Thirteen new ships will come into service on Irish and UK ferry routes by 2023, according to new analysis.

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Trade body Discover Ferries, which reviewed the plans of ferry operators, said the expansion of fleets represents an investment of more than £1/€1.1 billion.

Among the firms introducing new ships in the coming years are Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O and Stena Line.

Discover Ferries director Emma Batchelor said: “The continued investment in new passenger ferries and port facilities is not only great news for the millions of holidaymakers who value comfort and space when they travel, it also underlines the industry’s commitment to providing a high-quality, efficient service regardless of what happens post-Brexit.

“This news clearly demonstrates that ferry travel is not only here to stay, but it is continuing to thrive as passengers discover the fantastic array of ferry routes and services on offer.

“It also sends a clear message that passengers should book their ferry with confidence, regardless of a deal or no-deal Brexit scenario, whether they are sailing across the Irish Sea, around London, the British Isles or into mainland Europe.”

The new vessels include three ships being built in China for Stena Line, with the first due to begin operating Dublin-Holyhead services in early 2020.

Industry data shows 38 million passenger journeys were made by ferry on UK domestic, Irish and continental services last year.

PA Media

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