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Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke?(Read 21365 times)
Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke? on: March 11, 2011, 08:00:30 pm
We will be crossing from Rosslare to South Wales this summer for the first time.

It would seem to be a no-brainer to use Stena's Fishguard crossing with a 3.5 hour journey compared to a 4 hour journey to Pembroke with Irish Ferries, or am I missing something?  Which has the better roads from the port to the M4?

Re: Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke? Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 09:41:54 pm
Hi. The crossing time is shorter from Rosslare to Fishguard, but Fishguard is further from the M4 than Pembroke Dock. As far as I remember the journey takes about 30 - 40 minutes longer from Fishguard, so it works out about the same in terms of overall travelling time. The trip through Milford Haven on the vessel to / from Pembroke Dock can be very interesting for shipping enthusiasts!!! ;)

Re: Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke? Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 11:24:51 pm
Basically down to personal preference, the Irish Ferries sailing leaves earlier and arrives later than the Stena service, The Irish Ferries service can be delayed sometimes due to freight volumes (load on load off) and also the level of traffic in Milford Haven. Stena normally runs to time, but this can obviously change on the day.

Coming from Wales you will be on the road first in Ireland with Stena which depending on your destination may make no difference or be important, going the other way (back to Wales) you normally clear the Pembroke exits before the Irish Ferries traffic unless there are road works or the usual slow moving driver ahead, again this may or may not be of use.

Why not go on both, outbound on one and return the other, experience both methods of travel the modern Isle of Inishmore and the revamped Stena Europe and if you can stretch to it upgrade to Club Class and Stena+ to see the best that both ships offer.

If you are a ferry fan, contact either operator in advance and you may be able to get a bridge visit organised, well worth the effort as you will get to see how the ships work.

The Inishmore is a very fine ship and offers a very comfortable crossing if sometimes lacking a little bit in general upkeep, for some reason Irish Ferries don't seem to invest in white paint to cover the rust as much as they should, the Stena Europe has recovered from it's intial introduction replacing the Koningin Beatrix on a route that with the Stena Felicity before the KB that was quite used to having some amazingly well appointed ships with lots of features never before seen on the Irish Sea as anyone who visited the Felicity's cinema would agree, however Stena have invested quite a lot of Euro's in the Europe and it really is a fine and comfortable ship to travel on.

Either way, it is a lovely crossing and much better than flying.

Re: Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke? Reply #3 on: March 13, 2011, 10:19:12 pm
That's great - thanks for this guys.  Stena wins on the way out with its free films for kids, shorter crossing and value way of booking Stena Plus through its "premium" ticket.  Have enough in Tesco vouchers to get the return "free"; we'll decide which operator we use for the return in due course.

It's helpful to know the benefits of the Pembroke crossing without having to do it; I assumed there must be some!  Why is it only Irish Ferries that gets delayed due to freight volumes?  Are the roads to Fishguard just not suitable for freight traffic?

Re: Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke? Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 06:10:55 pm
The roads to Pembroke and Fishguard are the same single carriageway roads for the final approach to either port, no difference in suitability for freight traffic.

I only mentioned the delayed by freight , as Irish Ferries carry a lot of Load on Load off freight units which have to be loaded at the port.

During the boom times it was not unusual to see the ship delayed as this was being loaded, we were in Pembroke in Oct 2004 when the Inishmore missed a crossing due to bad weather in Ireland and the next crossing at 2 am was delayed by one hour as they were loading the (mostly Nolan Transport) trailers long after we boarded, the ship was full for that crossing. This was despite the fact that ship was in port all day.

Stena do not seem to have as much Load on Load off, and of course all other trucks can just drive on drive off and us passengers in cars etc are self loading freight as well.

A final note as this is your first time heading that way, if you are travelling with shoppers, there is a McArthur Glen outlet on the way in Bridgend, you may need to allow extra travel time as shoppers normally love that place

Hope you enjoy the crossing and have a nice holiday.

Re: Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke? Reply #5 on: March 30, 2011, 11:09:59 pm
As there's still 3 months to go, I haven't booked it yet.  All fares seem to have been loaded by €10 by Stena and IF in recent days - had a feeling they'd do this due to the oil price rise, though unlike on previous occasions, they haven't actually explicity said they'd done this.  At €400+ return it does feel quite steep for a ferry.  I know there are some discount codes floating around, but the one I'd identified seems to have stopped working.  Double whammy!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 11:10:39 pm by Simon.Manby »

Re: Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke? Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 12:08:37 am
Completed the crossing using the Stena Europe to Fishguard, both ways.  Have to say, I was a bit disappointed with the ship.  Whilst much of it has clearly been updated, there's enough old decor around that gives away its age which must be around 30 years old.  Couldn't believe it took practically a full hour to load up the cars at Fishguard, with that bizarre sideways exit / entrance; seems like I've been spoilt with the Explorer that can unload and load up again in half that time.   Like the route, but won't be sorry to see a newer ship on it.

Re: Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke? Reply #7 on: July 27, 2011, 02:23:10 pm
i think the europe was indeed 80 or 81, there seems to be a lot more places to wander on the europe, it seems less freight orientated, so if you like wandering about the ship id go for the europe but i much prefer the crossing on the irish ferries, just more stuff to see coming into pembroke dock

Re: Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke? Reply #8 on: July 27, 2011, 06:42:20 pm
Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your crossing on the Europe, while it is indeed an old vessel, I thought that the updates had modernised the interior where it was needed while still leaving plenty of bits for enthusiasts to find.

One major advantage of the Europe at this time of year is indeed the vast amount of open deck space which I find very nice to spend time out in the fresh air v the Stena HSS concept, however you have been spoilt with the HSS interiors and facilities.

The side loading arrangement for cars is quite common for Stena Line vessels, it was at one time also used in Rosslare in the days after the Felicity was introduced, I remember walking up that ramp to view the ship on its first Good Friday in Rosslare (Times were quite different then) to have a look around while they were cleaning the ship. It is also still used in Gothenborg as well to load some of the ships. Picture attached of one of the old Gothenborg ships side loading, and I know the Stena Jutlandica has a side loading door as well.

One thing we know for certain is the the Stena Europe will be replaced at some stage in the next few years, but it still provides a very comfortable crossing in all weathers.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 06:45:18 pm by Ferry_Fan »

Re: Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke? Reply #9 on: July 27, 2011, 07:02:08 pm
for what reasons is the europe being replaced? Has she simply reached the end of her life or is it from an ecenomic standpoint theyre deciding to replace her. It'll be wierd to see rosslare without her, that said i'm sure at the time i said the same thing about the felicity

Re: Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke? Reply #10 on: July 28, 2011, 01:55:14 pm
There are some reasons for the Stena Europe's expected replacement within a few years, the age of the vessel is one factor, which means increased investment to keep it up to date, there are plans to increase truck capacity in Fishguard and rebuild the berth with a double linkspan, which will also be required in Rosslare if that goes ahead, the Europe is not compatible with two tier loading (same as the Irish Ferries berth in Rosslare).

It is probably going to be another Stena Vessel like the Stena Jutlandica that will eventually replace the Europe, this is practically a sister ship to the Isle of Inishmore and after a rebuild for the route ( to allow it to load through the front like Inishmore and to modify internal areas) would give increased freight capacity and with two tier loading, allow quicker turn arounds if necessary.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 01:57:05 pm by Ferry_Fan »

Re: Rosslare to Fishguard or Rosslare to Pembroke? Reply #11 on: July 29, 2011, 06:47:31 am
what will become of europe then would you think? end of the road or passed on to another route/company