As of yesterday afternoon, Monday 18th June, 65% of the 5,746 customers affected by the delayed delivery of the WB Yeats, have now been re-accommodated. Of these, 89% have chosen to travel on alternate sailings to France with Irish Ferries with 9% choosing to cancel and accept a full refund and the remaining 2% opting to travel by land-bridge through the UK.
Following notification from German shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft & Co. KG (FSG) on Monday that delivery of the W.B. Yeats is to be further delayed, Irish Ferries made the decision to cancel the remaining departures from Dublin to Cherbourg this summer.
Each customer has been offered a transfer to the most appropriate alternative Oscar Wilde departure, the option of travelling land-bridge through the UK to France, or a full ‘no quibble’ refund. Customers who choose the land-bridge option will also be reimbursed the cost of their fuel requirements from the port of arrival in the UK to the port of arrival in France.
Andrew Sheen, Managing Director, Irish Ferries, said: “We feel very disappointed and very let down by the shipyard. We were informed via email on Monday that the delivery date of 13th July would not be met as a result of delays connected to sub-contracted electrical works. This meant that we would not have time to carry out the necessary safety checks before the end of the summer sailing season.
“All we can do is apologise at this stage. We are accountable but we are not the ship builder, we do not build ships. Over 90% of the impacted passengers affected can be accommodated on the Oscar Wilde without difficulty, but the landbridge option might suit other passengers better.”
Any customers who wish to contact Irish Ferries can call +353 (0) 818 300 400 or email [email protected].
Irish Ferries was previously forced to cancel July sailings for the W.B. Yeats when the company was informed in April by FSG of the initial delay. Approximately 2,500 bookings were impacted by the earlier cancellation – however, 95% of those chose to switch to Irish Ferries’ other cruise ferry, the Oscar Wilde.
A statement said: “Irish Ferries very much regrets the inconvenience these cancellations cause our customers and hopes that as many as possible will choose to be accommodated via the company’s alternative arrangements and continue with their holiday plans. As valued customers of Irish Ferries, we are offering each affected customer a €150 voucher which can be used on any of our Ireland-France routes next year.”
The W.B. Yeats is now likely to commence sailing with Irish Ferries on Dublin-Holyhead as scheduled in September.
Eamon Rothwell, Chief Executive, Irish Ferries, said that there would be no further cancellations resulting from delays with the W.B. Yeats, even if it were not ready to sail on the Dublin-Holyhead route in September. “Passengers on that route simply book a space, rather than a cabin, and will be accommodated on whichever vessel is available. There won’t be any cancellations on the Dublin-Holyhead service resulting from this.”