'Enormously positive' news for ferry services between Pembrokeshire and Ireland

There are four return ferry crossings a day between Pembrokeshire and southern Ireland. <i>(Image: Irish Ferries/Stena Line)</i>
There are four return ferry crossings a day between Pembrokeshire and southern Ireland. (Image: Irish Ferries/Stena Line)

FERRY services between Pembrokeshire and Ireland look set to be sailing into calmer waters this summer.

Irish Ferries has announced that the the cruise ferry, Isle of Innisfree, will replace the P&O freight ferry, Norbay, on the Pembroke to Rosslare route.

And Stena Line has announced changes to its management team which will see its craft  on the Southern Corridor managed separately to other services on the Irish Sea.

The company says that this move will "drive growth in the region".

The recent developments have been hailed as ‘enormously positive’ by politicians in both Pembrokeshire and southern Ireland.

The recent announcement from Irish Ferries ends months of uncertainty over the future of the route.

The company's confirmation of the reintroduction of a full passenger service between Pembroke and Rosslare could take place as early as June 2024.

Western Telegraph: The Isle of Innisfree could be back on the Pembroke-Rosslare route as early as next month.
Western Telegraph: The Isle of Innisfree could be back on the Pembroke-Rosslare route as early as next month.

The Isle of Innisfree could be back on the Pembroke-Rosslare route as early as next month. (Image: Irish Ferries)

Pembrokeshire County Councillor Marc Tierney and the Irish Labour Party candidate for Rosslare Municipal District, Damien Corish, have hailed the recent developments on the southern Irish Sea corridor as 'enormously positive'.

"Brexit challenges"

In supporting links between the two countries, Cllr Marc Tierney said: "Brexit has and continues to present significant challenges to the viability of services between Wales and Ireland, which is why I have sought reassurances from the Welsh Government about their support for our ports and in the maintenance of these vital trade links.

Western Telegraph: The Stena Nordica sails on the Fishguard-Rosslare route, replacing the Stena Europe.
Western Telegraph: The Stena Nordica sails on the Fishguard-Rosslare route, replacing the Stena Europe.

The Stena Nordica sails on the Fishguard-Rosslare route, replacing the Stena Europe. (Image: Stena Line)

"The decision to restore full passenger services between Pembroke and Rosslare with the transfer of the Isle of Innisfree from the Dover-Calais route is enormously positive, adding much needed capacity over the busy summer months."

Services prioritised

Damien Corish, who lives close to Rosslare Europort, said that Stena had effectively reversed their consolidation of the management of the Irish Sea routes under a single management team and that the new Ireland South division should prioritise services between Rosslare and Fishguard.

There will now be separate Trade Directors for Irish Sea North and Irish Sea South, as from June 1 2024.

Mr Corish added that whilst he is supportive of improved links between Rosslare and France, he underlined the importance of links with the UK.

"We must never forget that Fishguard and Pembroke Dock have four sailings each day from Rosslare and these routes still carry many holidaymakers, day trippers, as well as freight vehicles. Great Britain remains an enormous market for Irish goods.

"We also have strong growing cultural ties between Wexford and West Wales.

"The recent development of a walking path, the Pilgrim's Way, linking Ferns to St Davids is tangible proof of that link."