Callinan Coaches of Claregalway have just taken delivery of five new Volvo 9700 Prestige Plus coaches, two of which are in the 13m tri-axle configuration. So impressed is the Irish operator by Volvo’s flagship vehicle that the longer term plan is for the entire fleet to consist of 9700s!
“We’ve been running 9700s for two years now and as well as being delighted with their performance, we can honestly say that they are the most comfortable coaches on the road,” said Managing Director, Tommy Callinan.
“We’ve had excellent feedback from our passengers who feel they are truly travelling in complete luxury and our drivers love them too. The vehicles have clearly been designed with driver requirements in mind so that everything they need is easily to hand and, of course, the I-Shift gearbox is a real bonus.
“From our point of view, we love the fact that we are dealing with just one supplier and who better than Volvo?”
The new Volvo 9700 Prestige Plus is specified with the popular Volvo DH12E engine – rated at 460hp – and I-Shift gearbox combination. Enhanced safety features include Front Underrun Protection (FUPS) which prevents a car being wedged underneath the coach in the event of a frontal collision, along with Front Impact Protection (FIPS) and Knee Impact Protection (KIPS) which protects the driver in the same. The latest generation Electronic Braking System (EBS) with its Electronic Stability Program (ESP) promote controlled braking and road holding, for a safe, smooth ride.
The 9700’s distinctive and stylish front end and interior detailing create an overall feeling of luxury, space and comfort. The theatre-style flooring ensures that all passengers (53 on Callinan’s tri-axle coaches and 49 on their standard length vehicles) have excellent viewing, while the climate control, servery, toilet and Volvo Sound & Vision entertainment system – comprising CD, DVD player and TFT monitors – mean that every comfort is guaranteed.
The Volvo 9700 driver’s area has been designed to provide an excellent overview and enhanced control, whereby the instruments are easy to monitor with a comprehensive, yet clear, information display panel in the middle of the main instrument binnacle. The instrument panel itself has gently flowing lines and logically positioned controls, whilst large window areas and rear-vision mirrors, with integrated wide-angle mirrors, provide the driver with excellent visibility throughout the vehicle.
All five new 9700s will be used mainly for touring work throughout Ireland, Britain and Europe. In addition to touring, the new coaches will also undertake regular express work on behalf of Bus Eireann.
“We’ve every confidence in the new coaches through our experience with the previous vehicles,” says Tommy Callinan. “Our aim is to provide the best in coach travel, and by investing in the 9700 we have the fleet to ensure we are doing just that!”
Established in 1995, Callinan Coaches specialise in luxury coach travel with services ranging from quality guided tours to golf transfers, corporate travel and UK and continental tours.