Ealier today, Irish Ferries announced that all remaining bookings for services between Ireland and France operated by W.B. YEATS have been cancelled due to further delays in the delivery of the vessel. This follows an earlier round of cancellations in April for passengers booked on sailings between the 12th and 29th of July, and a smaller number of cancellations for sailings between 6th and 11th of July (including the originally planned maiden voyage). It is currently expected that W.B. YEATS will now debut on the Dublin to Holyhead service sometime in September, though at the time of writing the vessel does not appear on the Irish Ferries online booking website at all.
W.B. YEATS is the name of Irish Ferries’ new Ireland – France flagship constructed in Flensburg, Germany by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft. With a gross tonnage of almost 55,000 tons she will be the largest passenger ferry (by gross tonnage) in service to the island of Ireland when she enters service in mid-July 2018 between Dublin and Cherbourg. She is also the largest and most complex ferry built by FSG to date, with a superstructure around ten-times the size of those they usually install on RoRo vessels. Amongst the passenger facilities offered over the four passenger decks will be bars, restaurants (both á la carte and self-service), cinemas, shops, onboard facilities for pets and dedicated lounge areas for Club Class passengers and freight drivers. There will be 441 cabins including a number of suites which will have their own external balconies, as well as deluxe and standard class cabins. Club Class passengers will have direct access from the car deck to the dedicated Club Class lounge. All 1885 passengers and crew will have their own cabin berth. The interior design of W.B. YEATS will be by OSK Shiptech and their subsidiary Steen Friis Design. In terms of vehicle capacity, W.B. YEATS will be able to accommodate some 2,800 lane metres of freight (approx 165 trucks) in addition to 300 cars which will be housed on their own deck separate from freight. Alternatively, 1200 cars can be accommodated if no freight is carried.
Four marine-diesel engines producing at total of 33,600kW will power the vessel to a service speed of 22.5 knots. Waste heat from the engines will be recovered and used to heat the vessel, and the exhaust system will be fitted with scrubbers in order to reduce emissions. W.B. YEATS will operate between Dublin and Cherbourg from mid-July 2018 until the end of September, when she will replace EPSILON opposite ULYSSES on the Dublin – Holyhead route while the fast-craft DUBLIN SWIFT goes off-service for her winter layover. EPSILON will then become the sole Ireland – France ship, offering three round trips a week between Dublin and Cherbourg, for the remainder of 2018.
W.B. YEATS was designed in-house by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft to the requirements of Irish Ferries.
W.B. YEATS was launched from the covered slipway at FSG on the 19th of January, following her naming by Ms Rikki Rothwell, the daughter of ICG Chief Executive Eamonn Rothwell. Over the following 3 days the three already constructed and partially fitted out superstructure sections, the heaviest of which weighed some 2000 tons, arrived from Poland. These were then lifted in place by heavy-lift floating cranes in early February, following delays caused by high winds, then welded in place.
Although W.B. YEATS was ordered from the famous Flensburg (FSG) shipyard in Germany, she is actually the product of 4 different shipyards in two different countries. FSG constructed the hull in their undercover slipway, but like the other ferries they have built since the turn of the millennium, subcontracted the construction of the superstructure to Marine Projects Ltd in Poland. Marine Projects in turn subcontracted the cutting of the flat steel sections of superstructure to Stoczina Gdansk and the assembly of the middle section of superstructure to Holm Construction Ltd, also based in Gdansk. The forward and aft sections were assembled by Marine Projects themselves. On delivery to FSG all floors, ceilings, formwork and wall panels had already been installed in the passenger spaces and crew quarters, as well as the consoles in the wheelhouse and the majority of the air conditioning and ventilation systems and ducting. The furniture will be fitted by FSG before delivery the Irish Ferries in
June July 2018.
The three superstructure sections left Poland fully painted and partially fitted out (including in the case of the forward section the bridge equipment and main mast) and towed to Flensburg on barges. At Flensburg they were lifted onto the already launched hull by the heavy-lift crane barges MATADOR and TAKLIFT, which were brought in specially for the task from The Netherlands, alongside the outfitting quay at Flensburger. Following this the sections were welded to the hull and outfitting continued, including the installation of some 600km of cabling. It is standard practice for vessels constructed at FSG to be assembled in this way with the hull completed on the covered slipway at the yard and the superstructure completed in Poland and then towed on barges to Flensburg to be fitted to the superstructure. This allows vessels to be constructed much quicker than they would be by more traditional methods and makes the best use of the height-resticted slipway at FSG. W.B. YEATS is the first large RoPax to be completed by FSG though they have previously constructed RoPax’s for Canadian operator BC Ferries and LOCH SEAFORTH for Scotland’s Caledonian MacBrayne. FSG also completed much of the design work for Smyril Line’s NORRÖNA which was built by Flender Werft with engineering assistance from FSG. FSG also have an enviable reputation as a producer of RoRo vessels, having completed around 50 RoRo and ConRo vessels since the year 2000 for a variety of operators including Cobelfret/CLDN, UN RoRo and DFDS.
This page will be updated below as more details become available.
- 30th May 2016: Order placed.
- 7th April 2017: Steel cutting ceremony.
- 11th September 2017: Keel laid.
- 19th January 2018: Hull christened in a traditional ceremony and launched from the slipway at FSG.
- 20th January 2018: Fore and mid-sections of superstructure arrived at FSG.
- 22nd January 2018: Aft section of superstructure arrived at FSG.
- 6th February 2018: Lift 1 – Forward section of superstructure including bridge lifted onto the hull.
- 7th February 2018: Lift 2 – Middle section of superstructure lifted onto the hull.
- 8th February 2018: Lift 3 – Aft section of superstructure including funnel lifted onto the hull.
- 20th April 2018: Bookings from 12th to 29th July cancelled due to delivery delays
- 6th July 2018: All Ireland to France bookings onboard W.B. YEATS cancelled. Reasons given are delays in the delivery of interior and electrical components.
- 6th July 2018: Original date for maiden voyage from Dublin to Cherbourg
- 30th July 2018: Rescheduled into service between Dublin and Cherbourg
- September 2018: Latest date for entry into service, now expected to be between Dublin and Holyhead (forecast, possibly subject to further delays).
When the order for then then un-named W.B. YEATS was announced, delivery was expected to be during May 2018. This was subsequently pushed back to June 2018 with a maiden voyage from Dublin to Cherbourg on the 6th of July. In early 2018 passengers booked on sailings up unto the 12th of July 2018 were informed that the vessel may not be ready and were offered alternative arrangements.
On Friday 20th April 2017 at approx 9pm Irish Ferries sent customers with bookings up until the 30th of July an email informing them that they had cancelled sailings from the 12th to 29th of July due to possible delays with the delivery of the vessel. A statement was posted to the Irish Ferries website the following day and released to the media.
The information on this page is produced in good faith but may be subject to change as this is a vessel still under construction.
FSG (RoPax 28)
30th May 2016
€151m (including the cost of exhaust scrubbers)
Marine Projects Ltd, Gdańsk, Poland (Fore and aft sections)
Holm Construction Ltd Sp. z o.o, Gdańsk, Poland (middle section)
Stocznia Gdańsk S.A, Gdańsk, Poland (prefabricated flat sections)
First steel cut
|7th April 2017|
|11th September 2017|
|19th January 2018|
Superstructure lifted into place
Completion and delivery
OSK Shiptech A/S
September 2018 *
Dublin – Cherbourg
Dublin – Holyhead
Length (between perpendiculars)
Number of decks
4 x 8,400 kW marine-diesel engines
Loewe Marine high-efficiency twin flap rudder system
4 x 800kW Konutherm AKV 0,6 / 40 waste gas boilers
1 x 3,560kW Konutherm KOH 2.5 / 50 thermal oil boiler
Power(Max/Pme @ 75%)
455 passenger cabins
60 crew cabins
(1885 total berths)
2,800 freight lane metres (165 trucks)
300 cars (max 1,216 cars if freight space filled with passenger vehicles)
Twin-level drive through loading configuration with bow and stern doors and internal ramps.
Table last updated: 12th June 2018
Yesterday evening, customers with bookings on W.B YEATS up to the 29th of July inclusive were contacted by the company to say their sailings had been cancelled as a precaution due to possible delays with delivery of the vessel. This follows the maiden voyage of the vessel already having been pushed back from the 6th of July to the 12th, with delivery having been delayed from the original date in May. The following statement was issued by Irish Ferries earlier today:
Important announcement re W.B. Yeats
Released 21 APR 2018
We have just been informed by the German shipyard building the WB Yeats, that her delivery to Irish Ferries is likely to be delayed. While this delay is not yet fully confirmed by the shipyard we have, in the interests of minimising the level of potential disruption to our customers, taken the decision to cancel a number of affected sailings in July from the 12thJuly to the 29th July.
We are currently in contact with affected customers and offering spaces that we have held on the MV Oscar Wilde that are close to their booked sailing date. In the absence of an acceptable alternative customers will, of course, be entitled to a full refund.
Unfortunately due to this extraordinary circumstance, this is beyond our control. Please accept our utmost apologies for this inconvenience.
Title image: Irish Ferries W.B. Yeats shown under construction at the Flensburger shipyard on 9th February 2018. The previous day the aft section was lifted into place completing the lift of the superstructure onto the hull. Copyright © Frank Jensen.
The above article is Copyright © Steven Tarbox, all rights reserved. Unauthorised reproduction or distribution is strictly prohibited.
With thanks to Frank Jensen for the use of his images.
Original article published:
last updated: 12/06/18