Posts Tagged ‘Cork City’

Queen’s Visit to Ireland

Friday, 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.

Fastnet Line Celebrates First Anniversary Sailing

Wednesday, 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.”

Win a free trip to Wales v Ireland including match tickets

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 by Paul


Ireland rugby photo

Ireland rugby photo

To celebrate our first anniversary and combining it with our love of rugby, we at Fastnet Line are giving you and a friend the chance to win a free trip to the Wales v Ireland Six Nations clash which takes place in Cardiff on Saturday 12th March at 5 p.m.

In order to be in with a chance to win please email your answer to the following question to

Q. In their last meeting at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in 2009 who scored the winning drop goal for Ireland?

Was it:

(a) Johnny Sexton

(b) Paddy Wallace

(c) Ronan O’Gara

Terms and conditions apply. Click here to read more.

*Competition Winner*

Congratulations to Kate Leavy, winner of the return trip and match tickets to see Wales v Ireland Six Nations clash! Enjoy your sailing and the game Kate!

If you don’t win you can still travel with us to Cardiff at some really great prices.

Prices start from €60 per person without reserved accommodation, €78 per person with a reserved pullman seat and starting from €98 per person sharing return including a two berth inside cabin. All of these prices for foot passengers with bus transfers extra. We also have great deals if you want to bring your car.

Sailing on Friday night 11th March at 20.30 and arriving at 08.00 in Swansea on the morning of the game, Fastnet Line will provide bus transport for those travelling as foot passengers to Cardiff from 09.30. Supporters will then have plenty of time to soak up the pre-match atmosphere before the game which kicks off at 5 p.m.

Buses will again take supporters back after the game in plenty of time to check in for the departure of 23.50 and the ferry will arrive back in Cork at 12.00 noon on Sunday 13th March.

Fastnet Line Shortlisted for Emerging Cork Company of the Year

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 by Paul

Cork Chamber of Commerce have announced that Fastnet Line has been shortlisted with three other Cork based companies in the “Emerging Cork Business” category for 2010. The company will also be in the running for the overall category of Cork Business of the Year.

The winners will be announced at the Cork Chamber of Commerce annual dinner to be held in City Hall Cork on Friday 4th February 2011. 

“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.

Fastnet Line would like to congratulate all the shortlisted companies including their “rivals” in the emerging companies catgory which are, Brook Catering and HR Locker. Well done to them and may the best company win.

Did you hear the one about?

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 by Paul
Paul O'Brien, Mike Phillips and Tomas O'Leary

Paul O'Brien, Mike Phillips and Tomas O'Leary

The ex-prop and the two world class scrum halves? As part of the publicity for the upcoming Ospreys v Munster Heineken Cup game in Swansea on Saturday 18th December. Fastnet Line General Manager Paul O’Brien got as close as he’s ever likely to get, to two world class scrum halves – Tomas O’Leary of Munster and Ireland and Mike Phillips the Ospreys, Wales and British and Irish Lions number nine.

O’Brien whose career as a rugby player “climaxed” in the South Munster U18 cup final of 1980 something (lost 4-3 since you ask) finally came close to greatness and realised a long time ambition to actually catch a scrum half. Something he singularly failed to do during his playing career.

All three were on hand after the match last Sunday in which Munster edged out Ospreys in a close, tense affair at Thomond Park, Limerick, to publicise the Fastnet Line special rugby sailing carrying Munster rugby supporters to Swansea for the Heineken Cup Pool Three clash with Ospreys on Saturday 18th December. Hundreds of Munster supporters are expected to travel bringing a much needed boost to Swansea in the run up to Christmas.

Munster rugby supporters are famously enthusiastic travellers and they are sure to bring colour, passion and lots of singing to the occasion. Fastnet Line will also provide coach transfers to get supporters from the ferry port to and from the game. The supporters will arrive early on Saturday morning and will spend the day in Swansea up to kick off which is set for 3.30 p.m. at Liberty Stadium.

Commenting on the special sailings, Paul O’Brien General Manager of Fastnet Line said; “Following Munster’s narrow victory over the Ospreys on Sunday it’s still all to play for in what is proving to be one of the most competitive pools in the Heineken Cup competition.

“Munster will want as much support as possible at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday and Fastnet Line is playing its part to make sure the red army will travel in style and comfort direct to Swansea for the big occasion.”

€29 return fares on Fastnet Lineno

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 by Paul
Aerial phot of the Julia at sea

Aerial photo of the Julia at sea

Unbelievable but true!  Only €29/£26 per person for a 24 hour return crossing as a foot passenger including a cabin? For a limited period until the end of January on selected dates take advantage of this amazing offer.

You can also give this as a Christmas gift to your loved ones by simply contacting Fastnet Line. We will send you our special Christmas voucher so that you can surprise someone you love with a great trip on the Julia.

This offer is valid for travel until the 31st January 2011 on selected dates and is subject to availability. You must book by the 15th December to avail of this great offer.

We recently got some great feedback from our neighbours in the National Maritime College of Ireland who had some recent participants in their BOSIET and offshore courses use the service and save some money.

The Ferry is a great service and we are delighted to see some of our students using this mode of transport when  involved in our commercial courses
Joanne, NMCI

Cork City

Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Fastnet Line

The city of Cork (from the Gaelic Corcaigh meaning “Marshy Place”) is a friendly walkable city with two river channels, two cathedrals and an unselfconscious open attitude to life and visitors alike. The sing song accent much imitated is a lively manifestation of the wit and humour of its citizens. The English Market on Grand Parade is a food lovers paradise where the bargain food stalls long beloved of those on a budget exist pigs cheek by jowl with specialist food shops from France, Italy and further afield. If a particular ingredient can’t be found here it doesn’t exist!

St. Finbarre’s Cathedral dominates the skyline towards the west of the city centre and this Gothic revival masterpiece completed in 1879 is on the site of an earlier medieval building. Other municipal buildings of note include the Courthouse, City Hall, Crawford Art Gallery, St. Anne’s Shandon (known locally as Shandon Steeple), the Firkin Crane Building and University College Cork. The hills on the north side of the city give much of the character to the city and in the suburb of Sunday’s Well there is the old City Gaol dating from 1824, well worth a visit for an insight into the sometimes turbulent past of the city.

The central shopping area, recently enlarged with new developments is enough to exhaust all but the most determined of bargain hunters but the proliferation of bars, cafes and restaurants throughout the city especially in the Huguenot quarter mean that refreshment and sustenance are on hand at all times. A thriving arts scene in Cork means that you are never far from the next festival of music, theatre, dance, choral singing, jazz or film – the Midsummer Arts festival in particular seems to combine just about all facets of modern culture and is worth a special visit in June (12th – 27th June 2010) but the twin delights of the Film and Jazz festivals each October rival it for size and variety.