Transport - Logistique

Maiden Rosslare-Cherbourg voyage for new passenger ship

The largest passenger ship yet to take to the seas between Ireland and continental Europe has its maiden voyage this evening.

The Stena Vision has capacity for up to 1,300 passengers - and 42 pets - and its Friday evening service between Rosslare and Cherbourg is sold out.

It is the latest addition to the catalogue of ferry services operating to and from Rosslare Europort, with post-Brexit customs and red tape in the UK making direct sailings between Ireland and the continent more attractive to holiday passengers and freight operators alike.

There are now 36 sailings every week between Rosslare and continental ports such as Cherbourg, Dunkirk, Bilbao, and others, as well as 56 between Rosslare and the UK.

This evening's sailing by the Stena Vision sees the mammoth ship go into operation on the Cherbourg route alongside the Stena Horizon and between the two, the vessels will have 12 sailings per week - six return journeys to France.

It is the ship with the most cabins operating out of Ireland, 485, and Stena report that bookings are already strong for the coming months, up to 100% higher than last summer.

Skippering the Stena Vision is a man who knows the area well, Seán Boyce: "I'm born and bred here in Rosslare Harbour and have been in boats since I was very small, so it's great to take a ship like this, take command of her, a very proud moment for me and everyone connected with me."

He said it is an auspicious occasion both for the company and the area.

"She's a huge ship, she has a capacity of 1,300 passengers, 2,000 lane metres so she's a true passenger ship and we're delighted to launch it on the route today," Captain Boyce said.

"There's a huge amount of passenger facilities, over 400 cabins and lots of passenger amenities and freight facilities from Rosslare to the continent."

Captain Boyce said the new service can only be good for business in this country.

"I think it brings a huge capacity for ourselves as a company and of course for the region, to boost tourism both in and out of Ireland," he said.

"We'll come back again next week with another 900 passengers into the local economy here in the south-east region and throughout Ireland of course.

"It's a hugely popular tourist destination, as it always has been, so we're delighted to be able to bring those people here and keep the economy moving and showcase all that's positive about this area."

Passenger and vehicle numbers have skyrocketed through Rosslare in recent years, with Brexit proving a catalyst for growth in Irish ports.

According to ̛Íarnród Éireann, passengers travelling in and out of the Europort are expected to hit 21,500 per week by the time the peak summer season arrives, compared to 16,500 per week in summer 2022, and with the Rugby World Cup approaching this autumn in France, another boost is expected.



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