By Conall Ó Fátharta
Around 19,000 people have had their holiday plans left in chaos after Irish Ferries cancelled all sailings to France on the WB Yeats vessel this summer.
The company said that due to “extraordinary circumstances” beyond its control, it had been forced to cancel the sailings due to a further delay in the building of the ship by German shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft & Co KG (FSG).
The WB Yeats had been due to commence sailings between Ireland and France from July 30.
Irish Ferries said around 6,000 bookings will be impacted by the cancellation and that it was contacting all customers to inform them of the cancellations, offer them alternative travel options, and apologise for the disruption to their travel plans this summer.
The affected customers are being offered a number of alternative travel options, including alternative direct sailings on the Oscar Wilde ferry, or a landbridge option. This involves sailing to Britain (from either Dublin or Rosslare) and then to France.
Customers who choose the landbridge option will also be reimbursed the cost of their fuel requirements from the port of arrival in Britain to the port of arrival in France.
If alternative travel arrangements do not suit, customers will be entitled to a full and immediate refund of all monies paid.
Irish Ferries was previously forced to cancel July sailings for the WB Yeats when they were informed in April by FSG, of the initial delay. Approximately 2,500 bookings were impacted by the earlier cancellation. The company said that 95% of those chose to switch to Irish Ferries’ other cruise ferry, the Oscar Wilde.
Irish Ferries is contacting customers directly, however, any customers who wish to contact Irish Ferries can call +353 (0) 818 300 400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.