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Displaying items by tag: Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde, Irish Ferries newest addition, freshly repainted in the company’s livery, made its maiden call to Dublin Port yesterday while en route from Belfast to other Irish Sea ports, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The former shuttle ferry the Star that served a Baltic Sea capitals link, had undergone rebranding in dry-dock at Harland & Wolff, following its charter from the Tallink Grupp to the Irish Continental Group (ICG), the parent company of Irish Ferries.

Initially the Oscar Wilde is to serve on Irish Ferries Rosslare-Pembroke route by replacing another chartered ferry, Blue Star 1. The Greek flagged ferry is due in the Irish port this evening before 1900hrs.

Whereas the Oscar Wilde has been tracked by Afloat, having vacated the berth for the inbound Blus Star 1. As for the Oscar Wilde's maiden commercial sailing, it is understood this is to take place possibly tonight or in the next day or so. 

These sailing schedules, follow Afloat's observation of Oscar Wilde when entering Dublin Bay yesterday after an overnight passage from Belfast where also at H&W, the interior facilities had a makeover to match those of the fleet that includes ferries operating Dover-Calais.

Facilities on the Oscar Wilde that have been given the Irish Ferries rebranding treatment include, an a la carte restaurent, a bar, self-service restaurent, club class lounge, gaming zone, pet facilities and a children’s play area.

In addition, the newcomer with a 2,080 passenger capacity with 134 cabins, will have the largest duty-free shop on the Irish Sea.There will also be separate facilities for freight-drivers with use of 2,380 lane meters for freight vehicles as well for coaches and cars.

Once past the Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head, Oscar Wilde headed for the Dublin Bay Buoy yesterday morning at 0900hrs which was  followed by the ferry making a full circle turn before proceeding into the capital port.

Also in the bay was another Irish Ferries fleetmate, the ropax Epsilon which was at anchorage in between sailings that run in tandem with flagship cruiseferry W.B. Yeats on the Dublin-Cherbourg route.

When within the channel fairway, Dublin Port Company tugs Beaufort and Shackleton welcomed the Oscar Wilde with a traditional maritime display as the tug’s gave a water cannon salute over the bow of the ferry.

The call to Dublin Port was to conduct berthing trials at both linkspans of Terminal 1 where Irish Ferries also operate the cruiseferry Ulysses and fastferry Dublin Swift on the Holyhead route.

On completion of trials, which only took a few hours, Oscar Wilde was back in Dublin Bay, this time bound for Holyhead where further trails took place.

As of this morning, Oscar Wilde had arrived in Rosslare, having completed a second overnight passage in the Irish Sea when sailing from the north Wales port. The replacement ferry was preparing in Wexford for its debut on the southern Ireland-Wales route. 

Berthing trails were not necessary in both the Wexford and Pembrokeshire ports as Afloat previously reported, along with those at Cherbourg, as they had occured during the Star’s delivery voyage from Estonia to Ireland.

Published in Irish Ferries

Irish Continental Group (ICG) newly chartered cruiseferry, the Star recently renamed Oscar Wilde for Irish Ferries service, transited the Strait of Dover last night on its delivery voyage from Estonia to Ireland, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The cruiseferry which had operated Tallink Grupp's Tallinn-Helsinki 2-hour shuttle service, is according to Irish Ferries to ‘initially’ operate on the Rosslare-Pembroke route from early June and into the bussier summer months.

Before making its Ireland-Wales debut, berthing trials are to take place at both ports followed by a rebranding into the company's all white livery scheme which is to take place at Harland & Wolff, Belfast. Unlike the first Oscar Wilde that served Irish Ferries on their former Rosslare based routes to France, where this predecessor had sported a dark blue hull.

ICG's charter of Star from Tallink, according to the Baltic state based operator is to start with a 20-month term, with a possible extension period of two plus two years. Also as part of the contract is the option to acquire the 2,080 passenger/134 cabin ferry which has ample vehicle/freight space of 2,380 lane meters.

Oscar Wilde is to replace the current Rosslare-Pembroke ferry Blue Star 1 in June, as then the charter period expires of the Greek flagged vessel which entered service in 2021. This led to releasing Isle of Inishmore to launch Irish Ferries first ever UK-France service on the busy and competitive Dover-Calais route.

So when Oscar Wilde sailed through the Strait of Dover, it was apt as of the three Irish Ferries 'Isles' running on the short-sea UK-France route, the Isle of Inishmore (tracked by Afloat) from Dover was ahead of the bow of Oscar Wilde when making a crossing to Calais. At the same time, Isle of Inishfree was close to the UK port while Isle of Inisheer was berthed at the French port.

Another French port, Cherbourg, is where Oscar Wilde had called this morning, 13 May, and from where the 185m cruiseferry carried out berthing trials at two link-spans. Such an exercise indicates the potential for Irish Ferries to redeploy Oscar Wilde after completion of high season service on the Ireland-Wales route, as long as another ferry can be secured to take over the Wexford-Pembrokeshire link.

As according to NIFerry, it reports of industry information that suggests the Oscar Wilde will replace the chartered ropax Epsilon which operates on the Dublin-Holyhead/Cherbourg rotation. If such speculation becomes reality, this would take place later this year as Irish Ferries is said to be exploring options for a permanent ship on the Rosslare- Pembroke route and based on current timetables, such a change is likely to occur in early November.

Afloat adds by re-deploying Oscar Wilde on the Ireland-France route, Irish Ferries would then be able to offer more of a match than the freight-orientated (ropax) Epsilon, in terms of increased freight and passenger capacity and superior facilities as featured on W.B Yeats. The flagship built in Germany in 2018, but did not enter service until the following year, firstly made its maiden voyage on the Irish Sea before a debut on the continental connection to France.

It is a decade ago when ICG chartered in the then named Cartour Epsilon to open the Dublin-Cherbourg route for Irish Ferries, though the first such service linking the Irish capital and France was established by P&O Ferries albeit for a short timeframe in the early 2000’s.

In 2014 the ropax was renamed Epsilon and has since continously operated the Wales-Ireland-France routes throughout the year along with the cruiseferry flagship, W.B. Yeats. Sailing times on the continental route subject to which ferry, vary between 17 and 19 hours.

Irish Ferries claim the Oscar Wilde has the largest passenger capacity on the Irish Sea and the likewise its duty-free shop which will be a destination for passengers. In addition they describe the ship to have a possible top speed of 27.5 knots, making it the fastest.

Such speed is not a necessity during this delivery voyage of Oscar Wilde in which Afloat has tracked at various stages of the cruiseferry which has been re-flagged and re-registered.

At time of writing, Oscar Wilde is running at 15 knots while in the west bound shipping lane of the English Channel and is due to make its maiden port of call to Ireland tomorrow morning, 14 May.

Published in Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries is pleased to announce the addition of a new cruise ferry to its fleet with the introduction of the ship to be renamed Oscar Wilde.

Originally the cruiseferry called the Star served in the Baltic Sea and was built in 2007 in Finland for the Tallink Grupp, Afloat adds an Estonian shipping company.

The Oscar Wilde will be the largest and fastest passenger cruise ferry on the Irish Sea with an impressive capacity of over 2,080 passengers, 134 cabins, and ample space with over 2,380 lane meters for cars, coaches, and freight vehicles.

With the largest duty-free shopping space for any cruise ferry on the Irish Sea of more than 17,000 square feet, it will be an ideal shopping destination for those travelling between Ireland and Britain.

The ship interiors have a classic, modern feel and boasts Freight Drivers facilities, Club Class lounge, a self-service restaurant, an à la carte restaurant, a bar, gaming facilities, pet facilities and family-friendly features such as a children's play area.

One of the most exciting features of the Oscar Wilde is its available speed. With a possible top speed of 27.5 knots, it is the fastest cruise ferry with the largest passenger capacity on the Irish Sea.

This will enable Irish Ferries to offer tourism passengers and freight an efficient service, getting them to their destination reliably and comfortably.

Commenting on the new addition, Irish Ferries Managing Director, Andrew Sheen, said, "We are delighted to announce the addition of the Oscar Wilde to our fleet. This new ship will be a fantastic addition to our service, offering customers the very best in terms of comfort, speed, and amenities.

Along with usual advantages of ferry travel in terms of no luggage restrictions or security queues, we are confident that the Oscar Wilde will become a firm favourite with our passengers and freight drivers, and we look forward to welcoming them on board."

The Oscar Wilde will initially enter service on the Rosslare-Pembroke route in early June, replacing the chartered Blue Star 1 for the busy summer period.

With its impressive size, speed, and range of facilities, it is set to become the ultimate choice for those travelling between Ireland and the UK on the southern corridor between Wales and Ireland.

Published in Irish Ferries

Following a successful implementation in selected countries, global container line Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is now extending its the MSC Carbon Neutral Programme to clients worldwide throughout 2020.

Since early 2019, MSC has partnered with leading global climate solutions provider South Pole to develop the MSC Carbon Neutral Programme, an initiative which it claims “complements MSC’s strategic approach to sustainability and massive investment in reducing emissions across its fleet”.

MSC said it was the first major shipping line in 2019 to offer an option to fully compensate the unavoidable carbon emissions caused by the transport of their cargo through supporting climate protection projects managed by South Pole. MSC highlighted that it recently completed the launch of the largest class of container ships which produce the lowest CO2 emissions per container carried by design – MSC’s Gülsün Class.

For much more LloydsLoadingList reports here. 

In addition to Afloat coverage of a European Commission first, a report on CO2 emissions from maritime transport - that estimates merchant ships added over 138 million tonnes to EU carbon emissions in 2018.

Afloat adds that the landlocked shipping giant based in Switzerland acquired ICG's Oscar Wilde, operated by Irish Ferries on their Rosslare-Cherbourg/ Roscoff (seasonal) routes. The sale of the 1987 cruiseferry involved a bareboat hire purchase agreement with MSC to their ferry subidiary Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV) which renamed GNV Allegra under the Italian flag and operating a Genoa-Olbia (Sardinia) service. 

Irish Ferries had Oscar Wilde operate the Rosslare based routes to France until 2018 however in the following year the introduction albeit late of newbuild W.B.Yeats onto the Dublin-Cherbourg route considerably enhanced the service with the 'cruiseferry''s summer sailings.

This compared to 'economy' based year-round sailings served by Italian flagged ropax Epsilon which recently returned full time on the Dublin-Holyhead route. While WB Yeats concentrates on high-season sailings. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ferries - Irish Ferries cruiseferry Oscar Wilde which operated Rosslare based routes to France until last year has according to owners Irish Continental Group to be disposed following an agreement to sell the 1987 built ship to a new owner.

Under the terms of a bareboat hire purchase agreement, ICG has agreed to sell the Oscar Wilde to MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA.

The Swiss based group Afloat adds is a major player in the global container market and has divisions involved in cruiseships and ferries serving in the Mediterranean Sea. 

The total gross consideration for the sell of Oscar Wilde is €28.9 million, payable in instalments over 6 years, is to take up to 2025. Delivery to the buyer of the 1,400 passenger/580 car capacity cruiseferry is expected to take place during April 2019.

As for Rosslare Europort based routes to France this season, Irish Ferries have yet to confirm with an update following a decision in December that they were unlikely to operate a service between Rosslare and France in 2019 but added then this situation was under review.

Kronprins Harald was acquired by ICG from Norwegian operator Color Line in 2007 to begin a Irish Ferries career on the French services to Cherbourg and Roscoff. Since Autumn last year, the ship was transferred to Dublin to provide cruiseferry services on the Cherbourg route in advance of the much delayed newbuild W.B. Yeats. This much larger cruiseferry entered service on the direct Dublin-France route almost a month ago. 

The proceeds according to ICG less the net book value of the Oscar Wilde (€7.7 million) and related disposal costs will result in a profit on disposal. It said this will be reported as part of the 2019 financial results of ICG. 

Published in Ferry

#Lifeboats - The RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat based in Rosslare Harbour was launched at 10.38pm on Saturday night (2 March) to assist a passenger onboard an Irish Ferries vessel bound for Pembroke in Wales.

The passenger ferry Oscar Wilde, which was located 20 miles off the Wexford coast at the time, asked for assistance in evacuating a passenger who had become ill.

Sea conditions were unfavourable for the volunteers on the Rosslare Harbour lifeboat to go alongside the ferry.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford was also tasked and quickly arrived on scene. After attempts to airlift the casualty it was deemed too dangerous.

The Oscar Wilde returned to Rosslare Europort at 1am, where an ambulance was waiting to bring the casualty to hospital. The RNLI volunteers in their Severn class lifeboat stood by the passenger ferry for the duration.

Sea conditions were very poor at the time, with a strong Force 7 to 8 gale and heavy rain.

Coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke commented that the volunteer crew of the lifeboat had to endure very challenging conditions.

Speaking afterwards, Rosslare Harbour RNLI lifeboat operations manager David Maloney said: “Conditions at sea tonight were challenging for our coxswain and lifeboat crew and I would like to commend them for their efforts in enduring a rough passage in the dark, and late at night on a Saturday evening, to be of assistance.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#FerryFault- RTE News reports that passengers numbering around 1,000 had to spend the night on board an Irish Ferries vessel in the French port of Cherbourg after the crossing to Rosslare was cancelled.

Tonight's sailing from Rosslare to Cherbourg has also been cancelled. The 1987 built cruiseferry Oscar Wilde of 31,914 tonnes, was due to leave the French port at 8pm yesterday evening, but a fault with its radar system meant the journey could not go ahead.

An Irish Ferries spokesperson said that a ship may be able to get permission to sail in these circumstances provided there are good weather conditions, but the port of Cherbourg was enveloped in fog at the time.

All passengers on-board the ferry in Cherbourg, have now disembarked and alternative travel is being arranged for them.

An Irish Ferries spokesperson said that the nature of the technical problem necessitated the use of an expert technician and it would not be possible to have the ferry sail today.

For the latest information on sailings updates and contact details from ports, visit this link from Irish Ferries website.


Published in Ferry

#NewFERRY - As previously reported on, Irish Ferries introduction of Epsilon as a third vessel on the Dublin-Holyhead route will be in mid-December and not tomorrow as previously indicated, writes Jehan Ashmore.

During this interim period the new extra sailings will intially be operated by the company's French routes ferry Oscar Wilde. She is scheduled to run the extra sailings with two round-trips daily, with the first crossing departing Dublin Port in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

When the Epsilon (2011/26,375gt) the chartered Italian-flagged 500 passenger ro-pax ferry comes on stream next month she will take over the sailing roster of Oscar Wilde in the run up to the festive period schedule.

Currently there are no Rosslare-Cherbourg sailings and according to the operator's website, the French service resumes on 8 December.


Published in Ferry

#Ferry News – Due to heavy seas, Irish Ferries French route vessel, Oscar Wilde had to abandon its approach to Cherbourg last night.

The cruiseferry with more than 500 passengers had departed Rosslare and made several attempts to dock at the French port with the assistance of tugs in winds of up to 100km an hour.

One crew member suffered a broken leg during one of the failed attempts after a line snapped. He is still on board but a spokesperson for Irish Ferries says he is being well catered for on board. For more the Irish Examiner reports.

According to the Irish Ferries website, the vessel is currently offshore of Cherbourg and is awaiting an improvement in weather conditions before a further attempt to berth will be made at 13.00 hours local time today.


Published in Ferry

#FrenchRoute-Irish Ferries set sail for France today on board cruiseferry Oscar Wilde, which launches the 2013 season with a night-time departure on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route.

Irish Ferries are currently offering a fare from €99 car & driver & reserved seat. The price includes all taxes if booked at least 10 days in advance of travel date.

Oscar Wilde made her debut on the continental service in 2007, she has extensive passenger facilities and a wide choice of cabin accommodation, having served in Scandinavian waters with Color Line.

She recently returned to Rosslare, fresh from annual maintenance carried out at the Cammell Laird dry-dock facility in Birkenhead. In May the Rosslare-Roscoff route resumes a peak-season operated service.


Published in Ferry
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