Business

P&O Larne to Cairnryan passenger numbers sail to 14-year high

Last month P&O recorded the highest number of passengers travelling on its Larne to Cairnryan service for 14 years
Gareth McKeown

FERRY company P&O has recorded the highest number of passengers travelling on its Larne to Cairnryan service for 14 years.

Last month the ferry and logistics company saw a seven per cent rise in passenger volumes from July and saw the busiest August for the popular Cairnryan route since 2003.

P&O Ferries, which has operated services across the Irish Sea since 1974 - carried 65,296 tourists between Northern Ireland and Scotland in August, which is traditionally the busiest month of the summer season.

Neal Mernock, P&O Ferries' sector director for the Irish Sea said he was delighted so many had chosen to use the services.

"At P&O Ferries we take pride in saying that your holiday begins when you set foot on our ships and that is why we modernised our food courts this year and upgraded the menus to include Ulster fry, Guinness pie and a range of meal deals for everyone, including kids."

P&O Ferries' Larne to Cairnryan route is serviced by the European Highlander and European Causeway - two 21,000 ton sister vessels with room for more than 400 passengers each.

The company also carries freight between Larne and Cairnryan, reporting a record year in 2106 with more than 206,000 lorries and trailers using its services.

A leading pan-European ferry and logistics company, sailing on eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Belgium, P&O operates more than 20 vessels, which carry 10 million passengers, 1.6 million cars and 2.2 million freight units every year.

Meanwhile the laying of the keel section for a new £131 million Irish Ferries cruise ship has taken place in Germany ahead of planned delivery to Dublin in July.

The vessel, due to be the biggest on the Irish Sea, has been commissioned for year-round service on Irish Ferries' Dublin to Holyhead and Ireland to France routes. It will have space for 1,885 passengers and crew, 440 cabins including luxury suites with their own private balconies, and almost 3km of car deck space.

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