Reaching Holyhead and Checking In
Holyhead is right in the north of the Island of Anglesey in North Wales, which is a good drive from most large towns and cities in the UK. This means you need to allow plenty of time for your journey – there’s nothing worse than missing a ferry because of traffic, so plan your route carefully. We recommend that from London, for example, you need to leave at least 6 hours before departure, even on a good day. If you happen to get there too early, fine, you can go round to the marine area to relax and watch the ferry come in.
Checking in is really quick, you simply quote your reference number on arrival at the check-in booth, and the attendant will hand over your boarding card and if you booked it, a Club Class sign to place on your rear-view mirror. Remember you can upgrade your booking at this stage if you want to. Irish Ferries recommend checking in at least 30 minutes before departure, but we think 45 minutes is better.
Boarding the Craft
From the check-in desk you will be directed to the appropriate lane, so when loading begins a marshal will instruct you to move onto the ship. More traffic marshals will be in attendance on board the ship to make sure you park in the right place, so there’s no decision-making to do. When you’ve parked the car, the stairs to the passenger decks are well marked.
There’s ample seating on the Dublin Swift, which has a simple, well designed layout with most passenger seating on one level. In the central part, there are a group of high-backed chairs in front of a large TV screen where a film is played. Most areas have seats with tables.
The Dublin Swift, in spite of being relatively small, still manages to fit four different kinds of cafes on board. While we were on it we didn’t see any queues like we have noticed on other routes.
The Club Class is exclusively on the top deck of the vessel, up the stairs from the main passenger deck. On our journey it was relatively empty, which was surprising, given the level of extra comfort and space offered for just an extra £14 per person. Club Class also offers free snacks, drinks and newspaper, but above all you get large, red leather seats, all with tables, and ample leg room. A window seat gives you an excellent view of the journey (see video above). Many upgrades on fast ferries offer a fenced-off area with the same seats and the same level of noise. Irish Ferries have seemed to get this aspect just right, with an upgrade which offers real value for money.
The Jonathan Swift is 86.6 metres in length, 24 metres in width and its gross tonnage is 5,989 tonnes
One round trip for the Johnatan Swift uses 15 tonnes of marine diesel oil.
The Dublin Swift was built in Freemantle, Australia
It has a dead weight cargo capacity of 400 tonnes.
It has a draught (depth in water) of 3.2m
4 Large water jets pump 60 tonnes of sea water a second to propel the craft at speeds of 40 knots.
Holyhead to Dublin is 60 nautical miles.