The newly released Irish Ferries schedules for 2018 mark a significant shift both in schedules but also in the way in which the Company deploys its ferry fleet.
On its arrival from the builders in July 2018 the 55,000-tonne cruise ferry W.B. Yeats will take up service on the Dublin/Cherbourg route operating a once every other day service in each direction while the Oscar Wilde will also take up a new schedule leaving Rosslare on the alternate days and destined for either Cherbourg or Roscoff.
Irish Ferries have planned a revised schedule from mid-September that will see the W.B. Yeats switching to the Holyhead route replacing the Dublin Swift over the winter months, while the Epsilon will maintain a three times weekly Dublin/ Cherbourg service. The Rosslare/ France service will not run over the winter period, thought the Isle of Inishmore will continue to operate her twice daily service to Pembroke out of the Co. Wexford Port.
In terms of trailer capacity both the Epsilon and the W.B. Yeats have a freight capacity on board in the order of three times of that on the Oscar Wilde.
It is understood that Irish Ferries intend to take up their option at the yard to build a sister ship to the W.B. Yeats. These vessels have been designed to operate out of both Dublin and Rosslare.
Irish Ferries, sister company within the Irish Continental Group, ICG Container and Terminal Division was winner of the 2017 Maritime Services Award, sponsored by the IMDO, at the recent Exporters of Year awards ceremony.
Stena Line do not intend to change their current schedules for 2018 and will retain the revised Rosslare-Fishguard schedule introduced earlier in 2017. No significant schedule changes are anticipated from either Seatruck or P & O Ferries.