IRISH FERRIES’ PARENT company has cancelled 6,000 summer bookings due to a delay in the delivery of its new ship, the WB Yeats.
Irish Continental Group (ICG) made the announcement this afternoon, citing “extraordinary circumstances beyond its control”. It said that shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft & Co.KG (FSG) has delayed the delivery of the boat.
“Because of the uncertainty caused by this additional delay, Irish Ferries has no option but to cancel all the planned sailings to France for WB Yeats this summer,” the company said in a statement.
The cancellations will affect 6,000 bookings, with Irish Ferries advising customers of the alternative options, including direct sailings on its Oscar Wilde boat or sailing to the UK and then to France.
For customers who choose neither option, a full refund is available. All affected customers will also be offered a €150 voucher to use for bookings between Ireland and France next year.
Irish Ferries was previously forced to cancel July sailings for the WB Yeats when it was informed in April of the initial delay. Around 2,500 bookings were impacted by the earlier cancellation.
In today’s announcement, the company said that 95% of those affected customers chose to switch to Irish Ferries’ other cruise ship, the Oscar Wilde.
Last year, ICG posted revenue of €335 million and earnings of €81 million, with around 1.6 million passengers using its ferry services.
In its annual report, the company said that it was expecting the new €144 million WB Yeats ferry to help boost profits in 2018.
It is not yet confirmed when the ship will be brought into service, but ICG said it is “likely” to commence sailing from Dublin to Holyhead in September.
Written by Paul Hosford and posted on TheJournal.ie. Additional reporting by Sarah Harford.