Irish Continental Group plc (ICG) said it has ordered a new cruise ferry set to be the world’s largest in terms of vehicle capacity, due for delivery in 2020.
The new €165.2 million ($199.4 million) cruise ferry is being built by German shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft & Co.KG (FSG), specifically for Irish Ferries’ Dublin - Holyhead services. It is expected to replace the schedule of the MV Ulysses, which in turn will replace the chartered-in vessel MV Epsilon. This will allow for the deployment of the W.B. Yeats (arriving mid 2018) full-time on the direct Ireland
- France route
alongside the MV Oscar Wilde.
ICG said the new 67,300 gross ton cruise ferry will increase Irish Ferries’ freight and tourism carrying capacity on the fast-growing Dublin - Holyhead route. The vessel will accommodate 1,800 passengers and crew, with capacity for 5,610 freight lane meters, which provides the capability to carry 330 freight units per sailing. Overall, it will effectively be a 50 percent increase in peak freight capacity compared to the MV Ulysses.
The cruise ferry will also adhere to Ice Class specification which allows for a wide geographic area of operation.
The vessel will be powered by four main engines delivering 33,600 KW of power. ICG said the new ship will be equipped with scrubbers and ballast water systems
, and will deliver optimal fuel consumption while minimizing related costs.
Freight capacity will be provided over five decks. Uniquely, the vessel has been designed for three tier freight bow loading to allow for efficient loading/unloading and quick turnaround times. Passenger facilities will be spread over three decks. In addition to its choice of bars, restaurants (to include both á la carte and self-service options), special provision has been made for premium Club Class passengers, with a dedicated lounge featuring private access direct from the vehicle decks. The ferry will feature several entertainment options, cinemas, dedicated facilities for freight drivers, as well as many retail outlets.
ICG said 20 percent of the contract price will be paid in installments during the construction period, and the balance of 80 percent will be paid on delivery. ICG intends to utilize credit facilities to finance the cruise ferry. The pre-delivery installment payments to FSG will be protected by means of bank guarantees.