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Irish Ferries Confirms Introduction of Newer Ferry on Ireland to Wales route

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.

ISLE OF INISHMORE. Image: © Scott Mackey.
ISLE OF INISHMORE. Image: © Scott Mackey.

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.

Side profile of BLUE STAR 1. Irish Ferries.
Side profile of BLUE STAR 1. Irish Ferries.

The following technical data is provided by Irish Ferries:

BLUE STAR 1ISLE OF INISHMORE
BuilderVan der Giessen de NoordVan der Giessen de Noord
Construction2000 (keel laid June 1999)1997
TypeRo-Pax shipRo-Pax ship
Ferry routeRosslare – Pembroke Dock (Milford Haven)Rosslare – Pembroke Dock (Milford Haven)
(to be transferred to Dover – Calais)
OperatorIrish FerriesIrish Ferries
Speed27 kn21.5 kn
Decks1011
Gross Tonnage29,858 gt34,031 gt
Lane Meters1,7182,100
Passengers1,5002,200
CarsUp to 700 (depending on Freight volumes)Up to 855 (depending on Freight volumes)
Freight vehicles100122

With thanks to Christos at Voyager Shipspotting. Check out his Instagram here.

Steven Tarbox

Steven is a ferry blogger and photographer from Belfast. He founded NI Ferry Site in 2014, and still acts as the editor. Steven also looks after all of the technical aspects of the website.
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