The ship departed Cherbourg just before 2200 last night, arriving around 1400 today. NORMANDIE is due to depart Rosslare this evening bound for France at 2200, arriving at 1600 tomorrow.
NORMANDIE will repeat the trips on 12 and 19 January ex Cherbourg and 13 and 20 January ex Rosslare.
Whilst operating on the Rosslare – Cherbourg route, NORMANDIE will carry the full range of traffic types, including foot passengers. However, the cruiseferry is limited to 100 passengers, plus freight drivers whilst operating the Irish service.
Cruiseferry covers for RoPax
NORMANDIE’s use on the Cherbourg – Rosslare route wasn’t originally planned.
The ship that normally operates the weekend roundtrip on the Cherbourg – Rosslare route, COTENTIN, has suffered a major technical issue. COTENTIN has been at Damen Shiprepair Brest (DSBr) since 19 December for repairs to one of the two main engines on the vessel. Twelve cylinder heads are being dismounted and repaired. She is currently due back in service on 21 January 2024.
This winter, NORMANDIE has generally operated on the Portsmouth – Le Havre route Monday to Thursday and Portsmouth – Caen at weekends. COTENTIN during winter has operated a weekend roundtrip from Cherbourg to Rosslare, spending the week on the Caen route, with a positioning trip each way on Cherbourg – Portsmouth to facilitate the Irish sailing.
Also at Brest is Brittany Ferries’ chartered RoRo MN PELICAN. The Compagnie Maritime Nantaise vessel arrived at Brest one day after COTENTIN, on 20 December, for a scheduled overhaul period.
Whilst Brittany Ferries cancelled a number of sailings on the Rosslare – Cherbourg and Portsmouth – Le Havre routes during the quieter freight period around Christmas and New Year, the new year has seen BARFLEUR brought into service earlier than planned. BARFLEUR was originally due back in service on 26 January to cover the overhaul period of the NORMANDIE until 13 March. However, instead the vessel returned to service with the overnight service from Caen last night, 5 January. BARFLEUR will now take the place of NORMANDIE, whilst she in turn covers for COTENTIN, until her return.
Not the only change at Rosslare
The visit of Brittany Ferries’ cruiseferry NORMANDIE isn’t the only exception to normal at the moment at Rosslare;
- DFDS’ Rosslare – Dunkerque RoPax OPTIMA SEAWAYS has been out of service since just before Christmas with technical issues. The DFDS booking system shows a single ship service until week commencing 29 January. ATHENA SEAWAYS is currently maintaining the service alone. OPTIMA SEAWAYS moved from the DFDS Irish Terminal at Dunkerque on 5 January to the Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque (DSDu) facility. She is there in the company of fleetmate CÔTE DES DUNES and Irish Ferries’ ISLE OF INISHMORE.
- Finnlines’ FINNSKY is currently covering for the overhaul of the FINNWAVE, as with COTENTIN and MN PELICAN, she is also at Damen, Brest. FINNPULP has also departed Finnlines’ Zeebrugge – Rosslare route, reducing the service to two weekly trips in each direction.
- After the departure of Stena Line’s STENA HORIZON to Cherbourg this evening at 1700, the vessel is not expected to return to the Rosslare – Cherbourg route until 8 April. STENA VISION is operating the route alone whilst STENA HORIZON covers the Harwich – Hoek Van Holland refit period and then opens Stena’s new Dublin – Liverpool (Birkenhead) ferry route in mid-February.
- Stena Line’s Fishguard – Rosslare route is to temporarily lose STENA NORDICA after the vessel’s arrival at Rosslare tomorrow morning, 7 January. The vessel will operate on the Dublin – Holyhead route for the incoming refit period. STENA EUROPE is due to cover on the Fishguard route. However, her sailings have been cancelled until 14 January (inclusive) for operational reasons.
- OSCAR WILDE is currently expected to leave Irish Ferries’ Rosslare – Pembroke Dock route towards the end of January. After a maintenance lay-over in Larne, she is expected in service on the Dublin – Holyhead route on a permanent basis in mid-February. Her replacement hasn’t yet been made public.