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Built in 1978 to replace the Innisfallen on the Cork to Swansea crossing, the Connacht was the largest ferry to fly the Irish flag at that time. Making her maiden voyage on 7th February 1979, her association with Swansea was a brief one and on 21st May that year the Welsh terminal was transferred to Pembroke Dock.

The Connacht moves astern up the River Liffey. Photo: Derry Walsh


In September 1980 the Connacht was moved north to the Dublin - Liverpool run, where she was joined in 1981 by a new sister ship, the Leinster.

In a move aimed at better utilisation of the Liverpool ferries, B+I Line commenced a new service bewteen Dublin and Holyhead in March 1982. Sailing from Dublin at 11:35hrs and returning from Holyhead at 16:45hrs allowed one ship to maintain one daylight round trip before making an overnight run to Liverpool. Therefore with two ships, the Connacht and the Leinster, a more intensive schedule could be offered serving both routes and reducing the time the ships were lying idle at high costs.

Having closed the Liverpool service on 6th January 1988, the Connacht was immediately moved south to Rosslare where she reopened the link with Pembroke Dock six days later. She was brought back to Holyhead for a final spell of service from Dublin, relieving the Leinster for overhaul. The Connacht then saw out the summer back at Rosslare before being sold to Brittany Ferries in October 1988.

As the French-flag Duchesse Anne, the irish-built ship was a welcome, if not somewhat unusual, addition to the fleet. She remained with Brittany Ferries, serving routes from Saint Malo and Roscoff to Portsmouth and Cork, until sold in 1996 to Croatian operator Jadrolinija for further service as the Dubrovnik.



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1978, Verolme Cork Dockyard, Ireland.


1000 tonnes

4.8 metres


122 metres

18.5 metres


1500 passengers

350 cars

Bow and stern

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