The ferry industry is expected to invest more than £1 billion in new vessels and services in the next four years. Here's a quick round up of the developments beginning in 2018.
Irish Ferries have announced two vessels that are currently under development, with the super-ferry W. B. Yeats due to begin operation on the Holyhead - Dublin route by September 2018.
Another 67,400 tonne ro-pax cruise ferry, also to operate on the Irish Sea has been announced. It is due for delivery in 2020 and will increase peak freight capacity by 50% when compared to the current ferry on this route, the MV Ulysses.
Red Funnel is investing £7 million in a new high speed catamaran which will be in service from early July on the Southampton - West Cowes route.
The MV Glen Sannox is one of two ships due to enter service this year from Calmac. It is the UK's first liquefied natural gas ferry with total cost of both ferries around £97 million.
Summer 2018 will see the launch of the Victoria of Wight, a new £30 million hybrid ferry operating between Portsmouth and Fishbourne.
From 2019, Baleària will begin operating the first of two, €200 million 'clean energy' liquefied natural gas (LNG) ferries on their Mediterranean routes. The use of LNG will reduce carbon emissions by 30% and totally eliminate sulphur particles. Both vessels will also utilise photo-voltaic (solar) panels and efficient LED lighting, whilst providing capacity for 810 passengers and 2,180 metres for freight.
Work begins on the new £175 million 'green' ferry, the Honfleur in March 2019. The Honfleur will service the Portsmouth - Caen route.
Brittany Ferries have also announced a new Cork - Santander route from April, which will be operated by a vessel (named Connemara), chartered from Stena Line.
Four new ro-pax ferries have been ordered by Stena Line for delivery in 2019 and 2020. Each ferry will be 50% larger than their current ships.