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Displaying items by tag: Cruiseferry Oscar Wilde

#DryDocking - Ireland-France cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde will resume seasonal services next month but in the meantime the ship is undergoing routine maintenance in a UK shipyard, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to a source following a visit to Falmouth, Cornwall the Irish Ferries Rosslare routes cruiseferry was seen in dry-dock with a damaged tail ramp having carried out routine tests.

The 1400 passenger / 580 car Oscar Wilde was introduced by Irish Ferries almost a decade ago when making a debut on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route in late 2007.

The 31,000 gross tonnage ship offered superior standards with luxurious facilities compared to the 1982 built Normandy in which she replaced from the continental link. The one-time former Stena Normandy, also served that owner out of Southampton to the same French port as part of long and varied career until scrapping. An elder sister, Stena Europe remains serving Rosslare-Fishguard. 

Oscar Wilde was originally named as Kronprins Harald having been launched in 1987 at the Oy Wärtsilä AB shipyard, Turku, Finland for Norwegian owners, Jahre Line. The Scandinavian cruiseferry began her career serving the Oslo-Kiel service. This route is two hours longer than that of the 17 hours 30 minutes crossing time on the Irish route to Cherbourg.  

In 1991 the impressive cruiseferry was sold to fellow Norwegian operators, Color Line. She served under the same name until sale to current owners, Irish Continental Group.

ICG’s ferry division will see Oscar Wilde return to Rosslare duties by beginning sailings on 1 March. The route to Normandy will be complimented in the high-season with the service to Roscoff, Brittany that begins in May.

Published in Ferry

#DublinSwift- Jonathan Swift, Irish Ferries fastferry returned fresh to the Dublin-Holyhead service this week, following annual drydocking maintenance in Birkenhead, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The central corridor route, which is a distance of 60 nautical miles (111 Kms) takes Jonathan Swift only 1 hour 49 minutes while running at up to 40 knots (80kph). So with each crossing, the Dublin Swift, (her marketing name), consumes 15 tonnes of marine diesel oil and in every year she clocks up an impressive total of 162,000 kms.

As previously reported, the Irish Ferrries fleet took in turn annual dry-docking at Cammel Laird, Birkenhead, where the Austal Auto-Express 86m built catamaran craft completed in Fremantle, western Australia, became the last vessel to receive work out of the company's other Irish Sea vessels, flagship Ulysses and cruiseferry Isle of Inishmore.

Now that Isle of Inishmore is back running Rosslare-Pembroke Dock sailings, previously covered by French routes cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde, which is currently undergoing overhaul in Birkenhead.

Oscar Wilde, a former Scandinavian overnight ferry, is scheduled to launch 2013 sailings, firstly Rosslare-Cherbourg on 27 February followed by the peak-season Rosslare-Roscoff route on 10 May.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS- Established ferry operators on routes to France are gearing –up for market share with the first battle for 2012 targeting the Spring Easter period, with recent T.V. advert campaigns launched by Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Last week Irish Ferries reopened Rosslare-Cherbourg sailings by the cruiseferry Oscar Wilde (1987/31,914grt). The largest ever vessel to serve Irish Ferries French routes will also resume high-season sailings to Roscoff in May. For sailing times of both routes click HERE.

Brittany Ferries will embark their season with Cork-Roscoff sailings on 31st March with 'flagship' Pont-Aven (2004/41,748grt). This route operates a single weekend round-trip schedule, with arrivals and departures to Cork each Saturday, for more on sailings click HERE.

While Celtic Link Ferries, which entered the continental sector in 2005 having taken over from P&O (Irish Sea) introduced a new vessel on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route last October with the chartered ro-pax Celtic Horizon (2006/27,522grt) as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Unlike their rivals, Celtic Link Ferries are the only operator to maintain year-round sailings in this sector, for schedule click HERE.

Published in Ferry
4th January 2012

Ferry Go-Round

# FERRY NEWS - Irish Ferries French routes cruiseferry Oscar Wilde (1987/31,914grt) took over Rosslare-Pembroke Dock sailings with this morning's sailing, instead of the usual route vessel that operates on the southern corridor route, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Currently there are no services running to Cherbourg until February, though Oscar Wilde is covering in for the Welsh route ferry Isle of Inishmore (1997/31,031grt). She in turn is due to relief Dublin-Holyhead sailings from tonight on the route which is normally served by flagship Ulysses (2001/50,938grt) which heads off for dry-docking.

In the meantime Isle of Inishmore is in Rosslare after completing last night's sailing from the Pembrokeshire port. She is due to make a repositioning voyage with an arrival into Dublin Port this evening and  followed by a brief turn-around at the ferryport, she  is take over the route's roster with tonight's 20.55 crossing to Holyhead.

Published in Ferry

Direct continental ferry services between Ireland and France will be reduced as of this weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Brittany Ferries last sailing for this year on the Cork-Roscoff route ends today. The 11-hour route is normally served by 'flagship' Pont-Aven but this weekend's final round-trip will be operated by the Bretagne. The former flagship, built in 1989 had served on the Irish route for several years but now operates St.Malo-Portsmouth sailings. Cork-Roscoff sailings resume in 2011 with the first crossing from the Breton port on 1 April 2011 and the corresponding departure from Ireland on 2 April.

In the interim period, alternative routes to France are maintained by Irish Ferries and Celtic Link Ferries. On the Rosslare-Cherbourg route, operated by Irish Ferries, sailings are scheduled to run to 31 December but there will be no sailings throughout January 2011 and up to mid-February. This is to allow the routes cruiseferry Oscar Wilde to undergo annual dry-docking before re-opening the route on 16 February. In addition Irish Ferries operate the seasonal Rosslare-Roscoff route which starts on 13 May.

Celtic Link Ferries also operate on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route. During January 2011, the company will be the only ferry operator providing services between Ireland and France.

At_sea_3

Celtic Link Ferries ro-pax Norman Voyager

The 17-hour route to Cherbourg is served by the 2008-built ro-pax Norman Voyager, the newest vessel on the continental routes. Norman Voyager accommodates 800 passengers, 200 cars and up to 120 freight vehicles. There are 110 cabins and facilities for passengers include a bar, restaurant, lounges, cinema and a shop.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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