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Post by munstertillburgundy »

CH1 wrote: 20 Nov 2023 22:29 On the Cherbourg port RoRo berths occupancy plan, the Oscar Wilde is confirmed starting on the 4th of January ... 2025, on the French run. 

Thanks.
We shouldn't read too much into that though.
January 4th was the exact date Ulysses went into dry-dock this year, being substituted to Holyhead by W.B.Yeats.
Seems to be a repetition of this, with Oscar Wilde temporarily taking over Cherbourg and the Norbay seeing a short spell on the Rosslare-Pembroke route.

If Irish Ferries would have decided to shoulder the additional costs of an increased fleet in advance of the next main season for the sake of the Christmas traffic (including seasonal freight increase), we should become aware of this very latest in the coming days, so I expect we will see no change at Dover-Calais and no increase or change on the other routes before probably four to five months from now.

Unless Irish Ferries surprise us all with another coup, this time on the Irish Sea. But the economical environment in Europe has made this rather unlikely.
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Post by MarkoPolo »

Am I the only one to find Oscar Wilde totally unsuitable for long Cherbourg runs? 
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Post by dogan »

CH1 wrote: 20 Nov 2023 22:29 On the Cherbourg port RoRo berths occupancy plan, the Oscar Wilde is confirmed starting on the 4th of January ... 2025, on the French run. 

On the same document, from 21st January 2024, a Cherbourg berth is regularly reserved for an unknown ferry marked as "?" (the color code is the green one generally used for Irish Ferries). WB Yeats also appears clearly on the opposite run.

So maybe Irish Ferries didn't decide yet which ferry of their fleet to use as a replacment for Epsilon, or they just don't want to communicate for now about their choice / other charter ?
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Post by hhvferry »

MarkoPolo wrote: 22 Nov 2023 11:31 Am I the only one to find Oscar Wilde totally unsuitable for long Cherbourg runs? 
Her lane metreage is a little low compared to Epsilon (~2,000 vs ~2,800) but she has almost double the cabin berths so it's a bit of swings and roundabouts when comparing her with the ship she is replacing.
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Post by VikingGlory »

Wasn't FSG 777 originally ordered for the role that Oscar Wilde would take now. Dublin-Holyhead during the week and Dublin-Cherbourg in the weekends? She was supposed to have a capacity of 5615 lane meters😳. 
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Post by hhvferry »

VikingGlory wrote: 22 Nov 2023 12:28 Wasn't FSG 777 originally ordered for the role that Oscar Wilde would take now. Dublin-Holyhead during the week and Dublin-Cherbourg in the weekends? She was supposed to have a capacity of 5615 lane meters😳. 
No, I think that ship was supposed to be a direct replacement for Ulysses. W B Yeats is the one which is best configured to split between Cherbourg and Holyhead.
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Post by vikingvoyager »

hhvferry wrote: 22 Nov 2023 12:38
VikingGlory wrote: 22 Nov 2023 12:28 Wasn't FSG 777 originally ordered for the role that Oscar Wilde would take now. Dublin-Holyhead during the week and Dublin-Cherbourg in the weekends? She was supposed to have a capacity of 5615 lane meters😳. 
No, I think that ship was supposed to be a direct replacement for Ulysses. W B Yeats is the one which is best configured to split between Cherbourg and Holyhead.

Replacement or partner?
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Post by hhvferry »

vikingvoyager wrote: 22 Nov 2023 12:41
hhvferry wrote: 22 Nov 2023 12:38
No, I think that ship was supposed to be a direct replacement for Ulysses. W B Yeats is the one which is best configured to split between Cherbourg and Holyhead.

Replacement or partner?

Both I think but directly it would have replaced her. I can't remember what they said at the time but I think they probably expected to flip Ulysses onto the secondary roster (8amish out of Holyhead) although that would be massive over capacity for that route now.
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Post by vikingvoyager »

hhvferry wrote: 22 Nov 2023 13:03
vikingvoyager wrote: 22 Nov 2023 12:41

Replacement or partner?

Both I think but directly it would have replaced her. I can't remember what they said at the time but I think they probably expected to flip Ulysses onto the secondary roster (8amish out of Holyhead) although that would be massive over capacity for that route now.

I wonder what their plans for Epsilon were back then?

Return her or add sailings to France maybe? Such a lot has changed (Do Cal route, Brexit bypass importance, etc.) it's probably pointless pondering it!
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Post by CH1 »

There were rumours around Cherbourg port that once the FSG 777 would be in service, the Ulysses could come on the Cherbourg run once or twice a week for freight only sailings. But sounded a bit unlikely given her cabin numbers. 

Actually, an unconfirmed ship is scheduled on the Berth Occupancy plan, you are very true @dogan

Maybe a bit off-topic, but I suspect that once the rail terminal is operational in Cherbourg, we might see an additional rotation for IF on the French route, to pick up the trailers. 

 
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Post by munstertillburgundy »

dogan wrote: 22 Nov 2023 12:02
CH1 wrote: 20 Nov 2023 22:29 On the Cherbourg port RoRo berths occupancy plan, the Oscar Wilde is confirmed starting on the 4th of January ... 2025, on the French run. 

On the same document, from 21st January 2024, a Cherbourg berth is regularly reserved for an unknown ferry marked as "?" (the color code is the green one generally used for Irish Ferries). WB Yeats also appears clearly on the opposite run.

So maybe Irish Ferries didn't decide yet which ferry of their fleet to use as a replacment for Epsilon, or they just don't want to communicate for now about their choice / other charter ?

Thanks, you're really feeding valuable information here.

But could the "?" from January 21st onwards simply be Norbay?
I really don't expect to see a fleet addition at Irish Ferries before April (unless they made a deal with Peel Ports months ago), which is also when the Norbay-charter ends.

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Post by munstertillburgundy »

MarkoPolo wrote: 22 Nov 2023 11:31 Am I the only one to find Oscar Wilde totally unsuitable for long Cherbourg runs? 

I wouldn't go that far: it's a compromise.
Whilst everyone here seems to agree Oscar Wilde is a fine ship, she lacks a few lanemeters to utilize the full potential of the Holyhead route and a few cabins to utilize the full potential of the Cherbourg route. She would be 100% ideal for 7-8 hour night crossings though.

But then again she has more cabins and than the Epsilon that ran to Cherbourg on the weekends, more than the Ulysses that could also step in and in fact close as many as FSG77 that was to be purpose-built with those weekend-runs in mind.
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Post by ropax »

munstertillburgundy wrote: 23 Nov 2023 12:00 I wouldn't go that far: it's a compromise.
Whilst everyone here seems to agree Oscar Wilde is a fine ship, she lacks a few lanemeters to utilize the full potential of the Holyhead route and a few cabins to utilize the full potential of the Cherbourg route. She would be 100% ideal for 7-8 hour night crossings though.

But then again she has more cabins and than the Epsilon that ran to Cherbourg on the weekends, more than the Ulysses that could also step in and in fact close as many as FSG77 that was to be purpose-built with those weekend-runs in mind.
Theoretic thinkable is also an extension from Oscar Wilde with ca. 40-45m.
This ship is relative short, but would be then ca. 225m - 230m long with much more truck- and car-capacity and also it could be built easy a new cabin-block for to have much more cabins. It would be the right time now in 2024 for to rebuilt a ferry from 2007. Just for remember, FSG 777 was planned with 226m.

Furthermore also small changes onboard are thinkable, f.ex. to rebuilt an unused big restaurant- / lounge-space into a few hundred pullman-seats.

But my speculation is:
IF will charter or buy in / from anytime in 2024 one other comfortable ferry with more cabin-capacity than Epsilon (120) and Oscar Wilde (134) has - for to offer more cabins in summer between France and Ireland. They have visited Honfleur/Rusadir also in the past (261 cabins) - but the charter-price wanted by SIEM was too expensive. And now this ferry is at Balearia.
 
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Post by shipbiulder101 »

ropax wrote: 23 Nov 2023 13:16
munstertillburgundy wrote: 23 Nov 2023 12:00 I wouldn't go that far: it's a compromise.
Whilst everyone here seems to agree Oscar Wilde is a fine ship, she lacks a few lanemeters to utilize the full potential of the Holyhead route and a few cabins to utilize the full potential of the Cherbourg route. She would be 100% ideal for 7-8 hour night crossings though.

But then again she has more cabins and than the Epsilon that ran to Cherbourg on the weekends, more than the Ulysses that could also step in and in fact close as many as FSG77 that was to be purpose-built with those weekend-runs in mind.
Theoretic thinkable is also an extension from Oscar Wilde with ca. 40-45m.
This ship is relative short, but would be then ca. 225m - 230m long with much more truck- and car-capacity and also it could be built easy a new cabin-block for to have much more cabins. It would be the right time now in 2024 for to rebuilt a ferry from 2007. Just for remember, FSG 777 was planned with 226m.

Furthermore also small changes onboard are thinkable, f.ex. to rebuilt an unused big restaurant- / lounge-space into a few hundred pullman-seats.

But my speculation is:
IF will charter or buy in / from anytime in 2024 one other comfortable ferry with more cabin-capacity than Epsilon (120) and Oscar Wilde (134) has - for to offer more cabins in summer between France and Ireland. They have visited Honfleur/Rusadir also in the past (261 cabins) - but the charter-price wanted by SIEM was too expensive. And now this ferry is at Balearia.

I highly doubt that Irish Ferries will be able to lengthen Oscar Wilde as she is currently chartered. Maybe if they buy her they could but even then I highly doubt it. IF would be best looking at accuiring more tonnage first be that a Superfast or otherwise.
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Post by ropax »

Yes - maybe buying of one (or two) of the 4 (soon) available Superfasts... they need more cabins to/from France... .

Actually new - very good - figures for jan.-oct. 2023 (IF-Media-info/Shippax):
Irish Ferries carried 588,700 cars, an increase of 12.2% on the previous year.
Freight carryings were 639,900 ro-ro units, an increase of 3.9% compared with 2022.

Confirms the generally trend of much more (tourist-)cars onboard of ferries.
3-times more new customers / crossings than on the freight-side.
If this trend continues IF will have from 2025 more cars than trucks onboard.   
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Post by hhvferry »

ropax wrote: 24 Nov 2023 11:39 Yes - maybe buying of one (or two) of the 4 (soon) available Superfasts... they need more cabins to/from France... .

Actually new - very good - figures for jan.-oct. 2023 (IF-Media-info/Shippax):
Irish Ferries carried 588,700 cars, an increase of 12.2% on the previous year.
Freight carryings were 639,900 ro-ro units, an increase of 3.9% compared with 2022.

Confirms the generally trend of much more (tourist-)cars onboard of ferries.
3-times more new customers / crossings than on the freight-side.
If this trend continues IF will have from 2025 more cars than trucks onboard.   
What's the segmental split of this increase in traffic between Dover-Calais and the rest of the group's operations?
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Post by munstertillburgundy »

ropax wrote: 24 Nov 2023 11:39
Actually new - very good - figures for jan.-oct. 2023 (IF-Media-info/Shippax):
Irish Ferries carried 588,700 cars, an increase of 12.2% on the previous year.
Freight carryings were 639,900 ro-ro units, an increase of 3.9% compared with 2022.
...   

You forgot to mention that in spite of this increase they experienced lower revenues.
Already in 2022 the charter for Blue Star 1 took it's toll and Oscar Wilde obviously more so in 2023.

So any capacity increase must be very cautious and I do not see room for the newbuildings, lengthenings (of a chartered ship 😂) and several charters you keep suggesting.

Ireland-France used to be Irish Continental's (parent) traditional market.
But their reaction to Brexit was to open Dover-Calais and strengthen the 'landbridge' (I still believe there were other motives involved - but that's a separate subject), not to strengthen the direct connections to the continent.
I'm still not convinced which strategy was better.
By this they opened the door for Stena, DFDS and Brittany to invest into more tonnage on the direct links and seeing DFDS having removed one ship and not really increasing passenger capacities indicates that market has already reached it's peak and the strong competition makes it questionable to challenge Stena with another ship to Cherbourg.
 
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