As reported by the Italian industry news portal Shipping Italy – the Ro-Pax ferry Epsilon will leave the company Caronte & Tourist (Caronte Shipping SpA). According to this source’s unofficial market information, the ferry is “in the process of being sold” to the Polish company Euroafrica for around EUR 50 million.
The Ro-Pax ferry Epsilon (IMO 9539054; GT 26,375; deadweight 8615t) is 186m long, 25m wide, accommodates around 500 passengers and offers 2860m lane metres. The vessel belongs to Caronte & Tourist. The company had initially chartered the ferry from an affiliate of the Visentini shipyard before purchasing it in 2019. She has been operated on bareboat charter by Irish Ferries since early 2014.
However, some sources provide a different account of the ferry’s history.
According to IHS Sea-web, the vessel had been owned by Caronte Shipping SpA since July 2011 and was sold to Irish Continental Group Plc (Irish Ferries’ parent company) in December 2013.
As Shipping Italy reports, the Italian shipping company controlled by the Franza and Matacena families “has agreed with a Polish company” to sell its ferry for around €50 million. This portal speculates that the buyer is Euroafrica. However, the transfer of the vessel is to be postponed and will take place – according to Shipping Italy – no earlier than November 2022, the month until which Epsilon is employed on bareboat charter by Irish Ferries (with an option to extend until mid-2023).
Irish Ferries has employed the ship on the Dublin – Cherbourg route and the Dublin – Holyhead route more recently.
Some sources suggest that once Irish Ferries’ current charter ends, the ship – already owned by Euroafrica Shipping Lines – would enter a new charter – in the colours of Stena Line.