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Irish Ferries Second Strait of Dover Ferry Makes Maiden Crossing to Calais

16th December 2021
Dover's December Debut:  Afloat this week tracked Isle of Innisfree on the Strait of Dover (above on berthing trials at the Port of Dover). The newest addition to Irish Ferries (ICG) fleet, today entered service on the UK-France route of Dover-Calais. The former RMT Dover-Ostende ferry Prins Filip since 1992 served several short-Strait operators and routes, now joins fleetmate Isle of Inishmore as second ship, doubling sailing frequency between post Brexit Britain and the mainland Europe/ EU member state. Afloat also adds the name of Isle of Innisfree revives a former ropax custom-built for Irish Ferries Dublin-Holyhead route launched in 1995.  Dover's December Debut: Afloat this week tracked Isle of Innisfree on the Strait of Dover (above on berthing trials at the Port of Dover). The newest addition to Irish Ferries (ICG) fleet, today entered service on the UK-France route of Dover-Calais. The former RMT Dover-Ostende ferry Prins Filip since 1992 served several short-Strait operators and routes, now joins fleetmate Isle of Inishmore as second ship, doubling sailing frequency between post Brexit Britain and the mainland Europe/ EU member state. Afloat also adds the name of Isle of Innisfree revives a former ropax custom-built for Irish Ferries Dublin-Holyhead route launched in 1995. Credit: Port of Dover -twitter

Irish Ferries, a subsidiary of the Dublin based Irish Continental Group plc (ICG), have today added further capacity with the introduction of Isle of Innisfree to their existing short-Straits service of Dover-Calais.

Since Irish Ferries opened the new service out of the Port of Dover in June 2021, significant additional capacity has been added with the Isle of Inishmore, indicating a high level of confidence in the Short Straits. This investment in the Dover-Calais crossing is evidence of the resilience, value and dependability of the route and bolsters Dover's offering of an inbound ferry every 25 minutes.

Following berthing trials Afloat adds, the debut of the Isle of Innisfree today sees Irish Ferries already double their frequency on the Dover-Calais route since June. Moreover, with a third ship (name to revealed) due to join the fleet in January will enable Irish Ferries to offer up to 30 sailings per day on the route, with sailings in each direction approximately every 90 minutes.

Commenting, Doug Bannister, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Dover, said: “The capacity added by Irish Ferries on the Dover-Calais route today is testament to the ongoing confidence in the Short Straits. The market continues to choose the high pace, frequency and capacity offered by Dover, and in turn, the Port offers customers more choice, moving from two to three operators in 2021.

Together with all our dedicated ferry operators, the Port of Dover is driving resilient supply chains, further enhancing our joint offering to customers. Dover is continuing to serve the market as the busiest and most efficient UK port – keeping people and goods flowing via the shortest and most efficient sea crossing between the UK and mainland Europe.”

Published in Irish Ferries
Jehan Ashmore

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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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