Lough Foyle Ferry to return at the end of the week with a “new” vessel.

The seasonal “Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry” service is to make a brief return at the end of the week for the early May Bank Holiday. However the vessel in use will not be the regular vessel FRAZER MARINER.
STRANGFORD conducting sea trials across Lough Foyle between Greencastle and Magilligan. The former Strangford Lough ferry will cover the service over the Early-May Bank Holiday period in the absence of the regular vessel, FRAXER MARINER. Copyright © Aerial Vision NI.

STRANGFORD conducting sea trials across Lough Foyle between Greencastle and Magilligan. The former Strangford Lough ferry will cover the service over the Early-May Bank Holiday period in the absence of the regular vessel, FRAZER MARINER. Copyright © Aerial Vision NI.

Title image:  STRANGFORD 1  conducting sea trials across Lough Foyle between Greencastle and Magilligan. The former Strangford Lough ferry will cover the service over the Early-May Bank Holiday period in the absence of the regular vessel, FRAZER MARINER. Copyright © Aerial Vision NI.

The seasonal “Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry” service is to make a brief return at the end of the week for the early May Bank Holiday. However the vessel in use will not be the regular vessel FRAZER MARINER, but instead will be the former Strangford Lough Ferry STRANGFORD (also known as STRANGFORD FERRY).  NI Ferry Site has learned that Frazer Ferries plan to use the veteran vessel to cover for maintenance and surveys, however it is expected that the regular vessel FRAZER MARINER will return to the route between Magilligan and Greencastle in time for the start of the daily summer schedule in June. Unlike the regular vessel, STRANGFORD has a raised open deck for passengers allowing them to take in the scenery of Lough Foyle from the water during their voyage.

STRANGFORD conducting sea trials across Lough Foyle between Greencastle and Magilligan. The former Strangford Lough ferry will cover the service over the Early-May Bank Holiday period in the absence of the regular vessel, FRAXER MARINER. Copyright © Aerial Vision NI.
STRANGFORD at Magilligan while conducting sea trials across Lough Foyle between Greencastle and Magilligan. The former Strangford Lough ferry will cover the service over the Early-May Bank Holiday period in the absence of the regular vessel, FRAZER MARINER. Copyright © Aerial Vision NI.

The introduction of STRANGFORD comes following the cancellation of the planned return of the service over Easter, due to complications arising from the difficultly in getting a suitable vessel to Lough Foyle to operate the service. Marketing manager Kayleigh Clarke recently told the Derry Journal “We had a lot of complications before Easter, but these have been resolved. The new ferry won’t have those problems and I am confident we will be running for the Bank Holiday weekend.”

Frazer Mariner pictured crossing Lough Foyle on her first day of service, 17/7/17. Copyright © Martin McKenna.
The regular Foyle Ferry vessel FRAZER MARINER pictured crossing Lough Foyle towards Magilligan on her first day of service, 17/7/17. She is set to return to operate the summer timetable starting June 1st.  Copyright © Martin McKenna.

FRAZER MARINER is currently covering the year-round “Scenic Carlingford Ferry” service in the absence of the regular vessel AISLING GABRIELLE. The latter vessel is currently at the New Ross boatyard in County Wexford receiving an engine upgrade which Frazer Ferries say will boost her engine power and reduce the likelihood of mechanical breakdown in the future.  Prior to this she had a short spell on the “Passage East” service covering FRAZER TINTERN. AISLING GABRIELLE is of course the former FOYLE VENTURE which was used on the Lough Foyle service by its previous operator.

STRANGFORD conducting sea trials across Lough Foyle between Greencastle and Magilligan. The former Strangford Lough ferry will cover the service over the Early-May Bank Holiday period in the absence of the regular vessel, FRAXER MARINER. Copyright © Aerial Vision NI.
STRANGFORD conducting sea trials across Lough Foyle between Greencastle and Magilligan. The former Strangford Lough ferry will cover the service over the Early-May Bank Holiday period in the absence of the regular vessel, FRAZER MARINER. Copyright © Aerial Vision NI.

The Lough Foyle Ferry is scheduled to run from Friday May 4th until Monday May the 7th. The first sailing will be from Greencastle at 9am with the final sailing at 8:15pm on all days. The service will return to daily operation on the 1st of June, which should see the return of FRAZER MARINER to the link. Fares are €14/£12 for cars and €3/£2.50 for foot passengers. There are discounts for return tickets and multi-journey tickets, plus a concessionary foot passenger rate is also available. For more information about the service visit www.loughfoyleferry.com.

STRANGFORD conducting sea trials across Lough Foyle between Greencastle and Magilligan. The former Strangford Lough ferry will cover the service over the Early-May Bank Holiday period in the absence of the regular vessel, FRAXER MARINER. Copyright © Aerial Vision NI.
STRANGFORD at Magilligan while conducting sea trials across Lough Foyle between Greencastle and Magilligan. The former Strangford Lough ferry will cover the service over the Early-May Bank Holiday period in the absence of the regular vessel, FRAZER MARINER. Copyright © Aerial Vision NI.

Frazer Ferries are a Limerick based company which operate the “Scenic Carlingford Ferry” across Carlingford Lough from Greencastle (Co. Down) to Greenore (Co. Louth), the “Passage East” Ferry across the River Suir between Ballyhack (Wexford) and Passage East (Waterford), and the seasonal “Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry” service between Greencastle (Co Donegal) and Magilligan.

Frazer ferries' FRAZER AISLING GABRIELLE in service on the Scenic Carlingford Ferry service across Carlingford Lough. Copyright © Scott Mackey
Frazer ferries’ FRAZER AISLING GABRIELLE in service on the Scenic Carlingford Ferry service across Carlingford Lough. Copyright © Scott Mackey

Title image:  STRANGFORD 1 conducting sea trials across Lough Foyle between Greencastle and Magilligan. The former Strangford Lough ferry will cover the service over the Early-May Bank Holiday period in the absence of the regular vessel, FRAZER MARINER. Copyright © Aerial Vision NI.


Article Copyright © Steven Tarbox.  With thanks to Aerial Vision NI, Kayleigh Clarke @ Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry, Martin McKenna, and Scott Mackey.

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