W.B Yeats was named during her float-out ceremony at FGS shipyard (Image:Irish Ferries)
Irish Ferries officially named its new €150 million (US$184 million) cruise ferry W.B. Yeats during the vessel’s float-out ceremony at Flensburger Schiffbau–Gesellschaft (FGS) shipyard in Germany on 19 January.
Chosen by a member of the public during an online contest, the name was bestowed by Rikki Rothwell in a ceremony attended by shipyard workers, Irish Continental Group chairman John McGuckian, chief executive Eamonn Rothwell, chief financial officer David Ledwidge, and Irish Ferries managing director Andrew Sheen.
FGS will now carry out the remaining construction work on the hull and fit the vessel with technical, operational, décor, furnishings and passenger amenities. The ferry will then undergo sea trials, crew training and docking procedures at the Irish, UK and French ports into which it will operate.
Set to be the largest cruise ferry to sail on the Irish Sea to date, the 54,985gt W. B. Yeats will begin service from Dublin this July, offering year-round services between Ireland and France, and Dublin and Holyhead, Wales. The vessel will be able to accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew, and will feature 435 cabins, including luxury suites with their own private balconies. There will also be almost three kilometres of car deck space.
FGS will soon start building a second, larger €165.2 million cruise ferry, which will be delivered in 2020. When she debuts on the route between Dublin and Holyhead, the newbuild will be the largest in the world in terms of vehicle capacity with accommodation for 1,800 passengers and crew. Its vehicle decks will have 5,610 freight lane metres, providing the capability to carry 330 freight units per sailing – a 50% increase in peak freight capacity compared to the current vessel Ulysses.
“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,” said Sheen.
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