Ferry company P&O closes Dublin-Liverpool route

   August 24, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

P&O Ferries has announced the discontinuation of its Dublin-Liverpool route by year-end.

The reason cited is the lack of an available berth in Liverpool for the upcoming year.

P&O Ferries stated that without an agreement for a berth, they cannot sustain operations on this route. Despite extensive negotiations with the port owner for an extension of the lease or an alternative site, no feasible solution has been found.

P&O Freight will redeploy the two ships currently servicing this route - Norbank (IMO 9056583) and Norbay (IMO 9056595) to other routes.

This decision will impact 24 weekly sailings, mainly focused on freight transportation between the UK and Ireland.

P&O Ferries expressed commitment to serving their Irish Sea customers but acknowledged the absence of a suitable alternative that would allow the current service to continue into 2024. The closure of this route is expected to reduce competition and travel options, leaving only one alternative operator for this crossing. The company will engage in a consultation process with affected employees, providing support for finding employment within or outside the company.

The closure's impact on connectivity and trade was acknowledged, especially regarding carbon emissions and traffic patterns. The Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, noted the resilience of shipping operators in adapting to changing demands and assured that sufficient capacity exists among other ferry operators to accommodate the disrupted service.

Sinn Fein's transport spokesperson, Martin Kenny, called on the Minister for Transport to take all necessary measures to ensure the continuity of the P&O Ferry route between Dublin and Liverpool. This move is seen as significant within the context of Brexit and the importance of maintaining robust supply chains and connectivity.