#FerryNews - Ulysses, flagship of Irish Ferries which was forced out of service for over a month during the peak season is once again not operating on the Holyhead route having docked in Dublin Port last night, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The company had cited a 'technical reason' though it is understood this incident it is not a repeat of the summer's problems with the starboard controllable pitch propeller which took place on 24th June. This led to the 50,938 gross tonnage flagship having to undergo major repairs in Harland & Wolff, Belfast. Otherwise the custom-built cruiseferry has had a strong reliability record since introduction in 2001.
Ulysses having completed a round trip to Holyhead, yesterday evening proceeded upriver to berth in Alexandra Basin. It would appear that the off service situation is short-term, given that the Ulysses is scheduled to return to service this Wednesday (1st November) on the 20:55 sailing to Holyhead. Check here for updates.
In the meantime while Ulysses remains in Alexandra Basin, this is also where earlier this month, the route's Holyhead newly introduced fast-ferry craft Dublin Swift had problems too. Work was carried out that enabled a return to the route just days before it ended a first 'seasonal' service previously operated by Jonathan Swift. The winter layover in the port of the larger and newer fast-craft is to end with resumption of sailings in Spring 2019.
Currently, taking place of Ulysses sailing roster is Isle of Inishmore, where Afloat noted a repositioning passage from Rosslare which saw an arrival yesterday morning to Dublin Port. The Isle of Inishmore is no stranger on the Dublin route having also been custom-built in 1997 to serve the north Wales route when ordered by the operator's parent company ICG.
Also operating on the Wales route but routinely is ropax Epsilon, however a third ferry was also in service until Sunday night, Oscar Wilde that provided additional sailings since earlier this month. The cruiseferry also served direct Dublin-Cherbourg crossings, however in the early hours of yesterday morning made a repositioning passage to Rosslare to take over the 'Inishmore' roster that began with a morning crossing to Pembroke.
On a related note to Ireland-France services, Afloat will have more to report on the much delayed €150m cruiseferry W.B. Yeats that was to have made a debut on the Dublin route last July followed by a transfer to Holyhead from September but only for the winter. During that time Epsilon would maintain the year-round operated route given no Rosslare based sailings.