Oscar Wilde' joins Irish Ferries fleet
IRISH Ferries has just taken delivery of its new ?45m Ireland/France cruise ferry, Oscar Wilde.
The company took delivery of the ferry, formerly the The Kronprins Harald', following the completion of its service on the Baltic Sea route between Oslo and Kiel under its previous owners, Norwegian ferry operator Color Line.
Set to commence service on the Rosslare/Cherbourg route in early December ahead of the 2008 summer season, the vessel is now due to spend the next four weeks in dry dock in the Danish port of Fredericia.
While in Fredericia the Oscar Wilde will be given some new facilities, interior styling improvements and some minor technical modifications will also be made before it begins operations into and out of of Rosslare.
This work will includee 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, including a major upgrade to the main restaurant the Left Bank Brasserie and the fitting of an extra bow thruster for improved manoeuvrability,
Built in Turku, Finland in 1987, the 31,914-tonne Oscar Wilde is substantially larger and significantly more luxurious than the vessel it replaces,' said Irish Ferries Marketing Director, Tony Kelly, referring to the Normandy.
Purchased last January at a cost of ?45m, 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, following Ulysses' and Jonathan Swift'.
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,' said Mr. Kelly.
With eleven decks, Oscar Wilde will carry up to 1,458 passengers and 580 cars an increase of 160 cars on the Normandy. It will also carry 19 more freight vehicles, increasing the capacity from 43 to 62.