Irish Continental Group is investing €165.2m to build a new ferry for the Dublin to Holyhead route.
German company Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft & Co.KG is to build the ship which will be the largest cruise ferry in the world in terms of vehicle capacity.
The cruise ferry will accommodate 1,800 passengers and crew, with capacity for 5,610 freight lane metres, which provides the capability to carry 330 freight units per sailing. Overall, it will effectively be a 50pc increase in peak freight capacity compared to the MV Ulysses.
The Agreement between ICG and FSG provides that the cruise ferry is scheduled for delivery before Mid-2020. Twenty percent of the contract price will be paid in instalments during the construction period. The balance of 80pc will be paid on delivery. ICG intend to utilise credit facilities to finance the cruise ferry. The pre-delivery instalment payments to FSG will be protected by means of bank guarantees.
ICG said the ferry will be feature 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. The cruise ferry will be powered by four main engines delivering 33,600 KW of power which will ensure a high degree of service reliability equal to the MV Ulysses which is currently the most reliable ship to ever operate on the Irish Sea.
Freight capacity will be provided over five decks. Uniquely, the vessel has been designed for three tier freight bow loading to allow for efficient loading/unloading and quick turnaround times. Passenger facilities will be spread over three decks. In addition to a superb choice of bars, restaurants (to include both á la carte and self-service options), special provision has been made for premium Club Class passengers, with a dedicated lounge featuring private access direct from the vehicle decks. A choice of state-of -the-art entertainment options and cinemas, dedicated facilities for freight drivers, as well as many retail outlets will ensure that all passengers will be comfortable and engaged throughout