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Displaying items by tag: CorkSwansea

#FERRY NEWS - With the acquisition of Fastnet Line's Julia to C-BED as previously reported, the Dutch owned company's fleet rises to three floating hotels which are used to accommodate workers in offshore wind-farm energy installations, writes Jehan Ashmore.

All three vessels are former ferries and one of which the Wind Ambition was in recent years based in in the north Irish Sea. The third vessel is Wind Solution, for photos and technicl details of these vessels click HERE. While the former Cork-Swansea ferry has been renamed Wind Perfection (1981/22,161grt) , she remains berthed in Cork city docks having laid-up there since the route's closure last November.

The vessel is however due to undergo an extensive refit in The Netherlands before she takes up a charter in the North Sea with Siemens in October, as a floating hotel for wind-turbine industry employees.

By using the vessel Siemens are to save valuable time and money which would otherwise by the daily transfer of construction workers to and from the mainland. For a video computer simulation showing the different logistics involved between an offshore floating hotel and a conventional hotel onshore, click HERE.

Wind Perfection was originally built as Olau Britannia and shared sailings with sistership Olau Hollandia for a UK-Dutch route between Sheerness-Vlissingen operated by Olau Line.

The sisters were replaced by newer vessels on the North Sea route in the late 1980's and sold to various owners during the years. Before Julia made her Celtic Sea debut, she last ran under the same name for Stella Line on the St. Petersberg-Helsinki route.

Incidentally her sister Norlandia (1981/21,473grt) operates also from the Finnish capital to Tallinn for Eckero Line. Likewise she too is due to undergo changes as she is to be replaced later this year as a second-hand ferry from Mediterranean owners was sold to the Baltic Sea operator.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS – The former Fastnet Line ferry Julia (1981 / 22,161grt) is to embark on a new life as a floating dormitory for workers building and servicing offshore wind turbines in the North Sea, according to The Examiner.

The rather ignominious end for the ferry once billed as one of the jewels in Cork tourism industry, marks the final chapter in the short and troubled life of Fastnet Line, which was set up by West Cork Tourism Co-operative.

At over 30 years-old the ship, which had capacity for 1,860 passengers, made its maiden voyage on the Cork-Swansea route in March 2010. She was bedevilled by mechanical problems in the first few days of operation, and in late 2011 the Celtic Sea service was withdrawn due to higher-than-expected fuel prices.

It had been hoped to restart the route this year, but Fastnet Line went into receivership last month. The vessel had been sold, reportedly for €5m, to C-BED, a Dutch-based company which are to rename her Wind Perfection.

For more on this story about the short-lived ferry operation click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS - The operators of the Celtic Sea ferry route between Cork-Swansea need to secure over €1m in investment today in order to save the company after being thrown a €300,000 funding lifeline by Cork's local authorities.

Cork City Council agreed last night to invest €100,000 in the Fastnet Line, bringing its total investment in the company to €365,000.

It followed a 90-minute behind closed doors presentation by Fastnet Line's acting chief executive officer, Pádraic O'Kane. He is due to meet Enterprise Ireland this morning to discuss further investment. He declined to discuss the amount involved, but it is understood to be in the region of €400,000.

Finance Wales will await the outcome of those talks before it agrees to pump up to €800,000 in to the firm. For more about this story in today's Examiner click HERE

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS - Approximately €500,000 is to be sought from three local authorities in the south-west region so to help restart the Cork-Swansea route which was served by the M.V. Julia (1982/22,161grt) until sailings ceased in November last year.

Representatives from Fastnet Line Ship Holdings Ltd are expected to attend a special meeting of Cork County Council next Monday at which they will outline a business plan for the company, which is in examinership.

They will also address a scheduled meeting of Cork City Council later the same day and are expected to communicate their request to Kerry County Council shortly.

For more about this story in today's Examiner click HERE

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS-A High Court judge has agreed to continue court protection for the companies operating the Cork-Swansea ferry service to allow for finalisation of a survival scheme, reports The Irish Times.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said yesterday he was satisfied to extend the protection period for the companies to January 24th next.

The extension of time was sought by Declan Murphy, for the companies' examiner Michael McAteer, to allow time for an investment agreement to be signed and a survival scheme put before meetings of creditors.

Fastnet Line Ship Holdings Ltd (100 per cent owned by the West Cork Tourism Co-operative Society Ltd) and related companies operating the ferry service using the M.V. Julia (1981/22,161grt) from the ferry terminal at Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, secured court protection last month.

Later Noel Murphy, chairman of the West Cork Tourism Co-Operative Society, said they had outlined the urgent funding required to secure the future of the service, which will allow them to present a financial proposal to the examiner in early January.

To date €673,000 has been raised by individual donors, customers, shareholders and local businesses, leaving just under €1 million to be raised.

Published in Ferry
Operators of the Cork-Swansea port route, Fastnet Line celebrated their 100,000th passenger late last month, after opening the service in March 2010, writes Jehan Ashmore.
While down on its initially forecasted target, it should be noted that, between January to March this year, the 1,500-passenger capacity ferry Julia was dry-docked in Swansea for essential maintenance. Refurbishment of the 1982-built 22,161 tonnes vessel took place in some public areas and three new luxurious mini-suites have been created.

In addition passengers travelling on the Julia can visit the newly installed tourist office where an advanced booking system will be available for all accommodation, leisure, and hospitality facilities located on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Irish and Welsh members of the West Cork Tourism Co–Operative, which established the ferry operation will staff the tourist office full-time during the summer months. The facility is unique to Irish-UK ferry services and was officially opened by the new Cork County Mayor Tim Lombard. For further information from the co-operative click www.westcork.ie and more about the other on board facilities click HERE.

With competition from summer sells on offer from rival operators on the Irish Sea, in particular on St. Georges Channel services, Fastnet Line are combating with deals to encourage higher occupancy sailings during the peak season.

The company are also preparing to accommodate Irish soccer fans in the autumn, following the success of Swansea City F.C. in gaining promotion to the Premiership.

Published in Ferry

Fastnet Line which runs the Cork-Swansea port route on the Celtic Sea, is assisting the charity MarineLife to monitor cetaceans, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The work of MarineLife is to survey the population trends and track the movements of dolphins, whales, porpoises and other wildlife. The research is undertaken onboard Fastnet Line's Julia (1981/21,699grt) and access to the ferry is provided free-of-charge to the wildlife-based charity.

During the months of July and August the ferry's schedule will allow for further opportunities to conduct daylight sightings of marine-life which is to be posted on MarineLife and Fastnet Line websites.

Adrian Shephard, Chairman of MarineLife Trustees, said: "The route from Swansea to Cork crosses a range of marine habitats and we hope it will generate many sightings of cetaceans and seabirds, including two important species we monitor, the white-beaked dolphin and the balearic shearwater".

In addition monitors recently observed fin whales, the second largest whale on the planet. Such sightings provide vital information and this will contribute to a better understanding of the distribution of cetaceans and other marine life in the Celtic Sea. To read more www.marine-life.org.uk

The first of four summertime surveys is to take place on 10 July. Overall the research by MarineLife is part of a larger project which also involves the use of other ferries operating in the Irish Sea and those serving on UK continental routes.

The 1,500 passenger / 325 car-carrying Julia sails year-round six times a week between September to June and from next month and during August the vessel will provide eight sailings per week. For fares and sailings schedules contact www.fastnetline.com

Published in Marine Science
Fastnet Line's 21,699 tonnes Julia which has been undergoing annual maintenance at a dry-dock in Swansea, is due to resume sailings for the 2011 season with a departure from the south Welsh port tomorrow night, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 1,500 passenger / 30 truck capacity vessel is scheduled to depart Swansea at 20.30hrs on the overnight crossing with an arrival on Thursday morning at Cork's Ringaskiddy ferry terminal. The sailing will mark the first anniversary of company operations on the Celtic Sea route.

West Cork Tourism Co-Op launched the company a year ago as a result of a successful campaign to restore the direct service between Wales and the southern Ireland. Many businesses from the region and their Welsh counterparts invested in the co-op to restore the link since the closure by Swansea Cork Ferries in 2006.

Fastnet Line will continue to be in a celebratory mode with the first outbound sailing from Cork on Friday and which will also cater for a special-rugby supporters trip for this weekend's Six Nations Championship between Ireland and Wales at the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff. The Friday sailing departs Cork at 20.30hrs and arrives at 08.00hrs in Swansea on the Saturday morning with the game kicking off at 17.00hrs (5pm).

The company are offering various foot passenger deals to the match. A return bus transfer is also available between the ferry terminal and the game venue (but at an extra cost). In addition there are deals for those wanting to take the car. The after match sailing departs at 23.50 with the ferry arriving back in Cork at 12.00 noon on Sunday 13 March. For further information on fares etc click here

Published in Ferry
Fastnet Line's Cork-Swansea route operated by the M.V. Julia will continue to be off service for annual dry-docking maintenance until the beginning of March. The next sailing will be Friday 4th March from Swansea at 20.30 hours. The route between Munster and south Wales takes 10-hours.
Bookings can be made on www.fastnetline.com up to three hours before departure. Amendments to bookings or a refund for a cancelled sailing can be made by contacting the ferry company reservation teams at the numbers listed below.

Reservations Office Ireland : +353 (0) 21 4378892

Open Monday - Friday 9.00 am - 5.30 pm

Reservations Office UK: 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

Published in Ferry

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 www.fastnetline.com

Published in Ports & Shipping
Page 1 of 2

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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