By Dan Walsh
The first two of three ferries to be deployed on DFDS’s new Brexit Buster Rosslare to Dunkerque route have been named KERRY which was previously used on Brittany Ferries Rosslare to Bilbao route and will be joined by Rederi AB Gotland’s VISBY. The identity of the third vessel is expected to be confirmed next week.
While KERRY is well known in Irish shipping and haulage circles, VISBY is a new vessel to both the English Channel and Irish Sea. Completed by Guangzhou Shipyard in 2003, the ship was originally designed for the Visby – Nynashamn/Oskarshamn service in Sweden. Although configured as a day ferry, VISBY also has 119 passenger cabins onboard. By contrast, KERRY has 79.
VISBY was designed to sail at up to 28 knots, though it seems unlikely DFDS will utilise this speed given the high fuel consumption required to achieve it. VISBY has been chartered until May with the option of an extension.
KERRY will become the fourth Visentini series Ro-Pax in service between Ireland and Continental Europe when she joins the route. The others are Irish Ferries EPSILON, Stena Line’s STENA HORIZON, and Brittany Ferries CONNEMARA. The Dunkerque – Rosslare service is expected to start next month once the UK leaves the current EU transition arrangements.