Archive for the ‘Cork’ Category

Fastnet Line Heineken Cup Competition

Friday, December 10th, 2010 by Fastnet Line

Who scored Munster’s first try in the 2006 Heineken Cup Final?

Was it
(a) John Kelly
(b) Trevor Halstead
(c) Anthony Foley

Email your answer to Please include your contact telephone number. Competition closes Wednesday 16th December at 5pm.

To celebrate the forthcoming special sailing for Munster supporters to the Heineken Cup Pool 3 match, Fastnet Line in association with Heineken Ireland will give two lucky winners the chance to go to the vital game between Ospreys and Munster in Swansea on Saturday 18th December.

The prize consists of a free return trip on the Fastnet Line special rugby sailings leaving Cork at 18.00 on Friday 17th December returning at 23.50 on Saturday 18th December. The prize includes a two berth window cabin both ways and free bus transfers to and from the centre of Swansea. In addition the lucky winners will get two tickets to the Ospreys v Munster Heineken Cup game which kicks off at 15.30 on Saturday 18th December at the Liberty Stadium.

Terms and conditions apply. Click here to read more.

Our Heineken Cup Competition Winner is………Majbritt Gleeson! Congratulations, enjoy the match and your crossing with Fastnet Line! Thank you to all those who entered! Check back soon for our next competition………

Fastnet Line is pleased to announce two special sailings for all Munster Rugby fans wishing to travel to Swansea for the Heineken Cup Pool three clash against Neath Swansea Ospreys on Saturday 18th December 2010.A special sailing will leave Cork at 18.00 on Friday 17th December arriving at 08.00 in Swansea. A special coach service will be available for those who wish to have a leisurely breakfast to take them into town from 10.00 and supporters can check in from 19.00 after the game right up until 22.00.

Buses will pick up supporters from Swansea City Centre on the hour at 19.00, 20.00 and 21.00. The ship will sail on Saturday night 18th December at 23.50 arriving back in Cork at 14.00 on Sunday 19th December.

Important – Please note when booking this special price you must go through all the steps in the booking process online as the special reduced fare price will appear on the last screen before you confirm to make payment.

Prices start from €99 return per person but please book early as demand is already proving to be very brisk indeed!

Tourist Information Office Opens on board

Friday, November 19th, 2010 by Paul
Ian Dempsey, Jean O'Sullivan and Robert Walsh

Ian Dempsey, Jean O'Sullivan and Robert Walsh

Fastnet Line continues to be one of the most progressive ferry companies on the Irish sea. On Monday, its owners the West Cork tourism Co-Op will open their Tourist Information Office on board the MV Julia. The large space located on deck five is dedicated to giving passengers as much information as possible about the destinations on both sides of the Irish sea.

The shareholders who have invested €3m of their own money to purchase the ferry and establish Fastnet Line will now be able to display information about their businesses to the tourists travelling on board in what is believed to be a unique venture on any ferry to southern Ireland. Only businesses which have invested to become members of the Co-Op are allowed to display on board the ship.

Shareholders also benefit from joint marketing opportunities with Fastnet Line which should enhance their opportunities to gain additional tourist traffic. The tourist information office consists of large scale grpahic representations of Wales and Ireland as well as a central information desk and leaflet display racks. the office will be manned by trained staff in high season who will be able to give detailed information about the two destinations as well as advice regarding shareholders offerings.

West Cork Tourism Co-Op membership is still open to businesses in Ireland and Wales.

Reaching the parts of rugby that other ferries cannot…

Friday, October 29th, 2010 by Paul




For some years now, The Heineken Cup has had pride of place in European rugby union and our own Irish province of Munster has excelled in the competition: French teams have dominated recent events but Munster won the cup in 2006 and 2008. The Munster club prize the cup very highly among the silverware available to them each season.

I must admit that when the Cup pool draw was announced this summer, it was hard to contain feelings of amazement and pleasure at the draw: The tournament organisers appear to have had a central role in mind for Fastnet Line to play in connecting three teams from England, Wales and Ireland. The rugby clubs of London Irish (Reading), Ospreys (Swansea) and Munster (Limerick via Cork) seemed to all have been strung along an East-West axis from the UK’s M4 Motorway – over the Irish sea to the Munster ground. The French team, Toulon, is the exception – but also boast a host of international stars not least World Cup winner, with England, Johnny Wilkinson.

Munster of course comprises much more than Cork. The rugby team play out of Thomond Park, Limerick in a revamped stadium and the Munster following are numerous,  loyal, and travel extensively. Games involving Munster hold several Heineken Cup records for attendance in every stage of the competition, including the finals.

To say the least, this first part of the competition will be extremely feisty on the field and very enjoyable off it.

Needless to say, all of us at Fastnet Line are really looking forward to catering to the rugby crowd – and encouraging them to make full use of us around the Cup fixtures. Anyone who knows the rugby scene well, appreciates that rugby people generally bring colour, vitality and commerce to every occasion and city that they visit and this will certainly be the case when Munster travel to Ospreys in Swansea on the 18th December. We expect a bumper crowd to travel on a rugby special to Swansea on Friday 17th December and to travel back with on Saturday night 18th December after the game. What is sure is that win or lose, the atmosphere will be terrific and the singing mighty! We can’t wait!

Paul O’Brien

Cork City and all that jazz

Thursday, October 21st, 2010 by Paul





“What we play is life” Louis Armstrong – Jazz Musician

There must be something about cities on water that works really well with jazz festivals. Lakeside Montreux in Switzerland has been attracting artists and audiences since 1967 – New York City on the Hudson – Paris on the Seine, New Orleans on the Mississippi – all of these are centres for the music – and in a few days time Cork City confirms its reputation as Europe’s friendliest jazz festival, Patrick Street and other places providing the backdrop for the worldwide jazz groove.

 Truth be told – Ireland and jazz music are sometimes strange bedfellows – but the Cork City Festival has been running strong since the first event in 1978. This year’s programme sees luminaries from all corners of that world, including leading US pianist Herbie Hancock, the UK’s Steve Winwood, Ireland’s own Louis Stewart, Norway’s Tord Gustaven and hundreds of other performers. 

Significant numbers from the UK are intending to travel – with their equipment – by the most relaxing and failsafe method available, courtesy of Fastnet Line: We expect our own MV Julia will be loaded with its share of drum kits, double basses, saxophones and other instruments. Not wishing to cock a snook, but taking a musical instrument onto a plane these days can be an extremely nerve-wracking and hazardous experience for a musician – especially if the item is of value. Fewer and fewer musical instruments are being allowed into aircraft cabins these days and the handling of instruments in the hold can be risky, to say the least.

No such worries with our ferry service – either for foot passengers or those driving themselves to and from the festival. To help the mood of the City along and at the same time as the Jazz Festival, Cork will be holding its own October Fest beer festival. The original Munich-based Oktoberfest for some reason got itself underway in mid September. As well as the many craft brews provided by the city’s own Franciscan Well, the October Fest looks at European brews, with draught beers not available in Ireland imported especially for the event. We hope that you make it over with Fastnet Line for one of Ireland’s most cosmopolitan annual events.

See (other part of website) for times and return packages to the UK. Jazz is largely an urban art-form and the the Cork cityscapes will grow and change in time with the music for many decades to come.

Paul O’Brien – Fastnetline

East Cork

Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Fastnet Line

The area comprises a number of towns such as Midleton, Cobh (pronounced “Cove”) and Youghal (pronounced “Yawl”). Midleton has recently been re-connected with Cork city by train and now is an even easier target to stay and use as a base for visiting the city. It is home to the Jameson Distillery which produces 19 million litres of whiskey each year and has a fascinating visitor centre which tells the story of whiskey in Ireland and its unique way of distilling one of our most famous exports. Cobh is the town cascading down the hillside across from the ferry port at Ringaskiddy with its St. Colman’s Cathedral dominating the skyline as you sail past. Its heritage is of course steeped in that of the sea having been an important naval base of strategic importance from Napoleonic times, to being the departure point for 2.5 million emigrants who left Ireland primarily for the US between 1848 and 1950 and of course it will always be remembered for its association with the Titanic being the last port of call for that ill-fated ship in 1912. The Cobh Heritage centre tells these stories movingly and in detail. Youghal was the setting for the film Moby Dick and it has that unmistakable air of the sea about it. Fine sandy beaches and rugged coastline make it an ideal location for a holiday.

Further down the coast the fishing village of Ballycotton with its iconic lighthouse has been a favourite destination for Cork city families for generations. Nearby Garryvoe with its long inviting beach has similarly captured the imagination of locals and visitors alike and Shanagarry home to the world famous Ballymaloe House cookery school and restaurant is a must visit for foodies.

Blackwater Valley

Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Fastnet Line

Lying to the north and west of Cork city encompassing towns such as Mallow, Fermoy and Millstreet the Blackwater Valley tourism area taking its name from the world famous anglers paradise that is the Blackwater river, is a diverse area of commercial towns and rolling countryside amongst the most fertile in this region of Ireland. There is equine heritage here in abundance with the original steeplechase being a horse race first run from Buttevant church to St. Leger Church in the village of Doneraile in 1752. As well as fishing, golf, hillwalking and cycling the area has an abundance of natural beauty and Millstreet Country Park encompasses this beauty with an educational program, archaeological sites, managed wetlands and planned gardens not to mention a number of water features and a replica of a famous Belgian fountain the Mont Des Arts opened in 2009.


Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Fastnet Line

Dunmanway is a planned town dating from the 17th Century and famous for being the birthplace of Sam Maguire who gave his name to the All-Ireland Football trophy competed for each year by the teams of the 32 counties of the island of Ireland. Activities of all sorts can be attempted from here with walking and cycling particularly well catered for. The annual horse fair and races in August each year is an ancient tradition dating back hundreds of years. The little village of Drimoleague just 14 kilometres ( 8 miles) down the road was an important railway junction up until the 1960s and in recent years the old railway yard has become the trailhead for a network of signposted walking trails taking the walker up into the hills surrounding the village and along ancient river paths with enough variety and levels of exertion to suit all abilities.


Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Fastnet Line

The town takes its name from the Gaelic An Gleann Garbh (the wild or rugged valley) and the visitor is left in no doubt as to why. This village is centred on a beautiful harbour studded with rock tree covered islands backed by bare rocky hills giving it a magnificent setting even by any standard. Everywhere you look there are scenes just begging to be photographed or just simply contemplated as well as walks and forest paths which yield their natural rewards at every turn of the trail. Garnish Island is worth a visit being just minutes by boat from the harbour but all around are samples of flora and fauna that make this area a naturalists paradise. The visitor is well catered for with a variety of places to stay, to eat and drink which is why Glengarriff has been a firm favourite for generations of visitors.


Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Fastnet Line

Kinsale has an international reputation as a food lovers paradise and indeed good food and wine is not hard to come by wherever you turn. Just twenty minutes from Cork City, Kinsale has long been the destination of choice for those city dwellers wanting to get away from it all in this atmospheric town dominated by its sailing and fishing past and present. The sheltered harbour is overlooked by Charles Fort a perfectly preserved Elizabethan Star Fort dating from the 17th Century a reminder of the town’s strategic importance. Nearby are the battle sites of the Battle of Kinsale, one of the most important moments in Irish history where Irish forces aided by the Spanish Armada were defeated decisively in 1601. The town still commemorates this event and you will notice the Spanish influence in pub names and indeed the magnificent replica Spanish Galleon mast down on the waterfront overlooking the modern sailing marina.

Kinsale wears its historical past lightly alongside a very modern outlook and is famous for its year round festivals ranging from the Arts, to rugby sevens, vintage car weekends, a sailing regatta and a fringe Jazz festival which runs alongside the Cork Jazz festival in late October (22nd – 25th October 2010).


Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Fastnet Line

Carrigaline is the town closest to the ferry port in Ringaskiddy and is a commuter town of nearby Cork city. There are many lively bars and places to eat as well as shopping of all sorts and beaches and beautiful coastline is only minutes away. Nearby Crosshaven is a picturesque village which hosts the world’s oldest yacht club, the Royal Cork. Every two years the club runs an international race series for all sizes of racing yachts in a festival known as “Cork Week”. This year the festival runs from the 10th to the 16th July and is not to be missed.