Following the delivery of W.B YEATS in December 2018, this page has been archived and is no longer updated. Please see the dedicated vessel profile page here for the most up to date version of the information on this page
Update: 29th November 2018
In a trading update released today, Irish Continental Group have stated that FSG have given them a revised delivery date of “early December 2018” for W.B YEATS. According to ICG the vessel is currently undergoing “final delivery adjustments”.
As previously reported on NIFS, W.B. YEATS returned from her sea trials on November 7th.
Update: 30th October 2018
W.B. YEATS finally left the FSG yard in Flensburg last night to commence sea trials. After conducting some manoeuvres overnight in and around Flensburg Firth (Flensborg Fjord for our Danish readers), she set a course for the Danish island Bornholm at around 09:00 (UTC). NIFS understands this is were the bulk of her sea trials will take place. The Ro-Ro freighter ALF POLLAK has now been delivered to Moby subsidiary Tirrenia despite her construction starting after that of W.B. YEATS. She is at Fayard in Odense having scrubbers fitted as these were not specified when the vessel was ordered.
Meanwhile a complaint was lodged last week with the prosecutor in Flensburg of sabotage. This relates to an incident were a closed valve on the cooling circuit led to one of the four main engines overheating, thus delaying trials.
Update: 12th October 2018
As reported earlier today on NIFS, there have been suggestions online that W.B YEATS could begin sea trials at the end of next week. There has been no further official information since our last update however. NIFS understands the vessel remains some way off being ready for service.
Update: 31st August 2018
In yesterdays half-year results Irish Continental Group stated that delivery for W.B. YEATS is expected in late-2018 and that they had not yet been given a final delivery date. This follows from reports earlier in the week that delivery would now not be until October. The cost of rearranging cancel passengers travel has been stated as €7 million which will impact the next set of financial results. The company say 88% of affected passengers were accommodated on other Irish Ferries sailings or via land-bridge. NIFS understands that many, if not all, of those using land-bridge have travelled with Irish Ferries to Wales then onward to France with Brittany Ferries.
Although not stated in the results announcement, a number of these passengers are also understood to have been impacted by the 5-week absence of Ulysses after her sailings for most of July were cancelled. In some cases these passengers were transferred to competitor Stena Line.
The keel for FSG’s next new building, Brittany Ferries’ HONFLEUR, was laid on August 7th.
Update: 23rd July 2018
Information posted to a publicly accessible online forum suggests that the delivery delay to W.B. YEATS has been caused by incorrect measurements being used for the placement of the deckhead (ceilings) in the centre accommodation module, requiring all of the pre-fitted bulkheads (walls) and interior fixtures and fittings to be removed and re-placed so that the spaces in all three accommodation sections and ancillary items all align. As detailed below, the centre accommodation section was constructed by a different subcontractor to the other accommodation sections. This could certainly explain the length of delay in the arrival of the vessel, which has now had a further knock-on effect with the technical issues with ULYSSES which have caused all Dublin to France sailings to be cancelled to allow EPSILON to cover. It is however just one of a number of ‘theories’ circulating as to the reason for such a significant delay in delivery.
W.B YEATS – What we know so far
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 and tailored 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.
According to mononews.gr (external link, in Greek), Irish Ferries had arranged to charter MYKONOS PALACE in the event that she did not attain approval to operate the Pireaus – Chania route. It is likely that this would have been to cover for W.B. YEATS‘ delayed arrival given the facilities onboard MYKONOS PALACE.
However, she has since gained approval to operate the route with an all-Greek crew, and so will not be coming to Irish Ferries.
Update: 12th June 2018
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.
Update 21st April 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: 17.11.18