Irish Ferries Austal-built catamaran DUBLIN SWIFT arrived in dark and chilly Belfast this evening. The ship is currently in her off season and undergoing further maintenance ahead of her return to service in April. She is currently moored at Harland & Wolff’s Ship Repair Quay (SRQ) ahead of a planned move into Belfast Dry Dock on March 2nd. This is her first visit to Belfast since she was fitted with additional mezzanine car decks at Harland & Wolff last year.
DUBLIN SWIFT has had a patchy timekeeping and reliability record since starting service with Irish Ferries in 2018. Despite upgrade and maintenance work undertaken last year at both Harland & Wolff and Cammell-Laird, including the fitting of two ZF manufactured retractable bow thrusters at the latter yard, the former military craft continued to be plagued with issues last year which ultimately appears to have contributed to her season being cut short.
It is understood that further work has been undertaken during her scheduled winter layover at Holyhead, including the replacement of key engine components. The visit to Harland & Wolff will allow further maintenance and inspections to take place which would not be possible at Holyhead. At present, DUBLIN SWIFT is expected to leave Belfast Dry Dock on the evening of March 6. At present she is timetabled to return to service between Dublin and Holyhead on April 2nd. She will, however, operate on a different schedule to previous years with sailing times on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are at slightly later times to the rest of the week.