Rosslare Europort is to get yet another new visitor next month with the introduction of BLUE STAR 1 on Irish Ferries’ Rosslare to Pembroke route. The Greek ship has been chartered from owner Attica Group as a replacement for ISLE OF INISHMORE on the route. As we reported earlier, ISLE OF INISHMORE is to move to Irish Ferries new route between Dover and Calais.
The introduction of BLUE STAR 1 will treble the number of cabins available per sailing on the route to 192. This will comfortably allow Irish Ferries to offer every freight driver on the route an individual cabin. According to the company, BLUE STAR 1 will offer passengers a self-service restaurant, café/bar, Club Class lounge, onboard duty-free shop, children’s play area and spacious outdoor decks. In terms of total capacity, BLUE STAR 1 has slightly less space than ISLE OF INISHMORE.
Work is currently being undertaken in Greece to adapt BLUE STAR 1 for her new role. Although she has retained her blue hull, the ship now carries Irish Ferries branding. She was also recently dry docked, having been laid up since September 2020. At the time of writing, BLUE STAR 1 is on the Irish Ferries booking engine from April 6.
Andrew Sheen, Irish Ferries Managing Director, said:
“We are very pleased to add a quality ship of the calibre of the versatile Blue Star 1 to the Irish Ferries fleet. This ship will be the fastest RoRo Passenger ship operating between Britain and Ireland and this will help ensure schedule integrity. The introduction of this ship underlines our commitment to the Rosslare to Pembroke route, the primary shipping corridor between Ireland and South Wales. It also underlines our commitment to the significant contribution that this route makes in facilitating trade for both exporters and importers as well as facilitating essential passenger movements and future tourists as the country re-opens post COVID-19.https://www.irishferries.com/uk-en/news-listing/irish-ferries-introduces-a-newer-and-faster-ship-onto-the-rosslare-pembroke-route/
Although BLUE STAR 1 is a faster ship than ISLE OF INISHMORE, the company is only expected to utilise this additional speed to make up for delays. The vessel will be the fastest conventional ferry serving the Irish Sea. Irish Ferries has not commented on the length of BLUE STAR 1‘s charter, but suggestions from Greece are that it is for one year with an additional year option.
Update 31.03.2021: BLUE STAR 1 has now left the Greek port of Piraeus for Rosslare.
The following technical data is provided by Irish Ferries:
|BLUE STAR 1||ISLE OF INISHMORE|
|Builder||Van der Giessen de Noord||Van der Giessen de Noord|
|Construction||2000 (keel laid June 1999)||1997|
|Type||Ro-Pax ship||Ro-Pax ship|
|Ferry route||Rosslare – Pembroke Dock (Milford Haven)||Rosslare – Pembroke Dock (Milford Haven)|
(to be transferred to Dover – Calais)
|Operator||Irish Ferries||Irish Ferries|
|Speed||27 kn||21.5 kn|
|Gross Tonnage||29,858 gt||34,031 gt|
|Cars||Up to 700 (depending on Freight volumes)||Up to 855 (depending on Freight volumes)|