Press Releases

Fastnet Line takes part in National Ferry Fortnight

Britain’s third annual National Ferry Fortnight will take place this year between May 14 and 28. Supported by all ferry line members of, this two week showcase was created to heighten consumer and media awareness of Britain’s extensive ferry services of over 50 routes. National Ferry Fortnight urges ferry operators and passengers alike to “seas the opportunity” to both promote and experience the ease, value and versatility of ferry travel.


Continuous investment in modern, versatile fleets has seen more people travelling by ferry, with some 35 million passengers, eight million cars and over 140,000 coaches carried in 2010. 


Central to the National Ferry Fortnight campaign will be a series of promotional offers on ferry routes which will be announced nearer the date and promoted on the website. The National Ferry Fortnight logo will be featured on many ferry members’ own advertising and website campaigns, with a press and PR push led by the PSA and individual ferry operators, highlighting the sheer variety of ferry routes.  For the first time, ferry passengers will be encouraged to blog and twitter their family and friends when crossing the seas.


“Britain’s ferry services offer a reliable, value for money and flexible way to travel” said PSA director, Bill Gibbons, “National Ferry Fortnight offers a real showcase for our industry to highlight the huge infrastructure and ship investment that has been committed to providing a relaxed and versatile way - particularly for families in their cars - to travel to and from our island shores.


Fastnet Line General Manager (UK) Mike Wood commented, "We are delighted to be involved with the PSA promotion of National Ferry Fortnight which will highlight the value to be had on our Swansea to Cork route throughout the year. There is no better way to come to the south of Ireland than by travelling in comfort overnight having enjoyed a meal, entertainment and a full night's sleep with Fastnet Line."


Watch out for details of special National Ferry Fortnight offers released nearer the date on




Fastnet Line Chairman Welcomes New Funding

At the Fastnet Line Board meeting held on the 1st April, Chairman, Mr. Conor Buckley, welcomed the recent investment by Cork County Council, Cork City Council and Kerry County Council in the ferry company which runs the route from Cork to Swansea. The councils approved a total of €250,000 to be loaned to the ferry company with €100,000 each coming from the two Cork Councils and a further €50,000 being loaned by Kerry County Council. The loans are all in the form of secured bonds issued by Fastnet Line.


Mr. Buckley commented, “We are delighted with this support from the Councils which we believe recognises the important role that Fastnet Line has to play in the economic life of the South West and in particular the vital access which the ferry provides for the tourism industry.”


The ferry which carried almost 80,000 passengers in its first ten months of trading in 2010 has proved a boost to the tourism industry in Cork and Kerry and Mr. Buckley noted that they hoped to carry 100,000 passengers in 2011. He added, “Everyone recognises the key role that tourism has to play in the economy and with our exporters generally performing  very well in 2010, the ferry is a vital link for both sectors. It is our intention to continue to grow both the passenger and freight parts of our business as aggressively as we can in the current market.”


Fastnet Line, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the West Cork Tourism Co-Op, was established in 2009 to run the ferry route between Cork and Swansea and commenced trading in March 2010.


Anniversary Sailing Bound for the Rugby

Article from "Afloat" Magazine by Jehan Ashmore 08.03.2011

Fastnet Line's 21,699 tonnes Julia which has been undergoing annual maintenance at a dry-dock in Swansea, is due to resume sailings for the 2011 season with a departure from the south Welsh port tomorrow night, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 1,500 passenger / 30 truck capacity vessel is scheduled to depart Swansea at 20.30hrs on the overnight crossing with an arrival on Thursday morning at Cork's Ringaskiddy ferry terminal. The sailing will mark the first anniversary of company operations on the Celtic Sea route.

West Cork Tourism Co-Op launched the company a year ago as a result of a successful campaign to restore the direct service between Wales and the southern Ireland. Many businesses from the region and their Welsh counterparts invested in the co-op to restore the link since the closure by Swansea Cork Ferries in 2006.

Fastnet Line will continue to be in a celebratory mode with the first outbound sailing from Cork on Friday and which will also cater for a special-rugby supporters trip for this weekend's Six Nations Championship between Ireland and Wales at the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff. The Friday sailing departs Cork at 20.30hrs and arrives at 08.00hrs in Swansea on the Saturday morning with the game kicking off at 17.00hrs (5pm).

The company are offering various foot passenger deals to the match. A return bus transfer is also available between the ferry terminal and the game venue (but at an extra cost). In addition there are deals for those wanting to take the car. The after match sailing departs at 23.50 with the ferry arriving back in Cork at 12.00 noon on Sunday 13 March. For further information on fares


Fastnet Line Celebrates First Anniversary

Fastnet Line Press Release 9th March 2011


Fastnet Line the company which runs the Cork to Swansea ferry route celebrates the first anniversary of operations on Thursday 10th March. The first sailing on the route since 2006 took place on this date in 2010 when the Julia set sail from Swansea to Cork.


The re-establishment of the route was a boost to tourism on both sides of the Irish Sea last year and saw Fastnet Line exceed its targets for vehicles and passengers in a highly successful first season. More than 80,000 people travelled on the route between March and December 2010 in a year which saw the importance of access by sea emphasised during the now infamous “ash cloud crisis”.


Fastnet Line has also established a cost effective route for freight in and out of the south of Ireland and the UK and with Swansea directly connecting to the motorway network in the UK the miles saved for hauliers is becoming an increasingly important factor in these times of rising fuel prices.


Commenting on the prospects for 2011, Phil Jones CEO of Fastnet Line said, “We were delighted with our first year of operations and learned a lot but that is in the past now and we look forward to the challenges ahead. We are determined to build on the solid foundations we have created and with tight cost control and an aggressive strategy for marketing in the UK supported once again by our partners in Tourism Ireland we intend to do everything we can to increase numbers this year.”


A new range of value products including short breaks will go on sale from Monday 14th March and Fastnet Line also will continue its policy of targeting major sporting events on both sides of the water including Heineken Cup, Six Nations rugby, Cheltenham Racing Festival, the West Cork Rally and the Racing Home for Easter festival at Cork Racecourse.


Conor Buckley Chairman of West Cork Tourism Co-Op, the owners of Fastnet Line, said, “2011 promises to be a challenging year again for everyone in the tourist industry but the members of the Co-Op are determined to promote themselves strongly in our key market in the UK. We will also encourage everyone to use the route from Cork to Swansea in both directions as much as possible in order to ensure the viability of the business for the long term benefit of the whole community.”


Fastnet Line Shortlisted for Cork Company of the Year

Cork Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Vodafone, has announced the companies shortlisted for the Cork Company of the Year Awards.

“Against the challenges of today’s economic background, it is more important than ever that we recognise businesses for their achievements, contributions and entrepreneurial spirit. Judging by the exceptionally high standard of entries this year, it is easy to see why Cork is flourishing with business talent. It was a tough challenge to choose the shortlisted companies and we are very excited about announcing the overall winners shortly”, commented Conor Healy, Chief Executive of Cork Chamber.

Three companies have been shortlisted in each of the categories as follows:


Large Company (more than 100 employees)

·         Carbery Group, dairy and food ingredients manufacturer based in Ballineen, Co Cork

·         Trend Micro, an independent content security company in the multinational sector in Cork city

·         Barry Group, retail grocery franchise and wholesale supplier based in Mallow


SME Company (less than 100 employees)

·         PT Technologies, producers of specialist surface cleaning chemicals and lubricants based in Watergrasshill, Co Cork

·         Barry & Fitzwilliam Ltd, independent drinks importer based in Cork City

·         O’Crualaoi Butchers who operate butchers and delicatessens across Cork county


Emerging Company (less than 5 years in business)

·         Fastnet Line, operators of the Swansea to Cork car ferry

·         Brook Catering, catering and event management company from Glanmire, Co Cork

·         HR Locker, a web based service aimed at reducing HR administration costs based at Webworks in Cork city


Anne O’Leary, enterprise director, Vodafone Ireland went on to say, “It is extremely encouraging to see that companies are innovating, diversifying and adapting to overcome the challenges businesses are currently facing and I’m delighted we have the opportunity to acknowledge this great work. The shortlisted companies have demonstrated great strategic vision and I wish them every success for 2011”.   

The winner in each category as well as the overall winner will be announced at the Chamber Annual Dinner on Friday, 4th February at City Hall. Cork.


Ferry Return Smashes 2010 Figures

Swansea Bay Tourism Press Release 06.12.2010 

OVER 80,000 passengers have travelled aboard the ferry between Swansea and Cork since it took to the water again earlier this year- about four times the capacity of the Liberty Stadium.

Figures show ferry operator Fastnet Line has smashed its target for 2010 and that 31,000 vehicles have been transported across the Irish Sea along the route since the start of March.

The statistics also suggest a significant boost for the Swansea Bay economy with about 40% of all passengers so far travelling out of Cork and into Swansea.

Expert figures show many more visitors came to Swansea Bay from January to June this year than the same period in 2009 and that also they spent much more money.

Statistics measured by STEAM (The Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Model) show a five per cent rise in the number of people who came to Swansea and a four per cent rise in how much they spent. The number of visitors to Swansea rose from 1.66 million to 1.74 million and the total expenditure rose from £120.1 million to £124.4 million.

A tourism information office on board the MV Julia also contains a wealth of information about Swansea Bay and Wales and Swansea Council's tourism team has visited the Cork area to promote Swansea Bay to the Irish marketplace.

Fastnet Line will run all-year-round in 2011 and has set a revised target of 120,000 passengers.

Cllr Graham Thomas, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, said: "We were confident that the re-introduction of the ferry between Swansea and Cork would be a success and these figures show our confidence was justified.

"A real effort to attract more and more people from the Cork area is ongoing and we hope to see far more Irish visitors to Swansea Bay over the next 12 months and beyond as a result of our joint marketing activity with our public and private sector partners. The ferry has become a major marketing partner with us for 2011 and we look forward to building on the achievements so far.

"We're also working very closely with Associated of British Ports and significant improvements to the ferry terminal, information provision and signage have made the sense of arrival a more noticeable one."

Mike Wood, general manager (UK) for Fastnet Line, said: “These figures are way ahead of what we anticipated for year one which shows that there was a real need for the service to be reinstated. We are delighted to see more people coming to Wales from Cork and will be running ongoing marketing campaigns to maintain those levels in the future.”

The ferry between Swansea and Cork ceased in 2006 but its re-introduction in March this year has made Swansea Bay more accessible to the important markets of southern Ireland.

The MV Julia, which had been sailing in the Baltic, is capable of carrying more than 1,500 passengers, 330 cars and 40 freight trucks on the route.

 Have a look at for more information.


New Schedule and Prices 2011

2011 Schedule Launched

Fastnet Line has launched its 2011 schedule with great value fares available for anyone booking online from today.  Return trips now available over the Christmas and New Year period and get the best deals for next summer right now by going online and choosing your dates.


Afloat Magazine Article

This article has appeared in the latest edition of Afloat Magazine, Ireland's Sailing and Boating Magazine and is written by Jehan AShmore who recently travelled on board MV Julia to sample her delights for himself.

Fastnet Line recorded carrying over 60,000 passengers up to the end of August since the Cork-Swansea route re-opened in March, served by the
21,699 tonnes M.V. Julia, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Commenting on the inaugural season, Paul O'Brien, general manager of Fastnet Line said figures were ahead in June, July and August by an average of 10%. Over 13,000 passengers were carried duringJuly and 15,000 in August on the 10-hour service.

Businesses in the south-west region have reported increased tourism activity and is it from here and in south Wales that many of the shareholders
have invested to form the West Cork Tourism Co-operative, which runs Fastnet Line. In 2006, the previous operator of the route, Swansea-Cork Ferries closed the service after selling their vessel, the Superferry to interests abroad.

Read more: Afloat Magazine Article


Fastnet Line adds Louder Voice to its team

Business books will be written about the amazing story of the new Fastnet Line Ferry to Ireland. This much needed service operating from Swansea to Cork is proving to be a major success for the region. So you can imagine our excitement at LouderVoice becoming part of this story by powering the customer reviews on their site.

Whilst reviews are important for any business, their importance to new businesses cannot be under-estimated. The response from travellers has been phenomenal since reviews were turned on last week. The unique direct feedback has enabled Fastnet Line to immediately discover what is working very well and what can potentially be changed or improved.

Read more: Fastnet Line adds Louder Voice to its team


Peoples' Ferry Bucks The Trend

While visitor numbers to Ireland from the UK continue to show a decline in the latest Tourism Ireland figures released last week, the re-instatement of the Swansea to Cork ferry route by Fastnet Line, has seen the impact cushioned by the runaway success of the cruiseferry MV Julia this summer.

With bookings for more than 60,000 passengers already this year and more than 13,000 of those travelling in the month of July alone; Fastnet Line management are very happy with progress to date. CEO Phil Jones admitted, “It has been a tough year for tourism throughout the island of Ireland with tourists looking for value and late bookings being the order of the day. We are therefore extremely pleased with the way things have gone so far for us and it is a testament to the hard work being put in by everyone at Fastnet Line”.

Read more: Peoples' Ferry Bucks The Trend


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