- Innisfree Club Class Lounge
- The Maud Gonne Bar & Lounge
- Lady Gregory A la Carte Restaurant
- Boylan’s Brasserie
- Café Lafayette
- The Abbey & The Peacock Cinema & Lounge
- The Hazel Wood Quiet Lounge
- Drumcliff Promenade Deck
- Sally Gardens Kids Room
- 17 classes of cabins, up to two suites with private balconies
Irish Continental Group CEO Eamonn Rothwell and Irish Ferries Managing Director Andrew Sheen unveiled what they believe will be a gamechanger in the Irish Sea and Ireland-France markets, WB Yeats.
Hundreds of guests, including travel trade, media and tourism figures, attended the launch of the ferry, which will be operating on the Dublin-Holyhead route initially. From March 14, the summer service begins from the city to Cherbourg, with up to four departures a week.
What’s clear from the sneak preview is that it’s a big step upmarket for the ferry operator, with WB Yeats at times looking more like a cruise ship interior than conventional ferry. The muted grey colour scheme is reminiscent of MSC’s Magnifica, while centrepieces include a large open-plan atrium-style seating and entertainment area, and a high class restaurant in The Lady Gregory Room.
There are 17 cabin categories, from normal interior rooms, up to three signature suites, two of them boasting balcony areas and on-demand TV schedules.
Launching the ship, Eamonn Rothwell said its history, with its shipyard delays, has been “very interesting, sometimes challenging, but never a dull journey”.
He said that the business is of critical importance to Irish trade and tourism, with Irish Ferries investing heavily in its product: “We have committed to building another cruise ferry, which will be the largest in the world, specifically for our Dublin-Holyhead route. This is testament to our belief in the economic outlook for Ireland and our belief in our own business model, which offers a critical infrastructural bridge for Irish exporters, importers and car tourism.
“We may not get the attention from the Government that the airlines and airports get but trust me when I say that the type of connectivity that we offer is critical to multinational trading companies who wouldn’t come to Ireland without that type of connectivity.” (Watch here).
The ship, which can hold 300 cars and 165 trucks, will be able to accommodate more than 1,800 passengers on the 18-hour sailing, which departs Dublin at 16.00, arriving in France at 11am the following day.
Onboard is free wifi, two movie theatres, and as well as the Lady Gregory, there are more casual eating areas, including the late-night Café Lafayette, a choice of movies in the two cinemas and a children’s play area which is due to have planned activities during the high season.
Andrew Sheen, MD of Irish Ferries, said: “The ship offers the combined largest overnight capacity out of Ireland… WB Yeats is the first new-build passenger ferry installed with the latest in emissions scrubber technology to reduce harmful air emissions. She is the first new-build passenger ferry with ballast water treatment system installed to protect water borne species throughout the Irish Sea and on the Channel.” (Watch here).