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Fastnet Line Successfully Purchase MV Julia
(Press release from West Cork Tourism / DMPR - 00 353 87 9641729)

West Cork Tourism Co-Operative Society Limited, is pleased to announce the purchase of cruiseferry, the Julia, for a consideration of €7.8 million. The Julia, which will operate under the Fastnet Line brand will arrive in Cork in the coming weeks to proclaim the dawn of a new era for the South West region.  

West Cork Tourism began their campaign at the beginning of the year to raise €2.6m to get the Swansea Cork route back up and running. Finnish bank, Aktia Bank and its finance company, Atkia Yritysrahoitus Oy, has supported the acquisition through the provision of a mortgage of €6.3 million.

The Julia, built in 1982, has sailed several routes in the Scandinavian Peninsula.  The vessel has 10 decks with maximum capacity for approximately 440 cars and 30 freight vehicles and the total passenger capacity of the vessel is 1,860.  The Julia has a fine array of restaurants and bars, a children’s play area, and a cinema as well as over 300 passenger cabins, rendering her particularly suited to the night crossing between Swansea and Cork.

The Julia will commence service on the Cork-Swansea route in March 2010 and expects to enjoy strong demand from both tourist and freight customers. Fastnet Line believes that it will contribute greatly to the development and promotion of tourism in Cork, Kerry and surrounding areas, creating more than 500 jobs and bringing thousands of tourists directly to the region annually. It will  also contribute to the development of Irish tourism into Wales. In addition, Fastnet Line will provide hauliers operating in Ireland and the UK with a viable sea crossing alternative for freight activity between the regions, potentially reducing round trip road journeys by over 600km. 

Additional funding of €2.5 million is now required to fund the working capital requirements of the business and to facilitate the development of the infrastructure of the organisation in the period prior to and after launch in March 2010. In that regard, there are now opportunities to invest both in the Co-Op and in Fastnet Line.  The Co-Op will be arranging a series of roadshows in the region to brief members and prospective new members on its plans in the coming weeks.

Commenting on the acquisition, Conor Buckley, Chairman of the Co-Op, said “We are delighted to be in the position to officially announce the purchase of The Julia and the commencement of the Cork to Swansea route in Spring of next year. The coming weeks and months will continue to be crucial to us to gain the working capital to aid the development of the organisation so we are looking forward to meeting with potential investors from all over the South West Region and beyond.”

Investors are being offered the opportunity to participate in what the Co-Op believes will be a key business in the Cork and Swansea regions for the long term. A business which will bring rewards to its stakeholders not only in financial terms, but also in terms of bringing business to the regions it serves.

Welcoming the news, Ieuan Wyn Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, of the Welsh Assembly Government said, "The resumption of the ferry service will reinstate an important link between Wales and Ireland which has the potential to bring economic benefits to both countries. Its value to Swansea, in particular and to Wales in general, is recognised from a trade and tourism perspective and will also enhance our international links with Ireland.

Also welcoming the news, Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, the organisation responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas, said: “As an island, direct, convenient and competitive access services are critical to achieving tourism growth.  We look forward to working with the West Cork Tourism Co-Operative and Fastnet Line through our marketing campaigns, to help stimulate demand for the service in the all-important GB market and grow tourism business to the south west.”

Mikko Piirtola of Aktia Yritysrahoitus Oy said, “We are very pleased to begin this new partnership with West Cork Tourism Co-Op and very much appreciate the Co-Op ethos as we ourselves started as a community savings bank 175 years ago. We believe that the intention to create economic benefits both in Ireland and Wales through increased trade and tourism will ultimately mean a successful ferry business in the long term.”

Captain Michael McCarthy, Port of Cork Commercial Manager said; ‘The Port of Cork welcomes the news of the purchase of, MV Julia. West Cork Tourism Co-Operative have put continued effort into re-establishing the Cork to Swansea route, and I am delighted that it is now paying off. Today is a proud day for Cork and the entire South West region.”

Fiona Buckley, speaking on behalf of Failte Ireland said “We are delighted at the reinstatement of this very important service for the South West region and applaud the initiative of West Cork Tourism, local traders and all those involved in making this a reality. We look forward to working closely with all involved to maximise the exposure of the service.”

MV Julia General Characteristics

Year of Build:  


Gross Tonnage: 


IMO Number:  



153.4 metres

Extreme Breath:   

24.24 metres


5.82 metres

Lane Metres:     

710 metres

Main Engines:  

4 x Pielstick 8 PC2-5L

Diesel Generators:   

2 x MAK 8m 332AK(1200kw) , 2x MAK 6M 332AK (900kw), 1 x Caterpillar V8

Service Speed:  

20.0 kts

Wave Height Restriction: 

4.0 metres (as built).