Shannon Ferry

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'Shannon Ferry Group' (also known as 'Shannon Ferries') is an Irish private company that operates a ro-ro ferry crossing of the River Shannon between the counties of Clare and Kerry. The company is based in Killimer Co. Clare, with the service operating between Killimer and Tarbert Co Kerry. It currently operates two ro-ro ferries, the Shannon Dolphin and the Shannon Breeze. It is the busiest domestic ferry service in Ireland.

Prior to the introduction of the service the quickest way to travel between the two locations was via Limerick city, a 137km/85mile journey. The service therefore saved hours on the travel time between Kerry and West Clare. It is a very popular tourist route as it is the fastest route between the popular tourist destinations of Kerry (i.e. Dingle, Killarney) and north to Clare (i.e. The Cliffs of Moher, The Burren) and Galway (i.e. Galway City, Connemara). The River Shannon is the largest and deepest river in the British Isles, making a bridging very difficult and expensive.

The crossing takes approximately 20 minutes and operates on an hourly basis all year round (except Christmas Day), with additional services during the summer doubling frequency.[1] There are toilet facilities on the Tarbert side, and a gift shop, cafe and toilet facilities on the Killimer side.[2]

The service was inaugurated in 1969, with six families based on both sides of the crossing investing to create the company.[3]

Vessel history[4][edit]

Name Years Builder Cars Pax Note
Shannon Heather 1969-1997 Dartmouth 30 250 Sold to Passage East Ferries
Shannon Willow 1979-2003 Bowling 44 300 Sold to Lough Foyle Ferries
Shannon Dolphin 1995-present Appledore 52 350
Shannon Breeze 2000-present Appledore 60 350

References[edit]