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 Visemar di Navigazione for charter to Italian operator Caronte and Tourist in 2011. She is the third of three ships built to similar plans, the others being C&T fleet-mate CARTOUR DELTA and Balearia’s HEDY LAMARR. These ships were also built for Visemar, a company controlled by the same company as the shipyard.
EPSILON is the member of the Visentini series with the highest vehicle capacity (some 2,860 lane metres), but as a result of this has a lower passenger capacity than most other 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 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.
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.
Towards the end of March
NAOS Ship and Boat Design S.R.L, Trieste, Italy
Cantiere Navale di Visentini Francesco & C., Donada, Italy
RINA C ro-ro Passenger ship
Unrestricted Navigation; AUT-UMS Ice Class -1C-
|Owner||Visemar Di Navigazione Srl (Carlo Visentini)
Sold to Caronte & Tourist during March 2019
Dublin – Holyhead
Dublin – Cherbourg (on weekends)
|In service (original)||03/05/11
(Caronte & Tourist)
|In service (Irish Ferries)||18/01/14|
|Previous names and operators (oldest first)||
CARTOUR EPSILON (Caronte & Tourist/Irish Ferries)
|Length overall (Between Perpendiculars)||
|Power(Max/Pme @ 75%)||
|Operational speed (Max)||
|Onboard Facilities in use||
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.
Original Article 19.12.15
Updated: 26.12.18 (moved to Gutenberg blocks, updated gallery)
(replaced gallery) Last text update: 27.11.19