At long last, a cruise ferry has been secured for the Cork-Swansea ferry service. The magnificent MV Julia has arrived in Cork Harbour much to the delight and relief of the people from the south west of Ireland and it is hoped to have its first sailing to Swansea on the 1st March 2010.
This achievement has been the result of three years of hard work, campaigning, fundraising and highlighting the need for the reinstatement of a ferry service from Cork to Swansea. Although the resumption of the ferry service has met quite a few hitches and obstacles along the way, it is now hoped that the long awaited service will be up and running in March 2010, just in time for the peak season.
The Swansea-Cork ferry service has been an invaluable transport link for the south west of Ireland to the UK and Europe since it first began in 1987. The 10 hour sailing across the Celtic Sea would leave Ringnaskiddy in Cork and arrive in Swansea in Wales and it was a vital point for holidaymakers to the south west of Ireland and also freight transport and hauliers. But since this service ceased operating in 2006 it has had a drastic affect on the already struggling economy in the south west of Ireland – it’s even suggested that the region’s tourism industry may have suffered losses of up to €50 million!
However, after 3 years of hard work and perseverance from local business people, some local politicians, West Cork Tourism, other organisations and the setting up of the www.bringbacktheswanseacorkferry.com (which featured an e-petition), a new ferry the MV Julia has been purchased and is already sitting in Cork harbour awaiting resumption of the vital Cork Swansea ferry service.
The MV Julia was built in 1982 and has previously operated between routes in Scandinavia. This impressive cruise ferry has 10 decks, 300 passenger cabins, a cinema, a children’s play area, restaurants and bars. It has a capacity for 1860 passengers, 440 cars and 30 freight vehicles. The ship is currently berthed at Horgan’s Quay in Cork city, so why not pop down to see it?
We at GoIreland.com have been keeping a close eye on the progress of this ferry service and are delighted that it will be in action for March 2010. Well done to all involved!
The new booking site for the Swansea-Cork Ferry service will be up and running soon, but in the meantime you can pre-register your interest at www.fastnetline.com