Irish Ferries has announced that further delays to the arrival of its new W.B. Yeats cruise ferry means it will not go into service as schedule at the end of July and leaves thousands of passengers and their holiday plans up in the air.
The €147m ship was due to start sailing between Ireland and France and the UK from July 30, all sailings up to September have been cancelled.
"Irish Ferries regrets to announce that, due to extraordinary circumstances beyond its control, the delivery of the W.B. Yeats has been further delayed by FSG," it said.
'FSG' refers to Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft & Co.KG, the German Shipbuolder charged with delivering the state-of-the-art ship.
Approximately 6,000 bookings will be affected by the delay and cencellations.
This is the second delay to impact passengers booked onto the W.B. Yeats. Last April, thousands of customers had their holiday plans disrupted when Irish Ferries cancelled sailings booked between July 12 and 29.
"Because of the uncertainty caused by this additional delay, Irish Ferries has no option but to cancel all the planned sailings to France for W.B. Yeats this Summer, with the ship now likely to commence sailing with Irish Ferries on Dublin / Holyhead as scheduled in September," it said.
The company is contacting affected customers this afternoon to inform them of the cancellations, offer alternative travel options, and apologise for the disruption to their travel arrangements, it added.