Irish Ferries has announced a new ferry for its Rosslare-Pembroke route and a new service on its Dover-Calais route.
New Rosslare-Pembroke Ferry
An announcement Irish Ferries' website revealing the new ferry for the Rosslare-Pembroke route stated, "Irish Ferries is pleased to announce the addition of the RoRo [roll on, roll off] passenger ferry Blue Star 1 to its Rosslare to Pembroke Dock route. The ship is being chartered from the Attica Group and delivery is expected in early April 2021.
"Blue Star 1 was built in 2000 by the Van der Giessen de Noord shipyard in the Netherlands, the same shipyard that in 1997 built Irish Ferries Isle of Inishmore, currently servicing the Rosslare to Pembroke Dock route. The Blue Star 1 has the capacity to carry up to 1,500 passengers, 100 freight vehicles and up to 700 cars depending on freight volume. The ship offers a host of quality facilities including 192 cabins for freight drivers/passengers, self-service restaurant, café/bar, Club Class lounge, onboard duty-free shop, children's play area and spacious outdoor decks. The tripling of cabin numbers will facilitate more single occupancy cabins for freight drivers, a welcome development for our freight customers."
Irish Ferries managing director Andrew Sheen commented, "We are very pleased to add a quality ship of the calibre of the versatile Blue Star 1 to the Irish Ferries fleet. This ship will be the fastest RoRo Passenger ship operating between Britain and Ireland, and this will help ensure schedule integrity. The introduction of this ship underlines our commitment to the Rosslare to Pembroke route, the primary shipping corridor between Ireland and south Wales. It also underlines our commitment to the significant contribution that this route makes in facilitating trade for both exporters and importers as well as facilitating essential passenger movements and future tourists as the country reopens post COVID-19."
New Dover-Calais Route Service
Meanwhile, an announcement on the website of Irish Ferries parent company Irish Continental Group (ICG) revealing the new Irish Ferries service on the Dover-Calais route stated, "Irish Ferries, a subsidiary of Irish Continental Group plc (ICG), is pleased to announce a new service on the Dover-Calais route. This service is planned to start in June 2021, with the transfer of the Isle of Inishmore to the route. Additional capacity will be added in the coming months.
"Irish Ferries is the market leader for freight and passengers between Britain and the Republic of Ireland, a leadership position that has been built on the twin pillars of customer focus and investment in purpose built ships for each route.
"We are very excited about launching our services on the best short sea ferry market in the world and we believe we can bring more choice for customers in the years ahead.
"As part of our commitment to the movement of freight on and off the island of Ireland to both the UK and Europe, this additional capacity on the Dover-Calais route will significantly strengthen the capacity and reliability of the landbridge for exporters and importers. Hauliers will now have one operator providing an inclusive service on the Dublin-Holyhead, Rosslare-Pembroke and Dover-Calais routes. This will allow exporters and importers easier, cheaper, and quicker access to our European markets via the Common Transit Convention.
"It is intended to offer passenger services on the route. The initial level of passenger services offered will be dependent on the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions."
Port of Dover chief executive Doug Bannister stated, "We are delighted to welcome Irish Ferries to Dover. This announcement gives the millions of customers across the UK and the Republic of Ireland who value the intrinsic benefits of the shortest sea crossing to Europe, the prospect of even more choice. We believe the inclusive landbridge product will be popular with Irish exporters and will strengthen the just in time supply chain into the European Union. This is a clear signal of market confidence in the Dover route and will complement the resilient services currently provided. We wish Irish Ferries every success and look forward to having them on the route in the summer and working together as part of the Dover team building the future success of the Short Straits."
Port of Calais chairman Jean-Marc Puissesseau added, "The commencement of the service operated by Irish Ferries emphasises the strategic position of the port of Calais in the trade between Ireland, the United Kingdom and the continent. It is a clear sign of confidence just a few weeks before the opening of the new port of Calais."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.