Posts Tagged ‘Swansea’

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.

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.”

From the “We must be doing something right” department

Friday, December 3rd, 2010 by Paul
julia from the air

julia from the air

Recently Fastnet Line received a “Highly Commended” award from Swansea Bay Tourism at their annual awards ceremony held recently in Brangwyn Hall Swansea. The category was called “Co-operating to Compete” and recognises the efforts that Fastnet Line has gone to in connecting with local businesses in the South Wales area in an effort to promote them to Irish customers.

In June 2010, Fastnet Line hosted over eighty tourism businesses from the Swansea area on board the Julia under the banner “Working Together”. Following that initial contact it took varios business offerings from these providers and promoted them on its website as well as making them part of its marketing message to the Irish consumer.

Fastnet Line will continue to work with Swansea Bay Tourism and other stakeholders in South Wales to continue to promote the area in the Irish market.

Also on the Irish side of the water, Cork Chamber of Commerce have just announced that Fastnet Line has been shortlisted for Cork Company of the Year. The winner will be announced at the gala dinner hosted by the Chamber on Friday 4th February 2011. We are extremely proud of all of our staff and crew who have worked so hard in 2010 and thank them for their terrific efforts which are being recognised in this way. Thank you.

€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

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


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.