UPDATE: Freightlink have posted (external link) the following update from Irish Ferries to their website
“Ulysses will be back on the Dublin/Holyhead/Dublin route by Friday 27th July if repair works are successful this week. The next 2-3 days are critical and we will be in a position to comprehensively update mid-week. Until then Epsilon will continue to operate on Ulysses schedule.”
Freight Commercial Business Team
NI Ferry Site will be updated once we hear more. 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.
Irish Ferries’ flagship still in dry dock almost a month after arriving
Irish Ferries ULYSSES return to service on her Dublin to Holyhead route has been delayed again, with the 50,938gt ferry having been expected to leave Belfast Dry Dock today. However, her planned refloating has been pushed back again until at least tomorrow evening. It is also likely sea trials will also be required before ULYSSES makes her way back to Dublin meaning it is probable the vessel will not return until at least towards the end of the week. The Irish Ferries flagship has been in dry dock at Harland & Wolff Belfast since the June 28th with problems related to her starboard propeller. It had been initially reported in the Irish media and on NIFS that a replacement propeller shaft was required to be fitted , but it seems there have been complications and further work has been required.
The absence of ULYSSES which can accommodate some 2000 people and 4km of freight has come during the peak summer holiday season, with passengers and freight units alike having to be transferred to other sailings. The smaller RoPax EPSILON has replaced ULYSSES on the schedule, however this has meant that EPSILON‘s Dublin to Holyhead sailings have been cancelled as well as her weekly weekend trip between Dublin and France. This has been particularly inconvenient timing for Irish Ferries as many passengers booked on to EPSILON‘s France sailings had originally been booked on the cancelled sailings of W.B. YEATS which is still under construction in Germany. These passengers are now finding that their sailings have been cancelled again, and so in some cases are having to transit from and to France through England and Wales only to encounter the disruption caused by the absence of ULYSSES.
Given the time of year and year-round freight demand between Ireland and the UK, ferry services from Dublin have been even busier than usual. Competitor Stena Line are taking 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. 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.