Archive for the ‘Swansea’ 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 [email protected]. 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

Ivor Callely and Dylan Thomas

Friday, August 13th, 2010 by Paul

Recent news stories in Ireland have been dominated by Senator Ivor Callely’s expenses claims a subject which our UK neighbours know very well given their recent well aired investigation into their politicians’ claims expenses. Chief amongst the most damaging aspect of the uproar was the idea that the Senator had been claiming travelling expenses from his holiday home in West Cork rather than from his family home in Dublin thus hugely increasing the amount of the claim.

The intricacies of the claim while interesting and frustrating in equal measure for the public are not the subject of this post. What struck me reading the coverage of the story in the press here in Ireland was the number of writers who commented that whatever, the morality or ethics of the expenses claim, Ivor certainly knew a great location to purchase a holiday home. Each journalist who went in search of Ivor in Kilcrohane on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula commented on the beauty of the surroundings, no doubt helped by the great summer weather we have been having.

The Sheep’s Head Way is an award winning rural destination with a series of hiking trails and looped walks created by a huge volunteer effort which showcases the natural beauty and unspoilt environment of this magical place. If it gets some recognition nationally and internationally as a result of Ivor’s story then some good wuill have come out of this unsatisfactory situation.

And the connection with Dylan Thomas? Well it seems Ivor has taken to heart that beloved poem I learned in school by the incomparable Welsh bard, “Do not go gentle into that good night”!

Ferry as a way of travelling

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 by Paul

I lived in London for many years in the 90s. During that time I travelled frequently to France on the overnight routes from Southampton to Cherbourg or Portsmouth to Caen. I travelled less frequently on the Swansea to Cork route because I mainly flew like everyone else with the advent of lower flight costs.

The reason I used the ferry to France was because my destination in Normandy was not easily accessible by plane and because I stayed in self catering accommodation and brought bicycles and golf clubs and the occasional canoe with me. I always enjoyed the journey itself it seemed very civilised and as a frequent traveller there was a certain comfort to the routine; the pint in the bar, the musical entertainment, the Sunday afternoon table quiz on the return journey, the cinema, the meal.

Life moved on and life changed and there were no more regular ferry trips. I moved back to Cork and discovered the ferry link was no more. They say you never miss something until its gone and suddenly there were many reasons why I would have wanted to use the ferry. Cheap and hassle free air travel became a little less so each year. My friend with the fear of flying was more reluctant to drive all the way to the furthest reaches of  West Wales and down from Wexford to visit me. The convenience was gone.

Since Fastnet Line has re-started the Cork to Swansea route I have been on the ship many times for work and those memories come flooding back to me. What a civilised way to travel in an increasingly less civilised world. Good food, a bit of relaxation, space and comfort, a decent pint the chance to stare out of the window aimlessly and do a bit of thinking. Good things. Comforting things. Things that should remain.


Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Fastnet Line

Swansea is the second most populous city in Wales after the capital Cardiff and is situated on the south west coast of Wales an area noted for its sandy beaches. The nearby Gower peninsula is an area of outstanding natural beauty and the seaside village of Mumbles is a must visit collection of art galleries, shops, cafes and restaurants. The city itself has risen from its industrial past to become a vibrant modern city with new developments giving the city a forward looking aspect in the 21st century. In the nearby Afan and Vale of Neath area there is world class mountain biking, walking and the largest forest south of Scotland. There is almost no sport that is uncatered for in the area including fishing, sailing, golfing, wind and kite surfing, golf, canoeing and if that leaves you breathless you can pause to take in the rich heritage of the area including diverse galleries and museums and the Dylan Thomas Centre celebrating the world famous poet and prose writer of “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” and “Under Milk Wood”. The area hosts numerous arts festivals and sporting events throughout the year which means that Swansea has more than enough to occupy several return visits so take the time to get to know the area and you won’t regret it.