Ferry operator Stena Line will add an additional ship between Ireland and France next year to improve its level of service after Brexit.
The new freight-only vessel will operate between Rosslare and Cherbourg from January 4, doubling the number of weekly crossings on this route from three to six as well as the freight capacity.
The development means that next year there will be up to 15 direct connections each way between Rosslare and mainland Europe every week.
Two weeks ago, the operator DFDS announced a new direct round trip service six times a week between Rosslare and Dunkirk.
Brittany Ferries will also operate twice weekly round trip services between Rosslare and Bilbao in northern Spain, while Brittany Ferries operate one ferry each way per week from March between Rosslare and Cherbourg.
Ferry providers have been looking for ways to create additional capacity on routes between Ireland and the mainland to allow freight companies to bypass the UK land bridge, in case there is heavy congestion in the UK ports after January 1.
It is expected that the requirement for truck drivers and freight carriers to file customs and other additional formalities could result in significant rumbles at UK sea entry and exit points.
The new vessel, the Stena Foreteller, will offer an additional cargo capacity of 3,000 meters of track per trip and will be able to accommodate both accompanied and unaccompanied traffic.
It will also have on board facilities for up to 12 drivers.
“We warmly welcome Stena Line’s decision to double its Rosslare-Cherbourg services from the start of 2021”, said Glenn Carr, Managing Director of Rosslare Europort.
“This reflects the strength of the partnership between Rosslare Europort and Stena Line in providing shipping solutions to Irish industry.
“We have listened carefully to the comments of our customers and it has become clear that there is a demand for an increase in frequency on the Rosslare-Cherbourg service, the shortest direct passage between Ireland and France,” said said Niclas Mårtensson, CEO of Stena Line.