Ferry close!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

THE first sailing of the new Carlingford Ferry will cruise across the choppy waters of the lough next week.

The ferry will set sail from Greencastle near Cranfield for the first time next Thursday (1 June).

Final preparations are under way at the site to ensure that Greencastle is ready to host the first passenger ferry in its history.

The terminals are nearing completion at both Greencastle and Greenore ahead of the ferry's maiden voyage, which will carry up to 44 cars on each crossing. The private company behind the ferry said late last week that the ferry would be "on the lough in the next few days".

Road widening works on the Greencastle Pier Road have also been completed.

This will be the first vehicle ferry across Carlingford Lough as the previous two ferries carried just passengers. The first ferry was recorded over 800 years ago, sailing between the medieval castles at Carlingford and Greencastle, and in the 19th century the Greenore-Greencastle ferry carried the first "tourists".

Those behind the much-talked-about ferry are hoping that people from all walks of life will come and enjoy this new venture .

"Adventure seekers, nature and heritage enthusiasts, golfers and motorcyclists, day-trippers, party-trippers, commuters and tourists will soon be able to enjoy two of the most stunningly beautiful and historic areas of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The ferry connects the Carlingford and Cooley Peninsula, a gateway to Ireland's ancient east and the Mourne Coastal Trail in the ancient Kingdom of Mourne." The new passage of discovery will run every hour, every day of the week from 7am to 9.30pm from Greencastle on the hour and from Greenore on the half hour.

The Scenic Carlingford Ferry takes approximately 15 minutes to cross, and the one mile across water, saves over 30 miles and more than an hour on the road.

This project, which has taken almost 10 years to bring to fruition, has been privately financed at 8.5 million and is being developed by Frazer Ferries Group.

Paul O'Sullivan, managing director of Frazer Ferries, is delighted to see the project nearing completion.

"We are very pleased to have arrived at this stage after a long and exhaustive permitting process in two jurisdictions. The outstandingly beautiful South Down and coastal regions of the Mournes and the Cooley peninsula have intrinsic natural attractions but restricted access to the areas is a significant problem.

"We are very confident that the new ferry service across the mouth of Carlingford Lough will be a major attraction and will allow both regions to be marketed holistically as a single destination." Mr O'Sullivan continued: "Tourism Northern Ireland has adopted the Mournes as a signature project for its potential as a world class destination.

"On the southern shore, Carlingford and the Cooley peninsula is designated a European Destination of Excellence. The ferry will link both regions and create a new destination for Irish and overseas visitors and be a new stimulant for economic growth."


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