UPDATE 12.01.14: W.B. YEATS has still yet to enter service due to what NIFS understands have been further problems. Despite some reporting that she will start on Monday 14th in “Freight Only” mode, this is still far from certain and a date which relies solely on information published to the freight timetable. As a consequence of this further delay in getting W.B. YEATS into service, the scheduled dry docking of ULYSSES has been postponed again.
Irish Ferries’ new Ro-Pax W.B. YEATS has appeared on the company’s live freight timetable (but notably not the passenger booking website) as starting service with the 20:55 sailing from Dublin to Holyhead on Monday 13th January – a sailing which would normally be operated by ULYSSES. The new vessel appears to be covering ULYSSES‘ dry docking period, which had been reported on social media to start next week but now looks to have been pushed back or shortened. ULYSSES is currently still showing as returning with the 20:55 sailing ex Dublin on January 24th, meaning she will only have around 10 days for dry docking if the schedule stays the same.
After this date W.B. YEATS currently moves to the secondary roster on the Dublin to Holyhead route in place of the veteran cruise ferry OSCAR WILDE and Ro-Pax EPSILON. The latter vessel is currently in dry dock in the French port of Brest and is scheduled to release OSCAR WILDE for the Dublin to Cherbourg route on 15th January after sailing back to Dublin via a call at Cherbourg on January 13th. This is likely because EPSILON has much greater freight capacity than OSCAR WILDE which will help compensate for the loss of ULYSSES on the Holyhead route. ULYSSES herself has much greater freight capacity than any other current Irish Ferries vessel – around 1200 lane metres more than even W.B. YEATS or EPSILON. From January 26th OSCAR WILDE appears to be covering ISLE OF INISHMORE on the Rosslare to Pembroke Dock route, presumably so the latter can also go to dry dock. Being a live schedule however, these dates may still be subject to change and no official statement has been released by Irish Ferries confirming these dates.
A peek Inside W.B. YEATS
Please note that the following images are all official Irish Ferries images from IrishFerries.com and other official sources. However, this gallery will be added to once further images become available.