#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.
#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.
#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.
# 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.
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.
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.