Monday 25 January 2010
Excitement is building ashore and on board as the launch date (lst March 2010) of the inaugural sailing from Cork to Swansea aboard the impressive MV Julia approaches.
Stakeholders, tourism bodies, small businesses, the Irish diaspora, and the public at large are logging on to the Fastnet Line’s website on a daily basis checking out the offers available and, according to Tom Barrett Chief Executive of Fastnet Line, sailing bookings are now topping 1,800 confirmed bookings with 2 out of 3 bookings coming from the UK market.
‘The service expects to enjoy strong demand from both tourist and freight customers on both sides of the Irish Sea. Fastnet Line believes that it will contribute greatly to the development and promotion of tourism in the south and sustain more than 1,000 jobs. The service is worth more than €50 million annually to the local economy. We look forward to welcoming passengers aboard our fantastic ship and providing a relaxing and efficient route between the South West of Ireland and the UK’.
Mr. Barrett went on to outline the cost-effective packages available to families in particular, with their current on-line offer, with children travelling free and special fares for bookings before the end of January, subject to certain conditions. ‘Freight carriers and groups too, are well catered for, and with the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday, Easter and Cheltenham Races, and The Ryder Cup and Glastonbury Festival later on in the year. This is a great opportunity to sail away on a mini-cruise and explore new horizons in the greater Swansea area, or head on to London which is just 3 hours on the M4 from the ferry port in Swansea’ he said.
He also stressed that, on the flip side, UK visitors can pop over to Cork and the South West to ‘enjoy our gorgeous scenery, excellent hotel and guesthouse rates and unique shopping experiences. This region is renowned for its sailing, walking tours in the Cork and Kerry region, excellent surfing and a reputation for the best in Irish food. With several events and festivals throughout the region including the West Cork Rally (St. Patrick’s Weekend), Baltimore Heritage Festival in April, West Cork Walking Festival in May and down the line this area has so much to offer with Live at the Marquee and Cork Week sailing in June and July and so many more festivals running throughout the year. All this contributed to tourism in the area which benefits all of us’.
As the service counts down to its date of departure, the crew of the MV Julia are going full steam ahead in preparing the vessel for its seaward journeys, working closely with health and safety bodies, local suppliers and its many supporters in ensuring that everything goes to plan. Mr. Barrett told us: ‘MV Julia is a comfortable, sturdy and seaworthy passenger/car ferry. It is well capable of providing a year-round service, and is backed by a team of industry professionals who have sailed the seven seas in vessels such as this. We are looking forward to welcoming people aboard for an enjoyable and safe trip to and from Swansea.’
For further information or to arrange an interview with The Fastnet Line personnel please call:
Mary Hopkins/Judy Hopkins
Hopkins Communications Cork
00 353 21 4272200; 00 353 87 2540804 (cellphone).
Fastnet Line is a wholly owned subsidiary of West Cork Tourism Co-op which was set up in April 2009 following a long public campaign to reintroduce this much-missed service to the South West region of Ireland. Funded mainly by private investors from Cork, Kerry and South Wales, the service has been dubbed “The Peoples’ Ferry”. The Co-Op acquired the ship in September 09.
Fastnet Line executives and managers have several years of experience in ferry, hotel and customer-service environments and aim to make the new service the most convenient and comfortable way to cross the Irish Sea. This, coupled with an overwhelming support for the service both in its local area and in Wales, augurs well for the success of this year-round service.
Investors: Fastnet Line is also offering investment opportunities for those interested in becoming members of the Co-Op or through investment in secured bonds. Information on www.fastnetline.com
or from 00 353 21 555 666 (9-9 weekdays).
This all year round service, which will carry passengers, cars, commercial freight, campers/caravans, bikes and pets will run 6 nights a week, with additional sailings in high-season, i.e. July and August.
Sailing will be overnight departing at 21.00 hours and arriving 07.00 a.m. next day.
154 metres long (longer than Croke Park, Ireland’s largest football stadium!).
Max passenger capacity: 1,860
Max car capacity: 440
Max Freight capacity: 40 trucks/trailers.
Public Areas: Extensive deck areas for sightseeing.
Cinema: On board cinema
Shopping: On board retail
Activities on Board: Casino.
Crew: Crew of 80.
Bars : Includes the The Cape Clear Bar, named after Ireland’s most southerly island and The Island Bar –spacious and comfortable and providing entertainment.
Restaurants: There are four restaurants aboard to cater to all tastes including The Fastnet Restaurant which will offer a grill room style menu and a self-service style restaurant with children’s menu.
Kennels: On board dog kennels - 15 kennels
Versatile ship which is well suited to the route.
Road trip savings of over 600km over alternative sea crossings.
Comfort and luxury: Consider the sea crossing as a mini-cruise. With comfortable cabins, extensive public areas and a selection of restaurants and bars passengers can enjoy life on the ocean wave en route to their destination.
The MV Julia docks at the Ferry Terminal, Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork – just 16km outside Cork city (23 mins). West Cork and all its glorious beaches, scenery and excellent bars, restaurants, hotels and family destinations is less than an hour’s drive from the ferry terminal.
The MV Julia docks in Swansea docks with direct access to the M4, and just 1.5km from Swansea City Centre. Cities on the M4 route include Newport, Swindon , Reading and London, offering exciting rendevous points in the hinterland. The M5 from Swansea takes you into the heart of Devon and Cornwall or visitors can drive north and explore Wales and all it has to offer.
CURRENT OFFERS/SAILING INFORMATION:
Irish Reservations 021 4378892
Shareholders Reservations 021 4378892
Group & Freight Reservations 021 4378892
UK Reservations +44 (0) 844 576 8831
For information on visitor attractions please log on to: