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Displaying items by tag: Cancelled Sailing

W.B. Yeats which was delayed in dry-dock has finally re-entered Irish Ferries Dublin-Cherbourg route as the cruise-ferry completed the Ireland-France round trip today, however this afternoon's sailing to the continent is cancelled due to bad weather, writes Jehan Ashmore.

It was in the first week of last month when W.B. Yeats arrived at Harland & Wolff to their Belfast Dry-Dock (B.D.D) to undergo routine annual winter overhaul though the cruise-ferry remained in the facility beyond what was envisaged. W.B. Yeats, however recommenced operating with a departure from Dublin on Tuesday afternoon as observed when passing through the port’s entrance.

The cruiseferry from Cherbourg returned to Dublin this morning in southeast winds, reaching gale or strong force conditions that were forecasted to be Force 8 during yesterday. This led to two cargo ships, the self-discharging Astind (see story) and containership Heinrich Ehler in Dublin Bay having to weigh anchor and ride-out the bad weather overnight. As of today, Astind which is a general cargo ship was scheduled to call to Dublin, however having been tracked, is now diverted to Belfast and is due to arrive tomorrow morning.

Today's afternoon cancelled Sailing 

As alluded above, the W.B. Yeats return sailing today to France at 1600hrs has been cancelled as according to Irish Ferries this is due to adverse weather conditions, though the next available sailing is tomorrow, 8 December.

Originally, W.B. Yeats was to return from Belfast to serve the Ireland-France route before the end of last month, yet Irish Ferries had to defer dates by continuously cancelling sailings due to ‘operational reasons’ as the cruiseferry remained in dry-dock. This forced the ropax Epsilon to continue operating continental crossings, as such reflecting the changing ferry scene in which developments can be very fluid. 

The disruption affected notably passengers, as at short notice, W.B. Yeats crossings were cancelled, as the deferred knock-on saw the no frills service of Epsilon standing in to cover cruise-ferry crossings. On some advertised sailings, the passenger-booking engine of Irish Ferries website, saw that the ropax was made only available to freight-only customers, though scheduled sailings by another ropax Norbay, recently chartered from P&O to (eventually) replace Epsilon, maintained to a full passenger/freight service on the Ireland-France route.

These sailings by Norbay, are operated albeit at weekends, whereas when serving on the Dublin-Holyhead they are maintained during weekdays in tandem with the Ireland-Wales route’s main vessel, cruise-ferry Ulysses which runs to a full week roster. During the festive period, W.B. Yeats is to swap place with the Norbay on the Dublin-Holyhead route, so to boost capacity with Ulysses on the Ireland-Wales route. Whilst Norbay is left to operate on the Ireland-France route on days leading up to and after Christmas Day. 

Another fleetmate, the fast-ferry Dublin Swift had previously ceased the summer /autumn season with the craft completing crossings to the capital in late October. This was followed by a repositioning passage to the Welsh capital, Cardiff, where it is in layover mode over the winter.

It was in the early hours of last Monday, when W.B. Yeats departed Belfast and arrived to the Irish capital the next day at around 1100hrs The cruise-ferry would not immediately enter service as Epsilon was on its final sailing with Irish Ferries, from France that ended in Dublin Port on Tuesday afternoon. The cruise-ferry therefore remained in port during that day and overnight in Dublin, not at Ferry Terminal 1 but berthed in Alexandra Basin along Ocean Pier, where CLdN Ro Ro SA freight ferries routinely use on direct Dublin-Belgium/Netherlands routes.

As mentioned Epsilon concluded the round trip from Cherbourg with a crossing completed in Dublin Port on Tuesday. This was observed as the distinctive blue lights on the navigation deck were clearly visible in an ever darkening late afternoon coupled with choppy grey seas as Epsilon entered Dublin Bay at around 16.15hrs. Of the freight trailers loaded on the uppermost vehicle deck, they could be seen on the exposed weather deck that leads into the same forward enclosed deck. This is where passenger facilities are located and above a further two decks, including passenger cabins and crew quarters alongside the bridge that forms as part of the overall superstructure.

Epsilon’s end of service comes almost exactly a decade since ICG, parent company of Irish Ferries, commenced chartering the then Italian flagged ropax under the name of Cartour Epsilon. The ropax entered a career with Irish Ferries, firstly with a crossing from Holyhead to Dublin on 19 December, 2013. As for the debut on the Ireland-France route in early 2014, this marked also a first for Irish Ferries to launch such a service connecting the Irish capital and continental Europe, this service augmented the Rosslare-Cherbourg route and the seasonal-only service to Roscoff which were operated by the first Oscar Wilde which would be effectively replaced by newbuild W.B. Yeats, albeit using the Dublin-Cherbourg route as outlined below.

The Wexford-Normandy connections were abandoned by Irish Ferries as W.B.Yeats was to run the Dublin-Cherbourg route in 2018, but did not enter service until the next year due to delays in building at the shipyard of FSG Flensburger, Germany. Irish Ferries however retained operations out of Rosslare with the route to Pembroke Dock, south Wales served by Isle of Inishmore (see Dover fleet) followed by chartered tonnage in the form of Blue Star 1. Earlier this year, the Greek flagged ferry was replaced by Star also on charter from Estonian based operator, Tallink, with the cruiseferry renamed as the second Oscar Wilde.

Epsilon at H&W Belfast Dry Dock (B.D.D.)  

Epsilon on occasions had also stood in on the Pembroke route, however the 26,375 gross tons ropax when in Dublin last Tuesday made an overnight passage to Belfast. This led to an arrival next day also to Harland & Wolff not to dry-dock, but to the nearby refit-quay (today shifted to B.D.D.) where a fleetmate of Astind, also a self-discharger, Aasli was alongside this quay briefly for work to be carried out by the shipyard. As alluded above, Aastind operated by Assen Shipping, is ironically bound for Belfast and after discharging cargo, the next port of call is Cardiff where the aforementioned Dublin Swift is wintering.  

As Afloat previously reported, Epsilon is next to embark in a new chapter with owner, Euroafrica Shipping Lines which has ropax and freight ferries operating in Scandinavia. They are managed as part of the Polish ferry operator Unity Line, which has its own ferries and when combined total seven vessels on routes between the country and Sweden and Germany which is a freight-only service.

Published in Irish Ferries

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

Published in Ports & Shipping