Posts Tagged ‘ireland tourism’

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.”

Are you ready for March?

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 by Paul

A P McCoy takes a tumble

Here at Fastnet Line we like our sport, which is why March is one of our favourite times of the year. Not only do we get to go to Cardiff for our biannual meeting with our Celtic cousins on the rugby pitch in the Six Nations championship (Wales v Ireland, Millennium Stadium Cardiff, Saturday 12th March 2011 at 17.00) but we also get to look forward to the Cheltenham Racing Festival (Prestbury Park Cheltenham, 15th to 18th March 2011).

And if that isn’t enough, the West Cork Rally is being held on the weekend of the 18th to 20th March based in CLonakilty West Cork. Fastnet Line expects to bring competitiors from Wales and farther afield in the UK to one of the best tarmac rallies in Ireland.

Now not everyone in Ireland is a racing fan but in our experience most people will know a little about a horse or a jockey or perhaps a local trainer and everyone will have heard of Cheltenham. It is the Olympics and World Cup final of National Hunt racing in one extraordinary festival of racing. If you have not experienced it, we can only say GO! The atmosphere is electric at this incredible sporting occasion and is certainly one of those events that you have to be there to experience.

The easiest way to get to these two great sporting events is with Fastnet Line saiing from Cork to Swansea overnight in comfort and style. We have got special offers for both great events and are running a special sailing on Friday 11th March from Cork to Swansea to bring rugby supporters to Wales for the big match with a return sailing late on Saturday night  to bring them back to Cork after the match. So whichever form of sport takes your fancy in March book now to get the best fares.

Dry Dock Schedule 2011

Friday, January 7th, 2011 by Paul

Happy New Year to all our customers.

Julia will be in dry dock in Swansea from next week. Her schedule will be as follows.

The last sailing before annual dry dock will be on Thursday 13th January from Cork to Swansea departing at 20.30 hrs. Julia will remain in Swansea while undergoing annual maintenance up to and including Wednesday 9th February. Her first sailing will be at 20.30 hrs. from Swansea to Cork on Wednesday 9th February 20111.

Bookings can be made on www.fastnetline.com up to three hours prior to departure.

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.

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.