MV Ulysses (2000)

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Ulysses Arriving In Dublin.jpg
MV Ulysses approaching Dublin Port
Name: MS Ulysses
Owner: Irish Continental Group
Operator: Irish Ferries
Port of registry: Limassol,  Cyprus
Route: Dublin - Holyhead
Builder: Aker Finnyards Oy, Rauma shipyard
Cost: €110M / IR£80m
Yard number: 429
Laid down: 24 January 2000[1]
Launched: 1 September 2000[2]
Completed: 2001
In service: March 2001
Status: In service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 50,938 GT
Length: 209.2 m (686.4 ft)
Beam: 31.84 m (104.5 ft)
Height: 51 m (167.3 ft)
Draught: 6.3 m (20.7 ft)
Depth: 15.75 m (51.7 ft) (moulded)[1]
Decks: 12
Ice class: 1A
Installed power: 4x MaK M43
Propulsion: 2 x LIPS type 4C16 CP propellers[1]
Speed: 22 knots (41 km/h)

MV Ulysses is a RORO car ferry currently owned and operated by Irish Ferries. The ship was launched on 1 September 2000[3] at Aker Finnyards shipyard in Rauma, Finland and services the Dublin - Holyhead route.

The vessel stands 12 decks high, towering over most other vessels at a height of 167.5 feet[2] (approx 51 metres) from keel to mast. The vessel has five vehicle decks, including a stowable mezzanine deck consisting of two 'swing decks', called 'Plates', which are lowered to accommodate a greater number of 'low vehicles' (i.e. vehicles up to 2 metres high) - these swing decks are primarily used in holiday seasons when there is a much greater number of passenger vehicles. When launched she was the world's largest car ferry in terms of vehicle capacity.[3].


Ulysses was designed by Aker Finnyards and based on their Cruise Ferry 4000 concept design.[4] She measures 50,938 GT, and is 209 metres (686 ft) long, with a beam of 31.2 metres (102 ft) and a draft of 6.4 metres (21 ft).[1] She can carry 2,000 passengers and crew, 1,342 cars or 241 articulated trucks and trailers (or a mix of cars and freight vehicles).[2][3] She has 228 passenger berths in 96 cabins, with passenger space spread over 12 decks.[1][5]

She is powered by four MaK M43 diesel engines, each delivering 7,800 kilowatts (10,500 hp) at 500rpm for a total power output of 31,200 kilowatts (41,800 hp), that give her a service speed of 22 knots (25 mph) via two propellers.[1] She also has three thrusters at the bow and one at the stern to aid in maneuvering.[1]


Irish Ferries ordered Ulysses from Aker Finnyards in late 1999.[4] She was laid down on 24 January 2000 and launched on 1 September.[6] She was handed over to her owners, Irish Continental Group, at the Rauma yard on 22 February 2001, leaving under the command of Captain Peter Ferguson on 28 February and arriving in Dublin Bay at 07:00 on Sunday 4 March.[4] The naming ceremony was undertaken by swimmer Mairead Berry.[7]

Following the 2003 sailing season, Ulysses underwent a refit at the A&P Group's Birkenhead shipyard.[8] She has sailed on Irish Ferries' Dublin–Holyhead route for her entire career, uninterrupted until the 2018 season when she suffered mechanical problems with her starboard propeller, requiring drydock repairs that took several weeks in June and July.[9]


On 2 January 2018, Irish Continental Group (ICG) announced[5] that they had entered into an agreement with Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft & Co.KG ("FSG") whereby the German yard will build a new ferry for the Dublin - Holyhead service at a contract price of €165.2m. Upon completion, like Ulysses was, the new ship will be the largest cruise ferry in the world in terms of vehicle capacity. According to ICG, the new vessel will offer a 50% increase in peak capacity over Ulysses, with capacity for 330 freight units or 1,500 cars and 1800 passengers and crew.[5] On the arrival of the new vessel, scheduled for mid-2020, Ulysses, will move to the schedule of the chartered RoPax Epsilon.[5]


  1. ^ "World's largest ferry launched". BBC News Online. BBC News. 1 September 2000. Retrieved 28 March 2006.
  2. ^ "Gold Medal Winner Mairéad The 'Golden Godmother' To World's Largest Car Ferry 'Ulysses'". Irish Ferries. 2001. Archived from the original on 16 March 2006. Retrieved 28 March 2006.
  3. ^ "Vessels - Stena Britannica". Stena Line. 2007. Archived from the original on 20 May 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
  4. ^ "Vessels - Stena Hollandica". Stena Line. 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ulysses". Ship Technology. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Aker Finnyards Delivers Unique Ferry". MarineLink. 1 March 2001. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b "H&W Visitors: Irish Ferries' Ulysses - NI Ferry Site". NI Ferry Site. 4 July 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b "The Motorship | Irish ferries for Finnish yard". Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "Irish Continental Group plc : Irish Continental Group plc invests €165.2 million to build a new cruise ferry for Dublin - Holyhead route". Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Ulysses (9214991)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Berry determined to keep on pushing the boat out -". Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  8. ^ "A&P Busy in the Ferry Refit Season". Marine Link. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Irish Ferries' Ulysses to Remain Out of Service". World Maritime News. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.

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