Minister for Tourism Meets Fastnet Line

November 24th, 2010 by Paul
WTM Min Hanafin photo

L-R Niall Gibbons Tourism Ireland, Mike Wood Fastnet Line, Minister Mary Hanafin and Paul O'Brien Fastnet Line

The Irish Minister for Tourism Miss Mary Hanafin visited the Fastnet Line desk at the World Travel Market in London recently. General manager’s of the UK and Ireland Mike Wood and Paul O’Brien attended over three days meeting with tourism buyers, tour operators and travel agents  at the largest international tourism meeting in the world.

The minister who attended at the invitation of Tourism Ireland was in London promoting Irish tourism with a particular emphasis on the UK which still remains Irelands biggest market. The minister who visited the Julia in August at the invitation of the Co-Op which owns Fastnet Line was delighted to hear of the numbers which have travelled this year already. The government is making a special priority to win back our UK visitors and Fastnet Line aims to be a key part of that strategy in the medium and long term.

We are extremely grateful to the minister for her time and to Tourism Ireland for their support in 2010. We have agreed plans with Tourism Ireland for a jointly funded campaign for 2011 which will help us get our message out to even more people.

Discounted fares for Co-Op Shareholders

November 23rd, 2010 by Paul

Co-Op shareholders at opening of on board Tourism Information Office

Co-Op shareholders at opening of on board Tourism Information Office

Invest in the West Cork Tourism Co-Op

Shareholders in the West Cork Tourism Co-Op are the ultimate owners of Fastnet Line. When you invest you can enjoy fantastic benefits depending on your level of investment. For instance Platinum shareholders who invest a total of €15,000 benefit from a 50% discount on fares all year round.

Look at the range of benefits below and if you wish to invest please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 00 353 (0) 86 601 1111

Platinum Shareholder Co-op Membership

Individual A Shares (€10,000) with new B (€5,000)

* Full Access to Tourist Office for display of business promotional material

* Full Access to Web site for links promoting business

* Discount on all fares displayed on web site by 50% fares have to be booked and paid by shareholder using unique membership card & code

* 10% on F&B when travelling on the Julia

* Name of Shareholder listed on Investor board in Tourist Office on ship.

* Full Access to Travel Agent Rates offered by ship, to be passed on to shareholder clients if not paying for fares directly

* Access to Fastnet Line Sales & Marketing personnel for joint sales trade promotions


Gold Shareholder Co-op Membership

Individual A Shares (€10,000)


* 50% discount off peak – 30% peak

* 10% on F&B on board

* Full benefits as listed above


Silver Shareholder Co-Op Membership

Syndicated A and B Share


* Discounts of 30% off peak and 20% peak

* 10% on F&B on board

* Promotions

* Information leaflets on board


Bronze Shareholder Co-Op Membership

Syndicated A Share

* Discount 20% off peak and 10% peak

* Information leaflets on board

Tourist Information Office Opens on board

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.

Adverse Weather Conditions on the Irish Sea

November 11th, 2010 by Fastnet Line

Due to the current adverse weather conditions  on the Irish Sea Fastnet Line regret to inform passengers that tonight’s sailing November 11th, from Cork to Swansea and tomorrow’s sailing, November 12th, from Swansea to Cork, are now cancelled.

The next scheduled sailing will be Saturday November 13th from Cork to Swansea at 2000hrs.

Please contact our reservations team in order to rebook or for a refund.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Munster Rugby special 17th December

November 4th, 2010 by Paul

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!

Reaching the parts of rugby that other ferries cannot…

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

Invest in Fastnet Line BES

October 22nd, 2010 by Paul

Fastnet Line has now published the BES prospectus on the website at the following page The investment scheme which is for Irish taxpayers gives a great incentive to higher rate taxpayers allowing them to deduct the qualifying investment from their total income for tax purposes thereby obtaining relief at their highest marginal rates of tax.

Cork City and all that jazz

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

2011 Schedule and Prices now available

October 18th, 2010 by Paul
West Cork Suite

West Cork Suite


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. We guarantee you our lowest prices for the most sought after dates when you book with us now!

Put out more flags – and bring ‘Sam’ home’

October 14th, 2010 by Paul
Cork County Flag

Cork County Flag

There can hardly be a nation more enthralled with the glory and shine of sport than Ireland – and the counties of both Cork and Kerry are well used to being in the spotlight year after year.

The leading hurling counties of Ireland may beg to differ – but arguably the climax of Ireland’s sporting calendar is the All Ireland Football final and the prize of the Sam Maguire Cup .  For the uninitiated that is the sport of Gaelic Football – fifteen men a side – rugby posts and goal nets. The game is played on a bigger pitch than soccer or rugby and we can usually look forward to high octane action from start to finish.

While the County of Cork has long dominated All Ireland wins, football teams from the North of Ireland have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. Last month’s cup final in Dublin’s Croke Park featured Cork against Northern Irish county,

Cork Football Final 2010

Cork Football Final 2010 -

In the days before the contest – on September 19th – the first time tourist to West Cork might have been forgiven for thinking that a new government was about to be elected – or least that one important Cork citizen – called Sam – was being held hostage in Dublin.

Roadside flags of all kinds and colours are feature of West Cork all year round. But through September ‘Bring Sam home  was the message on many a fluttering pennant or hoarding  – the message usually decked out in the county colours of red and white. ‘Sam’ of course refers to Sam Maguire, a native of Dunmanway, West Cork who gave his name to the annual trophy.

And – by 5.00pm on Sunday September 19 – Sam indeed was coming back home as Cork beat Down by a single point.

Every year, returning visitors to West Cork will recapture that sense of roadside sporting passion at all levels – juniors, seniors, ladies teams – from the smallest towns to county wide

Conor Counihan

Conor Counihan -

The flags are a major part of the West Cork experience -  the tradition and enjoyment of sport. But winning the Sam Maguire is up there with the best achievements in the country. And for another year the ‘Sam Maguire’ will now rest secure in its native resting place.

Paul O’Brien – Fastnetline