Making her debut at Holyhead on the morning of 23 February 2013, the Oscar Wilde is Irish Ferries' acclaimed cruise ferry on the company's French services between Rosslare, Cherbourg and Roscoff. The ship joined the route alongside the Ulysses until the arrival of the new addition, the chartered Epsilon.
The ship was built at the Wartsila Turku Shipyard, Finland, and previously operated for Color line on the Oslo to Kiel service. Her purchase by the Irish Continental Group was decided on the basis of her excellent condition both internal and external which reflected on the care given by Color Line to the vessel. Having completed service with Color Line at Oslo the vessel was taken over by an Irish Ferries crew and sailed for dry-dock at Fredericia Skibsvaerft A/S in Denmark for an extensive refit. This involved the fitting of a second bow thrust unit for improved manoeuvrability in port, new smoke alarm systems and a full overhaul of the sprinkler system.
Wärtsilä Marine, Turku, Finland, 1987
1,220 metres freight
Bow and stern
Work on the passenger areas 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 reflected the link with Oscar Wilde, including a major upgrade to the cafeteria - the Left Bank Brasserie. Other items included the fitting out of a new hair & beauty salon, revamping of the main reception area, the provision of 130 new reclining seats, the fitting of new passenger information signs and the re-branding of the vessel in an Irish Ferries livery.
The Oscar Wilde was back on the Holyhead run for Christmas 2016, continuing a regular winter practice of supporting the Ulysses before returning south to Rosslare to relieve the Isle of Inishmore on the Pembroke service. Each year this carefully planned operation is put into place to cover fleet overhaul schedules before the Oscar Wilde returns to her French links in March.