Irish Continental Group (ICG) has ordered a large cruise ferry from German shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft & Co KG (FSG) valued at €165.2 mill.
Upon completion scheduled before mid-2020, she will be the largest cruise ferry in the world in terms of vehicle capacity, ICG claimed.
The vessel will be able to accommodate 1,800 pax and crew, with a 5,610 freight lane metre capacity to be able to carry 330 freight units. Overall, it will effectively be a 50% increase in peak freight capacity compared to ICG’s flagship ‘Ulysses’.
Around 20% of the contract price will be paid in instalments during the construction period. The balance of 80% will be paid on delivery. The company will finance the ferry with funds from credit facilities.
The new ferry will be fitted with emissions scrubber technology and ballast water systems to meet current and known future environmental regulations and will deliver optimal fuel consumption while minimising related costs, ICG said.
She will be powered by four main engines delivering 33,600 KW of power and will have Ice Class specifications.
Freight capacity will be provided over five decks, while passenger facilities will be spread over three decks. In addition, the vessel has been designed for three-tier freight bow loading to allow for efficient loading/unloading giving quick turnaround times.
This cruise ferry is being built specifically for Irish Ferries Dublin – Holyhead service and is expected to replace ‘Ulysses’ schedule, which in turn will replace the currently chartered vessel ‘Epsilon’.
This will allow for the deployment of the newbuilding ropax ‘WB Yeats’, due to be delivered during the middle of this year, full-time on the direct Ireland – France route alongside ‘Oscar Wilde’.
“This investment underpins the confidence the group has in the markets in which we operate.
Alongside the recent investment in the ‘WB Yeats’, it brings our total investment to €315 mill for these two vessels designed for our operations on the Irish Sea.
“The construction of a cruise ferry of this size will offer both additional capacity and an enhanced experience for both our tourism and freight customers. This infrastructural investment enhances ‘the bridge’ to the UK & Continental Europe that is a vital part of the continued success of Ireland’s open economy,” CEO Eamonn Rothwell, said.