|Type||Freight, passenger, vehicle transport|
Dublin, IrelandDublin, Ireland
|Number of locations||Dublin, Holyhead, Rosslare, Pembroke, Cherbourg, Roscoff & Liverpool|
|Area served||France, Ireland, Wales|
|Key people||Eamonn Rothwell, MD|
|Services||Passenger transportation, Freight transportation|
|Parent||Irish Continental Group|
|Divisions||Irish Ferries and Irish Ferries Freight|
The company's flagship, Ulysses, is the Irish Sea's largest car ferry and when launched was the world's largest car ferry in terms of car-carrying capacity, though not in tonnage. Other ships in the fleet include Isle of Inishmore, Oscar Wilde and the fast ferry Jonathan Swift (aka Dublin Swift according to her visible hull markings). The company also charters out a vessel, Kaitaki to Interisland Line. The company used to charter Pride of Bilbao, but sold her to St Peter Line in 2010.
Irish Ferries is part of the Irish Continental Group (ICG) which trades on the Irish Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. ICG also own the Eucon container line who operate a number of vessels on routes between Ireland and the continent.
The company was formed in 1973 as a joint venture between Irish Shipping Limited, Fearnley & Eger and Swedish company Lion Ferry. Originally called Irish Continental Line, it first operated on the Rosslare–Le Havre with the 547 berth, 210 car ferry MS Saint Patrick. When Irish Shipping Ltd. went into liquidation in 1984, Irish Continental Line was sold off in a management buyout and emerged as Irish Continental Group.
In 1992, Irish Continental Group took over the British and Irish Steam Packet Company Limited, a nationalised company which traded under the name B + I Line and operated ferry services between Dublin–Holyhead as well as Rosslare–Pembroke Dock.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2012)|
On 23 February 2004, Irish Ferries announced that the firm could close over a dispute about a cost-cutting plan if it was not resolved soon. Director of Human Resources Alf McGrath announced the lay-off of 600 staff in the following few days. Also announced was the suspension of the swift ferry from Dublin to Holyhead, the Rosslare–Pembroke service, and the Rosslare route to Cherbourg and Roscoff.
On the 24 March 2005 it became known that, according to SIPTU, a contractor working for Irish Ferries was paying a Filipina woman just over €1 an hour to work as a beauty therapist on board the MS Isle of Inishmore. Salvacion Orge had just begun working as a beauty therapist on the ferry, but the company ended her contract by closing down the service following queries about the wages she was being paid. She refused to disembark from the vessel. A meeting took place on the 29 March 2005 and after two hours of negotiation between her management and the trade union SIPTU, Ms. Orge was granted €24,000. The crew on board the ferry also made a collection for her totalling around €1,000. The next day she flew from Dublin to the Philippines and was reunited with her three teenage children.
On 19 September 2005, Irish Ferries offered voluntary redundancy packages to its 543 seafaring workers on its Irish Sea services on the Dublin–Holyhead and Rosslare–Pembroke routes. The firm stated they could not continue to operate with high fuel costs and increasing competition from rival shipping operators and low-cost airlines. The statement also said the situation had deteriorated that year with a 9% drop in the Irish Sea car passenger market and rises of up to 50% in the cost of fuel. The decision by Irish Ferries to outsource crewing on its Rosslare to France routes earlier that year led to a strike and demonstrations in France.
In late November 2005, the outsourcing of the crewing of two Irish Ferries vessels commenced and the contractor's employees came on board. This led to a stand-off between management and crew, and an intense political debate in Ireland.
On 9 December 2005, a nationwide day of protest was called by the Irish Council of Trade Unions against the company's actions. Over 100,000 people were said[by whom?] to have participated, including 40,000 in Dublin. The protest stopped all public transport for over four hours.
The dispute was ultimately resolved through the Irish Labour Relations Commission, with a legally binding agreement reached between the company and the trades unions.
LANDBRIDGE A landbridge with Irish Ferries allows you to travel to and from continental Europe via Britain. You can travel from Dublin to Holyhead on the Ulysses, Cartour Epsilon, Jonathan Swift (dublin swift). Or from Rosslare to Pembroke on The Isle Of Inishmore. You can then travel onwards from Britain to France with one of Irish Ferries partner companies - P&O Ferries, Brittany Ferries, etc.;
|Ship||Built||Entered Service||Route||Crossing Times||Gross Tonnage||Notes|
|MV Isle of Inishmore||1997||1997||Rosslare - Pembroke Dock||4 hours||34,031 GT|
|HSC Jonathan Swift||1999||1999||5,992 GT||IN DRY DOCK|
|MV Ulysses||2001||2001||Dublin–Holyhead||3 hours 25 minutes||50,938 GT||The Irish Sea's largest car ferry. In January 2006 the Ulysses was re-flagged and now flies the Cypriot flag, registered in Limassol.|
|MV Oscar Wilde||1987||2007||31,122 GT||DRY DOCK.|
|MV Cartour Epsilon||2011||2014||Dublin–Cherbourg/Dublin-Holyhead||19 hours/3 hrs 25 minutes||26,375 GT||Operating the Dublin - Holyhead & Dublin - Cherbourg Route|
Ships under charter to other companies
|Ship||Under charter to||Built||Purchased by Irish Ferries||Route||Tonnage1||Notes|
|MV Kaitaki||Interisland Line||1995||1995||Picton–Wellington||22,365 GT||Sailed for Irish Ferries as Isle of Innisfree 1995–2001|
|1May be specified in gross tonnage (GT) or gross register tons (GRT).|
New vessel for French service
Irish Ferries took delivery of the 1989–built MS Kronprins Harald from the Norwegian shipping company Color Line in September 2007. The ship was renamed MS Oscar Wilde and is currently in operation between Rosslare Europort–Cherbourg and Roscoff. She entered service in December 2007 on the Dublin–Holyhead route, then the Rosslare–Pembroke Dock route, and finally to her selected route, Rosslare–Cherbourg and Rosslare–Roscoff. Instead of receiving the traditional white hull of Irish Ferries, the ship maintained the blue hull of Color Line.
New vessel for French service 2
This weekend (Saturday, 18th January 2014), Irish Ferries will inaugurate its new direct weekend car ferry service between Dublin and the French port of Cherbourg. The new 19-hours service will be operated by the passenger car and freight ferry vessel Epsilon which the company acquired recently under a charter arrangement. Sailings will depart from the Ferryport terminal in Dublin at 15.30 hrs on Saturday and will arrive in Cherbourg at 11.30hrs on Sunday morning. It will return to Dublin later that day, departing Cherbourg at 17.00hrs arriving back in Ireland on Monday morning.
Third Route Option The introduction of the new Dublin to Cherbourg service gives holidaymakers travelling into and out of Ireland a third route option, augmenting, as it does, the company’s services from Rosslare to Cherbourg and Rosslare to Roscoff. Timed to arrive in Cherbourg early enough to facilitate easy onward travel to campsites and holiday centres throughout France, the new service is expected to prove popular with families and hauliers alike.
On board Epsilon, the once-weekly, year round service will offer a more limited range of cabins and passenger attractions when compared with those on board the company’s cruise ferry Oscar Wilde which will continue to service routes from Rosslare to Cherbourg and Roscoff as before. Bringing access to European motorways into the heart of Dublin city, the new service will extend the appeal of a motoring holiday in France to an even wider market. For those living in the northern half of the country, it eliminates driving to Rosslare and cuts the motoring time and cost involved.
MV Epsilon Built in 2011, the Epsilon has capacity for 500 passengers. Modest facilities on board include a bar, cafeteria, self-service restaurant, 68 two and four berth cabins all with TV, free wi-fi service and 2,860 lane metres of vehicle deck parking space. Commenting Irish Ferries head of passenger sales, Dermot Merrigan said ‘our new Dublin to Cherbourg direct service will appeal to those living within and beyond our capital city. Fast access straight through the city or from the Dublin Port Tunnel ensures that our new Ireland – France service will be more accessible to all.’
Fares and offers for this new Dublin to Cherbourg service can be viewed on the Irish Ferries website www.irishferries.com. When not operating on the Dublin to Cherbourg service, Epsilon will sail between Dublin and Holyhead increasing Irish Ferries services on the route to a maximum of twelve sailings each day.
|Ship||Years in service||Gross Register Tonnage||Status as of 2008|
|MS Saint Patrick||1972–1982||7,819 GRT /||In 1982 renamed the St. Colum 1 and transferred to Belfast Car Ferries. Scrapped as EXPRESS P at Alang, India in August 2005|
|MS Saint Killian
MS Saint Killian II
|Scrapped in Alang, 2007|
|MS Saint Patrick II||1982–1997||7,984 GRT||Since 2002 sailing as MS C.T.M.A. Vacancier for Coopérative de transport maritime et aérien|
|Isle of Inishmore
Isle of Inishturk
|6,807 GRT||Since 1997 sailing as Madeleine for Coopérative de transport maritime et aérien|
|MS Normandy||1998–2007||17,043 GRT||sold to Equinox Offshore Accommodation and[when?] chartered to the Morocco-based Ferrimaroc. Scrapped in Alang, 2012|
|MS Pride of Bilbao
|37,799 GRT||Sailed under charter to P&O Ferries. Since 2010 sailing as Princess Anastasia for St. Peter Line.|
|MS Thomas Wehr||1992||7,628 GRT||Briefly sailed as a freight vessel on charter to Irish Ferries, now MV Lider|
- "Irish Ferries". Irish Ferries Enthusiasts Group. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- (Swedish) "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S OSCAR WILDE i Fredericia 10/10-2007". Archived from the original on 31 July 2012.. Retrieved 12.10.2007
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Irish Ferries.|
- Irish Ferries – Online Tickets Sales & Reservations
- Irish Continental Group (corporate)
- Irish Ferries (consumer)
- (Irish ferries enthusiasts site)