THE WELL-KNOWN ‘Jonathan Swift’ ferry, which runs from Dublin to Holyhead, is being sold.
Irish Continental Group announced this morning that it has entered into a memorandum of agreement to sell the vessel to Spanish shipping company Balearia Eurolineas Maritimas.
The agreed consideration of €15.5 million less brokers fees and a 10% deposit, will be paid on delivery.
Irish Continental said that it will pocket €14 million as a result of the deal. The ship is to be delivered to its new owners by the end of April.
The ‘Jonathan Swift’ was commissioned by and delivered to Irish Continental in 1999 at a cost of just under €39 million.
Since then it has run from Dublin – Holyhead in Wales, one of the company’s most popular routes.
The vessel will be replaced by the high speed craft ‘Westpac Express’, which was built in 2001 and was recently redelivered following a period of 20 months on external charter.
It is currently undergoing a refurbishment programme to improve it for ferry passengers.
The move is one of several changes that Irish Continental has recently made to its fleet, and to the Dublin – Holyhead route.
Earlier this month it announced that it would spend more than €165 million to build a new cruise ferry that will run between Ireland and Wales.
The new ship will be able to accommodate 1,800 passengers and crew. Once finished it will be the largest cruise ferry in the world in terms of vehicle capacity, able to hold 1,500 cars and over 300 trucks.
The new ship will replace the MV Ulysses, which is currently servicing the Dublin – Holyhead route.
Irish Continental said that the move will free up the W.B. Yeats, which is due to arrive in mid-2018, to be used full-time on the direct Ireland – France route alongside the MV Oscar Wilde.