Epsilon | Irish Ferries ferry

EPSILON. Copyright © Scott Mackey.
EPSILON. Copyright © Scott Mackey.
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]

Overview

Irish Ferries EPSILON was originally launched as CARTOUR EPSILON and is currently 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.

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Irish Ferries service

EPSILON was sub-chartered from Caronte & Tourist by Irish Ferries parent company Irish Continental Group (ICG) at the end of 2013.  Following a refit in Italy, she arrived in Ireland in January 2014, entering service on the 18th of January still carrying the name CARTOUR EPSILON. She was subsequently renamed at the start of February the same year by painting over the ‘Cartour’ part of her name on both bow and stern, meaning her homeport is offset rather than centred to her name on the stern.  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 2018 it was planned that she would operate the Dublin to Holyhead service exclusively from July with W.B. YEATS offering an Ireland to France service throughout the week, with the two vessels switching for the subsequent Autumn/Winter period. This, however, did not happen in practice as a result of W.B. YEATS delivery delay with Dublin to Cherbourg sailings during the week cancelled during the summer and EPSILON staying on her normal schedule to Holyhead Monday to Friday and France at weekends. For Autumn and Winter OSCAR WILDE was used between Dublin and Holyhead until W.B. YEATS arrived allowing EPSILON to start week-round sailings to France. For 2019 EPSILON will sail 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 take over 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. Towards the end of March 2019 Caronte & Tourist purchased EPSILON outright from one of the Visentini family companies (Visemar). Until then she had been bareboat chartered to C&T, who sub-chartered her to Irish Ferries from late 2013. EPSILON remains on charter to Irish Ferries until at least November 2020, and the company also have an option to extend this by one year written into the existing agreement. It is expected that when she returns to Caronte & Tourist EPSILON will be used by the company themselves either as a replacement for existing tonnage or to open a new route.

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

Technical Data

 

EPSILON

IMO Number

9539054

Design

NAOS Ship and Boat Design S.R.L, Trieste, Italy

Building Yard

Cantiere Navale di Visentini Francesco & C., Donada, Italy

Hull Number

228

Keel Laid05/06/2008
Year Completed

11/04/2011

Classification

RINA C ro-ro Passenger ship

Unrestricted Navigation; AUT-UMS Ice Class -1C-

OwnerVisemar Di Navigazione Srl (Carlo Visentini)
Sold to Caronte & Tourist during March 2019
Operator

Irish Ferries

Route

Dublin – Holyhead

Dublin – Cherbourg (on weekends)

In service (original)03/05/11
(Caronte & Tourist)
In service (Irish Ferries)18/01/14
Call sign

ICRB

Previous names and operators (oldest first)

Cartour Epsilon (Caronte & Tourist)

Length overall (Between Perpendiculars)

186.5m (177.4m)

Breadth molded

25.6m

Draught

6.85m

Gross Tonnage

26,375

Machinery
  • 2 x MAN B&W 9L 48/60B – 10,800 kW each @ 500 rpm
  • 3 x Diesel generators, plus 2 shaft generators
  • 2 x KaMeWa 4.8m diameter CPP type propellers
  • 2 x 1300kW bow thrusters
  • 2 x Fin stabilisers
Power(Max/Pme  @ 75%)

21,600/16,200kW

Operational speed (Max)

20kts (24kts)

Capacity (max)

500 passengers

  • 68 x 4 berth + 2 x 2 berth Wheelchair User Cabins.  Total of 276 berths including the 2 disabled cabins
  • 50 reclining seats
Vehicle decks
  • 2,860 total lane metres with a max clearance of 4.87m

  • 100 reefer points
  • Access is via a stern door opening onto deck 3.  A series of ramps allow access to the other decks.
Onboard Facilities in use
  • Boylan’s Brasserie
  • Cafe Lafayette
  • Onboard shop
  • Reclining seat lounge
  • Selection of 2 and 4 berth cabins (Chargeable extra)
Flag

Italy (Bari)

Notes

In common with other Visentini RoPax vessels, deck 5 is the only passenger deck accessible by lift.  The main passenger facilities such as the restaurant and cafe are housed on this deck, as are the disabled cabins.

Epsilon Gallery

Original Article 19.12.15
Updated: 26.12.18 (moved to Gutenberg blocks, updated gallery)
Last update: 28.03.19

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