In January we reported on the construction of the W.B.Yeats at the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft shipyard. Built at a reported cost of €144m (approx. £129m), Irish Ferries have now announced that the cruise ferry has now been delivered and will be ready for operation in the new year.
W.B.Yeats has been specially designed to be future-proof in regards to environmental regulations and will deliver optimal fuel consumption whilst minimising related costs. With capacity for 1,800 passengers, made up of 440 spacious cabins including luxury suites and deck space that can accommodate 2,800 metres of freight (165 freight vehicles) and an additional dedicated car deck with capacity for 300 passenger cars it will certainly fulfill seasonal demand.
Additionally, the flexibility in design allows the ferry to service all of Irish Ferries existing routes between Ireland, France and Britain and will also adhere to Ice Class specification which will allow for a range of environments for the ferry to be utilised in.
In reference to the announcement, CEO of Irish Ferries Eamonn Rothwell said;
"This is the first of two new builds commissioned by ICG with a total contracted investment of €315 million. The second vessel is expected to be delivered during 2020. This investment will increase the tourism and freight capacity on the seamless connections from Ireland to the UK and Continent which are a vital part of Ireland’s tourism access and logistical chain. ICG looks forward to the expected significant operational and financial benefits following commencement of W.B.Yeats scheduled services in 2019."
The W.B.Yeats is now scheduled to undergo commissioning with Irish Ferries and is expected to commence services initially on the Dublin <> Holyhead route in early January 2019 before switching to Dublin <> France route in March 2019.