#IrelandWalesLinks – Ireland-Wales sea links between these two Celtic nations, who play each other today in the RBS Six Nations encounter, are not exclusively all ferry-based which included this week's debut of Superfast X, as Jehan Ashmore explains.
Asides the Cardiff registered Stena Superfast X that was launched on the Dublin-Holyhead route also served by rivals Irish Ferries, both operators run routes from Rosslare to south Wales ports, Stena to Fishguard and Irish Ferries to Pembroke. This leaves three routes to transport passengers and carry freight, following the demise of the Stena HSS from Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead that closed last September.
So where does this none-ferry yet commercial route fit into this Ireland-Wales equation? The answer is a container route which is the only such scheduled service connecting the Celtic capitals. That unique service is provided by Cardiff Container Lines whose Coronel (see photo above) calls to Dublin Port yet runs to a triangular route network as the vessel also docks in the Co. Down port of Warrenpoint on Carlingford Lough.
It is apt that on today's rugby game where 'Ireland's Call' will be song in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, that down in the capital's port is where Coronel is berthed (at time of writing) having arrived yesterday from Warrenpoint. She is due to arrive in Dublin Port tomorrow morning.
The 195 (TEU) container capacity vessel's Lo/Lo operations are carried out at the Port of Cardiff's container terminal on Queen Alexandra Dock. Whereas in Dublin Port, Coronel built in 1978 is catered for within either Alexandra Basin east or west (as seen departing from) in this file photo when bound for Cardiff.
Cardiff port is accessed via the lockgate into Cardiff Bay and the Severn Estuary and is where the 1978 built Coronel acts as a 'feeder' ship for CCL. As the operator in association with Borchard Lines provides a weekly Cardiff-Mediterranean Sea 'liner' service on their West Coast UK service.
The Borchard Lines service calls to the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Greece and extends further east in the Mediterranean to ports in Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt.