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Archive for National Ferry Fortnight

April 11, 2018

Irish Ferries: National Ferry Fortnight Update

The Irish Sea welcomes a €150 million cruise ferry this season, with the W.B. Yeats arriving in mid-summer.

During the summer IRISH FERRIES’ huge new ship will first of all provide Irish holidaymakers with amazing trips to France, and then from September 2018 will offer travellers between Holyhead and Dublin the most luxurious service on the Irish Sea.

At 195 metres long and weighing in at just under 55,000 tonnes W.B. Yeats will have capacity for up to 1,885 passengers and crew, and space for 1039 vehicles on the car decks.

Impressive facilities will include 435 cabins including suites with outside balconies, plus fabulous public areas from restaurants and bars to Club Class lounge and on-board cinema and shops.

The ship’s name, W.B. Yeats, was chosen following a competition which attracted almost 100,000 entries from members of the public on both sides of the Irish Sea.


The Dublin Swift, the only high-speed ferry on the Irish Sea, it is a catamaran capable of crossing from Holyhead to Dublin in as little as 1 hour 49 minutes.

Ulysses, the largest ship on the Irish Sea at 50,000 tonnes, with superb facilities for passengers sailing between Holyhead and Dublin twice each day, in each direction (journey time approx 3 hours 15 minutes).

Epsilon sailing Holyhead/Dublin and Dublin/France.

Isle of Inishmore sailing twice daily between Pembroke and Rosslare in 4 hours.

Oscar Wilde sailing between Rosslare and Cherbourg/Roscoff.


Holyhead/Dublin and Pembroke/Rosslare fares start at £79 one-way for a car, and with passengers from £30 each way for the UK market.

The equivalent €uro fares start at €89 one-way for a car, with passengers from €30.


  • Club Class (priority boarding, reserved seating, complimentary drinks and snacks, magazines and newspapers) available on all ships except Epsilon. £16 (or €18) supplement per person each way.
  • Ship-wide free WiFi.
  • Restaurants, bars, lounges, shops, children’s facilities and cinemas on all ships except Epsilon.
  • Pets (with appropriate documentation) carried free of charge either in the passenger vehicle or on-board kennel.


Irish Ferries Holidays can combine ferry travel with accommodation to create great-value packages at hand-picked hotels, family-friendly holiday cottages and at hundreds of B&Bs.

Special offers include free nights at hotels, free places for children under 16 and free weeks at holiday cottages on selected dates.


To Holyhead from Liverpool or Manchester 2hrs; from Birmingham 3hrs.

To Pembroke from Cardiff 2hrs; from Bristol 2hrs 30mins.  08717 300 400


Irish Ferries YouTube channel, with footage of W.B. Yeats build and launch :


Artist’s impressions and images of the new ship available from

May 4, 2017

National Ferry Fortnight News from Irish Ferries

New Ship

The first steel has been cut for Irish Ferries new €144million cruise ferry. The new ferry is being built in Germany and is scheduled for delivery in mid 2018. When it comes into service, the ship will accommodate up to 1,885 passengers and crew, with 435 cabins and a dedicated car deck as well as capacity for freight.

“This first steel cutting is more than symbolic and starts the practical construction of our new build. This investment underpins the confidence the Group has in both the freight and passenger tourism markets between Ireland, Britain and France”, said Eamonn Rothwell, chief executive of Irish Continental Group plc, the parent company of Irish Ferries.

New Fare

A new ‘Next Day Return’ fare from Irish Ferries is fantastic value for those living within easy reach of Holyhead, which includes The Wirral, Manchester and Liverpool as well as Chester and North Wales.

Ideal for shopping trips, arena concerts, sporting events, groups of friends or family visits, the fare is valid on ALL Irish Ferries sailings, including the fastest vessel on the Irish Sea, the Dublin Swift high-speed catamaran.

With a Next Day Return fare booked online, just £189 covers a car and up to four people travelling together between now and 30 June, and between 1 September and 15 December – that’s just £46 per person for a quick hop to Ireland!  The fare increases to £214 return in July and August.

There is a choice of up to six ferries a day from Holyhead, with the earliest departure at 0240hrs arriving at 0550hrs in time for breakfast!  From Tuesday to Saturday there is a departure at 0800hrs, and the Dublin Swift service departs every day at 1150hrs.

To return – either the same day or (more likely) the next day – there is also a choice of up to six sailings. The Next Day Return fare is also valid on sailings between Pembroke and Rosslare.

New Self-drive Breaks

Also new for 2017, Irish Ferries Holidays is now partnering with six of Ireland’s most historic and hospitable castle hotels to offer self-drive packages that are outstanding value.

For example, Ballyseede Castle near Tralee in County Kerry is one of Ireland’s earliest surviving castles and the seat of the Fitzgeralds, Earls of Desmond, until the 1960s.

Transformed over many generations from defensive stronghold to gracious country house, today there are 23 individual bedrooms, a breakfast room, a two AA rosette restaurant (booking essential) and the welcoming Pappy’s Bar which offers meals throughout the day.

A three-night break here starts at £293 per person, based on sharing a double room, including breakfast each morning and return ferry crossings for a car and two adults.

The other castle hotels are Cabra Castle in County Cavan, Lough Rynn Castle Hotel in Country Leitrim, Mount Falcon in County Mayo and Abbeyglen Castle Hotel in County Galway.

08717 300 400,


About Irish Ferries

  • Routes: Holyhead to Dublin and Pembroke to Rosslare.
  • Drive times: Holyhead from Liverpool or Manchester 2 hours; from Birmingham 3 hours. Pembroke from Cardiff 2 hours; from Bristol 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • Crossing times: the Dublin Swift is the only ‘fastcraft’ on the Irish Sea and offers the shortest crossing in as little as 1 hour 49 minutes. Ferry Holyhead to Dublin is 3 hours 15 minutes. Ferry Pembroke to Rosslare is 4 hours.
  • Club Class (priority boarding, reserved seating, free refreshments etc) available.
  • Ship-wide free WiFi.

Press and pictures contact Jane Williams at Beacon PR:  01572 748 800

March 9, 2016

Bring a Lucky Friend FREE to Ireland, invites Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries’ unique offer for National Ferry Fortnight (NFF) is to bring a lucky friend FREE to Ireland.

The ferry industry’s annual campaign runs 5-19 March 2016 with a theme of ‘Be a Ferry First Timer’.

“St Patrick’s Day falls within National Ferry Fortnight so to celebrate we are inviting people to bring a friend to Ireland – perhaps for the first time – absolutely free,” says head of passenger sales Dermot Merrigan.

Irish Ferries’ offer saves £60 per return trip, and makes discovering Ireland by ferry outstanding value.

The lowest return fare for a car and two adults is usually £213, but with the +1 Free offer, that is reduced to £153, saving £60 on every return journey.

Irish Ferries’ Free+1 offer applies to all sailings, on all ships, on virtually every date during 2016 – including peak season holiday dates – if booked before midnight on 22 March (deadline extended to include the Irish St Patrick’s Day holiday weekend).

  • Travel before 18 December 2016
  • Valid on all new car, motor-home, van and motorcycle bookings
  • Normal Irish Ferries fare terms and conditions apply

08717 300 400,


March 3, 2015

Touring Holidays in Ireland with Free Nights at Hotels

Irish Ferries Holidays is highlighting the freedom of the open road – with free nights at many of its hand-picked hotels – during National Ferry Fortnight which runs 2-15 March.

“Ireland is the perfect self-drive holiday destination,” says holidays manager Ann Pye, “with a network of fast roads radiating from the ports and an amazing variety of landscape packed into a relatively small island.”

Irish Ferries’ three ships on the Holyhead to Dublin route arrive into the heart of the capital close to the Dublin Port Tunnel and M50 ‘ring road’: take the N4 west to the Shannon river and the west coast (perfect for exploring the Wild Atlantic Way); the N7 through Kildare to Limerick and thence to Kerry and Cork; the N11 to Wicklow and the south-east or the N1 to Northern Ireland.

Travellers from south Wales sail into Rosslare, from where the N25 opens up the south to Waterford, Cork and Kerry, while turning right finds Wicklow’s forests and sunny coast.

Tailor-made touring holidays with accommodation at a range of three- and four-star hotels, or at hundreds of tourist-board rated B&Bs, offer particularly good value combined with the lowest ferry fares in ABTA-bonded packages.

Many of Irish Ferries’ partner hotels offer a third night free: an incentive for leisurely touring, without having to pack and unpack every night.

For example, a seven-night holiday in ‘Yeats Country’ combining ferry travel with three nights at the Sligo Park Hotel (the third night is free for 10 months of the year) and three nights in Connemara at Renvyle House Hotel where the poet spent his honeymoon (the third night is free for eight months of the year), plus a night in Dublin before the home-bound ferry, costs from just £294 per person on a B&B basis.

County Sligo is the place to go for poetry lovers in 2015, as Ireland celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of its greatest poet, William Butler Yeats. The area offers many beautiful Yeats-related locations to discover such as Lough Gill and its ‘Lake Isle of Innisfree’ with a host of Yeats-inspired literary festivals this summer.

08717 300 400,


March 3, 2015

Bring +1 for Free says Irish Ferries in National Ferry Fortnight

Irish Ferries’ unique offer for National Ferry Fortnight (NFF) is +1 Free. The ferry industry’s annual campaign runs 2-15 March with a theme this year of ‘freedom’.

Irish Ferries’ offer – one free passenger on every booking made during NFF – saves self-drive bookers £60 per return trip, and makes discovering Ireland better value than ever.

“Our ‘freedom’ deal means every car driver’s first passenger travels completely free to and from Ireland,” says head of passenger sales Dermot Merrigan.

“It applies not only to car bookings, but to those travelling in a motor-home, with a motorbike, a van or towing a caravan.

“And because NFF takes us so close to St Patrick’s Day, we are extending the ‘book by’ date to include 17 March!”

Irish Ferries’ lowest return fare for a car and two adults is £213, but with the +1 Free offer, that lowest fare is reduced to £153, saving £60 on every return journey.

Irish Ferries’ +1 Free offer applies to all sailings, on all ships, on every date during 2015, if booked between 2-17 March.

Offer Details

Booking Parameters: Book from 00.01hrs on 28 February to 23.59hrs on 17 March (St Patrick’s Day) 2015.

Duration of Offer: For travel up to 17 December 2015.

Other Ts&Cs:

  • Book at least seven days in advance of travel.
  • Valid on all new car, motor-home, van and motorcycle bookings.
  • Excludes sailings from Republic of Ireland to France.
  • Normal Irish Ferries fare terms and conditions apply.
  • Subject to availability.

08717 300 400,





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