A delegation of senior Irish Ferries officials attended the keel laying ceremony for a new €144 million ferry company in Flensberg, Germany.
Due to be delivered next July, the 55,000 ton new vessel is claimed to the largest and most luxurious ferry to sail on the Irish Sea.
The as yet unnamed ship will enter year-round service on the Dublin–Holyhead and Ireland–France routes.
The ferry will carry 1,885 passengers and crew and include 440 cabins including suites with balconies, and almost 3km of car deck space.
Other facilities will include a club class lounge with direct passenger access from the car decks, á la carte and self-service restaurants, cinema, shops, bars and lounges, exclusive areas for freight drivers and facilities for pets.
In accordance with tradition on such occasions, Andrew Sheen presented the shipyard with a ceremonial coin, specially commissioned by Irish Ferries to mark the occasion, which was placed within the keel section to remain there throughout its construction in order to bring good luck and calm seas for the vessel.
Led by Irish Ferries managing director Andrew Sheen (centre right), the group included David Ledwidge (left), chief financial officer, Irish Continental Group and captain Brian McKenna (right). With them is Rüdiger Fuchs (centre left), chief executive of shipbuilders Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft.
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