ICG has issued another statement, in which it says that the new ship would be employed on the short haul Dublin to Holyhead, UK service midweek and the long haul Ireland to France service during the weekends.
It is planned to replace Epsilon, a chartered in ropax ferry and not the cruise ferry Oscar Wilde, which the company owns.
The company said in addition to 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 retail outlets and onboard facilities for pets, will ensure that all our passengers will be comfortable and engaged throughout their journey,” ICG said
It is likely that this new cruise ferry will be introduced on routes served by the chartered ship MV Epsilon, (currently year round services Dublin – Holyhead midweek, and Ireland – France on weekends).
"The cruise ferry will provide additional freight and tourism capacity on both routes and will deliver a much enhanced onboard experience for all customers," ICG said.
Irish Continental Group plc, the Dublin based ferry company, says it has entered into an agreement, with the German company Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft & Co.KG (“FSG”), whereby FSG has agreed to build a cruise ferry for ICG at a contract price of €144 million.
“The cruise ferry will accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew, with 435 cabins and with capacity for 2,800 lane metres of freight (165 freight vehicles) plus an additional dedicated car deck with capacity for 300 passenger cars,” the company said in a statement.
Its gross tonnage is estimated to be in the region of 50,000 andits four main engines will deliver an output of 33,600kW to produce a speed of 22.5 knots. It will be delivered in 2018.
“This cruise ferry will be designed and built to the highest standards of cruise shipping, and equipped with efficiency and comfort in mind. Emissions scrubber technology (not included in the above price) and ballast water systems will meet current and known future environmental regulations and will deliver optimal fuel consumption while minimising related costs,” ICG said.
The company did not say on which route or routes the new ship would be employed on. In the view of Cruise Business Online, it is likely to replace the 1987 built Oscar Wilde, the only cruise ferry in the ICG fleet, which is used on long overnight crossings between Ireland and France.