Today saw the maiden voyage of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry leave Greenore just after 1pm with it's arrival in Greencastle just over 15 minutes later. It's the first time cars have been able to cross Carlingford Lough. Earlier unseasonal high winds had threatened to blow away the possibility of the trip taking place and the original plan to leave Greencastle fully laden at 12pm had to be amended with Greenore travellers taking the first historical trip.

It marks a significant milestone in the development of a project that has been an aspiration for almost 50 years. The new ferry service which is set to provide a boost to tourism in the scenic and historic North East region will create 18 new full time jobs in the local areas serviced by the Ferry.

The first passengers to alight on the maiden voyage of Scenic Carlingford Ferry from Greenore to Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
The first passengers to alight on the maiden voyage of Scenic Carlingford Ferry from Greenore to Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Commenting on the maiden voyage Paul O’Sullivan, Founder and Managing Director of Scenic Carlingford Ferry said, “We are delighted to announce the Ferry’s first passenger sailing today and look forward to welcoming visitors on board to experience everything that this service has to offer.

He added, “Carlingford Lough is located midway between the two major population centres of Dublin and Belfast. This corridor encompasses a resident population of almost 2.2 million people. Scenic Carlingford Ferry will act as a catalyst for economic development in the South Down/North Louth region, and will become an essential infrastructural link which will stimulate economic growth in a range of sectors, including the tourism industry”.

The launch of the transformational service is the result of a €10 million/£8.8 million investment by Frazer Ferries Group, Limerick which included the construction of bespoke terminals at Greencastle and Greenore as well as investment in expert navigation equipment and a state-of the-art vessel with a capacity of 44 cars.

Leader of the pack! - Cllr Brian Quinn, Newry, Mourne and Down Council gets ready to board the first Scenic Carlingford Ferry from Greencastle to Greenore. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Leader of the pack! - Cllr Brian Quinn, Newry, Mourne and Down Council gets ready to board the first Scenic Carlingford Ferry from Greencastle to Greenore. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

The crossing takes 15 to 20 minutes and will traverse one of the most scenic stretches of water on the island of Ireland,connecting stunningly beautiful and historic areas; from the Mourne Coastal Route in the Ancient Kingdom of Mourne to the Carlingford & Cooley Peninsula through the gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East. Taking the 1 mile journey by Ferry will save passengers almost 35 miles and up to 90 minutes by road.

 

Chief Executive of Scenic Carlingford Ferry, Pamela Houston spoke of the unique visitor experience “Thanks to the experience of our Crew, engineering teams and our marine contractors, L&M Keating Limited along with the amazing support from regulatory bodies, Greenore Port, Warrenpoint Harbour Authority and Carlingford Lough Pilots, today we are delighted to have a beautiful new travelling experience open for business. This unique visitor experience will take your breath away with its stunning beauty, of mountains, castles and wildlife including seals, dolphins and birdlife. A must do summer experience. We look forward to welcoming you onboard.”

Paul O'Sullivan, Founder and MD of Scenic Carlingford Ferry and Pamela Houston, Chief Executive with family and friends at the ferry's maiden voyage. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Paul O'Sullivan, Founder and MD of Scenic Carlingford Ferry and Pamela Houston, Chief Executive with family and friends at the ferry's maiden voyage. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Frazer Ferries has vast experience of the ferry industry, comprising two of the founding families of Shannon Ferries, founded in 1969, linking counties Clare and Kerry. Frazer Ferries acquired the successful Scenic Passage East Ferry last year which operates between Counties Waterford and Wexford since 1982 and also are operators of the Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry linking the Inishowen Peninsula in Co. Donegal on the Wild Atlantic Way with the Causeway Coastal Route.

For further information on sailing times and ticket prices visit www.carlingfordferry.com

Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Paul O'Sullivan, Founder and MD of Scenic Carlingford Ferry and Pamela Houston, Chief Executive with family and friends at the ferry's maiden voyage. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Paul O'Sullivan, Founder and MD of Scenic Carlingford Ferry and Pamela Houston, Chief Executive leave the ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Leader of the pack! - Cllr Brian Quinn, Newry, Mourne and Down Council gets ready to board the first Scenic Carlingford Ferry from Greencastle to Greenore. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greecastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pictured at the launch day of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry at Greencastle. Photograph: Columba O'Hare