James Joyce ex-Star, Oscar Wilde (IMO 9364722)

Ferries and ferry companies that serve in the Irish Sea
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crechbleiz
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Post by crechbleiz »

northy wrote: 21 Apr 2023 23:26 So is the Star (Oscar Wilde) going to be the most exciting ship serving Ireland? Or do we have other nominees? 

Stena Vision has to join the list for sure. 
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Post by tumnus2010 »

Pont Aven must be up there in terms of variety available too. 

i suppose it depends on how we term 'exciting'  
Ulysses was a huge step change in terms of vehicle carrying, but probably not the most interesting boat for passengers.

I never sailed on her but the former Oscar Wilde seemed popular on the forums for what she offered. 

 
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Post by shark »

tumnus2010 wrote: 22 Apr 2023 09:04 Pont Aven must be up there in terms of variety available too. 

i suppose it depends on how we term 'exciting'  
Ulysses was a huge step change in terms of vehicle carrying, but probably not the most interesting boat for passengers.

I never sailed on her but the former Oscar Wilde seemed popular on the forums for what she offered. 


The former Oscar Wilde was a lovely ship. Very comfortable. Never had a bad crossing on her!
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Post by ropax »

Oscar Wilde will be this year on the Pembroke-route.
All this with a route Dublin-Calais was only a proposal from me. 
But Irish Ferries has announced that the Oscar Wilde could operate also to France, but then it will be to Cherbourg. 

The port of Calais is very big extended in the last years with a lot of new space, berth and ramps now and i am 100% sure that - if any ferry-company would ask to move from Cherbourg to Calais - they would offer a solution and find a ferry-berth very fast... .
But as said - let`s forget now here in this thread all about Calais - was just my personally proposal and is not actually for the ferry Oscar Wilde.

Most exiting ferry to Ireland:
Now very difficult to say... similar as with cars... Mercedes E, BMW 5 or AUDI A6 - which is the best ? All 3 with similar size, quality and price... .
Brittany Ferries is using on some dep. big cruise-ferries, Stena offers the comfortable Vision with f.ex. a Spa onboard and Irish Ferries is operating with the comfortable Ulysses, W.B. Yeats and Oscar Wilde... .
So maybe from/to Cherbourg just to book the cheapest of these ferries is the best solution, on Irish Sea i would choose Irish Ferries if the ticket-price is the same as Stena. But maybe other people would prefer the Stena E-Flexer also.
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Post by ccs147 »

shark wrote: 22 Apr 2023 13:54
tumnus2010 wrote: 22 Apr 2023 09:04 Pont Aven must be up there in terms of variety available too. 

i suppose it depends on how we term 'exciting'  
Ulysses was a huge step change in terms of vehicle carrying, but probably not the most interesting boat for passengers.

I never sailed on her but the former Oscar Wilde seemed popular on the forums for what she offered. 

The former Oscar Wilde was a lovely ship. Very comfortable. Never had a bad crossing on her!

Loved the former Oscar Wilde. Great ship with its own character and good seakeeper in my experience.
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Post by Shipping-Forecast »

Trimmed thread on personal comments.

Please play the ball, not the person.
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Post by ryanh »

I've booked a trip to Galway in October this year with the car club I'm a member of, it includes ferry crossings which I'm pretty certain are via Irish Ferries. I'd like to use Pembroke-Rosslare because i've never sailed that route before but Holyhead-Dublin makes a lot more sense. I'm really hoping Oscar Wilde will be on the route by then, rather than Epsilon, since we'll likely have to take a morning sailing from the UK. 
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Post by hhvferry »

The Oscar Wilde is on her way.

Oscar Wilde ex-Star Irish Ferries delivery voyage 09/05/23
Oscar Wilde ex-Star Irish Ferries delivery voyage 09/05/23
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Post by Seashore »

Any idea where she’s going for refit/rebranding?

I wonder if IF will keep the green stripes or paint them black similar to Ulysses and WB Yeats?
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Post by shipbiulder101 »

Seashore wrote: 09 May 2023 17:54 Any idea where she’s going for refit/rebranding?

I wonder if IF will keep the green stripes or paint them black similar to Ulysses and WB Yeats?

Harland and Wolff in belfast will have a Ulysses/ WB Yeats style scheme. Stopping off at Cherbourg, Rosslare and Pembroke for berthing trials. Roumours are that she will eventually replace Epsilon which would be a huge upgrade with another ship taking the Pembroke run. NI Ferry has a good article on her planned deployment.
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Post by Seashore »

Thanks @shipbiulder101, I normally check out their site regularly but missed that and posted totally superfluous questions. Thanks for being more on the ball than me.
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Post by hhvferry »

Here's IF's rendering of the ship in their colours.

Oscar Wilde ex-Star
Oscar Wilde ex-Star
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Post by ropax »

Thanks, is looking well. I like generally the design of ferries with "black" windows, similar as Corsica Sardinia Ferries f.ex. also.
But still nothing to see on the Irish Ferries websites... - they have slowly web-designers... .
Negative for bookings - i would never book f.ex. for a family-car any "unknown" ferry. And up to today no normal people knows that this ferry will replace Blue Star in 2 weeks. So Stena will get this summer more bookings on the Fishguard-route than usually.
Positive point: The Pembroke route has only 30min check-in time. At most big ferries in Europe you must be in the port 1 hour before dep. .
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Post by hhvferry »

ropax wrote: 13 May 2023 14:37 So what would you do if you would be the CEO of Irish Ferries ?
Oscar Wilde to Holyhead ?

Other Possibility A:
- Dublin-France (if possible anytime change from Cherbourg to Le Havre or Calais) with the both Australian Superfasts daily in both dir. .
(= more capacity than other competitors because these do not offer 365 days dep., Stena f.ex. only ca. 312 dep.)

- Oscar Wilde stay at Pembroke 
- WB Yeats, Ulysses and Dublin Swift at Holyhead
- no changes at Dover
RESULT:
- Irish would have at the Holyhead and Rosslare-corridors the best and fastest ferries and also the biggest capacities
- Furthermore a good attractive offer on the Ireland-France route  
I think ultimately Irish Ferries will need a different ship for the Pembroke route. All the indications are that the Oscar Wilde will have a lot of her accommodation closed off or at best unstaffed during her time there. Which makes sense given the relatively light traffic loads she will be carrying, even in summer. The reality is this is a short-term assignment to get IF through this summer and possibly to sort out what they want to change on the ship in the winter ahead of a move to another route. The ship is probably a too expensive and valuable vessel to be justified on the Pembroke route permanently.

The IF website's page on the Oscar Wilde indicates what will be available:

https://www.irishferries.com/uk-en/ships/oscarwilde/

If we try and map those to what the Star had we can begin to speculate what will be open or closed/unstaffed. Here's a guess of what they might do.

Seaport Pub - closed except on very busy sailings.
Perfume/Trend Shops - open as the main shops on board
Business Lounge - probably closed unless they decide to use it as the Club Class
Supermarket - closed
à la Carte restaurant - closed
Snack Time cafeteria - Boylan’s Brasserie
Shuttle Buffet - closed
Burger King - closed but adjacent childrens' play area will be open so maybe they'll leave this space/what was originally the Quick & Easy food area open as general seating.
Sunset Bar - Café Lafayette
Star Comfort Class - Club Class
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Post by Seashore »

I agree with you @hhvferry, you do know someone is going to have a breakdown if that’s the case? Expecting a 1000% uplift in duty free sales, a la carte open and even the Burger King to be open. But of course any one who knows the reality knows there’s very little chance.
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Post by hhvferry »

After berthing trials in Cherbourg yesterday the Oscar Wilde has arrived for the first time this morning in Rosslare. She made the Cherbourg-Rosslare crossing in a little under 21 hours (knocking off time spent after arriving waiting for Blue Star 1 to leave) at an economical 15 knots.
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Post by ccs147 »

hhvferry wrote: 14 May 2023 09:35 After berthing trials in Cherbourg yesterday the Oscar Wilde has arrived for the first time this morning in Rosslare. She made the Cherbourg-Rosslare crossing in a little under 21 hours (knocking off time spent after arriving waiting for Blue Star 1 to leave) at an economical 15 knots.
Couple of pics of Oscars arrival in Rosslare earlier from The Coffee Dock instagram


Image

Image

 
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Post by hhvferry »

Her business in Rosslare concluded, the Oscar Wilde is now en-route to Pembroke Dock.
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Post by ryanh »

I'm sure there are very good commercial reasons, but my first thoughts on reading that list of 'closed' facilities is: what waste of such a lovely looking ship!
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Post by Seashore »

ryanh wrote: 14 May 2023 13:33 I'm sure there are very good commercial reasons, but my first thoughts on reading that list of 'closed' facilities is: what waste of such a lovely looking ship!

She’s the right ship for Holyhead-Dublin to go up against Stena Estrid and partner Ulysses, and the right ship to do some Dublin-Cherbourg with WB Yeats, but as discussed extensively here - and on the Stena Nordica thread viewtopic.php?p=15126&hilit=Stena+Nordica#p15126 - she is a stop-gap for Pembroke-Rosslare where this Southern Corridor is a marginal route operation. Irish Ferries hammer down their staff costs by using cheap agency labour, just like P&O Ferries was widely criticised for as well of their admittedly illegal ways of implementing that, they will want to keep the staffing to a minimum.

If @hhvferry is right, and he talks a lot of sense, Oscar Wilde will be offering a similar range of facilities to Stena Nordica. The listing of facilities on the Irish Ferries website also concurs with this… who’d have known that Stena had it right all along with Nordica 🤣.

Think we could expect to see more facilities open when she’s based at Dublin, the a la carte probably only on the Cherbourg one as Ulysses does not and never has had an a la carte restaurant. She’ll also be far busier up there and it’s likely that is where she is going as NI Ferry reports, and they’re pretty well connected, https://www.niferry.co.uk/irish-ferries ... r-ireland/ plus IF’s own press release shows her as initially at Pembroke. Epsilon is off, she’s sold and Polferries want her, so putting this ship on Pembroke is an overkill.

Her challenge is the lane metres, at 2,000 lm she’s well below Stena Estrid’s 3,100 lm, the 4,076 on Ulysses, the 3,409 on Stena Adventurer and the 2,860 on Epsilon. I could make a wild guess how they’d make up the shortfall 😉
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Post by ropax »

Have tested bookings in nov.:
- Calais-Dover no fleet changes, 14 dep. per day f.ex. on fridays
- Dublin-Holyhead only 2 roundtrips from Ulysses to book
- Pembroke and Cherbourg-routes are (still) not to book in nov. 
- the charter of Epsilon ends ca. 1.nov. .
- So they could operate the Pembroke-route in winter also with Oscar Wilde
- and to Cherbourg with WB Yeats
- and than anytime in next spring 2024 buy or charter another ferry (f.ex. Atlantic Vision, Visborg or Australian Superfast) for Pembroke
- and than move from summer 2024 the Oscar Wilde on the actually Epsilon-timetable.

There was an officially press-info from Irish Ferries from 6.april - there they are speaking from 2380 lm and the fastest, biggest cruise ferry in Irish Sea, generally also speaking from comfort for passengers - complete other wording than from Stena where slow freight has priority:

"The OSCAR WILDE will be the largest and fastest passenger cruise ferry on the Irish Sea with an impressive capacity of over 2,080 passengers, 134 cabins, and ample space with over 2,380 lane meters for cars, coaches, and freight vehicles.

With the largest duty-free shopping space for any cruise ferry on the Irish Sea of more than 17,000 square feet, it will be an ideal shopping destination for those travelling between Ireland and Britain.

The ship interiors have a classic, modern feel and boasts Freight Drivers facilities, Club Class lounge, a self-service restaurant, an à la carte restaurant, a bar, gaming facilities, pet facilities and family-friendly features such as a children's play area.

One of the most exciting features of the OSCAR WILDE is its available speed. With a possible top speed of 27.5 knots, it is the fastest cruise ferry with the largest passenger capacity on the Irish Sea. This will enable Irish Ferries to offer tourism passengers and freight an efficient service, getting them to their destination reliably and comfortably.

Commenting on the new addition, Irish Ferries Managing Director, Andrew Sheen, said, "We are delighted to announce the addition of the OSCAR WILDE to our fleet. This new ship will be a fantastic addition to our service, offering customers the very best in terms of comfort, speed, and amenities. Along with usual advantages of ferry travel in terms of no luggage restrictions or security queues, we are confident that the OSCAR WILDE will become a firm favourite with our passengers and freight drivers, and we look forward to welcoming them on board."

The OSCAR WILDE will initially enter service on the Rosslare / Pembroke route in early June, replacing the chartered BLUE STAR 1 for the busy summer period. (...) With its impressive size, speed, and range of facilities, it is set to become the ultimate choice for those travelling between Ireland and the UK on the southern corridor between Wales and Ireland.


  
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Post by hhvferry »

The words are interesting but what is the reality, initially at least? I suspect it's highly doubtful they will open a shop of that size or an a la carte restaurant on the Pembroke route.
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Post by tumnus2010 »

I take your point about what Irish Ferries have said @ropax  But if I had just chartered the Star I would also be emphasising her plus points too, and not saying she could do with more lane meters ideally. 

The key wording for me is that she will initially enter service on the Rosslare to Pembroke route. 

I'd expect her to be on the Holyhead route come winter though. The freight traffic will demand it I'm sure. Much better footfalls of passengers too, much better opportunities to showcase the duty free shop. 

Brittany Ferries are one company that don't currently have their timetables published past Nov yet so it's not unrealistic for Irish to change and update theirs for then too.



 
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Post by hhvferry »

Drone video of her at Rosslare.

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Post by MarkoPolo »

Seashore wrote: 14 May 2023 14:03 ...and the right ship to do some Dublin-Cherbourg with WB Yeats...

Hmm, does she have enough cabins for such a route? She is designed as a day ferry. 
And I hope IF will open the sun deck above for public. 
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