Irish Continental Group plc (ICG) has entered into a €165.2 million agreement with the German company Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft & Co.KG (FSG), for the building of a cruise ferry for ICG, to be the largest in the world in terms of vehicle capacity.
The cruise ferry, scheduled for delivery before mid-2020, 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 50% increase in peak freight capacity compared to the MV Ulysses.
In addition, emissions scrubber technology and ballast water systems will meet current and known future environmental regulations and will deliver optimal fuel consumption while minimising related costs. The 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. 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.
The ship is expected to replace the schedule of the ‘MV Ulysses’, which in turn will replace the currently chartered vessel MV Epsilon in the fleet.
Eamonn Rothwell, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “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.”