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Blue Star 1 Underway in the Mediterranean & Bound for Rosslare Europort Service to the UK

2nd April 2021
File photo of Blue Star 1, a Greek ferry on charter for Irish Ferries Rosslare Europort-Pembroke Dock route is currently in the Mediterranean bound for the Wexford port. The newcomer is now sporting Irish Ferries livery and is to replace Isle of Inishmore which is to transfer to ICG/Irish Ferries new service on the Dover-Calais route. File photo of Blue Star 1, a Greek ferry on charter for Irish Ferries Rosslare Europort-Pembroke Dock route is currently in the Mediterranean bound for the Wexford port. The newcomer is now sporting Irish Ferries livery and is to replace Isle of Inishmore which is to transfer to ICG/Irish Ferries new service on the Dover-Calais route. Credit: Blue Star Ferries-twitter

Blue Star 1, a Greek flagged ferry which Irish Continental Group (ICG) has chartered for their Irish Ferries Rosslare Europort-Pembroke Dock route, has departed Piraeus on a repositioning voyage, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Greek owned Attica Group passenger ro-ro ferry built in 2000, departed Piraeus on Wednesday, is due to arrive at the Co. Wexford ferryport this Monday. Currently, the near 30,000 gross tonnage ferry is offshore of Algeria, north Africa.

Upon entering service on the southern corridor, Blue Star 1 will replace Irish Ferries Isle of Inishmore which after a scheduled dry-docking, will launch ICG's first ever UK-France service, on the prestigious Dover-Calais short-sea route. This is due to take place in June.

This major entry by ICG onto the competitive Strait of Dover service, will enable Irish Ferries to provide hauliers an all inclusive UK land-bridge operation with two existing Irish Sea routes.

ICG's strategic move now consolidates and compliments the continental direct Dublin-Cherbourg to mainland Europe, where Irish Ferries already offers freight hauliers in particular an alternative on the 'Brexit-buster/bypass' route.

When Blue Star 1 enters service this month on the Rosslare-Pembroke route, Isle of Inishmore's departure will mark the end of the last and only 'Isle' named themed ferry serving between Ireland and the UK. 

The theme Irish Ferries introduced following the acquisition by ICG of the ailing Irish State owned B&I Line in 1992 which included the company's 'last' Leinster built by Verolme Cork Dockyard (V.C.D.) in 1981.

During Irish Ferries career, the ferry was renamed Isle of Inishmore and subsequently Isle of Inishturk, this enabled to free up that name for ICG's second custom built newbuild cruiseferry, the Isle of Inishmore.

Upon entry of the Isle of Inishmore in 1997, originally for the Dublin-Holyhead route, that led to displacing Isle of Inishfree, ICG's first newbuild cruiseferry, which transferred to the Rosslare-Pembroke route.

This led to the sale of 'Inishturk' to Canadian east coast operator, CTMA Traversier, however the ferry was withdrawn on St. Patrick's Day and is to be dismantled as a newly acquired Spanish ferry is due to enter service. 

Afloat will have more to report on this story of a rare Irish built cross-channel car ferry. 

Published in Rosslare Europort
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 Rosslare Europort

2021 sees Rosslare Europort hitting a new record with a total of 36 shipping services a week operating from the port making it one of the premier Irish ports serving the European Continent. Rosslare Europort is a gateway to Europe for the freight and tourist industries. It is strategically located on the sunny south-east coast of Ireland.

Rosslare is within a 90-minute driving radius of major Irish cities; Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Rosslare Europort is a RoRo, RoPax, offshore and bulk port with three RoRo berths with a two-tier linkspan, we also have a dedicated offshore bulk berth.

Exports in Rosslare Europort comprise mainly of fresh products, food, pharmaceuticals, steel, timber and building supplies. While imports are largely in the form of consumer goods such as clothes, furniture, food, trade vehicles, and electronics.

The entire Europort is bar-swept to 7.2 meters, allowing unrestricted access to vessels with draughts up to 6.5 metres. Rosslare Europort offers a comprehensive service including mooring, stevedoring and passenger-car check-in for RoRo shipping lines. It also provides facilities for offshore, dry bulk and general cargo.

The port currently has twice-daily round services to the UK and direct services to the continent each day. Rosslare Europort has a fleet of Tugmasters service, fork-lift trucks, tractors and other handling equipment to cater for non-standard RoRo freight.

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