A new direct passenger car ferry service linking Dublin with the French port of Cherbourg is being introduced by Irish Ferries.

The once-weekly, year round service will leave from Dublin every Saturday afternoon and will arrive in Cherbourg the following morning at 11.30am.

Return sailings will leave from Cherbourg each Sunday at 5pm with early arrival back in Dublin on Monday morning at 11am.

Irish Ferries said the the new route will be operated by the passenger car and freight ferry vessel Epsilon, which the company recently secured under a charter arrangement.

The first sailing is due to depart from Dublin on Saturday, 18 January 2014.

The new route to France will provide a third route option for Irish Ferries customers, complimenting the company’s long-established services from Rosslare to Cherbourg and Rosslare to Roscoff. 

The new route will provide an economy-style service, which Irish Ferries said will  be distinctly different from that operated by their cruise ferry Oscar Wilde on the Rosslare to Cherbourg and Rosslare to Roscoff routes.

Built in 2011, the Epsilon can carry 500 passengers. Economy style facilities on board include a bar, cafeteria, self-service restaurant and two and four berth cabins.