The Peoples’ Ferry is the nickname that has become attached to the new freight & passenger ferry service operating between Ringaskiddy (Co. Cork, Ireland) and Swansea (Wales). This new service, (run by Fastnet Line Ltd. using the cruiseferry MV Julia (a.k.a. ‘da Julia’) is wholly owned by a co-operative of small investors from West Cork, County Kerry, Ireland, South Wales, the UK and around the world.
This website tells the long and heartwarming story behind the Peoples’s Ferry, the grass-roots campaign which ran from April 2008 to February 2010, and provides up-to-date news about the Co-op, and Fastnet Line.
The four-year interruption of the service (2006 - 2010) made life difficult for business and tourist travellers on both sides of the Irish Sea - but the new route is resoundingly popular with many people who are attracted by the leisurely overnight sailings and the prospect of saving nearly 400 miles of unnecessary driving on each round trip.
Special thanks are due to Noreen O’Donovan (from Limerick) for her amazingly epic limerick all about the Julia.... read it here!
“Should have gone by sea!” The good ladies from Fascinating Aida reveal the truth about those ‘Flights for 50p’ 29th March 2011
Cork - Swansea Ferry - WeddingDates.ie Wife Carrying Team 26th June 2010
Oh happy day! Watch the Peoples’ Ferry arrive in Cork Harbour in this video clip from RTE News - 25/9/09
Many thanks to the folks at RTE - particularly Tom, and to Mark in Schull for his usual video magic.
Cork-Swansea ferry service loses fight for survival Cork-Swansea ferry service loses fight for survival but owners pledge to battle on for Irish-Welsh tourism - 2nd February 2012
The West Cork Tourism Co-Operative Society Limited, owners of the Swansea-to-Cork service (Fastnet Line), today (2 February 2012) announced the end of the service. The Cork-to-Swansea ferry service has been unable to raise adequate funds and the examinership has failed. It is now placed in receivership and/or liquidation later today with the direct loss of 78 jobs and expected losses of €30 million in direct tourist spending in the Munster region and over €20 million in the South Wales region.
Noel Murphy, Chairman of the West Cork Tourism Co-Operative, in an address to staff, shareholders and supporters, said:
"Despite heroic efforts by staff and supporters of the ferry service in both Ireland and Wales, we are very disappointed to announce that we could not to save this vital piece of tourism and transport infrastructure.
The Swansea-Cork Cruise Ferry provides the only direct passenger and freight link between the South West Region of Ireland and the South Wales Region in the UK and in doing so is a key generator of business, direct tourism and tourism related revenues for both regions. It will now enter receivership.
"We would like to thank our friends throughout Ireland and Wales who relied on the ferry service, and the visitors it transported, and who pledged hundreds of thousands of Euro. Unfortunately, these funds and the funds pledged by local council's in Cork and Kerry were insufficient to meet the required figure to achieve the proposed scheme or arrangement. Our efforts fell at the final hurdle.
The funds were there, private and public, to allow us to continue but, despite the best efforts of all involved, state aid rules and red tape choked off the ferry’s chances of sailing again in March 2012.
All private funds committed in our recent request for support will be returned.
We have lost the battle but the war is not lost: the West Cork Tourism Co-Operative Society is still in existence to promote Tourism in West Cork and Kerry and the South west Region of Wales.
We see this as a major opportunity lost for Southern Ireland and Southern Wales. However there are positives. We saw a remarkable grassroots campaign of passengers, small business, local politicians, business leaders and citizens rallying behind the ferry. The people of South Wales and South Munster did not lie down, they fought for this tooth and nail and this spirit will stand us in good stead in this economic climate and bodes well for a resurrection of the service.
The People of Ireland and Wales deserve a better quality of service to interconnect our two communities. We hope that lessons can be learned from this experience. If we have achieved anything we hope that the Welsh and Irish governments will now look actively and positively at building international transport infrastructure rather than letting the recession cut people and businesses off.
Since the launch of service in March 2010, MV Julia has carried over 153,000 passengers and based on current tourist spends, the Cork, Kerry and the surrounding areas economy has benefited by over €55 million during the services current lifetime. A further €7.5 million of goods and services has been purchased by the operating company, Fastnet Line, in the Munster region and €65 million worth of freight has been shipped through the Port of Cork.
With no ferry sailings taking place in 2012, a minimum of 25,000 British tourists will not travel to Ireland, which would represent a further 1% reduction in visitor’s numbers from the 2011 figure. The remaining 35,000 visitors will perhaps visit Ireland via other means, but will in all probability not reach the Cork and Kerry regions owing to the difficulty in doing so with other crossings.
South Wales and Swansea will see tens of thousands less tourists arriving from Ireland and from people in the rest of the UK who passed through Wales as a result of the ferry.
It is sad and ironic that this announcement is made in the same week that a cross-party group of Welsh Assembly Members launched an inquiry into how Welsh ports and airports could be better developed to boost the economy. Welsh Ministers and the National Assembly for Wales have specific powers over transport links, planning policy, grants and other financial assistance and they need to use them to raise the profile of Wales as a country and a tourist destination by increasing international trade and tourism links.
In Ireland the announcement has come as Failte Ireland revealed it has missed its targets for attracting tourists to South Munster.
Most importantly the Co-op leadership team would like to sincerely and publically thank all the loyal supporters and customers of the Cork-Swansea ferry. In particular,
The many great supply partners to the business on both sides of the Irish Sea – the Co-Op very much appreciates their ongoing support and patience and for those suppliers for whom yesterday’s decision means a bad debt we express our sincere apologies. The 453 individual shareholders who believed in the project by investing privately. Our staff – particularly the remaining shore based staff who have been planning the 2012 service from an operational, financial, sales and marketing who regretfully were informed that their jobs were lost this morning – the ship based crew, not only the small team that has been looking after the ship during examinership but the many staff waiting in the wings looking forward to returning to the Julia – we thank you and wish you well. The Port of Cork and the Association of British Ports in Swansea who continued to back and support the service. The Local Authorities in Cork County Council, Cork City Council and Kerry County Council for their continuous support and for seeing the true value of the service right up to the present day. In particular I want to thank the Mayor of Cork Tim Lombard for championing the cause. On the Welsh side we have received strong support from local politicians in all parties and we appreciate their efforts over the past weeks. In particular Welsh Assembly members Mike Hedges, Peter Black, Julie James, David Rees and Byron Davies. MPs Peter Hain, Geraint Davies, Sian James, David Davies, Dr Hywel Francis, Stuart Andrew and Derek Vaughan MEP were also helpful and we ask them not to give up the fight. The examiner – Michael Mc Ateer and his team in Grant Thornton that have worked with such dedication and professionalism. Collectively we came so close to bringing the examinership process to a successful conclusion." Management Consultant Padraic O’Kane who brought clarity and focus to the teams efforts to restructure Fastnet Line and in our efforts to secure the additional funds. We hope the vision of the ferry supporters and the Co-op will be realised in the near future and we know the dedication of these people I've mentioned to tourism in Southern Ireland and Wales will not fade. We only ask that red tape and burdensome rules won’t be allowed to damage viable tourism the trade next time round."
For more information, please contact:
In Ireland Dualta Redmond +353 (0)86 0247 381 Maria Cryan +353 (0) 86 7749 715
In the UK Robert Condon +44 (0)78 2797 3978 Adam Honeyset-Watts +44 (0) 7884 443 119
About the Ferry The Fastnet Line companies are owned by the West Cork Tourism Co-Operative Society Limited, which was formed in April 2009 to fund and operate the ferry as a community-based cooperative of over 450 investors and enterprises, in both Wales and Ireland.
The West Cork Tourism Cooperative presented an investment proposal to the Court-appointed examiner in early 2012 in order to ensure the survival of the unique cruise ferry service between the two countries.
Fastnet Line Celebrates First Anniversary Co. Cork, Ireland — 10 Mar. 2011 Fastnet Line the company which runs the Cork to Swansea ferry route celebrates the first anniversary of operations on Thursday 10th March. The first sailing on the route since 2006 took place on this date in 2010 when the Julia set sail from Swansea to Cork.
The re-establishment of the route was a boost to tourism on both sides of the Irish Sea last year and saw Fastnet Line exceed its targets for vehicles and passengers in a highly successful first season. More than 80,000 people travelled on the route between March and December 2010 in a year which saw the importance of access by sea emphasised during the now infamous “ash cloud crisis”.
Fastnet Line has also established a cost effective route for freight in and out of the south of Ireland and the UK and with Swansea directly connecting to the motorway network in the UK the miles saved for hauliers is becoming an increasingly important factor in these times of rising fuel prices.
Commenting on the prospects for 2011, Phil Jones CEO of Fastnet Line said, “We were delighted with our first year of operations and learned a lot but that is in the past now and we look forward to the challenges ahead. We are determined to build on the solid foundations we have created and with tight cost control and an aggressive strategy for marketing in the UK supported once again by our partners in Tourism Ireland we intend to do everything we can to increase numbers this year.”
A new range of value products including short breaks will go on sale from Monday 14th March and Fastnet Line also will continue its policy of targeting major sporting events on both sides of the water including Heineken Cup, Six Nations rugby, Cheltenham Racing Festival, the West Cork Rally and the Racing Home for Easter festival at Cork Racecourse.
Conor Buckley Chairman of West Cork Tourism Co-Op, the owners of Fastnet Line, said, “2011 promises to be a challenging year again for everyone in the tourist industry but the members of the Co-Op are determined to promote themselves strongly in our key market in the UK. We will also encourage everyone to use the route from Cork to Swansea in both directions as much as possible in order to ensure the viability of the business for the long term benefit of the whole community.” To find out more and book your 2011 trip - www.fastnetline.com
23/11/10 Why Invest in the Ferry Co-op? Alan Wood, Member WCT Co-Operative Tourism Society
Anyone who has done it, knows that it takes 3 years to found a business, another 2 years to consolidate the foundations, and from there you have to go on refreshing it every year and building in 3-5 year cycles depending on the industry you are in. The leading manufacturing companies in the world think and plan in 20 year cycles; the leading service companies have to gallop fast just to keep pace with the rate of change and the competition.
Many good businesses have been started not with an original idea but with a copy of an old, proven idea to which they add appealing variations. That’s essentially what has happened with the new ferry that serves the route between Swansea and Cork; a route on which the previous ferry carried 2,850,000 passengers over 20 years but which went out of service for technical reasons in 2006.
The Fastnet Line brought the MV Julia in to serve the route in 2010 with the concept of passengers’ holidays starting when they step on board the ship. This means more and better cabins where you are welcomed with wine and a bowl of fresh fruit; more and better restaurants to give you a relaxed choice. And more time to enjoy the facilities. In the old days, passengers hated the 6am wake up call blaring over the tannoy, with a reminder 30 minutes later to clear their cabins. On the Julia you sail an hour earlier, giving you ample time for dinner, and you disembark an hour later in morning, refreshed, relaxed and ready to go after a shower and a good breakfast.
The first year of any business is brutal; all the money is flowing outwards and the work involved is enormous. Most people who have done it say ‘had they really known how hard it was going to be, they would not have done it’. And so it was for the Fastnet Line, almost buried under a ton of legal and technical work, all of which cost £1.5 million more than planned. Yet after a few weeks delay, the ferry came into service and by year end it will have carried 85,000 passengers in less than ten months.
There are many reasons why you should invest in this ferry business, the most compelling of which is that it is fulfilling a needed service to a proven market.
Not many businesses begin with a two year market research campaign before they start. Not many businesses take that research campaign directly to the people who used the service before and want it back. Not many businesses actually raise €3 million start up capital from those same people, many its future customers. But that is precisely what happened through ‘the bring back’ campaign. Those who demanded the return of the ferry provided the seed corn funds.
Another reason for investing is that the founders used a Co-operative mechanism Co-operatives have a history of success in Ireland and there is a wealth of experience in running them. They are set up to serve their customers and their members, in this instance to build ferry passenger, car and haulier traffic, and to promote tourism in the region. Then there are the classic reasons that accrue over time from a successful business: capital growth and dividends. Plus there are the added attraction of substantial discounts on fares for member passengers, and the promotion of businesses in the ship’s Tourist Information Office. Most of all there is the daily flow of cars and passengers, bringing business to South Wales and South West Ireland.
We are seeking further investment and members to secure the future of the ferry service, the re-creation of which was hard fought and hard won. If you would like to participate contact Roy Maguire at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will explain the different options. To see for yourself the personal benefits of becoming a Shareholder in Fastnet Line - see here.
16/10/10 Success of Fastnet Line exceeds expectations By Leo McMahon, Southern Star
FASTNET Line, which has exceeded all expectations in passenger numbers and freight traffic in its first year of business with the Cork-Swansea ferry Julia and brought some much needed good news for the recession-hit region, launched its Business Expansion Scheme (BES) on Monday at the Custom House, Cork. more
12/9/10 Co-op Shareholder Update
Fastnet Line News
Fastnet Line announced recently that it had exceeded its targets for the period June to August by an average of 10% in both volume and revenue terms. The Julia has now carried more than 60,000 passengers in the year to date with increased visitors noticeable on both sides of the Irish Sea. Swansea Bay Tourism recently carried out a very successful promotion in a major shopping centre in Cork City gathering lots of interest in opportunities to visit the Swansea Bay area.
Fastnet Line assisted in the promotion by teaming up with Swansea Bay Tourism to provide a prize of a free return crossing in a draw for all of those who signed up for information on the stand. In addition, in the re-launch of the Southern Star newspaper which is read by more than 100,000 people across Cork and Kerry, a similar prize of a weekend in Swansea is being offered by the two bodies combining once again.
Fastnet Line Announces 2010 Business Expansion Scheme Launch
Following a very successful first summer season Fastnet Line Operators Ltd. has announced they will be seeking additional funding in 2011 by way of a Business Expansion Scheme (BES) investment offering to fund the continued expansion of the business. The announcement was made at a briefing for tax advisors on board MV Julia on the 6th September. The BES is a scheme for Irish taxpayers only with relief given at the investor’s highest rate of income tax.
The BES will be formally launched at the beginning of October but anyone wishing to register for a prospectus may do so by contacting Peter Roberts or Ciaran O’Shea at Roberts Nathan Corporate & Private, 4th Floor, The Atrium, Blackpool Business Park, Cork on 021 421 7940 or at email@example.com, and they will be happy to assist you.
Plans are being made for the AGM of the Co-op which will take place in late October/early November in West Cork to be followed by an information meeting for UK shareholders who cannot attend, in Swansea shortly afterwards. The Co-op hosted the Irish Minister for Tourism, Mary Hanafin recently on a two day visit to West Cork where she visited the MV Julia at Ringaskiddy before embarking on an extensive round of meetings with tourism businesses and interest groups. The Co-op emphasised the importance of the ferry link to inbound tourism and the need to support the route over the coming years.
New Short Break Products
Fastnet Line has announced new short break prices for the rest of the year and will extend these special offers into 2011. They range from one day trips without a car to either Cork or Swansea including two night’s accommodation on board starting from €59/£59 per person sharing in Nov./Dec. to €89/£79 in September. For those who wish to have a short break of three to four days with your car the offers start from €85/£73 per person sharing again including on board cabin accommodation.
7/8/10 ‘People’s Ferry’ bucks the trend! Southern Star
While visitor numbers to Ireland from the UK continue to show a decline in the latest Tourism Ireland figures released last week, the re-instatement of the Swansea to Cork ferry route by Fastnet Line, has seen the impact cushioned by the runaway success of the cruiseferry MV Julia this summer. more
12/7/10 Cork Artist presents painting to Fastnet Line
Cork artist Pat O'Dwyer presenting his painting of the Fastnet Rock to Paul O'Brien from Fastnet Line at the 3rd annual Coast Art Collective art show in Ballinspittle.
The show runs from 10th - 18th July and features more than 20 local artists and craftspeople - as part of Kinsale Arts Week. www.coastartcollective.com
Fastnet Line have kindly provided a Draw prize of free return tickets for two adults, car and accommodation on-board the Julia - simply visit the exhibition in the Parish Hall, Ballinspittle and sign the visitors’ book to enter the free draw
Photo Noreen O'Callaghan
24/6/10 - The People's Ferry: reducing emissions by buying a ship Paul Miles in The Ecologist
“How a discontinued ferry service between Swansea and Cork was reborn when locals pooled money and resources...and bought their own ship” more
08/5/10 West Cork Tourism update Carol Gilbert - Southern Star
The West Cork Tourism Co-op, which owns Fastnet Line, has been running a series of information meetings - Carol Gilbert reports from the Skibbereen meeting. more
24/4/10 Time for a sea change? Catherine Mack - Irish Times
ETHICAL TRAVELLER: Catherine Mack on responsible tourism
I WAS ONE of 10 foot passengers on Fastnet Line’s new Swansea to Cork ferry three weeks ago. And three of the other nine were my family. Then a volcano erupted – and, with it, tens of thousands of travel plans. On our return journey we were among 500 foot passengers, most in suits. The ferry staff were in shock. more
20/4/10 -Little volcano’ means big business for ferry firms By Dan Buckley - Irish Examiner "IT’S mad busy," says Margaret Hegarty, spokesperson for Fastnet Line, which runs the Cork to Swansea ferry service. "It hasn’t stopped all day. It’s amazing what one little volcano can do." more
17/4/10 New ferry route between Swansea and Cork by Catherine Mack www.greentraveller.co.uk A nice positive write-up on the Julia experience - more
15/04/10 Ash Cloud brings further problems for Cardiff Airport BBC News A volcanic ash cloud emanating from Iceland will keep Cardiff airport closed until at least 1300 BST on Friday, authorities have said. more (But Fastnet Line keep sailing!)
13/04/10 Campaign Newsletter - April 2010 - Now we are two - Special Offers ..and Adrian’s guilty secret is revealed! more
10/4/10 - The Swansea-Cork ferry route is back By Libby Purves - The Times
“Libby Purves takes a slow boat to Ireland saving 380 miles’ driving, and enjoys a cabin and a fine Irish breakfast” more
10/04/2010 - “First Journey aboard the Julia” By Nora Strong (Blow-in) - Southern Star more
30th March 2010 - We are sailing — again! By: FIONA AUDLEY - Irish Post
“ANCHORS are well and truly away for the reinstated Swansea to Cork sailing service, as Fastnet Line’s MV Julia commandeers the waves with a cargo of locals, tourists and businesspeople who are delighted to be back on the water.
Following the inaugural sailing of the lofty vessel this month, The Irish Post ventured onto the ship for an evening crossing to Cork and found a bustling mix of passengers, crew and even canines, enjoying the delights of a ship which has something for everybody”. more
A great piece of positive reporting from Fiona - thanks! - we like positive! <g>
29 March 2010 - SOLD OUT SIGNS FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS WEEK ON NEW CORK SWANSEA FERRY.(Cork 96FM)
“Very encouraging bookings for the Easter holidays”
Fastnet Line, the operators of the new Cork / Swansea ferry say the service will have the 'sold out' sign up for the first time this week, less than a month after first putting to sea. The 'Julia' is set to carry a full complement of passengers, cars and trucks into the South West region for the Easter break, which the company says is well ahead of their expectations for early bookings..
Chairman, Conor Buckley says there's been a great response... The 'Julia' hit the headlines for the wrong reasons, when a series of procedural and technical glitches caused cancellations and delays to some of her early sailings.. Ships Captain, Ivan Walsh, says while none of the issues were remotely serious in themselves, the hold-ups were bitterly disappointing..
27th March - Fastnet Line to receive ‘significant’ funding By Jackie Keogh - Southern Star
The Tanaiste Mary Coughlan has informed Senator Denis O’Donovan that The Fastnet Line is to receive ‘significant’ funding sanctioned by Enterprise Ireland. The funding, which is believed to be in the region of €1.5 million and of a commercial nature, will allow the ferry service from Cork to Swansea to trade throughout the upcoming tourism season and well into next year. more
18th March - Thumbs up for ‘Julia’ despite setbacks on inaugural voyage By Leo McMAHON - Southern Star - Saturday March 20th, 2010
Despite the technical hitches, the delays and tides of misfortune, the vast majority of passengers who made the historic first scheduled voyage from Ringaskiddy to Swansea last weekend on board Fastnet Line’s ‘M.V. Julia’ expressed themselves well satisfied with the ferry. more
16th March - Update from the West Cork Tourism Co-op
“Shareholder Update Tuesday 16th March 2010 As you know - Julia commenced her Swansea-Cork sailings on 10th March - which of course we are delighted with. You are also probably aware that, despite the thorough checks and maintenance that Julia went through both in Cork and Swansea - the initial sailings have suffered from some mechanical problems - which was very unfortunate. We suspended two sailings over the weekend in order to rectify these issues and we thought that you should be aware of the precise details of these problems.
Paul O’Brien, Co-op General Manager travelled on the sailings from Cork to Swansea on Thursday 11th March and the return from Swansea to Cork on the 12th March. Both of these sailings were significantly delayed.
On the outward sailing one of the two starboard engines developed a problem, and, while the cause at that time was unknown, the ship was stopped while a tug came out from Cork as a precautionary measure. The sailing was resumed after an hour, but the delay meant that the ferry missed the tide in Swansea and she had to wait to enter the port, so she did not reach her berth in Swansea until 12.30 p.m. on Friday. The fault was subsequently found to be an electronic problem in a governor on the engine and was rectified for the journey back to Cork.
Julia was loaded without any problem on Friday night for the return journey, but when the ramp was retracted and folded there was a failure which meant that it was unable to be locked in place. Fastnet Line engineers worked to fix the problem but were unable to do so in time to catch the tide on the way out from Swansea. The problem was traced to an electronic control of the hydraulic system and was also repaired before the crossing commenced on the next available tide which was 1 a.m. Saturday (13th March).
The crossing was made in good conditions on four engines and we made good time. However, during the crossing a fault developed in the pitch control on one of the two propellers. The propeller use was unaffected but the pitch control is used under different load conditions and sea states and is also used when berthing. Again this fault was traced to an electronic control which has now been repaired. The fault however was not repaired in time for the Saturday night sailing and so two further sailings on Saturday and Sunday were cancelled. Conor Buckley, Chairman and Padraig Fleming (founder member of the Co-Op), were due to travel on Saturday night and were able to assist our customers affected by the cancelled Saturday night sailing (who were offered free transport to Cork and return journeys via an alternative ferry company).The Julia has been out for sea trials on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th March and with no further problems is sailing on schedule today Tuesday.
The Committee of the Co-Op held its weekly meeting on board the Julia on Monday night, 15th March and received reports from CEO, Tom Barrett and Operations Manager, Owen Barry to discuss recent events. While disappointed with the missed sailings and adverse publicity, we are heartened by the degree of support for the service expressed by the very people who have been affected. The committee plan to have a presence on board each sailing for the next few weeks to help with the bedding in of the service and to speak with passengers to know and understand first hand any issues which might arise
On a positive note - we are hearing reports from B&B and Hotel owners in West Cork that suggest that their booking for the 2010 season are already some 30% up on last season - with many potential visitors citing the new ferry service as a major factor in their holiday plans. We are confident that, with this initial bedding-in period out of the way, Julia will be able to operate to schedule and deliver the kind of service that we all expect.”
15th March 16:40 - Julia on sea-trials Julia is currently completing a brief sea-trial and is heading back to Ringaskiddy. She is expected to sail tomorrow night (Tuesday) for Swansea on-schedule.
15th March - On a positive note.. This independent review was posted to the Irish Ferries Enthusiasts online forum -makes for encouraging reading.
“I travelled out with Julia on her maiden voyage from Cork Thursday night and back on Friday night. Outside of the technical issues that led to delays (which for some of us was good news as we got to spend extra time on board which is always a pleasure on that ship) I must say that both ship and crew performed quite well, onboard facilities on Julia are absolutely fantastic and I look forward to seeing them in full operational capacity in the peak season , the crew are also very friendly and very efficient and when the service is refined a little and the bugs ironed out it will without a doubt be the best way to travel between Ireland and the UK. It is frustrating to see the company having technical difficulties that are leading to delays and cancellations so early on , but as said elsewhere its better to have them now and get them sorted out sooner rather than later. I must also give quick mention to how well Fastnet Line has been dealing with the delays and cancelations , they have done very well in providing alternative travel for those affected by cancellations , the even transferred foot passengers to their onward destinations in the UK by hired in Coach via Rosslare and those who needed to return asap also were accommodated via Rosslare so no-one was left stranded , only slightly delayed , on the crossings that were delayed there was no shortage of complimentary tea , coffee , alcohol , food , even full meals thrown in , and all passengers with pullman seats were upgraded to cabins , so in spite of the delay everyone was comfortable and the majority of people were simply enjoying what they considered to be an extended cruise <g> so in spite of it all a good time was had by all. I look forward to seeing the service in full flight once it the bugs are worked out , its a great ship with a great crew providing a great service , I believe it will do very well in the long term”. (User ‘Collision-course’ 7:45pm Sunday 14/3/10)
15th March - Fastnet apologises for Swansea-Cork ferry delays - Irish Times FASTNET LINE has apologised to its customers for inconvenience caused over the weekend following delays and cancellations on its new Swansea-Cork ferry route. The company cancelled its scheduled sailings over the weekend due to technical difficulties on board the MV Julia. more
Update 13th March - 10pm Julia is currently berthed in Ringaskiddy, and will sail again to Swansea early next week. In the meantime engineers will be working round-the-clock to resolve the technical issues that have caused delays in her first week’s service. More news as we get it - passengers affected by this change to the planned schedule are asked to contact Fastnet Line
Update 11th March - 0930am Julia is berthed at Ringaskiddy - she will sail for Swansea this evening. For bookings / schedules etc see www.fastnetline.com
And some great photos of Julia loading in Swansea on 10th March for her inaugural Swansea-Cork crossing here.
Update 10th March - 06.00 p.m. ~ from Fastnet Line “The Julia has now left Swansea dock and is currently approaching the ferry terminal to board its first passengers bound for Cork at 21.50 hours tonight”.
What great news for Fastnet Line, everybody who has worked so hard to get to this day, everybody who is going to travel aboard this great ship - and for business and tourist interests both sides of the Irish Sea.
7/1/10 Paul O’Brien hits the airwaves! Listen to this great interview with Paul O’Brien (General Manager of the Co-op) on Derek Mooney’s RTE Radio1 afternoon show... I’ve always said that Paul’s got a great face for radio! <g>...
This video is in two parts - simply click the box at the end of Part 1 to see Part 2 Thanks a million to Mark the video magician.
when’s it all happening?
- MV Julia - the People’s Ferry is now sailing on her regular schedule (6 sailings a week in the off-peak season - 8 sailings a week in the summer).
- there are still some great opportunities to invest in the People’s Ferry and share in the success - see the Fastnet Line website for more information
- two Ham Radio ‘Special Event’ stations (EI2GBW and GB2EI) operated, from Ireland and Swansea respectively, until the end of March 2010 - to celebrate the restoration of this historic service - more details