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Irish Ferries starts taking passenger bookings for Dover – Calais

Newcomer Irish Ferries has started taking passenger bookings for its Dover – Calais route. The first sailing will leave Dover at 09:20 on June 29th. As expected, the company has scheduled just one ship on the service initially – the 1997-built ISLE OF INISHMORE.

ISLE OF INISHMORE will sail five times per day in each direction according to the sailings available on the online booking engine. The ship will spend approximately 50 minutes in port for turnarounds between sailings.

The Irish Ferries Dover – Calais timetable is as follows:

Depart DoverArrive CalaisDepart CalaisArrive Dover
04:30 (GMT)07:00 (GMT+1)07:55 (GMT+1)08:25 (GMT)
09:20 (GMT)11:50 (GMT+1)12:45 (GMT+1)13:15 (GMT)
14:10 (GMT)16:40 (GMT+1)17:30 (GMT+1)18:00 (GMT)
18:55 (GMT)21:25 (GMT+1)22:15 (GMT+1)22:45 (GMT)
23:40 (GMT)02:10 (GMT+1)03:10 (GMT+1)03:40 (GMT)
Irish Ferries’ preliminary Dover – Calais timetable. Please note that the first sailing will be 09:20 ex Dover on 29.06.2021. As ever, times may be subject to change.

Competition

Irish Ferries’ new route is being established in direct competition with the existing services offered by DFDS and P&O Ferries, as well as market leader Eurotunnel.

DFDS has three ships sailing between Dover and Calais and a further three between Dover and Dunkerque. P&O Ferries, meanwhile, is increasing its Dover – Calais offering to five ships. The previously mothballed Ro-Pax PRIDE OF BURGUNDY is currently undergoing maintenance in Falmouth ahead of her reintroduction to service.

P&O Ferries and DFDS recently signed a space charter agreement which will mean their freight customers will be able to board either company’s vessels. The agreement means that freight customers will be able to drive onto whichever ferry is in port at the time. This is aimed at reducing queues at Dover and could cut 30 minutes off the total journey time. At peak times it is expected that there will be as little as 36 minutes between sailings.

An image taken on June 8, 2021, showing ISLE OF INISHMORE's new sliding stern doors. Image: © Poul Erik Olsen
An image taken on June 8, 2021, showing ISLE OF INISHMORE‘s new sliding stern doors. Image: © Poul Erik Olsen

Despite freight being able to board whichever ship is available, the commercial and operational separation on the route will continue. All commercial activities and relationships with freight customers remain entirely under the control of each operator.

Steven Tarbox

Steven is a former retail professional and a ferry writer and photographer. He created NI Ferry Site as a web design project in 2014 to be a news and information source for everyone with an interest in ferries, with a particular focus on Northern Ireland. Steven is the editor of the website and looks after all of the technical aspects.
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