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Irish Ferries High-Speed Craft Returns to Service During Dublin-Holyhead Route's High-Season

7th August 2021
High-Speed Craft returns: Irish Ferries HSC Dublin Swift's summer sailings finally reopened on the Dublin-Holyhead route, following easing of travel restrictions on both sides of the Irish Sea. The fast-ferry operates two round trips daily on the Ireland-UK link and as above vehicles embark on board the catamaran craft when berthed at the north Wales port. High-Speed Craft returns: Irish Ferries HSC Dublin Swift's summer sailings finally reopened on the Dublin-Holyhead route, following easing of travel restrictions on both sides of the Irish Sea. The fast-ferry operates two round trips daily on the Ireland-UK link and as above vehicles embark on board the catamaran craft when berthed at the north Wales port. Credit: Irish Ferries-twitter

Irish Ferries high-speed craft Dublin Swift finally returned to service on the Dublin-Holyhead route with holidaymakers travelling during this summer's key peak-season month, writes Jehan Ashmore.

With the easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions introduced last month, Irish Ferries this week resumed the HSC Dublin Swift service, offering customers an alternative faster option on the Irish Sea's only direct cross-channel fast-ferry service between Ireland and the UK.

Asides the conventional cruiseferry Ulysses and ropax Epsilon, each taking 3 hours 15 minutes to complete, the Dublin Swift's passage time is just 1 hours 49 minutes. This is achieved by the HSC's 35 knot capability when running between the Irish capital and the north Wales port in Anglesey.

Dublin Swift's sailing schedule sees two sailings in each direction daily and with travel restrictions in many countries currently being relaxed, Irish Ferries have introduced additional measures across their fleet to ensure that both passengers and crew can ‘Travel Safe’.

In pre-pandemic times, such fast-ferry operations on the Ireland-Wales link would of begun much earlier, with the season starting in April.

Facilities on Dublin Swift include a Club Class lounge, Brassarie, Cafe, TV lounge, Gaming Zone and Wi-fi connection is available. In addition an on board shop. Noting, that the Irish Ferries website cites that due to the impact of Covid-19, not all advertised ship facilities may be open.

The HSC Dublin Swift, likewise of its predecessor, Jonathan Swift was built by Austal-Ships, Freemantle, Australia in 2001 and can carry 900 passengers, 200 cars and 16 trucks. The twinned hull craft originally entered service for Irish Ferries in 2018 having been acquired as secondhand tonnage.

This year is the first summer season that Irish Ferries can also offer customers an inclusive UK 'land-bridge' service with the opening in June of their new service on the Dover-Calais route. The new UK-France service followed the transfer of cruiseferry Isle of Inishmore from the Rosslare-Pembroke route currently served by the chartered-in Greek flagged ferry Blue Star 1.

In addition, Irish Ferries run direct Ireland-France services on the Dublin-Cherbourg route served by cruiseferry W.B. Yeats. The largest ship of the fleet is supplemented with additional capacity at weekends by Epsilon. This Italian registered ropax was chartered to launch the Ireland-France route in 2014..

The ro-pax ship assists to cater for Brexit related freight market demand on the direct service to continental Europe.

Published in Irish Ferries
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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About Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries, owned by the Irish Continental Group, is a a major ferry operator in Ireland, providing daily and weekly links to and from Ireland for tourism and freight travelling between Ireland and the UK and Ireland and the continent. Irish Ferries has a fleet of six ships, three of which service the busy Dublin to Holyhead route.

The ICG Chairman is John B McGuckian and the CEO is Eamon Rothwell.

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