Great thread, great to see so much discussion about possible ferries moving routes in the next 12 months.
It's great to see that Stena are moving the departure of Adventurer to an earlier time (even if it is only 25 minutes earlier than Ulysses). I've always thought the times of the ferries to/from Dublin are to close together. I think it would be better for Adventurer to leave at 2030 and then Ulysses at 2130 or 2200? I think ferry passengers need better sailing times. Also the current 2100ish sailing times are not suitable for a foot passenger who wants to travel overnight. Ulysses and Adventurer currently arrive in Holyhead just after Midnight and then 'footies' have a 5 hour wait until the next train out of the port. (An awful wait). I think the ferry and train companies need to discuss some sort of deal to have one last train leave at 0100 (as they did until 2010).
I also think Stena need to change the 0855 departure of Nordica from Holyhead, to allow foot passengers time to arrive at the port for the early morning sailing. As a foot passenger who uses Sail Rail, the current times don't allow me time to meet the 0855 departure, as the first train to Holyhead only arrives at 08:30 and we have to check-in by 0825 (I've had confirmation of this by Stena themselves). I think they need to move the departure time to 0910, just to allow us that extra time to meet the ferry and check-in.
With regards to the Swift, I would hate to see her move to a seasonal service or even be axed all together. She is a great vessel and I've always loved travelling on her since my first time in 2005, but her poor handling of the sea does go against her. Is there any chance they could 'fix' that problem? (I wouldn't know if they could or not).
Also I believe Irish Ferries should allow foot passengers to use Epsilon. Her current sailing schedule better suits me as a foot passenger. Plus I've always wanted to travel from Ireland to France on the ferry. It would be a hassle travelling from Liverpool to Dublin then onto Rosslare to travel on board Oscar Wilde.
I hope that makes sense to people (it's my first-ever post).
Hello and welcome to the forum!
Im a bit baffled as to why IF won't allow footies on Epsilon. Its just a matter of using a minibus like Stena do on their Visentinis.
Welcome to the forum Liam.
The reason I think why IF don't take foots on the Epsilon or change the ferry time to meet a train, is because margins on foot passenger tickets are very small & even less on sail & rail tickets. Think of the expanse to IF or any operator to get foots on their ferry.
Buy one/two mini buses.
Pay for a driver for the mini bus in each port.
Need a baggage van or two.
Need someone to load/unload the baggage van in each port.
Have public transport in place to take foot passengers to/from the ferry port. Which would need to be subsidized public transportation by the ferry company as the route would not pay for it self with the small number of foots using it.
As well the Epsilon only has a passenger capacity of 500 (taken from IF press release 07.11.13) which is not a lot. You would have to reduce the number of car passengers & freight drivers that the company would have better margins on to take foot passengers, as well as the extra cost of taken foot passengers over vehicle passengers. It would not make business sense.
There was a train leaving Holyhead at 01.55hrs to London up to Dec 2009 I think, but there was not enough passengers using it between IF or Stena so the train company cancelled the train & now it leaves at 04.30hrs.
AFAIK the sailing times from Dublin around 9pm are for freight trucks heading down south which make the ferry companies money.
Stena adventurer new sailing time from the end of March will be 20.30hrs could end up sending business to IF. As freight would need to be checked in & loaded onto the ferry by 20.00/20.15hrs for the ferry to sail at 20.30hrs. They might get some of the early traffic that IF would have, but they would miss even more of the traffic the arrives after 20.15hrs. It would make sense now for IF to push the 20.55hrs sailing to 21.30hrs as they still will be behind the adventure getting into Holyhead, but they could pick up more late running traffic.