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Ferry Company, all Ferry Routes

Useful General Ferry Company Information

You will find lots of Ferry Company information and resources here at ferryireland. Ferries come in all shapes and sizes, from small cable ferries all the way up to almost cruise boat size proportions. Ferry crossings from the mainland UK to Europe are as popular as ever due to the increasing demand for European travel.

The Channel Tunnel has only served to make the ferry boat operators more competitive and real fare bargains are now regularly offered.

Brittany Ferries is a French ferry company that operates between France, Spain, the UK and Ireland. The company was founded by Alexis Gouvernnec in January 1973. The first operations were between Roscoff in Brittany and Plymouth in the South West of England. The company was originally called BAI (Bretagne-Angleterre-Irelande).

The cross-Channel ferry route was established in 1841. This was to ensure that there was a link between the British and the continental rail networks.

In designing ferries the route length, the number of likely passengers or vehicle capacity required, speed requirements and the water conditions the craft must deal with are all taken into consideration.

At Dover all ferries, apart from Hoverspeed services, arrive and depart from the Ferry Terminal at the Eastern Docks. Hoverspeed's fast SeaCat ferry service operates from the Hoverport at the Western Docks. P and O ferries have up to 35 return crossings per day from Dover to Calais, with a crossing time of around 75 minutes. Sea France have up to 20 return crossings per day with a crossing time of around 70 minutes. Hoverspeed have up to 15 crossings per day with a crossing time of just 60 minutes. Services are available 364 days a year.

DFDS is a Danish shipping company that was formed in 1866 as a merger of various minor shipping companies. The company was led by the industrialist Carl Frederik Tietgen. DFDS is the largest and oldest Danish shipping company. Passenger ferry activities are operated by DFDS Seaways.

P&O Ferries was formed after the Stena Line sold its 40% share in P&O Stena Line in 2002. P&O Portsmouth and P&O North Sea Ferries merged into the P&O Ferries operation and managed from Dover. Prior to the P&O Stena joint venture, operations from Dover, Felixstowe, Portsmouth and Cairnryan were all conducted under the P&O European Ferries name. P&O European Ferries was the name given to the operations of Townsend Thoresen after the P&O group purchased them in 1987. Townsend Thoresen was formed in 1968 after Townsend Brothers Ferries combined forces with Thoresen Car Ferries.

A boat or a ship carrying passengers and sometimes their vehicles, on scheduled services is often reffered to as a ferry. Certain ferries are even able to transport railroad cars and other large cargo depending on their size.

When does a ferry become a cruise ship? There is often a fine line between the two and is usually a matter of where the ship docks and for how long. Put another way, the purpose of journey plays more of a part than the ship itself. The Baltic Sea has many such ships that sail between Sweden and Finland.

SeaFrance was launched on 1 January 1996 following the end of an agreement between Sealink and SNAT. That same year, SeaFrance Ltd. was established and was responsible for the sales and marketing of the new service in the UK as well as port operations in Dover. SeaFrance has since extended its sales operations throughout Europe with representatives in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy.

Sea ferries dock at specialised facilities designed to position the boat for loading and unloading. These areas are called the ferry slip. If the ferry is carrying vehicles or railroad cars an adjustable ramp called an apron may form part of the ship and is used for loading and unloading.

Waterjet powered Catamarans that can carry over 350 cars and more than 1000 foot passengers are also used in the English Channel and Irish Sea crossings. Stena Line own and operate one of the largest Catamarans in the world.

Superfast Ferries an Attica Group company was formed in 1995 and is based in Athens, Greece, together with Blue Star Ferries. Superfast Ferries operates lines in the: Adriatic Sea: Ancona and Bari, Italy - Igoumenitsa and Patras, Greece; Baltic Sea: Rostock, Germany - Hanko, Finland; North Sea: Zeebrugge, Flanders - Rosyth, Scotland.

Red Funnel Ferries have sailed between Southampton and the Isle of Wight and Cowes for over 140 years. The journey takes around 55 minutes and is available 364 days a year. Formed in 1861, the Southampton Isle of Wight and South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Public Limited Company has the longest name of any quoted company in the UK.

Cities that are surrounded by waterways such as Venice use ferries extensively as part of their public transport system. In such cases ferries are employed to do the work of bridges and tunnels as their relative capital cost is much lower. These foot passenger only ferries are sometimes called waterbuses or even water taxis.

Cable ferries operate over short distances across a number of the UK's inland waterways. Some cable ferries actually use the power of the rivers current to move the ferry forward. Most cable ferries though are operator controlled. Originally rope or steel chains were used to connect the ferries from ones side of the riverbank to the other. These have now been replaced by much stronger and more durable steel wire.

Useful Ferry Information

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