Ferry company Stena Line has announced a deal to buy the Irish-owned Celtic Link ferry service which operates on the Rosslare to Cherbourg route.  

Celtic Link currently provides a three times weekly service between Ireland and France with the Mv Celtic Horizon, which can carry 1,000 passengers, 200 cars and 120 freight units.

The final details of the deal are still to be concluded, but Stena Line said it hopes to be in a position to take over the running of the service from the end of March.

No financial details of the deal were released.

"The acquisition of the Rosslare-Cherbourg route is a key strategic investment for Stena Line and one which will help stimulate and strengthen new and existing opportunities for trade and tourism between Ireland, France and beyond," commented the company's route manager Ian Davies. 

"With confidence in the Irish economy strengthening, we see positive long term growth in tourist and freight traffic from the Continent as a real opportunity to help strengthen this economic growth further," he added.