Update 26.07.18 @ 11:00: ULYSSES is currently crossing between Dublin and Holyhead for the first time since late-June. She arrived on her berth from Belfast at approx 03:45 and left Dublin on-time at 08:05. She will arrive in Holyhead at around 11:20. EPSILON is already on the berth at Dublin and will resume operating her own timetable this afternoon. Irish Ferries released the following statement via Freightlink (external link) this morning:
“All services on our Dublin/Holyhead/Dublin route are now fully operational. Ulysses departed Dublin this morning on schedule and Epsilon will depart Dublin at 14.30 hours today.”
Freight Commercial Business Team
A case of better late than never for Ulysses
Irish Ferries flagship ULYSSES left the dry dock in Belfast she has occupied for almost a month yesterday, around three and a half hours later than planned. ULYSSES, which was built in Finland in 2001, had been scheduled to leave the dry dock at 5pm. However it was around 8:30pm before the 50,938gt vessel edged her way out of Belfast Dry Dock with the assistance of the tugs SVITZER SURREY and SVITZER MERCIA.
At the time of writing ULYSSES is currently scheduled to operate the 08:05 departure from Dublin to Holyhead. Operating partner EPSILON, which has been covering ULYSSES schedule, appears to have been taken off the timetable until her 14:30 sailing from Dublin to Wales. ULYSSES is expected to arrive at her regular berth 49 in Dublin in the early hours of the morning, where she will likely take on crew and stores before operating what will be her first commercial sailing for a month.
The timing of ULYSSES re-entry into service has been somewhat a a surprise given earlier this week Irish Ferries told freight customers they didn’t expect the vessel to be back until Friday, and even then that was subject to no further delays. Passengers, hauliers, and staff alike will be relieved that the largest capacity ferry on the Irish Sea is finally coming back into service after almost missing the entirety of July.
Given the time of year and year-round freight demand between Ireland and the UK, ferry services between Dublin and Great Britain have been even busier than usual. Stena Line have taken as much of the overspill from Irish Ferries as possible on their own Dublin to Holyhead ferries STENA ADVENTURER and STENA SUPERFAST X, while Irish Ferries themselves have operated some additional night time crossings with the fast craft DUBLIN SWIFT and cancelled all Dublin to France sailings in order to allow EPSILON to cover ULYSSES schedule week-round. This has unfortunately led to customers having their bookings cancelled or transferred to other routes. Passengers affected by delays or cancellations on any ferry crossing may be interested in reading our free guide to claiming compensation for ferry delays and cancellations.