00:00 Saturday 26 December 2009  Written by Staff Reporter

Fastnet Line launches ferry bookings

FASTNET Line this week launched the booking facility for the Swansea to Cork ferry service, which will commence sailing on March 1, 2010 from Cork to Swansea.

The price of travelling on the new service starts from €99 one way for a car and driver. For bookings made by April 1, 2010 and for travel in that year, three children per car booking will travel free each way (excluding cabin). Children under-4 travel free all year round.

The service expects to enjoy strong demand from both tourist and freight customers on both side of the Irish Sea. Fastnet Line believes that it will contribute greatly to the development and promotion of tourism in the south and sustain more than 1,000 jobs. The service is worth more than €50 million annually to the local economy.

Tom Barrett, CEO of Fastnet Line, said on Monday: "Today marks another important step towards our first sailing between Cork and Swansea on March 1, 2010. Since the start of 2009, funds have been raised, a ship purchased and now, today, our 8,700 pre-registered passengers and many more, can book their preferred sailing dates.

"We look forward to welcoming them aboard our fantastic ship and providing a relaxing and efficient route between the south west of Ireland and the UK," he added.

Benefits of the Swansea to Cork Ferry Service include:

The service will save 600 km driving on a round trip and connects directly with the M4 motorway.

Sailing will be overnight, departing at 21.00 hours and arriving 07.00 the next morning.

The service will operate six nights a week, with additional sailings in July and August

Extensive selection of bars and restaurants, shopping, cinema and kids area onboard. Dog kennels are also available.

The service will operate all year round for convenient travel in and out of season.

Commenting on Monday after the launch of the booking facility by Fastnet Line for the new Swansea to Cork ferry service, Cork Chamber Chief Executive Conor Healy said, "I wish to congratulate all the stakeholders in this project particularly those involved with the Fastnet Line and the West Cork Co-Operative, as well as those organisations such as the Port Authorities, Fáilte Ireland and Cork County Council who have expressed their backing and provided financial resources.

"As a sign of support the Chamber is investing €10,000 in the Co-Operative and urges the business community in the region to back this worthy initiative to ensure the remaining finance needed is raised for this vital passenger and freight service".

Mr Healy went on to say: "The Swansea Cork Ferry Service is critical to the South West region.  Its re-introduction will provide a much needed boost to the economy with the potential to generate significant benefits for all sectors within the region, particularly tourism related as well as meeting the needs of industrial freight movement. Tourists and exporters will again have a direct link to and from the UK."

Log on to www.fastnet line.com or call 021-4530440 for further information.

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