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Displaying items by tag: WestCork Tourism

12th September 2010

Fastnet Line Exceed Expectations

Fastnet Line recorded carrying over 60,000 passengers up to the end of August since the Cork-Swansea route re-opened in March, served by the 21,699 tonnes M.V. Julia, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Commenting on the inaugural season, Paul O'Brien, general manager of Fastnet Line said figures were ahead in June, July and August by an average of 10%. Over 13,000 passengers were carried during July and 15,000 in August on the 10-hour service.

Businesses in the south-west region have reported increased tourism activity and is it from here and in south Wales that many of the shareholders have invested to form the West Cork Tourism Co-operative, which runs Fastnet Line. In 2006, the previous operator of the route, Swansea-Cork Ferries closed the service after selling their vessel, the Superferry to interests abroad.

Marketshare between Ireland and UK passengers appears to be evenly split with the tourist gateway to south-west Ireland proving particularly
popular with Londoners reaching Swansea using the M4 motorway. Motorists can save over 600km /370 miles on the direct round trip compared to alternative ferry routes between Rosslare and Pembrokeshire ports.

During the first two months of operation, booking revenues were in excess of £3m (sterling) alone, with over 15,000 passengers using the 1,860 capacity and freight-ferry, Julia. Unsurprisingly there was a 100% boost in April bookings arising from travel disruption caused by the Icelandic volvanic ash-cloud.

The year-round overnight service operated eight sailings weekly in the high season and is now down to six. Notably there are no Monday sailings as Julia spends a lay-over period at the Ringaskiddy ferry terminal in Cork.

The freight market will continue to be important factor during the offseason with the British Bermuda flagged Julia capable of loading 40 trucks or trailers. As for passengers, Fastnet are promoting short-break and mini-cruise offers only on sailings up to December 21st.

Published in Ports & Shipping

About Pamela Lee, Irish Offshore Sailor

Ireland has produced some of the world’s most dedicated offshore sailors, and Pamela Lee of Greystones is one of them. She has made a name for herself in the sailing world, having worked as a mate on a charter Super-yacht for two and a half years. After coming ashore, she has been fully committed to her offshore sailing ambitions since 2019.

Lee has raced in various craft, including Figaro 3s, Class 40, Tp 52s, and multihulls, and has eight transatlantic crossings under her belt. In partnership with Kenny Rumball, Lee supported Rumball’s La Solitaire du Figaro sailing campaign to secure the Irish berth in the proposed Mixed Offshore Keelboat event for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

One of Lee’s stated main aims is to promote female empowerment in sport, and she set out to establish a double-handed Round Ireland speed record with Englishwoman Cat Hunt in the winter of 2020. This campaign gained much publicity, and Lee expressed pride in bringing sailing and offshore sailing, in particular, into the conversation for 2020.

To further her offshore sailing career, Lee moved to France, where she has recently secured a place to skipper a yacht in the Transat Jacques Vabre Challenge in October 2023. Lee’s passion and dedication to offshore sailing are inspiring, and her achievements are a testament to her hard work and perseverance.