FERRIES NEW IRELAND/FRANCE CRUISE FERRY
'OSCAR WILDE' BEGINS SCHEDULED SERVICES
Irish Ferries new Ireland/France cruise
ferry 'Oscar Wilde' has commenced
scheduled sailings between Rosslare and
Cherbourg. The vessel departed the
Wexford port on on Friday 30th November
last - exactly 107 years to the day
since the death of Oscar Wilde in Paris
on 30th November 1900.
By another coincidence, the sailing took
place one day after Irish Ferries had
won the prestigious Irish Exporters
Association Annual Shipping Company of
the Year 2007 Award presented to them by
Irish Minister for Enterprise &
Employment, Michael Martin TD.
Considered to be one of the most
luxurious vessels of its type, the
'Oscar Wilde' was purchased by Irish
Ferries last January at a cost of
€45million. Since then, it has spent
some weeks in a shipyard in Denmark
where a number of new facilities,
interior styling improvements and
technical modifications were carried out
in preparation for its introduction on
Ireland/France routes. These
improvements bring total investment in
the new vessel to over €50 million.
Work carried out included the
construction of two new state of the art
55-seat cinemas, the restyling of
restaurants, bistros, lounge bars,
children's play areas and other
passenger facilities in themes that will
reflect the link with 'Oscar Wilde'.
This included a major upgrade to the
main restaurant - the Left Bank
Brasserie. Other items included the
creation of a new hair and beauty salon,
revamping of the main reception area,
the provision of 130 new reclining
seats, the fitting of new passenger
information signs, the re-branding of
the vessel in Irish Ferries livery and
the installation of an extra bow
A formal renaming ceremony will take
place in Dublin in the New Year.
Previously owned by Norwegian ferry
operator Color Line, for whom it
serviced the Baltic Sea route between
Oslo and Kiel under the name 'Kronprins
Harald', the 31,914 tonnes 'Oscar Wilde'
was built in Turku, Finland in 1987.
Substantially larger and significantly
more luxurious than the vessel it
replaces, it is the third vessel in the
Irish Ferries fleet whose name has been
inspired by a leading figure from the
world of Irish literature.
With sleeker lines and excellent sea
going qualities, it will have a faster
speed of 21.5 knots (delivered by four
more powerful engines) delivering a
saving of one hour on current crossing
times. With eleven decks, it will carry
up to 1,458 passengers and 580 cars - an
increase of 160 cars/40%. Its extra
vehicle lane metres (1,220 versus 645)
will be reflected in significantly
greater freight vehicle capacity (62
units versus 43). Other good news for
car and freight drivers alike is the
fact that cars will have their own deck
separate from the freight deck.
On board, passengers will be impressed
with the range and quality of cabins.
They include 2, 3, 4 and 5-star cabins,
all located above the waterline and all
with their own en-suite facilities.
Accommodation in 2 and 3-star cabins
includes two and four bed units,
available with/without window.
Overnights are made even more
comfortable thanks to fewer bunk beds
and more beds positioned at floor level.
In the more luxurious 4-star cabins,
where two and four bed options are
available, passengers will enjoy the
added luxury of a television, mini bar,
fruit basket, trouser press and
hairdryer. These features are replicated
in top-of-the-range 5-star suites
equipped with double beds. Personalized
cabin service and inclusive waiter
service breakfast also forms part of the
5-star service. Good news for parents is
that baby cots can be accommodated in
all 3, 4 and 5-star cabins.
Commenting, Irish Ferries Marketing
Director, Tony Kelly said 'With its new
name and modern on-board facilities, the
''Oscar Wilde'' presents us with
wide-ranging opportunities to re-brand
and revitalize our Ireland/France
service in a manner that will have very
positive benefits in the future'.
'Bigger, better and faster than the
vessel it will replace, with greater car
and freight capacity, more berths and a
wider choice of stylish cabin
accommodation, the ''Oscar Wilde'' will
bring new standards of comfort and
luxury to our long established Ireland -
France service', Mr. Kelly said.
30th November 2007
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