02 Jan 2018 | 03.39 pm
Irish Continental Commissions New €165m Ferry
New ferry for Holyhead route in 2020
02 Jan 2018 | 03.39 pm
Irish Continental Group is to buy a new ferry which will be the largest in the world in terms of vehicle capacity, and has agreed a contract price of €165m with German shipbuilders Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft for the ship.
The cruise ferry will accommodate 1,800 passengers and crew, with a capacity of 5,610 freight lane metres, which will allow it to up to carry 330 full-size container trucks per sailing, or 1,500 cars, or a mix of both — a 50% increase in peak freight capacity compared to the MV Ulysses.
Delivery is planned for March 2020, with initial payments of 20% of the price during construction and the balance payable on delivery. ICG plans to borrow to finance the purchase.
The new vessel will operate on the Dublin-Holyhead route, taking over the schedule of the Ulysses which, in turn, will occupy the route schedule of the chartered incumbent, MV Epsilon.
ICG says that the new ship will be designed and built to the highest standards of cruise shipping, with efficiency, comfort and capacity in mind. Emissions scrubber technology (included in the above price) and ballast water systems will meet current and known future environmental regulations and the ship will deliver optimal fuel consumption.
Chief executive Eamonn Rothwell said: “This investment underpins the confidence the group has in the markets in which we operate. Alongside the recent investment in the MV WB Yeats, it brings our total investment to €315m for these two vessels, designed for our operations on the Irish Sea. This infrastructural investment enhances the ‘bridge’ to the UK and continental Europe that is a vital part of the continued success of Ireland’s open economy.”
Freight capacity will be provided on five decks and the vessel has been designed for three-tier freight bow loading to allow efficient loading/unloading and quick turnaround times. Passenger facilities will be spread over three decks with bars and restaurants (á la carte and self-service), and premium Club Class passengers will have a dedicated lounge with private access direct from the vehicle decks.