World’s largest cruise ferry built for Holyhead to Dublin route

World’s largest cruise ferry built for Holyhead to Dublin route

Irish Continental Group (ICG) has announced plans to invest £146m in a new ‘super cruise’ ferry carry passengers from Holyhead to Dublin.

The company expects the new ship, which will have the capacity to transport 1,800 passengers and 1,500 cars across the Irish Sea, to be in operation by 2020.

Weighing around 67,300 tonnes when full, the ship is slated to be the largest cruise ferry in the world in terms of capacity.

Eamonn Rothwell, chief executive officer of Irish Continental Group, has said that the ship underpins the confidence they have in the market and the firm is excited to be providing crossings to Wales and France from the Republic of Ireland.

He said: “Alongside the recent investment in the MV WB Yeats, it brings our total investment to €315 million for these two vessels designed for our operations on the Irish Sea.

“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 and continental Europe that is a vital part of the continued success of Ireland’s open economy.”

Though still in its initial stages, the company is busy showing off its new offering, promising five decks and three tiers of loading.

This should allow turnaround times to be cut massively, making loading and unloading more efficient and cutting down on waiting times.

Irish Ferries, one of the group’s brands, recently voiced concerns over a significant displacement of traffic from Holyhead to ports in northern England and Scotland if Brexit brings rigorous customs checks to Welsh ports.

However, with the announcement of this investment, it appears large ferry businesses are optimistic about their industry post-Brexit.