Established in 1972 and operated first between Rosslare and Le Havre, the Irish Continental Group, commonly known as Irish Ferries, is one of the leading companies of the kind, operating on the Dublin Port - Holyhead route. It also runs ferries from Rosslare Europort to Cherbourg, Pembroke and Roscoff. In 1992 Irish Ferries took over the nationalized company British and Irish Steampacket Company Limited, specializing in ferry services between Holyhead and Dublin. The flagship of the company is the Ulysses, regarded as the largest car ferry in the world, with other ships in the fleet including the Normandy, the Isle of Inishmore, and Jonathan Swift.
Irish Ferries is a transport and leisure company, engaged in the transportation of cars and passengers on routes between the United Kingdom, Ireland and Continental Europe. Also available are holiday and travel packages in Britain, Ireland and France. The company is comprised of two main divisions, including Container & Terminal and Ferries, within which exist many subsidiary companies.
Following the development of the Ireland tourism industry in the mid-1970s, Irish Ferries expanded and prospered substantially, increasing the scale of its operations. In 1988 it was floated on the Irish Stock Exchange, followed by the listing n the London Stock Exchange in 1993. Beginning with 1992 the company further increased its operation scale through the acquisition of B&I Line, owned by the Irish Government. This purchase helped the company broaden its activities, including creating sea links with Ireland's largest trade partner - the United Kingdom. Since 1993 more than $ 540 million has been invested in port infrastructure, new vessels and acquisitions.
Currently, Irish Ferries is considered to be the largest Ireland ferry company and the country's leading marine transportation operator, carrying nearly 1.7 million passengers, over 0.4 million cars, and employing more than 1,500 people in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands.
Irish Ferries operates through a decentralized management structure, which means that each business unit of the company has its own management team and expertise appropriate to its business field. This enables the company to cater for its customer's needs. The success of Irish Ferries is largely due to its commitment to the development of the company's positioning in the variety of markets where it operates.
In the passenger market the company pursues the strategy to contribute to the growth of car ownership in developed economies, through exceptional customer service, advanced distribution and leading edge fleet technology. In the freight market, Irish Ferries' positioning is determined by the aim to facilitate the freight market via the state-of-the-art ferries, serving major short sea routes and catering for cost sensitive freight market. In 2003 Irish Ferries was named the Best Ferry Company according to Irish Travel Trade Awards Irish Travel Agents for the seventh year in a row. So far no marine transport company in the country has been able to achieve such a tremendous success.
So the next time your in Ireland, and you're going to island hop with your car, rest easy that the Isiah Ferry system will get you on your way.