Bookings being taken for Summer and up to just before Christmas
The two main carriers on the Irish Sea, Irish Ferries and Stena Line, say they are slashing prices this month by up to 25 per cent
Irish Ferries says its Spring sale has cut prices for motorists travelling to and from Ireland by 25 per cent on crossings up to 18 December.
Reservations must be made before 15 April and the offer applies to all fast ferry and cruise ferry sailings on Irish Ferries’ Dublin to Holyhead and Rosslare to Pembroke routes – excluding the 11:50 and 14:30 Swift sailings and 14:15 Epsilon sailings in July and August.
Stena Line is also offering price cuts of 25 per cent on fares and urges motorist passengers to use the offer code SETSALE.
Both ferry companies point out that, unlike flying, there are no baggage restrictions, and passengers can enjoy cub class lounges and complimentary wi-fi, with a range of facilities, catering, attractions and entertainments suitable for families and business travellers.
Last month Irish Ferries parent company, Irish Continental, reported its revenues were up by 10.5 per cent to €320.6m with passenger numbers increased up 2 per cent to 1.68 million during 2015.
Its operating profit increased by 74.9 per cent, up from €32.7m to €57.2m mainly due to lower fuel costs and currency fluctuations.
“The former high speed ferry terminal in Dun Laoughaire is on the market”
ICG chairman John B McGuckian said: “Lower world fuel prices will continue to help performance although the recent weakening of sterling will affect the euro value of UK originating revenues.
“As a result of these factors, and the ongoing improvement in the economic outlook in our sphere of operations, we look forward, in the absence of unforeseen circumstances, to further growth in revenue and earnings for the financial year 2016.”
Meanwhile the former Dun Laoghaire ferry terminal at St Michael’s Pier – closed after Stena scrapped its season High Speed Sailing in 2014 – is on the market, available for rent. The extensive two-storey building includes the arrivals/ departures hall and a retail property area of 4,207 square metres.
The terminal complex has a further two properties to let, an office property (4,736 square feet).
Stena pulled out of Dun Laoghaire because of a combination of falling passenger numbers and the high fuel costs of the HSS Stena Explorer.
As far back as 2012 Stena scaled the route down from a year-round service to a seasonal April-September schedule, with a single daily round trip and increased crossing times. Last year Stena pulled out of Dun Laoghaire permanently and put a new ferry, Stena Superfast X, on the Holyhead route out of Dublin Port.
The Superfast X ferry which carries up to 1,200 passengers, has 10 decks and almost 2km of lane space for vehicles and freight traffic, was built in Poland and travels at 30.4 knots – slower than the Stena Explorer’s 40 knots.
It crosses the Irish Sea in three hours and 15 minutes. Its facilities include cabins, a cafe, bar and grill, a shop, two free cinemas and a family lounge featuring a play area and Xbox stations.
Introducing the new service last year Ian Davies, Stena Line’s route manager for Irish Sea South, said: “(Since 2010) Stena Line has invested over £250m across its Irish Sea operations and we are confident that the improving economic climate in Ireland and Britain will show that this significant resource commitment has been extremely well timed.”
The Stena Superfast X routes operate alongside the Stena Adventurer, providing Stena Line customers with a choice of up 28 return sailings per week all year round on the route.