A popular ferry service ran from the port of Fleetwood from early Victorian Times, to Larne in Northern Ireland and Douglas on the Isle of Man.
Fleetwood Ferry Port and passenger terminal is owned and operated by ABP and has been closed since operator Stena Line ceased to operate the Northern Ireland route on Christmas Eve in December 2010.
The three Stena Ferries sailing between Fleetwood and Larne from 1980 to 2010 were known as the ‘Three Sisters’ Puma, Bison and Buffalo.
Afterwards, all three “Sisters” were laid up in Belfast Harbour and were eventually bought by a Russian Federation Company named “AnRussTrans”, to transport materials and cargo to and from Turkey to Saudi Arabia.
They were also used to transport goods and personnel to the Sochi Winter Olympics of 2014.
After that they were all sent to the breakers yards in Aliaga in February 2014.
Bison (below) was renamed Ant 1
Former Bison Ferry – photo copyright Selim San
Puma (below) was renamed Ant 2
Former Puma Ferry – photo copyright Selim San
Buffalo (below) was renamed Anna Marine
Former Buffalo Ferry – photo copyright Selim San
Find out More
More information and photos on the NIFerry Site, which is the source of the information about the fate of the three Fleetwood ferries.
More about Ferries from the Port of Fleetwood
Pleasure and commercial sailings to the Isle of Man, Androssan and Belfast had started with Steamers as long ago as the 1860s.
One hundred years later, the last regular ferry to the Isle of Man sailed in 1961, although there were sporadic journeys after that date up to the closure of the terminal.
The container port facility on Dock Street was created in 1973, to provide a container service for goods to Larne in Northern Ireland, and later became a roll-on-roll-off service in 1975.
By then, Dock Street was largely derelict and the container port did help to regenerate the area somewhat and also lead to better road access for the freight lorries using the terminal, although today that’s not especially apparent.
P&O operated a twice daily route until Stena Line bought the route in 2004 and the service was increased to three times a day – unfortunately it was withdrawn at the end of 2010 and the container port now stands empty and disused once again.
Stena Line ferry coming in to Fleetwood in August 2010