Heineken Cup unbeatable offers to Ireland

September 16th, 2011 by Fastnet Line


Why travel to Thomond Park with Fastnet Line

  • Coach and Driver goes FREE return
  • 2 night’s en-suite accommodation on board the Julia from £114 pp sharing.
  • You’re first Pint with our compliments!
  • Access to Bars, Restaurants & Casino on-board.

Find More Reasons for travelling with Fastnet Line

Should have gone by the Sea – Fascinating Aida tells us why

July 15th, 2011 by Fastnet Line

We’re always highlighting the benefits of traveling to Ireland by sea and now it seems we aren’t the only ones.

Check out the latest online hit from Britain’s best cabaret and comedy FASCINATING AIDA  – their now infamous anthem on Cheap Flights.

Hilarious and true!  If that doesn’t tempt one to journey by sea just remember that the Fastnet Line Sale ends on July 25th  with 30% off and the kids go Free!

Thank you to Fascinating Aida for keeping us entertained and telling us why one should have gone by Sea – with Fastnet Line of course!

FASCINATING AIDA’S brand new show THE CHEAP FLIGHTS TOUR, is now on. For information on their Tour Dates checkout their official website www.fascinatingaida.co.uk

Fastnet Line Charity Cycle 1st and 2nd July 2011

June 22nd, 2011 by Paul

Fastnet Line is delighted to be associated with the Fastnet Charity Cycle 2011 which will take place on the 1st and 2nd July 2011 in Wales and Ireland.

Fastnet Line Charity Cycle 2011

The event is in aid of three very deserving West Cork based charities, Palliative Care at Castletownbere Hospital, Co-action and Spiritual Care Ireland at the Dechen Shying Spiritual Care Centre also in Castletownbere. Fastnet Line will provide transport for the cyclists to and from Swansea where the first leg of the trip will take place on Friday 1st July.

Commenting on the event, Paul O’Brien General Manager (Ireland) said, “Fastnet Line is delighted to support these wonderful charities and applauds the fantastic efforts of the people of Beara in promoting these worthy causes as well as their local area. We hope everyone will enjoy their time with us and we look forward to helping in any way we can to promote both the charity event and Beara tourism at the same time.”

The return trip will happen overnight on the Friday night with the numbers added to by some Welsh visitors for the second leg from Ringaskiddy to Castletownbere on Saturday 2nd July 2011.

The action begins on Thursday 30th June with the cyclists heading off from Ringaskiddy on board the Julia heading to Swansea overnight. The cyclists will meet with up with their Welsh counterparts and cycle a special route of 100 km which will offer the best south Wales has to offer.

After a long day in the saddle the participants will relax on the Julia with a well deserved meal and who knows a drink or two before getting a good night’s sleep. On Saturday 2nd July the group will leave Ringaskiddy via Carrigaline, Bandon, Bantry and Glengarriff as they head on towards Castletownbere in West Cork. At the finish of this marathon event the cyclists will be welcomed back home to Castletownbere to a huge welcome.

Volcanic Ashcloud Update from Fastnet Line

May 24th, 2011 by Paul

Fastnet Line would like to remind passengers of its sailing schedule for the week ahead as the reported ash cloud crisis looks set to worsen over the UK in the coming days.

Cork to Swansea

Tuesday 24th May 20.30 hrs.

Thursday 26th May 21.00 hrs.

Saturday 28th May 20.30 hrs.

Swansea to Cork

Wednesday 25th May 20.30 hrs.

Friday 27th May 18.30 hrs.

Sunday 29th May 20.30 hrs.

Bookings can be made online at www.fastnetline.com or telephone reservations Ireland: 021 437 8892 UK 0844 576 8831

We have availability on all sailings at present.

24th May 2011 at 11.00

Queen’s Visit to Ireland

May 20th, 2011 by Paul

I’m writing this from Cork, Ireland’s second largest city and in true “second city syndrome” fashion proclaimed loudly by its citizens to be the the “real capital”. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has just concluded her hugely successful and historic visit to Ireland with a few hours here in Cork.

It is safe to say that the visit to Cork capped what has been an incredible week in Anglo-Irish relations in the most fantastic way possible. Milions of viewers all over the world will have seen a spick and span Cork City Centre bathed in bright sunlight with its citizens loudly cheering the royal visitors at their every appearance.

The Queen and Prince Phillip visited “The English Market” in the heart of the city to see the best Cork has to offer in fresh artisanal food and it looked magnificent. The market which dates from 1788 has had a chequered past but in the past fifteen years has gone from strength to strength and is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the city. It is of course a mecca for foodies and repays repeated visits as you uncover the mouthwatering delights at every turn within the compact indoor market.

The greatest delight perhaps, at the end of a week heavy with ceremony and symbolism, was the unexpected brief walkabout of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip and their interaction with the crowds on the Grand Parade. A moment of unscripted delight for the citizens of Cork and the TV pictures most hoped for in the tourism business here in Ireland.

An unintended consequence of this politically important week may well be the new sense of purpose and self-confidence that this visit has engendered in the population of this country which has suffered more than its share of slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in recent years. For this and so much more we have much to be grateful for this week.

Great Fares For National Ferry Fortnight

May 19th, 2011 by Paul




Jump onboard a ferry this National Ferry Fortnight – 14 to 28 May 2011

 It’s the natural way to travel!


10 Ferry good reasons to get onboard:


Ferry refined…Ferry companies have invested millions of pounds to ensure that your holiday starts the minute you get onboard.  With more than 40 million passenger journeys made by ferry every year and a billion pounds of investment, ferry travel has never been so relaxing, accessible and easy.  Ferries boast an impressive array of onboard facilities from shopping and dining to entertainment for children.  For longer journeys facilities include luxury en-suite cabins, cinemas, night clubs, spas, gyms, shows and bars.


Ferry speedy…With check-in times from just 30 minutes you can avoid long winded security check-in procedures.  Simply drive on and relax onboard with a good choice of dining options, good choice of shopping and play areas before driving off refreshed and ready to enjoy your trip.


Ferry versatile…Taking a ferry means no baggage restrictions and no excess baggage charges which means that you really can pack everything, including the kitchen sink!  Perfect for those who want to take bikes, golf clubs or surfboards with them or those who can’t resist a spot of shopping on the way back. 


Ferry civilised…Ferry travel has come on in leaps and bounds – and if you haven’t been on one for a while, you are in for a wonderful surprise. Relax in stylish lounges, chic cabins and café lounges and enjoy menus created by top chefs.  

Ferry economical…You may think that flying is the cheapest way to travel: That isn’t always the case.  Book your ferry trip online and as early as possible to benefit from great value prices – from as little as a pound a mile between the UK and France for a family of four with a car.  Or why not travel with a group of friends? European festivals are right on your doorstep and ferry operators can arrange packages including campsites, cottages and self-catering accommodation. 

Ferry flexible…With a choice of fares options from economy to premium, ferry travel offers much more for less.  Check-in and travel policies are flexible and for those needing to make a quick getaway why not try priority loading which ensures you are first on and first off.

Ferry liberating…With your bike, car or caravan, the world really is your oyster by ferry. Exciting destinations within the British Isles and further afield on the Continent await and with your own wheels you have the chance to explore hidden gems that are off the beaten-track. 

Ferry refreshing…Free yourself onboard a ferry – not at the mercy of a seatbelt light or squashed into a small seat you can roam freely enjoying the fresh sea air on deck or stretch out in generously spaced seating around the ship.   We are after all an island nation so whether you are sampling the delights of Continental Europe  or Scandinavia or rediscovering the treasures which are closer to home – there really is something for everyone.

Ferry friendly…why not try holidaying at home – a trip to the Isle of Man or Scottish Isles means that Fido, Rover or Sooty can come too. Or if you wish to travel to the continent the family pets don’t have to be left at home for the holidays.  If they have a pet passport (for travel outside of the UK) then they are welcome on board many of the ferry operators’ routes.  You’ll even find many pet friendly hotels, B&B’s and campsites at your destination.   

 Ferry Great Offers – Check out all the great fares on www.fastnetline.com

The Jedward Phenomenon

May 13th, 2011 by Paul
John and Edward Grimes



It is extremely difficult to be cynical about John and Edward Grimes the teenage pop sensations from Lucan outisde Dublin. The identical teenage twins, known collectively as Jedward and their iconic hair first burst into the limelight in 2009 as contestants on the X Factor in which they finished sixth. Incidentally Joe McElderry won that series. Joe who?

Today Ireland is in the gip of “Jedmania” and it seems every schoolchild in Ireland dreams of being a “Jedhead” all due to the phenomenal interest they have generated in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. Jedward seem to attract love an devotion from their teenybopper followers in equal measure with the approbation heaped upon them by the seemingly more mature (if only in years) critics they attract. A frequent complaint being that they “can’t sing”.

Now as someone with a propensity for cynicism beyond my tender years and being somewhat of a musical snob I should be exactly the kind of person to whom Jedward should be anathema. And yet. And yet. I find their artless charm totally winning me over. They are an “entertainment” in its purest form and bring a smile to my lips every time I see or hear them. I find it utterly beside the point whether or not they can sing in tune or at all and I believe they are completely of their time in this depressed country of ours.

That old hackneyed phrase comes to mind and for the first time it seems totally believable, “If Jedward did not exist, we would have to invent them”.  I hope they captivate Europe tomorrow night in Dusseldorf and win the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 for Ireland. From all of us here at Fastnet Line we wish you good luck, Jedward. We are very much part of “Team Jedward”. Your country has need of you now.

Ireland’s Call

April 4th, 2011 by Paul
Karst limestone pavement

The Burren, Co. Clare


The title isn’t meant to refer to the anthem which the Irish rugby team sing before each international match. Personally, I can take it or leave it. Mostly leave it.  No, what the title is meant to evoke is that indefineable something which keeps visitors returning to these shores. In my mind it’s a synthesis of the scenery, the places, the people, the atmosphere, whether it be on the street, in a cafe or the pub – all of those mixed together into one potent brew.

When we talk about why people visit Ireland we usually laugh when we mention the weather in a, “It’s definitely not for the weather”, kind of way. But, if you have sat watching the ever changing weather patterns which are so common in these latitudes, especially where there are mountains and sea; then you will know that even the weather can confer a kind of magic on the landscape. That combination of four seasons not just in one day, but frequently in one hour, which can mesmerise with its subtle changes of light.

Ireland is a small country, still a relatively underdeveloped country, something still slightly unusual for our European neighbours. We have a connection with the land which has not always been healthy, but it has evolved into a love of place and it has fostered a deep and real connection between the people and their landscape. The Irish language, long since lost to the majority of the population, still remains ingrained in the landscape through the Gaelic placenames which live on in their anglicised form for all.

Perhaps there is something of this heritage and history which visitors sense when they come here. Perhaps our visitors envy us that continuation of the connection to the land which yet survives. Whatever the reason, any visitor who spends time in Ireland cannot but be aware of the living culture which transcends all outward manifestations and survives as steadfast and immutable as the landscape itself.

Great value fares with Fastnet Line

March 21st, 2011 by Paul


West Cork Suite

West Cork Suite

Fastnet Line is happy to announce its latest great deals for travel to and from the UK. Foot passengers have no excuse not to get away for two nights on board the Julia with one day shopping sightseeing and relaxing in Cork or Swansea from only €49/£42 per person sharing including your return fare and two nights cabin accommodation.

If you want a little more time and greater freedom, two people can travel with a car from €95/£82 per person sharing including two nights cabin accommodation on board. These special offer fares are available on selected dates throughout the year. There is limited availability on some dates so book now to ensure you get the best value on the Irish Sea.

We look forward to welcome you on board to enjoy our bars, restaurants, shopping, casino, cinema with plenty of space for you to relax and take it easy. Book online or speak to our reservation staff for further information. Details of the offers can be found here on our website http://www.fastnetline.com/special_offers.html

Fastnet Line Celebrates First Anniversary Sailing

March 9th, 2011 by Paul
MV Julia passing Cobh

MV Julia passing Cobh


Fastnet Line with it’s 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.”