A NEW ship has been ordered by Irish Ferries to allow them to transport their customers between Britain, Ireland and France in cruise ship style.
The £112million (€144m) vessel will feature a cinema, restaurants, bars and cabins with balconies, the company confirmed this week.
The cruise ferry, which is being built by German company Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft & Co., will accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew, with 435 cabins and the capacity to carry 165 freight vehicles and 300 passenger cars.
“The cruise ferry will be designed to best meet the operational seasonality of our business,” Irish Ferries confirmed this week.
Passenger facilities will be spread over four decks in the new ship – which is expected to be delivered to Irish Continental Group, the parent company to Irish Ferries, in May 2018.
The 435 available cabins will include suites with their own private external balconies, along with deluxe and standard class accommodation.
As well as a range of bars and restaurants, the vessel will include state of the art entertainment options and cinemas, dedicated facilities for freight drivers, as well as retail outlets and onboard facilities for pets.
Irish Ferries CEO Eamonn Rothwell said: “This investment underpins the confidence the Group has in both the freight and passenger tourism markets between Ireland, Britain and France.
“The construction of a cruise ferry of this size will offer a premium experience for all our customers, in line with our commitment to deliver the best in service, in reliability and flexibility across all our routes.”
He added: “We also expect to be well positioned to accommodate the changing expectations of our customers, and to benefit from significant operational and financial benefits following the delivery in 2018.”