Today is a very exciting day for our ferry service here in Doolin which has been in operation for more than 45 years, since 1970. The addition of the M.V. Doolin Express is a tremendous upgrade to our existing fleet and by far the most advanced addition to the ferry services in Doolin Harbour. This incredible addition will not only reduce the sailing times to the Aran Islands by half, it will also greatly add to experience and comfort of our passengers as they set out on the Wild Atlantic Way.
The recent development of the New Pier in 2015 by Clare County Council has been a tremendous boost for us in terms of our ability to grow our own service. From the time Bill pioneered his first boat trips to the Aran Islands in 1970, he has continuously sought to grow, create, and expand his unique idea that has left competitors catching up with and imitating his ambition every step of the way. Bill O’Brien has seen various condition’s at Doolin Pier over the years, particularly when it comes to the facilities in Doolin. For those of you who have travelled to the Aran Islands or on the Cliffs of Moher ferry in recent years, you would have had a very different experience to those just 3 years before you.
Pictured: The very first Doolin Ferry ticket office (caravan) and very first flagship of Bill O’Brien, the Currach.
The old pier in Doolin from which Bill started out his boat service from all those years ago is tidal. This meant that boat trips from Doolin to the Aran Islands were intermittent at best. Those of you who can remember not too long ago putting on a life jacket and hopping on board a smaller currach to ship you out to the ferry in low tide- you know what we’re talking about! There could not be a regular sailing time table for our passengers and so it was often a case of luck that you would happen to arrive at the right time. This ever-changing schedule is not something that would be greatly tolerated by today’s savvy traveller.
So with development of the New Pier in Doolin and the greater reliability of scheduling of our ferry service, this has allowed us to invest more in our own business. These changes have also contributed to the greater growth of the region in general. Not only just for The Aran Islands and the village of Doolin, but the surrounding areas of County Clare. Accommodation providers, hoteliers, restaurants, and local shops have all been able to grow with these types of investments in our area. It is fantastic to see such positive changes and growth that Bill could not quite have imagined all those years ago.
Largest Ferry Capacity in Doolin
By increasing the capacity of a single ferry from 100 passengers to 200 we are also improving the efficiency of our service and working toward meeting our sustainability and environmental goals. The Doolin Ferry Co. has been a proud member of the Burren Ecotourism Network since 2014. Since that time involvement in the network has been extremely beneficial in terms of educating ourselves on best practices and sustainability when operating in an area of such extreme beauty and in protected landscapes. We have learned that improving your sustainability is not only beneficial for your business, but also for your local environment. Find out more on the Burren Eco Tourism Network.
Pictured: The M.V. Tranquility and M.V. Doolin Express docked at Doolin Pier.
Electronic Stabilizing System
One of the major benefits of the Doolin Express besides it size and greater capacity is its state of the art electronic stabilizing system. The Atlantic Seas that battle with the world famous Cliffs of Moher on a daily basis are also what we contend with. The Doolin Express will help passengers that are prone to motion sickness travel in greater comfort. The Doolin Express/ Doolin Fast Ferry is truly a tremendous upgrade to our service from Doolin Pier.
Pictured: Captain Liam O’Brien
Bill and Liam O’Brien have been working tremendously hard in recent years to keep enhancing the visitor experience and growing their business in Doolin. It is no easy feat to navigate the process of acquiring a ferry and then seeing it through to operation. After years of hard work, time, and immense effort they have managed to take another step in growing their service and lifelong passion. We very much look forward to welcoming you on board and celebrating this special occasion with us!
The Official launch of the Doolin Express will take place at a future date to be announced shortly.