Isle of Inishmore will move from the Rosselare-Pembroke service to the Dover-Calais route
Irish Ferries is to start operating a new ro-pax ferry service between Dover, England and Calais, France in June 2021 to make it easier for passengers and hauliers to travel between the Republic of Ireland, the UK and Europe.
Initially, the route will be served by Isle of Inishmore, which is currently deployed on Irish Ferries’ Rosslare-Pembroke service between the Republic of Ireland and Wales. However, extra capacity will be added in the coming months.
“As part of our commitment to the movement of freight on and off the island of Ireland to both the UK and Europe, this additional capacity on the Dover – Calais route will significantly strengthen the capacity and reliability of the land bridge for exporters and importers,” said Irish Ferries in a statement. “Hauliers will now have one operator providing an inclusive service on the Dublin – Holyhead, Rosslare – Pembroke and Dover – Calais routes. This will allow exporters and importers easier, cheaper, and quicker access to our European markets via the Common Transit Convention.”
Irish Ferries also plans to offer a passenger service on the route.
“This announcement gives the millions of customers across the UK and the Republic of Ireland who value the intrinsic benefits of the shortest sea crossing to Europe, the prospect of even more choice,” said Doug Bannister, chief executive at the Port of Dover.
Irish Ferries has chartered Attica Group’s ro-pax ferry Blue Star 1 to replace Isle of Inishmore on the Rosslare-Pembroke service. The vessel, which will be delivered in early April, can accommodate up to 1,500 passengers, 100 freight vehicles and 700 cars depending on freight volume. It will be the fastest ro-pax ship operating between Britain and Ireland and offer various onboard highlights, including 192 cabins, a self-service restaurant, a café bar, a Club Class lounge, a duty-free shop, a children’s play area and spacious outdoor decks.
“The introduction of this ship underlines our commitment to the Rosslare to Pembroke route, the primary shipping corridor between Ireland and South Wales,” said Andrew Sheen, Irish Ferries’ managing director. “It also underlines our commitment to the significant contribution that this route makes in facilitating trade for both exporters and importers as well as facilitating essential passenger movements and future tourists as the country re-opens post Covid-19.”
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