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Displaying items by tag: Aran Island ferry

Porpoises, dolphins, fin whales, puffins and guillemots near the Cliffs of Moher...master of the new Aran island ferry Shane McCole promises much marine life on the new direct run between Galway city and Inis Mór.

The 40-metre vessel Saoirse na Farraige, commissioned by the O’Brien family of Carraroe, began its 90-minute sailing schedule last month as Afloat reported here.

Passengers leaving from Galway docks in the morning have the option of a return journey via the north Clare cliffs.

The 40-metre vessel Saoirse na FarraigeThe 40-metre vessel Saoirse na Farraige

Saoirse na Farraige claims to have “ the cleanest exhaust emission” of any ferry on Irish waters.

The vessel built in Cheoy Lee Shipyards in Hong Kong has a speed of 20 knots, and can carry 394 passengers – as in 306 passengers on the main deck, and a semi-covered space for 88 passengers on the top deck.

Shane McCole at the helm of the new Aran Islands direct ferryShane McCole at the helm of the new Aran Islands direct ferry

It is fitted with leather seating, a wheelchair lift, charging points and plasma screens – earning it the local nickname of “GoBus sur mer”.

It is almost 150 years ago since the paddle tug Citie of the Tribes run by the Galway Steamship Company took the same route from the docks to Cill Rónain.

The O’Briens of Carraroe, who took their first passengers to the Aran islands on the Galway hooker An Tonaí almost four decades back, are reporting brisk interest in the route. They are continuing the ferry service between Ros-a-Mhíl in Co Galway and all three islands.

Wavelengths took a run on the vessel and spoke to Shane McCole. Listen to Wavelengths here

Published in Wavelength Podcast

A new fast ferry for the Aran islands was unloaded in an operation lasting several hours in Galway Bay on Friday.

The new 40m (131ft) vessel, costing several million euro, was built in Hong Kong.

It will be operated by Aran Island Ferries between Galway city and the islands.

The vessel will be formally named Saoirse na Farraige at a launching ceremony in the spring.

It will be the first time in some decades – since the era of the Dún Aengus and Naomh Éanna – since passengers transport was provided between Galway docks and the islands.

The company will continue its services from Ros-a-Mhíl in south Connemara to all three islands – a sea journey which takes about 45 minutes to the largest island of Inis Mór.

The new vessel can take up to 400 passengers, and will cater for the sort of volumes now travelling between Doolin, Co Clare, and Arainn. It will take around 90 minutes to steam between Galway and Inis Mór.

Published in Galway Harbour

Afloat's Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins

Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...

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