Waves of emotions as weary expats arrive home by ferry
HUNDREDS of weather-weary travellers had to take to the seas last night after their flights from Europe and Britain were cancelled.
But there were tears, smiles and lots of hugs at Dublin Port when feelings of frustration were replaced by relief as families were finally reunited.
For some the journey home included travels of epic proportion including taxis from Vienna, Austria to Bratislava in Slovakia.
Kate Leahy, from Knocknagoshel in Kerry, had originally planned to fly from Vienna to Dublin but endured this two-day trip after her flight was cancelled twice earlier this week. She eventually got to Liverpool from Bratislava and took the Norfolk Line ferry to Dublin.
"I'm tired but relieved -- I don't want to go anywhere else now," she said.
"The taxi was worth it even if it did cost too much."
Sisters Emma Fox and Suzanne Curtis, with their four children, spent 36 hours travelling from Jersey to Dublin.
Their flight was also cancelled but they eventually got to Liverpool to take the ferry.
Tired but not beaten, Christina Shortt arrived in London from Barbados to find she couldn't fly home.
She had to take an over-night train from London to Liverpool to catch her ferry.
But this journey included seven hours on a train that broke down en route. Her parents, Christy and Nuala, from Shankill, Dublin, were at the port to greet her.
"It was a long journey but I can't say how happy I am to be home," she said, hugging a teary Nuala.
Irish Ferries, which is running four ships into the capital every day, has carried more passengers than usual following the run of bad weather.
"We've seen a surge in last-minute foot passengers although we don't have definitive figures yet," said spokesman Don Hall.
"The weather has been good for sailing with no gales or winds."
Irish Ferries and Stena Line still have availability on ferries today and Christmas Eve.