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EPSILON

Irish Ferries EPSILON approaches Belfast Harbour on her way to Harland & Wolff for her 2018 dry docking. Copyright © Steven Tarbox
Irish Ferries EPSILON approaches Belfast Harbour on her way to Harland & Wolff for her 2018 dry docking. Copyright © Steven Tarbox
Profile of the Irish Ferries Dublin to Holyhead/Cherbourg ferry EPSILON. Includes a historical overview, technical data, and photographs.

Fast Facts

  • IMO Number: 9539054
  • Constructed by: Cantiere Navale di Visentini Francesco & C. #228
  • Also known as:
    CARTOUR EPSILON
  • Passenger capacity: 500
  • Vehicle Capacity: 2,860 lane metres
  • Current Operator: Irish Ferries
  • Usual Route: Dublin Port [IE] – Holyhead [GB] / Dublin Port [IE] – Cherbourg [FR]

Intro

Overview

Irish Ferries EPSILON was originally launched as CARTOUR EPSILON and is the final of a series of 24 diesel-powered Visentini RoPax vessels designed by NAOS design and launched between 1997 and 2011.  She is the 13th vessel of the more efficient “flex-bow” generation and is engined by MAN as the final (to date) diesel-only powered Ro-Pax built by the yard.  She was constructed for Italian operator Caronte and Tourist in 2011. EPSILON is the member of the series with the highest vehicle capacity (some 2,860 lane metres), but as a result of this has a lower passenger capacity than most members of the series as built.  This is due to her passenger accommodation block being smaller than the other “flex-bow” vessels, resulting in a recess into the superstructure on the weather deck where the cabin deck overhangs.

Irish Ferries service

EPSILON was chartered by Irish Ferries parent company Irish Continental Group (ICG) from her Italian owners at the end of 2013.  Following a refit in Italy she arrived in Ireland in January 2014, entering service on the 18th of January.  Prior to the introduction of W.B. YEATS, EPSILON operated as the second conventional vessel on the Dublin to Holyhead route for Irish Ferries from Monday to Friday.  On weekends she operated a single round trip from Dublin to Cherbourg in France which is marketed as an economy service. For 2019 she operates to Cherbourg in the Winter and Autumn, switching with W.B. YEATS during spring and summer to operate the Dublin to Holyhead route with DUBLIN SWIFT providing additional passenger capacity.

Prior to February 2014 Irish Ferries chartered Ro-Pax EPSILON still carried the name CARTOUR EPSILON as seen in this photo taken soon after her introduction to Irish Ferries service in late 2013. Copyright © Gordon Hislip.
Prior to February 2014 Irish Ferries chartered Ro-Pax EPSILON still carried the name CARTOUR EPSILON as seen in this photo taken soon after her introduction to Irish Ferries service in late 2013. Copyright © Gordon Hislip.

Replacement

In early January 2018 ICG announced that they had ordered a new vessel for the Dublin to Holyhead route which will replace the main vessel ULYSSES on the route when delivered.  ULYSEES will then replace EPSILON on the Dublin to Holyhead schedule on a year-round basis.  An earlier vessel named W.B. YEATS which was ordered during 2016 and was due to be delivered mid-2018 (but was delayed until December) will takeover the Dublin to Cherbourg route in Spring and Summer until the arrival of the new vessel when she will replace all of EPSILON‘s sailings to France.  Both new vessels have been ordered from Germany’s Flensburger Shiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) shipyard.

Irish Ferries EPSILON approaches Belfast Harbour on her way to Harland & Wolff for her 2018 dry docking. Copyright © Steven Tarbox
Irish Ferries EPSILON approaches Belfast Harbour on her way to Harland & Wolff for her 2018 dry docking. Copyright © Steven Tarbox

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