Ferry crossings by car increased by 2% to 8.8m in 2016
Car ferry crossings increase dramatically
Ireland, as an island nation has a vibrant car ferry service connecting Ireland to both the UK and Continental Europe.
New figures are showing the number of sea crossing with cars on Irish and UK ferries rose by 2% last year.
Discover Ferries said the increase in car ferry trips was driven by a 5% increase in demand for domestic trips, with Western Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Isle of Wight markets performing strongly.
8.8 million cars were carried by ferry operators Ireland and the UK in 2016, up from 8.6 million the previous year, which represents an increase of almost half a million cars since 2012.
Bill Gibbons, the Director of Discover Ferries director said: "The sustained growth in car carryings is particularly good news for the sector as we see more people recognise the advantages of simply hopping into their own car and enjoying the flexibility, value and freedom of a break by sea rather than the pressure of travelling through an airport.
"Over the past decade our ferry members and partners have constantly innovated and invested to ensure travel by sea is a superb experience and it's exciting to see the results of that work coming through in our 2016 results."
Ireland’s port system has had to cater for an increased level of demand in the last few years. The increase in freight handled, up 1.6% in 2014, and the increase in the number of people arriving by ferry, is indicative of growth in the sector and the wider economy.
Maritime Transport Statistics for Ireland 2016:
- Total Number of Vessel Arrivals (2014) 12,204 (Up 2.2%)
- Total Gross Tonnage of Vessel Arrivals (2014) 223 Million Tonnes (Up 6.3%)
- Gross Tonnage of Goods Handled (2014) 47.5 Million Tonnes (Up 1.6%)
- Passengers Handled Excl. Cruise Ships (2014) 2.8 Million (Up 0.3%)
- Cruise Ship Passenger Arrivals (2014) 202,819 (Down 2.5%)
- Gross DTTaS Expenditure 2015 €76.2 Million
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