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Irish Ferries and Stena Line to Offer Daily Ireland – France Ferry Service

Schedule changes will allow 7 sailings per week

Ferry companies Stena Line and Irish Ferries have reportedly agreed to cooperate to offer a daily service for the haulage industry between Ireland and France next year.

The agreement comes following concern expressed by politicians and hauliers ahead of the end of the UK’s EU transition arrangement. Presently, direct sailings between Ireland and France only operate three days per week.

Fortnightly Schedules

Both Irish Ferries and Stena Line sail from Ireland on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday currently, with the return sailing leaving France the following day. Instead, the companies will offer their current sailings on alternate weeks as both will switch from a weekly to a fortnightly schedule.

Irish Ferries EPSILON seen at Dublin during January 2020. Copyright © Steven Tarbox
Irish Ferries EPSILON seen at Dublin during January 2020. The ship serves the Dublin – Cherbourg route outside the peak passenger season. Copyright © Steven Tarbox

This means each company will sail from Ireland on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday on the same week that the other sails on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Irish Ferries will continue to sail from Dublin to Cherbourg, while Stena Line will continue to sail from Rosslare to Cherbourg.

It is understood the usual existing ships on the routes will still be used. At present this is normally EPSILON for Irish Ferries and STENA HORIZON for Stena Line. However, during the peak passenger season, Irish Ferries usually deploys W.B YEATS to its Dublin – Cherbourg route instead.

An example fortnightly Ireland – France schedule is shown below:

DaySailing
MondayIrish Ferries
Dublin – Cherbourg
TuesdayStena Line
Rosslare – Cherbourg
WednesdayIrish Ferries
Dublin – Cherbourg
ThursdayStena Line
Rosslare – Cherbourg
FridayIrish Ferries
Dublin – Cherbourg
SaturdayStena Line
Rosslare – Cherbourg
SundayIrish Ferries
Dublin – Cherbourg
MondayStena Line
Rosslare – Cherbourg
TuesdayIrish Ferries
Dublin – Cherbourg
WednesdayStena Line
Rosslare – Cherbourg
ThursdayIrish Ferries
Dublin – Cherbourg
FridayStena Line
Rosslare – Cherbourg
Saturday Irish Ferries
Dublin – Cherbourg
SundayStena Line
Rosslare – Cherbourg
An example of how Stena Line and Irish Ferries fortnightly scheduling could work

The Irish Times has received confirmation of the plan which was earlier reported on social media. Irish Ferries has declined to comment to the news paper, however, Stena Line has confirmed the plan directly to this site.

Land-bridge alternative

The Irish Government has urged hauliers to investigate the possibility of using direct routes between Ireland and Continental Europe instead of the UK land-bridge. This is in case of disruption when the UK’s current transition arrangement with the EU ends in January.

SPIRIT OF FRANCE. P&O Ferries.
P&O Ferries Dover – Calais ferry SPIRIT OF FRANCE is one of the numerous vessels used by hauliers to reach continental Europe from Ireland via the UK. P&O Ferries.

At present, around 150,000 lorries per year use the UK landbridge via ports in England and Wales to continental Europe. Stena Line is on record saying that spare capacity currently exists on their Rosslare – Cherbourg route, but that the company can deploy larger tonnage to the route should demand require it.

Other Land-bridge Alternatives

In addition to the Ireland to France routes, Brittany Ferries sails twice a week from Rosslare to Bilbao in Spain. The company also offers a seasonal weekly sailing between Rosslare and Cherbourg, as well as a seasonal sailing between Cork and Roscoff.

VICTORINE is one of the freight-only vessels used by CLdN to link Ireland and Continental Europe. She also offers direct sailings to Liverpool. © Matt Davies.
VICTORINE is one of the freight-only vessels used by CLdN to link Ireland and Continental Europe. She also offers direct sailings to Liverpool. © Matt Davies.

Freight specialist CLdN connects Dublin with a number of European ports including Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Gothenburg, Esbjerg, and Santander with its unaccompanied liner service. The company also started offering sailings from Cork to Zeebrugge and Esbjerg earlier this year. CLdN does not carry any passengers, however.

Steven Tarbox

Steven is a ferry enthusiast from Belfast in Northern Ireland. He founded what was then NI Ferry Site 2014. Since then the site has grown from nothing to an average of over 43k pageviews per month in 2020.
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