Oscar Wilde (previously known as: Kronprins Harald)
OSCAR WILDE is the Irish Ferries cruise ferry normally operating the Rosslare to France routes. She was built by Wärtsilä's Perno yard (Now Meyer Turku) in 1987 as Kronprins Harald for Jahre Line, later passing to Color Line when Jahre line was merged into that company.
Irish Ferries purchased Kronprins Harald in 2007, renaming her OSCAR WILDE after the Irish author and playwright of the same name. Although purchased for €45m in January of 2007, Kronprins Harald remained in service for Color Line under a charter arrangement until the arrival of her replacement "COLOR MAGIC" in September. She arrived at the Fredericia Skibsværft A/S shipyard in Munkebo, Denmark for rebuilding for Irish Ferries use on 4th September that year. This included the fitting of a second bow thruster to improve manoeuvrability in port, extensive refurbishment of the onboard passenger areas, an upgrading of smoke alarm systems, and an overhaul of the sprinkler system.
The newly named OSCAR WILDE entered service with Irish Ferries in December 2007 flying the flag of the Bahamas, replacing the older Normandy (sister to Stena Line's STENA EUROPE) which was offered for sale. Despite her thorough refit she arrived still wearing the blue hull of Color Line rather than the usual Irish Ferries all-over white livery. This is said by some to be in order to disguise the appearance of rust streaking and other wear and tear to the hull which results from operating on what can be quite a rough crossing. To date she retains this unique livery of a blue hull and white funnel.
On 5th February 2016 OSCAR WILDE arrived at Belfast's Harland & Wolf for refit and dry-docking, having previously been scheduled to go to A&P Falmouth instead.
Title image: Irish Ferries 1987 built cruise ferry 'Oscar Wilde' berthed at Harland & Wolff's Outfitting Quay. Pictured shortly after her arrival on 5/2/16. Originally she had been scheduled to visit A&P Falmouth, but delays to fleet mates 'Ulysses' and 'Isle of Inishmore' meant her slot was no longer available. Copyright © 2016 Steven Tarbox/NI Ferry Site.
Currently under construction/review.
The official Irish Ferries deck plan is available here
2010 promotional video featuring wine expert Tom Dooley
Irish Ferries "onboard" video from 2012