Irish Ferries’ parent company, Irish Continental Group (ICG) has signed an agreement with German shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) to construct a new cruise ferry costing EUR 144 million (USD 161 million).
ICG will capitalise on their existing cash resource and credit facilities to finance the construction of the vessel, which is scheduled to be delivered in 2018.
The new cruise ferry will be fitted with emissions scrubber technology and ballast water systems aligned to current and the forthcoming environmental regulations. It will be propelled by four main engines with a capacity of 33,600KW of power similar to the existing fleet.
The 50,000-tonne cruise ferry will accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew, with 435 cabins. Maximum capacity wil be 1,216 cars or 165 trucks with 3,500 lanemetres, with 2,800 lane metres dedicated to freight (165 freight vehicles) and a separate car deck with capacity for 300 passenger cars. Maximum speed with be 22.5 knots compared with 24 knots for the Epsilon.
Passenger facilities will be spread over four decks and will offer 435 cabins in addition to number of bars, restaurants. There will also be a choice of entertainment options and cinemas, retail outlets and onboard facilities for pets.
Irish Ferries has said the new ship is likely to be introduced on routes served by the chartered ship ‘Epsilon’, currently between Ireland
The new ferry will be designed "to best meet the operational seasonality of our business," ICG said, and is likely to be introduced on routes served by the chartered ship MV Epsilon (currently year round services between Dublin and Holyhead midweek, and between Ireland and France on weekends).