The completed hull of the new Irish Ferries cruise ferry W. B. Yeats was launched into the water on Friday, January 19 at the Flensburger Schiffbau–Gesellschaft shipyard in Flensburg, Germany where the vessel is being built.
Now the finishing touches will be put, including construction work on the hull and installation of the technical, operational, décor, furnishings and passenger amenities required onboard.
Once completed, the vessel will undergo sea trials, crew training and docking procedures at the Irish, UK and French ports into which it will operate.
The EUR 150 million (USD 183.5 million), 54,985 gross tonnes cruise ferry is scheduled to arrive into Dublin next July when it will enter year-round service on Ireland – France and Dublin – Holyhead routes.
Described by its owner as “the largest and most luxurious ferry ever to sail on the Irish Sea”, the W. B. Yeats will have space for 1,885 passengers and crew, and almost 3km of car deck space.
“The launch of our new cruise ferry W. B. Yeats – and the expectation of our second new cruise ferry yet to come – herald in a new era in ferry travel between Ireland, UK and Continental Europe bringing with it new standards in terms of passenger and freight capacity, comfort and reliability beyond anything previously envisaged,” Irish Ferries’ Managing Director, Andrew Sheen, said.
In addition, the Flensburg shipyard will shortly commence building a second, even larger cruise ferry for delivery in 2020 which was commissioned a few weeks ago by Irish Ferries parent, Irish Continental Group plc at a contract price of EUR 165.2 million.
Intended for service on the Dublin – Holyhead route, the second new vessel will be the largest cruise ferry in the world in terms of vehicle capacity with accommodation for 1,800 passengers and crew, according to Irish Ferries.
Its vehicle decks will have 5,610 freight lane metres, providing the capability to carry 330 freight units per sailing – a 50 pct increase in peak freight capacity compared to the current vessel Ulysses.
Image Courtesy: Irrish Ferries, FSG