Ahead of Brexit CldN and Irish Ferries add substantial capacity into continental ferry routes
CLdN, the Luxembourg-based short-sea Ro-Ro shipping company and owner of the “Brexit Buster” Celine, has added its newly built ship Laureline onto its direct Con-Ro freight service from Dublin Port to the Continental European ports of Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. After Celine, the Laureline is now the second biggest freight ferry to service Dublin Port.
The move will see CLdN’s service increase in total capacity by 20%, bringing the total possible number of direct sailings weekly offered by CLdN between Dublin Port and Continental Europe to seven. Operating out of Alexandra Basin, CLdN accounts for 40% of all units – trailers and containers- moved between Dublin Port and Continental Europe.
Entering service at Dublin Port on the original “Brexit Day” of March 29th, the ship offers additional capacity to customers needing direct shipping routes between Dublin and Continental Europe and is the latest addition to the CLdN fleet. Built in Ulsan, South Korea, Laureline has a freight capacity of 5,400 lane metres.
The CLdN services from Dublin to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge operate out of Dublin Port’s Alexandra Basin. The Redevelopment (ABR) Project there broke ground in 2016 and has already delivered the first of new berths in time to accommodate expanding freight services on the next generation of super ferries. Ships such as Celine and Laureline would not be able to call to Dublin had the ABR Project not already commenced. The remainder of the works to redevelop two kilometres of existing berths in Alexandra Basin and deepen the approach channel to Dublin Port is due for completion in 2023.
Also, during March, Irish Ferries switched the W.B. Yeats cruise ferry from the Holyhead route to the Dublin-Cherbourg route. The vessel has a passenger capacity of 1885 and freight capacity of 2,800 lane metres and will operate three round trips a week up to the end of May when she will go on to a seven-round trips a fortnight rotation. The mainstay of the Cherbourg service in recent years has been the Oscar Wilde sailing from Rosslare. Her passenger capacity is 1450 and freight capacity, 1160 lane metres, substantially less than that aboard the W.B. Yeats.
The 2019 Irish Ferries Dublin-Holyhead schedule and the deployment of the ferry, Epsilon to operate exclusively on that route give a four times daily sailing ex Dublin by Cruise Ferry along with a twice daily fast ferry service. Irish Ferries also operates twice daily out of Rosslare to Pembroke.
Stena Line retains its four times daily cruise ferry service linking Dublin and Holyhead along with the twice daily Rosslare- Fishguard service and the three times weekly Rosslare to Cherbourg operation.
Brittany Ferries operate a twice weekly Cork to Santander service and a summer season, twice weekly service linking Cork and Roscoff.