NorseMerchant Ferries Plans Service Upgrade

Monday, February 23, 2004
NorseMerchant Ferries is to upgrade its Heysham - Belfast service to three sailings per day in each direction with effect from March 1, 2004. This increase in sailing frequency closely follows the restructuring of the company, which was completed in December, said NorseMerchant Ferries' Managing Director, Phillip Shepherd: "NorseMerchant can now concentrate its attention on the future development of the company and we believe our decision to boost this service truly demonstrates our commitment to our Irish Sea services, including the strategically important freight routes from Heysham."

The third sailing will be provided by River Lune which has returned to the NorseMerchant Ferries fleet following an external charter. She joins Merchant Brilliant and Merchant Bravery on this route and will enable the company to offer two overnight sailings from Heysham to Belfast. Mr Shepherd believes Heysham has an extremely important longterm role to play in meeting the needs of the Irish Sea freight market: "There is an immediate demand to increase frequency on the Heysham - Belfast route. The addition of River Lune to the route is in response to our customers' needs. We have a very loyal customer base and this reinforces our commitment to them. The extra frequency will improve equipment productivity for our clients, particularly in the unaccompanied sector.

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