MS Isle of Inishmore

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MS Isle of Inishmore heading towards Rosslare.
MS Isle of Inishmore heading towards Rosslare.
Name: MS Isle of Inishmore
Operator: Irish Ferries
Port of registry: Cyprus Limassol
Route: Rosslare - Pembroke Dock
Builder: Van der Giessen de Noord
Cost: IR£60 million
Yard number: 968
Laid down: December 1995
Launched: October 1996
Completed: February 1997
In service: March 1997
Identification: IMO number: 9142605
Status: In service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 34,031 GT (gross tonnage)
Length: 182.5 m (598 ft 9 in)
Beam: 27.8 m (91 ft 2 in)
Draught: 5.8 m (19 ft 0 in)
Installed power: 4x Sulzer 8ZA40S diesel engines
Capacity: 2,200 passengers
186 berths
856 cars
2,060 lane metres

MS Isle of Inishmore is a cruiseferry owned by Irish Ferries and operated on their Rosslare-Pembroke service. At the time of its introduction, it was the largest car ferry operating in Northern Europe.[1] It is named after Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands.

Design and construction

Isle of Inishmore was constructed by Van der Giessen de Noord in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, at a cost of IR£60 million.[1] Construction commenced in December 1995, and the vessel was launched in October 1996.[2][3] It was delivered to Dublin in February 1997, before entering service in March 1997.[4]

Power is provided by four Sulzer diesel engines. Each trip between Rosslare and Pembroke requires 25 tonnes of marine diesel oil. [5]

Isle of Inishmore's sistership, MV Stena Jutlandica, operates between Gothenburg and Frerikshavn. She has less passenger accommodation.

Onboard facilities

Passenger accommodation includes cabins for up to four people. Cabins are provided with an en-suite shower room. The vessel also offers a number of catering facilities and seating areas. The Club Class lounge, located on the top deck, is available at an additional cost to the passenger and offers complimentary refreshments and reserved seating. Also available are shopping facilities and a video game arcade.[5]


Isle of Inishmore began its career on Irish Ferries' Dublin-Holyhead route as the flagship of the company's fleet.[6] Following the introduction of the larger MS Ulysses onto the route in March 2001, Isle of Inishmore was redeployed to the Rosslare-Pembroke route.[7]


  • On 30 July 2008 a fire broke out on the Isle of Inishmore at Pembroke Dock at approximately 02.30am. When the fire was detected in a thermal oil boiler located adjacent to the engine area of the vessel. The function of the boiler is to preheat the oil used in the ships. The ship was getting ready to sail for Rosslare at 02:45am. Some 227 passengers and 89 crew were on board at the time. All passengers and crew were put on standby. At 4:20am the fire was brought under control. Nobody was injured. The 02:45am Pembroke-Rosslare and the 08:45am Rosslare-Pembroke were both cancelled as a result of the fire onboard.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "New superferry for ICG". The Irish Times (Ireland): p. 15. 27 September 1995. "Irish Continental is gearing up for a major assault on the cross channel ferry market, with the decision to build a new state of the art superferry which will be introduced on the Dublin Holyhead route in 1997. ICG announced yesterday that it has placed a Pounds 60 million order with the Dutch shipyard Van Der Giessen for a 33,000 ton superferry which will be able to carry 2,200 passengers, 855 cars and 122 freight units.When the new ferry comes on stream in 1997, it will be the biggest operating in north west Europe." 
  2. "New £60m vessel to take Irish Sea by storm". Irish Independent (Ireland). 04 October 1996. "A new pounds 60m super ferry commissioned by Irish Ferries, which is set to go into service on the Irish Sea early next year, will be unveiled in Rotterdam, Holland today. The ship - the Isle of Inishmore - will be the largest multi-purpose passenger car ferry operating in Northern Europe and the largest ferry every to operate on the Irish Sea." 
  3. O'Halloran, Marie; yeates, Padraig (04 October 1996). "Irish Ferries to launch Pounds 60 million ship today". The Irish Times (Ireland): p. 2. "Irish Ferries launches its new Pounds 60 million superferry in Rotterdam today. The Isle of Inishmore, with a capacity for up to 2,300 passengers and crew, will go into service on the Dublin Holyhead route next February. It will complete the Irish Sea crossing in three hours ... It was built by the Dutch shipbuilders Van der Giessen de Noord, the same yard which built Irish Ferries' other vessel, the Isle of Innisfree last year. The Isle of Innisfree, which currently operates on the Dublin-Holyhead route, will transfer to the Rosslare Pembroke route when the new ship goes into service. The new vessel can carry 550 passengers more than the Isle of Innisfree and can carry up to 856 cars and 122 trucks. It is 600 feet (182.5 metres) long and 90 feet (27.8 metres) wide and three times higher than the GPO at 146 feet (44.4 metres)." 
  4. Mott, David (04 March 1997). "Irish car ferry makes maiden voyage". Lloyds List (United Kingdom): p. 3. ISSN 0144-820X. Retrieved 26 December 2009. "Irish Ferries' Pounds 60m (Dollars 97m) ISLE OF INISHMORE has made her maiden voyage on the Holyhead-Dublin route after delivery from Dutch shipyard Van der Giessen de Noord, writes David Mott.". 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Our Ships: Isle of Inishmore". Irish Ferries. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  6. Plummer, Russell (05 October 1995). "Irish Ferries launches new flagship". Lloyds List (United Kingdom): p. 3. ISSN 0144-820X. Retrieved 30 December 2009. "Irish Ferries launched its new IrPounds 60m (Dollars 96.7m) flagship ISLE OF INISHMORE yesterday as staff staged a sit-in at two of the company's Dublin offices in protest at the closure of winter services between Ireland and France ... With a service speed of 21.5 knots, ISLE OF INISHMORE will complete the Holyhead-Dublin journey in just over three hours with high levels of passenger comfort including a glass enclosed sky lounge on the top deck.". 
  7. "Giant vessel raises stakes on the Irish Sea routes". Lloyds List (United Kingdom): p. 18. 27 July 2001. ISSN 0144-820X. Retrieved 30 December 2009. "Replacement of the 1997-built Isle of Inishmore with the 4,000 lane m Ulysses on the Dublin-Holyhead route in March increased freight capacity by 80% to 240 freight units, but still only provided two round sailings in 24 hours. Isle of Inishmore was then moved to the southern corridor on the Rosslare-Pembroke service, increasing capacity on this route to 122 freight units and allowing the 1995-built Isle of Innisfree to be put up for charter, which is expected to be concluded shortly.".