Irish Ferries is encouraging members of the public to have their say on the name that they think could be given to the company’s new 55,000-tonne, €144 million cruise ferry, which is currently under construction in Germany and is due for launch next summer.
The invitation seeks the public’s involvement in suggesting a big, Irish, literary name to go on the biggest ferry ever on the Irish Sea, that “conveys a sense of Ireland and our country’s literary past in a way that would have a proud and emotional appeal to Irish people, tourists and freight customers alike”.
Submissions are being invited online via the website www.bigshipbigname.com where everybody who enters has the chance to win the grand prize of free travel on Irish Ferries’ services for life, or bag one of 20 various runner-up prizes.
Andrew Sheen, Managing Director, said: “Our invitation seeking suggestions from people in the naming of our new vessel is one that marks the commencement of what will be one of the most exciting episodes in Irish Ferries’ history.
“In terms of the space and accommodation provided onboard – along with the many technical features introduced to make travel even more comfortable, more economical and more eco-friendly – the introduction of our new ship will raise ferry travel to a modern level of luxury never before available in the market here, heralding the dawn of a new era for the tourism and freight sectors, both here and overseas.”
When it arrives here next summer, the new vessel will join a modern ferry fleet that, traditionally, has carried names inspired by the world of Irish literature and writing, examples being ‘Ulysses’, ‘Oscar Wilde’ and ‘Jonathan Swift’.
When delivered, the new ferry will accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew and will have 2,800 lane metres of freight vehicle capacity – room enough for over 500 cars or, in freight mode, up to 165 articulated trucks and 300 cars on a dedicated car deck.
Spread over four decks, passenger accommodation will consist of 440 cabins, among them luxury suites with views out to sea from their own private balconies, as well as a choice of deluxe and standard class accommodation. Described as being ‘truly cruise class’, onboard facilities will include a choice of bars and lounge space, á la carte and self-service restaurants, cinemas, a shopping mall and an exclusive Club Class lounge with private passenger access direct from the vehicle decks. Facilities exclusively set aside for freight drivers will be provided, while pets too will be given their own dedicated facilities.
Operational and scheduling details will be announced soon.