Irish Ferries Enthusiasts | Forum

Irish Ferries Enthusiasts => Discussion Board => Topic started by: Kieran on February 10, 2008, 05:22:41 PM

Title: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 10, 2008, 05:22:41 PM
Looks like Cork will only have the Pont-Aven this year. Two weeks ago the sale of Christian IV (for €16 million) fell through following the a delay in the deliver of her replacement to Colour Line.

So, any suggestions for a sutible replacement (aside from chartering back the Superferry!)???
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: memorykarl on February 10, 2008, 11:00:44 PM
Quote
Looks like Cork will only have the Pont-Aven this year. Two weeks ago the sale of Christian IV (for €16 million) fell through following the a delay in the deliver of her replacement to Colour Line.

So, any suggestions for a sutible replacement (aside from chartering back the Superferry!)???

A Possibility for next year could be the Pont-L'Abbe From Brittany Ferries, she should be a useless asset from October This year, decent berths and vehicle capacity for the route i would have thought.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 18, 2008, 06:17:15 PM
How long has the Christian IV's replacement been delayed by?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 18, 2008, 09:47:03 PM
Quote
How long has the Christian IV's replacement been delayed by?

Superspeed 2 is supposed to replace her in the "second half of June" according to the latest Colour Line press release, but I am open to correction. She is still a possibility from what I understand...

PS
Welcome to you both!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 19, 2008, 06:00:59 PM
HHHmmm if she could be overhauled inside of 2 weeks it would be a contender for a july relaunch date , a little late in the season , but could forego overhaul until say next november (09) then it could possibly catch the full Christmas rush and I imagine the freight market the company is trying to break into would'nt be overly seasonal
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 21, 2008, 08:43:28 AM
She could, but if her replacement is delayed further the cancelled bookings would probably put who ever buys her under. In reality you would want to be taking bookings now for a summer service...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 21, 2008, 05:17:26 PM
Indeed , it is very late in the year to still not have a ship confirmed , looking more and more like a 2009 return to service , at this point in the game they would be better off buying the ship when it becomes available anyway and perhaps laying it up somewhere for a few months and possibly go for a Christmas relaunch
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on May 21, 2008, 10:15:39 PM
Bad news for the route... Christian IV, according to FoNE to have been sold (Euro 13m) for service between Helsinki and St Petersburg starting THIS summer.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on May 22, 2008, 10:31:29 PM
Hhhhmmmm , not looking good at all
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on May 25, 2008, 04:44:04 PM
Just in case anyone was wondering, there is life in the Port of Cork, Captain Michael McCarthy said the following last week: “I am very frustrated - we have spent a considerable amount of time and money assisting with the negotiations on this vessel - and to have them fail at this late stage is very annoying. Unless the Cork-Kerry region really gets its act together suitable vessels like the Christian IV will again be lost to the region. It is imperative that a focus is established to re-establish the route.”

Also, this site (http://www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com/) has been set up to campagin for the reestablishment of the service.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on June 20, 2008, 11:27:03 AM
The news on C103 yesterday morning mentioned that Cork County Council have placed aside a large amount of funding to help advertise any new operator.
They also said that the Council will not set up or buy any ship, like they did after the B&I pulled out of Cork, and apparently there are negotiations “ongoing” about another vessel (no mention of who is involved though).
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on July 30, 2008, 09:55:37 AM
There were talks yesterday between the mayors of Cork city and county and the mayor of Kerry will hold roundtable talks with high ranking city and county officials from both counties, and with representatives of the South West Regional Authority, at Cork County Hall. No word yet on if any progress was made...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on July 30, 2008, 11:12:53 PM
Following the talks yesterday, the local authorities mentioned above have agreed to "have agreed to work together to restore the Cork to Swansea ferry link."

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on August 28, 2008, 09:35:57 AM
Swansea-Cork was back in the news yesterday with a meeting between the Port of Cork and ABP Swansea. There are a number of people willing to invest in a ship (which the Port of Cork claims to have found) for the route...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on August 29, 2008, 01:28:19 PM
It has hit the examiner again

Quote
Port chiefs to discuss ferry route re-opening
27 August 2008, Sean O’Riordan, Irish Examiner


AN important meeting is set to take place next month between the Port of  Cork and Associated British Ports aimed at getting the Swansea-Cork ferry up and running again.

Representatives from Associated British Ports, which has responsibility for Swansea port, are to visit Cork on September 8.

Captain Michael McCarthy, commercial manager for the Port of Cork, said both authorities would discuss providing a list of incentives for would-be operators on the Swansea-Cork route.

He also revealed that the parties were already in discussion with two Irish operators who have expressed interest in re-establishing the service.

The loss of the ferry is believed to have cost the south-west region an estimated €38 million in tourist revenue last year.

Cork County Council, Cork City Council and Kerry County Council have set up a working group, primarily aimed at galvanising political support for the reinstatement.

Captain McCarthy said work was already going on behind the scenes to source a second-hand vessel which would be capable of plying the route.

“Swansea Port has some limitations in regard to length and draught of a ship. A suitable vessel would also have to have the necessary stability to withstand weather in the Atlantic,” he said.

Capt McCarthy said the reopening of the route should have happened last season, but was lost at the last minute.

He and his counterparts in Swansea are determined that this won’t happen for the summer of 2009.

“I’m reasonably confident that we will have the route reopened for next season.

“Re-establishing a Cork- Swansea ferry link is one of the main priorities of the Port of Cork and we have been spending a considerable amount of time on this project,” Capt McCarthy said.

Discussions are now entering a critical stage, as any operator would have to start marketing the route shortly.

“Potential customers would have to be informed in November or December, so they could make plans for their summer holidays,” Capt McCarthy said.

He believes the time is right for the re-establishment of the route, as airline fares begin to rise.

“Airline travel is going to become more and more expensive. There has been an increase of between 10% and 15% in passengers using ferries on the Irish Sea in the past year. So I’m confident that the Swansea-Cork route is economically viable,” the Port of Cork commercial manager said.

He added that the route would also prove very attractive to road hauliers, who are presently having to divert their cargoes through Rosslare and Dublin.

The talk of the Ports being involved in securing a ship is interesting, I have no idea what they have their eyes on...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on September 10, 2008, 07:40:20 PM
Indeed , I cant think of any ships comming out of service that would suit the route , still , lets hope they're successfull at re-opening the route (I'm sick of the drive to Rosslare)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on September 26, 2008, 05:12:54 PM
The following is in today's Examiner:

Quote
EU allows State to fund 30% of ferry service
By Sean O'Riordan, Friday, September 26, 2008 Irish Examiner

THE Government can fund up to 30% of the cost of operating a new Swansea-Cork ferry service EU officials have confirmed.

THE Government can fund up to 30% of the cost of operating a new Swansea-Cork ferry service EU officials have confirmed.

According to Fine Gael MEP Colm Burke, about 30% of the likely costs could be met through central government funding.

He claims European Commission legislation would allow the Government to provide significant financial support for re-opening the link to Britain with Ireland's south-west.

Tourist accommodation and services providers in Cork and Kerry said the loss of the ferry over the past two years is running into tens of millions. Mr Burke said he had approached European Commission officials seeking information on whether the Irish Government would be allowed to back a new ferry operation.

"The commission, in their response, outlined that the Government can fund up to 30% of the cost of operating this route for a period of three years.

"The ball is now in the Government's court to supply the strategic funds to restart this route which is of immense importance to the south-west region," Mr Burke said.

The Port of Cork is in discussion with potential operators to reopen the route which closed in 2006. It is estimated the loss of the ferry link has cost the south-west economy a staggering €38 million annually.

The Port of Cork and British Associated Ports — which controls Swansea port — have agreed to offer incentives to any company willing to restart the service.

Michael McCarthy, Port of Cork marketing manager, said any financial support from the Government would be most welcome.

"We are currently working with a number of interested parties on the project. A business case study has shown potential in terms of a ferry carrying passengers and cargo. We have identified this as a profitable
service.

"Providing funding to get it off the ground would represent a vital cog in the route's long-term viability," Mr McCarthy said.

Port of Cork officials are actively engaged in developing specific proposals for improving maritime links between Ireland, France and Spain through the Western Europe Sea Transport & Motorways of the Sea (WEST-MOS project).

Mr Burke said these potential routes can be funded as part of the Motorways of the Sea which is a stated priority under the EU's Trans-European Networks Programme.

It would offer enormous potential for reducing costs, CO2 emissions and congestion on land motorways for consumers, hauliers and public authorities alike.

"In 2007 the Port of Cork had a record throughput of 10.7 million tonnes, proving that it is the premier port on the south coast of Ireland," the Ireland South MEP said.

"It's obvious that investment costs for Motorways of the Seas would amount to only a fraction of what new terrestrial motorways would cost.

"It is time that the Irish Government took this issue seriously and supported investment in maritime links between Cork and Swansea and Cork to Spain," Mr Burke said.

There is also rumours that Brittany Ferries are interested in relaunching Cork-St. Malo services using the Pont L'Abbe (which is expected to go for a 3 month refit in Poland this year) and also using her on Cork-Swansea...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on October 14, 2008, 12:23:15 AM
The plan for the Pont L'abbe would be very usefull to get the route running again , nearly the same timetable the old Celtic Pride used to operate in the late 80's early 90's
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Ferry Mad Matt on November 08, 2008, 04:34:03 PM
I'm just itching to see Swansea ferry port open again, I don't like seeing it COMPLETLY dead (Don't know much about the Pont L Abbe but I take it (from pictures) she's not much bigger than the superferry which is a shame.  I always thought the Normandy would have been a good vessel for the route, although when I saw her in her last days in Rosslare she did look near to retirement-full of rust and on her last sea legs.  Lets watch this space i suppose.   8-)

this is my first post
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on November 08, 2008, 07:29:41 PM
Hello and welcome!

One of the biggest problems facing any operator of the route is Swansea's restrictions (145M berth, and draft restrictions)... It will be interesting to see what happens with the route.

Also, I have advertised this on the main site, but forgot to mention it on the forum. There is a campaign underway to restart the service http://www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com/
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Ferry Mad Matt on November 10, 2008, 08:32:00 PM
Thanks kieran!

I didn't realise the exact restrictions so thats interesting.  Of course Swansea Bay has tidal problems aswell. Hopefully the ferry service will return and I'll be able to go and see the ferry from time to time as it's only a 50 minute drive from where I live.  

I really like the website.  Great pictures :)


Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on December 08, 2008, 02:18:51 AM
No news on this for a while now , I suppose no news is not good news at this stage
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on December 08, 2008, 09:18:39 PM
It has gone very quiet on the Swansea - Cork front, nothing has been said about the service since the end of October...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on December 09, 2008, 03:07:27 PM
Not encouraging :(
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on December 12, 2008, 05:52:59 PM
Some encouraging news in today's Examiner

Quote
Restoration of ferry link ‘has never been closer’
Sean O’Riordan

THE Port of Cork says the reinstatement of the Swansea-Cork ferry service is just a step away.

A bank has agreed to fund 60% of the start-up costs; a number of other investors are on board; an operator has been found and four ships on the market have been identified as suitable for the service.

Port of Cork commercial manager Captain Michael McCarthy said the reinstatement of the ferry link “had never been closer” since it ceased
operating in 2006.

Since then it is estimated that tourism revenue of €70 million has been lost to the south-west region.

The ferry link was established in 1987 and was responsible for bringing 2,850,000 passengers and 700,000 cars into Cork.

The cost of re-establishing the route is estimated at €12m and it’s believed more than €10m has already been guaranteed.

Capt McCarthy said the port authorities were doing everything in their power to ensure the service gets up and running.

“Over the last six weeks we have visited seven countries and identified four suitable vessels. We’re satisfied that we have a robust business plan and the operation is commercially viable,” Capt McCarthy said.

He said “the last pieces of the jigsaw were beginning to come together” and a relatively small amount of further investment is needed to get the ferry operational for March 2009.

Recent surveys of British holiday-makers have shown they are reverting more to taking their cars on family holidays, rather than expensive airline travel to sunspots.

That makes traditional style holidays in Cork and Kerry far more attractive.

“The reinstatement of the ferry service would be a significant boost for tourism and freight business,” Capt McCarthy said.

A large number of hauliers have backed the move due to fuel savings and the reduction in the number of hours drivers are at the wheel.

Both the port authorities in Swansea and Cork will offer the incentives to aid start-up operations for the ferry.

The Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Noel Harrington, said he was very hopeful that the remaining investment could be found.

“I am appealing to people living in Cork and Kerry to look at investing in  this. I’m fully confident it is a viable proposition and it is essential for  the region that it’s reinstated,” Mr Harrington said.

Local authorities in the region have pledged, along with Fáilte Ireland, to put significant money aside to market a new ferry service.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on December 16, 2008, 09:04:29 PM
Some good news at last 8-)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on January 03, 2009, 11:05:46 PM
There is said to be a lot of under the radar work going on to re-establish the Swansea - Cork service with good news about the 2009 season apparently just days away , however with the way things have gone already I wont be holding my breath just yet.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on January 07, 2009, 05:39:52 PM
Was in the news again yesterday. Nothing new...

Quote
Cork ferry could return by spring
Tuesday, January 06, 2009, 07:59 This is South Wales

THE Swansea-Cork ferry route could be re-established by March. Campaign organisers say they hope to secure funds for the scheme before the end of the month. John Hosford, spokesman for the bring back the Swansea Cork Ferry campaign,  said: "Commercial confidentiality prevents us from divulging too much detail but vessels have been identified for the route and we have a number of interested operators.
"It's just a case of getting the investment together which will hopefully be in place before the month is out. "If everything goes according to plan, the route could be up and running again as early as the spring by March or April." Pressure has been building on both sides of the Irish Sea for a return of the ferry since it was axed in January 2007. It has been estimated that the ferry route was worth around £65 million a year to Wales in 2006. Some 2,762 people have signed an online petition so far at www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com Mr Hosford, who runs businesses in Cork, said the new route would breathe life back into the tourism industry on both sides of the water.
"Tourism in the region has been badly hit since the ferry crossing ceased operating," he said.
"Losses have been estimated at 100,000 Euros per day. "You can have the best facilities in the world at your disposal, but without providing proper access, it's pointless. "The beauty of travelling on the ferry is that people can bring more things with them such as golf clubs or fishing equipment, without being mindful of the weighing scales - you can even put a camper van in the locker! "Bus and lorry drivers can also get their required rest time on board. "A lot of the people who have signed the petition said they would use it at least five times a year. "We are confident it will be up and running again soon bringing a boost to the tourist industry."

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: overboard on January 11, 2009, 04:26:22 PM
THE Swansea-Cork ferry route could be re-established by March !!!!!

Great !
But which might be that ship !?!?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on January 12, 2009, 02:18:27 PM
Quote
THE Swansea-Cork ferry route could be re-established by March !!!!!

Great !
But which might be that ship !?!?

That is a question I can't get an answer to!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on January 12, 2009, 04:32:25 PM
I suppose at this stage any ship is better than none , however it would be good to see them go up a level or two over the Superferry.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on January 13, 2009, 02:35:20 PM
Following some googeling and scratching my head I have some possibilities...

Christian IV (the vessel that SCF wanted) is for sale again, I would assume she is still the preferred option.
The Pride of Telemark and Kongshavn (Kystlink owned them both) may also be an option, but draft and length come into what will be allowed by ABP in Swansea...
Brittany Ferries have the Pont L'Abbe in reserve also, perhaps they could be involved in getting the route going again...but this is all guess work...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on January 17, 2009, 02:22:18 PM
Interesting the Christian IV comming up again , given the change in economic circumstances I Imagine she could be got at a better price  this time round.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on January 20, 2009, 04:03:13 PM
Found some pictures of the four contenders
The Christian IV http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/julia_1982_b_7.htm
The Pride of Telemark http://faktaomfartyg.se/stena_empereur_1983_bild_4.htm
The Kongshavn http://faktaomfartyg.se/stena_nordica_1979_bild_3.htm
And finally the Pont L'Abbe http://faktaomfartyg.se/pont_labbe_1978_b_6.htm
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: overboard on January 21, 2009, 04:30:21 PM
I think that Tallink´s Regina Baltica should have to remember also, to be one candidate too !
Tallink will sold her out anyway as soon as their NB Baltic Queen will be on trafic later in this year.  And if money talks she will enter her service in baltic such a quickly ;)
And even RB have much of age,... in public spaces she is in such a good condition + having much truck/car capacity !
Just check this http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/viking_song_1980.htm
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on January 21, 2009, 06:40:10 PM
The following is in todays Examiner, which lets the cat out of the bag on what ship is involved... Looks like the Julia will be in Cork soon...

Quote
A suitable ship has been identified which is presently berthed in Finland.

A bank has agreed to fund 60% of the start-up costs, an operator has also been identified and investors are in talks aimed at bridging a gap of just €3 million in financing.

The port's commercial manager, Michael McCarthy, said the ship could be purchased for between €10 to €12m and would need about €500,000 in alterations to get it to comply with Irish standards.

He said the vessel, which has recently undergone a refit, could hold 1,800 passengers, 480 cars, plus freight and was also fitted out with 800 beds.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on January 21, 2009, 07:08:40 PM
Well the ship sounds perfect for the route , the public certainly seem willing to support the service , now if that 3 Million gap can be bridged we're in buisness , the Port of Cork has said a decision needs to be made over the next 2 - 3 weeks in order to have the service running by April
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on January 21, 2009, 08:52:12 PM
Well, it looks like talks are ongoing, so fingers crossed...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 15, 2009, 10:49:06 PM
I wonder if they got the required funding............. http://bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 17, 2009, 09:22:58 AM
A co-op is being set up to raise the remaining cash

Quote
A New Co-operative calls for support of local business people to raise €3 million
- from West Cork Tourism - 12th Feb 2009

A consortium of business people from the South West region, led by West Cork Tourism have formed a co-operative in the hopes of raising €3 million euro in the coming days for the resumption of the Swansea Cork ferry service.

The newly formed co-operative came together when a suitable ship became available for purchase at a realistic price. They are now calling for 300 people to pledge €10,000 each to ensure the future of the region. If successful, the initiative will translate to hundreds of jobs for the region.

The opportunity is extremely attractive as it combines low risk and a healthy financial return on the niche product for the South West and Wales which competitors will find hard to replicate.

Figures from 2007 show that the ferry is worth €50 million to the region. Mr. Conor Buckley, chairman of West Cork Tourism, said, "It is vital that we secure a ferry service this year.”

“If we can raise €3 million from the industry – over the next seven days – we will have the potential to unleash a €250 million dividend over the next five years.

The Swansea Cork service was a profitable business from 1987 to 2006, and we believe that there will be an excellent return on a €3 million investment which will be seen in increased tourist numbers, bed night and profits in the overall tourism industry in the region.”

The initiative offers a unique opportunity to re-stimulate the long-stay tourism market in the South West. It has been proven that car accompanied tourists travel further, stay longer and spend more money than passengers who arrive by air. Local branches of the Credit Union have also given their support to the initiative.

The new boat is expected to cost in the region €10 million, of which the co-operative will be expected to provide €3 million with an additional €6 million coming from a loan issued by a bank that has a vested interest in the boat.

An additional €1.5 million will be drawn from business interests in the shipping and freight industry. Further working capital will be funded by Cork County Council and Failte Ireland, as well as from investors in the Business Expansion Scheme.

The boat, according to Mr. Buckley, can be operational by April if the funding is in place. "But we need to secure three hundred pledges of €10,000 each within the next seven days."

"€3 million might sound like a staggering amount of money, but it is not only achievable - it is imperative if we are to re-establish West Cork as a tourism stronghold.

"We are fully aware that the timelines are tight, but I believe that doing nothing is not an option – the time for action is now - our industry is staring into the abyss."

In December, the Port of Cork commissioned a business plan – prepared by STS International – which is based on realistic assumptions about traffic volumes, rates and fuel prices and it concludes that this is an attractive opportunity, combining low risk with a real opportunity for a financial return.

The steering group has appointed Mr. Paul O'Brien as co-ordinator of the fundraising drive. He can be contacted at 087 7857619 at the West Cork Tourism offices at The Rectory at Cork Road, Skibbereen.

A series of information meetings will be held throughout West Cork starting with four meetings tomorrow, Friday 13th. The first meeting will take place at 10am in The Trident Hotel in Kinsale; a noon meeting at Hosfords Garden Centre; a 4pm meeting at Casey's Hotel in Baltimore; and a 7pm meeting at The Westlodge Hotel in Bantry.

On Saturday, there will two meetings: the first will be at 10am at The Cametringane Hotel, Castletownbere for the Beara region followed by a 1.30pm meeting in The Castle Hotel in Macroom.

These meetings will culminate in a final open meeting on Tuesday 17th February in Skibbereen’s West Cork Hotel at 8pm where interested investors will be urged to pledge their money.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 18, 2009, 09:04:25 PM
The Christian IV will be renamed the Innisfalln if the funding is secured.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 19, 2009, 04:39:58 PM
Appropriate , any word if they reached they target? last I heard they were half way there.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 21, 2009, 04:57:08 PM
It seems that the original Swansea Cork Ferries Ltd. is no more , however the new company to take over the Swansea - Cork route is to be called B&I Line , that coupled with the "Innisfallen" will make things interesting , a blast from the past or what.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 23, 2009, 01:03:44 PM
They are more than two thirds of the way now, even the Cork and Kerry footballers are putting in funds...and didn't hear about the B&I named. Swansea-Cork Ferries was always just a trading name, the company behind it was Briar Star Ltd...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 24, 2009, 11:27:47 PM
Happier days...........................................
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 24, 2009, 11:41:47 PM
And another old favorite undergoing a refit at Verolme.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 25, 2009, 09:49:07 AM
I have a few of her taken from the air of her in Verolme, I'll upload them later when I can find them (and some Irish Ferries ones too)...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on February 25, 2009, 08:10:54 PM
Only another €700,000 to go.

People power will have done ythis, a lesson to the country in these
times of difficulty.

Well done http://www.bringbackthe swanseacorkferry.com

There will be tears of joy in the lower harbour when MV Innifallen
(New B&I under an Irish Flag) is in the Cobh road en-route to Swansea.

Can we do it YES we can!!!

Is feidir linn!!!

Well done to all!!!

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 25, 2009, 08:53:32 PM
Indeed I too put my money where my mouth is and bought shares in the new company , I've always said that with the right ship the Cork - Swansea route could be a goldmine , and I believe the Christian IV is the right ship.
We're down to the wire now as an agreement to purchase the ship must be made by midnight tomorow night , to be so close and slip on the final hurdle for the sake of 700,000 Euro would be criminal.
I will say this though , the champagine corks will fly the day the Innisfallen arrives in Cork , and THANKS FOR NOTHING Fianna Fail.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 25, 2009, 10:56:59 PM
I must say, well done to all involved for getting so far, fingers crossed we will have the Innisfallen in Ringaskiddy soon (April 16th I am hearing, bookings should go live on March 1st).
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 25, 2009, 11:14:09 PM
Hopefully  :)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 25, 2009, 11:39:33 PM
Heres something of interest I found
 ;D
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 25, 2009, 11:41:07 PM
However here is the same ship a few years later in Swansea about to depart for Cork on a B&I service.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 25, 2009, 11:41:48 PM
A better shot (not mine either)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 25, 2009, 11:43:30 PM
Of course we never could keep that boat away , here she is on her final stint , for Swansea Cork Ferries of all people! :o
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 26, 2009, 04:17:16 PM
Up to 2.6 million now , so near but yet so far , however Paul O Brien is confident of going ahead on scheduale.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 27, 2009, 06:49:35 PM
The deadline for the sale of the Julia has been extended by two weeks to allow the reminding funds to be raised (they are going to accept smaller donations to the co-op also)...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on February 27, 2009, 09:06:53 PM
(http://)Friends of the Swansea Cork link, friends of a ferry flying an Irish flag
can all help market the service.

For example Twitter, Bebo, facebook......, I have put the name on twitter to help promote the campaign. I have e-mailed all contacts.......

The peoples ferry in touch with the people.

Innisfallen, A great way to Holiday Ireland!!!

  







Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on February 27, 2009, 09:29:22 PM
Follow the fleet on twitter!!

Pride in our Irish Flagged Ferries!!

New B & I new ferry, Old Idea, in touch with kids

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 28, 2009, 03:00:29 PM
Latest newsletter is up here (http://www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com/html/e-newsletter-feba2009.html)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 01, 2009, 04:12:30 AM
This was a right find , although I doubt we will be able to do a modern spin of this picture given the size of the new ship.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 01, 2009, 04:20:56 PM
Great to see the real Innis passing Blackrock castle.

Not the "Leinster" docked in Swansea.

Delighted to see the interest in the revival of the Swansea Cork Ferry Route and a project with an Irish Flag!!!

I remember follow the fleet (irish shipping) does anyone else?





Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 01, 2009, 06:33:20 PM
Trvel the to Wales and beyond the INNISFALLEN WAY
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 01, 2009, 10:41:25 PM
Quote
This was a right find , although I doubt we will be able to do a modern spin of this picture given the size of the new ship.

Her draft is 5.8m, so she could go as far as far as Tivoli at least...

Quote
Great to see the real Innis passing Blackrock castle.
...lets hope the "real D'Innis" is coming back!

Quote
I remember follow the fleet (irish shipping) does anuone else?
That was well before my time, but Arklow Shipping are doing an online version of it now I think...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 02, 2009, 09:29:44 AM
Great to see the the pic!!

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 05, 2009, 02:02:21 PM
Any news on the restoration of the link?

Is there a proposed date for bookings!!!

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 05, 2009, 09:22:53 PM
There should be an announcement tomorrow...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 05, 2009, 10:45:22 PM
1973 Cork Swansea Prices and Timetable
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 08, 2009, 08:32:30 AM
Why not also provide an additional mid-week  service to Roscoff.

Out Tues back Wed, like Celtic pride used to do!!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 08, 2009, 09:20:19 PM
Quote
Why not also provide an additional mid-week  service to Roscoff.

Out Tues back Wed, like Celtic pride use to do!!

Lets get to Swansea first, but they must have plans for expansion...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 11, 2009, 07:16:13 PM
The suspense is killin me , anyone know if we made it over the line?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 11, 2009, 09:51:14 PM
Quote
The suspense is killin me , anyone know if we made it over the line?

I've been told we will have "an announcement" tonight or tomorrow, I am presuming there are talks ongoing in Finland....
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 11, 2009, 10:18:55 PM
Just got my update , the co-op raised 2.8 million and could not meet the banks special purchase price , the ship will now go to auction tomorow ( 12-03-09) , the co-op will be bidding for her so lets hope all goes well , its nearly the moment of truth.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 12, 2009, 08:34:49 AM
Is there a Plan B?

Are there any other Ships available?

Why are the Government so silent on the matter?

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 12, 2009, 02:24:02 PM
There is no viable plan B , other ships are available at similar prices however none of them can be refurbished to Irish Atlantic Coast standard in time for this season , in effect its all or nothing on the Julia.
As for that waste of space government , they have quite clearly demonstrated that they do not give a toss about Cork or anything to do with the place , they have been asked for help many times and every time they gave a pack of lies as to why they could'nt , and this is added to by the fact that Cork is represented by the most spineless TD's ever to walk the Earth , what else would you expect from Fianna Fail!
Fianna Fail does not care about jobs , tourism or tourists , shipping , access to the southwest or even the people they claim to represent , all they care about is keeping the party in power. >:(
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 12, 2009, 05:47:38 PM
Quote
Why are the Government so silent on the matter?


Same reason they crippled Cork Airport with a debt of €114 million, they don't care about Cork...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 12, 2009, 07:42:58 PM
Lets keep fighting!!

I live in Athlone and will drop letter to Mary O'Rourkes House & Office
and send some more e-mail's to TD's ("leaders"0

The restoiration of the service is a no brainer when you look at thespin offs for the region. And the fight in many ways is marketing the service to future customers.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 12, 2009, 08:59:18 PM
Latest update , the Julia failed to sell at auction , there were other bids besides the B&I Lines co-op but the reserve was not met , the co-op had the highest bid so a further round of discussions with the owners will take place tommorow , given the lack of interest in the ship (at least by anyone with the cash to buy it) I imagine the last 200,000 Euro gap can be bridged.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 12, 2009, 11:21:39 PM
Lets hope, what an amazing lift to the South West, South Wales and the Country if this great campgain works.

Does anyone remember travelling on this ship from Cork?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 12, 2009, 11:42:18 PM
Looks like the Fennia , B&I chartered her in 1983 for the Cork - Pembroke , B&I had pulled out of Cork the year before but got its nose out of joint wheh Welsh Irish Ferries took up the Cork - Barry service , B&I had already sold the Innisfallen so it had to charter in a ship , it is of note that B&I again pulled out of Cork once the rival operation had been shut down.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 13, 2009, 08:37:51 AM
Anyone remember this ferry out of Cork during overhaul
of Innisfallen at the time nder the name Espresso Olbia
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 13, 2009, 08:52:46 AM
What is the Pont-L'Abbe doing at the moment?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: swift on March 13, 2009, 12:50:51 PM
The 'Pont l'Abbe' is laid up at St Nazaire, but there's no info about her future. This information was found on www.ferry-site.dk. I would highly recommend the site to all. Michael Koefed-Hansen is the webmaster, and he does an incredible job. If anyone's interested in where a vesel is, or what happened to her; you can search by ship name, company - or even companies which no longer exists! Happy surfing!!! ;)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 13, 2009, 08:41:53 PM
What have Irish Ferries (the company) done for Cork
Have they helped in the restoration of the service?
How much state money went into B&I / ICL?

OLD B&I  / Irish Ferries
Dropped Swansea, Dropped Pembroke
Dropped Cherbourg Dropped le Harvre
Dropped Irish Crews

Yet the thier image is PLASTERED all over this site
Irish Ferries = Dublin & Rosslare

Why not rotate the banner image.

ALL HANDS ON DECK, ALL HANDS ON DECK, ALL HANDS ON DECK

Lets answer the PEOPLES & VISITORS call.

BRING BACK THE SWANSEA CORK FERRY

                   INNISFALLEN
                       CORK      



Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 14, 2009, 07:03:26 AM
I note that the Port of Cork website (vessel movements)
is showing a vessel "JULIA" arriving in Cork (South Jetties)
on 19/03/09, 0200!!!!

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 14, 2009, 03:36:12 PM
While I cant give any details yet (confidentality clause) a PROVISIONAL agreement has been reached , the Port of Cork  (who have been invaluable in this project) and the co-op are confident that in the early hours of Thursday morning our new Innisfallen will arrive , it needs a small modification for Irish legislation and time to train in the crew (it is hoped most of whom will be Irish and Welsh) and be reflagged under the tri-colour , I think we are still on target for a service launch on April 16th (cant speak for anyone else but I certainly will be aboard and getting very drunk ;D)
And finally , no matter which way things go now , many many many thanks are due to Captain Micheal McCarthy (Port of Cork) Adrian Brentnall and John Hosford (Bring Back The Swansea Cork Ferry Campagin) Captain Frank Allen (new B&I Lines) Conor Buckley and Paul O Brien (West Cork Tourism) Ciaran Desmond (McGuireDesmond Solicitors) Cllr Noel Harrington (Cork County Council and Mayor of County Cork) Peter Iles (Strategic Transport Soloutions International) The Managment Co-op of Brittany Ferries and all the other volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes for many monthes and in somecases since the day the previous service ceased , without whom NONE of this would have happened , and Cork would be left with only Brittany Ferries (who have the most loyal of ferry operators to the People of Cork , servicing the Port UNINTERUPTED since 1978) to run the roll on - roll off passenger and freight traffic and would have no direct sea link to the UK.
Given that this project has recieved no government support it is nothing short of a miricle that we have come this far , and I must confess that as a devout sceptic my opinion on people power is begining to change.
Top Picture is a sight not too dissimilar to the one on the city quays thursday morning (hopefully) , and as for the second picture , well I imagine there will be a big party here at some stage  ;D (the Julia's lounge bar) both pictures from www.shipspotting.com
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 14, 2009, 04:24:17 PM
That is the best news I have heard all week! Well done to all involved.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 14, 2009, 04:45:52 PM
Nothing is finalised yet but it looks good.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 14, 2009, 04:52:22 PM
Deck plan, so we all can find the bar!!

Deck 8 AFT Port Side, Passing Cobh, (St. Colmans Bell Ringing)
                                The Holy Ground, No13 Turn to Starboard

Deck 8 AFT Mid-ships  Spike, Whitegate, Crosshaven

DECK 7 AFT               After Roches Point

DECK 7 Cabin            

THE INNISFALLEN WAY, THE PEOPLES WAY

What amazing people have been involved in this campgain and what  an amazing  campgain!!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 14, 2009, 08:01:07 PM
Having looked at the Port of Cork website , the dimensions it gives for the Julia dont look right , could be a different Julia.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 15, 2009, 09:33:18 AM
Our family will make the journey to "the holy ground"
no matter what the time of day or night to witness
this great event,

New B&I and New Innisfallen turn to port at No. 13
and pass "the holy ground and Cobh".

We all have to help make this great service work and prosper!!!

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 16, 2009, 07:48:43 PM
Any news from Finland?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 17, 2009, 10:24:00 PM
Nothing yet....  :(
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 18, 2009, 02:40:19 PM
There has been a slight delay (in part I believe by unnessesary Irish buerocracy) , all going well the Finnish owners will sign over the ship on friday.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 18, 2009, 07:48:52 PM
I note that the campgain website is saying news due by the end of the week.

Waht the Finnish Press are saying!!

http://www.kaupunkilehtiankkuri.fi/showFlashPaper.php?id=135

If you have any Finnish friends read Page 7 of this local paper.
The outcome seems positive, but delays in transferring the €1.5 million deposit are mentioned.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 25, 2009, 07:39:43 PM
Any news?

We are Travelling to Cardiff at the end of April and to Belgium in June and would love to bookon new B&I and travel the Innisfallen way.

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 25, 2009, 09:35:15 PM
From the website:

“The talks with Finland are ongoing and together with our lawyers we are doing everything we can to ensure the co-operative secure the ship and have the best possible start for the ferry company.

We are frustrated by the length of time negotiations are taking but it is vital that we get the right deal."


There will (hopefully) be more news this week..... Lets keep our fingers crossed...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 26, 2009, 07:54:19 AM
The waiting is frustrating , however it looks good for a positave outcome , it now looks like we will miss the April 16th start date and are looking the start of May now as it will take four weeks to get the ship ready once its signed over.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 26, 2009, 08:30:54 PM
According to the latest issue of the news letter €2.9 million has been raised so far, an amazing achievement on it's own...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on April 01, 2009, 12:18:53 PM
There is mounting concern that the sale of the Julia may not be completed , the Pont L'Abbe is again being examined.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on April 02, 2009, 11:03:13 AM
Woke up to find this:

Quote
Newsletter update - Wednesday 1st April
Some very good news....(and no - it’s not an April Fool!)

We are delighted to announce that Conor and the negotiating team from West Cork Tourism have just returned from Finland having agreed the basis for a deal for the purchase of the Julia!

This deal now has to be ratified by the creditors of Stella Line (the owners of the ship) - and we are very optimistic that they will approve the deal, and that we can then go ahead and purchase the ship!

Well done to those involved again, hopefully we will see her on the Lee soon...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on April 02, 2009, 02:51:01 PM
It looks like the co-op going to have another look at the Pont L'Abbe ratteled a few cages , its now in the hands of the Stella Lines creditors.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 03, 2009, 08:06:50 PM
The Pont Abbe would be a great alternative.

Her performance in weather would have give her an edge
in particular in shoulder periods. In particular in strng S to SE winds.

She  might Cork St Malo next year in partnership with Brittany Ferries!!!

Great to see the hard work of all in the co-op bearing fruit, what a great secret marketing campgain. We are holding off on booking both holiday and busioness trips.

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on April 04, 2009, 12:18:36 AM
While the Pont L'Abbe is a fine ship , she is not much bigger than Superferry , one of the problems the Superferry had was capacity in that she was'nt big enough to cater for demand at peak periods , the Pont L'Abbe would have the same problem , size and capacity are no problem for the Julia , in fact with the Julia's size she is just barely able to fit the berth in Swansea and could be the biggest ship the route will ever see , that and the extra capacity will allow the new company to grow without the need for a second ship for a year or two (incidentally discussions about adding a second ship have centered around the Nordlandia , the Julia's identical sister ship)
Below , from www.shipspotting.com the Julia showing off her immense vehicle capacity in St Petersburg , and the Nordlandia
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on April 04, 2009, 12:44:44 AM
Could'nt resist this one from www.shipspotting.com , the Julia when new as the Olau Britannia.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on April 04, 2009, 12:52:58 PM
Sold!

Quote
The Finnish bank which currently owns the ferry Julia, agreed on Friday to sell the ship to our consortium.

West Cork Tourism chairman Conor Buckley said he hoped co-op members (who have raised  nearly €3m in pledge investment to help purchase the ferry) will wholeheartedly ratify the sale agreement when they meet in Skibbereen on Tuesday night.

"We started raising money on February 12 and we’ve been in talks with the Finnish bank for the past three weeks. This is a huge milestone for us. There is a lot of excitement in our group," Mr Buckley said.

"We are currently preparing the necessary working capital. We are going to be launching the service in a difficult economic environment, but there is huge goodwill both here and in Britain for it."

The 28-year-old vessel, which was recently refitted, will have to undergo some minor alterations to comply with Irish maritime law – and it is hoped that she can start sailing between Swansea and Cork by June.

Pictures of her in Finland yesterday from Bring Back the Swansea Cork Ferry...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 04, 2009, 04:50:41 PM
My day, my year seems so much brighter!!!

What a great day for Ireland and Wales, what a great day for the people of http://www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com.

All involved are amazing people.

Lets all TRAVEL THE PEOPLES WAY, THE INNISFALLEN WAY

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on April 04, 2009, 06:23:55 PM
Well I know how I'll be voting , now the challange is to get her into service as fast as possible.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 04, 2009, 08:26:16 PM
All friends of the ferry service can help.

Book, travel and Market!!

We need to look at new ways of marketing and of reaching out.

I set up the twitter name Innisfallen, lets get all school kids to become followers!!  Anyone remember following the fleet? Lets follow Innisfallen by twitter, the first Irish Ferry on twitter!!
 
Offers by twitter!!

Innisfallen and great Irish & Welsh on-board crew will bring
back not only "theswanseacorkferry" but great service and travel experience.

Our small business will be glad to offer discounts to co-op members
and we are available to give admin support (on voluntary bASIS)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on April 04, 2009, 11:57:26 PM
Examiner also mentions today that the company is to be called "Fastnet Line", B&I has been dropped...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on April 05, 2009, 12:54:06 AM
Interesting , I had'nt heard this , I wonder what was wrong with B&I?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: swift on April 05, 2009, 08:00:56 AM
As far as I am aware, the name B&I Line, remains a trading name and subsidiary company of Irish Continental Group plc.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on April 05, 2009, 11:40:37 AM
Your right, just checked the CRO "B&I Line Limited" is a separate company, with the same address as ICG head office that is still operational (last accounts were lodged in December).
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 05, 2009, 04:26:51 PM
Ok

Fastnet Line it is!!

Why not a competition for schools to design a new logo!!
The kids (+me) here are already thinking of great ideas!!

Become a follower of the Innisfallen on Twitter!!!
Follow the fleet, the difference is Fastnet Line flys an Irish Flag!!!

Lets all dine together in the "fairytale restaurant", this is some fairytale!!


Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on April 08, 2009, 05:24:02 PM
The co-op was formally set up last night and approved the purchase of the Julia.

FastnetLine's website has also gone live (www.fastnetline.com). I'll add a page to the main site over the weekend with the story so far...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on April 15, 2009, 05:22:49 PM
And with the new service about to be restored , here's our ship at the end of its first life as the Olau Britannia , and its replacment , also the Olau Britannia.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 25, 2009, 08:30:32 AM
Just back from another Rosslare Fishguard  Cardiff trip, any news on a start date. We are due to travel the first week of june.

Heres a picture of proposed INNISFALLEN this before the Color Line take over of the Fred Olsen Ferry routes.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on May 05, 2009, 10:48:41 PM
March 1st, 2010... disappointing but understandable considering the delays in the purchase of the Julia.

Quote
News from the West Cork Tourism Co-op
- 5th May 2009

After careful consideration, the Board of the Co-op has today decided that the Cork-Swansea ferry service should not run this year but will instead return on 1st March 2010.

We reluctantly took this decision in the light of the large part of the booking season already lost to the service (due to the unexpectedly long negotiations), and the fact that many potential passengers have already made their bookings for the crucial July, August and September sailings.
 
Co-op Chairman Conor Buckley said, "We would have liked to have the service resumed for this summer but, despite the enormous amount of work we have already put into the formation of the co-op, we feel that there is an overpowering economic case to not proceed this summer.

No one would thank us for rushing into service now and sustaining huge losses.
It would undermine everything we have worked for and would be a potentially huge loss of shareholders money - it is far better that we continue with the very solid foundations we are building now and ensure a totally sustainable business for the next twenty-plus years.

We have to take the long term view".

We do realise that many of you will find this news disappointing - but we are convinced that this decision is the best one for the future of this service - and we look forward to welcoming you all on-board the ship in the New Year.
 
Today Co-op shareholder and indefatigable campaigner John Hosford, made a presentation to the Petitions Committee of the Welsh Assembly and received a very positive hearing (link to the video is on the Campaign website at www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com

The Co-op will make follow up submissions to the Assembly as a result of John's initiative and there is a real possibility that some funding may well be secured which would be another enormous boost to the ferry service.

We will keep you up to date with further developments as they occur - and we are sure that you will understand our reasons for this decision.


Conor Buckley,
Chairman West Cork Tourism Co-op
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on May 06, 2009, 07:53:29 PM
Is there a plan B? Its hard to believe that there
are no vessles available for Charter.

Or is there another operator prepared to operate
a Cork UK Service?

This news is really disappointing, once again I am starting to believe that we will never see the service restored.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on May 07, 2009, 12:37:53 AM
As far as I know the purchase of the Julia is still on track (depending on what happens when it goes before a Finnish judge) , but it now looks as though delivery of the ship will not happen before late August / early september , by which time the year is almost over anyway.
I too am highly disapointed that we will not have the route back this year , however no-one could have forseen the amount of time it would take to complete a marine liquidation sale , I dont know if a charter set up was looked at , however getting a ship at this short notice would be difficult at best , not to mention expensive and I doubt that a new operation could absorb such heavy losses , I still have every confidance in the board of the co-op to get the new service up and running while safeguarding shareholders investment at the same time , while not the outcome hoped for in terms of timescale , the new launch target of 01/03/10 gives a better lead in time for the introduction of the service in so far as getting the ship ready and crewed , marketing the service and allowing time for people to plan their trip well in advance.
Its a shame to have to write-off the rest of 2009 , but at least 2010 looks promising.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: SWSIFerries on May 07, 2009, 10:20:51 PM
Quote
Is there a plan B? Its hard to believe that there
are no vessles available for Charter.

Or is there another operator prepared to operate
a Cork UK Service?

This news is really disappointing, once again I am starting to believe that we will never see the service restored.

There was another company interested in the service and had began talking about Pont Avon, however they decided to stop down due to the advanced stage of the co-op deal.

If the co-op fail, they will resume their interest in the project.

Cheers
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on May 08, 2009, 11:36:24 AM
Quote
There was another company interested in the service and had began talking about Pont Avon, however they decided to stop down due to the advanced stage of the co-op deal.

If the co-op fail, they will resume their interest in the project.

Cheers
Welcome to the Forums!

I presume you men Pont L'Abbe (the one laid up pending sale or charter) as opposed to BF's flag ship.

The problem is, at this stage, it is too late to do anything. It is now summer, school holidays start in 3 weeks, and while the company could break in a ship later in the year, in reality, chances are the cash flow projections will we out big time.

I don't think anyone could have foreseen the length of time the acquisition of the Julia/Innisfallen would take, but so many people in the local community have invested in the service that Fastnet Line has to do what makes business sense. The other thing is they aren't giving up!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on May 15, 2009, 09:44:02 PM
I note that "bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com" are VERY selective in comments published on thier website. Many parties caused delays in the purchase of the "Julia" ex Christian IV, ex Bayard, ex olau Britannia.

There is NO Excuse in no Swansea Cork Ferry for 2009!!

There are suitable ferries available in both Northern European and Med Waters.

Watch out for "briar star"



Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on May 17, 2009, 06:39:21 PM
I did hear a mention somewhere that Briar Star were looking to aquire an overnight ferry , but I dont know if there is any truth in this , I hope not as the route cannot support two operators as was seen in the early 80's.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on May 20, 2009, 09:44:59 PM
Briar Star were interested in reopening the route all along, but after the Port of Cork refused a loan to them they went very quiet...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on September 14, 2009, 02:29:29 PM
Sale has been compleated, press release is here (http://www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com)

Fastnet Line Successfully Purchase MV Julia

West Cork Tourism Co-Operative Society Limited, is pleased to announce the purchase of cruiseferry, the Julia, for a consideration of €7.8 million. The Julia, which will operate under the Fastnet Line brand will arrive in Cork in the coming weeks to proclaim the dawn of a new era for the South West region. 

West Cork Tourism began their campaign at the beginning of the year to raise €2.6m to get the Swansea Cork route back up and running. Finnish bank, Aktia Bank and its finance company, Atkia Yritysrahoitus Oy, has supported the acquisition through the provision of a mortgage of €6.3 million.

The Julia, built in 1982, has sailed several routes in the Scandinavian Peninsula.  The vessel has 10 decks with maximum capacity for approximately 440 cars and 30 freight vehicles and the total passenger capacity of the vessel is 1,860.  The Julia has a fine array of restaurants and bars, a children’s play area, and a cinema as well as over 300 passenger cabins, rendering her particularly suited to the night crossing between Swansea and Cork.

The Julia will commence service on the Cork-Swansea route in March 2010 and expects to enjoy strong demand from both tourist and freight customers. Fastnet Line believes that it will contribute greatly to the development and promotion of tourism in Cork, Kerry and surrounding areas, creating more than 500 jobs and bringing thousands of tourists directly to the region annually. It will  also contribute to the development of Irish tourism into Wales. In addition, Fastnet Line will provide hauliers operating in Ireland and the UK with a viable sea crossing alternative for freight activity between the regions, potentially reducing round trip road journeys by over 600km.

Additional funding of €2.5 million is now required to fund the working capital requirements of the business and to facilitate the development of the infrastructure of the organisation in the period prior to and after launch in March 2010. In that regard, there are now opportunities to invest both in the Co-Op and in Fastnet Line.  The Co-Op will be arranging a series of roadshows in the region to brief members and prospective new members on its plans in the coming weeks.

Commenting on the acquisition, Conor Buckley, Chairman of the Co-Op, said “We are delighted to be in the position to officially announce the purchase of The Julia and the commencement of the Cork to Swansea route in Spring of next year. The coming weeks and months will continue to be crucial to us to gain the working capital to aid the development of the organisation so we are looking forward to meeting with potential investors from all over the South West Region and beyond.”

Investors are being offered the opportunity to participate in what the Co-Op believes will be a key business in the Cork and Swansea regions for the long term. A business which will bring rewards to its stakeholders not only in financial terms, but also in terms of bringing business to the regions it serves.

Welcoming the news, Ieuan Wyn Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, of the Welsh Assembly Government said, "The resumption of the ferry service will reinstate an important link between Wales and Ireland which has the potential to bring economic benefits to both countries. Its value to Swansea, in particular and to Wales in general, is recognised from a trade and tourism perspective and will also enhance our international links with Ireland.

Also welcoming the news, Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, the organisation responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas, said: “As an island, direct, convenient and competitive access services are critical to achieving tourism growth.  We look forward to working with the West Cork Tourism Co-Operative and Fastnet Line through our marketing campaigns, to help stimulate demand for the service in the all-important GB market and grow tourism business to the south west.”

Mikko Piirtola of Aktia Yritysrahoitus Oy said, “We are very pleased to begin this new partnership with West Cork Tourism Co-Op and very much appreciate the Co-Op ethos as we ourselves started as a community savings bank 175 years ago. We believe that the intention to create economic benefits both in Ireland and Wales through increased trade and tourism will ultimately mean a successful ferry business in the long term.”

Captain Michael McCarthy, Port of Cork Commercial Manager said; ‘The Port of Cork welcomes the news of the purchase of, MV Julia. West Cork Tourism Co-Operative have put continued effort into re-establishing the Cork to Swansea route, and I am delighted that it is now paying off. Today is a proud day for Cork and the entire South West region.”

Fiona Buckley, speaking on behalf of Failte Ireland said “We are delighted at the reinstatement of this very important service for the South West region and applaud the initiative of West Cork Tourism, local traders and all those involved in making this a reality. We look forward to working closely with all involved to maximise the exposure of the service.”
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on September 14, 2009, 08:12:32 PM
At long last , we can look forward to seeing her on the city quays shortly then.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on September 15, 2009, 07:31:33 PM
Great news and great to hear the interview with
Conor Buckley on RTE radio 1 Drivetime yesterday.

Well done to all concerned!!!

Great to see "people power at work"
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on September 17, 2009, 07:07:12 PM
She's coming! Live map is here (http://www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com/html/livemap.html).
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on September 17, 2009, 09:49:19 PM
Wow Innisfallen is on her way to Swansea and Cork. And the dream of so many in the restoration of this important link is becoming a reality.

Roches Point here we come!!

And amazing to track her voyage online!!

In a country full of bad news, this is such an amazing good news story.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Stena Europe on September 19, 2009, 11:28:17 PM
Well done to all involved. It is great to see the Julia finally on the way! I am looking foreward to crossing on her once the service is up and running.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on September 20, 2009, 02:30:39 PM
The ship track seems to have lost the Julia.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on September 20, 2009, 03:06:10 PM
Quote
The ship track seems to have lost the Julia.

I am reliably informed she is heading towards the English Channel. The tracker is AIS based, so she is currently between receivers....
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: OLAU-fan on September 20, 2009, 04:51:24 PM
This morning our former OLAU BRITANNIA (Julia) passed The Netherlands. At the moment there is now AIS signal of her, but she should be in The Channel.

She must have passed the route Flushing - Sheerness where she sailed some 8 years (1982 - 1990), before here successor the OLAU BRITANNIA-2 (SNAV LAZIO) came in charge.

(http://www2.picturepush.com/photo/a/2279690/800/OLAU/Julia-2009-09-20-0700-hrs.jpg)


Regards,

Robert
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on September 20, 2009, 06:44:34 PM
There she is , now between Ramsgate and Dover.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: OLAU-fan on September 20, 2009, 07:08:58 PM
Her AIS signal is back.

She (Julia / OLAU BRITANNIA) just passed the area where she was active in the period 1982-1990 and where she made some 3000 returntrips in that period.

(http://www2.picturepush.com/photo/a/2280930/800/OLAU/Julia-2009-09-20-1856-hrs-with-text-Flushing)

Welcome back OLAU BRITANNIA!

She is now back where she belongs: on the Northsea. :) :) :)

 

Best regards,

 

Robert
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: OLAU-fan on September 20, 2009, 11:31:07 PM
Some history of this great ship.
Her christening:  http://www.olau.net/history/christening.php

Best regards,

Robert
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: OLAU-fan on September 21, 2009, 11:19:50 PM
The OLAU BRITANNIA is heading for Swansea with her last miles to go. Since some hours she has reduced speed to less than 10 knots, I think it is to arrive not to early with respect to her ETA of 06:15 CET.

I hope the new owner makes the ship a beautiful lady and should be glad to see a nice logo at her funnel.

(http://www2.picturepush.com/photo/a/2286435/800/OLAU/Julia-2009-09-22-0015-hrs.jpg)



After I go visit the other OLAU BRITANNIA(2) and OLAU HOLLANDIA(2) in Italy next year, I hope to visit this OLAU BRITANNIA(1) in 2011. I wish you many safe and nice years with this great ferry!



Best regards from The Netherlands,

Robert
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Ferry Mad Matt on September 21, 2009, 11:23:59 PM
She is getting closer, currently off cornwall as I write this. I would be tempted to go to Swansea tomorrow being just 30 miles away but I can't drive and I'm not going by train. It's fun tracking her movements though. And even better with a hot drink hehe. ;D
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: OLAU-fan on September 22, 2009, 03:35:55 PM
This morning she has been arrived in Wales (Swansea).

Some pictures at the just updated site http://www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com/

(http://www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com/assets/images/Swansea1.jpg)

(http://www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com/assets/images/Swansea2.jpg)

(http://www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com/assets/images/Swansea3.jpg)

Therre is also a link at the site to more nice pictures.

Regards,

Robert
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on September 24, 2009, 03:13:32 PM
Her ETA at home, Horgans Quay is 09.45 Friday morning...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: OLAU-fan on September 24, 2009, 10:27:25 PM
Quote
Her ETA at home, Horgans Quay is 09.45 Friday morning...
Thanks Kieran,

According to her AIS-data she (Julia / OLAU BRITANNIA-1) has left Swansea some two hours ago and sails with some 15 knots to Cork.

(http://www2.picturepush.com/photo/a/2297115/800/OLAU/Julia-2009-09-24-2311-hrs.jpg)

(http://www4.picturepush.com/photo/a/2297117/800/OLAU/Julia-2009-09-24-2318-hrs.jpg)

Regards,

Robert
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: celtictec on September 25, 2009, 02:24:30 PM
Hi All,
I've just joined up, this website is a great information resource on the latest ferry happenings.
Anyway,
my news is I saw the Julia berthing in Cork this morning, and after hanging around for a while managed to get on board for a look around.
She really is a fine ship with several resturants, a disco bar and an authentic looking Irish pub    with Guinness signs !!

There is a really spacious feel onboard,with a large area of open deck space for those who like to get some air.
There were several Stella  Line posters still in evidence and some Color Line logos scattered about too.  The passenger areas are in excellent condition and look like she could almost go straight into service.  I guess that she will be open to the public properly shortly.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on September 25, 2009, 08:14:59 PM
Unfortunatly there is a certification problem with visitors comming onboard , in so far as in order to accept visitors it must have a certified crew capable of doing evacuations onboard , however I know the board of the co-op are eagre to have the public look her over and are still working on the issue.
I also magaged to get a look around onboard this morning and I must say I was Very impressed by her , my personal view is that she will be the best fitted out ship on the Irish sea .
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on September 25, 2009, 08:36:06 PM
I'm stuck in Dublin at the moment (and annoyed I missed her!). There are photos on BringBackTheSwanseaCorkFerry, she looks in excellent condition dressed over all...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on September 25, 2009, 08:41:48 PM
There is video footage of the Julia's arrival into Cork which should be up on youtube amongst other places over the next few days.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: john on October 01, 2009, 07:34:16 AM
Any arrangement to visit ferry while Docked in Cork

Jack
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on October 01, 2009, 08:44:41 AM
HI Folks
Julia will be at Horgan's Quay in Cork City centre for a while, until she heads off for dry-docking.

We always intended to throw her open for people to see, but there are issues with crewing, insurance & so on - we're working on it!

I'm not an authority on Ferries, but to my untrained eye she did look very clean and tidy inside - and the photos on the website show this also. There's been some wild talk of the ship undegoing a massive refit - what she actually needs is the extra door to be fitted on the car-deck (she brought the door down with her from Finland), for everything to be checked over and for a full maintenance program to be run.

Once she starts sailing in March 2010 we'd like to to continue without interruption...

Hopefully there should be some youtube video (courtesy of RTE) available later today.

As always - www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com for the latest news, photos & etc

Adrian :)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on October 01, 2009, 02:55:03 PM
Yes I keep hearing the refurbishment story as well , and as I keep telling people , after seeing the ship myself (and I've seen a lot of ferries in my time) she really does not need it , from what I saw everything is in pristine condition onboard and the onboard finish is of a very high standard and very stylish also , full marks to Color Line who did the big refit on her a few years back and did it very well.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on October 02, 2009, 08:36:41 PM
She's certainly in good shape - we're trying to get some more 'interior' shots on the website to prove it.

Meanwhile, those nice people at RTE have given us permission to show the piece Tom did for the RTE News - includes that lovely shot of Julia approaching Cork City with the firehoses playing in the foreground - classic!

www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com

Adrian
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on October 03, 2009, 10:28:23 AM
Was home for a day last week, she really does look great (and huge) on the city quays. I'm sorry I missed her arrival after seeing the video...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: celtictec on October 07, 2009, 05:05:23 PM
Does anyone know how Fastnet line are going to staff the ship,  can you just go and hire a complete ferry crew?
I guess that there will be a considerable number of people required to run the passenger services ,catering, accomodation, retail on board and a full operating and engineering crew too.
Would engineers and maintenance staff who previously worked on her be required, seeing as they would know her systems and specific operating procedures?
Sorry about all the questions  just curious about where things go from this stage.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on October 10, 2009, 11:21:27 PM
Adrian will probably be able to give a more exact answer here, it was said else where to keep an eye on local press.
It is possible to just hire a crew (we are an island nation!), or have part employed directly by the company and other departments out sourced. Hotel and catering usually just need some shore based experience, deck and engine staff could be hired directly too...
Usually, some of the ships new crew would join the ship before she is handed over to her new operators, and some of her old crew would remain onboard for a few weeks after the ship is handed over (usually someone on the bridge and engine crew)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on October 13, 2009, 08:32:02 AM
"Adrian will probably be able to give a more exact answer here, ....."

I wouldn't bet money on it ! <g>
I'm really not that close to the operational details - but I know that a great team is being set up to look after all of that - keep an eye on www.fastnetline.com (new website coming in the next 24 hours or so...)
~Adrian
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on October 13, 2009, 02:47:35 PM
Excellent , the website is finally going live , looking forward to giving it a look over (looking forward even more to actually booking on it  :))
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on October 15, 2009, 04:58:46 PM
www.fastnetline.com is live... and we have a logo...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on October 21, 2009, 08:06:51 PM
[split] [link=http://www.irish-ferries-enthusiasts.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1255858032/0#0][splithere][/link][splithere_end]
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on October 26, 2009, 12:27:40 PM
Olau Britannia, Bayard, Christian IV & Julia names meaningless to Cork and crossing the Irish Sea.

Five vessels have proudly and bravely carried the name Innisfallen from 1896. Travelling the Innisfallen Way meant arriving refreshed at your destination and was an integral part of travelling to and from, Innisfallen was loved by the people of Cork.

Give the new ferry the Peoples Name, Innisfallen and recapture the sense of ownership.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on October 26, 2009, 04:32:02 PM
Its not just a case of painting over Julia and putting Innisfallen on her bow and stern. Renaming a ship isn't cheep (there is a lot of paper work involved, and everything onboard has to be changed also)... At the moment the ship needs a name, and there are more important priorities to get the service operational (that said, I still want to add another Innisfallen to my features page!)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on October 27, 2009, 07:20:23 AM
Any costs and paperwork associated with the re-naming of the vessel would be well worth it.

The name Innisfallen will provide a significant marketing start and advantage. Julia was the name of a failed service of a the failed Stella Lines.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: OLAU-fan on October 27, 2009, 07:14:42 PM
Quote
Its not just a case of painting over Julia and putting Innisfallen on her bow and stern. Renaming a ship isn't cheep (there is a lot of paper work involved, and everything onboard has to be changed also)... At the moment the ship needs a name, and there are more important priorities to get the service operational (that said, I still want to add another Innisfallen to my features page!)

Pull off alt the paint and plastics and there will rise an nice name:  OLAU BRITANNIA  :)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on November 10, 2009, 05:17:19 PM
Went on a tour of her this morning, even for a Colour Line ship she is in even better condition than expected. (Same level as the Oscar Wilde or Val de Loire, even her crew quarters are well kept). Photos and a new feature page on the way...

Also, for anyone that believes her cabins need work look at the attached, I saw a few on various decks and all were of the standard below...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on November 10, 2009, 08:29:07 PM
More photos on my flickr (http://bit.ly/45Z3xv) page...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on November 11, 2009, 10:21:38 AM
The pictures are great, the inside looks "ready to go".

Now what about a great NAME.

Travel the Innisfallen Way
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on November 11, 2009, 01:54:30 PM
Quote
Now what about a great NAME.

Travel the Innisfallen Way

No decision has been made about the name yet...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on November 11, 2009, 07:07:06 PM
She truely is a magnificent ship in every respect , and so well maintained , the change of name would be nice , but given the cost involved it must be kept in mind that funding is not unlimited and there is a very expensive mechanical maintainance programme underway at present , as much as I'd like a name change , in the interests of getting a good service going to go with the good ship I find I am not too pushed about what she's called , if it cant be done this year perhaps it is something that could be revisited when Fastnet Line is in a better financial position.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on December 02, 2009, 10:26:55 PM
Great to see that the Cork Swansea Schedule
has been published on the Fastnet Line Website including those adjusted due to tides at Swansea.

I feel that the Sunday morning summer sailing from Swansea is a bad idea as is the 6 week summer peak.
(18th July to 31st August). What about June and Early July?

Looking forward to our first trip.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on December 05, 2009, 05:17:53 PM
I note from the .co.uk website that there is a new logo.

It is awful!! I hope that it is not going to be used!!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: celtictec on December 10, 2009, 12:20:25 PM
I just noticed that the website booking system is up and running.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on December 10, 2009, 04:15:08 PM
Quote
I just noticed that the website booking system is up and running.


But have you tried booking on it? I found it quite awkward to use and it will generate plenty of confusion. Some joined up thinking was in short supply when this was put together.
As for the pricing - i cannot see where you can buy a ticket for euro 89? An average return fare with car and two passengers with a cabin is euro 350+ (low season) With the obligatory dinner thrown in it will be a euro 400+ trip and hits us in the UK hard.
Can't remember what the old ferry charged but i am sure offseason was around £250??
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: celtictec on December 10, 2009, 07:37:57 PM
Yes, I tried it  its definitely not the easiest to use. A bit more thought and a look at competitors booking engines would have been a good idea.

As for the prices yes in my opinion they seem a bit steep and no minicruise option.  C'mon Fastnet Line  take a leaf out of P&O's book!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on December 10, 2009, 07:56:55 PM
What a disaster of a booking system to use, confusing to say the least.

Childern go free, NOT in cabins

Berths cost €50 approx each way per berth!!
€200 approx (each way)  for an outside 4 berth cabin!!

Car & 2 Ad & 2 Ch in excess of €800 in March & October!! or is it a case of making mistakes with the
booking system.

Rosslare Fishguard March €264 without Cabin and €428 with a cabin. (Stenaline)

I note that Cork Roscoff for 2Ad & 2 Ch in March with a 4 Berth outside Cabin is €540!!!

They obiviously DONT want families to use the service, come on Fastnet line give us a break

We travel to the UK 4 to 5 times per year and were looking forward to the service, I am afraid NOT at these CRAZY prices.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on December 10, 2009, 08:27:59 PM
I am glad it's not just me being negative then!
I do several trips a year and it will get more soon so the long drive (from East Kent to West Cork) is a nightmare.I can get excellent discounts on I***h Ferries and have a daily service. The roads have improved a lot over the past few years so that argument of saving the driving has lost a bit of impact.
I had this mad idea of getting the train to Swansea jumping on the overnight (dinner/ drinkies and bed) and getting picked up from Cork but at euro 130 just for a footpassenger, that really is not attractive now.
I would have thought they would have kicked off with some super deals and get at least the old passengers onside then adjust the fares later and hope some loyalty would carry it through. I know it is tough and cash is short but currently if we are having second thoughts i reckon cars full of families in Summer will go elsewhere. No mention of loyalty deal or a free bottle of wine with dinner!!
 I am talking the UK to Ireland view here of course. If the pound falls further - very likely - the sums get worse.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on December 11, 2009, 05:03:26 PM
I too am a bit shocked by the pricing , at €130 for a foot passenger return its twice what that trip would cost with Ryanair , and €630 for car + 5 return in march is near insanity.
The booking system itself leaves a lot to be desired , it seems like a really cheap system , and the system being the only cheap thing about the bookings.
I would be deeply concerned about how long this service will last with those price structures.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on December 12, 2009, 06:38:57 PM
I note that some changes have been made to the booking system, they have a long ay to go!!

We have been travelling to the UK from over 20 years by ferry, practice in both the UK and Ireland as Consultant Engineers and have much experience and ideas to offer. I really hope the new service is a success and would love an opportunity to share my experience and knowledge.

I note from the "on board" blog management were in Portsmouth watching Port operations. That time (& expense) should have been spent tweeking the "booking engine".



Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: fastnet on December 13, 2009, 12:23:00 PM
Hi,

Thanks for all the comments on Fastnet Line. 
We will take each one of them seriously.   Any new booking engine will always need to be tweaked after launched.

Just some follow up on some feedback

We set our prices just above our Irish Sea competitors.  The main difference is the compulsory cabin.

To make this more appealing with have started with kids free. 

There was an issue with selecting infants in a cabin bit this is fixed now.

We have reduced our foot passenger price based on feedback.

I am afraid it was I that was in Portsmouth the other night.  I had spent the whole day with the booking engine providers.  I went to see a departure at 11pm at night.  Thought it was better than hanging around the hotel at that time.

All feedback it good and thanks for yours so far.  We are rolling out some more changes based on feedback during the week.

If anyone wants to contact me directly my email is [email protected]
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on December 13, 2009, 03:22:38 PM
Quote
Hi,

We set our prices just above our Irish Sea competitors.  The main difference is the compulsory cabin.


I think if you compare like with like you will find that Fastnet Line are substantially more expensive than its competitors.
For example , for a return trip for a car + 5 adult passengers with cabin accomadation departing on april 13th and returning april 14th the quotes were as follows
Irish Ferries €420
Stena Line   €410
Fastnet Line €692

That is quite a price difference , and you have the option of dropping the cabin option on the Rosslare routes bringing it to

Irish Ferries  €358
Stena Line    €332
Fastnet Line €618 (with pullman seat)

I know of several people who have already been scared away by these prices and booked Irish Ferries instead , for a €300 price difference people will make the drive to Rosslare as it is a saving of almost €1 per mile.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on December 13, 2009, 08:16:04 PM
Well done Fastnet Line

I have noted significant changes in the pricing.

Keep listening to feedback, together the "Peoples Ferry"  will work!!

Now what about the overall appearence of the website? Still looks like a poor transition year project,
I wonder how much it cost?

Why no coverage of the launch in the media? Not even the "examiner".

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: fastnet on December 14, 2009, 05:04:22 PM
We have started a new site build and hope to roll out early 2010. 

Sales & marketing starting a promo campaign later this week
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on December 15, 2009, 12:34:43 AM
I am glad I am not the only one shocked by Fastnet's pricing structure. Is it really fair to charge a compulsary Euro 22.00 each way for a pullman seat on night sailings (even for infants) when they are virtually ALL night sailings? It's a bit like Ryan Air tactics that one!! Surely the pricing was always going to be the problem here - how can Fastnet hope to be competitive when they only normally plan 6 'bites of the cherry' each week - as opposed to Irish Ferries/Stena's 4 each per day!!! Presumably Julia will only need to carry one crew, whereas StenaEurope & Isle of Inishmore need 2 crews - so that's a big saving - but surely doesn't fill the gap in fares collected? I sincerely hope it works out - but at these fares I'm sure MANY will be scared off - surely the first few sailings (up to Easter, excluding Paddys weekend, say) should had have some super bargain offers to hook the punters - all we are offered is "free children" (who aren't really free, because they have to pay Euro 22.00 each way for their seat!!). Come on Fastnet - I know it's early days - but sort it quick before the site has too many hits & people book elsewhere - even if it means going offline for a few days.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on December 15, 2009, 05:22:50 AM
Fastnet Line still insist that an infant in our case
18 month old and 3 years take a compulsory pullman seat or have to occupy a berth.

In our case ( 2Ad , 1 Ch, 2 INF) means booking a 3 Berth and 2 Berth Cabin, the chances these wont be beside each other. One 4 berth would be more than adequate.

Why this "anti young family" policy? Maximise cabin occupancy at all cost.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on December 15, 2009, 10:24:54 AM
I am speechless by what I read on here about compulsory cabin berths/pullman seats for children that are hardly out of their mother's arms! I sense part of the problem is Fastnet appears to be run by ex hotel chain management, who are obviously prioritising the onboard accomodation over the basic needs of getting from point A to point B by ferry. Again, come on Fastnet, scrap this ridiculous pricing structure before all is ruined - go offline (if needs be) for a few days & come back after Xmas with a great looking site/sensible pricing structure. If not the media will soon pick up on this farce I'm sure!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on December 15, 2009, 05:51:45 PM
Hi All
Could I suggest that, if you have problems with Fastnet Line's pricing or cabin policies, you take them up directly with Pat - he's already given you his personal email address.

What's going on here sounds a bit like mob rule  - and it's pointless. Take it up with the man who can answer your questions... and is in a position to influence policies.

The operating company is young (less than 3 months) and everybody there is working incredibly hard to get this thing off the ground.
Over the last 18 months I've been involved with the Campaign, I've been faced with quite a lot of negativity - but this most recent thread sets a new low. I know that some of the people who are commenting here have already been in quite frequent contact with Fastnet Line ......

By all means offer constructive criticism & suggestions - either to Pat via email or through the feedback form on the website at www.fastnetline.com - but for God's sake give these guys a break!

Early days yet - there's a million things to do - and they won't get everything right from day 1 (who does?).

There's been a lot of support for the Campaign from this forum ( for which we are very grateful ) - but you can't expect somebody like Pat, who's already working 12-hour days, to hang around in here just to get a verbal beating...

Thanks
Adrian
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on December 15, 2009, 07:21:17 PM
I recognise the work that has been put in by all the guys in "bring back the Swansea Cork ferry" and Fastnet Line.

We have over 20 years experience in travelling by ferry between Ireland and UK and working as consultant engineers. We have further offered to lend our time and experience from the technical and travel point of view, this at NO cost!!

We would love to see this service "The peoples ferry" be a rip roaring success, if we raise an issue it is as a result of a genuine concen. I have e-mailed suggested timetable changes (pre-launch), website improvments, mentioned additional marketing ideas and mentioned technical (engineering upgrades) at Swansea Port and commented because I care.

If we had difficulty with the website as a supporter, how will prospective customers see the service? 

If we think the new logo portrays a poor image we will tell Fastnet Line.

We have taken time to convey our comments by      e-mail (Ann & Pat) and by fone (Catherine) to the Fastnet Line Office office, I note that we have not been requested to elaborate on our ideas.  Now is the time to anticipate and overcome problems.

I dont see how taking time to give an opinion and the  benefit of experience is "setting a new low".

Fastnet Line keep up the great work and keep listening to the "people".

John McNamara
Consultant Engineer



Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on December 15, 2009, 10:41:32 PM
I slightly take offence at the comment above about "sets a new low".

I sincerely want the new service to work. I detest the alternative of the long drive both sides. Although unfortunately not able to be a financial supporter I have watched the progress of this venture with growing enthusiasm.

On Thursday evening (last) I genuinely had every intention of booking my next return trip to the UK, in March, on the Julia.
To say I was shocked at what I saw is an understatement. I emailed Fastnet, but 4 days later had heard nothing back. I posted a comment on the Swansea/Cork site - which infact did not appear - but was responded to by Pat O'Neill.

Fastnet will have to get used to criticism I'm afraid if they stick by this pricing policy. The public are encountering exactly the same website & fares - and they perhaps won't have the understanding that those on here have.

I have been interested in passenger shipping since childhood on the Isle of Wight in the late 50's & 60's.
I have had a working life in passenger transport, mostly not marine I admit. However I have been in the Merchant Navy. I have served as an Officer on passenger ships. I have dealt with the onboard public. Whilst not looking for sea going employment anymore, I would be more than willing to offer any advice.

I also note the comments about "negativity". What is the point of 'back slapping' each other - and saying "well done" - if you can see glaring errors? Far better to tackle 'reality' I feel.

I can't see any comment on here since last Thursday, when the fares were released, that appears to be 'negativity for negativity's sake' - it all appears to be offered by supporters who want to see this venture work, but are genuinely shocked by what they see and want Fastnet to take their comments onboard - and see posting on here as a possible way to get them to sit up & take notice before too much damage is done.

I don't think anyone is doubting for one second how much effort has gone into getting this venture this far - and I'm sure the present staff (Pat O'Neill included) are working 'their socks off' - surely more reason to tackle these points as they approach the final bend (before the straight leading to 1st March).

Again I wish the venture well.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on December 16, 2009, 09:26:16 AM
On a positive note, the European Triathalon Championships are to be held in Ireland in 2010, there will be approx 3000 competitors many travelling from abroad most with family and friends.

Swansea Cork would be a great way to travel and arrive "refreshed" and a great way to travel with family and supporters. With road improvements Ringaskiddy is only 2 1/2 hours to Athlone.

I hear that Fastnet line will put a great deal together
for sporting groups. Well done Fastnet Line, the relaxing way to arrive for fun and competition!!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on December 16, 2009, 05:45:26 PM
Quote
Could I suggest that, if you have problems with Fastnet Line's pricing or cabin policies, you take them up directly with Pat - he's already given you his personal email address.

Early days yet - there's a million things to do - and they won't get everything right from day 1 (who does?).

I'm all for free speech, but this site was never intended to allow people discuss internal policies (like pricing structures, which are far more complex than people think anyhow).
As was said above, if you wish to protest contact Pat, who is more than happy to discuss these matters (just remember he is a busy man). Of all the operators I have dealt with while running this site, Fastnet Lines are the most open helpful, and they are happy to listen to peoples feedback, but not here please...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on December 16, 2009, 09:34:00 PM
Ok, I think I understand what you are saying.
I'm sure we'll all be watching the new service with interest.
Time will tell I guess....?
Meanwhile, hello again Isle of Innishmore.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on December 16, 2009, 10:21:46 PM
One final comment if I may...
I've just been on Fastnet's site & fares/accomodation prices greatly improved, towards a realistic level.
Well done Fastnet for listening to the public & reacting.
Good luck!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on December 18, 2009, 12:01:58 AM
Swansea is to have another new Ferry Service starting
in March !!!
Swansea Ilfracombe (Accross Bristol Channel to North Devon)

The service is to be operated by a fast cat purchased from Wight Link.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on December 18, 2009, 11:55:30 AM
What a lovely foot passenger mini cruise option for the summer : overnight Cork - Swansea (cabin/drinks/meal), first Fastcat Swansea - Ilfracombe, the day in Ilfracombe on the Exmoor coast (know it well!), back on teatime Fastcat Ilfracombe - Swansea, overnight Swansea - Cork (cabin/more drinks/more food!). A cracking 36 hours - will certainly give that one a whirl :)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Stena Europe on December 18, 2009, 04:56:14 PM
Sounds like a ferry trip in the making  ;D
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on January 02, 2010, 10:03:52 PM
From News Wales (http://www.newswales.co.uk/?section=Tourism&F=1&id=18339) through ISS...looks very strange to me...

Quote
Irish PM gets behind Swansea-Cork ferry

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen is to speak to his Finance and Tourism Ministers about securing funding for the proposed new Swansea to Cork ferry service.

He made the announcement at a meeting with Kerry Oireachtas members and representatives from the ferry company, says the Eire newspaper The Kerryman.

Kerry County Council is to wait until its annual budgetary meeting in January before deciding on whether to invest cash in the ferry which is due to recommence operations on March 1 after a gap of four years.

A major Internet led fundraising campaign eventually led to the purchase of a new ferry in September after financial backing of £5.5 million was secured. Online bookings are currently being taken but further funding is now needed to help sustain the service on a long term basis.

Pressure is therefore mounting on the council to financially support a new community-driven company backing the project - Fastnet Line Ltd - after Cork County Council last week unanimously declared its intention to invest  €200,000 in the scheme.

While Kerry's local authorities say they fully support the reinstated service, financial backing has not followed.

Co-op General Manager Paul O'Brien refused to be drawn on a sum and has simply asked Kerry County Council to 'do its bit' to support the service. "I would encourage them to come up to the mark as Kerry is the biggest and most recognisable tourism product in the area. They are suffering as badly as west Cork, so investment can only benefit them in the end."

The figure has been proposed as the ferry company has issued secured bonds in units of £44 million repayable after a four year term. Councils can invest in co-operatives under the Local Government Act 2001.

Cllr Patrick Connor-Scarteen, meanwhile, made a call for an investment of at least £44 million at the Corporate Policy Group meeting of Kerry County Council where Head of Finance John O'Connor said the matter would come before the county council budget meeting in January for approval.

"I know things are tight but it is projected that restarting the service would provide a €40 million boost to the region in the first year and Kerry has as much to gain as Cork from the Ferry. I will continue to work closely with former Mayor of Cork Noel Harrington from Castletownbere who has vigorously pursued the ferry's reinstatement," the Kenmare councillor said.

While Kerry's business and tourism interests have also been vociferous in their support they coughed

assively overshadowed by the £2 million raised in west Cork. Fasnet Line Ltd secured a vessel the 'Julia" in September 2009, with a capacity of 1,860 passengers, a car capacity of 440 and a freight vehicle capacity of 39.

Funding to date includes bank financing secured on the vessel of £5 million and investment of £2.3 million from co-op members, comprising of tourism, business and individual contributions.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on January 02, 2010, 11:34:46 PM
If there is one thing I have learned from this project is that polititians are a complete waste of time , they were and still are quite happy to talk about the service but aside from Cork County Council and state controlled Failte Ireland , have done bugger all else to support the project , so as much as it would be great to see Fastnet Line get some funding from the Irish state I would'nt hold my breath for it as this seems to be little more than further political lip service.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on January 09, 2010, 08:10:15 AM
Quote
If there is one thing I have learned from this project is that polititians are a complete waste of time , they were and still are quite happy to talk about the service but aside from Cork County Council and state controlled Failte Ireland , have done bugger all else to support the project , so as much as it would be great to see Fastnet Line get some funding from the Irish state I would'nt hold my breath for it as this seems to be little more than further political lip service.

I couldn't possibly comment <g>...

The piece from News Wales has got its figues a bit muddled (seems some 'news' organisations can't even be trusted to copy/paste accurately !)

The secured bond are in units of 50k euro - not 44m sterling (I wish!) - so the call for Kerry Council is to contribute a paltry amount of 50k euro or more - not 44 million pounds....

..which, considering the enormous benefit the county of Kerry would expect to get from toursists travelling on the ferry isn't a lot to ask....

By the way - there was a great interview with Paul O'Brien (Gen. Manager of the Co-op) on RTE Radio1 on Thursday. We'll have it up on Youtube by the end of the weekend....

..and the Irish Ham Radio enthusiasts have been very busy rigging aerials on the ship ready for operating three special worldwide event stations to commemmorate the restoration of the Cork - Swansea link in the first week of March.

Adrian
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on January 09, 2010, 05:00:13 PM
I heard the interview with Derek Mooney on RTE 1, also included was a vox pop on the streets of Cork.
All were very positive.

I noted that Derek Mooney said that his show will be aboard the restoration sailing on 1st March!! The show is available as podcast on rte.ie.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on January 09, 2010, 06:14:13 PM
Quote
I heard the interview with Derek Mooney on RTE 1, also included was a vox pop on the streets of Cork.
All were very positive.

I noted that Derek Mooney said that his show will be aboard the restoration sailing on 1st March!! The show is available as podcast on rte.ie.

If you're looking for Paul's bit then it's at about 1hour 6 minutes in to the programme - hopefully our youtube version will just concentrate on the 'ferry' section <g>

Adrian
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on January 11, 2010, 11:42:44 AM
Any news on Julia going for her dry docking yet?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on January 12, 2010, 09:15:14 PM
Quote
Any news on Julia going for her dry docking yet?

Looks like she will head to Swansea (to the newly reopened dry dock there) at the end of the month.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on January 13, 2010, 11:51:33 AM
I heard they were doing some serious dredging around the dock area at Swansea, so thought that might be the case.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 05, 2010, 10:06:46 AM
New look website was launched today. http://www.fastnetline.com
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on February 08, 2010, 09:41:32 AM
Had a look and obtained a quote for a Minibus one way form Rosslare.
The price with a Pullman seat is Euro 160
If you compare that with Irish Ferries adding in half a tank of diesel the price is exactly the same.
S.C. arrives 07.00 so you hit the Welsh rush hour ( and the early evening rush hour going to East Kent) or with I.F. you arrive 01.00 and i would catch the early part of the morning  rush hour on the M25.
Best option would be I.F. because i get home quicker however if i don't fancy the drive Cork is handier. Do i fancy sleeping in a chair? No!
I guess it will be an option and i have no firm commitment either way.
If S.C. made it a bit more competitive i would take that option. If i had a cabin for that price then easy decision. S.C. need to consider the amount we would spend on board as a meal and a few beers is a prerequisite  so minimum euro 30 - 40 extra for one; whereas on I.F. you cannot drink and drive and the prices are just ridiculous.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: ccs on February 15, 2010, 11:28:43 PM
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/new-ferry-service-defies-odds-to-shatter-passenger-targets-2062818.html

[size=16]New ferry service defies odds to shatter passenger targets[/size]
 
By Ralph Riegel

Sunday February 14 2010

A FLEDGLING Irish ferry service has defied the recession by shattering all passenger booking targets.

The Fastnet Line -- which commences sailings from Cork to Swansea on March 1 -- has secured €500,000 worth of bookings in less than five weeks and has already exceeded its passenger targets for March and April.

The new service is also poised to kick-start the money-spinning British tourism trade into Ireland's south-west with up to 80 per cent of passengers carried expected to be British tourists.

Paul O'Brien, general manager of the West Cork Tourism Co-op, which owns the Fastnet Line, said he was "delighted" to be getting the service up and running. The inaugural sailing between Cork and Swansea is expected to see mayoral delegations from both cities make the crossing.

"We have had fantastic support from Cork city and county councils as well as from Swansea City Council and the Welsh Assembly. I think everyone realises just what an important tourism asset this link represents," he added.

Since the Swansea Cork Ferry (SCF) ceased operations four years ago, the south-west claimed it had missed out on up to €50m a year in lost tourism and spin-off revenues.

Now, Fastnet Line is confident they can establish a profitable year-round schedule catering to both hauliers and tourists with their new vessel, MV Julia, which was secured from a Finnish bank.

The ferry can accommodate 1,860 passengers, 400 cars and up to 30 articulated lorries for the 10-hour crossing between Cork and Swansea.

The Port of Cork has also confirmed that it is considering an offer to launch a ferry service to Spain -- a route which could open up a related route to France.

- Ralph Riegel
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 16, 2010, 04:11:09 PM
 This is further good news , my own feeling about the new service is that it will be a runaway success , it has a good ship with a good managment team behind it and from what I've seen so far it will offer a very good standard of service to the passengers as well.
I am hopefull that when 2010 season is bedded down a more intensive timetable for 2011 will be justified.
At the very least this news will silence the critics who said that Julia is too big for the service.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on February 17, 2010, 10:47:03 PM
Can't wait to see the Julia leaving Ringaskiddy on the maiden voyage and wish the best of luck to all involved.

Hopefully the route will do well and allow for a renaming to Innisfallen or Munster, which will increase name recognition, can't help but think that if the Innisfallen had been berthed on Horgans Quay for three months it would have increased bookings, I know it costs money, but it was possible as all on board signage was changed to Fastnet Line, only life saving equipment/life boats  would have been left to update.

I also hope the ship returns from drydock painted in Fastnet Line logo's etc, the final part of the jigsaw, but at the same time a good advertising point as it moves from Ireland to Wales.

Finally as the ship is running on night services the capacity would be much less than 1,800 passengers, however if management go for day/night service, they will give themselves a much greater chance of increasing on board revenue (while employing more people to staff the ship) with meals, bars, shops etc, all for the future
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on February 18, 2010, 10:40:35 PM
I believe there is alot more to renaming a ship than just the physical act of re-signage - plus a lot of red tape expense.
Does anyone know when she is coming back over from Swansea - presumably late next week, to allow time for storing etc?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 19, 2010, 01:11:07 AM
I am told that they will be quite busy with Julia in Swansea until at least late next week , so she may arrive back in Cork just in time for entry into service.
I too am hoping she gets a repaint and Fastnet Line branding added , of course while chatting with Paul O Brien earlier this week it is the one question I forgot to ask him  :-[ But the team is very good at covering all the details so I imagine it will be looked after.
The legal expense of renaming a ship is quite substantial , and for Julia could cost in excess of €1 million , a very large figure for a company still in the set up proccess , it is something I would like the managment to come back to when the company is better established , but keep in mind that the whole region and beyond is now fimilar with her as Julia , while Innisfallen and Munster have historical importance attached to them , who is to say that over time the name Julia will not become as important , after all she is about to herald in a new era of ferry travel on the southern corridor , and it seems mark the rebirth of Cork as a center of ferry operations with some very exciting times ahead at Ringaskiddy.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on February 19, 2010, 06:35:39 PM
I agree, I think the name "Julia" will become well known in Co Cork (and, to a lesser extent, further afield) - if it isn't already to some extent - and, being a fairly "neutral" female name, is possibly more relevent to the ordinary 'punter', in this day & age.
Word on the "jungle telegraph" this afternoon, in West Cork, is that's going to be rather tight for 1/3 - lots of shipyard workers burning the midnight oil next week I guess! Good luck anyway.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on February 22, 2010, 07:59:56 PM
One week to go, I hope that the drydocking is on schedule !! Still can't understand how the renaming would cost so much especially when you see ships going to Alang for breaking renamed for the final trip, but all thats in the past now.
Will be down in Ringaskiddy to see the Julia leave on her maiden voyage next week. Best of luck to all involved ..
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: welshboy on February 22, 2010, 10:53:53 PM
Been down to see the julia tonight and she looks fab all lit up in the docks. Funnal remains white so no logo painted on yet. Looking for forward to next week as going over to cork for travel on the maiden voyage.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on February 23, 2010, 01:42:07 PM
Anyone know yet when she is coming back over - I guess it will be as late as possible, to give max dockyard time - Sunday night or even Monday daytime perhaps, although she will need time to store presumably?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 25, 2010, 07:33:21 PM
As far as I know she is departing Swansea late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on February 26, 2010, 01:07:06 PM
Sods law says the weather forecast is horrible for Sunday! 40 knot easterly gale expected on the Welsh side of S Irish Sea/St Georges Channel - still, I suppose at least that will be on her stern s'bord quarter - so not as bad as tramping into it - or they might choose to run for it tomorrow pm or after it's due to die down in early hours of Monday am??
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 26, 2010, 03:44:39 PM
Looks like there has been a massive change of plan:

From Visit Swansea
Quote
The first sailing of the new Swansea to Cork ferry service has been delayed slightly, due to technical difficulties
Fastnetline, operators of the new Swansea-Cork ferry service, have today released the following statement:

"We regret to advise that Fastnet Line's MV Julia sailings scheduled for Monday 1st, Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th March have been cancelled.

This delay in starting our service has been caused by technical difficulties in completing the refit works that have been taking place in Swansea Docks for the month of February."

All passengers who are booked on the cancelled sailings will be contacted by Fastnet Line today Friday February 26th and offered the option to book alternative dates of their choice.

Should they not wish to travel on alternative dates, passengers will receive a full refund of their fare.

Passengers impacted by this delay will be offered a 50% discount off their fare when they next book Fastnet Line."

As soon as I have more info, I will post it...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: stena4256 on February 26, 2010, 05:10:11 PM
not a good start!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on February 26, 2010, 05:30:59 PM
Oh well, waited 3.5 years, so I guess a few more days won't matter too much! Rather half expected that announcement. That means 'maiden voyage' will be from the Swansea side then - next Friday night - so that sort of makes sense, saving the empty trip across.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 26, 2010, 06:48:51 PM
Local radio in Cork is claiming it is a licensing issue....not sure how true that is yet.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 27, 2010, 12:13:03 AM
Well there had to be a glitch somewhere I suppose , things were running too smoothly ::)
I am told its nothing serious but the delay is a little dissappointing , but as Pugwash said after waiting this long another week wont hurt too much , just a pitty the first commercial sailing wont be from the Cork side.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on February 27, 2010, 08:19:11 AM
Instead of a Celebration of a departure, we can have a double celebration of arrival and departure. The best place to be will be St. Colemans Cathedral in Cobh with eyes cast to Roches Point and beyond, such a sign of hope and joy, "the peoples ferry comming back".

What the guys behind this campgain have achieved in these very difficult times for business is nothing short of amazing. Well done to all and god bless all who sail on Julia!!

I note the competition adverts accross the bottom of the front page of the Examiner last Saturday!! Other operators are aware of the potential of this great service.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on February 27, 2010, 08:44:17 AM
What a day, What a Saint, Born Cape Clear, West Cork!!!

Julia Sails St. Ciarans Day!!!

Ta Julia ag teacht abhaile La Naomh Ciaran!!


Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 27, 2010, 04:13:59 PM
Quote

I note the competition adverts accross the bottom of the front page of the Examiner last Saturday!! Other operators are aware of the potential of this great service.

Yes I have noticed that Cork is awash with Stena Line adverts , but with the strong local support behind Fastnet Line they only amount to little more than extra revenue for the advertisers (besides most people hate the drive from Cork to Rosslare to boot)
The competition look worried  ;D
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 27, 2010, 04:37:10 PM
Quote
Fastnet Statement

CANCELLED SAILINGS

STATEMENT 26th February 2010

We regret to advise that Fastnet Line's MV Julia sailings scheduled for Monday 1st, Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th March have been cancelled. This delay in starting our service has been caused by technical difficulties in completing the refit works that have been taking place in Swansea during the month of February. These refit works are not connected in any way with the work carried out by Harris Pye in the dry dock.

All passengers who are booked on the cancelled sailings will be contacted by Fastnet Line today Friday February 26th and offered the option to book alternative dates of their choice. Should they not wish to travel on alternatives dates, passengers will receive a full refund of their fare.
Passengers impacted by this delay will be offered a 50% discount off their fare when they next book Fastnet Line.

Elsewhere Fastnet have said  "certification by the regulatory authorities" of certain "necessary works" was needed.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: ccs on February 27, 2010, 05:52:16 PM
Good decision i think. Would have been worse to have started the service and then had to curtial or stop it next week.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on February 27, 2010, 10:48:43 PM
Roll on St Ciarans Day!!!!

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on February 27, 2010, 11:52:27 PM
I see Harris Pye drydock have today, in the S Wales paper, washed their hands of the delay, so I guess the glitch must be in connection with recertification....the slightly worrying bit is it goes on to say "Friday is being looked at as an alternative for the maiden voyage"....not very positive sounding, but hey ho, who believes what local rag journalists write anyway? Lets hope we see her sailing in past Cobh early next Saturday morning!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on February 28, 2010, 10:37:55 AM
I know the Oscar Wilde's "short sea" license was almost delayed due to problems with the inboard signage (it was a really silly story....like, some text wasn't big enough). Chances are the Julia's delay is due to the same kind of problem, and it isnt actually too serious, but it just disappointing to have to cancel a maiden voyage.....
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on February 28, 2010, 09:26:53 PM
what a pity, was looking forward to watching the ship leave on Monday night, an awful pity they didn't do the drydocking when they first got to Ireland, the few months berthed on Horgans quay and then late into service, everyone involved must be so annoyed, however looking forward to seeing the JULIA in Ringaskiddy next Saturday ...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on February 28, 2010, 10:15:49 PM
It is dissappointing , especially as I was going to be on it going out monday night , still , only an extra 5 days to wait (hopefully)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 01, 2010, 02:22:50 PM
Is it only me (& my rubbish computer, coupled with the delights of Eircom Broadband!), but I haven't been able to access Fastnet's website for the past 15/16 hours? I see People's Ferry site make reference to "obtaining parts" & "timescale to fit". Another statement expected today apparently....? Fingers crossed!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 01, 2010, 02:28:04 PM
....panic not...immediately after last post I tried again & successfully got Fastnet's site up...possibly an Eircom glitch at my end...or possibly Fastnet's site is under pressure, what with people reorganising travel?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on March 01, 2010, 08:16:54 PM
Quote
Is it only me (& my rubbish computer, coupled with the delights of Eircom Broadband!), but I haven't been able to access Fastnet's website for the past 15/16 hours? I see People's Ferry site make reference to "obtaining parts" & "timescale to fit". Another statement expected today apparently....? Fingers crossed!

HI Pugwash
Glad you are paying attention to www.peoplesferry.com - nice to know somebody's reading it! <g>

Seems there were server problems on www.fastnetline.com yesterday - apparently it was a problem at their ISP - unconnected to the volume of traffic - just one of those unfortunate coincidences.

Still waiting on news re timescales / schedules - it'll be up on peoplesferry.com (and, I'd imagine, fastnetline.com) as soon as we have it...

Frustrating time - but these things need to be right - and, as somebody in another forum said 'what's 5 more days after 3 1/2 years !'

Thanks for the support, everybody

Adrian  :)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 01, 2010, 09:11:13 PM
Good luck...fingers crossed for Friday night!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 04, 2010, 09:23:16 PM
Just heard the bad news - a further delay - Monday is an off service day, Tuesday is ex Cork, so I'm guessing 2100 ex Swansea next Wednesday MAY be the new target sailing (Skib's Southern Star implies that also) - unless a non timetabled sailing across on Monday is scheduled/or she comes over empty Tuesday for the night sailing back??? Must be VERY disheartening for the ship's engineers - and all involved - good luck anyway!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 05, 2010, 12:14:19 AM
I was just told she has been granted her Passenger Ship Safety Certificate tonight. They need to complete the final survey now...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 07, 2010, 12:45:45 PM
When the food waters rose in Athlone last November
local people, local businesses and local newspapers rallied, the wagons were circled and the community pulled through.

I was bitterly dissappointed to read the tone of letters to the Editor of the Irish Examiner yesterday concerning the New Cork Swansea Ferry service, one in particular quoting Oscar Wilde. One thing we did not do in Athlone was to have a cheap laugh.

To all involved in the restoration campgain, to all in the Co-op, in Fastnet Lines and indeed this site, well done. Circle the wagons, Julia will soon sail proudly
in to Cork. I for one have sent a letter to the Editor in response.


Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 07, 2010, 05:57:36 PM
The letter in question is up here (http://examiner.ie/archives/2010/0306/opinion/slow-starter-113777.html).

Latest statement form Fastnet is below:
Quote
The Julia received her Passenger Ship Safety Certificate last night and the company is now arranging for the final surveys to be carried out by the MCA on behalf of the UK authorities and by the Department of the Marine on behalf of Ireland. These surveys will take place early next week and so sailing will not take place until they are completed. A further update will be issued as soon as we have more information.

"Our core objective in Fastnet Line is to operate a profitable ferry service. We have a clear set of goals over the next 2 years that we will deliver on. We want to build a top class team who will make the Cork Swansea ferry service a reality. We aim to create a flagship service that will showcase what's best about the South West of Ireland, we will market the service and grow tourism and employment. We aim to facilitate trade between the southwest of Ireland and Wales UK and we will ensure the long term viability of the business."
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 07, 2010, 11:45:30 PM
That letter smacks of "put up job" to me! I was working at the Rediscover Cork event at the City Hall there yesterday - it was a well attended event, with a great "buzz", and the mayor in attendance - shame Fastnet hadn't been present (especially with rumours flying around) - bit of a missed opportunity - but at least one stall holder was telling people that he "knew" the service was starting Wednesday & doing his best to reassure people - just that an "official presence" would have been better perhaps.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 10, 2010, 11:20:00 AM
Announcement 20 mins ago (1100) says hopefully sailing tonight - fingers crossed!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: welshboy on March 10, 2010, 06:45:15 PM
The MV julia will be sailing from Swansea to Cork tonight at 21:50pm. Great news and bon voyage to all whos on the first sailing. :)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on March 10, 2010, 11:12:21 PM
According to www.marinetraffic.com the Julia is underway and clear of Swansea and sailing at 14 knots, will be down in Ringaskiddy in the AM to see her arriving, a historic sight, best of luck to all involved, have a safe crossing.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 11, 2010, 12:44:39 AM
Been trying to find her position since midnight, but she's not showing - possibly got GPS transponder turned off - guess she's somewhere off Milford Haven by now.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 11, 2010, 01:41:32 AM
Great to hear she is finally in service!

Quote
According to www.marinetraffic.com the Julia is underway and clear of Swansea and sailing at 14 knots, will be down in Ringaskiddy in the AM to see her arriving, a historic sight, best of luck to all involved, have a safe crossing.
If you (or anyone else) manages to get some photos, would you be kind enough to e-mail them onto me for the site? kieran<at>irish-ferries-enthusiasts<dot>com

Quote
Been trying to find her position since midnight, but she's not showing - possibly got GPS transponder turned off - guess she's somewhere off Milford Haven by now.
The tracking used online is AIS, it uses radio transmissions, so will only work when the ship is within range of a land based receiver that is connected to the web.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 11, 2010, 06:24:08 AM
Left Athlone this morn at 0315 to be at St Colemans Cathedral in Cobh to witness this great sight.

At 0600 Julia is 37 miles from Roches Point at a Heading of 277 Deg and making 17.2 Kts. Marked in blue on the map below.

1241 days after Superferry left Cork (7/10/2006) this vital link for the Southwest has been restored.

To all the guys in the campgain, the Co-op and Fastnet lines, WELL DONE!! This is such a wonderful day for people power.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 11, 2010, 09:52:34 AM
Came alongside Ringaskiddy terminal at 0938 - sailing time a fraction over 11 hours - top speed 17.1 knot. Well done to all involved!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: ccs on March 11, 2010, 11:17:42 AM
few pics from earlier this morning

(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/iwoto/IMG_5884Medium.jpg)

(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/iwoto/IMG_5893Medium.jpg)

(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/iwoto/IMG_5910Medium.jpg)

(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/iwoto/IMG_5917Medium.jpg)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 11, 2010, 05:00:08 PM
Nice pics there - and what a lovely morning!
Hoping there will be something on RTE news tonight?
Shame certain elements of the Welsh media are being so negative though & seem to be deliberately stirring up an 'anti' thing over there.
Hopefully the service will now settle down to quietly go about it's nightly business & the delays of the past 10 days will soon be forgotten.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 11, 2010, 09:11:25 PM
Quote
Left Athlone this morn at 0315 to be at St Colemans Cathedral in Cobh to witness this great sight.
Now THAT is dedication!

Some nice shots above, I just added some more photos of her that Des (http://blog.despod.com/) took to the gallery (http://irishferries.fotopic.net/c1824135.html).

Great to see her finally in service...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on March 12, 2010, 10:52:54 AM
Does anybody know why the JULIA is so late.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on March 12, 2010, 11:21:56 AM
Missed the Juila's arrival yesterday as I had to go to work(Had it arrived on schedule thats another story), lots of nice pictures in todays papers and on the site, went down for a look last night and it was great to see cars queuing in Ringaskiddy for the sailing, well done to everyone.

I think it really is a missed opportunity not to have the company name painted on the side of the ship think of all people who would see the fastnetline.com brand today if that had been done, I know the funds are not endless but it should be a priority to have the ship branded with the web address and the funnel is crying out for a logo to be attached. With the long layovers in port this could be done quite easy.

Well done to all involved getting the first sailings done, hopefully many more to follow.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: welshboy on March 12, 2010, 11:28:18 AM
On marine traffic julia is doing 5.5 knots just passing mumbles head. Shes running abit behind time!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 12, 2010, 11:39:55 AM
Quote
I think it really is a missed opportunity not to have the company name painted on the side of the ship think of all people who would see the fastnetline.com brand today if that had been done, I know the funds are not endless but it should be a priority to have the ship branded with the web address and the funnel is crying out for a logo to be attached. With the long layovers in port this could be done quite easy.
You could buy a reasonably big house (that is not an exaggeration!) for the price it would cost to repaint a ship. As with renaming her, the priority was getting the service up and running.

Quote
Does anybody know why the JULIA is so late.

Her engines were very heavily overhauled in Cork while she was laid up, I would assume they are trying to break them back in slowly. Giver her another week...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on March 12, 2010, 11:54:22 AM
Quote
On marine traffic julia is doing 5.5 knots just passing mumbles head. Shes running abit behind time!
HI All
I'm told that there was a mechanical problem on one of the engines last night as she left Cork - and the subsequent delay has meant that she missed the tide this morning at Swansea. ETA Swansea 'very soon'.
Adrian
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on March 12, 2010, 12:09:05 PM
Can see her in Swansea Bay now.
I agree she should be branded, funnel at the very least!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on March 12, 2010, 12:22:52 PM
I know repainting was not an option, but for 10-20 thousand it should be possible to get the brandname painted onto the hull and get the logo onto the funnel, it just the little bit extra to finish the look of the vessel, which would have given them more exposure in todays press. Everyone here knows about the ship and service they now need to get those people who have no idea about the new route to check it out, one way is the brand name.

I know the costs involved are huge and that every penny must be well scrutinised before being spent, but the work has only started and to compete they need to drive as much traffic onto the website and get bookings going.

Any chance they will do some harbour cruises during the lay over days, possibly leave the berth at 11 and cruise around until 5, giving people the chance to spend onboard for food and drink and see the ship in action ? (similar to the Stena Line cruises in Belfast).

With a little bit of photoshop one of CCS pics edited to show the possible look when the vessel gets branded.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: celtictec on March 12, 2010, 03:14:06 PM
I agree that there was an advertising opportunity lost by not having the Fastnetline brand visible on the ship, especially given the concentrated advertising campaign by Stena Line at the moment in  the Cork newspapers and on quite a few billboards within the Cork area.  Also did anyone notice that on tuesdays RTE six one news, the piece on Fastnet line was immediately followed by an adbreak , the first ad was a Stena one..........
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 12, 2010, 08:32:02 PM
My word, that was a 15 hour crossing last night, as she was only 12 mins late off the berth at Ringaskiddy - had a 30 min delay with 'mechanical problems' before she left confines of harbour - but then made VERY poor time (14knot) & missed the tide - if one of the Irish papers is to be believed, she is only running on 2 of her 4 engines??? Anyone over there know if she left Swansea on time tonight - 1900 due away I believe?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on March 13, 2010, 12:10:42 AM
Can't see the JULIA on www.marinetraffic.com but this release is on the website.

from fastnetline.com

SAILING UPDATE: MARCH 12TH

The Julia has been delayed departing Swansea tonight, Friday 12th March. The latest information we have is that she will depart Swansea at 01.00 on Saturday 13th March. A further update will be issued later.

The saying, "It never rains but it pours" springs to mind, however if you are going to have problems now is the time to have them, hopefully all issues will be resolved over the next few weeks, we must remember that the JULIA has not been used in this way since October 2008, there are bound to be issues cropping up as they get the service up and running and the ship is used for the first time in many months.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 13, 2010, 01:11:18 AM
See Irish Examiner online for further update, issued around midnight.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 13, 2010, 01:40:06 AM
Off Mumbles Head at 0138 doing 7.7 knot.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on March 13, 2010, 07:37:02 AM
Quote
Off Mumbles Head at 0138 doing 7.7 knot.

...and at 06:09 Saturday heading for Cork and showing 16Kts - just before dropping into the Great AIS Black Hole <g>

Trouble is, with the tides how they are at the moment, the slightest technical hitch can cause her to lose her 'window' - and then she has to sit & wait for more water....

I guess the moral is 'avoid technical hitches' <g>
- but, after all, she's only on her third crossing in the new service - so, frustrating though it is, we can look forward to fewer gremlins as she settles in...

Adrian
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 13, 2010, 08:00:10 AM
Hopefully if she has kept up something like that 16knot, when she reappears from the AIS void, she should considerably improve on the present Ringaskiddy ETA of 1500? At least no tidal restraints there, as per Swansea ferryport. Good luck for better things tonight!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on March 13, 2010, 08:15:21 AM
Quote
Hopefully if she has kept up something like that 16knot, when she reappears from the AIS void, she should considerably improve on the present Ringaskiddy ETA of 1500? At least no tidal restraints there, as per Swansea ferryport. Good luck for better things tonight!

'Hopefully' !

Shame we can't get some more water over to Swansea Docks - we've got buckets of the stuff over here in Ireland!

UPDATE - She's back on the AIS again now (08:48) and still doing a respectable 15.2Kts - which would, all things being equal, get her into Ringaskiddy sooner than the 3pm quoted...
They're certainly doing their best!

Adrian
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 13, 2010, 09:09:50 AM
Still doing 15.1 knots, due south of New Ross (0906) - should, at that rate, get her in by lunch time at least. Presumably she now has a favourable tide up her stern?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on March 13, 2010, 09:44:39 AM
Quote
Still doing 15.1 knots, due south of New Ross (0906) - should, at that rate, get her in by lunch time at least. Presumably she now has a favourable tide up her stern?

Fastnetline.com now says "due in Cork by 1.45pm today" - so she's making up time....
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 13, 2010, 10:41:08 AM
Great  sailing weather, would love to be on board and enjoying landfall, Ballycotten and the aproaches to Cork Harbour. Enjoy a stroll on the open decks of  and a fresh scone coffee, sure beats the "long road way" to Ireland.

From time to time all operators experience difficulties, I recall Stena Europe Drifting without power, Stena Explorer colliding with the pier in Dun Laoghaire and the recent fire on the Oscar Wilde. Fastnet Lines have been tested by these minor technical difficulties, the new service is a wonderful addition to the Southwest.

If only I could be strolling the decks right now, or reading a book in the fresh sea air mmmmmm.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 13, 2010, 01:17:45 PM
Quote
From time to time all operators experience difficulties, I recall Stena Europe Drifting without power, Stena Explorer colliding with the pier in Dun Laoghaire and the recent fire on the Oscar Wilde. Fastnet Lines have been tested by these minor technical difficulties, the new service is a wonderful addition to the Southwest.

...and I spent many times sitting in Roscoff as the Val de Loire was stuck there on the low tide....this stuff happens, least we have a ship in service!
Sadly the approach to the berth in Swansea is bedrock (so cant be dredged), only solution is move the berth (as was proposed in the early 90s to Port Talbolt) or start blowing a deeper channel with TNT (as was done in St. Malo)...

...have to sort out a trip on her now!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 13, 2010, 07:01:40 PM
If its not one its the other, I note that "the long long road"ferry companies are again advertising on the front of The Examiner. Why all all the adverts?

I also note that the non Irish company is using tonnage in the TV ad currently not on any of thier Irish routes. the vessel is operating in Baltic waters.
(I wont name them, they dont desere the publicity and they left me behind for the 0315 sailing 22/12/89, (No SCF Ferry that year))

Fastnet lines keep up the great work, a case of David and Goliath!!!!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 13, 2010, 11:01:53 PM
2300 & still on the berth at Ringaskiddy & announcement that tomorrow night is cancelled. I thought tonight would be ok - as she was running well (17 knot) for the last part of the inward journey at lunch time.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 13, 2010, 11:58:18 PM
Quote
If its not one its the other, I note that "the long long road"ferry companies are again advertising on the front of The Examiner. Why all all the adverts?

...

Fastnet lines keep up the great work, a case of David and Goliath!!!!

Read through the history of SCF on the main site...it is not the first time that has happened...

Quote
2300 & still on the berth at Ringaskiddy & announcement that tomorrow night is cancelled. I thought tonight would be ok - as she was running well (17 knot) for the last part of the inward journey at lunch time.
Could be putting a lot of strain on the engines (which as I said, need to be broken in), or could be the case that it was viewed better to fix the problem now rather than it continue on into high season with it.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 14, 2010, 01:55:27 AM
Still on the berth at 0150, so doesn't look like she is going across tonight. Probably a good idea, as next sailing now isn't until Tuesday night, giving 72 hours to rectify engine probs.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on March 14, 2010, 07:28:34 PM
It's not all bad news check out the review and video posted on the eurodestination site, looks like a nice ship onboard.

http://www.eurodestination.com/Ferry%20&%20Cruise/swansea-cork-ferry-fastnetline.htm
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 14, 2010, 07:54:02 PM
I traveled out with Julia on her maiden voyage from Cork thursday night and back on friday night.
Outside of the technical issues that led to delays (which for some of us was good news as we got to spend extra time on board which is always a pleasure on that ship) I must say that both ship and crew performed quite well , onboard facilities on Julia are absoutly fantastic and I look forward to seeing them in full operational capacity in the peak season , the crew are also very friendly and very efficient and when the service is refined a little and the bugs ironed out it will without a doubt be the best way to travel between Ireland and the UK.
It is frustrating to see the company having technical difficulties that are leading to delays and cancellations so early on , but as said elsewhere its better to have them now and get them sorted out sooner rather than later.
I was speaking with some senior Fastnet Line people during the trip also , while they are unsure about a full repaint this year , they will as soon as time allows (there is still some other high priority stuff to be sorted) be at least be adding a funel logo , most likley the Fastnet "Roundel" that appeared on the early Fastnet line material , and the "Fastnet Line" name will be applied to the hull also as soon as is practical , like everyone else they too want to have Julia looking her best , its just a case of with so much work needed to launch the service they simply have not got around to it yet.
I must also give quick mention to how well Fastnet Line has been dealing with the delays and cancelations , they have done very well in providing alternative travel for those affected by cancellations , the even transfered foot passengers to their onward destinations in the UK by hired in Coach via Rosslare and those who needed to return asap also were accommadated via Rosslare so no-one was left stranded , only slightly delayed , on the crossings that were delayed there was no shortage of complimentry tea , coffee , alcohol , food , even full meals thrown in , and all passengers with pullman seats were upgraded to cabins , so inspite of the delay everyone was comfortable and the majority of people were simply enjoying what they considered to be an extended cruise :) so in spite of it all a good time was had by all.
I look forward to seeing the service in full flight once it the bugs are workrd out , its a great ship with a great crew providing a great service , I believe it will do very well in the long term.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on March 14, 2010, 08:28:41 PM
Three Pictures taken prior to the Julia's Departure from Ringaskiddy last week.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on March 15, 2010, 02:25:39 PM
Julia is underway going for a stiff sea trial.
The current problems have been ironed out,lets hope all goes well.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 15, 2010, 07:41:26 PM
I am told todays sea trials were successful , Julia will take one more trip out tomorow for final trials before resuming service tomorow night.
Fingers crossed we have seen the end of technical issues.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on March 15, 2010, 09:46:01 PM
Excellent news, any idea of the speeds they are getting during the trials, it would be good to know if the ship can achieve the 19-20 knot area if they need to make up time in the future, obviously the last week has presented it's own issues but once the service settles down it would be great if the timekeeping was good and with the tidal restrictions in Swansea if they are delayed from Cork or experiece bad weather the ability to get into Swansea prior to low tide will obviously help.

Best of luck to everyone involved for tomorrow and with plenty of choice for people to get between the UK and Ireland now, hopefully there will be plenty of business for all the ferry companies as people rediscover the joy's of ferry travel.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on March 16, 2010, 08:08:05 AM
She made 19.8 knots at one stage yesterday.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Lep Recon on March 16, 2010, 12:57:11 PM
Wow! - was that up wind?  This there any indications what the original problems were?  I'd heard that the inner bow door closure "lights" were an issue so presumably they have been repaired/replaced etc?  I'm sailing on the 26th so am holding my breath until then!!!!

Lep
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 16, 2010, 01:40:49 PM
Shes been out again for a shorter flip this morning - looks like she was doing some varying speed trials today - as speeds, at sea, range from about 5 knot to 15 knot - fingers crossed for a good 'un tonight!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Lep Recon on March 16, 2010, 03:00:57 PM
Yeah, she nipped out and in again around 1100 this morning.  I read 17kts on the MT router - quick trip out past the light and back in for lunch!

Lep
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 16, 2010, 04:50:21 PM
1445 update says she is expected to sail on time - good luck!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 16, 2010, 06:57:53 PM
Anyone hear Tom Barrett on Liveline?

A caller complaining that Cabins have to booked on the overnight crossing.

P & O Irish Sea and Norfolk Line have the same policy to the UK as do Brittany Ferries and Irish Ferries to France. Why pick on Fastnet Lines.

Why not pick on the Norfolk Lines 23euro each way fuel charge?

They are worried, Fastnet lines are putting together a quality route linking the fantastic Southwest with Swansea City and really easy to get to Cardiff, Bristol and London on the M4. (2012 here we come)

Joe Duffy hands off the Peoples Ferry!!!

I for one will send an e-mail to his "Dublin Based" Show.

Tom & Team, Keep up the great work.


John McNamara
www.mysurvey.ie
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Lep Recon on March 17, 2010, 08:06:55 AM
And finally ......... she slipped a little late last evening but made up some time over night berthing just after 0700 this morning - absolutely brilliant! ...... and today of all days  :)

Lep

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 17, 2010, 05:45:15 PM
Full statement about the problems over the last few days up on The Peoples Ferry, see below:
Quote
      “Shareholder Update Tuesday 16th March 2010
      As you know - Julia commenced her Swansea-Cork sailings on 10th March - which of course we are delighted with. You are also probably aware that, despite the thorough checks and maintenance that Julia went through both in Cork and Swansea - the initial sailings have suffered from some mechanical problems - which was very unfortunate. We suspended two sailings over the weekend in order to rectify these issues and we thought that you should be aware of the precise details of these problems.

      Paul O’Brien, Co-op General Manager travelled on the sailings from Cork to Swansea on Thursday 11th March and the return from Swansea to Cork on the 12th March. Both of these sailings were significantly delayed.

      On the outward sailing one of the two starboard engines developed a problem, and, while the cause at that time was unknown, the ship was stopped while a tug came out from Cork as a precautionary measure. The sailing was resumed after an hour, but the delay meant that the ferry missed the tide in Swansea and she had to wait to enter the port, so she did not reach her berth in Swansea until 12.30 p.m. on Friday. The fault was subsequently found to be an electronic problem in a governor on the engine and was rectified for the journey back to Cork.

      Julia was loaded without any problem on Friday night for the return journey, but when the ramp was retracted and folded there was a failure which meant that it was unable to be locked in place. Fastnet Line engineers worked to fix the problem but were unable to do so in time to catch the tide on the way out from Swansea. The problem was traced to an electronic control of the hydraulic system and was also repaired before the crossing commenced on the next available tide which was 1 a.m. Saturday (13th March).

      The crossing was made in good conditions on four engines and we made good time. However, during the crossing a fault developed in the pitch control on one of the two propellers. The propeller use was unaffected but the pitch control is used under different load conditions and sea states and is also used when berthing. Again this fault was traced to an electronic control which has now been repaired. The fault however was not repaired in time for the Saturday night sailing and so two further sailings on Saturday and Sunday were cancelled. Conor Buckley, Chairman and Padraig Fleming (founder member of the Co-Op), were due to travel on Saturday night and were able to assist our customers affected by the cancelled Saturday night sailing (who were offered free transport to Cork and return journeys via an alternative ferry company).The Julia has been out for sea trials on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th March and with no further problems is sailing on schedule today Tuesday.

      The Committee of the Co-Op held its weekly meeting on board the Julia on Monday night, 15th March and received reports from CEO, Tom Barrett and Operations Manager, Owen Barry to discuss recent events. While disappointed with the missed sailings and adverse publicity, we are heartened by the degree of support for the service expressed by the very people who have been affected. The committee plan to have a presence on board each sailing for the next few weeks to help with the bedding in of the service and to speak with passengers to know and understand first hand any issues which might arise

      On a positive note - we are hearing reports from B&B and Hotel owners in West Cork that suggest that their booking for the 2010 season are already some 30% up on last season - with many potential visitors citing the new ferry service as a major factor in their holiday plans. We are confident that, with this initial bedding-in period out of the way, Julia will be able to operate to schedule and deliver the kind of service that we all expect.”
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 17, 2010, 10:31:57 PM
Best part of an hour late away - off Mumbles head at 2207 - but going quite well (17 knot) - be interesting to see how she performs tonight - first night she has had a bit of a SW swell to contend with.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on March 17, 2010, 11:32:41 PM
I am waiting to book my first crossing.
Having had the experience of sitting off Swansea for several hours i am not about to repeat it. Previously the departure times have guaranteed a missed tide at Swansea but it was passed off as an operational delay . If i know (and the company knows) the ferry will miss the tide i want to have the option before i board.

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: SwanseaBoy on March 17, 2010, 11:41:07 PM
From what I could see she appeared to have problems with the bow ramp folding again. Hopefully they can get this sorted in Cork - fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on March 18, 2010, 03:28:21 PM
There is a very nice report on the JULIA in this months edition of Ships Monthly Magazine (April 2010), a full history of the ship and some great photos. Available from Easons for €5.86.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 18, 2010, 06:04:19 PM
She seems to have made up some of the lost hour last night - so I guess the engine/prop probs are now hopefully well & truly sorted.
I don't know if it's only me, but the 72 hour gap in departures from Ringaskiddy, between 2100 on a Saturday night & 2100 on a Tuesday night seems a real pain. It means there is no 'weekend away' option from the UK to Eire - especially perplexing as Fastnet admit 66% of bookings are expected to originate at that end. Perhaps that could be looked at when the timetable is next revamped (possibly Wednesday would be a better 'off service' day this side?), meaning at least there would be a 2100 Monday sailing back to Swansea.
I believe - only rumour - that a lot of the Welsh "West Cork Rally" cars (this weekend) are coming Rosslare way, because of the lack of return sailing after the rally, on Sunday night or Monday - which seems an awful shame & loss of much needed revenue. I guess you can't please ALL the people ALL the time though.....
On a personal note, it means I've just had to book via Rosslare (from West Cork) both ways, for my next crossing (in a couple of weeks), as I'm off work from late Sunday PM to very early Saturday AM (& need the max time in the UK) - which I'm gutted about, as I wanted a trip on Julia - oh well, next time hopefully!!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 19, 2010, 05:35:31 PM
I believe that Fastnet Line will look at increasing the frequency of sailings in both directions if there is sufficient demand , what has to be kept in mind is that Julia is a fairly large ship and as such has high operating costs which in turn means she needs a lot of passengers/freight to justify leaving port at all , in real terms Julia is just over 3 times the size of Superferry so in terms of capicity they are already offering an increased capicity over the old service.
My own feeling is that demand will be strong and the increased timetable will be justified but the service must be supported for this to happen , which is why me and the family will head out on Julia this weekend for a little pleasure cruise to "support the local company"
Travelling with Fastnet Line may not be the fastest way to travel between Ireland and the UK , but its the most relaxed and comfortable , and is the most benifit to the local economy.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 19, 2010, 06:11:03 PM
Point taken about size of Julia - still think a Monday night sailing ex Ringaskiddy (giving a long weekend option from the UK) would be a good idea, even at the cost of a more mid week sailing.
Has anyone else had probs with booking engine, when booking a single trip - even with "single" selected it persists in showing arbitary details in the return detail boxes (which can't be cancelled out) - so that when you click to complete the booking it aborts, with someting about "incorrect input" displayed. Have emailed Fastnet twice for help, but awaiting response at present. Any clues how to over ride that glitch anyone PLEASE?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 19, 2010, 06:18:12 PM
The monday sailing would definatly have benifits , hopefully we will see the timetable adjustments sooner rather than later.
The booking engine still seems to be quite quirky , all I can suggest is that you book by phone , they are very helpfull , the number is 021- 4378892
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: wacker on March 19, 2010, 08:20:34 PM
Does anybody know what nationality the crew on the Julia are ?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: swift on March 19, 2010, 09:58:43 PM
Hi. I understand that the officers are mostly Irish and British. The service crew are mainly from Eastern Europe.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 19, 2010, 09:59:37 PM
A fantastic mix of Irish and European Safarers Proud to sail under the new flag "Fastnet Line" and supported by thier communities of the Southwest Of Ireland and Wales!!!

A wonderful wonderful team with a wonderful spirit, "Wacker" you should try it, its your country your call!!

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: wacker on March 20, 2010, 01:41:35 AM
I would only sail on her if all the crew were British and Irish, after all she is running between the two countries. They should be all local job's. The only reason shipping companies use foreign crew's is because it's cheap labour. I'm sure they are a great crew but it's something i feel strongly about. I won't sail with so called Irish ferries either.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 20, 2010, 05:54:03 AM
There are fantastic mix of EU & International Crew on most Sea & Air Services into & out of Ireland.

Fastnet lines, Stena Lines, Norfolk Lines, P & O, Irish Ferries and LD Lines.

Aer Lingus, Aer Arann, Ryanair, City Jet, BMI, Delta.....

Thus providing a great choice of the way to travel.

I also note that all cruise liners have a great mix of international staff.

And in all parts of our holiday island there is a great international mix of staff and indeed cuisine.

Fastnet Lines has a wonderful relaxing stlye of West Cork, Great Crew, Great Food and Great Cabins

Now how Julia looked in 1990!!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: wacker on March 20, 2010, 01:12:10 PM
Mysurvey, i am sure fastnet line has a great international crew who are great at there job. My point is they are only there because they are the cheapest. As an ex employee of irish ferries i know only too well why companies flag out there ships to enable them to use crew from eastern european countries. Fastnet line promised to sail under the irish flag, and i know it's not cheap to do so. But i hope they keep there promise. In the current climate with so many people out of work in this country i think many people would agree that them jobs should be given to local people first. I am a person who is qualified to work on ships and i never saw any of the jobs onboard advertised.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 20, 2010, 03:02:16 PM
Fastnet Lines keep up the great work.

I have followed the campgain since the early days of "bring backtheswanseacorkferry.com" . I noted on the website the invitation to express an interest in
employment.  A native of the lower harbour, Cobh, I am aware of local employees and I noted invitations to submit CV's to the Company.

I'am also aware of a State Owned company in receipt of large state capital investment that let Cork and the Southwest down on two occasions (dropping Swansea, Le-harve and Cherbourg). ICL group have had an appalling attitude to Cork, pick on them.

Living in Cobh in the 80's I knew of many B&I and Irish Ferries employees and guess what, in the main  only relatives got summer jobs onboard. Why pick on Fastnet Lines?

Why have you not posted comments about the following operators,

Irish Ferries
Norfolk Lines
P & O
Stena Lines
LD Lines
Brittany Ferries

With the exception of Irish Ferries I have travelled on all of the above in the last year, all have a great mixture of International Crew.

Its easy to have cheap shots at a very small company, give these guys a chance. Fastnet Lines is owned by a co-op of ordinary people, all with a shared interest in improving thier region. I am also aware of the significant work, mostly without pay,   by an amazing team to bring this service together.

Once again to the Campgain Team & Fastnet Lines, thank you, you brought tears of joy and hope to the eyes of so many people in the lower harbour.

Go raibh mile maith agat!!

John McNamara
[email protected]

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Lep Recon on March 20, 2010, 04:02:52 PM
 go raibh maith agat - interesting post.

Wacker: Bearing in mind the majority of the crew are Lithuania or other EU members (you know, like us!), it would be racist to infer they had less rights than other EU members.  We shouldn't throw too many stones in this green-house not after the subsidies we've had!   :o

Lep

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 20, 2010, 04:07:33 PM
Both of Julia's captains are former Irish Ferries staff , I know that one of them captained Ulysses , Isle of Innismore , Isle of Innisfree and Normandy.
There are several former Irish Ferries employees now working with Fastnet Line at all grades , nearly all of whom would have been made redundant when Irish Ferries deflagged.
I believe that all Irish applicants who were suitably qualified were hired, but as a new company pay rates for lower grades are not great and I did hear somewhere that almost no Irish applied for those positions.
On a final note , there is a young third officer aboard who is a local Cork man , I suggest keeping an eye on him as I suspect we will be addressing him as Captain before too long  ;D
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 20, 2010, 05:46:38 PM
Blast from the past!!

The spirit of Swansea Cork!!!

Lets get the same shot of Julia here, to see the achievement of the "peoples ferry" and the great team at the co-op and Fastnet Lines.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 20, 2010, 06:56:03 PM
The posts were advertised on the Fastnet Line website, and her crewing is managed by Fastnet, not an outsourced company like Dobson.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 20, 2010, 09:32:49 PM
Don't know much about crewing subject, but surely an Irish registered company is tied by Irish national minimum wages, regardless of where the ship is registered (as presumably are Irish Ferries also)? A UK based shipping company I worked for (years ago) was tied by UK national minimum wage (a lot less than Irish minimum) - however they used to snatch back some of it as onboard "board & keep" - don't know if that sort of thing still goes on, as I haven't been to sea for many years now.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: wacker on March 20, 2010, 09:38:02 PM
There was no jobs advertised on the fastnet website. Do any of you work at sea, i bet you don't. Sounds to me that you all have an important interest in the company. Every other reader will see this. You'd be blind to think that the crew they have picked is purely for there friendlessness, there experience,or because no irish applied. Don't make me laugh. Cheap Labour, Cheap Labour and no other reason. What other company in the country has the opportunity to flag itself out to enable it to pay wages below the irish minimum wage. ANSWER = A SHIPPING COMPANY
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 20, 2010, 09:43:48 PM
I did until health grounds precluded. I have served as an officer on two well known UK passenger vessels during my time.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 20, 2010, 10:15:22 PM
Why pick on Fastnet Lines?

Why the cheap shots?

I have no connection or financial interest in the co-op or Fastnet Lines. I also note that I put my name to my posts and my contact details via www.mysurvey.ie

I saw a notice on the Fastnet Lines Website requesting applicants.

Pick on the big guys, start with the company that dropped Cork and move on to the other companies with International Crew.

I never saw ICL or B&I advertising for additional summer crew, but I know plenty of guys who got employment. This by the way when they were in receipt of significant state funding.

Once again pick on the big guys.

Keep up the great work Fastnet Lines.

John McNamara
www.mysurvey.ie
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 21, 2010, 12:26:59 AM
Changing the subject... I see Julia had to go out to anchor for most of the day today, in the harbour, to allow Pont Aven on to the berth....which presumably will be the case every Saturday now, for the season.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Lep Recon on March 21, 2010, 09:53:55 AM
Wow!  Cracking cheese Gromit!!!!  :D

Lep
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 21, 2010, 11:27:27 AM
Quote
There was no jobs advertised on the fastnet website. Do any of you work at sea, i bet you don't. Sounds to me that you all have an important interest in the company. Every other reader will see this. You'd be blind to think that the crew they have picked is purely for there friendlessness, there experience,or because no irish applied. Don't make me laugh. Cheap Labour, Cheap Labour and no other reason. What other company in the country has the opportunity to flag itself out to enable it to pay wages below the irish minimum wage. ANSWER = A SHIPPING COMPANY
There was an invation to send CVs in to Fastnet Line in the FAQ section of the website. It wasn't a flashing gif, but it was there.
Unless you have proof, please do not accuse or imply Fastnet, or anyone else, of hiring people for less than minimum wage. Getting a ship on the Irish Register is not easy or cheep (and Fastnet are working off a very tight budget), I may not work at sea but have a very good understanding of the opperational end of things.

Quote
Changing the subject... I see Julia had to go out to anchor for most of the day today, in the harbour, to allow Pont Aven on to the berth....which presumably will be the case every Saturday now, for the season.

Ships aren't allowed on the 2 ro-ro berths at the same time after the Val and Superferry had a wee collision a few years back.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on March 21, 2010, 03:06:29 PM
I found the East Europeans provided excellent service on the old Superferry and it was a sad day when Antonio left the Irish Pub. I think he was Polish? The restaurant team were great. Never had a problem.The bloke that served you dinner then changes the linen in your cabin. The original crew before that were mostly Greek i think.
I think the issue we should address is the comment the"jobs should be given...."  If local workers accept the same terms of employment i would tend to agree but maybe they prefer the Irish exceedingly generous benefits system. How many applied to the new company for an application form?
I am not casting aspertions here but talking generally and giving a personal view. Many of the Ryan Air pilots are now East European and i suspect senior jobs on the ferries will go the same way as that is a free market economy in action.
The Brits are very good at whining about the lack of jobs but the world does not owe them or anybody else a living.
I am setting up my own company (getting on my bike!) and i can tell you i would not incur any costs just for political or moralistic reasons. I would keep my expenses to a minimum whilst providing the best possible service to my clients - it's very old fashioned but it is a proven formula.
Good luck to the new service and when i get to book the West Cork suite i know things are looking up!!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 21, 2010, 08:55:53 PM
Yes, happy memories of Antonio in the Irish pub on the old Superferry. I know everybody knocked it - and admittedly the grub was dire (and the cabins not too special) - but I still have a certain affection for the old tub!
Incidentally, anyone know why Julia has been dropped back to 2300 tonight? Tidal reasons are given, but Swansea LW was at 1458. Infact HW is at 2123. Are there also probs with sailing on the top of a fairly high tide at Swansea, anyone know?
I have a feeling we may see a few sailings get diverted to Pembroke...ala Superferry, which drew less water than Julia.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on March 21, 2010, 09:34:17 PM
I hope Julia is not too big for purpose. Getting it wrong at Swansea will cause problems with passengers as sitting there in the bay once is a lesson but do it a few times and you would not be happy at all.
They know the tide times and know how long it takes but if the window is so small then Julia maybe too big?
I thought she had a good speed range so barring breakdowns is there any reason to miss the tide in practice unless she is ordered to stick to 10 knots?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Lep Recon on March 22, 2010, 09:57:52 AM
Talking of the old “Super ferry” reminds me of a piece in Pete McCarthy’s “McCarthy’s Bar” (cracking read by the way), in which he spends the whole journey on the boat to Ireland in the Irish Pub only to wake on the pub floor just prior to berthing in Cork.  He recounts the experience as he wakes up, rolls over and using his hands to right himself, sinks into a stale beer soaked carpet hmmm.....  lovely.   :P

Brings back if a tad hazy, so many happy memories!   ::)

Lep

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 22, 2010, 02:34:19 PM
Great book!
Great memories of the faded 'opulence' of Superferry!
Pete McCarthy - sadly no longer with us (RIP).
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: AYEAYE on March 22, 2010, 10:15:04 PM
Does anyboby know if the Guinness is any good on the Julia?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on March 22, 2010, 10:38:34 PM
Can't tell you about the Guiness, but here is a "Deck Plan"

You can enjoy a pre-sailing drink in the "sports bar" then stroll to deck and enjoy views of Mumbles or Cork Harbour, Roches Point and Ballycotton. A meal in the Captains Grill, followed by a stroll on deck before settling down for the night!! The relaxing "Short drive Crossing" way.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on March 23, 2010, 06:06:34 PM
Good friends of mine have just booked for Easter so i will get a second hand report of the service!

Now my question for the experts is: what is the window of access opportunity for Julia into Swansea.
ie. how far either side of low water can she move?

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 23, 2010, 09:06:06 PM
Quote
Now my question for the experts is: what is the window of access opportunity for Julia into Swansea.
ie. how far either side of low water can she move?

It's a lot more complicated than that! The tide isn't the same every day either, you are looking at about two hours, on average, each side of low tide that is out...
As I said before, there is bed rock on the approach to Swansea's ro-ro berth that can't be dredged, that's where the problem with the port lies...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 23, 2010, 10:15:55 PM
Crazy berth that...I served on a much smaller ship that sometimes used it....one minute it was a mountaineering exercise to board the passengers...turn your back for a second...look round again & only see the top of the mast (ok, just a slight exageration!). 40 foot tidal range, on big spring tides, I seem to recall...second or third biggest range, in the whole world, the dockers used to say!
Anyone know why Julia was dropped back by 2 hours on Sunday due to "tidal reasons", when 2123 was high water. Is there also a problem with sailing on the top of a big tide?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on March 24, 2010, 06:08:31 AM
Quote
Quote
Now my question for the experts is: what is the window of access opportunity for Julia into Swansea.
ie. how far either side of low water can she move?

It's a lot more complicated than that! The tide isn't the same every day either, you are looking at about two hours, on average, each side of low tide that is out...
As I said before, there is bed rock on the approach to Swansea's ro-ro berth that can't be dredged, that's where the problem with the port lies...

I was going to edit my post and accept that there would be a tidal range and look for info on the lowest working tide. Actually looked up Swansea on Easytide but no info.
(It is not possible to edit posts.?)
So it is not going to be easy to know from departure time whether it is worth having a real late night knowing arrival will  be delayed!!
So it is the approach to the berth that has a "hump".
So if they "knowingly" miss a tide is it impossible to turn up at shortish notice at Pembroke or are the logisitcs too difficult.
I know Super Ferry used Pembroke on the dodgy tides in it's shedule so is Julia doing the same thing?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 24, 2010, 09:12:47 AM
She must be able to get into Swansea on fairly low water. This morning she was due in at 0730 (30 mins later than normal, due to tidal reasons), but she hasn't shown up at anytime on AIS, either along the Gower, or on her approach to Swansea (I first looked at 0640) - so I assume, as she is still not showing (0910) that she must have docked before 0640 - proving, if so, that the berth can be used earlier than anticipated?
For some reason she never shows up alongside at Swansea, or close to the berth - I know the thing about the mast being out by the motorway - so she drops out of 'line of sight' - but that puzzles me, as the tugs in Kings Dock seen to constantly show on AIS - and surely their transmitting equipment is situated much lower than on the Julia?
Can somebody, who knows about things technical, explain further....?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 24, 2010, 09:41:41 AM
Have just thought further about above - and realised that Kings Dock is controlled by lock gates - so possibly at dead low water the tugs transmitting equipment are even above the Julia's??
Still strange that she left no tracking on AIS at all this morning - I'm sure she is in ok, because she left Ringaskiddy spot on 2100.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 24, 2010, 10:03:57 AM
Quote
Quote

I was going to edit my post and accept that there would be a tidal range and look for info on the lowest working tide. Actually looked up Swansea on Easytide but no info.
(It is not possible to edit posts.?)
So it is not going to be easy to know from departure time whether it is worth having a real late night knowing arrival will  be delayed!!
So it is the approach to the berth that has a "hump".
So if they "knowingly" miss a tide is it impossible to turn up at shortish notice at Pembroke or are the logisitcs too difficult.
I know Super Ferry used Pembroke on the dodgy tides in it's shedule so is Julia doing the same thing?

There should be an option to "update session" and edit a post after that.

Swansea is a very very odd port, she is the biggest ship you will fit in there (there is also a restriction on a ships length on the ro-ro berth). Off the top of my head, the Julia's draft is more than 5 meters, but the approach would be judged safe by the amount of water that would be under her at the dock. The exact window would vary from day to day (she will be hit by spring tides this time of year also). I'll see if I can find out more what kind of time frame she has.

The Superferry did go to Pembroke once or twice a year, but that was timetabled, and on spring tides, so would have been arranged well in advance. She would need dockers, pilots, and agents to handle her if she did change port (unless, lets say, there was an emergency and it was viewed easier to go to port rather than call out the Coast Guard/RAF). The fees for an alternative port could add up pretty quickly...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 24, 2010, 08:27:56 PM
Also, just came across this. For sailings with late departures, there is an option of early boarding:

Quote
SAILING UPDATE
Sailing Update Sunday, March 21st

Fastnet Line wish to advise that the departure time for this evening sailing from Swansea to Cork has been changed to 11:00pm due to tidal conditions in Swansea. Passengers can still check in from 6:00pm and all facilities on board will be open.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 24, 2010, 10:57:45 PM
No AIS track of her departure tonight either - surely this must be company policy, as Oscar Wilde, StenaEurope etc etc showing up normally??
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on March 25, 2010, 04:59:50 AM
Aha! It's a secret.

Thanks Kieran for that info. I wonder though if you are a van/trailer merchant whether they will load you early as normally i get left 'til last.

Currently sitting on the Stena Europe (in Stena Plus with unlimited free wine!) I am a coach passenger today so with a fun fair deal i am quids in. £35 + £15 Stena Plus; London to Cork return. Of course i have to drink a couple of bottles to get my money back. LOL! ::)
No brainer.
The car decks which i always have a sneak at are pretty empty as usual.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 25, 2010, 11:00:45 PM
Went down to Ringaskiddy this afternoon (hadn't been there since the demise of Superferry) - awful wet afternoon, but was shocked how forlorn it all looks down there. Terminal building was open, but no sign of life or lights - was surprised there was not one single Fastnet timetable or bit of publicity on show (Brittany Ferries had TT's & leaflets). Julia was alongside - I hadn't seen her since Horgan's Quay last September - I see what other poster's have meant about the funnel - it's crying out for a logo over that roughly painted out old logo. I know I'm not sounding too positive, but first impressions and all that stuff........
On a brighter note I've read some good news on Skib's Southern Star (online).
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 26, 2010, 01:22:27 AM
Quote
On a brighter note I've read some good news on Skib's Southern Star (online).

There have been announcements like that before, don't believe it is true until it is in a Shareholder's Update....
Incase anyone hasn't seen it, Southern Star is claiming that the Tanaiste/Enterprise Ireland has secured €1.5million for Fastnet...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 26, 2010, 07:21:26 AM
It says it on "People's Ferry" too, although not shareholders announcement - so would think (hope) it's reasonably certain?

Looks like she is going to be tight for tide this morning - she is off Oxwich Bay at 0710 doing 10 knot - and low water Swansea is 0903!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 26, 2010, 11:33:00 AM
Alongside Swansea 1110 - having stooged around the Gower for 3.5 hours - so, given LW was 0903, I guess this proves the low tide 'window', when the berth is unavailable to Julia (on springs) is, give or take, 4 hours (2 hours each side of LW).
With hindsight therefore, setting off last night at 2100, there was only a slim chance she could have arrived at Swansea whilst there was still enough water.
Possibly those sailings should be brought forward an hour to 2000, to give an extra margin - or diverted into Pembroke (regardless of extra cost) - as I can imagine there are some not too happy bunnies disembarking now at 1130 ish, 4.5 hours later than they expected (personally, I'd have LOVED the extra 4 hour Gower Coast Cruise).
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 30, 2010, 09:40:08 PM
I fully realise it is the Master's decision, but I am surprised a ship the size of Julia is delayed by a 32 knot NW.
Fastnet are showing 0300 departure - arriving at Swansea 14 hours later at 1700 - which is over 3.5 hours after low water (which seems a little odd?).
All 3 Rosslare routes (UK/France) are shown as 'on time' - even the tiny Scillonian III has just left St Mary's for Penzance (glad I'm not on it though!!).
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on March 30, 2010, 09:51:28 PM
Hopefully this will get sorted out as the point of saving all the driving is slightly moot when you are several hours later than planned and have had to fork out for breakfast/ brunch also!
Would love to know what the problem is.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 30, 2010, 10:09:58 PM
"Several hours"....that's a schedule of 10 hours late into Swansea! Very rough on passengers who are travelling purely for appointments over there during Wednesday daytime. I know nobody can help the weather, but.....?

I note Connor Buckley's "Irish Times" quote, along the lines of "we look on it as a hotel that just happens to go from Cork to Swansea". That's fine for the 'leisure' customer - but I feel is perhaps missing an important point for the traditional ferry passenger. Only my view.....

On a plus point...well done Fastnet for selling out the Good Friday sailing from Swansea to Cork...let's just hope it all goes smoothly that night!

Be nice to see some 'yellow plates' around West Cork on Saturday, like the old days!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on March 31, 2010, 01:47:25 AM
I was at Ringaskiddy ferry terminal at 1am (was passing so I thought I'd slip in for a look , to be fair there is a very strong wind hitting Julia broadside even at that stage , personally I would'nt like to be trying to manouver her out of the docking area with that much force pushing her sideways towards the deepwater Quay, the delay looks to be on saftey grounds at the port as much as the heavy weather.
10 hours is a nasty delay , at least if you're not pushed for time Juila is a nice place to spend time , but as was said , cant help the weather.................
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 31, 2010, 07:09:52 AM
I agree in part - for people with no time pressures very nice indeed - but it is essentially a ferry service, where most people have commitments & ongoing travel plans (how about any 'landbridge' passengers for instance?).

Yes, may have been about conditions in port, but passengers only need to get a sniff of fact that all other routes were operational (regardless of conditions at their port), and it doesn't tend to help 'confidence in booking'....I mean, winds in excess of 30 knot, in the Irish Sea, out of season, are by no means uncommon (and tonight's NW is certainly one of the more 'favourable'...later in the week is forecast as Southerly!).

I see on AIS she eventually sailed at just after 4am and is doing 14 knot at present.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on March 31, 2010, 10:57:58 AM
I sailed out of Rosslare last night. It was a good force six -seven but all the boats were in and Stena Europe left about 15 - 20 minutes late. There were some freight traffic problems but i assume Innishmore got in late as Irish Ferries were still unloading at 21.00.
Stena Europe was actually disappointing as hardly moved at all on the crossing until the stablisers were withdrawn at Fishguard. My red wine stayed in the glass no problem.
We arrived pretty much on time.
Could not fault the service.
My friends are making the first crossing on Julia tomorrow and know lots of people in West Cork so it better be good!
I said i would keep an eye on here for info.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on March 31, 2010, 11:36:45 AM
Quote
Yes, may have been about conditions in port, but passengers only need to get a sniff of fact that all other routes were operational (regardless of conditions at their port), and it doesn't tend to help 'confidence in booking'....I mean, winds in excess of 30 knot, in the Irish Sea, out of season, are by no means uncommon (and tonight's NW is certainly one of the more 'favourable'...later in the week is forecast as Southerly!).

The wind in Cork is a lot stronger than it is in Rosslare, however the valley that the harbour is in would stop win being a major issue in Cork, its the ride at sea and passengers comfort that she would be delayed for.
Also, Innishmore is canceled this morning due to the wind.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on March 31, 2010, 01:16:52 PM
Whats going on with the JULIA she is making only 3 knots
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on March 31, 2010, 06:11:52 PM
Quote
Stena Europe was actually disappointing as hardly moved at all on the crossing until the stablisers were withdrawn at Fishguard. My red wine stayed in the glass no problem.
We arrived pretty much on time.
Could not fault the service.

It surely was not disappointing to have a pleasant crossing during this weather. I have sailed on the Stena Europe in quite rough weather and it does seem to handle the bad conditions very well, while sitting in the Plus lounge it was very comfortable. Any update on the changes made during the Refit ?

As for the Julia, I hope this weekend goes smoothly for them and if they need to spend a bit more on fuel to up the speed then do it as having a delayed crossing over Easter will not be good publicity.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 31, 2010, 06:30:04 PM
I guess she had slowed right down to waste time, as there wouldn't have been enough water at Swansea this afternoon until about 3pm.

She is not showing alongside at Swansea on AIS, so I don't know what time she docked (ETA was 1700).

I still think (from my years "before the mast"!) that a ship of Julia's size would normally be expected to cope with a 32 knot NW - I know the thing about "passenger comfort etc" - but NW for a Cork to Swansea sailing is a pretty 'favourable' wind (that's if any wind is favourable, unless you are in a sailing craft, I guess?) - it gives a fairly good lee until you are well off the Irish coast - and you recover the lee again upon joining the Pembrokeshire Coast - plus the sea is on your port quarter (stern). It's not like tramping into it - like she will be doing tonight, once she is clear of Milford Haven - although the wind has dropped a little here (West Cork) at present.

At the end of the day, of course, it is purely (and quite rightly) the Master's decision - and every one (I well remember!) is different - some will sail when others won't & vice versa etc etc.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on March 31, 2010, 06:46:12 PM
Quote
Quote
Stena Europe was actually disappointing as hardly moved at all on the crossing until the stablisers were withdrawn at Fishguard. My red wine stayed in the glass no problem.
We arrived pretty much on time.
Could not fault the service.

It surely was not disappointing to have a pleasant crossing during this weather. I have sailed on the Stena Europe in quite rough weather and it does seem to handle the bad conditions very well, while sitting in the Plus lounge it was very comfortable. Any update on the changes made during the Refit ?

As for the Julia, I hope this weekend goes smoothly for them and if they need to spend a bit more on fuel to up the speed then do it as having a delayed crossing over Easter will not be good publicity.

That was tongue in cheek - i actually enjoy a bit of a rough ride now and again. As pointed out last night was a NW so not really going to give many problems.
Not sure what the refit involved but the Plus lounge is excellent - free wine, coffee etc and free internet. I still think snoring should be banned though.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on March 31, 2010, 11:48:50 PM
A meal & a wine....followed by a snore & a dribble....that's half the pleasure of an Irish Sea crossing!!!!

Agree with previous post...they REALLY need to crank Julia up this weekend, regardless of fuel costs.

Today's 1305 BST (3 knot) off Milford Haven, taking until 1709 BST to reach Mumbles Head (6.2 knot), must seem AGONISINGLY slow for passengers who need to be getting somewhere.....especially as the reason didn't appear to be tidal (LW Swansea 1311 BST).
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 02, 2010, 09:53:15 PM
I note that NO comments were posted regarding the late running of the "long drive" ferry operator over the past few days.

Julia passed Mumbles 0638 this morning at 20 Knts. Fastnet Line proudly flying the flag for West Cork. No comments on vessel speed and arrival time.

Why are the "long drive" operators not subject to the same level of monitoring and "cheap shot" comments like those regarding the consumption of fuel, AIS and general performance?

Anyone with any doubts about what the great guys at the Co-op and Fastnet Line are doing be at Ringaskiddy in the morning and see the UK & EUROPEAN Cars spill on to the N28.

Fastnet Line take a bow, well done.

Footnote: Why is a ship of a company that let Cork down on two occasions always shown on the top of this website? Why were there no comments about the late running / delays of the  "Long Road Operators" over the past few days?

Diolch yn fawr iawn Fastnet Lines
Go Raibh Mile Maith Agat Fastnet Lines

Linking Celtic Countries !!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 03, 2010, 12:25:41 AM
0015,  Go Julia Go

51.5 N 5.15W, 18 Kts , Heading 286 Deg

Lights of the "long road" operator to the North visible....... Cork here we come!!!

Well done  Fastnet Lines, Great Weekend for West Cork, Great Weekend for Ireland!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 03, 2010, 12:41:31 AM
Ok, sorry, whilst not wishing to provoke any disagreements here, I feel I MUST be allowed my say in response to last post please.

I feel there is a certain degree of "rose tinted specs" being worn here.

Yes, I note Julia did well this morning & hopefully is doing equally well with her full load tonight (no AIS plot showing, so no way of knowing when I last looked).

But, let's face reality, from 10th March until this morning, the chance of docking within 30 mins of advertised arrival time (ie 10 hours after advertised departure time) has, by my records, only been about 25% max. Ok, it's early days I know & hopefully that will be improved upon.

From a personal point of view, I have TOTAL admiration (honestly) for the amazing fund raising efforts of the West Cork Co-operative & particularly Adrian Brentnall & John Hosford. They both deserve medals for bringing this service back from the dead!

However, I remain to be convinced about the performance of Fastnet as a trading company - and, I am NOT refering to the ship's performance here.

I have not sailed on Julia yet (2 weeks before my first trip), but so far I personally have encountered NOTHING very efficient about the company (continually ignored email requests for booking assistance, a glitch in being unable to book a single voyage still not yet rectified despite being relayed to the company, helpful suggestions - also relayed to the company - not even acknowlged; down to not even a "sailing tonight" poster displayed at Ringaskiddy - on a visit there last week etc).

There are other issues regarding onboard experiences - but, as these did not happen directly to me - it is not fair to relate them here.

Also, I feel, the ship's exterior gives a somewhat unkempt appearance, especially with the roughly painted white funnel patches.

Ref the final point of the previous post; my personal experiences of travelling via Rosslare routes, over the past 3.5 years, is that the timekeeping there is normally very impressive - but, before anyone else says it, perhaps I have just been lucky.

Sorry - but I HAVE to speak as I find - I am allowed my viewpoint, just as the previous contributer is allowed his counter view. I am not a complete nautical layman - I have, in the past, sailed as an Officer of two UK registerer passenger vessels (albeit not the size of Julia & not employed on overnight passage).

I have no wish to stir up anything, on this forum, with this post - just to simply respond to the previous post (free speech and all those ideals.....)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 03, 2010, 01:19:42 AM
Julia, Making West Cork Proud, Making Ireland Proud!!

0130, 51.5 N, 5.6W, Heading 271 Deg, 18 Kts

Wish we were aboard , now thats an idea, maybe followers of this great story could travel over and back and swop stories.

Roches Point, Cork we are on our way!!

I note Cork Port is showing Pont Aven arriving at 0700!!!  0130, 49.5N, 5.5W, 301deg, 22 Kts








Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on April 03, 2010, 02:48:47 AM
Quote
Ok, sorry, whilst not wishing to provoke any disagreements here, I feel I MUST be allowed my say in response to last post please.
I have no problem with anything in this...


Quote
But, let's face reality, from 10th March until this morning, the chance of docking within 30 mins of advertised arrival time (ie 10 hours after advertised departure time) has, by my records, only been about 25% max. Ok, it's early days I know & hopefully that will be improved upon.
Sadly, that is down to the nature of the route and Swansea's tidal restrictions. I suspect more went on behind the scenes between the Port of Cork and the Port of Swansea. In the early 90's it was proposed that a new ferry port be built further west, at Port Talbolt but never happened...
The Superferry didn't have as big a draft, and her time table was built around the tides, hopefully, Fastnet will learn from the problems they are having and adapt the timetables...and ABP will cop on and do something about the tidal restrictions.
Also, as has been pointed out above, other operators have suffered from the weather the last few days too...

Quote
I have not sailed on Julia yet (2 weeks before my first trip), but so far I personally have encountered NOTHING very efficient about the company (continually ignored email requests for booking assistance, a glitch in being unable to book a single voyage still not yet rectified despite being relayed to the company, helpful suggestions - also relayed to the company - not even acknowlged; down to not even a "sailing tonight" poster displayed at Ringaskiddy - on a visit there last week etc).

I can't comment on this...

Quote
Also, I feel, the ship's exterior gives a somewhat unkempt appearance, especially with the roughly painted white funnel patches.
True, but Fastnet were very tight on cash starting off, and painting even a small part of a ship isn't cheep. You need scaffolding, time, paint and staff...

Quote
Ref the final point of the previous post; my personal experiences of travelling via Rosslare routes, over the past 3.5 years, is that the timekeeping there is normally very impressive - but, before anyone else says it, perhaps I have just been lucky.
Ok, but when treveling stuff will go wrong. About half the flights I have flown into Cork on have been diverted, but I still fly from Cork when I need to. I have been on a translantic flights delayed 6 to 8 hours due to snow, I have been on trains that have run hours late, with no air conditioning, and a screaming child next to me (thank you Irish Rail)...and I have been on ships that have run hours and hours late due to weather....it happens, and you have to factor it into your plans...

Quote
Sorry - but I HAVE to speak as I find - I am allowed my viewpoint, just as the previous contributer is allowed his counter view. I am not a complete nautical layman - I have, in the past, sailed as an Officer of two UK registerer passenger vessels (albeit not the size of Julia & not employed on overnight passage).

I have no wish to stir up anything, on this forum, with this post - just to simply respond to the previous post (free speech and all those ideals.....)
As I said, I have no problem with people airing their views, but if you have a complaint about Fastnet, just send it to the company first.

Kieran
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 03, 2010, 08:00:51 AM
Thank you for an intelligent, itemised response.

As I say, I have no wish to stir up a 'bag of worms' on here.

Only point I feel I must respond to is the final one - true, valid point, but Fastnet don't seem hot on responding, from my experience so far!

And finally, can I be the first to say, Julia alongside at 0747 - not 0700 - but I guess within perfectly acceptable limits. Well done - look forward to seeing all those 'yellow plates' etc around West Cork today!

And Pont Aven hard on her heels, doing 22.5 knots, not that far off Roches Point.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on April 03, 2010, 03:50:14 PM
[split] [link=http://www.irish-ferries-enthusiasts.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1270289820/0#0][splithere][/link][splithere_end]
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on April 03, 2010, 05:45:34 PM
Quote
Ok, sorry, whilst not wishing to provoke any disagreements here, I feel I MUST be allowed my say in response to last post please.

I feel there is a certain degree of "rose tinted specs" being worn here.

Yes, I note Julia did well this morning & hopefully is doing equally well with her full load tonight (no AIS plot showing, so no way of knowing when I last looked).

But, let's face reality, from 10th March until this morning, the chance of docking within 30 mins of advertised arrival time (ie 10 hours after advertised departure time) has, by my records, only been about 25% max. Ok, it's early days I know & hopefully that will be improved upon.

From a personal point of view, I have TOTAL admiration (honestly) for the amazing fund raising efforts of the West Cork Co-operative & particularly Adrian Brentnall & John Hosford. They both deserve medals for bringing this service back from the dead!

However, I remain to be convinced about the performance of Fastnet as a trading company - and, I am NOT refering to the ship's performance here.

I have not sailed on Julia yet (2 weeks before my first trip), but so far I personally have encountered NOTHING very efficient about the company (continually ignored email requests for booking assistance, a glitch in being unable to book a single voyage still not yet rectified despite being relayed to the company, helpful suggestions - also relayed to the company - not even acknowlged; down to not even a "sailing tonight" poster displayed at Ringaskiddy - on a visit there last week etc).

There are other issues regarding onboard experiences - but, as these did not happen directly to me - it is not fair to relate them here.

Also, I feel, the ship's exterior gives a somewhat unkempt appearance, especially with the roughly painted white funnel patches.

Ref the final point of the previous post; my personal experiences of travelling via Rosslare routes, over the past 3.5 years, is that the timekeeping there is normally very impressive - but, before anyone else says it, perhaps I have just been lucky.

Sorry - but I HAVE to speak as I find - I am allowed my viewpoint, just as the previous contributer is allowed his counter view. I am not a complete nautical layman - I have, in the past, sailed as an Officer of two UK registerer passenger vessels (albeit not the size of Julia & not employed on overnight passage).

I have no wish to stir up anything, on this forum, with this post - just to simply respond to the previous post (free speech and all those ideals.....)

HI Pugwash
I'm sorry that you've not yet had a response from Fastnet Line about the email/booking problems. I've chased the issues up for you and will come back via direct email.

I've also relayed your suggestions about Ringaskiddy 'posters' - but haven't yet heard back.

I understand that there will be some repainting done on the funnel in the near future - so I'd imagine that's why they've done a 'temporary' paint job for the time being. As to a complete repaint, I don't believe that's likely this year (lovely though it would be) - simply a matter of priorities, I think.

We need to remember that Fastnet Line is a new company with limited resources. It was interesting to see that Stena was recently publicising that they'd spent €9m on refitting one of their ships - bear in mind that Julia didn't cost that much to purchase outright!

As to timekeeping - the past two weeks have not been the easiest, particuarly in the light of the tidal conditions at Swansea.

It would have been great if the new operation could have 'hit the ground running' - but life's not like that and snags will occur. We all have very high expectations of the new service, and this is good as it can act as a stimulus / target for the company to aim for - but these things don't happen overnight.

I do hope that you'll see an improvement in responsiveness and punctuality by the time you take your first trip in 2 weeks time. I know that Fastnet Line welcome all constructive feedback from their customers - as it's a great way to improve their service...

Regards
Adrian


Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 03, 2010, 09:43:26 PM
Thanks Adrian - I know you have passed on my concerns/queries/suggestions - my comments were at NO WAY aimed at the West Cork Co-operative, and you of ALL people.

Incidentally I am STILL encountering the booking problem - so other people must also be hitting it - I know of one other.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on April 04, 2010, 07:15:18 AM
Quote
Thanks Adrian - I know you have passed on my concerns/queries/suggestions - my comments were at NO WAY aimed at the West Cork Co-operative, and you of ALL people.

Incidentally I am STILL encountering the booking problem - so other people must also be hitting it - I know of one other.

No problem. If you have a moment, it'd be useful to know the details of the computer setup for the other person who's having booking problems.

As you know, your PC setup and mine are very much the same - except that my system (particularly Firefox) doesn't show the problem, but yours does, although on your PC you don't see the fault in Internet Explorer. If we can collect more examples of set-ups where the glitch occurs, then the booking engine guys have more chance of fixing it...

Thanks
Adrian
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 04, 2010, 07:48:42 AM
Ok Adrian, I'll see what I can find out.

Well done - 0700 alongside Swansea!!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on April 04, 2010, 11:44:56 PM
Quote
0015,  Go Julia Go

51.5 N 5.15W, 18 Kts , Heading 286 Deg

Lights of the "long road" operator to the North visible....... Cork here we come!!!

Well done  Fastnet Lines, Great Weekend for West Cork, Great Weekend for Ireland!

We need to remember this is a discussion board for anyone to have a view. It is not the Fastnet Line fan club site.
I travel on the ferries quite often and was a great supporter of Swansea Cork as it filled my needs. When it went i had to use alternatives routes so i have an opinion on both. I am a supporter of Fastnet as otherwise i would not be interested enough to follow the progress. It sounds like only positive feedback is considered approriate when i am sure an honest feedback would be more useful to Adrian and the team. I was concerned that running way behind schedule would damage the start up efforts and was interested in why these problems occur.  It would have been a waste of time to ask the company directly for comment. No comments were made on the other carriers because possibly no one is that interested in them for the future.
Hopefully we can have a balanced discussion and not be quite so partisan. I need the new service for my business but i will still feel the need to pass comment if i think there are issues worthy of discussion. If i have complaints of the service i would go to Fastnet Line but this is enthusiastic discussion! Or have i got this wrong.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: adrian5750 on April 05, 2010, 08:59:14 AM
HI Cap'n Bob

You're right - we should aim for a balanced discussion - after all, that should be what forums are all about.

All constructive feedback is welcome - and I'm happy to relay it back to the company (as I've been doing for a while).

It's easy to become over-sensitive to criticism (I'm, as guilty of this as the next guy <g>) - but, when it's 'your baby' .......
This is especially true when that criticism seems to be 'complaining for the sake of it' - and there's been some of that.

The fact that Julia's actually in service now, and making a reasonable job of sticking to the schedule, is a tremendous achievement and a tribute to the great folks who have supported the campaign.

Its no secret that Fastnet Line doesn't have the same free access to cash as the other, established operators, and this will mean that they can't do 'everything' overnight - but there is a genuine will to improve the service, and constructive feedback is one of the best ways to find out what needs improving.

Keep the comments coming!

Thanks
Adrian
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 05, 2010, 11:56:14 AM
Over 18,000 Views, 350 replies there certainly is interest in the Swansea Cork route here on this discussion board. This is a great forum with lots of like minded posters and  interesting information. There are other awful sites like "peoplesrepublicofcork" lacking any moderation with much misinformed information and highly inappropriate language slagging off Fastnet Lines and the West Cork Co-op.

Apologies if any of my comments were percieved as inappropiate or too pro what the guys have been doing. I too have passed on many suggestions and comments to both the "campgain" and Fastnet Lines.


Sure constructive comment is what will make the service better. By virtue of the level of interest statistically Fastnet Line are going to attract more comment than any of the other operators.
(wont be long till the views pass 20,000!!)

I suggest that Fastnet line should employ the same painters that who painted Ocar Wilde for this Photoshoot! Blue to White to Blue!!

I see due to adverse weather  Larne Troon, Larne Cairnryan, Dublin Holyhead (IF) & Dun Laoghaire Holyhead   (Stena) are cancelled today!! Fastnet Line will sail on time.

Irish Ferries Enthusiasts keep up the great work!!!


Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 06, 2010, 01:10:39 AM
Lucky no scheduled sailing tonight - a wild one! Meant to moderate by tomorrow evening luckily.

Just had a look at that Peoples Republic site - I'm a great believer in free speech, but that makes a great case for the need for proper forum moderation (if only for the language)!!

Well done IFE on that score.

And congrats Fastnet on what appears to have been a successfull first peak weekend - hopefully things will settle down now.

Seen a few 'yellow plates' around West Cork - but possibly a lot headed for Kerry & beyond?

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: MROK on April 06, 2010, 05:32:48 PM
I have many fond memories of travelling Swansea – Cork for many years and I am delighted to see Julia set sail!

I sailed with Julia 24 March from Swansea and returned 31 March from Cork (scheduled 30th but delayed by appalling weather).

Yes, there were a few issues (leaving aside the weather!) however overall I was left with the impression of a crew who went out of their way to make everyone as welcome and as comfortable as possible.

Most of the issues I experienced will I am sure resolve themselves as the crew ‘settle down’ and gain experience (eg delay in registering passengers to give out cabin keys, not knowing how to handle a complaint about food, slowness in operating tills, etc.).Some may need a little money spent (eg fix the deadlocks on cabin doors, get the wi-fi working).

I would not want the friendly, helpful and ‘can do’ attitude of the crew to change.

I am not a good sailor but even in a force 9 returning from Cork Julia was remarkably stable. The public areas were clean and comfortable as were the cabins. The food in the restaurant was superb (probably the best I have had on a ferry) although I had a problem with some of the food in the self-service section (I now understand this to be caused by the supplier and is unlikely to happen again).

One suggestion to improve service, without cost, would be to tell passengers when Julia is running late. On both journeys – although in the later stages it was obvious – we were only told Julia was going to be an hour late in docking  10 mins before the time advised on departure. Most people have some sort of schedule or family, friends, business contacts  they need to keep informed.

Overall,I enjoyed both trips and look forward to travelling on Julia again. :)


PS – Still awaiting a ‘frequent traveller’ scheme.

Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on April 06, 2010, 07:00:46 PM
I totally agree with the comment about "not informing passengers about delayed departure times" and i am sure they will address this as nothing more frustrating. Just like the airlines.

As for a reward scheme it is already in place. Slightly different format but if you travel so many times you get a free trip.

Check the website for details ;)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 06, 2010, 11:17:33 PM
Yes, but you'd have to do 10 trips between now & 31/12 (9 months), so only really applies to business travellers - and, with normally only 3 sailings each way per week, it is hard to always make your itinery work (ie. my next trip needs commence on a Monday, so has to be via Rosslare outward).

The frequent traveller idea seems fine, but limiting it to a calendar year restricts it rather too much for leisure users to be able to benefit, I feel.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on April 09, 2010, 06:49:53 PM
I have an A level but have terrible trouble with Irish Ferries award scheme.
It gives discounts off fares after so many trips and i thought it worked out similar but not sure.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: MROK on April 11, 2010, 12:06:45 PM
Copy below of a review in yesterday's UK "Times" by Libby Purves......

................

From The Times
April 10, 2010
The Swansea-Cork ferry route is back
Libby Purves takes a slow boat to Ireland saving 380 miles’ driving, and enjoys a cabin and a fine Irish breakfast
Libby Purves

Amid recession and austerity, Irish eyes have something new to smile about and so have mine. There should be a folk song about it: O, Cork and Kerry have got a new ferry, too-ra-li-yay!

No longer does a holiday in the wild and lovely southwest Ireland involve either a hideous Ryanair experience and a hire car, or an endless drive to Fishguard and then another punishing day behind the wheel, all the way from Rosslare to the West by way of the Cork bypass. The Swansea-Cork ferry route is back. The West is won!

The route saves 380 miles’ driving, and instead of roaming miserably round a three-hour Rosslare ferry full of fractious children eating crisps, you spend a night fast asleep in a nice little cabin, and wake up to a fine Irish (or Welsh) breakfast as the ship glides into port. It is civilised. It is romantic. It enables you to travel with a carful of holiday kit and tents and boats and children’s junk. It is the ferry that should never have been allowed to die.

It did die, though. In 2006, Swansea Cork Ferries Ltd disposed of the MV Superferry, laid off the crew and turned its back on a service that — during the company’s nine-year tenure — had carried nearly three million passengers and 700,000 cars to Cork. There was a 30 per cent drop in the number of tourists to West Cork from Britain, West Wales lost many of its Irish visitors, even Swansea reported passing trade down, its windswept docks relegated to freight services only.

Our family felt bereft: the ferry was the latest in a long line on which we had been making the night crossing to Cork ever since I was a teenager. In the Sixties, it was the ropy old Innisfallen, which plied out of Fishguard and made its way right up the River Lee to the heart of Cork city. Ro-ro ferries were unborn: cars were swung on board in nets and lowered into the hold. A high spot of our teens was seeing a caravan dropped on to a Bentley, its owner dancing in dismay by the rail.

We couldn’t afford cabins and learnt how to sleep on the stairs, on the beer-scented bar carpet, or in a coil of rope on deck. One made passing friends: my first kiss (at 13) was on the Innisfallen’s grimy foredeck. Never saw him again. The Innisfallen was eventually flogged to the Greeks and a new ship, with stabilisers and bow doors, was introduced.

The departure port moved to Swansea, which was even handier, and the new Cork terminal at Ringaskiddy gave direct access to the western roads. Irish crews were replaced by Polish ones as world economics dictated. By the time B&I Ferries pulled the plug in 2006 the ship was as smart and plastic as modern passengers demand.

But it stopped. For three years we had to do without the easiest route to the West of Ireland. So from the ashes grew a fierce campaign and website, peoplesferry.com . Cork and Kerry politicians helped, local businesses put in money, the Irish Government backed it and, in mid-March, a 1982-vintage car ferry, bought from Finland and called the MV Julia, made her first crossings.

A few technical problems haunted her early days but, a week in, on a windy St Patrick’s night, my brother and I made a ceremonial return to the auld route (not least to congratulate and subsidise our mates in West Cork who had put their money in, from millionaire estate agents to Mike at the drapery).

It ran faultlessly to time, and we loved it. Being accustomed to wild winters in the Gulf of Finland, the Julia has efficient stabilisers but she’s not huge. There is a pleasingly retro quality about her, especially in the bar, with its little dance-floor and bandstand, so my brother and I sat happily with a pint, listening to the music system playing Wild Rover and Hi Ho Silver Lining. We could pretend that we were 17 again, off to sail and sing the holidays away, or work behind bars somewhere west of Skibbereen.

The crew are now Lithuanian and smilingly eager to please, the ship is impressively clean, the restaurant does a good steak, and in the cafeteria the staff rush over with the ketchup, beaming, if you forget to pick it up. Everyone from the Mumbles to Mizen Head wants this quixotic, commercially risky venture to work. I certainly do.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 11, 2010, 05:39:39 PM
Great write up despite the inaccuracies .

B&I let Cork and the Southwest down in1983 closing the route (1979 moving to Pembroke), the route was restablished in 1987 by Swansea Cork Ferries (over the years the name had various owners Strintzis Line,  Briar Star Ltd...... ), in 2006 the route closed due to a failure to find a replacement for thier vessel M/V Superferry.

The name B&I is still owned by the "Long Road " operator ICG.  Since 1983 B&I of ICG have shown no interest in  providing a passanger and freight link from the UK to Cork.

Now the ship of happy memories and "the first kiss"refered to in the "Times article", spot the grimy foredeck !!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on April 12, 2010, 12:33:46 PM
Anyone sailing on the Julia this week, keep an eye out for some Dolphins in the Cork Harbour area, there was pod of five dolphins around the Rochespoint area yesterday afternoon, a great sight to see and with the weather a fantastic day.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 15, 2010, 07:59:56 PM
Full tonight.

Lucky for Cork that there is the Swansea Ferry  alternative to Air Travel.

Good to see all the operators to get a welcome boost.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 16, 2010, 05:17:23 PM
Any news of additional sailing to Swansea and back on monday. Tides are high but favourable for a 1900 to 2100 turn around!!

Great to see the ferry companies get this boost.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: welshboy on April 16, 2010, 06:22:30 PM
Its a great boost to all operators. Swansea to cork full tonight and tomorrow. Brill news!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on April 16, 2010, 07:40:55 PM
Fill your boots fastnetline !
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on April 17, 2010, 05:23:39 PM
Quote
Sailing Update- Extra Sailings Added for Monday, April 19th

The Julia will sail on Monday April 19th from Cork to Swansea at 09:00hrs arriving at 19:00hrs

The Julia will sail Monday April 19th from Swansea to Cork at 21:00hrs arriving at 07:00hrs on Tuesday, April 20th


There may also be extra sailings during the week, but this hasnt been confirmed yet...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 18, 2010, 05:11:36 AM
I was onboard Julia last night (Friday) - if that was a full load then she carries them VERY well - no area seemed over busy, just comfortable. There were certainly cabins still available, as I saw them being sold at the reception. Nice enough ship. Good time keeping. Shame so many facilities are still shut though (cinema, casino, play area etc) and areas roped off. There are definately crew & onboard pricing 'issues' that need to be addressed by Fastnet though, before there are too many disgruntled passengers (hopefully the new CEO will tackle this urgently). On the whole fairly impressed though - but most importantly, how lovely to only have a 55 min drive home, instead of nearly 4 hours!!! 
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 18, 2010, 05:19:48 AM
Quote
Quote
Sailing Update- Extra Sailings Added for Monday, April 19th

The Julia will sail on Monday April 19th from Cork to Swansea at 09:00hrs arriving at 19:00hrs

The Julia will sail Monday April 19th from Swansea to Cork at 21:00hrs arriving at 07:00hrs on Tuesday, April 20th


There may also be extra sailings during the week, but this hasnt been confirmed yet...

Would it be possible to fit extra sailings around the existing timetable (obviously the off service Monday had the scope)?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on April 18, 2010, 05:53:07 AM
Great to see extra sailings added.

It looks like more will be required.

Pic Julia yesterday at Ringaskiddy moving over to
free up Ro/Ro berth.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on April 18, 2010, 11:07:00 AM
Quote
Would it be possible to fit extra sailings around the existing timetable (obviously the off service Monday had the scope)?

Yes, she could go to Swansea and back in one day if needs be (the tide in Swansea will be the only problem)...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on April 18, 2010, 10:18:15 PM
Some very Interesting comments in this article on a trip on The JULIA, people involved in Fastnetline please take note, with all the extra passengers now experiencing all the Irish Sea services, it's time to make a lasting impresssion. A few tweaks to the operation and things would be sorted.

http://www.greentraveller.co.uk/blog/new-ferry-route-between-swansea-wales-and-cork-ireland
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 19, 2010, 06:17:34 PM
Yes, very fair feature that - just how I found the Julia on my trip - generally good, but just needs those "finishing touches" (especially the advertised cinema open, to occupy the kids!) - and perhaps a bit more Irish/Welsh feel to it - surely it doesn't cost much to change the framed pictures/display navigational charts, all of Finland, still on show in the lounges?

I still don't see how extra trips could be fitted in at short notice, except on Mondays, unless you abandon the existing timetable, as if you start doing day + night trips (like Superferry used to), it must mean that 50% of the nights you are going in the opposite direction to the presently published timetable (surely?).

Anyone know if they are still sticking to compulsary recliners/cabins at present? As that must restrict how many the ship can carry (as presumably the booking engine aborts a booking when there are no more seats/cabins available?) - without it, in theory, she can be taken up to her passenger cert limit. So presumably a quoted "full load" is dictated really (on night sailings) by the onboard accomodation available (with empty bunks in any cabin booked for 1 or 3 passengers).
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on April 19, 2010, 10:28:41 PM
I sailed on Julia over the back end of easter and found all crew most helpful. I would be interested in your experience.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on April 19, 2010, 11:09:40 PM
Just wondering what is the passenger certificate capacity for the Julia at the moment, not the total amount of passengers they can carry but what are they certified for carrying with the current level of staff ?

I know the ship can carry 1,860 passengers in total, but I would imagine that the certified maximum is way less than that, only reason for asking is Stena increased the passenger certificate for the HSS Voyager from 600 passengers to 1,500 passengers last week to take into account increased demand, obviously more staff are required  if you run at maximum capacity.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 20, 2010, 12:49:34 AM
There was nowhere near 1,800 pax onboard on Friday night & it was a "sold out" sailing. I would guess 1,000 max. Surely the compulsory seat/cabin requirement self controls that, especially as there are not a huge amount of recliners.

Yes, I agree crew helpful & willing, but noticed frequent communication problems, with their fairly basic english - saw one old fella in particular getting VERY stressed that he couldn't make himself understood - and he was about to spend 105 quid in the restaurant for 3 people!!

It would be nice if an Irish or Welsh girl could at least do the tannoy announcements (or even prerecord the 'stock' ones) - nothing personal against the Eastern European girls at present - but the current broken english announcements, with the rather dubious grammar, don't give it much of a 'Celtic' feel (ala Superferry). Only a thought.....
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 20, 2010, 09:40:01 PM
I've been told they are now carrying foot passengers WITHOUT the compulsory recliner/cabin element to their booking????

From the Fastnet site that certainly looks to be the case.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on April 21, 2010, 12:21:05 AM
I don't see that? Just tried to get a quote and it was insisting on accommodation in addition.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: ccs on April 21, 2010, 09:00:07 AM
Quote
I've been told they are now carrying foot passengers WITHOUT the compulsory recliner/cabin element to their booking????

From the Fastnet site that certainly looks to be the case.

thats correct a few friends of mine came over on last Friday's sailing from Swansea without any seats/cabins booked.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: ccs on April 21, 2010, 10:11:33 AM
Julia to be replaced soon or a bit of forward planning? A couple of lines at the end of a story in today's Examiner.

[size=12]Fastnet chief racing to ferry British tourists
[/size]

By Sean O’Riordan and Niamh Hennessy

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FROM fast cars to ferry boats... that’s the career path of the new chief executive of Ireland’s fledgling ferry company who’s determined to bring thousands more British tourists to West Cork.

Phil Jones, who used to manage the famous Silverstone racetrack, has just taken over as chief of the Fastnet Line, which runs the MV Julia between Cork and Swansea.

His first act was to appoint a dedicated PR agency in Britain to pick up extra business.

"I appointed them last Thursday and the following day the volcano blew," he said with a smile.

As planes were grounded, he decided to put on two extra sailings, which carried more than 800 passengers.

"We managed to bring back five of the Cork Symphony Orchestra," Phil said.

Last night he staged the first of a number of west Cork roadshows for co-op members.

Meanwhile chairman of the West Cork Tourism co-operative which owns Fastnet Line, Conor Buckley, said the co-op is putting plans in place for the purchase of a ship to replace the MV Julia.

Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/business/fastnet-chief-racing-to-ferry-british-tourists-117785.html#ixzz0ljBy9TpK
[/i]
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 21, 2010, 04:05:27 PM
It's not 1st April is it? The paper MUST have got that last bit wrong? The cost of replacing the Julia already is SURELY beyond a company that only has a track record of 6 weeks - unless there is some issue we don't know about the Julia?

Yes, I noticed people on Friday night sleeping under duvets etc. Hopefully the compulsory seat/cabin issue (that has alienated many foot passengers) will now be reviewed. It seems especially pointless as the bar remains open to 4am (announced over the tannoy as such), and presumably breakfast is served from shortly after 5am. Not that I personally would want to do a 10 hour trip without a cabin!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on April 21, 2010, 04:52:58 PM
I just spoke to the booking office and they said you need a Pullman or a cabin. Don't quite know who is right here.

Also i asked about car parking at the docks - no!  or anywhere else for foot passengers to park up - err no!

Seems odd there is all that brownfield site at Kings Dock and nowhere to park.(longterm).

There are unofficial options but we don't want to highlight those but choice is very limited unless someone knows better.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on April 21, 2010, 07:50:31 PM
I was lucky enough to have caught Connor Buckleys speech where he mentioned Julia being replaced in the future , what he was refering to is that Julia has a life expectancy with Fastnet Line of somewhere between 5 - 10 years (far too early in the proccess to give accurate timetable for replacment at this stage , although with a design life expectancy of 60 years from manufacture , she could , but wont , potentially operate that route for the next 32 years) , the point he was essentially making was that Julia was aquired at a VERY good price and it is likely that the next ship will cost substantially more , therefore it was nessisary to begin planning for that now as 10 years is not a long time to pay off the loan on one ship and raise capitol to purchase the replacment.
As far as I am aware the compulsory berth is only required for night sailings (which are the bulk of the timetable at present) and not required for day sailings.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: ccs on April 21, 2010, 08:17:58 PM
Quote
I was lucky enough to have caught Connor Buckleys speech where he mentioned Julia being replaced in the future , what he was refering to is that Julia has a life expectancy with Fastnet Line of somewhere between 5 - 10 years (far too early in the proccess to give accurate timetable for replacment at this stage , although with a design life expectancy of 60 years from manufacture , she could , but wont , potentially operate that route for the next 32 years) , the point he was essentially making was that Julia was aquired at a VERY good price and it is likely that the next ship will cost substantially more , therefore it was nessisary to begin planning for that now as 10 years is not a long time to pay off the loan on one ship and raise capitol to purchase the replacment.
As far as I am aware the compulsory berth is only required for night sailings (which are the bulk of the timetable at present) and not required for day sailings.

makes sense. thanks for clearing that up.

as for cumpulsory berths I'd imagine that Fastnet are being flexible at the moment in order to facilitate as many people as possible.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 21, 2010, 08:38:07 PM
That makes sense now about Conor Buckley's quote - obviously a journalist being abit over economic with the words - made it sound like there was an intention to replace it already!

There were definately a few foot passengers carried on Friday without compulsory seats/cabin - but possibly, now the aviation crisis is easing, it has reverted back to how it was, with accomodation being a requirement of booking?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on April 21, 2010, 09:40:23 PM
Quote
There were definately a few foot passengers carried on Friday without compulsory seats/cabin - but possibly, now the aviation crisis is easing, it has reverted back to how it was, with accomodation being a requirement of booking?

The compulsory cabin can, for other operators at least, must be over written manually (can't be done with online bookings). If that was the case it could only be done in the port or in the call center...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 22, 2010, 11:10:43 AM
That accounts for why the Fastnet site now says that foot passenger bookings cannot be made online & must be made over the phone/or at the terminal up to 90 mins before departure, thus allowing non compulsory seat/cabin bookings to be allowed. Hopefully that feature will be RETAINED, and is not just until the aviation situation is totally back to normal. Personally I like a cabin, but I feel the service should appeal to all, including those who just want a 'basic' cheap trip over. Plus it MUST allow extra passengers to be carried, with the revenue & onboard spend benefits, as otherwise the "full load" is surely only controlled by recliner/cabin availabilty. So good for all really? (remains to be seen if a non compulsory motorists option, for last minute bookings, is eventually implemented??).

I note a S Wales newspaper has been very critical, this week, about the slightly odd foot passenger (dis)embarkation procedure at Swansea. Not Fastnet's fault, although they seem held responsible by this previously 'anti' paper. Hopefully ABP will rectify asap. Also, as somebody pointed out yesterday, car parking urgently needs to be provided by ABP in the dock area at Swansea, as it was pre Autumn 2006.

I emailed Fastnet, on their helpline contact, on Tuesday, about the possibility of offering motorist 36 hour returns? I think this could prove VERY popular, with a cabin in each direction, and 12+ hours (for business or pleasure) in Wales or Eire. At present it works out VERY expensive for only a few hours over there. I know it would be of great benefit to me, as a small non commercial van owner. I realise it would need to be limited availabilty per sailing & have booking/payment conditions attached. I haven't heard anything back from them yet. Hopefully I will. Perhaps others might consider lobbying Fastnet for this facility? (I seem to recall Briar Star used to offer short period special fare returns on Superferry?)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on April 22, 2010, 11:59:06 AM
Incorrect - what it says on the site is that bookings for "this sailing" ie. the next one (only for foot passengers) must be made at the port or over the phone. Not sure why but all future bookings can be made online but do require accommodation.
Therefore if you have to pay a £10 booking fee for port or phone option then the additional cost for a seat is £10 less!!

Not confusing at all. :D
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: ccs on April 22, 2010, 10:58:25 PM
Confirmed in tonights Evening Echo that passengers are being carried without the need to book a berth or seat.

Spokeswoman Ann Cronin said: "We've made an exception this week to accomodate travellers who are trying to get home for medical appointments, funerals or just to get back to work".
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on April 23, 2010, 01:42:24 AM
I am reliably informed that ABP is looking seriously at installing a new passenger gangway at Swansea sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on April 25, 2010, 08:34:26 AM
I am off on Julia this evening to Cork if i can manage to book online. Looks like the "no seat" requirement has been discontinued so its a £40 fare each way.
Looking forward to seeing if it is going to work for me on a regular basis.
Managed to blag some free parking in Swansea for this week but this will be an issue in future as it has to be free'ish.
Must say the Swansea marina area has changed a lot since i was last there waiting for Super Ferry! I can see where all the UK debt went.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 27, 2010, 01:17:05 PM
Fastnet, if you happen to monitor this site, will you please consider offering a 36 hour return deal from either side (Briar Star used to do something similar, although a little longer period I think)? Payment 28 days in advance, non refundable, with restrictions, would be perfectly acceptable, in return for a realistic short period return fare with cabins. PLEASE?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on April 27, 2010, 02:17:45 PM
Quote
Fastnet, if you happen to monitor this site, will you please consider offering a 36 hour return deal from either side (Briar Star used to do something similar, although a little longer period I think)? Payment 28 days in advance, non refundable, with restrictions, would be perfectly acceptable, in return for a realistic short period return fare with cabins. PLEASE?

They do, but your better off e-mailing them (as you have said you have).
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on April 27, 2010, 06:44:19 PM
Amazing what turns up on www.shipspotting.com from time to time , this gem is the Celtic Pride on the Kiel Canal on its way to Cork for the first time for the then newly established Swansea Cork Ferries.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 28, 2010, 12:50:37 PM
Quote
Quote
Fastnet, if you happen to monitor this site, will you please consider offering a 36 hour return deal from either side (Briar Star used to do something similar, although a little longer period I think)? Payment 28 days in advance, non refundable, with restrictions, would be perfectly acceptable, in return for a realistic short period return fare with cabins. PLEASE?

They do, but your better off e-mailing them (as you have said you have).

Accepted, and I did last week (as you have noted), but no response, so was trying this channel (I know Adrian picks up things on here, but was hoping Fastnet themselves may monitor it). Is there an email address other than the "contact us" on the "help" page on their site, which gives me an automated acknowlgement back, but never actually a response?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on April 28, 2010, 11:28:38 PM
Even back in the day they could paint the companies name on the vessel and even apply funnel markings !!!

Come on Fastnetline lets get the Julia finished and looking the part, put your name on that ship and be proud to have her displaying the company name.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: bayside on April 29, 2010, 12:19:56 AM
julia at swansea ferry terminal
(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu123/swanseabeach/swansea%20marina/IMG_0919.jpg)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: bayside on April 29, 2010, 12:22:14 AM
(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu123/swanseabeach/IMG_0896.jpg)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: bayside on April 29, 2010, 12:24:32 AM
(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu123/swanseabeach/IMG_0899.jpg)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: bayside on April 29, 2010, 12:26:24 AM
(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu123/swanseabeach/swansea%20marina/IMG_0914.jpg)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: bayside on April 29, 2010, 12:27:48 AM
(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu123/swanseabeach/swansea%20marina/IMG_0916.jpg)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on April 29, 2010, 10:17:21 AM
Quote
Even back in the day they could paint the companies name on the vessel and even apply funnel markings !!!

Come on Fastnetline lets get the Julia finished and looking the part, put your name on that ship and be proud to have her displaying the company name.

Looking at these latest pics on here, even just funnel logos applied would make a huge difference.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Ferry Mad Matt on May 01, 2010, 10:07:26 PM
Yeah, they just need to get that logo sorted asap, so it gives an impression of a working ferry operator not the "ferry laid up on stand by look"!  ;)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on May 03, 2010, 05:37:01 PM
Has anyone any idea when the New Swansea Illfracombe Ferry is due to commence operations.

I see no date on the website (severnlink) but I note that sea trials were carried out last week.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on May 03, 2010, 06:49:02 PM
There is an issue about a suitable Berth at the Swansea end for Severn Link , although the company hopes to be operating by next month.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Ferry Mad Matt on May 04, 2010, 03:30:39 PM
I believe sea trials for the Swansea-Ilfracombe service had or have been delayed due to the good weather  :(. They have to test the craft on rough waters in order to obtain the operating lisence and all the dry weather has prohibited things apparently. A fast service will operate from Penarth (near Cardiff) aswell. It will be such an advantage to have a regular link from South Wales over to the Devon coast. I was in Swansea yesterday actually and saw the cat laid up on on the edge of the docks in her yellow livery.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on May 05, 2010, 04:54:15 PM
Has the compulsory seat/cabin rule been waived again this week anyone know?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on May 06, 2010, 12:31:37 PM
No idea but i had to buy a seat last week and as there was a lack of passengers i tried to get a discounted cabin but no go!
That was my first trip on Julia.
Outside she looks grubby close up.
There is no ramp at Swansea so you have to wait for a bunch of foot passengers to turn up before you can board.
You cannot park at Swansea although i got free parking at the hotel while i was away (lucky me)
Unfortunately the hotel was West side of the marina so as you can't get to the berth from that end anymore i had to get a cab all the way round to the East entrance. What a joke.
That adds £16 onto the cost. There is a rumour you can get park and ride from the East end but that it is still a rumour.
Once onboard the vessel is clean enough in most areas.
The large disco bar at the rear is a waste of space as the music is so deafening no one is in there.
The sports bar just off this was so hot that you could not sit in there either.
The alternative is to sit on the seating outside along the main thoroughfare between the rear bar and the stairwell area.
No internet onboard which is a real negative.
I checked out my sleeping area to discover all the available Pullman seats are in one "cupboard". There are i think 37 seats in three rows all jammed together. Not quite what i was expecting and i would rather sleep on the floor than on top of 36 other people in a small room. Very poor.
I slept on the seating on deck 6 upright.

In the morning i bought a cup of coffee which i could not drink (i suspect it had been brewing all night) and a small bottle of water total cost 6 euro 20.

The crew were mostly friendly and helpful although a little stern at reception!
We arrived on schedule and can disembark down the ramp at Cork.

My return trip provided the same scenario on board ie. big bar empty due to load music.

I decided to get a cabin as i was driving the other end. The cabin was clean although a cold shower in the morning was not really acceptable for 45 euro.

Disembarkation was delayed by half an hour as the ramp would not work and as we had to get a bus off the ship we could not get off either.
A mini bus service is currently in operation for footpassengers. Bags were spilling out the back of the van but i expect this will be sorted in the future with a new ramp.

Overall i am glad the service is back of course. When the high season brings more passengers the situation will become a little more difficult i suspect.

The logistics for a foot passenger are pretty awful at Swansea and the sleeping arrangements if you don't want a cabin are dire.

I will be writing to Fastnet Line just to highlight a couple of these issues.
I do wish the service every success and realise there are issues which more money will resolve but some things don't need cash they need some organisation.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on May 06, 2010, 02:49:34 PM
Yeah the boarding / disembarkation situation at Swansea is Dire , this unfortunatly is beyond Fastnet Line's control and ABP really need to get their act together ( I heard what Severn Link said about Swansea port and would'nt be surprised if the service operates from Cardiff only for the forseeable future).
The compulsary berth is a sticky subject , personally I am against it but I do see where Fastnet Line is comming from (perhaps a €5 for a pullman seat charge would be better) , after all try sleeping in a public area on any Brittany Ferries ship and see what happens.
The disco bar on deck 7 is a personal taste thing really , it is aimed at the 18-30 age group and was very popular in the ships Color Line days , one of the trips I did with Julia it was relativly busy and I myself enjoyed it (even though I am just outside the 18-30 group) , but it did'nt appeal to my parents at all , they opted for the Irish bar.
With regard to the ports though , it is funny how times change , when I was young we would travel from modern ports in the UK to a "cow shed" in Cork , now its Cork is the modern port with the "cow shed" in Swansea. ;D
I also heard someone somewhere bemoaning the fact that Julia was'nt bigger , aside from the fact that Swansea cant handle anything bigger than Julia (she barley fits) greater size does not always translate into greater stability in rough seas , the former Silja twins (currently Stena Saga and Princess Maria) are 50% bigger than Julia and are about as seaworthy as a rubber duck.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: SwanseaBoy on May 09, 2010, 10:23:08 AM
I see they've painted the funnel on Julia? Looks a lot better.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on May 09, 2010, 12:34:22 PM
Which logo did they use for the funel? did anyone get any pictures?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on May 10, 2010, 10:17:29 AM
I saw the JULIA yesterday afternoon and saw no logo on the funnel.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on May 10, 2010, 07:57:49 PM
Taken this evening in Ringaskiddy, prepare to be amazed, all new shiny white funnel on the port side and then on the starboard side the stunning new Fastnetline logo which appears to have been sized for a much smaller area.

Progress at last for the branding side of things, but could have been a lot bigger.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on May 10, 2010, 08:18:25 PM
Hhhmmmmm , not the bold sweeping statement from the funnel I was hoping for , but progress none the less I suppose , perhaps Julia will get a better funnel logo when it gets a repaint during the ships next overhaul.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on May 10, 2010, 11:37:17 PM
Just in case the powers that be in Fastnetline are not sure, I have attached a picture of a funnel painted to identify the brand of the company on whose ship you have decided to travel.


Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: bayside on May 11, 2010, 12:29:52 AM
paint in big letters underneath this image the website address

[size=18]WWW.FASTNETLINE.COM[/size]
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on May 11, 2010, 09:01:59 AM
Cannot believe what i am seeing. The size of the logo is just far too small and why not use the much more imposing logo seen in the MARCH 2010 video.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on May 11, 2010, 11:16:46 AM
Looks daft at present, but possibly we are judging an unfinished item - perhaps the logo is going to be circled or something?

Is there some reason the funnel had to be repainted in white - a positive 'brand' colour looks far more striking (with logo colour coded to match)?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on May 11, 2010, 05:54:42 PM
Given the condition of the paintwork on the funnel with the Stella Lines logo painted out, i suppose repainting the funnel bright white was a simple and effective solution and the ship does look a lot better for it.

As for the logo application, hopefully work in progress.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on May 12, 2010, 01:44:21 PM
I see on BBC News online, Phil Jones (CEO) has said that Fastnet will operate 11 months of the year (refit January), as opposed to Superferry that only ran from March to October. Surely that's wrong....Superferry ran 10 months of the year, with no service in January or February...unless he is confusing 2006, when it packed up for good in October?

Slightly 'bending' facts me thinks?

He also says it has already carried double the original estimate - obviously helped by the airport closures. He wants to build up freight traffic for the winter months - difficult to get regular customers, I'd have thought, with only 3 weekly departures from each end, and a complete gap in January? Although the 10 hour trip is a great advantage for tachograph breaks.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: ccs on May 13, 2010, 06:21:36 PM
took these shots earlier today. better than nothing i suppose and hopefully only a temporary measure.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: bayside on May 20, 2010, 01:04:43 AM
article about swansa dry docks and refit of julia

http://www.maritimejournal.com/features/vessel-build-and-maintenance/vessel-repair-and-maintenance/swansea-dry-docks-open-for-business
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Tom on May 20, 2010, 07:49:22 PM
Quote
Has anyone any idea when the New Swansea Illfracombe Ferry is due to commence operations.

I see no date on the website (severnlink) but I note that sea trials were carried out last week.

Severnlink have now announced the name for one of the ferries, "Rapparee"
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on May 23, 2010, 08:18:41 AM
TheJULIA was off Mumbles head today at 04.26. Low tide was around 08.00 why not dock?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on May 23, 2010, 10:47:17 PM
Quote
TheJULIA was off Mumbles head today at 04.26. Low tide was around 08.00 why not dock?

Ships usually do a lot of the crossing at a high-ish speed that is efficient, then cut power if they are very early.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on May 24, 2010, 08:52:09 AM
Sorry did not explain myself.JULIA was still wandering around Swansea bay at 09.30 after leaving very early from cork.


 
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on May 24, 2010, 10:05:08 AM
The presence of a tug to assist Julia with docking in Ringaskiddy this morning hints that she may be having technical difficulties again.
I have heard through variuos sources that Julia's bow thrusters may be acting up , but this is unconfirmed , however the presence of tugs while docking do point to this.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on May 24, 2010, 10:50:08 PM
I feel sorry for the passengers - off Mumbles Head at 0426 & still stooging around Swansea Bay 5 hours later at 0930, having left Ringaskiddy at 1930!

Julia had probs - and a delay in disembarkation - at Ringaskiddy last Thursday morning also. Shame just when things seemed to be settling down quite nicely.

I do hope Fastnet readress the fares structure shortly - we have various family groups visiting from the UK this summer - and they have all opted for Rosslare or fly/drive - giving the high Swansea/Cork fare+cabins as the reason.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on May 25, 2010, 09:43:31 AM
I had family over to Swansea last week from Kilkee,Clare.
Was shocked to find out they also took the Rosslare option,saying it was cost driven. Do hope someone from Fastnet picks this up.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on May 25, 2010, 06:12:31 PM
The numbers of Cork and Kerry based people opting to travel via Rosslare because Fastnet Line fare is very high when accomadation is factored in is quite alarming given that Fastnet Line needs all the buisness it can get.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on May 25, 2010, 07:20:02 PM
We are travelling via the UK to France and Spain
(Near Girona) again this year.

Ex Cork 31 July 2100, Arr Swansea 0700
Ex Dover 1st August 1420 Arr Calais 1635
Arr Meaux (Not far Euro Disney) 2000

Cost (Irish Sea) Ex-Cork 576 Euro (Car 2 Ad & 2 Ch & 4 Berth Inside Cabin) and these are the most expensive crossings of the year.

To do the same via Rosslare requires the addition of the following,

a.
Drive to Rosslare early morning Departure 0530 to catch 0900 stena or 0845 IF Sailings and arr lunchtime, by the time I would be in Camarthen I would be relaxing on the Sea France Moliere.

Estimate time iof arrival Dover 1930, 2000 Sea France Berloiz (a little tight) arrive Calais 2215 arrive Meaux  0145.

Cost return 320 to 340 Euro Plus additional  Fuel and wear and tear.

b.
Drive to catch the evening sailings ex-Rosslare 2100
or 2045 arriving at 0030 or 0045.

With 2 Childern an overnight in a Hotel is now essential!! and is the additional fuel.

On our return journey once again its a choice of an easy overnight cruise or early departure from France to catch the afternoon ferries in West Wales or an overnight vigil.


That is why this family has chosen to travel with Fastnet Lines.

Why do posters in this forum NOT question the Belfast Liverpool Prices and the Dublin Liverpool and Birkenhead prices !!!!!!

Well done Fastnet Lines for giving us the choice.


Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on May 25, 2010, 09:16:52 PM
I agree it is the MUCH nicer option - every time I personally would opt, out of choice, for the meal, drink, cabin, leisurely option.

But we all (or most of us) have to - at times at least - factor in the cost. And there is no getting away from the hard facts that Swansea/Cork is generally an expensive option. Especially for a large family who have to pay for seats or cabin berths for all their 'free fare' children.

It's not picking on Fastnet, honestly. It's a desperate hope that they will introduce some sensible special offers, before it's too late. As other posters have said there are an awful amount of people from the Cork/Kerry etc area (& vice versa) still travelling via Rosslare and (mostly) giving the seat/cabin 'surcharge' as the reason.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on May 25, 2010, 09:35:54 PM
What about Dublin & Belfast to Liverpool & Birkenhead?

Compare like with like.

Add in additional mileage, add in the huge bonus of Swansea Dover Vs Fishguard/Pembroke Dover.
Arrive Swansea 0700 or West Wales 1230 / 1245, J42 of M4 at 0745 or 1445 !!

Add in on the likley requirement of an overnight hotel in UK on the way to mainland Europe.

Its much easier to leave Northern France / Belgium / Holland at a respectable hour and make a Sailing in  Swansea at 2100.

Compare like with like, travelling with young childern there is no comparison.

Get some quotes and Go pick on Norfolk Lines and  P&O  and while your at it look at the cabin requirements on Stenaline (ex Harwich), Brittany Ferries (all routes), LD Lines (ex UK & Direct), Irish Ferries (Overnight Crossings to France) DFDS..........

Be adventerous and check out Moby Lines, Superfast, Minoan, SNAV, Color Line, Finnlines, Polferries, Acciona, TT Lines, Stena Line (Baltic Routes)........ guess what the Baltic, English Channel, Med, Adriatic
all have cabin requirements.

Once again why pick on a community based service.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on May 25, 2010, 11:25:51 PM
Ok, have it your way - I am comparing price for price West Cork to Somerset, via South Wales ONLY (the journey I do) - and taking into account the fuel saving - I accept the Fastnet option is nicer - but it is DEFINATELY more expensive, as I can leave here at 4.40am for Rosslare & be in Somerset 11.5 hours later at 4.10pm (no hotels).

Also I know what I hear, working in the tourist industry - but perhaps everybody else has got it wrong?

It is not really a "community based service" in the true sense of that phrase, since the admirable co-op fund raising stage, is it?

I just don't want to see them not make it through next winter because their fares aren't competitive....you have to admit something is wrong when people are still choosing the long haul to Rosslare, when the Julia is parked up at Ringaskiddy?

This is not the Fastnet Fan Club - they have to expect & accept critisism.

Plus you can't make suggestions or comments directly to them because they are STILL ignoring their emails (all you ever receive is an automated acknowlgement of receipt)!!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on May 26, 2010, 12:05:22 AM
It is a interesting fact that cabin prices when booking online started were far more compeditive,then they suddenly changed. When i enquired about this i was told it down to demand! Strange this when it has been full a handful of times. I do not wish to bash fastnet in fact quite the opposite,living in swansea, and visiting co.clare frequently.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on May 26, 2010, 10:48:04 PM
Just to clarify two small things here, this long haul to Rosslare is only 2 hours and 30 minutes on average from Ringaskiddy at the times the sailings go.

The boats also leave Rosslare at 21.00 hrs in the evening and you can be on the other side at 01.00 to continue your journey on near empty roads.

However if travelling with children etc obviously there are many other factors to consider, comfort, sleep etc

There should be plenty of business for all the operators to survive on, it might just suit people to use the different options.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Tom on June 09, 2010, 04:08:08 PM
Article From The BBC saying that Severnlink Are delaying the launch until 2011
.
"Severn Link said delays in creating landing facilities in Swansea had held up its plans to start sailings this year.

The company said it had conducted successful sea trials of the catamarans that will cross the Severn Estuary.

As well as a Swansea-Ilfracombe service, it hopes for one between Cardiff, Ilfracombe and Minehead.

Initially Severn Link had said it hoped to start sailings at Easter.

Announcing the launch in said the passenger-only ferries would run all-year round boosting the economies both sides of the Bristol Channel.

Managing director Geoff Metcalf said: "This is bitterly disappointing but, unfortunately out of our control.

"Although both ferries are up and running and have undertaken sea trials without appropriate landing facilities we clearly cannot operate or be granted a full licence by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

"So, while it is possible that we may be able to run some limited trial services it is with huge regret that we will have to postpone the full launch until next year."
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on June 09, 2010, 11:33:32 PM
Does anyone know what sort of loads the Julia is arriving at Ringaskiddy with at present? I am aware that a lot of the Cork/Kerry outward traffic is STILL going via Rosslare. Some form of selection of attractive price deals is urgently called for!

Shame about Severn Link, as Cork - Swansea - Ilfracombe would make a cracking 36 hour foot passenger 'mini cruise', with the day in N Devon. I guess it ideally needs a pontoon at Swansea, as on low springs their fairly small cats would be way below dock level for embarkation?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on June 13, 2010, 07:39:53 AM
Does anybody know why the JULIA spent an hour going round in circles off Cobh last night?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on June 13, 2010, 12:28:55 PM
Quote
Does anybody know why the JULIA spent an hour going round in circles off Cobh last night?

What time did this happen? If it was afternoon it would have been making room for the Pont Aven.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on June 14, 2010, 10:39:34 AM
This happened just after 8pm after passing cobh on her way out. She then circled around for about an hour,the Pont-Aven was well gone?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Ferry Mad Matt on June 14, 2010, 02:55:42 PM
I'm glad it wasn't just me that noticed this, I was on the AIS that time and noticed her turning all over the place and hovering around Ringaskkidy. It seemed to go on for a while, I thought she was just waiting for some clearance or something. Oh well a bit of a mystery :-?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on June 15, 2010, 10:42:32 AM
Quote
This happened just after 8pm after passing cobh on her way out. She then circled around for about an hour,the Pont-Aven was well gone?
Could have been a problem getting a pilot off her or some a medical evac needed or something along those lines...
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Lep Recon on June 15, 2010, 01:43:25 PM
I'm told, on good authority, that they had the Father Ted Appreciation Society's annual summer reunuion onboard the Julia.  The story goes that Father Jack was so drunk he fell overboard and they all started shouting  "Ah go on, go on, go on!"

Lep

 
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: mysurvey on June 17, 2010, 10:16:39 PM
I note Marine Traffic is showing a photo with the following narrative,

Julia lost all power outbound shown under assistance from the tug Alex

The photo is an area known well to myself off "the camber " in Cobh Roads just North of the Spit Bank.

Does anyone know the reason for the loss of power ?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on June 18, 2010, 12:29:04 AM
Anyone any idea why she did an about turn & started heading back to Cork tonight - due south of Dungarvan - at about 2315? She is now back on course for Swansea & doing 18 knot.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: bayside on June 19, 2010, 01:31:26 AM
julia was in swansea on friday  8-)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: welshboy on June 19, 2010, 11:57:58 AM
Watched her go out on friday night 18/06. She left swansea at 8.55pm.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: bayside on July 05, 2010, 02:18:39 AM
julia loading up with vehicles at swansea
(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu123/swanseabeach/IMG_0964.jpg)



(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu123/swanseabeach/CopyofIMG_0963.jpg)



(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu123/swanseabeach/CopyofIMG_0959.jpg)



(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu123/swanseabeach/CopyofIMG_0958.jpg)



(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu123/swanseabeach/CopyofIMG_0957.jpg)



(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu123/swanseabeach/CopyofIMG_0965.jpg)



(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu123/swanseabeach/CopyofIMG_0956.jpg)



Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Collision-course on July 06, 2010, 02:46:25 PM
I see ABP has finally got a bigger bus to transfer foot passengers to Julia in the absence of a working gangway.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on July 09, 2010, 09:48:30 PM
I see Severn Link have both their Fastcats up for sale at Swansea, via a broker, without them ever having entered service.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: bayside on July 12, 2010, 07:35:52 PM
Julia was in Swansea today (monday)

normally it's wed, fri, sun

so extra sailings for the summer period must have started  8-)
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: SwanseaBoy on July 13, 2010, 09:24:34 AM
That's right Bayside. She's now in at 7am on a Sunday for a quick turnaround departing at 9am then back in for 7am on the Monday. All good.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: bayside on July 13, 2010, 02:15:21 PM
helicopter rescues injured crew member from julia

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/news/Airlift-man-crushed-Swansea-Cork-ferry/article-2408891-detail/article.html
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: giftgrub on July 13, 2010, 11:01:40 PM
Also on BBC

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/10609727.stm
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on July 16, 2010, 10:57:59 PM
Wonder why the internal watertight doors were being opened/closed 10 miles S of Milford Haven?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on July 17, 2010, 02:07:59 PM
Quote
Wonder why the internal watertight doors were being opened/closed 10 miles S of Milford Haven?

Some doors are kept closed at all time, and only opened when someone needs to pass through them.
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on August 04, 2010, 11:07:52 PM
I see at long last there are some bargain short period return fares being advertised for the autumn!!!
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: pugwash on August 06, 2010, 02:02:57 PM
Is it me? The booking engine doesn't seem to quote you anything approaching the advertised short break (with car) offers???
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Roscommon on August 13, 2010, 01:44:04 PM
Does anyone know why the JULIA is at anchor in Swansea Bay after docking early this morning
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: SwanseaBoy on October 01, 2010, 11:42:00 AM
I see Fastnet have changed the arrival and departure times to 8am and 8pm. Tactic to save fuel? Or cynically so that they can serve breakfast on the ship maybe before berthing?
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on October 04, 2010, 02:54:08 PM
Could be to allow more padding delays too....
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: bayside on October 28, 2010, 07:37:29 PM
couple of stories in south wales papers

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/news/Plain-sailing-ferry-firm-netted-163-3m-weeks/article-2809505-detail/article.html

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business-in-wales/business-news/2010/10/28/fastnet-s-swansea-to-cork-ferry-exceeds-expectations-91466-27555374/
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: Kieran on October 31, 2010, 01:18:02 PM
It's great to see things going so well for them, especially in the current "economic climate."
Title: Re: Swansea-Cork
Post by: captain bob on November 11, 2010, 10:31:12 PM
Quote
I see at long last there are some bargain short period return fares being advertised for the autumn!!!

If you book a short break with car and cabin for two people it is £160 - excellent! But if you go alone it is £290. Now i do not understand the logic at all but it is another journey i will not be taking - quite bizarre.