There will be a change on Celtic Link’s Rosslare-Cherbourg service in October, when one chartered Visentini-built ro-pax replaces another, Norman Voyager (2008/26,904gt) returning to LD Lines as Cartour Beta begins a five-year Celtic Link contract.

Although Cartour Beta, completed in 2006, has the same 2,285 lane metre vehicle capacity, a fifth deck brings more extensive passenger accommodation, although each vessel has 428 cabin berths. Still owned by Visentini’s charter arm Levantina Transporti, Cartour Beta has served Caronte and Tourist’s Messina-Salerno route since completion.

Celtic Link plan a competition to find a new name for the vessel, but are currently in dispute with Rosslare port operator CIE over berthing and handling charges, and say they may have to consider offers to move Irish base to Dublin, Cork or the newly developing port at Arklow. Cartour Beta’s place in the Caronte fleet will be taken by the newly-completed Cartour Melison, which appears to be the last in the two-ships-a-year Visentini output since the 1990s.

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