Ireland’s busiest port, Dublin Port, is playing host to some unusual visitors this month with both Irish Ferries and Stena Line deploying vessels to release others for dry docking. Maritime photographer Gordon Hislip has kindly contributed a selection of images taken at the port yesterday.
Mega Express Four
Corsica Ferries MEGA EXPRESS FOUR is on charter to Irish Ferries for a period of two months. The unusual yellow-hulled visitor is acting as dry-dock relief vessel for the Irish Ferries fleet.
As we first reported, during her spell with Irish Ferries, MEGA EXPRESS FOUR will mainly be seen on the Dublin – Holyhead route. She will, however, also cover some sailings between Dublin – Cherbourg on selected weekends.
Stena Line’s STENA EUROPE is normally seen on the Rosslare – Fishguard route. The Swedish-built ship is currently serving the Dublin – Holyhead route in place of STENA HORIZON which is required at Belfast in place of STENA EDDA.
In order to release STENA EUROPE, Stena Line has temporarily suspended the Rosslare – Fishguard route. Initially this was to be for 10 days so STENA EDDA could cover both STENA SUPERFAST VIII and STENA SUPERFAST VII.
However, STENA EDDA remains out of service with unknown technical issues having been expected to return to service several days ago. At the time of writing STENA EDDA is expected to be in service within the next 20-48 hours.
Clementine and Clipper Pennant
Some of the less well known visitors to Dublin are the CLdN Ro-Ro’s fleet. Amongst their grey-hulled vessels are two of the largest freight ferries in the world – CELINE and DELPHINE. Although both of these huge vessels visit Dublin, the much smaller CLEMENTINE is pictured here.
CLdN operates a flexible fleet and moves vessels around the network frequently to accommodate network and traffic demands. Since the start of the year, visitors to Dublin have included DELPHINE, YSALINE, HERMINE, PALATINE, OPALINE, SIXTINE, and AMANDINE.
CLdN offers daily services from Ireland to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge and also connects Dublin with Porto and Santander. One reason the company is perhaps less known than others is that they do not accept any passengers. CLdN also offers sailings from Cork to Zeebrugge and doubled its number of weekly sailings between the two ports before the end of last year.
Until the start of the year, CLdN also offered a service between Dublin and Liverpool. Following Brexit, the company terminated the service, which was interworked with its sailings to Iberia. Dublin and Liverpool now both have separate routes each calling at Porto and Santander. Both P&O Ferries and Seatruck Ferries continue to offer multiple sailings daily between the Irish capital and Liverpool, however. Seatruck’s CLIPPER PENNANT is currently on charter to competitor P&O Ferries for their Dublin service.