New Ireland to France ferry to set sail with spa and pet-friendly cabins

Latest ferry arrives into Rosslare Europort “just in time for the peak summer holiday period”

Ferry companies are continuing their comeback at Irish ports this year as growing numbers of punters (and their pets) set sail from Cork, Dublin and Rosslare.

Stena Vision is the latest addition to the fleets, a 1,300-passenger ship that arrived into Rosslare Europort this week.

The New Ireland to France ferry has 42 pet-friendly cabins

After a major refit at a shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, the ship comes with a spa and 485 passenger cabins – “more than any other ferry currently sailing from Ireland”, the company says.

And 42 of those cabins are pet-friendly, meaning families’ furry friends can join the holiday too.

Increasing numbers of passengers have been bringing pets onboard, say ferry companies. Last year, for example, 75,000 pets sailed with their owners on Brittany Ferries’ routes (up almost 114pc on the previous year), while Stena says its pet-friendly cabins are now 60pc booked out for the summer period.

meanwhile, Stena Vision’s Pure Nordic Spa “boasts soothing saunas and Jacuzzis, as well as offering a variety of beauty treatments including manicures, pedicures, facials, massages and body scrubs”, Stena says.

Orla Noonan, its Irish Sea travel commercial manager, added: “With our Stena Superfast ships on the Belfast-Cairnryan route also offering a Pure Nordic Spa experience, we have been working with experts to continue to create a truly relaxing, Nordic zen experience for our customers.”

One of Stena’s pet-friendly cabins

Entry to the adults-only facility is pre-bookable at €15 for two hours, with treatments costing extra. It includes a “spacious changing area” and locker facilities, towels, robes and slippers.

Stena Vision will begin sailing to Cherbourg from June 30, operating alongside the Stena Horizon – together, they will offer 12 sailings a week.

Lead-in fares for car and driver in July and August start from €239, one-way.

The refitted ship’s arrival at Rosslare Europort follows Irish Ferries’ Oscar Wildewhich has a higher passenger capacity but fewer cabins – 2,080 and 134 respectively.

Serving the Rosslare to Pembroke route, Irish Ferries describes that ship as “the largest and fastest cruise ferry on the Irish Sea”.

Irish Ferries’ Oscar Wilde is welcome to Rosslare

Elsewhere, Brittany Ferries says it has seen an increase of 171pc in passengers on its Ireland to France routes compared to 2019 – partly due to new services connecting Rosslare with Le Havre and Cherbourg.

It has also upgraded its direct sailing from Ireland to Spain to the cruise-ferry Salamanca (with 22 pet-friendly cabins).

Roscoff to Cork is up 3pc in last year and 36pc in 2019, Brittany says.

“Overall we are encouraged by our passenger performance this year, particularly in Ireland,” Christophe Mathieu, its CEO, said.

“While we are not quite where we want to be in all markets, careful management of our business means we are still in a healthy position and Ireland has increased in strategic significance for our business.”

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