#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.