Posts Tagged ‘West Cork’

Fastnet Line Charity Cycle 1st and 2nd July 2011

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 by Paul

Fastnet Line is delighted to be associated with the Fastnet Charity Cycle 2011 which will take place on the 1st and 2nd July 2011 in Wales and Ireland.

Fastnet Line Charity Cycle 2011

The event is in aid of three very deserving West Cork based charities, Palliative Care at Castletownbere Hospital, Co-action and Spiritual Care Ireland at the Dechen Shying Spiritual Care Centre also in Castletownbere. Fastnet Line will provide transport for the cyclists to and from Swansea where the first leg of the trip will take place on Friday 1st July.

Commenting on the event, Paul O’Brien General Manager (Ireland) said, “Fastnet Line is delighted to support these wonderful charities and applauds the fantastic efforts of the people of Beara in promoting these worthy causes as well as their local area. We hope everyone will enjoy their time with us and we look forward to helping in any way we can to promote both the charity event and Beara tourism at the same time.”

The return trip will happen overnight on the Friday night with the numbers added to by some Welsh visitors for the second leg from Ringaskiddy to Castletownbere on Saturday 2nd July 2011.

The action begins on Thursday 30th June with the cyclists heading off from Ringaskiddy on board the Julia heading to Swansea overnight. The cyclists will meet with up with their Welsh counterparts and cycle a special route of 100 km which will offer the best south Wales has to offer.

After a long day in the saddle the participants will relax on the Julia with a well deserved meal and who knows a drink or two before getting a good night’s sleep. On Saturday 2nd July the group will leave Ringaskiddy via Carrigaline, Bandon, Bantry and Glengarriff as they head on towards Castletownbere in West Cork. At the finish of this marathon event the cyclists will be welcomed back home to Castletownbere to a huge welcome.

Volcanic Ashcloud Update from Fastnet Line

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 by Paul

Fastnet Line would like to remind passengers of its sailing schedule for the week ahead as the reported ash cloud crisis looks set to worsen over the UK in the coming days.

Cork to Swansea

Tuesday 24th May 20.30 hrs.

Thursday 26th May 21.00 hrs.

Saturday 28th May 20.30 hrs.

Swansea to Cork

Wednesday 25th May 20.30 hrs.

Friday 27th May 18.30 hrs.

Sunday 29th May 20.30 hrs.

Bookings can be made online at www.fastnetline.com or telephone reservations Ireland: 021 437 8892 UK 0844 576 8831

We have availability on all sailings at present.

24th May 2011 at 11.00

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.

Ireland’s Call

Monday, April 4th, 2011 by Paul
Karst limestone pavement

The Burren, Co. Clare

 

The title isn’t meant to refer to the anthem which the Irish rugby team sing before each international match. Personally, I can take it or leave it. Mostly leave it.  No, what the title is meant to evoke is that indefineable something which keeps visitors returning to these shores. In my mind it’s a synthesis of the scenery, the places, the people, the atmosphere, whether it be on the street, in a cafe or the pub – all of those mixed together into one potent brew.

When we talk about why people visit Ireland we usually laugh when we mention the weather in a, “It’s definitely not for the weather”, kind of way. But, if you have sat watching the ever changing weather patterns which are so common in these latitudes, especially where there are mountains and sea; then you will know that even the weather can confer a kind of magic on the landscape. That combination of four seasons not just in one day, but frequently in one hour, which can mesmerise with its subtle changes of light.

Ireland is a small country, still a relatively underdeveloped country, something still slightly unusual for our European neighbours. We have a connection with the land which has not always been healthy, but it has evolved into a love of place and it has fostered a deep and real connection between the people and their landscape. The Irish language, long since lost to the majority of the population, still remains ingrained in the landscape through the Gaelic placenames which live on in their anglicised form for all.

Perhaps there is something of this heritage and history which visitors sense when they come here. Perhaps our visitors envy us that continuation of the connection to the land which yet survives. Whatever the reason, any visitor who spends time in Ireland cannot but be aware of the living culture which transcends all outward manifestations and survives as steadfast and immutable as the landscape itself.

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.”

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.

And so this is Christmas..

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 by Paul

A sincere wish to all of our customers, suppliers, crew and staff for a happy, peaceful and safe Christmas. Thank you for your support in 2010 and we look forward to work with you throughout 2011 and to welcome you on board Julia during the year. It has been our pleasure and privilege to serve you.

Our biggest thanks, respect and admiration go to the people of the West Cork Tourism Co-Op whose courage and vision has made this dream a reality and has restored an important link between Ireland and the UK which has proved yet again to be of vital strategic importance in linking our two countries.

It has been our privilege to provide this service to people wanting to travel in times of crisis and gridlock at our airports whether it be due to volcanic ash clouds or snow and ice. Let us never underestimate the value of a ferry service to island nations.

Minister for Tourism Meets Fastnet Line

Wednesday, 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

Tuesday, 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 roymaguire@fastnetline.com 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

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.