In an age of jetliners and high-speed trains, many travelers are surprised to find that ferries are not only still around, but are growing their fleets and routes.
Currently nine new passenger ferries are in the works for routes serving the UK and Ireland, with Irish Ferries, Brittany Ferries and Stena Line all waiting for new ships; Irish Ferries just welcomed the W.B. Yeats, above.
The services include not only routes between the Britain and Ireland, but also routes to European Atlantic ports such as Santander, Caen, Calais and more. Among the new ships coming are both mainly-passenger and mainly-freight services, generally with newer, quieter and more environmentally-friendly engines.
According to industry data, last year saw 38 million passenger journeys on the ships. Many people like the comfort and space and treat it as a mini-cruise; others are interested mainly because of the ability to take their cars along.