German shipyard launches Irish Ferries’ WB Yeats

The hull of Irish Ferries’ new cruise ferry WB Yeats has been launched from the covered slipway at Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) shipyard in Germany.

Entering the water stern first, the €150 million (US$183.9 million), 54,985GT ferry will arrive into Dublin next July when it enters year-round service on the Dublin to Holyhead route.

Fully painted in familiar Irish Ferries lettering and colours, WB Yeats will have space for 1,885 passengers and crew, 435 cabins and almost three kilometres of car deck space.

The name was chosen by the public in an online competition that attracted almost 100,000 entries.

Remaining construction work on the hull will be completed and the vessel fitted out before sea trials, crew training and docking procedures at the Irish, UK and French ports at which it will operate.

Irish Ferries parent, Irish Continental Group, has ordered an even larger cruise ferry for delivery by the shipyard in 2020.

Believed to be the largest cruise ferry in the world in terms of vehicle capacity with accommodation for 1,800 passengers and crew, the €165.2 million vessel’s vehicle decks will have 5,610 freight lane metres, providing the capability to carry 330 freight units per sailing – a 50 per cent increase in peak freight capacity compared to the current vessel Ulysses.

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