Irish Ferries – Fleet

Isle of Inishmore

Built 1997
Van der Giessen, Rotterdam, Holland.
Size 34, 031gt
182.5M x 27.8M x 5.8M
Capacity Passengers: 2,200
Berths: 226
Cars: 886
4 x Sulzer (23,040kW)
Route Rosslare – Pembrook Dock

The Isle of Inishmore is the second of two high-capacity ferries completed in Holland by van der Giessen-de Noord. She was Europe’s biggest ro-pax vessel when introduced and the largest Irish flagged passenger ship. She replaced the 1995-built Isle of Inisfree (now on charter to P&O as Pride of Cherbourg) on the Dublin-Hollyhead route and increased both freight and passenger carryings until herself being replaced by the Ulysses during May 2001. She was then moved to Rosslare-Pembrook Dock and again succeeded in generating additional traffic, completing two round trips every 24 hours, with crossing times of three hours and 45 minutes.


Built 2001
Aker Finnyards, Rauma, Finland
Size 50, 938gt
209M x 31.2M x 6.4M
Capacity Passengers: 1,875
Berths: 228
Cars: 1,342
4 x MAK (31, 200kW)
Route Dublin-Holyhead

Irish Ferries claim that the Ulysses’ is the world’s larges and most reliable car ferry, and the marketing of this has helped Irish Ferries gain an increasing passenger and freight market share in the highly competitive Irish Sea central corridor. Named after the James Joyce book that immortalised life at each hour of June 16, 1904, the 12 deck high Ulysses offers passengers the chance to learn more about the book while exploring the many public rooms on a James Joyce walking tour. With a 22-knot service speed, she crosses the Irish Sea in just over 3 hours, and completes two trips every 24 hours taking up to 2,000 passengers and almost five kilometres of vehicle space on three decks capable of swallowing-up 1,342 cars or 240 trucks.

Oscar Wilde

Built 1987
Oy Wartsila AB, Turku, Finland
Size 31,914gt
166,26 x 28,40 x 6,70 m
Capacity Passengers: 1,458
Berths: 1,458
Cars: 580
Sulzer-Wärtsilä (19800 kW)
Route Rosslare – Roscoff/Cherbourg)

The Kronprins Harald was built in 1987 by Oy Wartsila AB, Turku, Finland for Jahre Line of Norway for their Oslo – Kiel service. In 1991 she was transferred to Colour Line ownership. In January 2007 ICG announced that they had bough the vessel for Irish Ferries to replace the Normandy. She was chartered back to Colour Line for the summer of 2007 after which she was handed over to Irish Ferries in October, who and refitted in Fredericia, Denmark prior to entering service on November 30th.

Fast Ferries:

Jonathan Swift

Built 1999
Austral Ships, Australia
Size 5,992gt
86.6M x 24M x 3.2M
Capacity Passengers:800
4 x Caterpillar (28, 800kW)
39 knots
Route Dublin-Holyhead

The Jonathan Swift is named after another one of Dublin’s famous writers. Her deliverer voyage took 24 days travelling 10,354 nautical miles, and takeing in Indonesia, Suez, Greece and Gibraltar before her arrival in Dublin. She crosses the Irish Sea in just 1 hour and 49 minutes and her onboard facilities include her restaurant, bar, reading lounge (named after the oldest college in Ireland), and a TV lounge.

Chartered Vessels

ICG also charters a number of vessels out to other companies

Isle of Innisfree/Chalanger

Built 1987
Oy Wartsila AB, Turku, Finland
Size 22.365gt
181,60 x 23,40 x 5,60 m
Capacity Passengers: 1,650
Berths: 132
Cars: 600
4 x Sulzer 8ZAL40S (32,040 kW)
Route Picton – Wellington

The Isle of Innisfree was delivered to Irish Ferries in January 1994 for Fublin-Holyhead service. Following the introduction of the Isle of Innismore in 1997 she headed south to Rosslare to take up the Rosslare-Pembroke Dock service in April. When the Ulysses was introduced in Dublin in 2001, she was again replaced by the Innismore, and laid up, firstly in Dublin May, and then in Le Havre in June. In March 2002 she was chartered to P&O Ferries, and sent to A&P Falmouth for refit, and was renamed Pride of Cherbourg. In May 2002 she took up Portsmouth – Cherbourg service, but following P&O’s business review, was displaced as a result of the clousure of all services to/from Cherbourg in Janurary 2005. Following her final sailing and destoring she headed to Poland for re-fit, and a sub-charter to Stena Line and renamed “Stena Challenger” operating between Karlskrona and Gdynia until June, when she was again sub-chartered by P&O to New Zeland (via Panama) for service with Interislander as “Challenger” sailing in the Cook Straight between Picton and Wellington.

In April 2007 the ship was officially renamed Kaitaki (The Māori translation of Challenger). In 2009, it was announced that the initial five-year lease would be extended and that she would have to be returned to Stena Line on 30 June 2013. The lease has been renewed again on 16 April 2013 until 2017 with the option to extend another three years afterwards.