End of February ’19 News Roundup

ULYSSES in dry dock at Cammell Laird Birkenhead, 2019. Irish Ferries

A quick summary of some ferry news stories from February not yet reported on NI Ferry Site including some dry docking updates and news from the Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle services.

Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry starts summer season early

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.

Following a brief return to service earlier in the month for the early May Bank Holiday, the ‘Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry’ is to return on the 11th of May for an extended summer season, though a full 7 days a week service will not run until the 25th of May.

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

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: https://www.flickr.com/photos/das_boot_160/

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