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Irish Ferries
 
Irish Continental Line - Irish Ferries - Belfast Car Ferries
 
 
This page is devoted to postcards of Irish Ferries, predecessors Irish Continental Line and associated company Belfast Car Ferries. An alphabetical list of ships shown on this page is shown below. The Table beneath gives links to complete postcard history pages on selected individual ships. Below the table are official postcards of the fleet in chronological order.
 
Irish Continental Line was formed in 1973, jointly owned by Lion Ferry AB of Sweden and Irish state-owned company Irish Shipping. Lion Ferry participation ceased in 1977. The company was sold into the private sector in 1987. State-owned B+I Lines was acquired in 1991, and from 1995 both operations were marketed as Irish Ferries.
 
 
Ships on This Page:-
Dublin Swift - 1999-
Isle of Innisfree (1) (1992-1995, Chartered)
Isle of Innisfree (2) - 1995-2002
Isle of Inishmore - 1997-
Normandy - 1998-
St Killian - 1978-81
St Killian II - 1981-98
St Patrick II - 1982-98
Ulysses - 2001-
 
Associated Pages:-
B+I Lines - Irish Sea Predecessors
Coast Lines - Irish Sea Predecessors
Hellenic Mediterranean Lines
Stena Line
Ferry Postcards
Simplon Postcards Home Page
 
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Table of Ship Histories
Name
Other names
 Built
 Isle of Innisfree (2)  Pride of Cherbourg
 1995
 Normandy  Prinsessan Birgitta (2), St Nicholas, Stena Normandy
 1981
 Pride of Bilbao  Olympia, Bilbao (Irish Ferries owned - chartered to P&O)
 1983
 St Killian  Stena Scandinavica, St Killian II, Egnatia II
 1973
 St Killian II  Stena Scandinavica, St Killian, Egnatia II
 1973
 St Patrick II  Aurella, Egnatia II, Ville de Sete, City of Cork
 1973







Irish Ferries Fleet List
 
 
 
St Killian (1978-81)
St Killian II (1981-98)
 
St Killian was built as Stena Scandinavica by Titovo Brodogradiliste, Kraljevica, Yugoslavia, one of four similar ships delivered to Stena Line between 1972-74. Stena Olympica and Stena Scandinavica carried 1500 passengers with 870 berths on the longer Göteborg-Kiel route, whilst Stena Jutlandica and Stena Danica carried 1800 passengers with 105 berths on the shorter Göteborg-Frederikshavn route. The former pair were later stretched with new centre sections by subsequent owners, whereas the the latter pair received a second full-height trailer deck with Stena Line.
 
Stena Scandinavica entered service with Stena Line in 1973 between Göteborg-Kiel, Korsör-Kiel and Göteborg-Frederikshavn. In January 1978, Stena Scandinavica was sold to Irish Continental Line (later Irish Ferries), and renamed St Killian. She remained on charter to Stena Line until May, when she took up her intended Rosslare (and Cork) to Le Havre and Cherbourg routes. In 1981 St Killian was stretched in Amsterdam, increasing length from 124.75m to 156.85m. Passenger capacity increased from 1500 to 2000 (although later reclassified as 1550), and car capacity from 250 to 418. St Killian returned to service in March 1982 as the St Killian II.
 
St Killian II was laid up during the winter of 1996/97, and again in September 1997. She remained in Le Havre until October 1998, when she was purchased by Greek owners, transferring to Piraeus for a further period of lay up. She was chartered out as Egnatia III with Hellenic Mediterranean Lines during the summer of 2003, looking extremely smart on a service Patras-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Brindisi. Egnatia III was laid up again in Keratsini from September 2003. Broken up at Alang, India in 2007.
 
 
John Hinde postcard (2/166) of St Killian II at Rosslare.
Innisfallen (5) (ex-Leinster) is on the left.
Photo: P.O'Toole






St Patrick II (1982-98)
 
St Patrick II was built by J.J. Sietas KG Schiffswerft GmbH & Co, Germany, in 1973 as the Aurella for Viking Line consortium member SF Line. Aurella was used on the Kapellskär-Mariehamn-Naantali route. In 1982, Aurella was sold to Irish Continental Line (later shortened to Irish Ferries). She served with them as St Patrick II on their services between Ireland and France until 1998, although in later years she was often chartered out or laid up at Le Havre as spare. In Irish Ferries days tonnage was measured at 11481grt, and she carried 1500 passengers and 300 cars. In 1998 she was purchased by Hellenic Mediterranean Lines and was renamed Egnatia II. She was also chartered out to BalearExpress as Ville de Sete, and Swansea Cork Ferries as the City of Cork.
 
A more complete history of this ship, with additional Irish Ferries cards, is available on this link.
 
 
Official Irish Continental Line postcard of St Patrick II.
Printed by J.Arthur Dixon - serial number L6/SP.7131



Official Irish Ferries postcard of St Patrick II.
Printed by J.Arthur Dixon - serial number L6/SP.11077






Pride of Bilbao (1994-2010)
Bilbao (2010- )
 
Pride of Bilbao was built in 1986 for Rederi AB Slite as the Olympia. In 1993 she was chartered to P&O for use between Portsmouth and Bilbao as the Pride of Bilbao. In 1994 she was purchased by the Irish Continental Group. In 2002, P&O extended their charter for a further 5 years. The charter was terminated in 2010 when P&O closed the route. Pride of Bilbao was renamed Bilbao.
 
A complete history of this ship is available on this link.
 
 
Official P&O postcards of Pride of Bilbao.
Published by J.Arthur Dixon, serial number L7/SP11244.



Pride of Bilbao is seen arriving Portsmouth 04/04/2003 from Bilbao, in the new P&O livery applied during her 2003 refit.
Photograph by Ian Boyle. Additional photos in this series are available on this link.






Isle Of Innisfree (1)
(B&I: 1992, 1993-95, Chartered)
 
Isle of Innisfree was built in 1986 by Nakskov Skipsværft A/S as the Niels Klim of Danske Statsbaner (DSB). Her sistership was Peder Paars. They operated on the Århus-Kalundborg route of DSB, but were not a success, and were sold to Stena Line in 1990, for delivery in 1991. Niels Klim was renamed Stena Nautica, and laid up in Svendborg. In 1992 she was briefly chartered to B&I Line (by this date owned by Irish Ferries), followed by a return to DSB on old route Århus-Kalundborg. In March 1993 she returned to B&I on longer term charter, and was renamed Isle of Innisfree for their services Rosslare-Pembroke Dock and Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead. In 1995 she was chartered to Stena subsidiary Lion Ferry as Lion King between Halmstad-Grenå. In 1996 she was renamed Lion King II, reverting to Stena Nautica when the charter ended. During summer 1997 Stena Nautica ran for Trasmediteranea between Algeciras-Tangier, before returning to Stena Line services Karlskrona-Gdynia, Halmstad-Grenå then Varberg-Grenå. In 2001 Stena Nautica was rebuilt with extra vehicle decks, passenger capacity reducing from 2000 to 833.
 
Official B&I postcard of Isle of Innisfree.



Simplon Postcards sp1154, issued October 1993, of Isle of Innisfree.
Photo: © Philippe Holthof.



Ferry Publications 413 postcard of Isle of Innisfree.



Ferrycards postcard No.17 of Isle of Innisfree.
Photo: © Gordon Hislip.






Isle of Innisfree (1995-2002)
 
Isle of Innisfree was built for Irish Ferries in 1995 to operate on the Holyhead-Dublin route. She was replaced by the larger Isle of Inishmore in 1997, and then moved to the Rosslare-Pembroke Dock service. Following the arrival of the Ulysses in 2001, either Isle of Innisfree was laid up and made available for sale or charter. She was chartered to P&O as Pride of Cherbourg (3) from October 2002. On 28th September 2004, it was announced that Pride of Cherbourg was to be laid up or chartered out until mid-2007 when its charter expires. Pride of Cherbourg took a short charter with Stena Line between February and June 2005 as Stena Challenger, for service between Karlskrona and Gdynia. She was then chartered to Interislander for Cook Straits services in New Zealand as Kaitaki, after travelling down temporarily renamed Challenger.
 
A complete history of this ship is available on this link.
 
 
Irish Ferries official postcard of Isle of Innisfree.



Gordon Hislip Ferrycards (Serial: 21) of Isle of Innisfree, used initially on the Holyhead-Dublin route.



A Ferry Publications postcard (no serial number), of Isle of Innisfree.
The photograph is by FotoFlite.



Pembrokeshire Eye postcard (serial E226), of Isle of Innisfree.
The the same photograph as the card above, by FotoFlite, is used.



Isle of Innisfree  leaving Portsmouth on 02/06/2006 after berthing trials
She was chartered to P&O and renamed
Pride of Cherbourg
Photo: 2002 Ian Boyle - Image links to larger copy
ISLE OF INNISFREE - Irish Ferries - Photo: 2002 Ian Boyle - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Pride of Cherbourg is seen leaving Portsmouth on 04/04/2003. Photo: 2003 Ian Boyle
A complete postcard & photograph history of this ship is available on this link.






Isle of Inishmore (1997- )
 
Isle of Inishmore was built for Irish Ferries in 1997 to operate on the Holyhead-Dublin route. She was replaced by the larger Ulysses in 2001, and then moved to the Rosslare-Pembroke Dock service. Either Isle of Innisfree or Isle of Inishmore were then made available for sale or charter.
 
 
Irish Ferries official postcard of Isle of Inishmore.



Gordon Hislip Ferrycards (Serial: GVH04) of Isle of Inishmore, used on the Holyhead-Dublin route.



Simplon Postcards serial sp1243, issued January 1998, of Isle of Inishmore.
Photographed by Martin Minnebo whilst leaving the builders, Van der Giessen de Noord, in 1997.






Normandy (1998- )
 
Normandy was originally ordered by Sessan Line for their Gothenburg-Frederikshavn service. Sessan Line was taken over by Stena Line, and the ship was chartered to Sealink for use on Harwich-Hook of Holland service as the St Nicholas. In 1989 she was sold to Rederi AB Gotland, but remained in Sealink service. In 1990, Sealink was taken over by Stena Line AB. St Nicholas was transferred to a new Southampton-Cherbourg service as the Stena Normandy in 1991. This route closed in 1996, and Tallink took her on charter in 1997 as the Normandy. Irish Ferries took Normandy on charter for their Ireland-France services in 1998, retaining the (appropriate) name. Normandy was purchased by Irish Ferries in 1999, and continues to operate on this service.
 
Complete history of Normandy
 
 
Irish Ferries official postcard of Normandy.



Normandy leaving Cherbourg, 5th April 2003
Photo: 2003 Ian Boyle - Image links to larger copy
NORMANY - Irish Ferries - www.simplonpc - Photo: 2003 Ian BoyleNORMANY - Irish Ferries - www.simplonpc - Photo: 2003 Ian BoyleNORMANY - Irish Ferries - www.simplonpc - Photo: 2003 Ian BoyleNORMANY - Irish Ferries - www.simplonpc - Photo: 2003 Ian BoyleNORMANY - Irish Ferries - www.simplonpc - Photo: 2003 Ian BoyleNORMANY - Irish Ferries - www.simplonpc - Photo: 2003 Ian Boyle






Dublin Swift (1999- )
 
Jonathon Swift was built in 1999 to operate on the Holyhead-Dublin service.
 
 
Irish Ferries official postcard of Jonathon Swift.



Gordon Hislip Ferrycards (Serial: GVH99/04) of Jonathon Swift, used on the Holyhead-Dublin route.



Gordon Hislip Ferrycards (Serial: GVH01/04) of Jonathon Swift, used on the Holyhead-Dublin route.






Ulysses (2001- )
 
Ulysses was built in 2001 to operate on the Holyhead-Dublin service, replacing Isle of Inishmore.
 
 
Aker Finnyards official builders' postcard of Ulysses.



Irish Ferries official postcard of Ulysses.






Fleet Postcards
 
A fleet postcard from 2001, showing Ulysses, Jonathon Swift, Isle of Inishmore and Normandy. Isle of Innisfree was for sale at this time.






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