A one mile ferry journey across Carlingford Lough is being heralded as a major tourism boost for the north-east region of Ireland.
The 20-minute transit, saving passengers almost 35 miles and up to 90 minutes by road, connects the Mourne Coastal Route in the Ancient Kingdom of Mourne to the Carlingrford & Cooley Peninsula through a gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East.
The service is the result of a €10m /£8.8m investment by Frazer Ferries Group, Limerick, and included the construction of bespoke terminals at Greencastle and Greenore, as well as investment in expert navigation equipment and a high spec, 44-car vessel.
Paul O’Sullivan, Founder and Managing Director of Scenic Carlingford Ferry, remarked the ferry service would act as a catalyst for economic development in the south Down/north Lough region.
“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.” It will also become “an essential infrastructural link which will stimulate economic growth in a range of sectors, including tourism industry.”
Chief executive Pamela Houston described the service as a “unique visitor experience” that offered “stunning beauty of mountains, castles and wildlife, including seals, dolphins and birdlife.”
The service is set to create 18 fulltime jobs in the local catchment.