Connemara ferry

Former names: Asterion, Borja, Baltic Amber, Norman Asturias, Stena Ausonia

Connemara ferry current position

Connemara ferry current location is at South Pacific Ocean (coordinates -41.36800 S / 174.64295 E) cruising at speed of 23 kn (43 km/h | 26 mph) en route to NZ PCN <> NZ WLG. The AIS position was reported 59 seconds ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Connemara ferry

Year of build2007  /  Age: 17
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderCantiere Navale Visentini (Porto Viro / Porto Levante, Italy)
Classcruiseferry (Ro-Pax ship)
Ferry route / homeportsWellington-Picton (New Zealand's Cook Strait)
Engines (power)MAN B&W (21.6 MW / 28966 hp)
Speed24 kn / 44 km/h / 28 mph
Length (LOA)187 m / 614 ft
Beam (width)26 m / 85 ft
Gross Tonnage27414 gt
Passengers762
Crew48
Cars195
Freight vehicles130
Seats36
Beds424
Cabins120
Last Refurbishment2023
Sister-shipsDimonios (Ciudad de Palma)
Former namesAsterion, Borja, Baltic Amber, Norman Asturias, Stena Ausonia
OwnerFerry Lines Singapore Pte Ltd
OperatorBluebridge Ferries (NZ)

Connemara ferry Review

Review of Connemara ferry

MS Connemara ferry is a Ro-Ro passenger vessel which until 2023 was operated under charter by the French company BRITTANY FERRIES. The ship has a max capacity of 762 passengers and 195 cars plus 130 trucks (trailers). The vessel was launched in 2007 and is currently chartered to Bluebridge Ferries (New Zealand) to operate the Cook Strait route Wellington-Picton (sea distance ~60 mi / 100 km) with crossing time 3,5-4 hours.

The Cook Strait NZ route Wellington-Picton is currently served by two companies - Bluebridge (21 weekly crossings/4 daily) and Interislander (15 weekly crossings).

For BRITTANY FERRIES, Connemara served the English Channel/Ireland-France route Cork-Roscoff (crossing time 14 hours). Since January 2020, the ship also operated on the England-France route Portsmouth-Le Havre (crossing time 5,5 days / 8 overnights).

Due to reduced capacity (Coronavirus 2020 crisis), Connemara was taken out of service (all UK-France crossings were terminated) effectively from September 7, 2020. Since February 2021, the ferry operated the Ireland-Spain route (via France) Rosslare-Bilbao (via Cherbourg).

Cabins

As cruiseferry, Connemara has 120 cabins with a total of 424 berths. All staterooms are air-conditioned and with en-suite bathrooms. The ferry company provides bed linens, towels, and toiletries. The ship additionally has 36 reclining seats (available for pre-booking only on Cork-Roscoff crossings). One stateroom is wheelchair-accessible (adapted for passengers with disabilities).

The ship's staterooms are in the following categories:

  • 44x 4-bed Outside Cabin
  • 8x 4-bed Outside ("pet-friendly") Cabin
  • 66x 4-bed Inside (Cabin
  • 5x 4-bed Inside ("pet-friendly") Cabin
  • 1x Wheelchair-accessible (handicap) Cabin
  • Also available are reserved lounge seats (36) and cots (10).

All cabins are furnished with 2 lower single beds (fixed), 2 upper bunk beds (wall-mounted Pullman beds), small writing table with chair, bedside reading lamps and power sockets.

All passengers must vacate their staterooms 30 min prior to homeport arrival.

Connemara ferry ship (BRITTANY FERRIES)

Shipboard dining and entertainment options

As facilities, the Connemara ship offers:

  • (deck 6) Self-service/buffet restaurant (hot and cold meals)
  • (deck 5) Le Cafe / Bar (sandwiches, cakes, pastries, hot/cold drinks, HDTVs)
  • (deck 5) Reserved Seating Lounge (with reclining / Pullman seats)
  • (deck 5) The shop sells gifts and souvenirs, alcohol (liquors, wines), tobaccos, perfumes and cosmetics, sunglasses, watches, jewelry, leather goods, clothing, electronics and gadgets, toys, confectionery.
  • (deck 5) free Wi-Fi, ATM/cash machine (next to Information Desk / Reception), disabled toilets

The ship has 3 stairways (accessing all decks) and 1 escalator (connecting decks 3-4-5).

(deck 8) Sun Deck (outdoor area) doubles as Helideck (helipad) - a helicopter landing platform used in cases of emergency.

 

All onboard emergency instructions are displayed in staterooms, on the TV screens and at the ship's assembly stations (aka muster stations). Life jackets are issued at the assembly stations. In case of emergency, the use of elevators/passenger lifts is forbidden.

Connemara ferry ship (BRITTANY FERRIES)

Car decks

The ferry has 4 garage decks (for cars and trucks).

Car decks 1, 2 and are accessible via stairs (forward).

Car decks 3, 4 and 5 are connected via stairs and an escalator (aft). Aft on Deck 5 are the Open Air Garage Deck (with Disabled Access), Car Ramp (down to deck 4) and stairs (from garage decks 3 and 4).

The covered passenger gangway allows access to decks 5, 6 and 7.

All car decks are not accessible during crossings.

Follows a list of car decks-related safety procedures:

  • Disabled passengers or those requiring specific assistance should visit the ship's Information Desk (deck 5, open 24-hours).
  • Apply handbrake and place the vehicle in park or 1st gear position. Switch off the ignition, alarm, electrical equipment, headlights. Gas cylinders, if any, must be switched off. Lock the vehicle.
  • From your vehicle take only valuables and essential hand baggage.
  • Make a note of your vehicle's location and garage deck number/stairway before leaving the car deck.
  • Access to the ship's vehicle (cargo) decks during the voyage is prohibited.
  • Smoking on vehicle decks, as well as in cabins and passenger lounges is forbidden.
  • Wait for the onboard announcement before returning to your vehicle.

In order to avoid air pollution, don't start the engine until instructed.

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The vessel (Cantiere Navale Visentini yard/hull number 216) has volume 27414 GT-tons, DWT/deadweight 7657 tons, max draught 6,7 m. The powerplant is based on two MAN B&W marine diesel engines (model 9L48/60B) with combined output 21,6 MW (28970 hp). The propulsion system includes two controllable pitch propellers.

The shipowner was changed in 2023 - from STENA RORO AB to FERRY LINES SINGAPORE PTE LTD. The ship is currently operated/managed by STRAITNZ BLUEBRIDGE LTD (in 2023 changed from XIANG CR3 HK INTERNATIONAL).

The shipbuilder was Cantiere Navale Visentini in Porto Viro (near Porto Levante, Italy). Of the same design is the sistership Ciudad de Palma (2007-built as DIMONIOS).

This passenger and freight ferry was owned by STENA LINE in the period 2007-2023, and for 5 years (2018-2023) was chartered by BRITTANY FERRIES (as CONNEMARA) for operations in the Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay.

In the period 2007-2010 (as BORJA) the ship was chartered by BALEARIA. In 2010-2011 (as BALTIC AMBER) it was chartered by DFDS SEAWAYS. In 2011-2016 (as NORMAN ASTURIAS) it was chartered by LD Lines, Inter Shipping and AVE Lines. In 2016-2018 (as ASTERION) it was chartered by ANEK Lines.

The vessel was ordered by Visemar Trasporti and chartered (while under construction) by STENA LINE under the name "STENA AUSONIA". However, Stena re-chartered it to BALEARIA for the route Barcelona-Palma de Mallorca. The inaugural cruise/maiden voyage was on May 20, 2007.

In June 2010, under the AVE Lines charter, BALTIC AMBER was deployed on the Germany-Latvia route Travemunde-Riga. In October 2010, it was chartered by DFDS Seaways for the Germany-Lithuania route Kiel-Klaipeda.

In June 2011, NORMAN ASTURIAS was chartered by LD Lines for the France-Tunisia route Marseille-Tunis but soon redeployed on the St Nazaire-Gijon route. In November 2013 was deployed on the UK-Spain route Poole-Santander. The weekly service UK-France (Poole-Gijon) was started in February 2014

On January 16, 2018, BRITTANY FERRIES chartered NORMAN ASTURIAS for the new twice-weekly service Cork-Santander - the first-ever direct ferry link Ireland-Spain. Alternatively, the ship served the Ireland-France route Cork-Roscoff.

Connemara's initial charter deal with STENA was for 2 years (2018-2020). The inaugural cruise for BRITTANY FERRIES (maiden crossing Santander-Cork) was on May 6, 2018. The maiden crossing Cork-Santander was on May 9th. Departures from Spain were at 12 noon. Departures from Ireland were at 11 am. The Cork-Santander line (crossing time ~26 hours, 2 weekly return-crossings) was terminated in January 2020 as "financially unviable due to lack of use". The company's customers preferred the alternative Ireland-Spain route Rosslare-Bilbao.

On November 6, 2019, the vessel (BRITTANY's 11th) was reflagged from Cyprus (MMSI 209236000) to France (MMSI 228379900). The first French-flagged crossing was scheduled for November 13th (Santander to Portsmouth).

In 2023, the ship's registry/flag state was changed from Cyprus to The Bahamas (MMSI 311001225).