The completed hull of the new Irish Ferries cruise ferry for the Dublin to Holyhead route entered the water this this week. W. B. Yeats was launched at the shipyard of Flensburger Schiffbau–Gesellschaft in Flensburg, Germany where the vessel is being built. The ship is being billed as ‘largest and most luxurious ferry’ ever to sail on the Irish Sea and arrives in July 2018
The €150 million, 54,985 gross tonnes cruise ferry will enter year-round service on Ireland – France and Dublin – Holyhead routes. W. B. Yeats will have space for 1,885 passengers and crew, 435 cabins including luxury suites with their own private balconies, and almost 3km of car deck space.
Prior to launch remaining construction work on the hull will be completed and the vessel fitted out with all of the technical, operational, décor, furnishings and passenger amenities required onboard. It will then undergo sea trials, crew training and docking procedures at the Irish, UK and French ports into which it will operate.
Irish Ferries managing director Andrew Sheen said: “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.”
This will not be the end of the investment by Irish Ferries parent, Irish Continental Group. They have also ordered an even larger cruise ferry for delivery in 2020. Intended for service on the Dublin – Holyhead route, this €165.2 million second new vessel will be the largest cruise ferry in the world in terms of vehicle capacity.