Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Cancelled Sailing

W.B. Yeats which was delayed in dry-dock has finally re-entered Irish Ferries Dublin-Cherbourg route as the cruise-ferry completed the Ireland-France round trip today, however this afternoon's sailing to the continent is cancelled due to bad weather, writes Jehan Ashmore.

It was in the first week of last month when W.B. Yeats arrived at Harland & Wolff to their Belfast Dry-Dock (B.D.D) to undergo routine annual winter overhaul though the cruise-ferry remained in the facility beyond what was envisaged. W.B. Yeats, however recommenced operating with a departure from Dublin on Tuesday afternoon as observed when passing through the port’s entrance.

The cruiseferry from Cherbourg returned to Dublin this morning in southeast winds, reaching gale or strong force conditions that were forecasted to be Force 8 during yesterday. This led to two cargo ships, the self-discharging Astind (see story) and containership Heinrich Ehler in Dublin Bay having to weigh anchor and ride-out the bad weather overnight. As of today, Astind which is a general cargo ship was scheduled to call to Dublin, however having been tracked, is now diverted to Belfast and is due to arrive tomorrow morning.

Today's afternoon cancelled Sailing 

As alluded above, the W.B. Yeats return sailing today to France at 1600hrs has been cancelled as according to Irish Ferries this is due to adverse weather conditions, though the next available sailing is tomorrow, 8 December.

Originally, W.B. Yeats was to return from Belfast to serve the Ireland-France route before the end of last month, yet Irish Ferries had to defer dates by continuously cancelling sailings due to ‘operational reasons’ as the cruiseferry remained in dry-dock. This forced the ropax Epsilon to continue operating continental crossings, as such reflecting the changing ferry scene in which developments can be very fluid. 

The disruption affected notably passengers, as at short notice, W.B. Yeats crossings were cancelled, as the deferred knock-on saw the no frills service of Epsilon standing in to cover cruise-ferry crossings. On some advertised sailings, the passenger-booking engine of Irish Ferries website, saw that the ropax was made only available to freight-only customers, though scheduled sailings by another ropax Norbay, recently chartered from P&O to (eventually) replace Epsilon, maintained to a full passenger/freight service on the Ireland-France route.

These sailings by Norbay, are operated albeit at weekends, whereas when serving on the Dublin-Holyhead they are maintained during weekdays in tandem with the Ireland-Wales route’s main vessel, cruise-ferry Ulysses which runs to a full week roster. During the festive period, W.B. Yeats is to swap place with the Norbay on the Dublin-Holyhead route, so to boost capacity with Ulysses on the Ireland-Wales route. Whilst Norbay is left to operate on the Ireland-France route on days leading up to and after Christmas Day. 

Another fleetmate, the fast-ferry Dublin Swift had previously ceased the summer /autumn season with the craft completing crossings to the capital in late October. This was followed by a repositioning passage to the Welsh capital, Cardiff, where it is in layover mode over the winter.

It was in the early hours of last Monday, when W.B. Yeats departed Belfast and arrived to the Irish capital the next day at around 1100hrs The cruise-ferry would not immediately enter service as Epsilon was on its final sailing with Irish Ferries, from France that ended in Dublin Port on Tuesday afternoon. The cruise-ferry therefore remained in port during that day and overnight in Dublin, not at Ferry Terminal 1 but berthed in Alexandra Basin along Ocean Pier, where CLdN Ro Ro SA freight ferries routinely use on direct Dublin-Belgium/Netherlands routes.

As mentioned Epsilon concluded the round trip from Cherbourg with a crossing completed in Dublin Port on Tuesday. This was observed as the distinctive blue lights on the navigation deck were clearly visible in an ever darkening late afternoon coupled with choppy grey seas as Epsilon entered Dublin Bay at around 16.15hrs. Of the freight trailers loaded on the uppermost vehicle deck, they could be seen on the exposed weather deck that leads into the same forward enclosed deck. This is where passenger facilities are located and above a further two decks, including passenger cabins and crew quarters alongside the bridge that forms as part of the overall superstructure.

Epsilon’s end of service comes almost exactly a decade since ICG, parent company of Irish Ferries, commenced chartering the then Italian flagged ropax under the name of Cartour Epsilon. The ropax entered a career with Irish Ferries, firstly with a crossing from Holyhead to Dublin on 19 December, 2013. As for the debut on the Ireland-France route in early 2014, this marked also a first for Irish Ferries to launch such a service connecting the Irish capital and continental Europe, this service augmented the Rosslare-Cherbourg route and the seasonal-only service to Roscoff which were operated by the first Oscar Wilde which would be effectively replaced by newbuild W.B. Yeats, albeit using the Dublin-Cherbourg route as outlined below.

The Wexford-Normandy connections were abandoned by Irish Ferries as W.B.Yeats was to run the Dublin-Cherbourg route in 2018, but did not enter service until the next year due to delays in building at the shipyard of FSG Flensburger, Germany. Irish Ferries however retained operations out of Rosslare with the route to Pembroke Dock, south Wales served by Isle of Inishmore (see Dover fleet) followed by chartered tonnage in the form of Blue Star 1. Earlier this year, the Greek flagged ferry was replaced by Star also on charter from Estonian based operator, Tallink, with the cruiseferry renamed as the second Oscar Wilde.

Epsilon at H&W Belfast Dry Dock (B.D.D.)  

Epsilon on occasions had also stood in on the Pembroke route, however the 26,375 gross tons ropax when in Dublin last Tuesday made an overnight passage to Belfast. This led to an arrival next day also to Harland & Wolff not to dry-dock, but to the nearby refit-quay (today shifted to B.D.D.) where a fleetmate of Astind, also a self-discharger, Aasli was alongside this quay briefly for work to be carried out by the shipyard. As alluded above, Aastind operated by Assen Shipping, is ironically bound for Belfast and after discharging cargo, the next port of call is Cardiff where the aforementioned Dublin Swift is wintering.  

As Afloat previously reported, Epsilon is next to embark in a new chapter with owner, Euroafrica Shipping Lines which has ropax and freight ferries operating in Scandinavia. They are managed as part of the Polish ferry operator Unity Line, which has its own ferries and when combined total seven vessels on routes between the country and Sweden and Germany which is a freight-only service.

Published in Irish Ferries

Operators of the Cork-Swansea route, Fastnet Line regret to announce that tonight's (13 January) sailing from Cork to Swansea is cancelled. The company has cited technical reasons for the cancellation of the sailing. The 10-hour route linking Munster with South Wales is served by the M.V. Julia.

Fastnet Line are contacting all passengers to assist in making re-bookings or refunds. Those wishing to contact the ferry operators' reservation team for further information can contact the details listed below.

The Julia is to go into dry-dock this week in Swansea. The vessel will remain in Swansea while undergoing annual maintenance up to and including Wednesday 9th February. Her first sailing will be at 20.30hrs from Swansea to Cork on Wednesday 9th February 2011.

To contact the Fastnet Line Irish Reservations Office Tel: +353 (0) 21 4378892 (Open Monday – Friday) 9.00 am - 6.00 pm

To contact the UK Reservations Office Tel: 0844 576 8831
(Open Monday – Thursday) 8.00 am - 8.00 pm
(Open Friday) 8.00 am - 7.00 pm
(Open Saturday and Sunday) 9.00 am - 6.00pm

For further information logon to

Published in Ports & Shipping

Cork Harbour Information

It’s one of the largest natural harbours in the world – and those living near Cork Harbour insist that it’s also one of the most interesting.

This was the last port of call for the most famous liner in history, the Titanic, but it has been transformed into a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

The harbour has been a working port and a strategic defensive hub for centuries, and it has been one of Ireland's major employment hubs since the early 1900s. Traditional heavy industries have waned since the late 20th century, with the likes of the closure of Irish Steel in Haulbowline and shipbuilding at Verolme. It still has major and strategic significance in energy generation, shipping and refining.

Giraffe wander along its shores, from which tens of thousands of men and women left Ireland, most of them never to return. The harbour is home to the oldest yacht club in the world, and to the Irish Navy. 

This deep waterway has also become a vital cog in the Irish economy.

‘'s Cork Harbour page’ is not a history page, nor is it a news focus. It’s simply an exploration of this famous waterway, its colour and its characters.

Cork Harbour Festival

Ocean to City – An Rás Mór and Cork Harbour Open Day formerly existed as two popular one-day events located at different points on Cork’s annual maritime calendar. Both event committees recognised the synergy between the two events and began to work together and share resources. In 2015, Cork Harbour Festival was launched. The festival was shaped on the open day principle, with Ocean to City – An Ras Mór as the flagship event.

Now in its sixth year, the festival has grown from strength to strength. Although the physical 2020 festival was cancelled due to Covid-19, the event normally features nine festival days starting on the first week of June. It is packed full of events; all made possible through collaboration with over 50 different event partners in Cork City, as well as 15 towns and villages along Cork Harbour. The programme grows year by year and highlights Ireland’s rich maritime heritage and culture as well as water and shore-based activities, with Ocean to City – An Rás Mór at the heart of the festival.

Taking place at the centre of Ireland’s maritime paradise, and at the gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, Cork is perfectly positioned to deliver the largest and most engaging harbour festival in Ireland.

The Cork Harbour Festival Committee includes representatives from Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork, UCC MaREI, RCYC, Cobh & Harbour Chamber and Meitheal Mara.

Marinas in Cork Harbour

There are six marinas in Cork Harbour. Three in Crosshaven, one in East Ferry, one in Monkstown Bay and a new facility is opening in 2020 at Cobh. Details below

Port of Cork City Marina

Location – Cork City
Contact – Harbour Masters Dept., Port of Cork Tel: +353 (0)21 4273125 or +353 (0)21 4530466 (out of office hours)

Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0) 21 4831023

Crosshaven Boatyard Marina

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)21 4831161

Salve Marina Ltd

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0) 21 4831145

Cork Harbour Marina

Location: Monkstown, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)87 3669009

East Ferry Marina

Location: East Ferry, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)21 4813390

New Cove Sailing Club Marina

(to be opened in 2020)

Location: Cobh, Co. Cork
Contact: 087 1178363

Cork Harbour pontoons, slipways and ramps

Cork City Boardwalk Existing pontoon

Port of Cork 100m. pontoon

Cork city – End of Cornmarket St. steps and slip;

Cork city - Proby’s Qy. Existing limited access slip

Quays Bar & Restaurant, Private pontoon and ramp for patrons, suitable for yachts, small craft town and amenities

Cobh harbour [camber] Slip and steps inside quay wall pontoon

Fota (zoo, house, gardens) Derelict pontoon and steps

Haulbowline naval basin; restricted space Naval base; restricted access;

Spike Island pier, steps; slip, pontoon and ramp

Monkstown wooden pier and steps;

Crosshaven town pier, with pontoon & steps

East Ferry Marlogue marina, Slip (Great Island side) visitors’ berths

East Ferry Existing pier and slip; restricted space East Ferry Inn (pub)
(Mainland side)

Blackrock pier and slips

Ballinacurra Quay walls (private)

Aghada pier and slip, pontoon & steps public transport links

Whitegate Slip

Passage West Pontoon

Glenbrook Cross-river ferry

Ringaskiddy Parking with slip and pontoon Ferry terminal; village 1km.

Carrigaloe pier and slip; restricted space; Cross-river ferry;

Fountainstown Slip

White’s Bay beach

Ringabella beach

Glanmire Bridge and tide restrictions

Old Glanmire - Quay