The Lough Foyle Ferry, between Greencastle and Magilligan, will sail until September 16, it has been announced
Summer sailing begins today, May 11 and will run over this weekend and next weekend before full sailing from May 25.
Marketing Manager, Kayleigh Clarke, confirmed sailing dates to the ‘Journal’ this week.
She said the ‘Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry’ will run at weekends until the end of May.
Due to this and customer demand, the days for which it won’t run this month will then be added on to the end of summer sailing, meaning the service will be available until September 16.
In addition to this weekend, the ferry will sail on Thursday 17, Friday 18, Saturday 19 and Sunday, May 20. It will then run continuously from May 25 to September 16 on the normal sailing schedule.
The ferry also sailed last weekend, over the Bank Holiday and “exceeded all expectations” in terms of numbers.
All sailings were extremely busy on both routes and Ms Clarke said the company was “delighted” with its success so far.
She said: “It was great. We were really, really busy. Many people used it, especially local people. There were also a large number of tourists. It was brilliant to see and we are delighted.”
Ms Clarke added: “We knew it would be busy. As it was a Bank Holiday weekend we were expecting high numbers and we also had the good weather. But it was far busier than we thought it would bee. We were completely blown away by the numbers.”
She said the new vessel’s viewing deck had proved very popular with passengers.
Ms Clarke told how, after the success of last weekend, the company is currently on course to meet its targets for the year.
She went on: “You can’t beat the fact that the service connects the Wild Atlantic Way to the Causeway Coast and the opportunities this brings.”
She added how the ‘Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry’ is expecting the vessel to be extensively used this year due to a number of events taking place on both sides, including the Irish Open in Ballyliffin and the North West 200 later this month.
The current new vessel will be in place until the end of May.
Ms Clarke said it is expected that the ‘Frazer Mariner,’ which undertook the Foyle sailing last year, will be in place by June 1.
Due to its ramp shape, the current vessel cannot load coaches or motor homes over six metres, while the Frazer Mariner can. See www.loughfoyleferry.com for sailing times.