PR: New Strangford ferry named and bravery award for crew member

Strangford II. NI DFI.

The new MV Strangford II ferry, operating between Strangford and Portaferry, has been officially named by HRH the Duke of Kent at a ceremony on board today. Since the new ferry was brought into service in early February it has completed approximately 7000 sailings, with the service providing typically 99.8% availability on an annual basis. During the ceremony, ferry crew member John Nixon was also presented with a commendation from the Royal Humane Society for his bravery and action in assisting in saving the life of a woman during an incident at Portavogie harbour in April 2016. John recovered three people from the water and commenced First Aid support to a woman until the Ards Peninsula First Responders arrived and gave further help.  

A new ferry for Strangford

STRANGFORD II crossing 'The Narrows' bound for Portaferry. © Steven Tarbox.

Strangford II ushers in a new era for historic lifeline ferry link. An historic ferry link. The Strangford Lough Ferry across “The Narrows” between Strangford and Portaferry has existed in one form or another without a break for over 4 centuries, since the time of James I.  Records even exist showing that a ferry across Strangford Lough existed as far back as the 1180’s.  The current service makes the 0.6nm crossing in around 8 minutes, a significant saving in time from the alternative 47 mile trip by road taking around 90 minutes. A first for Ireland The ferry between Strangford and Portaferry holds the distinction of having the first steam powered ferry in the whole of Ireland, the paddle steamer Lady of the Lake, as far back as 1836. This was some 36 years before Belfast got its first steam powered ferry.  Lady of the lake was a paddle steamer built by Alexander McLaine in Belfast and launched … Read more

STRANGFORD II (Vessel Profile)

Strangford II, with near-sister Portaferry II in the background. Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure.

Strangford II was built in 2016 by Merseyside’s Cammell Laird to a design by BCTQ for the Northern Ireland Department of Regional Development (Now Department of Infrastructure). She replaces the elderly car and passenger ferry MV Strangford as well as the backup passenger ferry MV Rachlyn.

Quick Strangford ferry update

Northern Ireland's new ferry STRANGFORD II Registered Belfast built at Cammel Lairds was today launched (floated off) Lairds slip at 13:50 moving round to the wet basin dead tow, assisted by Smit Waterloo & Smit Sandon at 14:15. Once built is complete, she will undergo river trials before the official handover later this year. Copyright © Das Boot 160. Flickr:

Strangford II floated out at Birkenhead The new Strangford ferry which is currently under construction at Cammell-Laird in Birkenhead passed an important milestone yesterday when she took to the water for the first time having been floated off at around 13:45.  She was then towed by Smit Sandon and Smit Waterloo to the wet basin were further work will be completed. The new ship has been named Strangford II and has Belfast as her port of registry, just like her eventual operating partner (and near sister ship) Portaferry II. Strangford II will replace the existing ‘second ship’ Strangford, which is now over 40 years old and nearing the end of her operational life, later this year. Title image: Northern Ireland’s new ferry STRANGFORD II Registered Belfast built at Cammel Lairds was today launched (floated off) Lairds slip at 13:50 moving round to the wet basin dead tow, assisted by Smit Waterloo & Smit Sandon … Read more

Update: MV Portaferry II dry-docking

Portaferry - Strangford Ferry Portaferry II

MV Strangford set to continue in service throughout January. The main Strangford to Portaferry vessel Portaferry II is set to remain in dry-dock at Cammel-Laird Birkenhead until early next week. Subject to weather conditions being favourable for her crossing of the Irish Sea, Portaferry II should be back in Strangford Lough around the 15th of January. However, further mechanical work is required upon her return, meaning her return to service from refit will not be until the end of the month. Meanwhile, the veteran Strangford Ferry will continue to operate the service alone as she has done throughout November and December. As a result the 7.5 tonne weight restriction on vehicles will remain, unfortunately causing inconvenience to some users and businesses. However, NIFS understand that the A20 Portaferry road has reopened following its closure due to storm damage before Christmas. Title photo: Portaferry II.  Copyright © Scott Mackey

New ferry for Rathlin Island service

MV Canna. Photograph Copyright © Gary Andrews

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has announced that the £2.8million contract to build a replacement car ferry for service between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island has been won by Irish based Arklow Marine Services. ~ Friday, 22 May 2015 The new vessel, to replace the existing MV Canna, is expected to be in service from the end of the summer next year. Danny Kennedy said: “Today we see a very significant step forward in delivering a much needed new car ferry for the people of Rathlin Island and indeed for visitors to this unique part of Northern Ireland. “The new ferry which has been specifically designed to operate on the waters between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island will replace the now 40 year old MV Canna. “I congratulate Arklow Marine Services on their successful bid in the open competition which attracted interest from shipyards across Europe. I look forward to following the progress of … Read more

STRANGFORD (Vessel Profile)

Frazer Ferries STRANGFORD seen leaving Greencastle at the start of another crossing to Magilligan Point while in service for Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry, Spring 2019. Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry.

MV STRANGFORD (also known as STRANGFORD FERRY, as that was the name she had painted on her hull) was the smaller of the 2 vehicle carrying vessels operating on the link across Strangford Lough between Strangford and Portaferry until the end of 2016.  Until the entry into service of the PORTAFERRY II, STRANGFORD FERRY was the main vessel on the route, having launched the vehicle ferry service in 1969.  Following PORTAFERRY II‘s arrival her role changed to provide extra capacity on the service during the summer and to cover maintenance on the larger PORTAFERRY II.  STRANGFORD FERRY was originally built for Down County Council in 1969, and was earmarked as far back as 2009 for replacement in 2016, by which stage she was operational for some 47 years. Life extension and replacement In order to extend her life until 2016 STRANGFORD FERRY received new vehicle ramps and a full repaint following sand blasting during a dry docking at Harland and Wolff in 2011.  Despite … Read more