Tourism Ireland has welcomed the announcement by Irish Ferries of its planned investment in a new cruise ferry, costing €144 million.
The cruise ferry is expected to operate on routes between Holyhead and Dublin and between France and Ireland when it is delivered in May 2018.
Tourism Ireland believes the investment will provide another shot in the arm for Ireland's improving tourism industry.
The new ferry will accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew, with a dedicated car deck with capacity for 300 passenger cars, plus 435 cabins and capacity for 165 freight vehicles. In addition to a choice of bars, restaurants (to include both à la carte and self-service options), special provision is made for premium Club Class passengers, with a dedicated lounge featuring private access direct from the vehicle decks.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: "Today’s announcement by Irish Ferries is a real vote of confidence in Irish tourism and good news for future visitors. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct access cannot be overstated – it is absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. We already work very closely with Irish Ferries and we look forward to co-operating with them to maximise the promotion of their services using this new cruise ferry."