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FASTNET LINE: In trouble

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Copy from Irish Examiners webpage. Sad news for ferry travel from Cork to Swansea.

"Interim examiner appointed to Cork-Swansea ferry operator

Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - 01:31 PM"

 

 

 

"The Cork to Swansea ferry is to discontinue service with immediate effect after an interim examiner was appointed to the Fastnet Line group of companies by the High Court today

 

Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton has been appointed interim examiner.

 

All passengers booked onto the ferry service will be contacted in the coming days and issued with refunds. "

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Fastnet Line ends trading

 

Just got a e mail saying that its the end of Fastnet line.

 

what a sad day and i feel for the Crew and staff off Fastnet line.

 

Note there is nothing on there website as of yet about it.

 

this is the email i got

 

 

The High Court has appointed an interim examiner to the Fastnet Line group of companies.

1 of 1

High Court appoints examiner to Cork-Swansea firm

The High Court has appointed an interim examiner to the Fastnet Line group of companies, which operates the Cork to Swansea ferry service.

The ferry service is to discontinue its full published service with immediate effect. A statement said all booked passengers would be contacted in the coming days, and full refunds would be issued.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly appointed Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton interim examiner at a sitting of the High Court. Mr McAteer will present a progress report to the court on November 15.

The Fastnet Line companies are owned by the West Cork Tourism Co-Operative Society Limited, which was formed in April 2009. More than 400 members have invested funds in the venture.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/1101/fastnet-business.html

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

A great shame to hear this news after the effort that has been put in by all those involved in resuming the Swansea/Cork route.

 

However, at a time where almost all of the established ferry operators are struggling, it is perhaps not a complete surprise. I hope that those directly affected by the closure are able to find new work soon.

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

I am hearing that they hope to run a Summer service from April 2012 till Oct but not got much hope on that one.

 

What will they do with the Ship in the Meantime?

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Guest senlac73

Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

A great shame. It was a nice ship, good service and a truly excellent crew. My commiserations to all involved.

 

I wholeheartedly endorse elCercado's comment. I had the pleasure of making a return trip on MS Julia in September 2011 and was impressed with all aspects of their operation. I would have to conclude however that the outward crossing on the Sunday evening was very lightly patronised.

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

Issued by Fastnet this morning:

FASTNET LINE apologises to its customers for any inconvenience that the short notice of the withdrawal of the service may cause.

 

The re-structured viable business plan that has been presented as part of the examinership process, forecasts that the service will re commence on Friday April 6th 2012 and sail until Saturday September 29th 2012.

 

It is envisaged under the new schedule, that the service with not operate during the months October to March inclusive in the future.

 

Over the past four months, the Board of Fastnet supported by an external management consultant have restructured the management team with the principle focus to improve and stabilise the financial status of the company.

 

Radical changes have been implemented including the ships flag been reduced from 1,504 passenger to 950 passengers which is in line with the capacities of the Julia as a night sailing Cruise Ferry. The service has been severely hampered by the continuing increase to world oil prices with fuel as a cost centre increasing by 27% from 2010 to 2011 and almost 50% from the original budget of 2009. A single voyage currently cost €18,560 in fuel costs alone.

 

The successful reinstatement of the Cruise Ferry service between Cork and Swansea was the key to the regeneration of the lost revenue into both economies whilst the service was not running. The Welsh Assembly reported that the Swansea area lost an estimated £25M per annum in Tourism related income and the Irish Government reported similar losses in the South West of the Ireland.

 

The Cruise Ferry services are also helping to address the reduction in Carbon emissions. In Wales alone, the reduction in Freight miles is in the region of 500,000 miles since the start of the service. To-date the service has carried over 150,000 customers, 75% of which originated from UK postal addresses which are of particular benefit to the Irish Tourism sector generating on average €350 per person (€40million approx) exclusive of fare and on-board spend.

 

Since the reintroduction of the service in March 2010, the operation company has purchased €7.5 million and £5.7 million of goods and services from Irish and UK suppliers. While original staffing levels were higher, the business currently employs 7 full time shore employees based in Cork and on average 53 full time contracted staff on board the Julia at any given time.

 

The Board’s of Fastnet line and the West Cork Tourism Co-Operative Society are committed to the long term future of the service which is a key generator of tourism and tourism related revenues for both the South West of Ireland and the Southern Welsh region of the UK. The service remains the only direct passenger and freight link between these specific regions.

 

The Board members lead by the West Cork Tourism Co-Operative Society Chairman Noel Murphy and Chairman elect of Fastnet Line John Williams would like to thank all car, foot and freight customers for their continuous support since the service was re-introduced and reinstate our commitment to welcoming you back on board from Easter 2012.

 

The board would also like to thank and acknowledge our many great partners in supply on both sides of the Irish Sea and look forward to working with them individually during the examinership process and beyond. Finally, we acknowledge and express our sincere thanks to the hard working and dedicated staff of Fastnet Line whom we commit to finding a viable solution for the continuous running of the service and their long term employment.

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

It seems that there is just not the market as this is not the first time the route has had problems. A real shame as a lot of effort and support to get it going again. Fin gers crossed for a solution.

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

And but a few days ago we was using Fastnet as a example for a new Poole-Cherbourg service... :-#

 

Again though, Julia 1982 Build... will be even less efficient then Barfleur...

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

I was out with the kids this morning for brunch down in Blackrock castle and I was surprised to see the Julia steaming in towards town .These are quick shots taken on a Nexus S (the second one is from inside the cafe). It's currently docked at North Custom House Quays.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/despod/6312970934/in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/despod/6312450831/sizes/l/in/photostream/

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

Just posted this in another (wrong) thread so sorry for duplication:-

 

Seems that the "name the ferry" campaign didn't work:-

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-16854680

 

Sad day for Swansea and Cork.

 

 

 

A sad day. Although it was probably inevitable in this climate good on them for giving it a go.

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

Is the Julia's sister not over near Helsinki. Thought I saw her on marine traffic the other day. Nice looking vessels.

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

Is the Julia's sister not over near Helsinki. Thought I saw her on marine traffic the other day. Nice looking vessels.

 

yes, the Nordlandia, which is being replaced this year though with the Moby Freedom

 

Defintely a nice pair of ships

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

Great shame, especially for something which appeared to have such a large amount of local support. I always got the sense that this was far greater in Ireland than Wales though. Was this the case, was it the wrong ship or just the wrong time ?

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

Great shame, especially for something which appeared to have such a large amount of local support. I always got the sense that this was far greater in Ireland than Wales though. Was this the case, was it the wrong ship or just the wrong time ?

 

Company management made some very bad decisions also.

 

There is a rumor that the route may not be dead yet - another operator (existing, but not on the Irish Sea) is in talks with the Port of Cork, and about to go to the Department of Transport for a licence.

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

Company management made some very bad decisions also.

 

There is a rumor that the route may not be dead yet - another operator (existing, but not on the Irish Sea) is in talks with the Port of Cork, and about to go to the Department of Transport for a licence.

 

LDA? DFDS? Or maybe BF with Barfleur?

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

LDA? DFDS? Or maybe BF with Barfleur?

 

Not impossible but hardly the best scenario to use a double deck ship between single deck ports. Of course, space wise she might be the right sort of size for the market despite offering less facilities than Julia. Previous link with BF and Swansea - Cork Ferries but no doubt the market then is very different from now.

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

Not impossible but hardly the best scenario to use a double deck ship between single deck ports. Of course, space wise she might be the right sort of size for the market despite offering less facilities than Julia. Previous link with BF and Swansea - Cork Ferries but no doubt the market then is very different from now.

 

If BF are concerned to strengthen their position in Cork, especially with this LD service to Gijon starting at the end of the year apparently, keeping the Cork-Swansea connection going would be a good way of going about it. And I agree BARFLEUR might be a good ship for the route, cheaper to operate quite possibly and with a greater emphasis on freight. She must have an internal ramp since she has in the past performed a weekend rotation, Poole-Santander (and invariably arrived back full up, I believe) and I'm sure Santander doesn't have a doubledeck linkspan. Additionally, as has been reported elsewhere on this website, it seems DFDS/LD approached BF with a view to chartering BARFLEUR for Dover-Calais and were told she wasn't available. So we shall have to see.

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Re: Fastnet Line in trouble

 

Why would Barfleur be suitable for Swansea - Cork?

 

Sorry, just a wee question going through my mind that the answer alludes me.

 

It's like turning up to Portsmouth to see the Barfleur doing the 20.15 to St Malo not Bretagne; would you be happy? Not enough cabins for everyone on board (only 250-ish berths at maximum occupancy) but then it depends on how many people are travelling and if it were busy it's more likely that Fastnet Line would be still operating. And arriving in St Malo to have to wait whilst the bottom deck is unloaded before you could drive off, but then again I guess that is the same as the dreaded Deck 5 on Bretagne. That would be my last ever St Malo crossing.

 

If the aim is to mainly be a freight service and attract freight traffic it would need to do a full rotation every day.

 

I'd be devasted to turn up at St Malo for the 10.30 sailing and see Barfleur on the berth. Absolutely nothing to do and no where to go, I imagine the boredom on a 10-hour day crossing from Cork would be palpable. I travelled on the inaccurately named Superferry once and was utterly bored although it did have slightly more to do and places to go than Barfleur.

 

Just a personal opinion... completely the wrong ship for the route. The best suited ship would have been Duc de Normandie IMHO with at least a choice of lounges, bars, restaurants, cinema and a reclining lounge with a view.

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