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#FERRIES - Ulysses arrived fresh from refit on the Dublin-Holyhead route yesterday after annual dry-docking at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on Alfoat.ie the Irish Ferries 'flagship' sailings on the central corridor route (also served by Jonathan Swift) where relieved by Isle of Inishmore earlier this month. 

Isle of Inishmore departed Dublin Port last  evening and headed to Liverpool Bay, where she anchored overnight. She docked at Cammell Laird this afternoon, where she too is to undergo annual overhaul.

With Isle of Inishmore off service on her usual Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route, the company's French routes vessel, Oscar Wilde is maintaining sailings.

On 19th February, the Oscar Wilde resumes service on Rosslare-Cherbourg route and she will also re-open the seasonal-only operated route to Roscoff which starts in May.

Published in Ferry

#FERRIES - As the adverse weather continues, ferry services across the Irish Sea remain affected, with several crossings cancelled, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Irish Ferries 08.05hrs sailing this morning from Dublin to Holyhead operated by Isle of Inishmore, departed over three hours later than her scheduled time.

Last night she had just been deployed on the route so to cover sailings usually operated by Ulysses, which went off-service for annual dry-docking at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, as previously reported on Afloat.ie

In addition the fast-ferry craft sailing at 08.45hrs from Dublin Port served by the Jonathan Swift were cancelled and the following sailings are also cancelled:

Dublin -Holyhead 14.30hrs

Holyhead-Dublin 12.00hrs AND 17.15hrs

Passengers booked on the Jonathan Swift instead will be accommodated on the Isle of Inishmore. For further information on Dublin-Holyhead sailing updates click HERE.

On the Rosslare-Pembroke Dock service, sailings were too cancelled with last night's sailing from Wales, which are currently served by Oscar Wilde. She sailed as scheduled with this morning's 08.45hrs sailing to Pembroke Dock.

To keep updated on Rosslare-Pembroke Dock sailings click HERE.

For further information, Irish Ferries Central Reservations contact: 0818 300 400 and for Irish Ferries, Rosslare Harbour contact: 00353 53 9133158

STENA LINE

For information on sailing schedules and updates from the company's Ferrycheck facility click HERE.

To contact Stena Line call: 003531 204 77 99 when travelling to Britain or 0044 (0) 8705 755 755 when travelling to Ireland or Scotland

P&O FERRIES

Dublin to Liverpool  sailing at 1500hrs  is cancelled  and passengers will be accommodated on either 2130hrs tonight or 0900hrs on Friday 6th January.

For other sailings and on the Larne-Cairnryan click HERE and to contact +44 (0) 871 66 44 777 if calling from UK
OR (01) 407 34 34 if calling from ROI. In addition to latest sailing infomation on  +44 (0)845 832 8888

FOR OTHER FERRY OPERATORS

Please click this LINK and choose the relevant highlighted ferry route for further information.

Published in Ferry
Celtic Link Ferries new ro-pax Celtic Horizon made an inaugural appearance as she docked in Rosslare ferryport this morning, having completing her delivery voyage from Sicily, writes Jehan Ashmore.
As the 27,552 gross tonnes Celtic Horizon last night headed towards Irish waters (for previous report click here), her predecessor Norman Voyager was making her final sailing for CLF as she sailed away from the Celtic Sea towards Land's End bound for Cherbourg.

The changeover of vessels coincides with the existing Rosslare-Cherbourg sailing schedule of three round-trips per week, noting there are no sailings from the Wexford port on Mondays. Celtic Horizon is due to be introduced with her maiden 'Irish' voyage on Tuesday night, departing Rosslare at 21.30hrs. On the following Monday she is to be officially launched onto the service.

Celtic Horizon will boost capacity on the French route, offering a wider choice of restaurants, bars and a children's play-room. She can carry 840 passengers, 200 cars and 120 freight vehicles. The 186m ferry is from a ro-pax series (including Norman Voyager) designed and built by Cantiere Navala Visentini based in Portoviro, outside Venice.

During her five-day repositioning route from the Mediterranean, Celtic Horizon made an en-route call to Gibralter, anchoring off the British colony on Thursday. Another of the same Visentini ro-pax class vessels, Cartour Epilson is believed to have taken over Celtic Horizon, formerly named Cartour Beta when she served her last season between Termini Imerese in Sicily to Salerno while on charter to C&T.

CLF will be the only ferry operator running services to France, between 2 January -19 February 2012, as Irish Ferries, which also operates on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route, will be taking off Oscar Wilde for annual dry-docking. For schedules click HERE.

In addition there will be no sailings between Cork-Roscoff, as Brittany Ferries final sailing for this year is 29 October, served by 'flagship' Pont-Aven. The 2012 season starts in late March.

Published in Ferry
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Celtic Link Ferries look forward to the arrival of a new ro-pax ferry Celtic Horizon (photo), which is currently sailing on the shipping lanes off Algeria, having departed from Palermo, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Celtic Horizon is to be officially launched on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route on 24 October. At 27,552 gross tonnes, she is the largest vessel to operate the French route for CLF with space for 840 passengers, for 200 cars and 120 freight vehicles. Passenger facilities will be boosted with a greater choice of restaurants, bars and a play-zone for kids.

CLF are to charter Celtic Horizon for a five-years and the 25-knot capable vessel will takeover the existing thrice-weekly round trip sailing schedule from ro-pax Norman Voyager. Between 2 January -19 February 2012, CLF will be the only continental ferry operator running services as rivals Irish Ferries will be taking their cruiseferry Oscar Wilde for annual dry-docking. To read more click HERE.

In addition there will be no sailings between Cork-Roscoff, as operators Brittany Ferries last sailing for this year is 29 October, served by 'flagship' Pont-Aven. The 2012 season starts in late March.

Celtic Horizon is the first vessel to be named with a 'Celtic' prefix of part of their ferry operations, since the company brought European Diplomat from former route operators P&O (Irish Sea) in 2005. The freight-ferry renamed Diplomat, served Celtic Link Ferries until 2009. Since then she has been on charter in the Caribbean until this summer when she was sold to the breakers in Alang, India. To read more click HERE.

As for Celtic Horizon, she was built in 2006 and spent her last season this year as Cartour Beta while on charter to C&T's routes between Naples and Sicily, to read more click HERE. The 186m ro-pax is believed to be heading for Gibraltar while en-route to Rosslare.

During her Irish service, she will maintain Italian registry of Bari whereas her predecessor Norman Voyager changes flags from the UK to that of the French tricolour. Both vessels are similar as they share a ro-pax design which has proved popular for Italian shipbuilders Cantieri Navali Visentini.

The 2008 built Norman Voyager of 26,904grt is to revert to LD Lines operation and used on their 'Motorways of the Seas' St. Nazaire-Gijon service, though she was to enter on the Marseilles-Tunis route. Her new role on the Franco-Iberian route sees the replacement of Norman Asturias.

Published in Ferry
Irish Ferries cruiseferry Oscar Wilde docked this morning in Rosslare port and her arrival from Roscoff marked the last round trip of this year's high-season operated route, writes Jehan Ashmore.
This does not mean the end of French routes as the cruiseferry continues to maintain year-round sailngs to Cherbourg. The passage time on the Normandy route takes approximately 17 hours 30 minutes and compares favourably to the shorter Breton route that shaved sailing times by only an hour less. The company are currently running mini-cruises and wine hotel shopping breaks to Cherbourg.

The former Scandinavian cruiserferry was built in 1987 to serve on Color Line's Oslo-Kiel route as their Kronprins Harald. In 2007 she was sold to start French sailings and at 31,914grt, she is the largest cruiseferry to operate under Irish Ferries continental routes. Passenger capacity is just shy of 1,500 and cars total 730 in addiition space for around 90 freight vehicles. For a virtual tour of the cruiseferry's on board facilities and exterior deck views click HERE.

Winter sailings will run to the end of the year with a final departure on 30th December outbound and returning from France on 2nd January 2012. Thereafter there will be a no sailings as the cruiseferry is to undergo annual dry-docking before resuming sailings. The first sailing from Ireland is 19th February and the corresponding return sailing from France is 21st February. To keep up-to-date with sailing schedules click HERE.

Published in DBSC
Seasonal sailings on Irish Ferries Rosslare-Roscoff port route start tomorrow, this brings an increase in the number of services to France from three to four, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 16-hour route is served by the 31,000 tonnes cruiseferry Oscar Wilde which can take 1,500 passengers and nearly 600 vehicles. Irish Ferries also sail from Rosslare to Cherbourg on the year-round route which takes around 17.5 hours. The company have a May Break offer based on 2 adults and a car, for one-way from €99.

Also operating on the same route to Normandy are Celtic Link Ferries which run the modern sleek Italian built 800 passenger /200 vehicle ro-pax ferry Norman Voyager. Short wine breaks are from €200 return for a car, driver and a two-berth outside cabin. Additional passengers can travel for €10 each way and subject to sailing schedules passengers can stay in Cherbourg for up to five hours.

A third operator to France is Brittany Ferries which sails on the Cork-Roscoff route and which is served by their 'flagship' Pont-Aven. The €100m ferry has a swimming pool and this is unique to any route operating out of Ireland. The company are offering one-way fares from €70 per person based on a car with four adults in an inside cabin.

Sailings depart Saturday's from Cork and arrive in the Breton port 14 hours later, making the route the shortest and fastest of the four continental services.

Published in Ferry
At this quiet time of the year, vessels from Irish Sea ferry operators are taken off routes to undergo annual dry-docking, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In the case of Irish Ferries, their Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route vessel, Isle of Inishmore arrived on the Mersey yesterday at the Cammell Laird dry-dock facility in Birkenhead.

The 1997 Dutch-built Isle of Inishmore had relieved the 50,938 tonnes 'flagship' Ulysses from the Dublin-Holyhead route which too had gone to Birkenhead for maintenance since January 4th.

The Ulysses is now back on service and the company's French routes cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde is covering the Isle of Inishmore's absence from Rosslare-Pembroke Dock sailings.

Continental services to France on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route will resume on February 16th when the Oscar Wilde returns from her overall. The Bahamas flagged vessel will re-open seasonal Rosslare-Roscoff sailings starting on May 13th.

In addition to conventional tonnage Irish Ferries also operate the fast-craft catamaran Jonathan Swift in tandem with Ulysses on the Dublin-Holyhead route. The Ulysses takes 3 hours 25 minutes while the 39-knot catamaran craft marketed as the Dublin 'Swift' is advertised with a scheduled passage time of 1 hour and 49 minutes.

The Australian-built catamaran was taken off the central corridor route yesterday to be drydocked also in Birkenhead until January 18th. Dublin Swift sailings return to the Dublin-Holyhead route on February 19th with the first crossing to depart at 14.30 hours from the capital port.

For the latest information on ferry sailings and reservations click: www.irishferries.com

Published in Ports & Shipping
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