A rendering of Irish Ferries' new vessel (Image: Irish Ferries)
Germany-based shipyard Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft has cut the first steel plate for Irish Ferries’ new €144 million cruise ferry, which is scheduled for delivery in mid 2018.
Held on 7 April, the steel cutting ceremony was attended by Eamonn Rothwell, chief executive of Irish Continental Group, and Andrew Sheen, managing director of Irish Ferries.
"This first steel cutting is more than symbolic and starts the practical construction of our newbuild,” said Rothwell. “This investment underpins the confidence the group has in both the freight and passenger tourism markets between Ireland, Britain and France.”
Irish Ferries’ new 50,000gt ferry will be able to accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew, as well as up to 300 cars and 165 freight vehicles. Passenger facilities will be spread over four decks with 435 cabins, which will include deluxe and standard class accommodation, and suites with private external balconies. Other venues will include bars, à la carte and self-service restaurants, an exclusive lounge for premium Club Class passengers, cinemas, retail outlets and pet facilities. Freight drivers will have their own dedicated facilities.
Powered by four main engines, the newbuild will operate at a speed of 22.5 knots and feature an exhaust gas cleaning system (scrubber) and a ballast water system. This will reduce fuel consumption and costs, while ensuring the ferry complies with environmental regulations.