Rosslare Europort welcomed the primary of three ro-ro freight-ferries, that DFDS will function on the eagerly awaited new direct path to Dunkirk (Dunkerque) in northern France thus avoiding the UK’s Brexit Land-bridge, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Afloat tracked the Italian ‘Visentini’ shipyard constructed Optima Seaways owned by DFDS which departed the French port on Monday night earlier than berthing in Rosslare Europort this morning.
The inaugural freight crusing is scheduled to happen this Saturday, 2nd January with the departure from the south-east Irish port to mainland continental Europe.
The brand new route will allow Irish hauliers and different prospects to maintain their freight transport inside the EU and keep away from the customs formalities imposed by Brexit and related potential delays.
DFDS will run 6 weekly departures from every port, both within the afternoon or night, with a crossing time of slightly below 24 hours. To keep up such an intensive schedule the Danish operator has chartered in a further pair of ships and crews, they’re the Kerry, one other Visentini constructed ropax (similar design of Optima Seaways) and the bigger passenger capability ferry, Visby which is able to serve in a freight-only mode.
The DFDS vessel together with the chartered ferries have every a capability for as much as 120 vans and trailers plus drivers. Lodging for drivers shall be based mostly on particular person COVID-19 protected cabins through the crossing of slightly below a day lengthy in length.
One other bonus for the Wexford port would be the launch of one other ‘Brexit-buster’ service when Brittany Ferries additional consolidates its presence within the opening of a mixed freight and passenger ‘no-frills’ ferry service to Cherbourg on 22nd March. On the following day their Cork-Roscoff ‘seasonal’ route resumes to Brittany.
As for Brittany Ferries new Eire-France service to Normandy utilizing the Visentini ropax Connemara, this shall be in competitors with Stena Line’s service additionally serving the port on the tip of the Contentin Peninsula. They function the similiar Stena Horizon, as soon as once more one other ropax collection from the prolific Visentini shipyard.
Returning to the DFDS new Eire-France route, is the deployment of combined vessel varieties involving a pair of extra freight oriented vessels (ropax) restricted to round 300 passengers and 160 automobiles approx. This in comparison with the bigger 1,500 passenger/500 automobile ferry capability Visby which as talked about beforehand (likewise of the ropax’s) shall be carrying solely vans and drivers.
Maybe, the chartering of the Visby from Swedish based mostly operator Vacation spot Gotland is only a brief time period measure? This vessel nonetheless had beforehand served a brief sea crossing to the Baltic Sea island of Gotland which took solely three hours and 15 minutes. Or will DFDS think about opening a ‘full’ ferry service with an appropriate in a single day ferry for holidaymakers through the high-season? This might facilitate the Eire-BeNeLux nations hyperlink and Germany as well as in the direction of central Europe.
Noting Brittany Ferries earlier this yr opened the brand new Rosslare-Bilbao path to northern Spain. The route in comparison with the DFDS operation has an extended crossing time of 28 hours plus when touring throughout the Bay of Biscay.
For the reason that late 1960’s Rosslare has had a historical past of pioneering new direct routes to mainland Europe, starting firstly the path to Le Havre which was launched by delivery companions amongst them Irish Continental Line.
ICL was a passenger subsidiary of the state-owned Irish Delivery Ltd, and would later evolve to turn into the privately owned Irish Ferries, whose father or mother firm is the Irish Continental Group (ICG). The ferry agency presently operates from Rosslare however solely to the Welsh port of Pembroke within the UK whereas Stena serve Fishguard additionally in Pembrokeshire.
As for Irish Ferries providers to France, in recent times the operator deserted the Wexford port and relocated to Dublin Port from the place Cherbourg remains to be served however not runs the Rosslare path to Roscoff.
The route between the Irish capital and Cherbourg is operated by one more variant of a Visentini ropax within the type of the chartered Epsilon. As well as the cruiseferry W.B. Yeats takes over the function of the ropax in Might and for the summer time season.