In 2002 a new ferry service linking northern and southern Ireland and cutting 50 miles off the road journey was inaugurated across the mouth of the Lough Foyle. The service runs from the busy fishing port of Greencastle (south) to Magilligan slip (north). The berth at either side consists of a slip the only difference being the waiting room and car impound on the Magilligan side. The first vessel to operate the route was the Carrigaloe of Cross River Ferries, Cobh. In 2003 the service was temporarily suspended pending an investigation when during a rough crossing one of the seal on the ramp failed and water started entering the car deck. This did not however put passengers off – during 2003 she could no longer cope with the volume of traffic on the route so she was sent back to her owners. She was replaced by Shannon car ferries vessel spare vessel and renamed Foyle Venture which brought increased capacity to the route. With residents from the north going south to take advantage of the cheaper fuel and residents in the south jumping at the chance to save on shopping bills the service continues to boom.
So successful is it that in the summer, 2004 a new service began across the adjacent Lough Swilly in Lough Swilly where the same company started a summer only service in May 2004 from Rathmullen (Donegal) to Buncrana (also in Inishowen, Donegal). For the service, Lough Foyle Ferry Co. purchased Stedingen, built in Germany in 1972 for use on the River Weser, and laid up after the opening of a tunnel on her route. She was renamed Foyle Rambler, and is capable of carrying 20 cars and 200 passengers. Both services running together have effectively created a road across the Inishowen peninsula saving drivers hours on journeys.